Domestic cars don’t get enough attention on TTAC, but we can also be prone to heaping too much praise on particular examples; I may be the lone dissenting voice on the roster that does not swear a blood oath to the Panther. The W-Body Impala, which is set to go into Panther-like fleet-only production until mid-2014, is similarly polarizing. Some adore it, some despise it while others reflexively disdain it due to the effusive praise heaped upon it.
Personally, I think the later 3.6L cars are fantastic bargains, and even better sleepers. The “High Feature V6” is a gem, even when hooked up to GM’s pokey 6-speed automatic. The interior and trunk are both cavernous and the massive depreciation occuring within 12 months of their purchase date makes them a compelling used car choice.
From the Blue Oval, my pick would be the Flex Ecoboost. The boosted box-on-wheels is hardly the value proposition that the Impala represents, but it’s pretty hard to argue with a family wagon capable of running high-13s in the quarter mile. The relative rarity of the Flex makes it even sweeter.
Lastly, the Pentastar brand has a wealth of options. Any of the Pentastar cars could be viable candidates. How about a Pentastar powered Dodge Avenger or Chrysler 200? The 6.4 second 0-60 sprint is more than class competitive. Those who want a bit more flash could opt for the V8 powered Chrysler 300C (not the 300S or Varvatos Edition), but my own pick would be the redneck-special Ram Express, driven over some jagged rocks to ensure maximum damage to the mufflers.
Feel free to nominate your favorite domestic sleepers from the past or present. Having been before slightly before the Internet, I delight in hearing my Dad and Uncles tell stories about their old Satellites that they’d race up and down the winding streets of Montreal, or the 440-powered New Yorker that left frequent rubber deposits at every intersection. First person to say “LT1 Roadmaster” loses the game.