March 17, 2017 at 1:21 pm EST | by Joe Phillips
Sexy sport sedans
sedans, gay news, Washington Blade

VR CC R-Line Executive

With all the hullabaloo over crossovers, it’s easy to forget sedans still rule in many showrooms. This goes double for sport sedans with their souped-up engines and snappy styling.

VW CC R-LINE EXECUTIVE
$38,000
Mpg: 22 city/31 highway
0-to-60 mph: 6.5 seconds

Once upon a time, VW created the ill-fated Phaeton, a superb machine, to be sure, but with a stratospheric price tag. When that flagship flamed out, the more affordable CC sport sedan became the automaker’s premier ride. With head-turning looks, the CC (Comfort Coupe) mixes sleek, two-door styling with four-door functionality. It’s not boxy, like the Jetta, Passat or even that spitfire GTI tuner. But the CC’s swoopy rear means less headroom and legroom for back-seat passengers. And the low-ground clearance may remind some folks — especially arthritic Boomers — of scooching in and out of go-kart racers. Still, this is a driver’s car, with a jazzy turbo, solid brakes and enough verve to liven up any daily commute. Two trim levels: base-level Sport and premium R-Line Executive. While both offer plenty of standard features, the Executive adds a panoramic sunroof, steering-wheel paddle shifters and heated, power-folding side mirrors. Sure, leather is available, but the “leatherette” (high-end vinyl) upholstery feels just as nice, is easier to clean and earns you some PETA-friendly cred.

LEXUS GS 350
$51,000
Mpg: 19 city/26 highway
0-to-60 mph: 5.7 seconds

With just a few karate chops to the sheet metal, Lexus now offers some of the trendiest designs on the road. This includes a bold grille that’s edgy enough to be menacing. It works well on the GS 350, amping up this car’s sport-sedan bona fides. So do the engine and exhaust notes that can be piped directly into the cabin. Turn off that extra vroom, though, and this is a quiet cruiser with virtually no road noise or vibration. The interior is subtle chic, despite some plastic trim, with easy-to-use controls and well-padded seats. A 12-speaker stereo is standard, but upgrade to the 17-speaker Mark Levinson system for more bliss. Another plus: the 12.3-inch, widescreen infotainment display is huge and sits high on the dashboard for easy viewing. Following an industry trend, safety features that were once optional are now de rigueur. This includes collision warning with emergency braking and pedestrian detection. While handling is nimble, it’s not as taut as some Euro contenders. For that, you’ll need to plunk down an extra $4,000 for the F Sport model.

sedans, gay news, Washington Blade

Lexus GS 350

BMW 540i xDRIVE
$57,000
Mpg: 20 city/29 highway
0-to-60 mph: 4.9 seconds

If aliens typed “sport sedan” into their social media feed, the redesigned BMW 5 Series would likely pop up first. Or at least it should, considering the space-age looks — especially in the cabin — and the gazillion high-tech gizmos. Longer and taller than before, the new model reduces heft by using lots of lightweight aluminum, magnesium and high-strength steel. While the base 530i has a capable four-cylinder, the 540i boasts a twin-turbo six-cylinder with a lusty 335-hp. It’s a blast to drive fast, especially when adding all-wheel drive (xDrive) and the M Sport package, with 20-inch wheels and lower suspension. Inside, the infotainment system includes gesture and voice controls, as well as a head-up display on the windshield. For rear-seat entertainment, two 10.2-inch screens are attached to the back of the front seats. The standard seating is nicely bolstered, but you can switch it out for 20-way front seats with massage function. And the audio can be upgraded to a boffo 1,400-watt Bowers & Wilkins surround-sound stereo. Of course, tossing in all those options can ratchet up the price — yowza! — another $25,000.

BMW 540i xDrive

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