Want something fun to drive, but need seating for four and reasonable cargo space?  Don't despair. There are plenty of cars that are both functional and fun. Here are a few options in varying price points that offer sensible sedan interiors and uncommonly exhilarating drive experiences.

BMW 3-Series

BMW 3-Series

#1 in Upscale Midsize Cars

Topping our list of upscale midsize cars, the BMW 3-Series is the king of sport sedans. Its six-cylinder base engine can accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in just 6.3 seconds, and the power delivery is silky-smooth. A high-quality interior with an impressive Harman Kardon sound system completes the package. Note, however, that the rear seat is on the small side.

 

Lexus IS

#6 in Upscale Midsize Cars

The Lexus IS has a somewhat underpowered base model, but its sportier sibling, the IS 350, is in a performance league of its own. In Edmunds' comparison tests, the 350 beats class favorite BMW 330i in 0-to-60 time. Its sophisticated suspension, powerful brakes, and V6 engine make it a true contender in its class -- and its quiet, hi-tech interior makes for a luxurious driving experience.

Acura TL

Acura TL

#7 in Upscale Midsize Cars

Want BMW-like performance without paying BMW-like prices? Check out the Acura TL, which offers impressive power and luxury at a more affordable price. Highlights include sharp handling, a base engine with plenty of pull, and roomy seating for five. And for those who want ultimate power, Acura has brought back the high-performance Type-S model, which rivals its BMW and Infiniti competitors at the track.

Audi A4

#8 in Upscale Midsize Cars

The Audi A4 offers good performance, but really stands out for its available Quattro all-wheel drive -- an option that isn't offered by all class competitors. In fact, many credit the traction-inducing system for the car's incredible handling. The A4 also provides unusually bolstered first-rate front seats, along with a well-constructed, rich cabin.

Infiniti G35

Infiniti G35

#8 in Upscale Midsize Cars

The award-winning Infiniti G35 offers ample space for four -- albeit a little tighter with five -- along with a high-quality interior and excellent base stereo system. However, the trunk isn't large enough to fit luggage for a family of four, which may explain the G35's middle-of-the-class ranking. On the plus side, its peppy performance ranks near the top of the class.

 

Audi A3

#1 in Upscale Small Cars

The Audi A3 ranks first in its class for its unique combination of hatchback utility and sports-car performance. Test drivers say both the four-cylinder and V6 engines offer plenty of pull and that the A3's luxurious interior is roomy enough for four six-footers. Still, while cargo space is good with the rear seats folded down, it's a bit disappointing with all seats in use.

Volkswagen GTI

Volkswagen GTI

#2 in Upscale Small Cars

Ranking just behind the Audi A3, the Volkswagen GTI delivers similarly exceptional performance in a hatchback design. The GTI's peppy turbocharged engine is mated to an especially smooth manual or automatic transmission. Interior comfort gets mixed reviews, though some testers love the seats' heavy side bolstering. A big plus is the GTI's generous cargo space and numerous small storage spaces.

Acura TSX

#2 in Upscale Small Cars

The Acura TSX, the TL's more affordable sibling, is a fun-to-drive sedan with a high-quality interior. Nimble handling is a plus, but some test drivers wish for more power from the standard four-cylinder engine -- which, incidentally, contributes to good fuel economy. On the inside, the rear seats are rather roomy by small-car standards, and cargo space is small but still very usable.

Mazda MAZDA3

#5 in Affordable Small Cars

One of the more affordable cars on this list, the Mazda MAZDA3 ranks well for its excellent handling dynamics, likable exterior and surprisingly luxurious interior. The cabin features comfortable front seats, though many test drivers say rear-set legroom is disappointing. Still, the MAZDA3 makes up for shortcomings with its peppy engines and refined driving feel. In fact, its small size and relative comfort earns it a place on Forbes' 2008 list of "Ten Best Cars for City Dwellers."

Dodge Charger

#5 in Affordable Large Cars

The Dodge Charger's muscle-car styling and powerful performance are a welcome rarity in the affordable large car class. The five-seater also offers family amenities, including a roomy back seat and generous cargo space. But test drivers say the base engines can be sluggish, so be sure to trade up to the R/T or SRT8 models for maximum performance.

Functionality and Fun

Practicality versus excitement -- it may be a common conundrum in the car-buying world...but it doesn't have to be. With plenty of sedans that take performance just as seriously as cabin comfort, there's a sporty option for everyone.

Acura TSX