2013 Ford Focus ST

Take one of the best-composed American compact cars on the road, add a touch of European-style turbocharged madness, and you get the Ford Focus ST. With 252 horsepower, the ST's straight-line thrust is as brawny as you'd expect, but its cornering ability defies front-wheel-drive physics, with turn-in that apes the liveliest rear-wheel-drivers. It's an undercover hot rod in which you can transport groceries. [from $24,495; ford.com]