Initially, the Germans will likely only offer conventional gasoline models, with a hybrid lurking around the corner. The GLE 550e plug-in hybrid currently makes 436 hp and 479 lb-ft of torque thanks to a 3.0L twin-turbo V6 mill and an electric motor. 21 mpg combined isn’t exactly leading the class in fuel economy, but the GLE 550e offers up to 19 miles of electric range as well.
As many tried to make the single camshaft engine a real performer, they instead found every weak link in the engine. Those links included the connecting rods and smaller bores in the block, and anything standing in the way needed to be upgraded if you wanted to get significant power from the engine.
The aftermarket did put together some forced induction options, but the cost was hard to justify as the performance couldn’t really compete with any modified import in the same class. The Engine Management System seemed to fight against the changes anyway, and most RX8 owners chose to abandon ship to another chassis with some leftover heartburn.
The Chevrolet Malibu is a more affordable option as far as cars under $5000 go, but the Chevrolet Impala is a better vehicle overall. The most common engine in this model is a 3.5L FlexFuel V6 that is able to offer 29 mpg on the highway. The Impala received the highest ratings from both the IIHS and the NHTSA and is highly recommended by current and previous owners. Overall, the Chevrolet Impala may be one of the best American cars under $5000 that you can buy.