Probably the most sporty, relialble mid-sized sedan is the Mazda 6, hands down. The Honda Accord with the two liter turbo is probably the second most sporty. These are the best of the normal family sedans as far as sporty goes.
If you are willing to deal with a five door hatchback I can do a little better at a higher cost. That would be the Kia (yes, the Korean brand) Stinger. The 2.0 L engine is quite sporty and gets good gas mileage, and the car has excellent handling. Downside? Backseat is really small. My 13 year old kids hated it back there when I went to the auto show and has them sit in the backseat. Only reliablity issue so far is some rattling - from hard driving.
Better in the backseat and about as reliable? The Buick Regal made by Opel in Germany. It has good handling but not as sporty as the Stinger (but more sporty than the Honda and maybe marginally more sporty than the Mazda 6). It is also a five door hatchback so like the Kia they both carry a lot more than the Mazda and the Honda in the trunk. It is the most luxurious of this group and is the same price as the Kia in the 2.0 L turbo mode. Front wheel drive is less sporty than the AWD version, and the V6 version is more sporty as well (just like the V6 Turbo Kia Stinger is a very sporty car). However once you go to the V6 on both the Buick and the Kia you are paying a lot more for the car and are outside your price range.
On the Mazda and the Honda you may have to go a couple of years old to get under $25,000 if you want them optioned up. For the Buick and Kia you would have to go back to 2018 and see if you can find any in your price range as you may not be able to as they are very popular cars used.
Best of luck, any of those four are probably your best bets.