Best Four Door Sports Cars (And 1 That Rules Them All)
A four-door sports car sounds a little crazy, but the sports sedan segment is sort of the answer for people looking for practicality and fun in a car. The best sports sedans blend style, sophistication, speed, agility, and practicality in one package.
There’s a lot to be desired in this segment and for good reason. Some of the best cars you can drive are sports sedans. In fact, sports sedans cross all price ranges and for each of the below, there are non-sport variants that are far less fun. We won’t bore you with those. Read on to see the best sports sedans you can buy today.
First, it’s important to cover some bases here and understand what qualifies as a sedan. It must have four doors and cannot be a Sportback, Hatchback, or Wagon. That basically means it cannot have a sloping roofline with a roof-mounted trunk and it’s gotta have four doors.
Unfortunately, the popularity of sedans has been dropping in recent years and that’s a total bummer. SUVs are dominating consumer demand right now and you can read about my disdain for that in this post: SUV vs Crossover – What’s The Difference?
The beauty of the Sports Sedan is that you get extreme performance and everyday drivability. Sedans by their nature are comfortable for drivers and passengers alike, have a fair amount of storage, and are easy to navigate through cities and parking lots. I can’t figure out why people would prefer to drive a bus every day, but that’s a different topic entirely.
The criteria I laid down for identifying the best sports sedans you can buy are simple: it’s gotta be fast and it’s gotta be usable every day.
Simple as that.
The reason is that the average consumer will buy these cars and drive them every day and that’s really more of a good thing than a bad thing.
It breaks my heart to think of all the amazing cars out there that have been reduced to garage queens.
Top 5 Four Door Sports Cars
- Audi RS3
- BMW M3
- Cadillac CTS-V
- Mercedes AMG C63S
- Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat
Read on to see why we love these sedans more than we love Nutella.
While each of these is amazing in their own way, I’ve identified a clear winner that I think is a great sports sedan for almost anyone.
The Winner: Audi RS3
What we love:
- Mind-bending speed
- Unique engine sound
- Lightening fast shifting
- Insane grip
- Compact size
The Audi RS3 made its debut in America in late 2017 and comes packed with a 400-hp 2.5-liter 5-cylinder engine married to a 7-speed dual clutch transmission.
Fitted with the greatest all-wheel-drive system ever engineered, Quattro, the car rockets (literally) from 0-60 mph in 3.5 seconds. It sounds like a rocket the entire way there too. The exhaust note is like heroin, once you experience the euphoria, you just want more.
The mighty 5-cylinder is one of the most engineered motors in Audi’s history and has deep roots in Audi’s rally car heritage where it was perfected. On the street, it’s just a maniac. It redlines at 6,900 RPM and shifts so smooth and fast you can barely ascertain what’s going on beneath you.
Audi’s come with a simple to use launch control system that you can enjoy at every stop light while embarrassing Corvette owners for revving at you.
The car comes standard with adaptive suspension, but opt-in for the $4,800 Dynamic Plus package and enjoy the nonadjustable RS sport suspension and 14.6-inch carbon ceramic rotors with eight-piston calipers.
The Dynamic Plus package also lifts the limited top speed from 155 mph to 174 mph, for those who are perpetually running late for work.
Inside the cabin, you will find some really nice touches including diamond stitched Napa leather sport bucket seats, an Alcantara lined steering wheel and gear lever, and Audi’s technology and carbon accent packages add the icing on this cake.
Back seat space is a little cramped but still works and there’s plenty of space for junk in the trunk. Pricing starts at $55,450 but the fun starts every time you get in the driver’s seat.
What we love:
- Attractive styling
- Twin-Turbo inline 6-cylinder
- 7,500 RPM redline
- Manual transmission option
- Excellent performance on and off the track
- Great driver’s seat
The BMW M3 has been around a long time now and has long been the champion of sports sedans.
In fact, the M3 outperforms a ton of other sports cars and is an absolute legend in its own right. However, the most recent iteration of this car has taken some flak for ditching its revered naturally aspirated V8 and mechanical steering. Some people say the car lost its juju.
Maybe that’s true to a certain extent, but get behind the wheel of this car and you will quickly see that is still a force to be reckoned with. At 425-hp the mighty M3 runs the 0-60 in just 4-seconds and pushes you into the nicely designed sport bucket seats the entire way there.
The car’s handling is exact and direct and if you haven’t driven a previous generation M3 you likely wouldn’t even know that the steering is electric.
The car comes loaded with adaptive “M” suspension and a host of driving calibrations that include steering, damping, throttle response, and shifting making the car an awesome daily driver and a fun track toy.
Starting at $64,500 the BMW M3 is a convincing argument that the “family sedan” is far from dead.
What we love:
- Aggressive styling
- Supercharged V8
- Recaro Sport Seats
- Razor sharp handling
- Chassis built on the Nürburgring
In a lot of ways, I feel like Cadillac is falling victim to the same problem Acura has. They aren’t really viewed as the high-class luxury vehicles they used to be viewed as.
Generally speaking, there’s always some flagship performance car that a luxury automaker spits out in an attempt to boost its image when this happens. Audi has the R8, Acura has the NSX, and Cadillac went a different route and made the CTS-V. Anyone who hasn’t driven one of these doesn’t understand how incredible they really are.
Off the line, the CTS-V slams 0-60 mph in 3.8 seconds and 0-100 a little over 8 seconds. That’s shit your pants fast.
That’s all thanks to a wild 6.2-liter supercharged V8 and a slick eight-speed automatic transmission. The set up is good for 640-hp entirely sent to both rear wheels. The gigantic Brembo brakes are proudly displayed up front and the car roars when the throttle is pushed down.
An incredible chassis and magnetorheological dampers supply surgical precision when cornering but limit the daily driving to a comfortable and enjoyable cruise no matter the road surface.
Pricing starts at $88,490 but option up and this American hero could put you back over six figures.
That might sound like a lot but consider the fact you are getting supercar performance with a classy, everyday driver that’s versatile enough to take the kids to school and get groceries and you will be looking at that price tag a little differently.
Mercedes AMG C63S
What we love:
- Twin-Turbo V8
- Distinctive styling
- Amazing interior
- Slick drive modes
- Disgustingly fast
For those who are unaware AMG is the hooligan arm of Mercedes-Benz responsible for developing the automakers more irresponsible cars. I say irresponsible because once you drive one you will be ready to shell out money you might not have to stay in the thing.
Case in point, the C63S, which tops the list of AMG’s C-class variants. The C63S comes with an amazing twin-turbocharged 4.0-liter V8 that is hand-built. The last thing you had that was hand-built was your Blizzard from Dairy Queen.
The motor comes with 503-hp and 516 lb-ft of torque and torches the 0-60 mph test in 3.8 seconds. That’s 3.8 exhilarating seconds to be exact. An optional fully digital gauge cluster is cool but I really dig the analog style with the carbon fiber backings.
A new flat-bottom steering wheel connects the driver to the car and can be optioned out in carbon fiber that looks so delicious you might mistake it for that Blizzard I mentioned earlier.
An AMG Drive Unit is attached to the steering wheel in the form of a round dial tucked neatly beneath the right spoke. It comes with a cool display screen and the system also includes two color display buttons under the left spoke of the steering wheel that you can configure.
The AMG Performance seats are back and better than ever with ventilation and can be optioned out to include diamond stitching if you’re feeling super fancy.
A brand new AMG “Speedshift MCT” nine-speed automatic is fitted to the car and comes standard with steel paddle shifters behind that badass steering wheel and a wet start-off clutch that delivers sharp and snappy gear changes.
The C63S comes with six driving modes (Slippery, Comfort, Sport, Sport+, Race, and a customizable “Individual” setting and the transmission features a full-on manual mode that Mercedes says will not force upshifts.
Pricing for this super sedan starts at $66,100 and will convince your neighbors that you are definitely a “cool dad”.
Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat
What we love:
- A ridiculous supercharged 6.2-liter V8
- Nice wheel setups
- Unmistakable purpose
- Surprisingly accurate steering
- Big brakes
- Made in USA
I have said it before and I will say it again Dodge is doing its best to bring the sedan back to life in America.
The 6.2-liter supercharged V8 puts down an astronomical 707-hp and 650 lb-ft of torque and is good for a 0-60 mph time of 3.4 seconds and a quarter mile from the factory of 11.4 seconds.
I mean shit, I had to take a breath just typing that. There is no mistaking what Dodge was trying to accomplish with this car. But it’s not just about the big numbers, the SRT Hellcat is a surprisingly sharp handler as well. It’s got a good amount of grip, it brakes hard, and its responsive in the throttle and shifting.
It comes with four driving modes “default”, Sport, Track, and a setting you can customize aptly named “Custom”. It even allows for the tracking of track data like acceleration, lap times and even lateral g-force.
However, let’s be clear this car isn’t all that easy to live with at times. It’s addictive for sure, but its power makes it a little sensitive in corners and on rainy days. Should that stop you? No! Of course not, I’m just saying consider it.
Inside the cabin is sleek and I think Dodges styling is some of the best from the American budget manufacturers.
The car looks mean and is by all means built for the track but the back seat is big enough to pile your co-workers in and scare the shit out of them on your way to a company lunch. That alone is worth the starting price of $66,300.
The Best Four-Door Sports Cars
There you have it, the five best sports sedans out right now. Are there more? Absolutely. In fact, there’s a ton of great sports sedans, but I feel this list represents the absolute best the segment has to offer.
Remember, driving a sedan shouldn’t be a boring experience. The entire sports sedan segment is booming with cost-effective awesome choices like the Audi S4 (which you can read about in my review), the Chevy SS, the Subaru WRX STI, and the Cadillac ATS-V. The five listed here simply represent the most performance-focused of the bunch.
When it comes to finding which car is right for you always remember to ask yourself the following:
- What matters most to me in a car? Safety, styling, handling etc…
- Do I value form over function? Maybe performance isn’t as big a factor for you.
- Do I want all-wheel-drive or rear-wheel-drive?
- Is backseat legroom more important than compact space?
- Does my budget allow for me to maintain a sports sedan?
- Would my spouse be cool with me wanting to hear the motor over them talking?
These are just a few examples of factors that should always be considered before purchasing any car. What makes these cars the best sports sedans out there is that on some level they are all still practical while being a shit ton of fun.
Still, with the sedan dying, I’m forced to provide you with options for a sporty SUV, even though it hurts me internally. So check out our post: The Best Luxury SUV to see get our take on the best SUVs in the market.