Best sport sedans for 2024

These 15 sedans are the best four-door sports cars of 2024

SUVs dominate the car industry at every size and price level, but some people still prefer the looks, and more importantly, the performance and comfort, of the traditional sedan. With a lower ride height, lighter weight and generally smaller size, they often are much more fun to drive, and can even be more comfortable. Sport sedans of course lean harder on the performance side of things, and are among the best options for sheer speed and fun, thanks to those inherent characteristics. We've rounded up the ones in the segment that do the sporty dance better than any others in 2024 to give you a handy guide when you're shopping for one of your own.

You'll find a wide array of cars here including gas, electric and hybrid powertrains. They'll have manual and automatic transmissions and drive the front, rear or all four wheels. Technically a few hatchbacks have slipped in, but they're close enough in look and feel that we wanted to include them. And excluding them means you might miss out on some of the best-driving options available. You wouldn't want that, would you?

2022 Alfa Romeo Giulia2022 Alfa Romeo Giulia

Alfa Romeo Giulia

Why it stands out: Punchy four-cylinder; astounding power from Quadrifoglio; light and nimble character; awesome shift paddles
Could be better: Clunky infotainment; sub-par switchgear

Read our Alfa Romeo Giulia review

We start this list with one of the most predictable inclusions: the Alfa Romeo Giulia. Yes, it's a stereotype that the Italian sport sedan is fun to drive, but the fact is, well, it is. The Giulia comes standard with a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder making 280 horsepower, making it one of the most powerful four-cylinders in the segment. It's paired with a snappy and smooth eight-speed transmission and either rear-wheel or all-wheel drive. 

The engine is lively and torquey, if a little short of revs, and the chassis feels super-light. The steering is eager and the car jumps into corners. We also highly recommend getting a version with the enormous and superb aluminum paddle shifters that make clicking through gears much more entertaining. And on the topic of the interior, it's attractive, but the various switches and knobs feels a little cheap, and the infotainment system is clunky.

Of course there's also the incredible Giulia Quadrifoglio at the high end. It gets a Ferrari-derived twin-turbo 2.9-liter V6 making 505 hp, and it's rear-wheel drive only. It's one of the best driving cars on the planet with clear, talkative steering, loads of grip, and a nimble feeling. And obviously it's darn fast with all that power.

Audi RS 3

Why it stands out: Magnificent sounding and massively powerful five-cylinder; super grip from all-wheel-drive; fat, aggressive fender flares
Could be better: Numb steering; low-rent interior materials

Read our RS 3 review

The Audi RS 3's crown jewel is, unquestionably, it's mad turbo five-cylinder under the hood. It doesn't make any sense that it exists in today's world, as it exists in only this one trim of this one model (at least in the U.S. line-up). But that's part of the appeal. The other, much bigger part of the appeal, is the huge power and stunning sound. It has a howl unlike anything else, and it does so with a whopping 401 horsepower and 369 pound-feet of torque. And it's all in a package the size of a VW Golf.

And if that was all the RS 3 had going for it, we would still love it. But in the words of many an infomercial host: "Wait, there's more!" It has amazing suspension and a wickedly quick dual-clutch transmission to make it handle and shift in a way fitting that amazing engine. And it has all-wheel drive to make sure every pony reaches the ground. 

The RS 3 also features a thoroughly beefy body with big box flares and scowling lights. The interior has a crisp, angular and futuristic looking interior. We wouldn't mind seeing nicer materials inside, and the steering could be better, but they're small complaints in light of a thoroughly unique and exhilarating sedan.


2023 BMW 3 Series

BMW 3 Series and M3

Why it stands out: Lots of powertrain options; sure handling; available manual in the M3
Could be better: Annoying infotainment; numb steering; questionable styling

Read our BMW 3 Series review, our 330e long-term review updates and our M3 review

While it has faltered in the past, the small luxury sport sedan benchmark is in much better form in its current iteration. And there are many things that make the 3 Series appealing. It's available with a turbo four-cylinder, a plug-in hybrid four-cylinder, or a few different versions of a turbocharged straight-six. It also boasts a great interior with high-end materials and highly comfortable seats. And of course, every version has a quick and fun chassis.

The base 330i model gets a 255-hp turbo 2.0-liter four-cylinder. It's very responsive and makes great low-down torque. The eight-speed transmission, versions of which appear in all the 3 Series models, is fast and smooth, and one of the best in the segment. Steering is pretty numb, but the chassis is stiff and eager to corner. The BMW rides very well, too. For a bit more power, there's the plug-in hybrid that makes 288 hp and has up to 22 miles of electric range. It doesn't cost much more, either.

The four-cylinder models are solid, but the six-cylinder cars are, unsurprisingly, more exciting. The M340i's turbo six-cylinder makes 382 hp. It also gets upgraded suspension, brakes and an electronically-controlled limited-slip differential. Then there are the M3 models that increase power to 473 hp for the base model, and 503 hp for the Competition. They also get additional suspension, braking and transmission upgrades to make for some astounding sports sedans to rival the Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio. The base M3 also boasts one of the only manual transmissions in the segment. With a base price that tops $70,000, it's not cheap, but it's quite a bit cheaper than the Alfa.

There's also the limited-edition M3 CS. The power is increased even further to 543 horsepower, and torque up to 479 pound-feet. It has even more chassis reinforcements, and generally is the hardest core of M3s. We really like it.


BMW i4

Why it stands out: All the goodness of the 3 Series and 4 Series Gran Coupe, but electric; available 300-mile range; M50 acceleration on par with M3
Could be better: Front-end design; annoying infotainment; M50 accelerates like a M3, doesn't handle like one

Read our BMW i4 review

We've just gone over most of the positives of the BMW 3 Series sedan such as its strong driving dynamics, nice interior and wide array of powertrains. It's missing a powertrain, though: electric power. And that's where the i4 comes in. It's based on the 4 Series Gran Coupe, which is itself basically a 3 Series four-door with a hatch, and it adds either one or two electric motors. It's all the 3 Series goodness, but fully electric.

The base motor in the eDrive35 is reasonably strong at 282 horsepower and will take the i4 to 60 mph in 5.8 seconds. Range can hit 276 miles. Next up is the eDrive40, which was the previous base model, with 335 horsepower a 0 to 60 mph time 5.5 seconds. And equipped correctly, it'll go 301 miles on a full charge. It's also more powerful than the base 3 Series or 3 Series plug-in hybrid. The xDrive40 adds another motor and all-wheel drive and brings output to 396 horsepower. It can even top the eDrive40's range with up to 307 miles. The M50 packs a pair of motors making 536 horsepower, more than the M3 and M4, and it'll get the car to 60 mph in under 4 seconds. That's M-car acceleration without a drop of fuel.

Unfortunately, there isn't a full-M version of the i4, so handling will always be on the softer side. But you still get the quick steering and composed chassis you would expect from any other 3 Series model. The interior is also just as nice as any other 3 Series, but shares the frustrating latest iteration of BMW's iDrive tech interface.


2022 Cadillac CT4-V Blackwing

Cadillac CT4

Why it stands out: Extremely communicative steering and chassis; strong four-cylinder options; powerful Blackwing model; available manual transmission
Could be better: Interior is a bit bland; manual only on the Blackwing; base four-cylinder isn't particularly inspiring

Read our Cadillac CT4 review

The 21st century has been a time of reinvention for Cadillac as it transitioned from floaty barges to world-class sport sedans. The Cadillac CT4 represents one of the last internal combustion Cadillacs, and it's a superb example of the breed with excellent handling, impressive refinement, and the availability of an incredible halo model.

There are three basic iterations of the car, starting with the base turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder making 237 hp or a 310-hp turbo 2.7-liter four-cylinder. Above that is the CT4-V with a 325-hp version of that 2.7-liter engine, and the monster CT4-V Blackwing with a 472-hp twin-turbo V6. Only the Blackwing is available with a six-speed manual transmission, and the four-cylinder cars are the only ones available with all-wheel drive.

If you can, we recommend stretching to at least one of the 2.7-liter models, but every CT4 is extremely composed and responsive in its moves, with immense communication. It's one of the most engaging cars in the segment. And of course, the Blackwing improves things immensely, and is a rare manual option in the high-end compact sport sedan segment. It's so good, one of our editors actually bought one. If that's not a ringing endorsement, we don't know what is.


Cadillac CT5

Why it stands out: Nearly 700 horsepower; supercharged V8 soundtrack; available manual transmission; brilliant chassis
Could be better: Four-cylinder is a little weak for this car; manual only for Blackwing; drab interior

Read our CT5 review

In addition to the CT4, the CT5 is another excellent sport sedan, just bigger. That applies to under the hood, too, where the most beastly CT5 packs a monster supercharged V8.

The basic CT5 shares its turbo four-cylinder with the CT4 and makes the same 237 horsepower. The upgrade engine is a twin-turbo 3.0-liter V6 making 335 horsepower. Rear-drive is standard on each with all-wheel drive available as an option. They're comfortable and engaging, a great blend for a fun daily driver.

The V models are where things get exciting. The regular V brings power from the twin-turbo V6 up to 360, and it gets a sporty version of GM's magical Magnetic Ride Control suspension, plus Brembo brakes. But the Blackwing is the cream of this crop, with a 668-horsepower supercharged V8. It'll do 200 mph, and you can even have it with a six-speed manual transmission. It's a righteous steed that's a little heavier and less sharp than the CT4, but makes up for it with character.


2022 Genesis G702022 Genesis G70

Genesis G70

Why it stands out: Excellent bang for the buck; extremely powerful V6; brilliant chassis; user-friendly infotainment
Could be better: Cramped back seat; transmission could be sharper

Read our Genesis G70 review

Our final choice from the compact luxury sport sedan segment is probably the best value, the Genesis G70. It comes with either a turbocharged 2.5-liter four-cylinder making 300 hp, or a beefy twin-turbo 3.3-liter V6 making 365 hp. Both come standard with an eight-speed automatic and rear-wheel-drive, with all-wheel drive as an option. They're amazing deals, too. You can get a V6 G70 for similar pricing as the four-cylinder Alfa or BMW we mentioned before, and with so much more power. Or if you want the four-cylinder, you can have a healthy discount, period.

The low price doesn't mean the Genesis sacrifices quality or driving fun. The V6 in particular is a blast. It feels underrated, with the two turbos pinning you to the seat when they spool up. The chassis is rock-solid, balanced and communicative. The transmission feels a beat behind those used in the Alfa and BMW, but doesn't get in the way of enjoying the car. The four-cylinder isn't as exciting, but the chassis is just as good, and the lighter engine makes it a bit more nimble.

The interior materials could be a little nicer, but panel gaps are tight and everything feels solid. The infotainment system is far easier to use than either of the European cars on this list, too. And the G70 is even better looking now than when it came out. If you're looking at a fun sedan from this segment, you can't ignore the G70.


2022 Honda Civic Si2023 Honda Civic Type R

Honda Civic

Why it stands out: Affordable price; excellent fuel economy; spacious interior; loads of convenience and performance features; manual transmissions
Could be better: Low on power in Si trim; no manual option for non-Si sedan; no automatic transmission option for Si or Type R; Type R is expensive

Read our reviews of the Honda Civic, Si and Type R

We're stretching the terms of a sedan here a bit with some of these versions of the Honda Civic, since the Type R is actually hatchback-only as is one of the most enjoyable regular models (the Hatchback Sport Touring with its manual transmission). But we've already included one car that's technically a hatchback (the BMW i4), and there are a few others here that technically feature a hatchback over their trunks. And the fact of the matter is, the Type R is amazing, and even the regular Civic options are pretty darn good, so we felt compelled to mention them.

Now digging in, the base Civic is a great car all around with a huge cabin, attractive dash, useful infotainment and comfortable ride. But it also has a light and nimble chassis. The base naturally aspirated engine is a bit anemic nowadays, especially only paired with a CVT, but the turbo 1.5-liter engine's 180 horsepower is punchy. In the hatchback, it's also available with a slick manual transmission that ups the fun factor enough that you should genuinely ask yourself whether you really need an Si or mechanically related Acura Integra

Should the answer to be "yes!", the Si builds on this with a slightly hotter 1.5-liter engine making 200 horsepower. More importantly, it comes with a standard mechanical limited-slip differential, stiffer suspension and better seats. It's a little slow compared to a Subaru WRX or VW GTI, but it's one of the best steering, shifting and turning sedans you can get for less than $30,000.

And then there's the Type R. It is a culmination of everything Honda is known for, making possibly the best front-drive car in the world, one that can very seriously be compared to all-wheel-drive competition like the Toyota GR Corolla and VW Golf R. As with its more modest siblings, much of the advantage goes to superb steering, super-slick shifting and deft handling. It makes an impressive 315 horsepower that actually puts the amazing chassis in contention with the competition in straight lines, too. Unfortunately, it's quite expensive at just under $45,000. But it is an amazing car.


2022 Hyundai Elantra N2022 Hyundai Elantra N

Hyundai Elantra N

Why it stands out: Amazing performance to price ratio; great infotainment; great seats and spacious interior; excellent manual transmission and solid dual-clutch automatic
Could be better: Not much 

Read our Hyundai Elantra N review

You'll be hard pressed to find a better performance deal for any car, period, not just sedans, than the Elantra N. You get 276 horsepower and 289 pound-feet of torque, all of which comes on so smooth and stays so steady that it feels stronger than the rated output. It goes through your choice of an excellent six-speed manual or a great (if not quite excellent) dual-clutch automatic. Then there's the amazing electronically-controlled mechanical limited-slip differential that makes it grip and turn like hardly anything else that drives only the front wheels. It even has electronically adjustable suspension and exhaust to make it all as hardcore or as mellow and comfy as you like. 

And while we touched on it, we need to emphasize that the driving experience is not just excellent for the price. It's excellent, period. The grip is amazing; the steering is weighty and accurate; the power is robust but controllable. It's a car that begs you to drive it harder and harder, and hardly shows any weakness. It's just so good. And the fact that it's affordable, spacious and has all the expected features of a modern commuter make it an almost unmatched all-'rounder.


2021 Mazda3 Turbo sedan2021 Mazda3 Turbo


Read our Mazda3 review

Why it stands out: Clean, classy styling; premium interior; excellent steering and handling; available all-wheel drive; punchy turbo option
Could be better: No manual for sedan or turbo options; tight rear seat; non-touchscreen infotainment system

On the affordable end of the sport sedan spectrum, many of our choices are brash, overtly sporty cars. But if you're on a budget and want something that's both sporty and refined, something you must check out is the Mazda3. It has restrained, elegant styling inside and out, even on the 250-horsepower, all-wheel-drive Mazda3 Turbo. The materials inside also back up the premium feel.

Performance-wise, the Mazda3 sedan has a fairly potent naturally aspirated 2.5-liter engine to start with making 191 horsepower. And of course, there's the responsive and torquey turbo engine we just mentioned. Both are smooth and easy to manage. They have somewhat old six-speed automatic transmissions as the only option, but they're fairly smart about gear selection in auto mode and have a responsive-enough manual mode. If you do choose a hatch, you can get a solid manual transmission. The handling is the sweet spot, though, with extremely sensitive and precise steering with pretty good feedback. The chassis is very stiff, responsive and neutral. And it does this all without being loud or harsh. In the way the VW GTI is a sort of grown-up hot hatch, the Mazda3 is a sort of grown-up version of the grown-up hot compact.


Polestar 2

Read our Polestar 2 review

Why it stands out: It's electric; it's an electric sedan with exceptional handling; excellent driving position; strong power; unique performance options
Could be better: Base model is a bit sluggish and expensive; interior doesn't feel particularly upmarket

There's no shortage of fast electric cars out there, but ones that go beyond straight-line performance are a bit more unusual. The Polestar 2 is one of those EVs that's great in every performance factor, particularly in handling. No matter the version, the Polestar 2 is remarkably agile, and somehow, it feels far lighter than it is, a surprising feat for an electric car. It feels very balanced, even with the single-motor, rear-drive layout. It's simply a joy to run through corners.

While both powertrains available in the Polestar do have great handling, there's a big gap in acceleration between models. The base, single-motor car makes 299 horsepower, which is adequate, but not inspiring. The dual-motor model on the other hand offers 421 horsepower and all-wheel drive. You do lose some range, though, with it dropping from 320 miles to 276.

And on the topic of additional performance, the Polestar 2 offers a Performance Pack that adds upgraded Brembo brakes and some very serious manually-adjustable Ohlins suspension (yes, you need to get out of the car and fiddle with knobs on the shocks). It even increases power beyond the 408 horsepower to 455.


2021 Porsche Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid

Porsche Panamera

Why it stands out: Porsche handling; throaty V8s; available plug-in hybrid models; hatchback practicality
Could be better: Expensive; snug back seat; touch-operated interior controls and air vents

Read our Porsche Panamera review

It's hard to talk about sporty cars without bringing up at least one Porsche, if not more, and the same applies with sedans. The Panamera is a brilliant example, and one that offers an impressive array of flavors. It's also one that's being updated in 2024 with new powertrains, which you can check out, here. But for now, until we've driven the new one, we'll talk about the current model. At the base of the range is the more sedate twin-turbo V6 model with 325 hp, which still gets it to 60 mph in a brisk 5.3 seconds. And at the top is the Turbo S E-Hybrid with a whopping 690 hp from its electrified and twin-turbocharged V8. That's not even the only hybrid variant, as you can have the V6 paired with the plug-in hybrid system with 455 or 552 hp. And each plug-in has between 17 and 19 miles of electric range available, depending on trim. You can add all-wheel-drive, too, as you can with most of the Panamera line-up.

And the reason you'll want one is just how excellent it is to drive. It has pinpoint-accurate steering with hefty, but not heavy, weight. It corners flat and tells you what's happening. It takes off with authority in the higher-power forms, and the transmission shifts instantly with no disturbances. And it does it with a quiet, comfortable interior and surprising practicality thanks to its liftback (there's even more space if you get the Sport Turismo wagon). The V8 models provide the most aural excitement, but it certainly isn't required for a good time. Key drawbacks are that it's rather heavy, the back seat is snug, and prices are hefty both to start and for the massive options list. Oh, and the Taycan exists.


2021 Porsche Taycan base

Porsche Taycan

Why it stands out: Fully electric; incredible performance; Porsche handling, steering, build quality
Could be better: Official range isn't amazing; quite expensive; tight back seat

Read our Porsche Taycan review

A great sports sedan doesn't have to dramatically burn gasoline, as proven by the sensational Porsche Taycan. Every version of it is fully electric, with the base version featuring a single motor and rear-wheel drive, and higher trims offering two motors and all-wheel drive. And they come in fast, faster and fastest versions. The base one makes 321 hp, the 4S makes 429 hp, the GTS 590 hp, and the Turbo and Turbo S make 616. All of these models can deliver more power briefly, and that's the main difference between the latter two, which have "overboost" maximum outputs of 670 and 750 hp, respectively.

All of them obviously provide oodles of immediate torque -- the regular Taycan will push you against the seat while the Turbos will try to crush you. And the rest of the driving experience is pretty much exactly what you expect from a Porsche. The steering is perfectly weighted, precise and provides reasonable feedback. There's hardly any body roll and it feels neutral and balanced. Despite the weight of the batteries, it feels like a lighter, smaller car. Range is between 208 and 246 miles depending on model, though we've found that it can easily outperform the EPA numbers.

The interior is typical Porsche, too; well-crafted with good materials, but a bit plain on the design front. Interior space is a bit tight for rear occupants due to its narrow door opening and low, swoopy shape. And if you need more space, there is the Cross Turismo and Sport Turismo wagon versions. Or if you need more speed, there's an ultra-fast version coming out this year that just set a massively fast Nurburbring lap time.


Subaru WRX

Why it stands out: Lots of power for the money; standard all-wheel drive; standard manual transmission
Could be better: Base model is light on convenience features; CVT isn't particularly fun; a bit thirsty; low-rent interior

Read our Subaru WRX review

One of the other more budget-oriented sport sedans here is another value-packed car. The Subaru WRX comes standard with a turbocharged 2.4-liter flat-four making 271 hp. It's paired with a six-speed manual transmission, but if you need something that shifts itself, it is available with a CVT. That being said, if you can, we'd suggest going for the manual. Not only is it more fun, it's more efficient with a combined fuel economy of 22 mpg versus 21 for the CVT. And like every Subaru besides the BRZ, it has all-wheel-drive. And of course it has upgraded suspension and a wider body than its cousin the Impreza. The GT trim with the CVT even gets electronically adjustable suspension. Then there's the TR, which includes the GT's sweet Recaro seats, bigger brakes and stiffer suspension (plus no sunroof).

In practice, the WRX has amazing grip and feels fairly neutral under throttle thanks to its all-wheel-drive system. The new 2.4-liter engine feels more robust out of boost, and when the turbo is spooled up, it adds power more smoothly than before. Still, it's not as seamless as some other competition, which, depending on your point of view, can be a good thing or a bad thing.

At right about $30,000, it's relatively affordable. It's a bit spartan as far as features, but there are better-equipped trim levels available for a bit more money. All WRX have a better interior than before, but they still aren't exactly luxurious. They do have really nice seats, though. But if you're more concerned about performance than comfort, the WRX is a great option.


Volkswagen GLI

Why it stands out: It's basically a GTI with a trunk; avoids the terrible infotainment of the GTI; fairly well-equipped; excellent automatic option
Could be better: Only one trim; a bit expensive; less powerful than GTI; no mechanical LSD

Read our VW GLI review

As has always been the case, the VW GLI continues to pretty much be a GTI with a trunk. At least it mostly is. The current version is hampered against the hatch with less power (228) and a lack of a mechanical limited-slip differential (it just gets the brake-based limited-slip system). But we've found that, even with those shortcomings, the driving experience is still very close to the legendary hatch. The engine has a broad, smooth torque band, the shifter is pretty decent, and it has electronically adjustable suspension. It allows the GLI to both ride very comfortably, but also corner impressively. And if you need an automatic, the GLI is available with a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission that remains one of the best in the business. Most of competitors have a far less desirable auto option (WRX) or none at all (Honda Civic Si)

And it has a number of benefits over the GTI. The GLI doesn't have the newer infotainment system, so it still has useful buttons and knobs for navigating and adjusting climate control settings. It also has a much more spacious and usable rear seat.

The GLI is only available in either the 40th Anniversary trim or the top-level Autobahn. The Autobahn comes pretty well-equipped with a power sunroof, power leather seats with heating and ventilation, dual-zone automatic climate control, adaptive cruise control and more.


Watch the Cadillac CT4-V Blackwing on-road and on-track:

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