10 Most Exciting Four-Door Fastbacks You Can Buy in 2023

Most exciting four-door fastbacks you can buy in the U.S. in 2023 11 photos
Photo: Audi/Tesla/Kia/autoevolution
Audi RS 7Acura Integra Type SPolestar 2Mercedes-AMG GT 63 S four-door CoupePorsche Panamera Turbo S E-HybridMercedes-AMG EQS SedanBMW i4 M50Audi RS 5Tesla Model S PlaidKia Stinger
After having already ranked the 10 most exciting four-door sedans you can buy in 2023, we’re here to do the same with their fastback siblings, simply because we choose to acknowledge the distinction and refuse to call the likes of the Porsche Panamera or Acura Integra a sedan.
The distinction is rather simple. You’ve got your notchback sedans with their horizontal trunk lids, and then you’ve got your fastbacks, with hatchback-like roof-mounted hinges for the tailgate. The latter are more practical and, in many instances, better-looking from a design uniformity standpoint.

To be clear, we’ll only be including fastbacks where the trunk lid opens together with the rear window, which means that fastback-styled sedans, like the Tesla Model 3 or the Lexus IS, won’t be taken into consideration.

Lastly, the vast majority of brownie points will go to cars with exciting power units, rowdy exhaust systems and aggressive styling, which means that for an EV to earn a high ranking, it would have to be something truly bonkers.

With no honorable mentions to... mention, let’s jump right into our list, counting down towards a clear and definitive fastback king.

#10. 2024 Polestar 2 ($62,000, dual motor, 455 hp w/Performance Pack)

Polestar 2
Photo: Polestar
While the Polestar 2 is indeed an electric vehicle and is also probably the least exciting car to look at from this bunch, the fact remains that you can still have a lot of fun behind the wheel while going in a straight line.

This means opting for the flagship dual-motor all-wheel-drive specification, as well as the Performance Package, which results in you putting down 455 horsepower.

Why didn’t we opt instead for the Polestar 2 BST edition 270, you ask? Fair question. It is more powerful than the “regular” model, but unfortunately you can’t order one right now and registration of interest is closed, at least for the time being. Also, only 270 cars will be produced worldwide, so availability was always going to be an issue.

As for the BST edition 230, it’s not particularly more powerful or quicker than the normal dual-motor version, and you might still face some availability issues.

Back to the Long Range dual-motor AWD spec, it costs $54,300, but once you add the Performance Pack, the MSRP morphs into $62,000. In exchange for spending the extra cash, you get a performance software update with launch control, to go with both handling and power upgrades.

In a straight line, it’ll hit 60 mph in a little over four seconds flat, which is more than sufficient.

#9. 2024 Acura Integra Type S ($50,800, 2.0L VTEC turbo, 320 hp)

Acura Integra Type S
Photo: Acura
Even though it’s not as quick as the Polestar 2, the Acura Integra Type S should ultimately prove more exciting to drive. It’s basically a posh Civic Type R, powered by the same 2.0-liter turbocharged inline-4, good for 320 horsepower and 310 lb-ft of torque – a tiny bit more than you get in the Honda.

Unlike the Polestar 2, the Integra Type S actually looks like it means business, thanks to its aggressive body kit with the wide bumper, side skirts, beefy rear diffuser and triple exhaust outlets. There’s no sleeper status to be earned here, as this Acura will advertise what it is and what it’s all about from a mile away.

Other things to get excited about include the four-piston Brembo brakes, six-speed manual transmission (exclusive, as in you can’t get this car with an automatic gearbox), wider tracks, adaptive dampers and the presence of a Sport+ driving mode, which sharpens up everything. All this for just $50,000 sounds pretty good, right?

The Integra Type S is the cheapest car on our list, although what’s coming up at no. 8 will give it a run for its money in just about every department, while just edging it out overall.

#8. 2023 Kia Stinger GT2 ($51,890, 3.3L twin-turbo V6, 368 hp)

Kia Stinger
Photo: Kia
As fun as the Acura Integra Type S can be, it’s just not as cool as the Kia Stinger, purposely built as a front-engine rear-wheel-drive fastback (with available AWD).

Kia unveiled the Stinger back in 2017 at NAIAS, basing the design on the GT Concept from 2011. Right away, the public was quite taken with just how different this Korean fastback was compared to any of the brand’s other products.

This was never meant to be some budget family car, but rather a mid-size offering that appealed to driving enthusiasts without setting them back as much, financially, as say something with a BMW or an Audi badge.

Sadly, the Stinger will depart these shores indefinitely following the current model year, with the Korean brand choosing instead to focus its resources on battery-electric offerings. To be fair, they are proving to be quite good in that department, but the Stinger will be missed, rest assured.

Still, you can grab yours today in either GT-Line or GT2 spec, the latter being the more exciting-to-drive variant. It’s powered by a 3.3-liter twin-turbocharged V6 engine, good for 368 horsepower and 376 lb-ft of torque, with everything going to either the rear wheels exclusively, or to all four wheels, via an eight-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifters.

As for what it can do in terms of acceleration, it’ll hit 60 mph in about 4.6 seconds. Pretty impressive, right?

#7. 2024 BMW i4 M50 ($69,700, dual-motor, 536 hp)

BMW i4 M50
Photo: BMW
To say that the BMW i4 is nothing more than a 4 Series Gran Coupe with electric drive would be... uhm, well it would be correct actually. It’s hard to think of the i4 as being terribly exciting, but the M50 specification does look impressive on paper.

Also, keep in mind that the i4 has a wider track and a lower center of gravity than say, your run-of-the-mill BMW 3 Series. Heck, the i4 M50 has a lower center of gravity than the i4 eDrive40, so it’s not like BMW didn’t do their best to make this flagship specification stand out.

Overall, you’re looking at a 48:52 weight distribution, which coupled with the two powerful electric motors, allow for a very enjoyable driving experience.

Floor the throttle and you’ll be putting down a peak 536 horsepower and 586 lb-ft of torque, which in turn will get you to 60 mph in just 3.7 seconds, which is proper quick. Supercar quick. However, as much fun as launching an i4 M50 would be, you could have more fun behind the wheel of a rival fastback, for only a few extra grand.

Before we talk about said rival, which is coming up at no. 5 on our list, we have one more EV that borderline edges out the i4 M50, simply because it’s a great deal more powerful.

#6. 2024 Mercedes-AMG EQS Sedan ($147,550, dual-motor, 751 hp w/boost)

Mercedes\-AMG EQS Sedan
Photo: Mercedes
Even though Mercedes’ name for its non-SUV EQS model is literally the ‘EQS Sedan’, technically this car is a fastback. It does have a few classic notchback sedan qualities, but the tailgate, the sloping roof and short rear overhang prevail over any superficial marketing decisions as far as I’m concerned.

Speaking of marketing decisions, the AMG-spec EQS “Sedan” used to have a longer moniker, if you recall. With a bunch of numbers and the term 4MATIC scribbled onto the bodywork. Today though, if you visit Mercedes’ official website for the U.S. and click on the EQS, you’ll find that the flagship specification is simply called the AMG EQS Sedan.

Weird? Maybe a little, but any time you can actually shorten a car’s name, it’s probably a good thing.

Anyway, the 2023 Mercedes-AMG EQS Sedan is a very expensive car, with a starting MSRP of $147,550, and that’s before you tick any of the options you’ll undoubtedly end up ticking.

In return for all that money, you get a dual-motor setup that combines for 649 horsepower and 700 lb-ft of torque. However, when you engage Boost, you get a maximum of 751 hp, which in turn takes this behemoth from zero to 60 mph in just 3.4 seconds.

If it wasn’t for the extra power, the AMG EQS Sedan would’ve had no business being ranked ahead of the i4 M50, but sometimes brute force can be very convincing.

#5. 2024 Audi RS 5 Sportback ($78,900, 2.9L twin-turbo V6, 444 hp)

Audi RS 5
Photo: Audi
The RS 5 Sportback is one of Audi’s best-looking cars, force fed by the same power unit that animates the Porsche Panamera 4S, namely a 2.9-liter TFSI twin-turbo V6, producing 444 horsepower and 443 lb-ft of torque.

Everything goes to all four wheels via the carmaker’s quattro all-wheel drive system, with the help of an 8-speed automatic gearbox. In a straight line, you can hit 60 mph from a standstill in just 3.8 seconds, before maxing out at 174 mph.

Visually and mechanically, you get the honeycomb grille, wider fenders, different bumpers (compared to the regular A5 and even the S5), plus Audi’s Dynamic Ride Control system with variable damping.

So then, what’s the RS 5 Sportback doing on this list? Well, it is a fastback, so it fits our criteria perfectly. It’s also aggressively styled and wickedly fun to drive, so it’s hard to imagine anyone having a better time in the i4 M50 or even the AMG EQS. Sure, the latter is much quicker off the line, but unless it’s literally twice as fast, we’re not ranking an EV over something like the RS 5.

There is one Audi you can buy that’s arguably better than the RS 5 Sportback, and as "chance" would have it, it’s up next in our rankings.

#4. 2024 Audi RS 7 Performance ($127,800, 4.0L twin-turbo V8, 621 hp)

Audi RS 7
Photo: Audi
Look it, the Audi RS 7 is the quintessential fastback. Actually, the A7 Sportback is, but the RS 7 is the tip of the spear as far as the A7 range is concerned.

The best you can do right now if you plan on walking into an Audi dealership, is drive off with an RS 7 Performance, which comes with larger turbos and extra boost, raising the output to 621 horsepower and 627 lb-ft of torque.

It’s more comfortable, yet also faster than the RS 5 Sportback, which means the latter doesn’t have a prayer in toppling its larger siblings in any performance-based rankings that we can think of.

Speaking of how fast this car really is, it needs just 3.3 seconds to hit 60 mph, which is insanely fast compared to some of the other cars on our list. To be fair, the price is also insanely high, but in its defense, it’s cheaper than the AMG EQS, yet quicker despite having less horsepower.

Bottom line, fastbacks don’t get much sweeter than this, and the only way to top this flagship spec RS 7 via internal combustion propulsion, is by spending a great deal more money on either of these next two cars we’re about to crush on.

#3. 2024 Porsche Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid ($196,400, 4.0L twin-turbo V8 PHEV, 690 hp)

Porsche Panamera Turbo S E\-Hybrid
Photo: Porsche
According to the German carmaker itself, the Porsche Panamera is available in two body styles, a sedan and a Sport Turismo. The latter is a sharp-looking station wagon, while the former is, let’s face it, by no means a sedan.

The Panamera is, and has always been, a conventional fastback with roof-mounted hinges for the tailgate. But it’s not like Porsche could have ever made it into something else – it's almost impossible to envision their design language on a traditional three-box notchback sedan.

This is a flawless car on nearly every level. It’s a mechanical masterpiece in how exceptionally well it drives and how luxurious it is inside. Of course, the most desirable specification is the Turbo S E-Hybrid, which will set you back a pretty penny with its $196,400 starting MSRP.

In return for your drug money... sorry, I mean totally legitimate money, you get a twin-turbocharged 4.0-liter V8 engine with plug-in hybrid assistance, producing a maximum output of 690 horsepower. If you also get the Sport Chrono Package, you can accelerate to 60 mph in less than 3 seconds flat in this thing.

Some people have even clocked the Turbo S E-Hybrid at 2.8 seconds to 60 mph, which is absolutely mental when you consider that this car weighs 5,280 lbs.

Pro tip: You might be just as happy with the “regular” Panamera Turbo S (cheaper by $10,000), which has less power at 620 horses, but on paper, it’s just as fast to 60 mph as the plug-in hybrid variant.

#2. 2023 Mercedes-AMG GT 63 S 4-door Coupe ($170,350, 4.0L twin-turbo V8, 630 hp)

Mercedes\-AMG GT 63 S four\-door Coupe
Photo: Mercedes
It should have been impossible to find a more exciting-to-drive fastback than the flagship spec Porsche Panamera. Seriously now, we had to compare notes with several other publications to reach something even remotely resembling a consensus.

Yet, a lot of industry experts, including yours truly, believe that the Mercedes-AMG GT 63 S 4-door Coupe is just about good enough to edge out the Porsche Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid as far as these rankings are concerned. And just so there are no misunderstandings, it edges it out by a nose hair.

Alright, you require justification on this one, that’s fair. Here’s why the Merc is ever-so-slightly better than the Porsche: it’s lighter, feels like a smaller car in the corners, has better steering (believe it or not), and a more melodious engine.

In other words, it’s just more fun to drive, and that’s what ultimately matters most.

As for good, hard facts, the four-door AMG GT 63 S utilizes a handcrafted 4.0-liter twin turbocharged V8, good for 630 horsepower. With the help of AMG’s awesome Speedshift MCT 9-speed gearbox, it’ll get you to 60 mph in just 3.1 seconds, which may not be as quick as the Panamera Turbo S / Turbo S E-Hybrid, but it’s right up there.

#1. 2023 Tesla Model S Plaid ($86,000, tri-motor, 1,020 hp)

Tesla Model S Plaid
Photo: Tesla
If we were going just by handling and visuals, the Tesla Model S would have had ZERO business getting ranked ahead of any of the previous four or even five models named on this list.

However, the simple fact that you will outrun a freaking Bugatti Chiron over a quarter mile if you opt for a Model S Plaid, makes the latter the absolute most exciting fastback money can buy, period.

It’s just impossible to argue with a Bugatti-beating family car that costs $86,000. By the way, that price includes estimated gas savings of $3,900 over 3 years. But even without the savings, Tesla have made some significant price cuts, which makes the flagship Model S Plaid even more appealing than when it used to cost over $100,000.

With its three electric motors combining for 1,020 horsepower, the Model S Plaid can accelerate to 60 mph in 1.99 seconds, before maxing out at 200 mph. It also has an EPA estimated range of 396 miles, but you'll need to drive somewhat conservatively in order to get anywhere near that figure, in real world conditions.

Ultimately, even though the Plaid is by no means as dynamically capable as a Panamera or an AMG GT 63 S 4-door Coupe, and would certainly not entertain you as much on a race track, there’s just no ignoring what it can do while accelerating to 60 mph, over a quarter mile, or even a half-mile.

Think of it this way, you need a Rimac Nevera in order to outrun it, and the Nevara is a $2 million car. Case closed.
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About the author: Sergiu Tudose
Sergiu Tudose profile photo

Sergiu got to experience both American and European car "scenes" at an early age (his father drove a Ford Fiesta XR2 supermini in the 80s). After spending over 15 years at local and international auto publications, he's starting to appreciate comfort behind the wheel more than raw power and acceleration.
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