If you’re after a car that’s brilliant to look at and great to drive the chances are you’re looking for a sports car. But what if you need the practicality of four seats? Well, it turns you can have your cake and eat. Well. Sort of. While none of these cars will rival an SUV for practicality, if you need back-seat space for kids or (on very short journeys) adults, all of the models below fit the bill, so you can hold off buying a boring people carrier for a few years yet.
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(July 2018 update: The latest update sees the Bentley Continental GT land right at the top of our list because it combines sports cars looks and performance, with four seats, better than anything else, although it certainly doesn’t come cheap. The Bentley’s arrival sees the Lexus RC F drop off our list.)
Here are the best four-seat sports cars you can buy:
- Bentley Continental GT
- Audi TTS
- BMW M2
- Porsche 911
- Toyota GT86
- Mercedes-AMG C63 Coupe
- BMW M4
- Audi S5
- Nissan GT-R
- Ford Mustang
1. Bentley Continental GT
While this is a list of four-seater sport cars, the new Bentley Continental GT is one of the few that can offer you space for rear-seat passengers over five-foot tall. It’s reasonably practical, then, while its svelte design means it’s very stylish. Performance, meanwhile, is ‘sufficient’ thanks to a 626hp twin-turbocharged W12 engine, which can rocket you and your four passengers from 0-62mph in just 3.7 seconds. Sadly, all this doesn’t come cheap – Bentley will charge you £160,000 to get the pinnacle of four-seater sports cars parked on your drive.
2. Audi TTS
The Audi TTS might look like a hunkered-down sports car but hardtop models have a small rear bench seat that, like many on this list, is big enough for two children or adults on very short journeys. You’d better not make use of the TTS’ prodigious 310hp output, deft controls and ultra-grippy four-wheel drive, however, because all those G-forces will make your passengers feel very car sick, very quickly. That’d be a shame, too, because the stylish TT interior is beautifully built from great feeling materials.
3. BMW M2
While the BMW M2’s cabin lacks the last degree of style that the Audi TTS has, it makes up for it with an even more engaging driving experience. Offered with enthusiast-friendly rear-wheel drive only, it uses a monstrous 3.0-litre six-cylinder turbo engine with 370hp to go very fast while making a sporty noise. Its cabin isn’t the last word in style, but it feels well built and is reasonably spacious for rear seat passengers – adults will find it slightly tight for knee room and headroom, but far less so than in the TTS.
4. Porsche 911
At more than 50 years old and with more than one million models produced, the Porsche 911 needs no introduction. Its unconventional rear-engined layout means four passengers can squeeze into its fairly compact body – though, again, rear passengers are short of head and legroom. The driver won’t care, however, because its engaging, grippy handling and a selection of wailing flat-six engines make it both incredibly fun and incredibly fast. Immaculate build quality and plush cabin materials complete this compelling package. Just beware the expensive options list.
5. Toyota GT86
If the Porsche is too expensive, the Toyota GT86 offers many of the same thrills for around a third of the price. Its modest 200hp means it won’t win many drag races but the simple, lightweight, rear-wheel-drive chassis is a hoot to fling down a B road. The cabin is durable rather than desirable and the rear seats work better for storage than for passengers but, overall, it’s tough to argue with the GT86’s well-priced blend of occasional practicality and true sports car driving pleasure.
6. Mercedes-AMG C63 Coupe
The Mercedes-AMG C63 Coupe feels like a bit of a hot rod thanks to its monstrous 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8 engine and its tendency to lay huge clouds of tyre smoke in the rear-view mirror when you accelerate hard. It’s larger than some of the cars further up this list, which bestows it with more rear passenger space than those choices – it’s not huge but adults should be able to cope back for a few hours. Brutish, imposing styling and an exhaust note like a Spitfire leave bystanders in no doubt this German muscle car is king of the hill.
7. BMW M4
While the Mercedes has taken its crown, the BMW M4 is still a great fun, outstandingly fast four-seat coupe. Like the Mercedes, the body is larger than others on this list so rear passengers aren’t as restricted as they are in the smaller M2. The M4’s 430hp straight-six engine delivers massive performance, especially when mated to the optional seven-speed automatic gearbox with launch control, but its weird, droning engine note isn’t as exciting as the M2’s howl or the C63’s bellow. Nevertheless, you’ll always appreciate the fun handling and sturdy build quality.
8. Audi S5
If you want four-seat practicality with all-weather performance, the handsome Audi S5 should be on your shortlist. Its powerful turbo V6 and unflappable quattro all-wheel drive catapult it towards the horizon whether the sun’s shining or Jack Frost is doing his worst. Adults have just enough room in the back seats to be comfortable for a few hours, and all passengers will appreciate the excellent build quality, stylish design and impressive tech – including Audi’s Virtual Cockpit digital dials that can show the speedo and rev counter or a full-screen sat nav map.
9. Nissan GT-R
The Nissan GT-R is nearly a decade old but constant updates mean it’s still one of the fastest cars you can buy, full-stop. Its lightning-fast six-speed twin-clutch auto gearbox, turbo 3.8-litre V6 and limpet-like all-wheel-drive system help top models launch from 0-62mph in less than three seconds. The fussy interior design has been refined somewhat over its lifespan but can’t hide its advancing years, though there’s still just enough room for adults in the back for shorter journeys.
10. Ford Mustang
If you prefer a hearty cheeseburger to the fine dining offered by German cars on this list, then the Ford Mustang might be the car for you. It can’t match the refinement, material quality or sophistication of the European models further up this list but its modest price means it wins in terms of bang for your buck. You can have it with a 2.3-litre turbo engine, but the faster and more exciting 5.0-litre V8 delivers great performance and a real American muscle car soundtrack for not much more money. The back seats are quite small considering the overall size of the car, however, and are best used as extra storage.
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