For a while, the latest trend in new cars was the 4-door coupe, but now the automotive world has moved on to the sportback. Essentially a 4-door hatchback with a roof that starts sloping somewhere around the B-pillar, these models combine sporty coupe-like styling with the practicality of a hatchback. If you don’t want to compromise between style and space, the editorial team at Autobytel has come up with a list of the 10 best sportback cars to show you just what the industry has to offer. Whether you’re looking for a compact, or something larger and more expensive, read on to discover if one of these sportbacks might be right for you.
10 Best Sportback Cars
Photo Credit: Hyundai
10) Hyundai Veloster
While the Hyundai Veloster does have a sporty hatchback design, it’s the only car on our list that doesn’t have four doors. Instead, it has three doors, including a large driver’s side door, a smaller passenger-side front door, and a passenger-side-only rear door. The interior isn’t quite up to modern standards, with a few hard materials here and there, outward vision isn’t great, and the ride quality can get a bit rough depending on the surface. Despite its looks, the Veloster doesn’t handle like a performance car, but with the turbo engine and a manual transmission, it feels suitably quick. All this means that the Veloster earns the last spot on our list of 10 sportback cars.
Photo Credit: Audi
9) A3 Sportback e-tron
The hybrid-powered A3 Sportback e-tron is perhaps the least sportback-ish of any of the cars on our list, but it does have the word Sportback right there in its name. Where it falls short is in its sportiness, where the hybrid system’s nearly quarter-ton of extra weight is a factor. Both handling and performance are great for a hybrid, but only mediocre compared to some of the other models on our list of 10 sportback cars. On the plus side, you get an attractive exterior, a modern and minimalist interior, decent fuel economy, and an EV mode with 17 miles of all-electric range.
Photo Credit: Toyota
8) Toyota Prius
If you forget for a minute that the Toyota Prius is the most economical hybrid car on the road and instead look at its exterior styling, you might think that it was an attractive and sporty 4-door hatchback. Unfortunately, performance isn’t up to sports car standards and while acceleration feels decent off the line (thanks to the electric motor) it is leisurely once you get up to speed. Both ride and handling are much improved over previous generations, and there is now some fun to be had through the corners. New for 2017 is the Prius Prime, a plug-in model with an all-electric range of around 25 miles.
Photo Credit: Audi
7) Audi A7 Sportback
The Audi A7 Sportback is a particularly good looking and practical take on the large 4-door coupe. Audi has become known for its interiors, and the A7 Sportback has one of the best of the bunch, thanks to a simple layout and high-quality materials. Power is more than adequate and handling is secure but not especially sporty, with the A7 exhibiting the typical Audi understeer that saps some of the fun. Rear seat headroom is compromised by the sloping roof, but there’s adequate room for five passengers and the hatchback design means that there is plenty of luggage space. For those who want more power, the high performance S7 and RS7 are available.
Photo Credit: BMW
6) BMW 5 Series Gran Turismo
The BMW 5 Series Gran Turismo is a large 4-door hatchback with tons of interior space both front and rear, and plenty of cargo room. The styling is a bit ungainly from some angles, but it can be quite attractive in some colors, especially with the available M Sport package. The Gran Turismo is larger and heavier than other 5 Series models, but handling is surprisingly good for a vehicle of this size, with little compromise in ride quality. The Gran Turismo earns a spot on our list of 10 sportback cars because it will make a lot of sense for some people, especially since BMW no longer sells the 5 Series wagon here.
Photo Credit: Audi
5) Audi A5 Sportback
The upcoming Audi A5 Sportback is a 4-door hatchback that is loosely based on the A4 sedan. In addition to its sharply sloping roofline, the A5 Sportback also sits lower than the A4, all of which accentuates its sporty good looks. Another benefit of the hatchback design is the huge cargo area, though the tradeoff is less rear headroom. The rest of the interior is similar to that of other Audis and nearly identical to that found in the A4 and A5 Coupe, with a simple sleek dash and nice materials. Engines will range from mild to wild (in the S4), and we expect handling to be secure but not all that entertaining.
Photo Credit: BMW
4) BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe
The aggressive-looking 4-door 4 Series Gran Coupe hatchback is one of the best looking cars in BMW’s 3 and 4 Series lineup, though unfortunately, its handling isn’t quite up to the high bar set by the brand’s other models. The interior has a nice design and uses quality materials, the seats are comfortable, and the ride quality is quite good. A number of engines are available, though a manual transmission is not offered. If you need more space in your BMW, the 3 Series Gran Turismo is a larger but more cumbersome-looking 4-door hatchback that shares many of its mechanical bits with the 4 Series Gran Coupe.
Photo Credit: Tesla
3) Tesla Model S
The electric Tesla Model S is a practical 4-door hatchback with seating for up to seven, thanks to an optional rear-facing jump seat (its compact electric motors and low-mounted batteries allow trunks both front and rear, leaving you some luggage room). The Model S puts up great numbers, with top-end models having over 300 miles of range and more than 700 horsepower that can get them to 60 miles per hour in under three seconds. It’s no lightweight sports car, but it is a very comfortable emissions-free cruiser with a nice interior and a good ride, earning its way onto our list of 10 sportback cars.
Photo Credit: Aston Martin
2) Aston Martin Rapide
The Aston Martin Rapide certainly isn’t cheap, but for those who can afford its asking price, it offers everything you could want in a sporty 4-door, 4-passenger luxury hatchback. The gorgeous body is made from aluminum, the interior is built to the highest standards, and the V12 engine sounds amazing and has enough grunt to get you to 60 miles per hour in under five seconds. Because of the Rapide’s coupe-like styling, it isn’t easy to get into or out of, and the rear seats don’t offer all that much headroom, but it’s easy to overlook those few faults, especially once you’re in the driver’s seat with the engine running.
Photo Credit: Porsche
1) Porsche Panamera
When the Panamera was redesigned for the 2017 model year, Porsche took the opportunity to update its exterior styling, therefore eliminating most people’s major complaint about the previous model. The 4-door hatchback provides more than adequate room for its four passengers, and all four seats are capable of holding their occupants in comfort during spirited driving. The Panamera is available in versions with over 500 horsepower that can accelerate to 60 miles per hour in the mid-3-second range, or in more sedate versions, and all handle exceptionally well. If you can afford its asking price, the Porsche Panamera should be on your radar, and it tops our list of 10 sportback cars.