6 of the Fastest 4-cylinder Cars You Can Get in 2022

V8 and V12 engines are still the undisputed power plants of choice for automobile manufacturers looking to make their latest offerings stand out. In spite of this, there’s no denying that 4-cylinder cars have come a long way since the 80s and 90s. There have even been 4-cylinder engines that would give even a V8 a run for their money.

The fastest 4-cylinder cars in 2022 are definitely able to stand their own against their V8 counterparts, delivering jaw-dropping acceleration, performance, and fuel efficiency – all from manufacturers like Audi, Mercedes-Benz, and even Toyota.

How We Made Our Pick

We compiled our list of the six fastest 4-cylinder cars with the following requirements.

Engine

A proper engine is the heart of any car, no matter the type. We prioritized cars and brands with a track record for producing extraordinary engines. We also considered notable newcomers who are shaking up the automotive industry.

Acceleration

Many features make a great car. However, one of the most memorable features is acceleration— i.e., how quickly can your car go from zero to sixty while driving around a proper testing ground? Acceleration also contributes to the euphoric feeling as you step on the gas.

Transmission and Drive

While it’s not as pivotal as a great engine and acceleration, your transmission is responsible for power transfer from the engine to the wheels. A well-built one can mean a world of difference in your everyday experience, as can the drive of the car (be it an all-wheel-drive or a four-wheel-drive).

Appearance and Interiors

As amazing as driving one of the fastest 4-cylinder engines in the world are, speed isn’t everything. Factors like design, cabin space, interiors, and additional features can also influence a choice.

Here’s our List of the Top Six Fastest 4-cylinder Cars

Mercedes-AMG CLA 45

A white Mercedes-AMG CLA45 on the road
Mercedes-AMG CLA45: leading the pack with splendid excellence in aesthetics and performance

What We Liked

  • Luxurious design
  • Great performance
  • Stunning interiors

What We Disliked

  • Average fuel efficiency

The Mercedes-AMG CLA45 is a modern feat of engineering. Under its sleek hood, it packs AMG’s latest turbocharged 2.0 liter 4-cylinder engine, generating 382 hp and 354 lb-ft of torque. With its eight-speed automatic transmission, acceleration is near instantaneous. And on a track, this luxury Sedan can go 0-60 in 3.7 seconds. Its sleek, classy interior also makes for a luxurious ride, with comfortable seats and an excellent built-in infotainment system. It’s the fastest four-cylinder currently on the market and our first choice if you’re in the market for a performance beast.

Rating

Mercedes-AMG CLA45

Engine
Acceleration
Transmission and Drive
Appearance and Interiors
5

Volkswagen Golf R

A parked white Volkswagen Golf R
Volkswagen Golf R: under the hood, the Golf R packs a very performant engine

What We Liked

  • Aerodynamic design
  • Excellent engine
  • Amazing performance

What We Disliked

  • Steep price

Volkswagen elevates their standard Golf line with this performer, the Golf R. Marketed as a sportier, more powerful aerodynamic alternative to the GTI, the R is every bit as speedy as advertised. It sports a 2.0-liter turbo four-cylinder engine that cranks out 315 horsepower and 295 lb-ft of torque. Its monstrous 4-cylinder is backed with a four-wheel drive and a seven-speed automatic DSG transmission, providing snappy acceleration and handling. Some testers have even been able to get it to hit 60 mph in 3.9 seconds. Moreover, the substantial cargo space and comfy interiors add up to its premium features.

Rating

Volkswagen Golf R

Engine
Acceleration
Transmission and Drive
Appearance and Interiors
4.8

Audi S3

A red Audi S3 on the road
Audi S3: a beautiful sedan, brimming with elegance and technical brilliance

What We Liked

  • Sleek, modern design
  • Incredibly versatile
  • Great performance

What We Disliked

  • Some cheap interior materials

Think of the S3 sedan as the more athletic cousin of the famous A3 sedan. Powered by a turbocharged 2.0 liter four-cylinder S3 engine, it spouts about 306-hp and has an all-wheel-drive system to support it. Like most modern fast cars, it uses a 7-speed automatic transmission and, during testing, accelerated from 0-60 in 4.5 seconds or so. Its top speed is 108 mph, which is plenty enough for speedy maneuvers during traffic and commuting. The Audi S3 is a deceptively fast car that is so much more than it appears to be. While it may have lackluster cargo space, and some interior materials feel a little cheap, the Audi S3 still stands out for the sheer performance it packs.

Rating

Audi S3

Engine
Acceleration
Transmission and Drive
Appearance and Interiors
4.3

BMW M235i Gran Coupe

A parked silver BMW M235i Gran Coupe with its front doors open
BMW M235i Gran Coupe: a classic aesthetic complimenting a powerful engine

What We Liked

  • Powerful engine
  • Fine handling
  • Similar to more premium BMWs

What We Disliked

  • Pricier than the competition

The BMW M235i Gran Coupe leans towards the more affordable side and is in direct competition with rivals such as the Audi S3 and Mercedes A-class. It’s sleek, provides premium cabin and internals, and has the performance to back up the asking price. The base models shops with a turbocharged four-cylinder engine that outputs 2-1 horsepower, complemented by a reliable 8-speed automatic transmission. It’s all-wheel-drive, so it’s fairly agile and maneuverable. Tests have shown it’s able to hit 60mph in only 4.2 seconds, a showcase of the engine’s sheer power.

Rating

BMW M235i Gran Coupe

Engine
Acceleration
Transmission and Drive
Appearance and Interiors
4.4

Toyota GR Supra 2.0

A white 2022 Toyota GR Supra 2.0 parked by some trees
Toyota GR Supra 2.0: a sporty update of a much beloved model

What We Liked

  • Excellent chassis
  • Potent engine power
  • Great aesthetics

What We Disliked

  • “Touchy” brakes

Fans of the original Toyota Supra will fall in love with the modern refresh of the Toyota GR Supra 2.0. It improves upon the original Toyota Supra formula in all the right ways. This means a modern design, better internals, and most important of all, improved performance across the board. The base trim of the Supra comes with a 255-hp engine that can generate 295-lb-ft of torque. Tests have shown it can accelerate from 0-60mph in 4.3 seconds – not a shabby time at all. As long as you’re mindful of the somewhat sensitive brake pedal, you’ll be handling this machine with relative ease.

Rating

Toyota GR Supra 2.0

Engine
Acceleration
Transmission and Drive
Appearance and Interiors
4.3

2022 Honda Civic

A parked white 2022 Honda Civic
2022 Honda Civic: elegant hatchback design meets excellent engine performance

What We Liked

  • Hatchback design
  • Great pricing
  • Impressive quality

What We Disliked

  • Average internals

Once you get past the hatchback design, you’ll be surprised at how surprisingly powerful the Honda Civic is. It comes with a turbocharged VTEC-2.0 Liter engine that outputs 306 hp, and although it comes with no all-wheel-drive option, it’s surprisingly agile and has great acceleration. It can swiftly rocket from 0-60 in 5.5 seconds and can reach a top speed of 169 mph on the track. On higher trims, the performance is even more jaw-dropping. Add to its elegant interior and some premium features, as well as a relatively roomy back seat, the Honda Civic is sure to be able to rouse any car enthusiast’s interest.

Rating

2022 Honda Civic

Engine
Acceleration
Transmission and Drive
Appearance and Interiors
4.3

How to Find the Fastest 4-cylinder Car in 2022

With this handy guide, it shouldn’t be hard to find a great 4-cylinder high-performer that perfectly suits your needs. A grade mid-range car — which most four-cylinder cars are — strives to provide a balanced experience, delivering great performance as well as interiors. Shop with that in mind, but ultimately, you should pick which car most appeals to you.

Be sure to ask your nearest authorized dealer for any available 4-cylinder car that strikes your fancy. You can also visit a reputable online car dealer for additional options. Be sure to know the general do’s and don’ts when buying a car online.