Best cars

Top 10 fastest saloon cars 2022

For performance and comfort, check out our list of the fastest saloon cars you can buy right now.

Tesla Model S 2021

Buyers of fast saloon cars have plenty of choice today; there’s arguably a wider range of high-performance four-door machinery than ever before. You’re not just limited to the normal German suspects, either, with cars such as the Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio able to provide rapid acceleration and a beautiful interior.

You’re not even limited to petrol engines any more. Many Audi ‘S’ models pack a punchy diesel engine, while the Porsche Taycan and Tesla Model S show that electric power is the way to go if you want the fastest possible acceleration. More electric cars will make their way onto this list in the next few years, because EVs often have quick straight-line acceleration due to the fact that all their power is available immediately, unlike in a petrol or diesel engine.

Top 10 best saloon cars 2022

But the beauty of these cars is that when you’re not wanting to drive hard, they can settle down into more comfortable cruisers. A majority of performance saloons are based on executive models, with models like the BMW M5 and Mercedes-AMG E 63 looking broadly similar to their standard petrol and diesel counterparts. As flagship models, they all come with a vast tech selection, plush seats and a prestigious badge on the steering wheel.

Once you’ve read our list of the fastest saloon cars, why not check out our lists of the best four-door sports cars, fastest diesel cars and best fast estates?

Tesla Model S hatchback review

Tesla Model S
Carbuyer rating

4.1 out of 5

Read full reviewWatch video

The Tesla Model S has been around for a decade but it’s still unmatched in some respects. Rivals are catching up, but Tesla’s regular over-the-air improvements mean the Model S is still near the top of the class. The flagship Model S Plaid has a 0-60mph time of 1.99 seconds (albeit with a couple of small caveats), which is faster than the Bugatti Chiron hypercar. That figure is even more impressive when you consider it’s a spacious five-seater with lots of tech and heavy batteries.

When you’re not using the new mode that allows such fast acceleration, the Model S Plaid promises up to 396 miles between charges - just a few miles off the standard version. The Tesla’s touchscreen setup has influenced a lot of cars since, including the Mercedes S-Class and Ford Mustang Mach-E.

Porsche Taycan saloon review

Best Large Company Car: Porsche Taycan
Carbuyer rating

4.3 out of 5

Read full review

Porsche benchmarked the Taycan against the Model S during its development, but we’d say the German car surpasses the Tesla. It’s the car that shows electric cars can be just as enticing for keen drivers as those with petrol engines because it’s spaceship-quick and drives like a Porsche should.

The least expensive 4S version reaches 0-62mph in four seconds but the range-topping Turbo S packs 750bhp (when launch control is engaged) and offers a 2.8-second 0-62mph time. Opting for the bigger battery pack promises a range of up to 287 miles, and recharging to 80% takes around 20 minutes if you can find a charger that’s powerful enough.

Mercedes-AMG GT 4-door coupe review

Mercedes-AMG GT 4-door 63
Carbuyer rating

3.9 out of 5

Read full review

Mercedes would like you to think this car’s based on the AMG GT coupe but in reality the 4-door has more in common with an E-Class. So it doesn’t tread on the Mercedes CLS’ toes, the GT 4-door only comes with a 4.0-litre V8 petrol engine, and from 2022 that’s paired with electric power to make it even more potent.

The V8 on its own could propel the AMG GT 4-door from 0-62mph in 3.2 seconds, but the addition of hybrid power reduces that to just 2.9 seconds. The top speed is now 196mph. You might think the Mercedes-AMG GT 4-door looks a little bulky, but that means there’s space for four people (a fifth seat is an optional extra) and a big boot.

Porsche Panamera hatchback review

Carbuyer rating

4 out of 5

Read full reviewWatch video

The Porsche Panamera comes with a staggering choice of versions, but the range-topper is a very powerful Turbo S model. At nearly 80bhp more than the outgoing Turbo, the 621bhp Turbo S launches from 0-62mph in just 3.1 seconds. It’s now a tenth faster than the Turbo S E-Hybrid plug-in hybrid, and several Panamera models hit 0-62mph in under four seconds – there isn’t a slow model in the range.

The Turbo S also manages a 196mph top speed, and every Panamera is available as either a saloon or a Sport Turismo ‘shooting brake’ estate version. Both get a stunning interior, especially with the new, wider touchscreen, while the driving experience ensures it feels like you’re in a stretched 911.

Tesla Model 3 saloon review

Tesla Model 3 saloon fron 3/4 cornering
Carbuyer rating

4.4 out of 5

Read full reviewWatch video

The Tesla Model 3 might be the company’s most affordable model but Tesla couldn’t resist giving the 3 a hugely fast ‘Performance’ version. It lives up to the name, with 0-60mph taking just 3.2 seconds. Four-wheel drive (from a motor on each axle) helps it get away so quickly, while even this speed-focused version will manage 340 miles of zero-emission driving.

The Long Range version gives you another 30 miles or so, and still accelerates as fast as the most powerful version of the BMW 3 Series. Inside the Model 3, it’s like nothing else on the road, as nearly everything is controlled by the 15-inch touchscreen mounted right in the centre of the dashboard.

Audi e-tron GT saloon review

Audi e-tron GT saloon
Carbuyer rating

4.3 out of 5

Read full review

Given the similarity of the two cars’ shapes, it might not be a surprise to read that the Audi e-tron GT shares parts with the Porsche Taycan. That’s a fantastic start point, and the e-tron GT has a lot more steering feel than many other fast Audis. All-wheel steering makes it nimble, while the acceleration is addictive.

It’s the RS e-tron GT that earns its place on our list, with a 0-62mph time of 3.3 seconds. An overboost feature adds 47bhp to the already potent 590bhp output, enabling such a quick time. Even the standard e-tron GT is absolutely rapid, though, taking around four seconds.

BMW M5 saloon review

2021 BMW M5 Competition saloon - front 3/4 dynamic
Carbuyer rating

4.2 out of 5

Read full review

The BMW M5 is an iconic supersaloon, and Competition spec ensures it can keep pace with the fastest saloon cars on sale. A 4.4-litre V8 with 616bhp allows the flagship 5 Series to scorch from 0-62mph in 3.3 seconds, and on to 190mph if you pay to have the limiter removed. A limited-run M5 CS model reduced that to 3.0 seconds.

But the M5’s appeal lies in its dual personality; when you want to take it easy the M5 is as comfortable and luxurious as any 5 Series. Comfort mode takes the sharpness out of potholes and speed bumps, and the M5 even has a big boot. It’s expensive, as you’d expect, but it looks reasonably good value when you consider the very similar BMW M8 is at least £20,000 more.

Mercedes-AMG E63 saloon review

Mercedes-AMG E63 saloon
Carbuyer rating

4 out of 5

Read full review

Arch rival to the BMW M5, the Mercedes-AMG E63 is another exciting and thirsty supercar-rivalling saloon. The top E63 S version, which is now the only version offered, squeezes 604bhp from its 4.0-litre V8, and manages 0-62mph in 3.4 seconds.

The whole E-Class range was facelifted in 2020, bringing Mercedes’ very latest tech and a new steering wheel, and you no longer have a choice of E63 trim levels to pick from. That means you get all the equipment on offer, like a panoramic sunroof, a racetrack pack, lots of driver aids and augmented reality navigation. The E63 also succeeds in being both a rocket and a comfortable lounge, depending on which you’re in the mood for.

BMW M3 saloon review

BMW M3 Competition saloon - front on view
Carbuyer rating

4.1 out of 5

Read full review

The BMW M3 may be very expensive these days, but it’s still around £30,000 less than the M5 and you might see that as a relative bargain. Go for the xDrive four-wheel-drive version, as we would, and 0-62mph is taken care of in just 3.5 seconds, so you’ll nearly keep pace with the M5.

It’s the first time the M3 has been available with all-wheel drive. The xDrive system not only makes the car nearly half a second quicker than the rear-drive version, but it feels more controllable and secure on poorly surfaced roads and in wet weather.

Audi RS7 Sportback hatchback

Carbuyer rating

4 out of 5

Read full reviewWatch video

If you want a fast four-door that looks incredibly aggressive, you might want to head to an Audi dealership. The latest RS7 has so much presence with its wide grille, gaping air intakes and intricate LED headlights. It’s not all for show, though, as 592bhp means the RS7 barely trails the cars above. Zero-to-62mph takes 3.6 seconds and 189mph is possible if you pick the Dynamic Package.

The interior carries Audi’s top-rung equipment and design, with plenty of screens and superb seats, so it’s a very plush environment. We’d like a little more steering feel in the RS7; its rivals can provide more driving excitement.

Recommended

Cupra Leon Estate review
Cupra Leon Estate driving
Cupra Leon Estate
30 Jun 2022

Cupra Leon Estate review

Hyundai Kona N SUV review
2021 Hyundai Kona N
Hyundai Kona N
30 Jun 2022

Hyundai Kona N SUV review

Audi S5 coupe review
Audi S5 Coupe
Audi S5 coupe
29 Jun 2022

Audi S5 coupe review

Ford Fiesta ST hatchback review
2022 Ford Fiesta ST driving
Ford Fiesta ST hatchback
24 Jun 2022

Ford Fiesta ST hatchback review

Most Popular

Electric MG 4 to arrive in September
2023 MG 4 - UK front
MG
4 Jul 2022

Electric MG 4 to arrive in September

Engine management light: top 5 causes of amber engine warning light
Engine management light: top 5 causes of amber engine warning light
Car technology
22 Jun 2022

Engine management light: top 5 causes of amber engine warning light

Best new car deals 2022: this week’s top car offers
Facelifted Volvo XC60 driving - front
Deals
1 Jul 2022

Best new car deals 2022: this week’s top car offers

Tips & advice

View All
Car dashboard warning lights: the complete guide
Car dashboard symbols and meanings
Tips and advice
23 Mar 2022

Car dashboard warning lights: the complete guide

Electric car charging stations: a complete guide
Electric car charging station
Tips and advice
5 Nov 2021

Electric car charging stations: a complete guide

PCP vs HP – which type of car finance is right for you?
PCP vs HP
Car buying
17 May 2022

PCP vs HP – which type of car finance is right for you?

Average speed cameras: how do they work?
Average speed cameras: how do they work?
Tips and advice
20 Jun 2022

Average speed cameras: how do they work?

Best cars

View All
Top 10 best car interiors 2022
Peugeot 208 hatchback
Best cars
25 Jun 2021

Top 10 best car interiors 2022

Top 10 best electric cars 2022
Ioniq 5
Best cars
25 Apr 2022

Top 10 best electric cars 2022

Top 10 best cheap-to-run cars 2022
Nissan Leaf front
Best cars
3 May 2022

Top 10 best cheap-to-run cars 2022

The UK's top 10 fastest hot hatchbacks 2022
Audi RS 3 driving - front view
Hot hatches
24 Jun 2022

The UK's top 10 fastest hot hatchbacks 2022