Anyone looking to buy a cheap, well-made and sporty used car has a whole world of options to choose from. Here we have selected a few which have plenty of performance but won’t break the bank.
There are options from all over the world from the likes of Porsche, Nissan, and even Chevrolet. These are some cars which will give an exciting and thrilling drive, with some true modern classics which may even go up in value. Below are some of the best used sports cars that should be in every collector’s garage.
A classic roadster is often a go to for someone looking to buy a good used sports car. There are many to choose from in this category, but perhaps the best, and most popular, is the Mazda MX-5.
Models from the late 90s to early 2000s are often the cheapest, with prices ranging from $6,000 to around $10,000 for one in great condition. The MX-5 is a great option as they have often slightly low powered engines which are reliable and provide good fuel efficiency, but are also light enough to provide a great driving experience with looks to match.
Another car in a similar vain to the MX-5 is the 370Z. This car is the successor to the ever popular 350Z which could have also made this list however, since the 370Z is now over 10 years old, its price has dropped meaning you can get an improved version of the 350Z for only slightly more money.
A used 370Z in great condition costs anywhere between $10,000 and $13,000 for one of the earliest models. The 370Z also has one of the biggest engines in this list, with a hefty 3.7-liter V6 producing 332 hp. Nissan also classify the 370Z as a GT car, so it provides some great comfort and storage options too for a car of this size.
One of the most popular choices for a used sports car on a budget is the Porsche Boxster. This has been a great choice for years now and although there could be any number of Porsches in this list, the best price to performance can probably be found here.
The beauty of the Porsche too is that the Porsche badge brings with it a certain level of quality in both mechanical and interior areas, making it perhaps one of the most reliable and nicest to drive cars on this list. The classic Porsche roadster feel is there too and better yet, a used Porsche Boxster can cost anywhere between $8,000 and $10,000, making it exceptionally well price also.
Another classic choice for a well priced roadster is the Toyota MR2. Like the MX-5, the third generation MR2 is powered by a 1.8-liter engine, and its light frame make it agile and nimble around the bends.
Really, the MR2 is very much like the MX-5, which is only a good thing and provides a similar drive. The only significant differences come in the styling and the interior, so it could possibly be a choice for someone looking for that classic MX-5 feel but with a slightly more modern and comfortable day to day experience. Prices for a third gen MR2 start at round $8,000 and increase to around $10,000 depending on condition.
Staying with the roadster theme, we have the now iconic BMW Z4. The successor to the now legendary Z3 comes with BMW’s excellent build quality and slightly updated interior, making it an excellent choice as a daily driver.
It’s also one of the cheapest cars in this list, surprisingly. Prices start at around $6,000 and increase to around $9,000 depending on model and condition. Engine options for the Z4, excluding the more expensive M series, range from 148 hp 2.0-liter options to 3.0-liter 261 hp options, giving plenty of choice when it comes to power output and predicted fuel efficiency.
One of the more interestingly styled cars on this list, the Audi TT has been a staple of the well-priced sports coupe category for a number of years now after first being launched in 1998. The thing that sets the TT out from the crowd is also its availability in both a roadster or coupé format.
That’s also without mentioning Audi’s exceptional build quality. Prices for the first gen TT start at around $5,500 ranging to around $8,000 making it one of the cheapest cars on the list. Power output for the TT in this price bracket ranges from 148 hp to 187 hp and due to its unique shape, it handles particularly well even at high speeds, making for an exciting drive.
For a true JDM classic, the 300ZX is one of the best performers in this list with a 3.0-liter 222 hp V6. The car is also one of the most striking visually, with looks that hold up particularly well.
The 300ZX is obtainable for around the $14,000 mark for the updated Z32 model from 1989-2000. This is a great price for a true classic and is capable of competing with modern cars still despite being a legend from the 90s.
Porsches reputation for creating some well priced classic sports cars is displayed best in the 944. This has some of Porsches more unique styling, looking particularly un-Porsche like whilst still looking great and is also one of the best used options due to the low price.
Any potential buyers should be looking at the $10,000 to $14,000 range for a good condition 944. This price gets used a well-made 2.5-liter I4 engine and some great German build quality.
Chevrolet Corvette C5
Anyone looking for something a little more outlandish should truly look no further than the Corvette. The beauty of Corvettes both past and present is the price to performance ratio, almost nothing comes close.
$15,000 to $20,000 is all you’ll have to pay for a good condition Chevy Corvette. The C5 comes with a powerful 3.7-liter V8 helping you become the envy of all of your friends. Just be warned, you may be visiting the gas station a little more if you opt for the big V8 C5.
BMW E36 M3
As one of the more refined options in the list the E36 M3 is a good choice for someone looking for something with some versatility as a performer. The M3 is capable of providing a smooth and comfortable ride as well as some high speed and great handling track performance.
The versatile nature of the M3 doesn’t stop here either as the car is available as a sedan, coupé or convertible too, providing some great choice. The 3.0-liter also makes a massive 316 hp, making the M3 possibly the best all-rounder in the list as far as daily driving, performance and build quality and reliability are concerned.
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