Even though most people are often immediately excited about the exterior of a sports car upon its release, the interior is critical to how fun a sports car can be, they need to be well made and ergonomic. Sports cars have a history of cool interiors, with many sports cars featuring walnut dashboards, leather seats, and excellent build quality.
As such, we find that the interior of a car is a highly important factor in a good sports car. While many sports cars with cool interiors come with an incredibly high price tag, as is the case with many Lamborghinis and Ferraris, some 2021 sports cars are both cheap and offer class-leading interiors.
Mazda Miata Sport ($26,830)
Looking at the history of the Mazda Miata, it has always been an excellent budget sports car. The latest Mazda MX-5 continues this trend as an affordable sports car. It features fantastic handling and a brilliant 2.0-liter engine that produces 181 bhp. While power output may not be incredibly high, the Miata is fun to drive and comes with all the joy of a good Mazda.
The interior of the Miata is also impressive. It is fresh compared to previous models, and while it is compact, the dashboard is detailed and well equipped. It is more comfortable than previous Miatas, but it will still be a squeeze for those who are taller or broader. The Sport Nav trim is the sportiest of all, bringing a luxury feel and driver-centered options with adaptive headlights. For $26,830, the Miata Sport isn’t a bad deal at all.
Chevrolet Camaro ($25,000)
The Camaro of 2021 is shaping up to be a fantastic car. While the range-topping Camaro ZL1 fetches to around $72,000 with added extras, the standard model is of outstanding value. The turbocharged 2.0-liter engine produces 275 bhp, and it can go 0-60 mph in 5.4 seconds, not the quickest, but decent for a budget sports car
The interior of the car is modern and there are improvements to the quality of materials compared to the last generation. However, the backseats are basically unusable – but let’s be honest, you’re probably not buying a Camaro for the practicalities. It is cool looking and the option to have ambient lighting is pretty fun for buyers too. Prices start at $25,000 for the standard packages, which is worthwhile for a great Camaro.
Ford Mustang ($21,155)
The 2021 Ford Mustang comes with several engine choices that are all very powerful. Two options include the 2.3-liter EcoBoost engine brings 310 bhp and the 2.3-liter High-Performance EcoBoost which brings 332 bhp and 350 lb-ft of torque. Indeed, the High-Performance option brings the most powerful EcoBoost ever used in a Mustang. This makes it both quick and cool, essential for any good Mustang.
The interior also looks excellent. Just like the exterior of the Mustang, the cool looks are reflected with the retro-looking dash and it comes with Ford’s excellent infotainment system. However, the seats in the back are cramped, making it a less than enjoyable experience for passengers but overall the cabin is nice. The cheapest models start at $21,155, which is good considering how full the package is.
Fiat 124 Spider ($25,390)
The Fiat 124 Spider is a retro-themed roadster, representing the history of the iconic Fiat 124 Spider from the ’60s. The car uses the same platform as the Mazda Miata while coming with a turbocharged 1.4-liter cylinder engine. Its smooth ride is nice and makes the car a nice cruiser.
Its cool styling and relaxing status are also shown in the interior of the Spider. Featuring leather seats and a very simple design on the dashboard, the car is refined and classy. The ergonomic features also make it easier to drive in a fun manner. Prices start at $25,390, and extra packages are available for under $40,000.
Dodge Challenger ($28,095)
We know that Dodge is capable of producing some amazing muscle cars, and the newest Challenger doesn’t disappoint. The car comes with a 3.6-liter V6 engine which produces 305 bhp. The AWD option in the V6 is outstanding as it provides great handling and fantastic grip. Despite its status as a muscle car, it is actually very practical and this is reflected in the interior.
The interior is big enough for the backseats to be comfortable – something which other sports cars can lack. Coming with such a comfortable cabin is a bonus, and it makes long-distance journey’s a lot easier in a sports car, and there is plenty of space to bring luggage too. Costing $28,095 at standard, the price is great for a muscle car that not only performs incredibly well but has an outstanding interior.
Volkswagen Jetta GLI ($26,245)
A sports sedan, the Volkswagen Jetta GLI combines excellent performance and in a genuinely usable car. Offering a turbocharged four-cylinder engine that produces 228 bhp, the car is a genuinely fun car to drive for such good value. Coming with sporty handling, the car makes its way to being a 5-star sedan. It comes with the same performance as the VW Golf GTi hatchback, making it a suitable option if you want decent performance in a sedan.
The interior of the Jetta GLI is great too, and it is roomy. The rear seats are easy to get to and the trunk is big enough for a good amount of luggage. It is very similar to the standard Jetta inside, but the ambient interior lighting and heated front seats offer a higher level of luxury and comfort. The $26,245 asking price is good, especially with how good the interiors of even the most basic VW are nowadays.
Audi A4 ($37,400)
Another sporty sedan on this list, the Audi A4 is refined, but it also comes with a vast amount of performance. In terms of handling, the car is very sporty and it is fantastic on corners. The standard model comes with a turbocharged four-cylinder engine, producing 188 bhp and an AWD system. There are upgraded models which produced more bhp, but these cost substantially more.
In terms of the interior, it may not be the most exciting, but it is of premium quality – as expected from Audi. No scrimping has been done, and the infotainment system is good too. Generally, the car is up to the Audi standard and brings a luxurious feel while having a sporty undertone. For $37,400, the package isn’t bad at all, and we rate how the car offers a mix of sportiness and class.
Volkswagen Golf GTi ($28,695)
The VW Golf GTi in its previous editions is known for its handling and agility, and the current model is no different. The Mk8 hot hatch brings 242 bhp which is certainly enough in such a small car, while the car can also go 0-60 mph in 5.9 seconds. Its performance definitely has few shortcomings, and it feels very enjoyable to drive.
In terms of interior, buyers can specify the iconic tartan upholstery. The red details are very cool too, with red ambient lighting shining on the dashboard. The technology inside the car may be fiddly, however, the interior is ultimately reflective of the sportiness of the GTi and it very much fits the overall appeal of the car itself. Available for $28,695 as standard, the GTi is a good price for an iconic hot hatch. It’s also exceedingly well made.
Ford Focus ST ($25,170)
The Ford Focus ST is renowned for being a brilliant hot hatch, and the 2021 edition is just as good. Coming with sporty steering and handling, we expected nothing less, and the performance offered by the car is amazing. Despite the new engine addition, the 1.0-liter EcoBoost Hybrid engine offering less power than the previous 2019 ST, but generally it’s excellent to drive.
In terms of the interior, the Focus may seem a little bland but it is robust. The interior also comes with a lot of equipment such as the cruise control and heated seats which makes it very comfortable. The Ford Focus ST is marketed as costing $25,170, which is a fairly cheap price for such a cool car.
Toyota Camry TRD V6 ($31,040)
The new Toyota Camry brought a new sports package to the brand’s lineup. Adding a Toyota Racing Development trim to the Camry, the car has received a complete performance makeover, with it being more driver-focused. The 3.5-liter V6 engine produces 301 bhp, and is the same engine that was used in previous Camry’s – but the TRD definitely makes all the difference. It certainly isn’t boring, and we rate it.
The interior of the car looks sporty too, with the optional red stitching, the color looks exciting. Considering that the Camry is still a sedan, the seats are not completely sporty and this may not be for everyone. However, the car is very driver-centric, and for a low-priced Camry costing $31,040 in its standard package, the design is brilliant and it is very utilitarian.
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