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Bargain Sports Cars That Are Excellent To Drive

Gearheads – being enthusiasts – always want more and more cars to own and drive. Alternatively, new gearheads simply want to get into the sports car world with something cheap and easy to maintain yet fun to drive – even when driving around town.

Sports cars are not really necessary, but we gearheads love that they exist for us to enjoy. From classic sports cars to more modern ones, we love them all. Unfortunately, new cars have gotten really expensive and classic cars’ values are climbing like crazy, so we have to look at the middle ground – sports cars from a few years ago. These include the likes of the brilliant Nissan 370Z, the Toyota GT86, the older Mazda MX-5, the Porsche 944, and even the BMW Z4. These cars are old enough to have their issues fixed, or at least have workarounds, and they are excellent for both daily driving and a late-afternoon blast down a mountain pass.

Sports cars are what keeps us gearheads going and there are quite a few that we wouldn’t at all mind owning. Here are ten sports cars that are not only great to drive but are bargains on the used market as well.

10/10 Nissan 370Z – $13,000

Bargain Sports Cars That Are Excellent To Drive
via: BaT

The Nissan 370Z is a brilliant starting car for any new gearhead who wants to get into the world of sports cars. It has Japanese reliability, good power, and a whole host of aftermarket upgrades available, from performance improvements to cosmetic changes – both inside and out.

2009 Nissan 370Z Cropped

The 370Z is now already a few years old, but it still has the potential to be great. Due to the easy nature of the vehicle, it can be used as both a car to chase down lap times with, and one to drive to work in every day. With the new Z on the horizon, the 370Z’s prices have decreased a bit.

9/10 BMW M235i – $20,000

2014 BMW M235i
via Autoblog

The BMW M235i may be a bit on the more expensive side to buy on the used car market, but it won’t disappoint. Powered by a 3.0-liter turbocharged inline-6, the M235i sends all its power to the rear wheels only via either a 6-speed manual or an 8-speed automatic.


The M235i is a bargain M2 – minus the wide body kit – and is a brilliant little coupe or convertible to blast around a back road with. It also has some of the best handling in its class due to it being a BMW product.

Related: Everything You Should Know About The 2021 BMW 2-Series Coupe

8/10 Toyota GT86 – $20,000

Toyota GT86 - Front
Via Toyota Media

The first-generation Toyota GT86 was a revolution within the cheap sports car market as it combined simplistic engineering with a relatively inexpensive price tag. Today, the GT86 is still worth around the $20,000 mark, mostly because it is a popular car among enthusiasts.

Toyota GT86 - Rear
Via Toyota Media

The GT86 is powered by a 2.0-liter naturally aspirated flat-4 which produces around 200 hp. Power is sent to the rear wheels only via either a 6-speed manual or a 6-speed automatic. Many criticized the low power, so Toyota and Subaru fixed it with the new GR86 model.

7/10 Mazda MX-5 – $10,000

Mazda MX-5 NC Coupe -Front
Via Mazda

The Mazda MX-5 is the last of the traditional sports cars still on sale. It is small, impractical, and mostly used for driving on weekends, but it remains a brilliant car. The original MX-5 debuted in 1989 and is still one of the best and quirkiest convertibles out there.

Mazda MX-5 Coupe - Rear
Via Mazda

Engines included either a 1.6, 1.8, or 2.0-liter in multiple different configurations – depending on the trim. The car was available as either a folding soft-top or a manually detachable solid hardtop. The MX-5’s prices have been all over, but are currently holding at around $10,000.

6/10 Porsche 944 – $10,000

The 1986 Porsche 944 on display.
via: Mecum

The Porsche 944 was a small and relatively inexpensive sports car from the German brand after VW pulled out of its contract for a new sports car. The 944 started out life as the very Volkswagen-like Porsche 924 before Porsche redesigned most of it into the 944 – and eventually the 968.

The rear end of the 1986 Porsche 944.
Via: Mecum

The 944 is a fantastic-looking sports car with some powerful inline-4s. The higher models even got a turbocharger for some added boost. The 944 is a bargain retro sports car with great reliability, excellent handling, and a Porsche badge on the front – ready to make everyone jealous.

Related: This Is Why Porsche 944 Prices Could Skyrocket Soon

5/10 Opel Speedster – $15,000
Via Car Pixel

The Opel Speedster was a re-bodied version of the Lotus Elise – except that it produced more power and was larger in every dimension. The Speedster was also sold as the Vauxhall VX220 in the UK, getting the VXR treatment when the Speedster Turbo was unveiled.
Via Car Pixel

Due to the fact that the Speedster had Lotus Elise underpinnings, the car handled excellently and was a hoot to drive on a twisty road. The 2.0-liter turbocharged inline-4 produced 220 hp and resulted in a 0-60 mph time of just 4.7 seconds.

4/10 Honda S2000 – $20,000

Honda-S2000-2000 Front Quarter View Red
via Honda

The Honda S2000 was the last of the larger S-cars Honda has produced – if the recent S660 is ignored. The S2000 looked pretty great, but the party piece was definitely the 2.0-liter inline-4 under the hood. The engine was rated at 240 hp and revved all the way to 8,800 rpm.

Honda-S2000-2002 Rear Quarter View In Blue Parked Up
via Honda

The S2000 was updated in 2004, getting a longer stroke which increased displacement to 2.2 liters. Unfortunately, the redline was reduced to 7,800 rpm, but it still sounded amazing for a 4-cylinder. S2000 prices have climbed over the last few years, with good ones costing $20,000 and up.

3/10 BMW Z4 E89 – $15,000

Via: FavCars

The BMW Z4 is a car that isn’t really talked about much since the first generation was pretty terrible to drive. What many forget is that there was a replacement in the form of the E89 – which is not at all a bad car. It even got a twin-turbocharged inline-6 with a special boost function.

Via: FavCars

The E89 looks great and even the lowest inline-4 is fun – although it is with the straight-sixes that the car becomes a proper sporty backroad blaster. Because many overlook it, the E89 Z4 costs as little as $15,000 on the used market.

2/10 Fiat 124 Spider – $15,000

2018 Fiat 124 Spider S-Design
via netcarshow

The Fiat 124 Spider may be a bit of a weird choice, but it is still valid. Built on the same platform as the Mazda MX-5, the 124 not only gets a different body and interior but a different engine as well.

Fiat-124_Spider_S-Design rear
Via: NetCarShow

Powering the Japanese-Italian roadster is the turbocharged 1.4-liter inline-4 out of the Fiat 500 Abarth, meaning 170 hp and enough noise to make a Lamborghini whine. It is a brilliant little car.

1/10 Ford Mustang GT – $20,000

Gray 2015 Ford Mustang GT
Via: Ford

The Ford Mustang is, and forever will be, a great option for either a sports car or a muscle car. While the older ‘Stangs are a bit of a handful to drive, the 2015 and later models feature independent rear suspension – helping to keep the rear from slipping out.

Gray 2015 Ford Mustang GT
Via: Ford

Many shrug off the Mustang as its interior is cheap and plasticky, but that’s not the point. What really matters is the 5.0-liter V8 under the hood, the manual transmission in the middle and the smoke machine tires in the back.

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