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Here Are The 10 Best Sports Cars Ordinary People Can Afford In 2022

2019 Toyota 86

For this list, we won’t solemnly focus on 50-year-old cars that barely drive and can barely keep up with traffic because of their erratic, outdated engines, but rather on sports cars produced between 1987 and 2022, and don’t worry, even the oldest sports car on our list is more than capable of putting a silly smile on your face. And at the other end of the spectrum, none of these cars come equipped with an electric motor – if you’re looking for a fun EV, the BMW i4 is a great starting point.



If you’ve had the lifelong dream of owning a dopamine-inducing sports car at least once in your life, we’ve got some good news: you’ve come across the perfect article today. Let’s jump right in!

10 2022 Mazda MX-5 Miata ($28,665)

The first car, which ironically is also the most expensive car we have on our list today, is the brand new Mazda Miata ND. Mazda has always been praised for its engineering prowess when it came to the MX-5 driving experience.

It may only have 181 horsepower and 151 lb-ft of torque at its disposal, but because the 2.0-liter, four-cylinder engine is naturally aspirated, all of its power is sent to the rear wheels and it comes with a 6-speed manual transmission, it drives fantastic – and of course, dropping the top on a sunny day will illuminate all your senses even more. We recently tested a retractable hardtop Miata, check it out!

Related: Fun at the track with a Mazda MX-5 Miata and a Toyota GR86

9 1999 Porsche Boxster ($10,000)

The Boxster name is loved in the mid-engine sports car world, after all, it still sells well. Unlike the modern Boxster which is equipped with a four-turbocharged engine, the first-generation Boxster, the 986, was equipped with a mid-mounted, naturally aspirated 2.5-liter six-cylinder in-line engine, derived from the 911 , which developed 201 horsepower. and 181 lb-ft of torque.

Coupled to the engine was a 5-speed manual gearbox which controlled the power sent to the rear wheels, and as the engine was mounted close to the rear axle, the handlebar was fantastic too. We found a ’99 Boxster for sale on CarGurus which costs about $10,000— if you’ve ever wanted an affordable sports car, not to mention a Porsche-built one, the ideal time is yesterday.


8 2017 Toyota 86 ($20,000)

The new GR86 just went on sale a few months ago, and it’s a beautiful little creature for us to take a look at, but as a result, the previous lightweight sports car Toyota produced, the 86, has steadily declined in value. On the one hand, that’s not what you want to hear when you’ve bought a new one, but on the other, it’s nothing but music to your ears when you’re in the market for a used one.

It’s worth noting, though, that like the Miata, the 86 also lacks some power. Its naturally aspirated 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine produces just over 200 ponies, but at least it also has rear-wheel drive and a six-speed manual transmission, so there’s fun to be had, despite its slight lack of raw power. We recommend spending about $20,000 on a used 86 because you know you’re getting something nearly new in return, but there are many other cheaper examples out there who are a little more thrashed


7 2007 Ford Mustang GT ($11,500)

An older Ford Mustang is the ideal muscle car for someone who has not yet set foot in the muscle car scene but has no idea where to start. Under its hood throbs a 4.6-liter naturally aspirated V8 engine that’s good for 300 horsepower and 320 lb-ft of torque, and you’ll have the chance to find a stick shift that gives you total control of the car.

As time goes on you might get used to the power and crave more, but that’s exactly what makes this particular Mustang such a gem. The modular V8 engine is ready for some upgrades when you think it’s needed, so it’s safe to say you won’t get bored with this ‘Stang. However, we’ve done extensive research on which models are worth buying and which you should avoid, so we’d recommend checking them out before making a decision.

Related: How Ford Is Making The American Dream A European Reality With The New Mustang California Special

6 2001 BMW Z3 3.0i ($11,500)

The BMW Z3 is a rather odd choice for anyone interested in buying a sports car. They usually take a look at it once, see that it isn’t M-badged and continue their journey, but there’s one important factor they overlook: the engine. The base model Z3 was powered by a miserable 1.8-litre four-cylinder that put out just 114 horsepower, but just before we hit the Z3 M range there was a 3.0-litre straight-six six-cylinder engine, the M54.

It’s called the M54 because it’s very similar to the S54 used in cars like the E46 M3, the M54 was only 200cc smaller and had slightly less power, but its 228 horsepower and 221 lb-ft of torque was more than enough to catapult this lightweight Bimmer up to 60mph from a stop in 5 and a half seconds – not bad for a car that costs only $11,500 today


5 1987 Chevrolet C4 Corvette ($7,500)

Corvettes are seen as the perfect midlife crisis cars for old gentlemen who got bored of their Mustangs, but older Corvettes, especially the underrated C4s, are much more than an old man’s ideal mode of transportation. For only $7,500you can buy yourself a timeless piece of pony car history equipped with a 5.7-liter V8 that produced 240 horsepower and 345 lb-ft of torque.

Hypothetically, let’s say that’s not enough for you, and you don’t like the stock C4, what should you do now? Chevy has indeed built an even more muscular version of the C4 ‘Vette, and it’s called the ZR-1. Its V8 engine put out 375 horsepower, but it’s not as cheap as the base C4, but it seems appropriate to at least mention it.

Related: Why the Chevrolet Corvette C4 ZR-1 Was More of a Sports Car Than a Muscle Car

4 2002 BMW 330Ci ($8,500)

Let’s say you really want to own a used BMW E46 M3, but the gasoline prices right now, as well as your budget, won’t allow you to own your own Bavarian built M machine… hope may seem lost, but that’s not quite the case. Behold the original M-light car, the BMW E46 330Ci. It was also equipped with an inline six engine, it is only 0.2 liters smaller in displacement and a few horsepower short.

For only $8,500 on CarGurus, you would get a 228 horsepower, two-door, rear-wheel drive coupe that was offered with a five-speed manual transmission. It’s considerably less expensive than an E46 M3, but in return you’d still be driving a good-looking, German-built sports car that you can actually afford to stay on the road.


3 2006 Mercedes-Benz SLK 55 AMG ($18,000)

The SLK55 is one of the more price mentions on our list today, but this one is well worth the $18,000 price tag on CarGurus† Beneath this tiny roadster is a mean 5.4-liter naturally aspirated V8 engine that puts out 355 horsepower and 376 lb-ft of torque, and keep in mind that it’s only 161 inches long, 70.6 inches wide and 50 inches wide. is tall, which means it is even smaller than a Porsche Boxster, so it feels like a bat straight from hell

Combine that small frame with such a small body, and you have a 0-60 time of just 4.3 seconds, and one of the most exhilarating driving experiences ever for a fraction of the cost a new SL 43 would have cost you today . It may not be as agile as a Boxster when it comes to cornering, but it excels in every other aspect.


2 2009 Nissan 370Z ($17,500)

With the release of Nissan’s new Z-car, everyone’s attention is shifting from previous Z-cars, and we can finally afford a used 370Z, and just because it’s old doesn’t mean it’s inferior in any way. The 370Z was Nissan’s last naturally aspirated Z car, and its 3.7-liter powertrain developed a respectable 332 horsepower and 270 lb-ft of torque.

Another magical feature of Nissan’s VQ engine is its tunability. So if you’re considering getting a slightly more used 370Z, chances are you can find a run-down version for just over $10,000 and spend the rest of your money customizing your exact wants and needs with the extra money you have saved.

Related: HotCars Exclusive: Here’s What a New Nissan Z Roadster Could Look Like

1 2004 Audi TT ($8,900)

For many of us, the first-generation Audi TT is the first car that dragged us into the world of fun, punchy sports cars. Unfortunately, you can’t buy a well-maintained 3.2-liter V6-powered TT for just under $9,000, but you can buy its little brother, which was powered by a 1.8-liter turbo four.

It might have looked all cute on the outside, but the drivetrain still put out a respectable 222 horsepower and 207 lb-ft of torque, which was passed to all four wheels. This meant 0-60 took place in just 6.2 seconds, yet it managed to achieve an average MPG score of around 21 MPG – fast, functional and cool looking in one compact package.