There’s a huge selection of nippy sports cars currently on sale, from affordable drop tops to high-powered V8 coupes. We’ve rounded up the 10 best models out there to help you pick the perfect car for a spirited sunday afternoon drive.
Here are the 10 best sports cars currently on sale:
- Mazda MX-5
- BMW M2
- Honda Civic Type R
- Porsche 718 Boxster
- Jaguar F-Type
- Toyota GT86
- Audi RS4 Avant
- Audi TT
- Fiat 124 Spider
- Ford Mustang
1. Mazda MX-5
The Mazda MX-5‘s lightweight chassis and fabulous handling make it one of the most entertaining cars you can buy. It’s more affordable than other cars on our list, too, and you can even get a more practical RF version, with a folding hardtop to make sure your fun won’t dry up when the heavens open.
Unfortunately, it’s far from the fastest sports car around – even top-spec 2.0-litre models take more than seven seconds to reach 62mph from rest – and its chirpy four-cylinder engine doesn’t produce quite as good a noise as a high-revving V6 or a brutish V8 engine. It is, however, fairly frugal, which helps make the MX-5 surprisingly cheap to run – for a sports car, at least.
2. BMW M2
The BMW M2 borrows a 3.0-litre straight-six engine, upgraded brakes and sporty suspension from the M4, and wraps them up in a wider, more aggressive body that looks like a 2 Series coupe wearing a Halloween mask. These mechanical modifications make the M2 seriously fast – it’ll sprint from 0-62mph in as little as 4.5 seconds and won’t run out of puff until it reaches 155mph.
Sadly, the M2 is more expensive than the likes of the Audi RS3 Saloon, and the BMW’s rather cramped back seats are only big enough for kids to get comfy. Still, the M2 has one huge trump card up its sleeve – the fact that you can get it with an old-school six-speed manual gearbox. Petrolheads rejoice!
3. Honda Civic Type R
The Honda Civic Type R is based on the practical, family-friendly Civic, but comes with a 320hp 2.0-litre turbocharged engine that’ll blast it from 0-62mph in 5.8 seconds and on to a top speed of 169mph. You’ll have a huge grin on your face every time you drive the Type R, too, thanks to its precise controls, responsive engine and sporty suspension that work together to help it carve through corners almost as keenly as many four-wheel-drive alternatives.
Unfortunately, the bonkers bodykit and huge rear wing attract plenty of attention almost everywhere you go, and the rather firm suspension means it isn’t particularly comfortable on rough roads. Still, at least it gets the same huge boot as the standard Civic, so it’s not just a brilliant sports car, it’s a practical one, too.
4. Porsche 718 Boxster
The Porsche 718 Boxster is the only car on our list which has the engine behind the driver’s seat. This helps make it feel as nimble as possible on tight, twisty roads, as well as helping maximise grip when you hit the accelerator. Speaking of which, even entry-level 2.0-litre models will sprint from 0-62mph in just 5.1 seconds, while top-spec 2.5-litre versions are half a second faster still.
Unfortunately, this pace comes at a price – the very cheapest Boxsters cost more than £45,000 and adding some optional extras can push the price up significantly. That being said, if you have almost £50,000 burning a hole in your pocket, the Boxster is one of the very best sports cars on sale.
5. Jaguar F-Type
The Jaguar F-Type’s show-stopping looks and raucous 375hp supercharged 3.0-litre engine lend it two distinct personalities. The first is a sumptuous grand tourer that’ll slink gracefully from beachfront to boulevard, while the second is a brutal backroad barnstormer that takes great pleasure in sprinting from 0-62mph in 5.3 seconds and filling the air with an old-school V6 wail.
It’s far from the most advanced sports car on sale, however, and it doesn’t feel quite as agile as some more lightweight models on our list – especially on a twisty mountain road. Although, if you’re looking for a Sunday cruiser that’ll turn more heads than corners, the F-Type is well worth considering.
6. Toyota GT86
The Toyota GT86 was never supposed to be the fastest or the most outlandish sports car on sale – instead, its bare-bones approach is meant to put a huge smile on your face at all times. The 197hp engine is mounted low in the chassis which, combined with the super-precise controls, makes it incredibly nimble and fantastically responsive.
The GT86’s divisive looks won’t be to everyone’s tastes, however, and the interior quality lags significantly behind other cars on our list, but few rivals can turn a series of mini-roundabouts into as much fun as this diminutive two-door sports car.
7. Audi RS4 Avant
Not all sports cars have the luxury of spending their time on track days – some will end up being called upon for mundane school runs or trips to the tip. If this sounds like your kind of weekend journey, the Audi RS4 is well worth a look. Its huge boot is easily big enough for a trip to Ikea, while the 2.9-litre twin-turbo V6 under the bonnet makes sure you’ll get that flat-pack wardrobe home in record time.
The Audi doesn’t feel quite as light-on-its-feet as alternatives from BMW and Mercedes, however, and that 2.9-litre V6 doesn’t have a lovely bassy rumble like RS4s of old, but the grippy quattro four-wheel-drive system makes it one of the easiest sports cars to drive – especially in slippery conditions.
8. Audi TT
The Audi TT makes a strong case for itself as the ideal everyday sports car. The plush cabin is a very comfortable place to sit and it even comes with a fairly roomy boot – in coupe guise, at least. Entry-level models are reasonably affordable, their efficient 2.0-litre petrol engine won’t cost the earth to run and they’re nippy enough to put a big grin on your face as you wind your way down a twisting country road.
Other small sports cars are faster, and the TT’s understated styling means it won’t stand out in a car park full of M2s and Honda Civic Type Rs. You can, however, get it with a 395hp turbocharged five-cylinder engine (in TT RS guise) that’ll help it launch from 0-62mph in just 3.7 seconds.
9. Fiat 124
The Fiat 124 shares lots of mechanical bits and bobs with the Mazda MX-5, but cloaks them in a classy retro-inspired body. The Fiat’s a touch quicker than the entry-level 1.5-litre Mazda, too – thanks to its turbocharged 1.4-litre engine – and there’s space in the boot for one more small bag than you can fit in the MX-5.
The 124’s softer suspension does a slightly better job ironing out bumps in the road than the MX-5’s firmer setup, but this does mean it doesn’t feel quite as sharp as its Japanese cousin and it leans a little more in tight corners. You can’t get the Fiat with a folding metal roof like the Mazda, either, but it still makes a great sporty open-top car – especially if you prefer a spirited B-road cruise to careering down country lanes.
10. Ford Mustang
If your perfect sports car comes with a great big rumbling V8, look no further than the Ford Mustang. This eye-catching coupe is powered by a whopping 5.0-litre engine with 416hp that’ll blast its way from 0-62mph in just 4.8 seconds. The Ford even feels pretty agile in the corners – something you couldn’t say of previous Mustangs – and can be had as a stylish drop-top.
Unfortunately, the more affordable 2.3-litre Mustang doesn’t have quite the charisma of the more expensive 5.0-litre version, and it takes a more leisurely 5.8 seconds to reach 62mph from rest. It looks just as brash, however, which is this unashamedly American sports car’s main selling point.