It’s all well and good having a car that’s comfortable and spacious but – if we’re honest with ourselves – we’d rather be at the wheel of a nippy sports car scything down a scenic B road.
There are some brilliant sporty cars on sale and going for a used one can save you quite a lot of cash compared to a new model. Here are the 10 best used sports cars on sale.
1. Mazda MX-5
The Mazda MX-5 is a brilliant all-round two-seat sports car with sharp looks and incredibly engaging handling. It’s offered in fabric soft-top guise or with a folding metal hard-top but, in both, there’s a decent amount of interior space for two and a 130-litre boot that’s just big enough for a couple of weekend bags.
The MX-5 is well equipped too – even entry-level models get 16-inch alloy wheels and traction control. It really shines on the road with agile handling thanks to its lightweight chassis and sporty suspension setup. Both engines feel sprightly while using admirably little fuel with the 2.0-litre being a little more relaxed at motorway speeds.
2. Audi TT
The Audi TT strikes a great balance between sporty handling and a premium ambiance. Outside, there’s a sharp and aggressive design while, inside, there’s a beautifully sculpted cabin packed full of standard equipment – even modest Sport trim gets leather seats and xenon headlights. Everything feels exceptionally well screwed together, too.
Space isn’t quite as impressive, but there’s a surprising amount of boot space if you fold the token rear seats. It’s quick too – even lesser models such as the 2.0-litre diesel can hit 62mph from rest in 7.1 seconds. For those wanting serious performance, the TT RS gets 395hp along with a much higher price tag.
3. Toyota GT86
The Toyota GT86 is a great little sports car for those on a budget and, because it’s been around for a while, there are some great used bargains. It isn’t the most attractive or luxurious car on this list, but it delivers a fun driving experience for an affordable price.
The 2.0-litre engine delivers 197hp and can get to 62mph from a standstill in 7.7 seconds, while its unusual boxer configuration gives it a low centre of gravity for sharp handling. The strong chassis, steering and gearbox mean the car’s a joy to drive, with a sharper, racier edge than the more rounded Mazda MX-5.
4. BMW 2 Series
The BMW 2 Series is a stylish premium sports coupe, with handsome looks and a plush interior. It can seat four people, although those in the rear may feel a little squashed and there’s a generous 390-litre boot that should accommodate a short holiday’s worth of luggage.
On the road, the 2 Series offers the fun driving experience BMW is known for, with a wide range of powerful engines. For performance fans, the potent M240i six-cylinder, turbocharged engine can cover 0-62mph in less than five seconds.
5. Jaguar F-Type
It’s hard to ignore the Jaguar F-Type if you’re looking for a striking, premium sports car. With great looks and a hot-rod character, this two-seater is great fun to drive, with sharp handling and sonorous, powerful engines – top-spec SVR models can hit 200mph and sound like a lion practicing its best ‘La Traviata’.
The cabin may feel a little dated against some of its competition but it still features enough upmarket touches to lift it above more mundane rivals. Boot space is very limited – 196 litres as a convertible or 315 litres for the coupe but both are oddly shallow so aren’t that useful. It’s been out a little while now so there’s potential for some great used deals.
6. Subaru BRZ
The Subaru BRZ is a rebadged version of the Toyota GT86 so it equally smart-looking and affordable with fun handling and impressive driving dynamics. The 2.0-litre boxer engine churns out 197hp and feels suitably punchy but not so much that you’ll be worrying your licence.
Inside, the cabin doesn’t have the same high-quality feel as others on this list, but that’s unsurprising when you consider the BRZ is many thousand pounds cheaper than a TT. It’s affordable even when new and has been around a little while, so there are some good used deals – although it’s a little rarer than the GT86.
7. Fiat 124 Spider
The Fiat 124 Spider is a softer, more mature two-seater sports car compared to the platform-sharing Mazda MX-5. Its effortlessly cool looks are complimented by sharp and peppy handling, thanks to the brilliant chassis shared with Mazda but it’s set up to be a little more comfortable on the road.
It uses Fiat’s own 1.4-litre turbocharged engine, making the small convertible feel pretty punchy and more relaxed than the revvy Mazda. The 124 Spider isn’t the most spacious car – six-footers will feel a little cramped – but the 140-litre boot is just big enough for a weekend away. It’s a fun, stylish and relatively inexpensive sports car experience.
8. Porsche 718 Boxster
The Porsche 718 Boxster is a premium two-seat sports car, with impressive looks and a luxurious interior. The new 718 Boxster has taken things to new levels but even the older model remains a fun, plush and poised sports car with plenty to offer buyers. Used examples are cheaper than new ones but tend to hold value pretty well.
The older yet still punchy and powerful 2.7-litre engine produces 271hp but, for anyone wanting a bit more performance, there’s the 3.4-litre Boxster S. It’s a pricey choice but the build quality and solid residuals speak for themselves.
9. Mercedes SLC
The Mercedes SLC is a fast, premium convertible with strong performance figures and a luxurious interior to match its classy exterior design. Inside, enough space for two to get comfortable, with a cosseting ride and a folding metal roof – for those rainy British summer days.
Being a more luxury-focused convertible, prices are higher than others on this list, but there are a wide range of trim and engine models available to suit – from the 184hp 2.0-litre petrol, to the economical diesel returning 70.6mpg and the speedy 3.0-litre twin-turbo V6 AMG SLC 43 version.
10. Nissan 370Z
The Nissan 370Z is a more old-school coupe than some rivals, with a muscular feel and hefty handling. The 3.7-litre V6 engine produces 324hp and sprints from 0-62mph in 5.3 seconds. If that’s still too slow for you, the Nismo version adds 16hp and more aggressive, sportier suspension for less body roll.
The standard 370Z produces a whole lot of power for a very attractive price. The simple but sporty styling and well-built interior can’t quite match the car’s competitors, but the 370Z’s driving experience is straightforward and the car has plenty of character. It’s been out a little while too so there are some strong used deals to be had.
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