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Last updated May 29, 2024 by Darren Cassey

Top sports cars of 2024

Heavy traffic and the daily pothole slalom can easily make you forget that driving can be fun. But there are loads of excellent sports cars on sale that will put a smile on your face once you escape the rat race and find a twisty road.

All of the cars below have one thing in common – their primary purpose is to offer excitement. Most are not particularly practical, some aren’t the most comfortable companions for a long stint on the motorway, but all are brilliantly capable in their own unique way.

Carwow's expert reviews team has put together this list of the best sports cars you can buy in 2024, covering a wide range of budgets, performance and body styles.

Porsche 911
Desirability Award
S/T version

1. Porsche 911

Porsche 911 review
Toyota GR86
Pleasure Of Driving Award

2. Toyota GR86

Toyota GR86 review
Audi R8

3. Audi R8

Audi R8 review

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Driving Pleasure Award
Highly Commended

4. BMW M2

BMW M2 review
Porsche 718 Cayman

5. Porsche 718 Cayman

Porsche 718 Cayman review
Mazda MX-5

6. Mazda MX-5

Mazda MX-5 review
Porsche Taycan

7. Porsche Taycan

Porsche Taycan review
Battery range up to 360 miles

8. BMW M3

BMW M3 review
Lotus Emira
Driving Pleasure Award
Highly Commended

9. Lotus Emira

Lotus Emira review
Alpine A110

10. Alpine A110

Alpine A110 review

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More advice about sporty cars

Sports cars FAQs

The term ‘sports car’ generally refers to a car that has been designed to offer above-average performance in both acceleration and handling. Common traits found in sports cars include a low-slung two-door body style, two-seater layout and powerful engines. 

Sports cars can, however, be just about any configuration and there are many popular sports saloons that can take a family of four and their luggage while still offering pulverising performance.

The word ‘coupe’ refers to a two-door body style, so a coupe can definitely be a sports car. However, this body style is used in everything from budget cars to ultra-luxurious grand tourers, so not every coupe is automatically classified as a sports car.

If you enjoy driving and don’t mind a bit of a compromise in practicality or ride comfort, then a sports car is a great choice. Some sports cars like the BMW M5 manage to combine both luxury and sportiness into one very usable package, while other cars like the Porsche 718 Cayman are purely designed for driving enjoyment and don’t offer much in the way of practicality.

If you are on a tight budget then a Mazda MX-5 is a great choice. It isn’t the quickest sports car but it handles superbly and is affordable to run.

Judging from recent reliability surveys, the Audi TT, BMW 2 Series and Mazda MX-5 all scored highly in this regard. The Porsche 911 has also proven to be reliable in recent years while Lexus's reputation for building solid and reliable cars should see the LC Convertible perform well in this regard.

With such a broad range of sports cars on sale right now, prices vary greatly. A Mazda MX-5 is one of the most affordable sports cars, while a Porsche Taycan Turbo S sits at the other end of the scale, comfortable into six figures.

For something like an entry-level Porsche 718 Cayman or Jaguar F-Type, pricing starts from arounf £50,000 to £60,000, depending on the version.

While the exact pricing will be influenced by an individual’s risk profile, vehicle-specific factors that can push up insurance costs include cars with very powerful engines, expensive price tags and expensive repairs.

Seeing as most sports cars tick a lot of these boxes, they tend to be more expensive to insure than less sporty vehicles.

Sports cars can come in both automatic and manual transmissions. Traditionally, many sports cars were only offered with manual transmissions because they were believed to provide a more engaging and connected driving experience. However, with advancements in technology, many sports car manufacturers now offer automatic transmissions with paddle shifters or dual-clutch systems that provide faster and more precise shifting. Ultimately, the choice between manual or automatic transmission for a sports car depends on personal preference and driving style.

Not all sports cars are rear-wheel drive, but many are. Rear-wheel drive is a popular drivetrain configuration for sports cars because it often provides better handling, balance, and weight distribution. With rear-wheel drive, the front wheels are free from the job of propelling the car forward, allowing for a more precise and responsive handling experience. However, there are also sports cars with front-wheel drive and all-wheel drive. Ultimately, the choice of drivetrain configuration for a sports car depends on various factors such as the intended use, performance goals, and driving preferences.