When searching for “used cars near me,” you are most likely inundated with run-of-the-mill, practical sedans, compacts, and possibly even a few crossovers. Obviously, there is nothing wrong with those kinds of cars, and there is a reason why many of them are among the best-selling vehicles in the North American market. But let’s be honest for a minute – the most practical used cars on the road today aren’t usually the most exciting.
If you are looking for a truly exhilarating ride, you’ll have to venture into the world of used sports cars. The great thing about used sports cars is that, like all used cars, you can snag a pre-owned sports car at a far more affordable rate than a brand new version of the same vehicle. While you might not get the gas mileage of a Toyota Prius or the spacious interior of a Ford Fusion, there are still plenty of reasons why an affordable, dependable, thrilling sports car is a good buy.
With the latest safety advancements, sports cars are becoming increasingly safe. And with some of the most powerful engines available, the top sports cars perform like no other vehicle you can get your hands on. In the spirit of hitting the open road with a car that communicates power and pleasure, here are five used sports cars you should consider.
1) Chevy Camaro
The Chevy Camaro is one of the most exciting sports cars on the market and has a pretty impressive list of specs to back up its prodigious performance. For starters, this two-door coupe comes in a variety of trims, and you have a few different engine options as well. If you go with the V6 engine, you will get 275 horsepower and still stay pretty clean with the ability to get up to 22 mpg in the city and 31 mpg on the highway. Those are solid numbers for a sports car.
If you opt for the available V8 engine, the power increases dramatically to 455 hp. The roar of a V8 Camaro is enough to send shivers down your spine and is the quintessential American sports car. The Camaro also comes as a manual or an automatic, and as might guess, the manual is particularly fun to drive.
In some of the later models, you can also get plenty of extra goodies like keyless entry, a rear backup camera, remote start, and more. As for price, a 2017 Camaro could run anywhere from around $20,000 all the way up to $50,000 depending on condition, engine, mileage, and location. No matter the price, the Chevy Camaro promises excitement and makes for an outstanding used sports car.
2) Dodge Challenger
The Dodge Challenger is another iconic sports car and one that combines power and agility with more cargo and passenger space than your average sports car. The Camaro, for example, only has room for four passengers, while the Challenger seats five and has more room in the trunk as well. While this can make the Challenger a slightly more practical purchase, the bigger size does cut down on its maneuverability somewhat.
The 3.6L V6 engine is also plenty powerful at 303 horsepower and is combined with an automatic transmission. The Challenger also has an optional 392 HEMI V8 engine that generates up to 485 hp (though, as you would expect, this diminishes gas mileage considerably). When you combine that with the manual transmission, you get an absolutely thrilling driving experience.
There are even supercharged V8 engine options that make the Challenger one of the most powerful sports cars on the road. If you opt for the top supercharged V8 engine, you will have 797 horses humming under the hood. Of course, the more powerful engine options come at a price, and you could end up spending over $50,000 for a Challenger with a supercharged V8 engine.
3) Ford Mustang
The Ford Mustang is another well-known sports car that gets many people excited. With its great handling and powerful lineup of engines, there is a reason people have loved the Mustang for decades. From the base model with its efficient turbocharged EcoBoost engine all the way up to the monstrous supercharged Shelby GT500, the Mustang has something for everyone.
Unlike the Challenger, the Mustang is a pure sports car with seating for only four passengers. The Mustang offers drivers several other key benefits such as incredible safety scores and total ownership costs that are lower than some of the competition. You can also usually get your hands on a quality Mustang for a few thousand dollars less than a comparable Camaro or Challenger without sacrificing performance.
4) Toyota 86
One foreign-made option that is compelling for many is the Toyota 86. While the 86 is not as well known as some of the domestic designs, it is worth considering for its crisp handling and lightweight body. For a price in the low $20,000 range, you can get a 2017 Toyota 86 and also enjoy a fuel-efficiency that is decidedly better than that of the other four-seat sports cars.
However, the reason the price tag and gas mileage are superior is because the 86 is nowhere near as powerful as the American options – the 2017 Toyota 86 peaks at just 205 horsepower. But if you are looking for a sports car that looks great, handles well, and comes from a leading car manufacturer, the Toyota 86 can be a great option, and it will definitely save you some money as well.
5) Mazda MX-5 Miata
With seating for only two passengers, the Miata is a stylish ride that beats out the competition in fuel efficiency, though it does lag some in terms of power and performance. With a Miata, you can get up to 26 mpg in the city and 35 mpg on the highway. That kind of economical and environmentally friendly gas mileage is usually reserved for compact cars, not sports cars.
However, it is worth noting that the Miata is able to achieve such an outstanding fuel rating because of its less powerful engine. Unlike the rest of the sports cars on this list, the Miata doesn’t even reach 200 h, peaking at only 155 hp (though this was increased to 184 hp for the 2019 model year). Still, if you want a sports car that is affordable, looks great, and has unmatched handling, the Miata is always the answer.
Used Sports Cars
The best used sports cars understand they might not be the most practical option for every driver, and they embrace their role as cars that are built for power and excitement. Many of the cars on this list have become American icons because of just how well they have portrayed that image and given drivers a thrilling driving experience time and time again. If you are looking for a used sports car in your area, you can’t go wrong with any of these great options. Happy driving.