No matter how you look at it, sports cars cost more than their tamer siblings. That’s the bad news; the good news is that there are still plenty of different options out there at a relatively wide range of prices, which means there is a used sports car that can meet almost any budget. Whether you are looking at used cars for sale right now, planning for the future, or simply staying on top of what is happening in the auto industry, the sports car market is always worth keeping an eye on. New models come out all the time and push the envelope regarding performance, style, and overall engineering, but used models still deliver a fantastic driving experience. Let’s take a look at some of the best-used sports cars out there right now—presented in ascending order by average price.
2019 Mazda Miata Mx-5
One of the most impressive options for folks on a budget, the Mazda Miata MX-5 is an incredibly sporty and performance-focused ride. For the 2019 model year, the Miata MX-5 received a few critical upgrades, including boosted performance for its four-cylinder engine, allowing it to deliver 181 hp—an increase of about 25 hp from the previous year. It is paired with a six-speed automatic transmission and, to ensure genuinely invigorating performance, rear-wheel drive (RWD) makes it an absolute pleasure to drive.
All of this engineering allows the Miata MX-5 to go from zero to 60 mph in less than 6.0 seconds, plus its lightweight design makes it surprisingly fuel efficient. This is a two-seater with a small interior, but no one chooses a Mazda Miata for running errands or helping a friend move. This is an amazing overall choice for sleek style and bold performance. Depending on the features and options you find, a 2019 Mazda Miata MX-5 typically runs less than $30,000.
2019 Toyota 86
Next up, we have the Toyota 86, which is the perfect illustration of how well Toyota continues to deliver a fantastic experience for a wide range of drivers. The 86 is a sporty and exciting two-door model with a small design and bold engineering created with a single purpose: to make a fantastic sports car that provides an incredible drive. Toyota hit the mark with this one, and it is powered by a 2.0L flat-four engine that sounds surprisingly aggressive for such a small car.
This is a great choice for anyone looking for a used model with either a manual transmission or an automatic since it has a wide range of combinations. As you would expect, the Toyota 86 features RWD that pushes it forward with impressive acceleration—it clocks in at zero to 60 mph in just over 6.0 seconds. One of the highlights of the 86 is that its interior is more spacious and comfortable than what you will find with many other sports cars out there, and the materials used inside are high quality despite its affordability: a 2019 Toyota 86 sells for about $28,000.
2019 Honda Civic Type R
You might have noticed a trend: Japanese companies make great sports cars that hold up well and start at reasonable prices, making them excellent choices for used models. The 2019 Honda Civic Type R has a few advantages over the other models we have looked at so far, starting with its four-door design. This is a larger vehicle than something like the Mazda Miata MX-5, making it a great choice for drivers who like more space inside or need to accommodate more passengers.
This being said, the 2019 Civic Type R still hit the road with a turbocharged four-cylinder engine that delivers 306 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque, ensuring fantastic performance. It might be a hatchback, but it can go from zero to 60 mph in less than 5.0 seconds and is a joy to drive around town and on the track. On average, a 2019 Civic Type R runs more in the $38,000-$40,000 range, so it is not quite as accessible as the previous models.
2016 Ford Mustang Shelby GT350
While the Ford Mustang is the quintessential pony car, it has been generally designed to balance its sporty power with a design for everyday use. That is all thrown out the door with the Mustang Shelby GT350, which focuses squarely on raw power and bold performance. This beast is powered by a 5.2L V8 that roars to life with 526 hp and 429 lb-ft of torque, with a six-speed manual transmission that keeps you in control every moment you are behind the wheel. The Shelby GT50 is an amazing ride, and a used model will run around $50,000—give or take about $5,000, depending on mileage and options.
2020 BMW M4 Competition
The standard BMW 4 Series sedans are gorgeous and deliver impressive performance, yet the BMW M4 pushes further with boosted power for an incredible driving experience. The first generation of the BMW M4 ended with the 2020 model year, which makes it a great one to look for when it comes to exquisite power and aggressive luxury. It features a twin-turbo I-6 engine; while the standard 2020 M4 engine offers 425 hp, the available Competition package boosts that up to 444 hp and makes for an even better choice. This sophisticated sports car has plenty of room inside and high-end touches like a 16-speaker Harman Kardon sound system; expect to find one for about $60,000.
2019 Porsche 718 Boxster
Of course, I can’t talk about luxury and power without mentioning Porsche, and the 2019 718 Boxster is a fantastic choice when looking at used sports cars. The 718 Boxster looks absolutely stunning and offers ride quality so graceful it feels like gliding along the road—but it is never loose or drifty; you are always in control. Standard models come with a 2.0L flat-four that offers 300 hp, though a 2.5L engine can be found in S and GTS models, tuned for either 350 hp or 365 hp, depending on the trim. The GTS can go from zero to 60 mph in just 3.6 seconds, living up to the reputation for incredible power that you would expect from a Porsche. Drivers interested in a 2019 718 Boxster should expect about $50,000 for a base model or closer to $70,000 for one of the two higher trims.
2020 Chevy Corvette
I have always been a Corvette fan, so I was absolutely delighted when Chevy took a massive risk and built the C8 ‘vette with a mid-engine design. The risk paid off, and the modern Corvette has become just as iconic as the older models that made an incredible reputation for performance. 2020 launched the all-new Corvette, and these models feature a 6.2L V8 engine that delivers 490 hp and 470 lb-ft of torque, though the Z51 package boosts performance up to 495 hp. With RWD, which is perfect for its mid-engine design, the 2020 Corvette can go from zero to 60 mph in less than 3.0 seconds and run the quarter-mile in about 11 seconds. This is an incredible piece of machinery; its inaugural year can be found for about $80,000.
Is a Used Sports Car Worth It?
Yes, absolutely; a used sports car can be a great choice for a wide range of drivers, letting folks experience blazing power and refined performance on more of a budget. You might notice I chose models mostly from just a few years ago—the further back you go, the more mileage you will typically be looking at, and there is a greater chance for accidents or similar issues. I went with the 2019 and 2020 models; however, to stay ahead of the problems that arose from the pandemic and chip shortage, used sports cars from 2021 and 2022 might be harder to track down for those reasons. As long as an amazing sports car is well cared for, there is no reason it can’t keep providing a fun time on the road for many years to come.