Most car enthusiasts dream of owning a Ferrari, Porsche, or Lamborghini, but realistically, not many of us will ever get the chance to own one. However, buying a sports car at a reasonable price no longer has to be a pipe dream thanks to depreciation.
Updated June 2022: Used car prices have changed drastically in the past several years, and enthusiasts can no longer easily get their hands on sports cars that were highly affordable not long ago. That’s why we’ve updated this list and added some used sports cars that can still be yours for $15,000 in 2022.
So, while new sports cars are still out of the question for most enthusiasts, buying one used can be surprisingly cheap. Even a lot of the more mundane cars go beyond that figure. But used cars can be purchased well below that price.
Here are some examples of cool, fast, and exciting sports cars and supercars that can be yours for $15,000 or less even in today’s shifty market conditions. Not all are easily available, but these sports cars offer some of the best value on the used market right now.
10 1992 Chevrolet Corvette C4
When the C4 debuted in 1984, it was one of the quickest cars on the market, not just in America but globally. Over the years, the C4 underwent steady refinement and gained power, so the best model years to look for are post 1990. To get the best out of your dollar, though, look for a 1992 C4 as that’s when Chevy replaced the stale L98 with the new LT1 5.7-liter V8 good for 300 hp 330 lb-ft of torque, which is thrilling power even by today’s standards. Here’s a good-condition 1995 Corvette for under $15,000.
9 2002 Audi TT
The first-generation Audi TT is easily one of the most underrated sports cars of the 2000s. It offered truly unique and somewhat quirky looks, a comfortable cabin, and great handling. Depending on which model year and trim you opt for, these also had plenty of power. For example, here’s a 2002 model with 225 hp for under $15,000 worth every penny.
8 2008 Pontiac Solstice
Speaking of underrated, the Solstice should really get more credit. These cool-looking roadsters were designed to compete with extremely-popular Japanese sports cars such as Mazda Miata and Honda S2000. To clear that objective, they came with 2.4-liter inline-four cylinder engines good for 177 hp in their lowest trim, with the GXP models offering up to 260 hp, which was Porsche Boxster territory at the time. But given these cars weigh well under 3000 lbs, they have plenty of power to have fun. Here’s an impressive low-mileage example for just over $15,000.
7 1979 Mazda RX-7
If you’re a lover of classic sports cars and appreciate JDM imports, the first-generation Mazda RX-7 is the perfect piece of Japanese sports car history for you. These beautiful coupes embodied the sports car recipe with their front-engine RWD setup and were good for up to 135 horsepower. Sure, that may not be a lot of power, but keep in mind that this makes for an incredible project car or a casual ride to take out and enjoy on the weekends. The best part is that prices for these early RX-7 models start incredibly low, so they’re actually great value for the money.
6 2000 Porsche Boxster
Often referred to as the “poor man’s Porsche,” the Boxster will always be there for enthusiasts looking to enjoy one of the best roadsters ever built without breaking the bank. Despite being over 20 years old, these still handle like brand-new sports cars and offer plenty of power to have fun on canyon roads. The 2000 variant can often go for under $15,000 and don’t be surprised to find good ones around the $10,000 mark. It’s not often you can get a Porsche badge for that price.
5 2006 Ford Mustang GT – $11,000
The Ford Mustang GT is not only good for straight-line speed, but post-2005 models became very adept at handling as well. For models from around 2006 or 2007, you can pick one up for just under the $11,000 mark. You can easily find one for around $15,000.
4 Nissan 350Z – $11,500
The Nissan 350Z is in effect, the spiritual successor to the companies long line of Z coupes. A 300bhp 3.5 liter V6 is a very good return for less than $15,000 and for that you can probably expect to pick up a 2006 model. Near the $11,500 mark is a safe bet, with the odd one going for just over $14,000 as well.
3 Porsche 928 – $10,000
A classic Porsche with pop-up headlights, the 928 is a favorite of many Porsche collectors for its simple yet sleek lines and gorgeous interior. Real classic 928’s can go for over $15,000, but it is possible to pick these up for anything from $10,000 upwards in the budget range, with 1980s versions being the best bet. I’d happily pay more for such a gorgeous car.
Given they are somewhat rare today and carry the Porsche logo, these cars are now beginning to rise in value, but plenty of examples under $15,000 still populate used car websites. Here is an S model in great condition for just over $15,000.
2 Subaru WRX STI – $15,000
Still in production, the Subaru WRX is synonymous with the brand’s glory days in the World Rally Championship, with the likes of Colin McCrae and Carlos Sainz at the wheel. You are looking at 2006, ’07 models ideally for under or around $15,000, perhaps around $13,000. For a good one, of course, one which still runs as well as it did when new.
1 Chevrolet Corvette C5 – $14,500
Not only is the Corvette C6 in this budget range, but so is the C5! Perhaps a bit more stylish than its later sibling, its performance-to-price ratio is great if you can get one for a good price. One recently went for $14,500 on a popular auction site from 2001 and that is fantastic value for money. If you’re willing to settle for a high-mileage model such as this one with 133,000 miles, you might just find your perfect ‘Vette C5 for under $15,000.
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