When entering the gleaming halls of a used car dealership, everyone is looking for a great offer. However, obtaining a good deal with a car goes beyond the amount you pay to the dealer. You must assess the car’s quality, the benefits it provides, and its long-term running costs. Keeping this in mind, you’ll quickly notice the number of cars that fit check your boxes rapidly declining.
Even if you’re searching for a sleek, fun-to-drive coupe or convertible but only have a limited budget to work with, you still have several terrific sports car options to choose from. When looking for a second-hand sports car, you’re picking between everything from powerful American models to European luxury cars and JDMs engineered to perfection. That said, you don’t have to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on a sports car that will give you an appealing appearance and impressive performance.
For this list, we’ve found 10 used sports cars, all of which provide the best possible power figures, features, and overall quality at their price points. In short, these are the best bang-for-the-buck sports cars on the used market right now.
10 2016-2020 Nissan 370Z
This Nissan shares the same performance car DNA as its older brother, the GTR, but at a much lower price. The 370Z also boasts a wide and sporty design that aged well and is still appealing today… perhaps the reason why Nissan hasn’t changed the design for well over a decade.
The powerful V6 engine under the hood not only looks good but also performs well. Because of its smooth ride and premium available equipment, one may consider this automobile a grand touring car. A used 370Z will set you back around $28,000 in pristine condition, and well under $20,000 for a nicely broken-in model. We’d easily take the latter for its bang-for-the-buck factor.
9 2016 BMW M2
However, one of the most amusing aspects about German automobile firms is that so many of their greatest triumphs have occurred as a result of accidents. This is BMW’s cheapest M car, but the $54,000 price tag is still a lot for most buyers.
It’s still a lot of money, but it’s a bargain when compared to other high-end luxury sports. The pricing of this German luxury car is presently roughly $40,000-$47,000. Top Gear called it “one of the best driver’s cars full stop” for a reason after all.
8 2017 Honda Civic Type R (FK8)
Honda’s Civic Type R is a hot hatchback with front-wheel drive with a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine producing 306 horsepower and a super-quick six-speed manual transmission. For a little less than $40,000, they constructed this hot hatch to vanquish sports cars and last a lifetime. And if you buy one of these relatively new and with low mileage and keep them happy and well oiled up, they likely will.
The five-seater is one of the quickest front-wheel-drive cars on the market. They fly off the shelves when they arrive at the showrooms.
7 2020 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat
The term Hellcat brings back thoughts of tire smoke and drag racing, and this ultra-powerful edition of the Dodge Challenger muscle car delivers those expectations. The 2020 Dodge Challenger is a throwback to the original model, which debuted in 1970.
It is brash and exhilarating, even in its less powerful guise. Regardless, the Hellcat is, by far, the best value for money on this list in terms of horsepower. For only $68,000, you’ll have 717 horsepower.
6 2009-2013 C6 Corvette ZR1
The most famous and recognized two-seater American sports automobile in history, going from zero to sixty in roughly three seconds and achieving a top speed of 210 miles per hour, is monster territory. However, given the ZR1’s speed, we can only assume it deserves the title of an all-American supercar.
The C6 ZR1 was also the most costly Corvette ever built. A 2009 ZR1 started at $103,300 and rose to $112,575 by 2013. However, in today’s used market, you can get it for $70,000.
5 Ariel Atom 3
A few of you already have a perfectly decent automobile that you drive on a daily basis, but you’ve saved up enough money to buy a performance car for track days. If that’s the case, search no beyond Ariel’s $30,000 track-ready monster.
However, the engine of the 300 is modified with a supercharger to increase output from 245 hp to 300 hp. In a car this small, this level of performance makes Ferraris and Lamborghinis feel sluggish, which is scary.
4 2005–09 Mercedes-Benz SL65 AMG
The Mercedes SL is a renowned car with a heritage that conjures up images of stardom, elegance, and richness. Some may claim that the SL65 AMG’s 604 horsepower and 738 lb-ft of torque are excessive for a road car.
Used models cost around $50,000 these days. The personality, engineering genius, and rarity of these cars have all contributed to their extraordinary value retention. The SL65 cost $182,000 new, plus options; these cars were never inexpensive, to begin with, and they aren’t now.
3 2012–15 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 Coupe
Over the last 111 years, Chevrolet automobiles have been turning heads and achieving outstanding numbers. The Alpha-platform Camaro completed the nameplate’s shift from heavy pony car to light, sporty sports car. Chevy has a flair for huge-power engines.
Possibly the greatest deal is the ZL1 bundle. For around $33,000, you get the same 6.2L supercharged V8 engine that pumps out 580 horsepower as the ZO6 Corvette, along with wicked aero and ultra-grippy tires.
2 2005-2014 Fifth-Generation Ford Mustang GT
It’d be practically difficult to construct a list of high-horsepower, low-cost cars without including the model that popularized the concept in the first place. When the 2005 Mustang was first released, it cost between $20,000 and $31,000 for the V6 coupe RWD and $31,000 for the GT premium convertible RWD.
When you consider that many of these used ponies are available for approximately $10,000 in good condition, it’s a great option for a car that can maintain politeness while burning tires when necessary.
1 2008 Porsche Cayman
You are not deceived. We can have a fairly contemporary Porsche for less than the cost of a new Camry. With a mid-mounted 2.9-liter flat-six boxer engine producing 265 hp and 221 lb-ft. of torque, you get an exotic design, a structure that stays attached to the road, and trademark Porsche’s capability.
The Cayman S speeds up to 60 mph in 5.1 seconds and tops out at 171 mph. Plus, you’ll be able to brag about your Porsche for just $25,000.
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