While there’s no strict definition of a sports car, most people think of two-door coupes and convertibles where they envision a sporty vehicle. A sporty car makes driving a joy, but you don’t have to blow your budget to have some fun on the road.
Here’s a look at five cars with a little something extra that can make your commute a highlight instead of a headache.
The cheapest coupe on our list, the Veloster breaks the mold with quirky three-door styling and go-kart like steering. While it’s not the most powerful ride you can pick, the six-speed double clutch transmission makes it a kick to drive. It gets 28 mpg city and 36 mpg highway while delivering a peppy ride. And it comes with the remainder of the factory warranty.
The Civic has been a top choice of street tuners for years, and the 2017 edition is no different. It makes the list as the least expensive full (six speed) manual, arguably the mark of a real sports car. It’s packed with features like Bluetooth audio and power windows and doors. Add some extras to make it stop and go just a bit better, or enjoy as is.
For some people, it’s not a sports car unless the top drops. A Camaro convertible can be a low-cost point of entry into the open-air motoring club. The six-speed shiftable automatic lets you have a more connected driving experience. But this car is more of a cruiser than a racer, made to enjoy a slow drive on a sunny day. Convertible versions are available across the Camaro’s trim range.
The BRZ is perhaps the most sporty sports car on the market for under $30,000, with a six-speed manual and rear-wheel drive. The 2.0-liter horizontal four-cylinder pumps out 200 horsepower and lots of torque for impressive acceleration. There’s not much room for friends or luggage, but that’s OK. The BRZ returns more grins per gallon than just about any sports car on the list.
The Miata checks all the boxes: convertible, rear-wheel drive, six-speed shiftable automatic transmission, and the biggest fun in the smallest wheelbase you’ll ever see. Sure it’s a bit tiny, but that’s where the fun comes in. The 2.0-liter motor delivers 155 horsepower, mated to a shiftable six-speed automatic. It’s easy to trundle through traffic, and wakes up when you shift into manual mode. Driving features include ABS and traction control, plus Bluetooth connectivity.
Bonus Sports Car Option
2012 Porsche Boxster
The most expensive option on the list, the Boxster really stands apart from the other cars. Porsche has been building sports cars since the 1940s, so they know a thing or two about making driving fun. The Boxster features rear-mid engine drive layout for the ultimate in handling and the 7-speed double clutch transmission delivers precise control of the 310 horsepower, horizontal six-cylinder engine.