10 Affordable Sports Cars That Offer Pure Driving Joy

10 Affordable Sports Cars That Offer Pure Driving Joy

The general misconception about buying a sports car is that you’ll have to splurge years’ worth of salary to get one. However, car enthusiasts know the opposite is also true. It’s equally important to highlight that the price point does not necessarily determine how enjoyable a sports car can truly be. Purchasing used cars that are in good condition can still provide a fulfilling driving experience, regardless of how much mileage the car has racked up.

Better yet, when you know exactly what to look for in a used sports car, such as its reputation and overall value, the deciding factors of buying one will be easier to recognize. While some of these sports cars lie under the $10,000 mark, others flirt with the line slightly above it. Nevertheless, they are all affordable and incredibly fun to drive. Assisted by accumulated figures and prices for used cars listed on Classic.com, Autobytel, Edmunds, and U.S.News here is a list of affordable sports cars that offer pure driving joy at very reasonable prices.



10 2010 Chevrolet Camaro

2010 Chevrolet Camaro in Yellow Front View

When the 2010 Chevrolet Camaro first made its appearance, it was received with excitement and open arms. It lived up to its hype, and for many, it exceeded expectations. At the time, whether you bought the base model with the V6 or opted for the V8, the 2010 Chevrolet Camaro showcased impressive acceleration, had excellent fuel economy compared to its competitors, and it handled brilliantly.

The bottom line is that the 2010 Camaro not only had head-turning looks but also has an overall great performance-car value, even over a decade later. You can find a 2010 Chevrolet Camaro within the range of $9,000 to just under $10,000.

9 2010 Nissan 370Z

Red 370Z Roadster
Via: Nissan

Replacing its predecessor, the Nissan 350Z roadster, the 2010 Nissan 370Z offered a more ideal list of attributes one could want in a sports car. Not to mention, affordable. The 370Z looked sexier, properly utilized its powerful V6 with 332 hp, handled like a dream, housed a high-quality interior, and added many tech upgrades to keep up with that era.

At the time of its release, it was relatively affordable for a new sports car, but now, it has a more enticing price point. On average, you can search for a used 2010 Nissan 370Z from a range of $10,600 to $13,900.

8 2011 Dodge Challenger


The 2011 Dodge Challenger had become a significant improvement from the rebirth of the Challenger in 2008. The company learned from its initial mistakes and turned this American muscle car into a fun and lovable one. Apart from its base model numbers, powered by a 3.6-liter V6 and churning out 305 hp, the Challenger provides a pleasantly surprising comfortable ride. Even better, the 2011 Challenger was more agile than the Mustang at the time.

This is a muscle car that has the capabilities of being a solid American touring coupe, and it hasn’t lost its cool or its fun factor. Fast-forward to now, and you’ll manage to find a used 2011 Challenger in the range of $10,000 to $15,000.

RELATED: 10 Things Dodge Challenger Owners Never Tell You

7 2009 Mazda RX-8

Mazda RX-8

It is nearly impossible to ask Mazda to successfully replace the legendary RX-7. Naturally, when the RX-8 made its debut in 2004, it was tossed into a puzzling reception. The 2009 Mazda RX-8 is definitely a huge upgrade from its original version, but its overall design and the fact it was the only car of its kind at the time, as a four-door sports car with Mazda’s rotary engine, still provided a fun experience. It has wonderful grip around corners, great feedback on the steering, and the engine runs smoothly; from its sound and feel.

Not only is the RX-8 fun to drive but it can also be used as a day-to-day ride. Possibly the cheapest used sports car of the bunch, the 2009 RX-8 can be found within the range of $4,500 to $7,600.

6 1998 Porsche Boxster 986

Porsche 986 Boxster - Front
Via Mecum Auctions

Owning a Boxster is not a desperate attempt to compensate for a midlife crisis on a budget, or a status symbol. It is an opportunity for regular folks to experience the wonderful pedigree of the company’s German engineering and the fun that it delivers on the road. In other words, the Porsche Boxster 986 is not a cheap imitation of a Porsche.

Fortunately, on average, a used 1998 Porsche Boxster can go for an estimated $14,000. The 1998 Porsche Boxster has a top speed of 149 mph, a 5-speed manual gearbox, a midship Boxer 6 engine with 201 hp, and solid handling, which makes this entry-level Porsche a fantastic choice. Ultimately for many, this may be the only chance to own a Porsche, drive it proudly, and enjoy the heck out of it.

5 2007 BMW Z4

2007 BMW Z4
Mecum Auctions

The 2007 BMW Z4 has one of the most engaging driving dynamics and better powertrains than its previous models, and the build quality is something to phone home about. Coming in both the roadster and the coupe version, the Z4 provides one of the most exhilarating drives. However, most car enthusiasts are inclined to choose the coupe, as it delivers a stiffer and performance-based ride.

As a daily driver, it’s not too shabby, but its acceleration and handling are absolutely top-notch. Judging by its performance alone, the 2007 BMW Z4 is excellent and a joy to drive. According to Autobytel, you can find a used 2007 Z4 for just under or around $10,000 with mileage ranging from 101,000 to 106,000.

RELATED: 10 Reasons Why Every Gearhead Should Own A BMW Z4

4 2005 Honda S2000

Red 2005 Honda S2000
Via Honda

This particular ride finds itself in a unique position on this list. It’s slightly higher on the resale value yet still affordable enough for drivers to take advantage of its fun-driving brilliance. The Honda S2000 is highly customizable, and there is a long list of S2000 owners who have stamped their own signature on it, which makes it more difficult to find a used one that is closer to the factory makeup.

However, that does not take away from its agility, attractive minimalist design, and high level of performance for its price. One of the more beloved roadsters around, the Honda S2000 makes the most of its inline-4 engine with 240 hp and delivers high value for the money. With an average consumer rating of 4.8 out of 5 on Cars.com, a used 2005 Honda S2000 can go for around $17,500 at the lower end.

3 2010 Ford Mustang

2010 Ford Mustang front

The 2010 Ford Mustang can be considered the sports car with the most bang for the buck. Now, you could opt for the V8 version of this particular model and live out your revved-up beast mode fantasy, but the base V6 Mustang is nothing to shy away from. The latter still has the same interior and exterior design upgrades.

While the base model may have been criticized in its debut, as the V8 received most of the plaudits, the 2010 Mustang still provides a comfortable and fun ride with very responsive handling. Today, a used 2010 Mustang can be found between the range of $6,500 and $10,850.

2 2013 Subaru BRZ

2013 Subaru BRZ

When this ridiculously fun coupe was introduced to the world, many claimed it was definitely worth the wait. The 2013 Subaru BRZ possesses an incredibly light and balanced chassis, brilliant steering, comfortable seating, high fuel economy, an attractive design, and many more wonderful features throughout the car.

The 2013 Subaru BRZ is less about power and more focused on driving through twists, turns, and tight corners or the fact that it offers nearly flawless control, creating a stronger bridge of communication between car and driver. Depending on mileage, a used 2013 Subaru BRZ can go for around $12,000 to $14,000.

RELATED: 7 Reasons To Buy A Used Subaru BRZ (3 Why We’d Save For A New One

1 2010 Mazda MX-5 Miata

2011 Mazda MX-5 Miata Red Front View

What’s new to say about this sports car that hasn’t already been said? The Mazda MX-5 Miata will always remain a classic fun ride among car enthusiasts. It is compact, agile, has a low operating cost, and its simplicity is elegant. From darting through tight winding turns to easy everyday commutes from work to home and vice versa, the Miata will satisfy any kind of driver. Most importantly, the fun it delivers will never go out of style.

Get your chance to own one of the greatest roadsters to have touched asphalt with a used 2010 Mazda MX-5 Miata going for $9,200 to $11,000.