Andy Reid | Aug 04, 2020

When I was younger, there were tons of interesting sports cars on the used market. The wealth of Italian, British, German, and Japanese hardware available made it easy to find something fun to drive that was different from the cars everyone else had. Most importantly, there was loads of stuff at prices I could afford.  

Happily, this is still the case. When it comes to fun and affordable, the first choice for many folks is going to be the Mazda MX-5 Miata. And for good reason - it's a great car! But it's not the only choice.

So I decided to come up with a list of affordable sports and sporty cars at different price levels, to make you aware of what's out there,  and possibly remind you about a few cars you might have forgotten about. Despite having owned one, I'd actually forgotten about one of these cars.

Since I prefer coupes over roadsters, all of these are indeed coupes, though many are also available in a drop top-version. There's at least one in your price range, so check them out!

FIAT 500 Abarth: $10,000

The Fiat Abarth is, hands down, the most inexpensive way to drive an Italian sports car. While these cars do have their issues, they usually have to do with interior fit and finish. But all of these are fixable yourself, and parts are inexpensive.

These are fast and fun-to-drive cars that you can park anywhere. The sound of the exhaust is intoxicating, and the styling is fun in a very retro way. If you need motivation to buy one of these check out the original television commercials on YouTube and you will be sold.

Shop Used FIAT 500 Abarth Inventory

MINI Cooper S: $15,000

Simply put, the third-generation MINI Cooper S is one of the most fun cars you can drive. With go kart handling and enough performance to be entertaining for both experts and novices , the MINI Cooper S is at home on the track as it is driving to school.

These are easy to own, very DIY-friendly, and in many ways, like a Fiat 500 Abarth in a slightly larger package. The MINI also has a tremendous enthusiast community, so if you do pick one of these up, make sure to hit MINI Takes the States. This is the only British offering on this list, and I’ve owned this car twice.

Shop Used MINI Cooper S Inventory

Audi TT: $20,000

While it makes for a great track car as well as a daily driver, the Audi TT is another car that some always seems to get overlooked. The exterior styling is retro elegant, and the cabin shows why Audi is consistently lauded for its interiors.

There are a range of engines and options available, which makes it easy to find an example that’ll fit your budget. If I was looking at an Audi TT, the only must for me is that it would have to be a coupe, as the just roadster doesn’t have the same elegance. But you know what they say about beauty.

Shop Used Audi TT Inventory

Porsche Cayman: $25,000

The Porsche Cayman is at the top of the budget of our list, and that makes sense — because this car is practically in their own category. Once you spend some time behind the wheel of a Cayman, you could be forgiven for wondering if you really actually want a 911.

This is the fastest and most serious sports car on this list, and one of the finest track-day road cars Porsche has ever created. Now, some “serious” enthusiasts have poked fun of the Boxster, but it’s worth noting that no one makes fun of the Cayman. It offers the complete Porsche experience in what’s possibly the finest chassis of any Porsche road car.

Shop Used Porsche Cayman Inventory
Read articles about classic cars and roadsters

Classic Car Research

Whether you want a project for the garage or a beast for the streets, check out our Classic Car research.

More Research

Browse more automotive research than you can shake a stick shift at.

Find great SUVs with AutoNation Drive research

Test Drive Reviews

Our automotive experts at AutoNation Drive weigh in on price, safety, and performance of popular cars, trucks, and SUVs.

Find great cars, trucks, and SUVs with AutoNation Drive research

Car Buying Advice

If you're buying a car, truck, or SUV, the chances are - you need help. Don't worry. Our automotive experts are here to help.