Under $ 20,000 sports cars
2003 BMW Z4
When BMW decided to replace the retro Z3, the world was in for a shock. The first-generation Z4 was anything but retro, yet it had all the ingredients for a good sports car, including silky-smooth BMW inline engines.
2011 Chevrolet Camaro
Is it a sports car, or a muscle car? It doesn’t matter: the world of two-door performance cars is shrinking and the Camaro has grown much more sophisticated since its 1960s birth.
The Camaro made a triumphant return for the 2010 model year with styling that was referential but not retro, and powerful V6 and V8 engines; nabbing a sophomore model should help avoid any new-model issues.
2000 Chevrolet Corvette
Sure, you can buy a sports car, but what about “America’s sports car.” A new Corvette is considered a performance bargain, but only the C5 generation can be easily found for under $20 grand.
2011 Ford Mustang
For the 2010 model year, Ford gave the Mustang its last refresh before a full redesign (set to hit showrooms later this year). However, it forgot to overhaul the engines.
That oversight was taken care of for 2011, when the Mustang received new V6 and V8 engines that were more powerful and fuel-efficient. If you’re looking for an inexpensive car with plenty of performance out of the box, this is the one to get.
2002 Honda S2000
The S2000 is the best of Honda design philosophy applied to a sports car.
2011 Hyundai Genesis Coupe
The Hyundai Genesis sedan may be the Korean carmaker’s version of the Lexus LS, but the Genesis Coupe is its version of the Mustang.
2008 Mazda MX-5 Miata
Celebrating its 25th anniversary in 2014, the Miata is the most basic expression of what a sports car should be.
Most car enthusiasts know that the Miata was inspired by classic British sports cars of the 1960s, but doesn’t hemorrhage oil like them. Still, many people find it hard to take the tiny roadster seriously.
2004 Mazda RX-8
It’s got a rotary engine and a pair of rear-hinged suicide doors. Is there anything else to say?
2006 Nissan 350Z
The original Datsun 240Z was a Japanese counterpart to established small European sports cars, but its descendent had a little more muscle.
2001 Porsche Boxster
The term “entry-level Porsche” seems oxymoronic, and for new models it really is. However, it is possible to find a used Porsche within a used-car shopper’s budget.
The Boxster was meant to evoke 550 Spyders like the one James Dean drove, but it’s really just a modern small sports car designed with the attention to detail only Weissach can lavish on a vehicle.