Best Affordable Sports Cars

7 minutes Published: 24/11/2020
Emily Hanson

You want a sports car to fulfill your burning need for speed and a hot hatch just won’t cut it - we get it! You want a taste of the high life without going bankrupt, and that’s why we’re here! We’ve rounded up the best affordable sports cars around to make your search easier.

Let’s be honest - with a sports car, you're focusing less on practicality and more on how much power you can fire to the wheels. You want to have fun with it and experience life in the fast lane while also staying within your tight budget. Whilst a Porsche 911 and a Honda NSX are just out of your price range, you can take your pick from these affordable sports cars instead.

Whether you’re after a traditional muscle car, a sleek convertible or just something downright super fast, here are some impressive sports cars with reasonable price tags (all below £40,000 RRP).

Do you want to feel the wind in your hair and sun on your skin while you cruise down the motorway and urban roads? Have a look at our best convertible cars to make that dream a reality!

1. BMW 2 Series Coupe

RRP: £24,085 - £40,770 | From £278.86 per month to lease
  • Doors: 2
  • Engine: 3.0
  • Fuel: P, D
  • Body: Coupe
  • Drive: M, A
  • CO2: 189g/km

BMW are known for trying to create "the ultimate driving experience". The BMW 2 Series Coupe is an outstanding specimen that provides high performance and luxury that is just begging to be experienced - for an affordable price tag! 

Based on the original BMW 1 Series (considered one of the best small luxury cars), the 2 Series Coupe boasts the powerful engine and seamless handling that BMW are famous for. The 2 Series Coupe’s TwinPower Turbo petrol engine will take you from 0 to 62 mph in 4.6 seconds, powered by up to 340hp to really get your blood pumping.

With multi-link rear suspension and a choice of both automatic and manual transmission you have more control over your ride. The coupe body style gives it that sleek and high-end sports car aesthetic, similar to that of BMW’s more athletic (and more expensive) model the M2 Competition.

2. Mazda Mx-5 Convertible

RRP: £18,310 - £29,560 | From £265.20 per month to lease
  • Doors: 2
  • Engine: 2.0
  • Fuel: P
  • Body: Convertible
  • Drive: M, A
  • CO2: 229g/km

When you’re looking for a sports car, you want something that will turn heads when you start revving the engine. Something that has the appearance and attitude of an expensive sports model without putting a hole in your wallet. Well, this Mazda certainly doesn’t disappoint.

Suitable for everyday use, the Mazda MX-5 Convertible is a bit slower than other sports cars, but it’ll let you spice up even the most mundane of journeys. You’ll feel like a movie star just nipping to the shop for a carton of eggs. 

If a car with excellent control and high performance is what you’re looking for, Mazda has you covered. The six-speed manual gearbox transmission gives you more precise handling and the four cylinder engine is seriously powerful! 

3. Porsche 718 Cayman

RRP: £39,878 - £77,780
  • Doors: 2
  • Engine: 2.5
  • Fuel: P
  • Body: Coupe
  • Drive: M, A
  • CO2: 185 - 249g/km

It’s such a close call between the Porsche 718 Boxster and it’s hardtop sibling, the Cayman - the ultimate decision rests on your own personal preference. The Porsche 718 Cayman is a great entry-level offering if you’re just dipping your toes into the waters of affordable sports cars.

This snazzy Porsche has a sturdy and effective 2.0-litre four cylinder turbo petrol engine that packs a punch. For some though, the four cylinder offering is a bone of contention, placing it a good step down from its 911 sibling. You can up your horsepower by opting for a different trim, like the tricked out S-Level. 
The six-speed manual gearbox and rear wheel drive gives you more control over this speed demon. While we’re singing the Cayman’s praises, let’s not forget what a steal this coupe is.

4. Toyota Gt86

RRP: £25,535 - £30,159 | From £300.92 per month to lease
  • Doors: 2
  • Engine: 2.0
  • Fuel: P
  • Body: Coupe
  • Drive: M, A
  • CO2: 164 - 196g/km

Lightweight and alluring, Toyota has impressed with the Toyota GT86. Unlike other sports cars, the GT86 focuses less on refinement and luxury and more on enjoyment. 

With the 6-speed manual transmission, rear wheel drive and responsive steering, the GT86 is the ideal car for someone who wants maximum control over their vehicle. Automatic transmission is available but manual transmission is recommended so you can really get a feel for this car. You’ll have to work hard to get it to pick up speed but when it gets going, it's gone!

The Toyota GT86 is considered quite fuel economical for a sports car, and for such a low price, it truly is a one of a kind motor.

5. Subaru BRZ

RRP: £24,230 - £31,585 | From £388.32 per month to lease
  • Doors: 2
  • Engine: 2.0
  • Fuel: P
  • Body: Coupe
  • Drive: M, A
  • CO2: 164 - 196g/km

At first glance, you’d be forgiven for mistaking the BRZ for a Toyota GT86. Subaru did in fact team up with Toyota to bring you the BRZ, one of the most wallet-friendly cheap sports cars around.

2.0-litre flat-four front petrol engine. Rear-wheel drive. Manual or automatic transmission for varied levels of precision and control. The Subaru BRZ is a neat coupe which goes back to basics: giving you a thrilling drive.

This sleek and attractive coupe offers control and luxury. The BRZ doesn’t have the most powerful engine compared to the all wheel drive Subaru WRX, but it has fierce acceleration! The low running costs and low initial price tag have secured the Subaru BRZ a spot in this roundup and you’ll still get that supercar feel when you’re behind the wheel.

6. Ford Mustang Fastback

RRP: £34,740 - £46,855
  • Doors: 2
  • Engine: 5.0
  • Fuel: P
  • Body: Fastback
  • Drive: M, A
  • CO2: 299g/km

The Ford Mustang Fastback is exactly that - fast! With an 8 cylinder 5 litre engine, the Mustang Fastback has some serious power. The 6-speed manual gearbox and 10-speed automatic transmission gives you the best possible control over your driving experience.

Although Ford are renowned for the practicality of their hatchback cars like the Ford Fiesta, this fastback knows only one thing - speed. Unlike many performance cars, the Ford Mustang Fastback is affordable and highly capable.

The fastback body style and mixture of both modern and retro features ensures you’re driving a car with character, poise and passion and it won’t break the bank!

7. Nissan 370z

RRP: £26,100 - £38,305 | From £366.49 per month to lease
  • Doors: 3
  • Engine: 3.7
  • Fuel: P
  • Body: Coupe
  • Drive: M, A
  • CO2: 245 - 276g/km

The perfect combination of a contemporary sports aesthetic and the performance of a classic muscle car, we present to you Nissan’s leading sports car - the Nissan 370z

The Nissan 370z boasts a sporty, athletic appearance, similar to its sibling the Nissan GT-R. This sleek, stylish and affordable sports car operates a 3.7-litre V6 engine with a real kick. The choice of either a 7-speed automatic or 6-speed manual gearbox transmission helps you to tame this beast and experience the ride of a lifetime. 

The Nissan 370z is not recommended for daily use as insurance and fuel consumption costs can be higher than many other available sports cars. The 370z is however, ideal for those who want to pick up the pace pronto, as this nippy vehicle can take you from 0-62mph in around 5 seconds.The Nissan 370z definitely presents itself as a more affordable option than many high-end sports cars with minimal variations in capabilities.

8. Audi TT Coupe

RRP: £31,270 - £54,050 | From £314.04 per month to lease
  • Doors: 2
  • Engine: 3.2
  • Fuel: P, D
  • Body: Coupe
  • Drive: M, A
  • CO2: 254g/km

Launched for the first time way back when in 1998, Audi pushed their German engineering precision to the limits to craft the gorgeous modern-day third generation Audi TT Coupe.

The Audi TT is available either as a 2+2 coupe or a 2 seat roadster. On the upper end of the affordability scale, the Audi TT does well in terms of fuel economy. The 4-cylinder engine and front wheel drive of the Audi TT Coupe may be powerful but is still a step down from the Audi TT RS all wheel drive and 5-cylinder engine. 

The Audi TT is considered one of the best sports cars for very good reasons. The 6-speed manual gearbox transmission gives you more control and refinement over your driving experience. The TT Coupe can take you from 0-62mph in around 6 seconds which is slightly slower than other Audi TT alternatives but when the TT Coupe gets going, that’s when the real fun begins!

9. Mercedes C Class Coupe

RRP: £34,700 - £46,565
  • Doors: 2
  • Engine: 6.2
  • Fuel: P, D
  • Body: Coupe
  • Drive: M, A
  • CO2: 286g/km

Classy Mercedes-Benz never fails to produce some of the best luxury cars. The Mercedes C Class Coupe is perfect for someone who wants an affordable sports car that oozes class and good taste. 

The C Class Coupe is fairly good in terms of fuel economy which helps to keep running costs low. It operates a powerful 4-cylinder petrol engine and rear wheel drive which is slightly less powerful than the Mercedes-AMG C63 Coupe and it’s 8-cylinder engine.

The 9G-Tronic automatic transmission allows for more control without expending too much effort on changing gears alone, leaving you more time to focus on other aspects of your drive and with a top speed of around 180mph, you’ll be grateful! The Mercedes C Class is impressive like the A Class which makes for an excellent Audi S3 alternative if you’re interested.

10. Fiat 124 Spider Special Editions

RRP: £23,095 - £26,645
  • Doors: 2
  • Engine: 1.4
  • Fuel: P
  • Body: Convertible
  • Drive: M
  • CO2: 148g/km

This retro speed demon is one of Fiat’s finer models for pure driving pleasure. With a top speed of around 130mph it's not the fastest sports car on the market, but the 6-speed automatic and manual gearbox transmission allows for greater control over your drive. Although the engine is small, it is powerful. 

The 60s appearance and style of this Fiat Spider 124 is what gives it such charm. Don’t let it’s retro aesthetic fool you though - this car is truly a modern masterpiece that aims to please.

This Fiat Abarth model is very cheap so your monthly rental costs and the overall running costs of this vehicle can be kept to a minimum without compromising on driving experience. Fiat truly offers some of the cheapest new cars to lease.

Summary

It’s in the nature of a sports car to be expensive, there’s no denying it, but there are ways around it!

From this fantastic list above it's clear to see that sports cars aren’t just for millionaires. You too can experience life in the fast lane while sticking to a budget. Without compromising on engine power, handling, fuel economy and appearance, you can drive a fantastic model while still being money conscious.

You live in Britain, so what are the chances that you won’t be soaked by rain one minute and boiled in the heat the next? Slim, right? Have a look at our best convertible cars so you can stay dry in style and enjoy the sunshine with the roof down when it matters most!