For some, cars are for going from Point A to Point B. For others, they are all about fun and exhilaration. A perfect sports car is one that can be driven daily from home to the office on weekdays and burn some rubber or zip through twisty roads on a weekend.
Fortunately there are plenty of modern sports cars that are easy on the pocket and super fun to drive. With light bodies and powerful engines, which are becoming increasingly more efficient, owning and maintaining a sports car has become almost irresistible.
Below is a list of 15 "cheaper" sports cars that won't break your bank while putting a smile on your face.
15 Fiat 500 Abarth
This tiny little car from Italy is not the most reliable but it is one heck of a fun drive around the track. Packed with a 160 horsepower 4-cylinder turbocharged engine, it can race to 60 mph in 6.9 seconds. The handling is sharp and because of the short nose, the driver almost feels in touch with the road. Suspension is harsh but it’s a compromise one can make for a thrill lap.
14 Chevrolet Camaro SS 1LE
Chevrolet Camaro SS received a facelift for the 2020 model giving it a meaner and angrier look.
Under the hood is a small block 6.2L V8 engine that provides an abundant 455 horsepower. SS can be taken both to a track and a drag strip and 1LE package comes with all the performance bells and whistles such as Magnetic Ride Control dampers, electronically controlled limited slip differential, and Recaro seats.
13 Dodge Challenger Scat Pack 392
Dodge Challenger Scat Pack 392 offers most horsepower for the least amount of money. Now, this car might not behave elegantly on a track but the sheer power of that angry 6.4L HEMI V8 gives an instant adrenaline rush when it comes to straight-line performance.
If burning rubber smell and waking up your neighbors early in the morning with a loud roar is your thing, this is the car to get.
12 Volkswagen Golf GTI
Fun does not necessarily need to be hard on the pocket. The Golf GTI has a turbocharged four cylinder engine, while low on horsepower, provides an instant and oddly satisfying torque. Handling is predictable, which makes driving this hatch a lot of fun.
Golf also gets high marks in practicality as it comfortably sits 4 adults along with couple of luggage pieces. The slick manual on offer is just the cherry on top.
11 Honda Civic Type R
If you can get past the giant fake vents, Civic Type R is a very capable track car. Honda has tuned the chassis to perfection to make full use of the 306 horsepower and 295 lb-ft of torque.
As a daily driver, the Civic gets bonus points for having one of the most comfortable seats in a hot hatch and ride quality, which isn’t too shabby for a track focused car. Honda’s reliability is an added bonus.
10 Kia Stinger GT
Kia’s first attempt at making a sports sedan did not go unnoticed. Stinger GT is a serious car with handsome looks and impressive performance numbers.
Equipped with a twin-turbo V6, the GT trim comes standard with Brembo brakes and Dynamic Stability Damping Control (DSDC) suspension according to Kia.com. Stinger does lack a bit in the handling and luxury department, but for the asking price, no one would complain about that.
9 Ford Mustang Bullitt
With this tribute Mustang, you get an extra 20 horsepower over Mustang GT trim bringing the total to 480 ponies according to driving.ca. The only transmission available is a 6-speed manual.
Bullitt comes standard with comfort, sport, track, and drag strip modes. Styling is minimalistic and almost stealth-like with that awesome green color making it stand out just a little.
8 Dodge Charger Scat Pack 392
Like its sibling Dodge Challenger, Charger Scat Pack is the king when it comes to horsepower. A car this size with this much power does not make sense in the modern world but somehow, Dodge has managed to keep the sales numbers high for the Charger.
The legendary 6.4L V8 HEMI makes 485 horsepower and 475 lb-ft of torque. And since this is a full size 4-door sedan, all this power is sharable.
7 Subaru BRZ
Nothing beats BRZ when it comes to value for money. Listed just under $30,000, BRZ is a capable track car with sporty looks and countless tuning options. Suspension is performance tuned which can result in a harsh ride during daily driving. Subaru claims 0-100 km/h acceleration in 7.4 seconds with a top speed of 216 km/h. Not too shabby for the asking price.
6 Subaru WRX STI Sport
WRX STI is a tuner’s dream car. It represents a classic sports car with all the basics checked off. For 2020, Subaru has updated the interior, suspension and infotainment system.
Under the hood is the 4-cylinder BOXER engine making a hefty 310 horsepower @6000 rpm. WRX is abundantly equipped with performance-focused features including Active Torque Vectoring, Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD), and Brembo brakes.
5 BMW M240i
The strongest feature of BMW M240i lives under its hood. M240i uses a twin-turbocharged 3.0-litre straight six engine, which comfortably makes 335 bhp. In a market where almost every car manufacturer is chopping off two cylinders and opting for four-cylinder turbo, BMW is sticking with it’s tried and tested configuration. Handling is quick and precise. Luxury comes standard just like any other BMW.
4 Alfa Romeo Giulia Ti
Motor Trend named Giulia "Car of the Year" for 2019 and for a good reason. Giulia is a driver’s car that can be driven hard thanks to its turbocharged 4-cylinder 280 horsepower engine. This four-door sedan handles very well and the steering feels direct and connected to the road.
Alfa has solved most of the initial build quality issues of Giulia TI making it a perfect daily driver with the possibility of lighting up the weekend.
3 Mazda Miata
When it comes to sheer joy of driving, there's no other sports car that can beat Mazda Miata.
Miata boasts a near 50-50 weight distribution along with a near 50-50 adrenaline and dopamine mix. The peppy engine makes 181 horsepower that gives enough punch to move this feather light car around the corners. Handling is sharp and precise. All in all, the legendary Miata is a quintessential sports car of the modern world.
2 Toyota Supra
Toyota finally resurrected the legendary nameplate with some help from BMW. BMW’s 6-cylinder engine is paired with 8-speed automatic transmission in a rear-wheel drive configuration, according to CarAndDriver.com.
Around the track, Supra is fun to drive with enough horsepower to make it zip through straight lines. Suspension is finely tuned by Toyota to make it a daily driver as well.
1 Corvette Stingray
Corvette is the crowned legend when it comes to sports cars. This historical nameplate has only gotten better with each revision. 2019 Stingray can put some other more expensive sports cars to shame with its growling 455 horsepower V8 engine. Paired with this powerhouse is a precisely engineered chassis that offers phenomenal ride and handling. This monster is powerful and fun to drive.