The automotive marketplace is an ever-changing industry where choosing the right sports car can be a tough choice. Before the birth of the Mustang, cars were heavy and not very fun to drive. The Mustang created a segment in the automotive industry of lightweight and fun to drive cars. As a result, the pony car changed the face of the automotive industry as a whole and introduced an entire generation to a different type of car.
There are many reasons why you might consider a sports car, from driver satisfaction to just being in love with the car. So many models have made their way onto the marketplace since the inception of the Mustang, whether you want a high-powered Japanese sports car or a lightweight gas efficient car that's fun to drive.
We're going to take a look at some of the most popular and affordable sports cars that are on the market right now. Read on below and check out these cool sports car picks.
20 1998 Ford Mustang Cobra
The Cobra is a sports car that needs no introduction. The 1998 model added an all-new aluminum engine that had not been in the market before. This generation of Mustang is one of the most popular due to its lightweight and comfortable design. You can’t go wrong with the added ground effects kit either.
19 2016 Toyota 86
Toyota has been out of the sports car arena for a long time now. After the 2008 recession, the Celica went the way of the graveyard. But the Toyota 86 offers fun-to-drive demeanor and a spunky engine that can compete with some of the best sports cars on the road. The 86 stands out in terms of design and features.
18 2010 Chevrolet Camaro SS
The Camaro was not the original pony car to hit the market, but it was a groundbreaking one. The 2010 Camaro was the first brand new sports car in the Camaro lineup since 2002 and the car was groundbreaking. Between the Corvette motor and the SS Trimline, the 2010 Camaro SS was a stellar vehicle.
17 2016 Subaru BRZ
When Subaru left the sports car market during the ‘90s, the company was at a standstill. The SVX was a failure in the US market. But the Toyota designed BRZ is a whole different type of beast that offers a stellar AWD design and a functional interior. The BRZ is one of the most affordable sports cars on the market.
16 2019 Ford GT
When the Ford GT was reintroduced to the market for the 2019 model year, the automotive community was in awe at the V6 power plant. Don’t fret though, the V6 powered Ford GT is perhaps one of the most responsive and fun to drive supercars on the market. Ford continues to improve on this sports car with each generation.
15 1993 Nissan 300ZX
When it comes to revolutionary Nissan sports cars, the 300ZX was a turbo-powered one that offered a beautiful design and an optional convertible model. To this day the 300ZX is one of the most popular sports cars on the market and you can still find one for an affordable price.
14 1993 Subaru SVX
During the ‘90s, the Subaru brand was just starting to become an established player in the domestic market. The Outback was selling like hotcakes and Subaru introduced the SVX, which was supposed to be a high-end luxury coupe. Sadly the SVX was never available with a manual transmission and the car is extremely rare.
13 1998 Eagle Talon
The Eagle brand was a bit of an experiment for the Chrysler Corporation during the ‘90s. But the Eagle Talon was a well-appointed AWD sports car that was based on the Mitsubishi Eclipse. To this day the Eagle Talon is a fun-to-drive sports car that will keep you enjoying your drive and save your budget as well.
12 2003 Lancer EVO
Let’s face facts, the Mitsubishi Lancer EVO is one of the most impressive sports cars to have ever hit the market. The Lancer EVO is up there in the same class as the Subaru WRX STI, and offers a turbocharged engine that's fun-to-drive. In terms of design, the 2003 EVO is perhaps one of the most memorable models.
11 2019 Subaru WRX STI
Subaru is a brand that comes to mind when you think of fun-to-drive cars. The WRX is world-renowned as a rally car and is as much a fun-to-drive economy car as you can get on a budget. If you want an all-wheel-drive vehicle that looks great and offers a decent amount of interior space, the WRX STI is a high-performance beacon of style.
10 2006 Mitsubishi Eclipse
When you think about popular sports cars that have been on the market in the past few decades, the Mitsubishi Eclipse is a firm choice. The 2006 model was a complete redesign for the model that offered a nice modern design. The Eclipse has always been an affordable and fun-to-drive sports car that's cheap to fix and still offers enough performance to leave a smile on your face.
9 2009 Hyundai Tiburon
The Hyundai brand was negatively affected by a bad reputation after the Excel during the ‘90s. Plus, the Tiburon never got the attention that it deserved. But if you want a fun-to-drive sports car that offers a lot of features for the price, the Tiburon is one of the best used sports cars on the market right now.
8 2016 Hyundai Genesis Coupe
The Tiburon was never a volume seller for Hyundai and thus, many people don’t even know that the sports car existed. The Genesis Coupe was a vast upgrade over the Tiburon. First and foremost there was the addition of a V8 power plant, and the car has a reasonable resale price, which means that it's very affordable to get one.
7 2006 Toyota Celica
The final generation of the Toyota Celica is often lamented for its extreme styling but the car was a great buy. If you want a Toyota sports car that offers decent gas mileage and modern styling, the Celica is a car that still looks great today. There was also a TRD edition of the Celica that offered quite a few upgrades.
6 1996 Mitsubishi 3000GT
Mitsubishi was a brand that was known for creating fun-to-drive cars early on. The brand had a lineup of lightweight and affordable vehicles. The 3000GT offered the same level of performance as the Supra Turbo, but with the added benefit of a much more affordable price tag. Later on down the road, there was also a rare convertible version.
5 1994 Dodge Stealth
The corporate cousin of the Mitsubishi 3000GT was the Dodge Stealth. You’ve probably seen these vehicles around from time to time and you can’t go wrong with this kind of performance. In a lot of ways, the Dodge Stealth is a better-looking car than the 3000GT because it offers a much sleeker looking exterior and interior.
4 2005 Chrysler Crossfire
Another unique car that hit the road in the last few decades was the Crossfire. The Crossfire was based on the SLK platform, which means that you get a Mercedes-Benz for considerably less. The Crossfire had unique features such as a rising spoiler and a unique SRT version, which was fun-to-drive as well.
3 2010 Dodge Challenger
Another unique muscle car that hit the market in the last decade was the Dodge Challenger. It wasn’t as nimble or as fast as other sports cars on the market, but it was one of the first new retro-inspired pony cars. The Dodge Challenger to this day remains a fun-to-drive muscle car to this day.
2 2000 Lexus SC400
The SC400 was a fun-to-drive sports car that took the Mercedes-Benz SL500 on. With a standard V8 engine and a fully functional interior, the SC400 was an upscale sports car that stood out from the crowd. The 2000 model was especially rare because it was the last year of production and was also one of the few years that offered a manual transmission.
1 1998 Plymouth Prowler
During the latter part of the decade, the Plymouth brand was at a standstill. Chrysler aimed to launch a few retro-inspired vehicles such as the Prowler and the PT Cruiser. The Prowler was a fun-to-drive vehicle that offered perhaps one of the most unique designs ever done to a vehicle to this day.
Sources: Kelley Blue Book