A lot of people would like to get a sports car of some sort; a vehicle that can zip down the road for the fun of it has appeal. However, most people can’t afford the sticker price on many of them, but luckily there are a number of sports cars for less than $30,000.
The high cost of fun
A lot of people want a sports car. The appeal of firing up the engine and tearing around the back roads is real, but unfortunately most of sports cars require plunking down a lot of money. Basic sports cars like a Porsche Boxter or Chevrolet Corvette, at the low end for serious sports cars, cost $50,000 or more.
However, the thrill of motoring for its own sake can be purchased for much less, as there are a number of sporty cars cost less than $30,000.
Rally the troops
Not every sports car is the archetypal two-seat convertible. For instance, for $25,595, there’s the Subaru WRX, the 265-horsepower four-door, all-wheel-drive car with a long association with rally racing.
Another World Rally Championship stalwart, the Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution or “Evo” as its often called, is almost $10,000 more than the base WRX. However, Mitsubishi makes an “Evo light,” the Lancer Ralliart. The Ralliart comes with a 237 horsepower engine, all-wheel-drive and a six-speed paddle-shifted automatic. It starts at $27,795.
Compact and tons of fun
Another car with serious rally pedigree, believe it or not, is the Mini, which was a rally racing mainstay in the 1960s, according to Mini’s website. Continuing the tradition is the Mini Cooper S All Four Countryman, available for $27,750 with 181 horsepower and all-wheel-drive. It’s also smaller and lighter than the WRX and Ralliart, which will make serious fun on mountain roads.
There are also the hot hatches, such as the Mazda Speed3, the Ford Focus ST and the Volkswagen GTI and Beetle Turbo, all of which start around $25,000, for those wanting thrills in smaller packages.
Old fashioned muscle
There are also the muscle cars. The base models of the Ford Mustang, Chevrolet Camaro and Dodge Challenger all start less than $30,000, though they may be much less powerful than more expensive editions that have larger engines. All three have V-6 engines that produce more than 300 horsepower, so the lack of a V-8 isn’t exactly a total loss. Dodge and Ford also make muscle sedans, the Charger and Taurus, respectively, that produce close to 300 horsepower and start at less than $30,000.
Subaru and Toyota recently unleashed the Scion FR-S/Subaru BRZ, a 200-horsepower, rear-wheel-drive coupe. It arrives at dealerships soon, with base models starting around $26,000.
No messing with perfection
Of course, if one wants the classic sports car, a light two-seater with a removable roof, there is one option for less than $30,000. It also happens to be the best-selling example of the type, the Mazda MX-5 Miata. All trims start less than $30,000, even the ones with the power-folding hard top. It has been in production for more than 20 years for a reason.