10 of the Best Sports Cars for the Money: 2018

Sam McEachern
by Sam McEachern

Even though automakers are doubling down on crossovers, there’s a myriad of affordable, fun sports cars still on sale today.

Here’s what AutoGuide.com thinks are some of the best new sports cars you can buy today for the money — there are some downright cheap ones and some that cost a bit more money but still offer a lot of value. You might think you need to spend a lot of money on a sports car, but as our list will show you, there’s plenty of performance offerings around that won’t break the bank. (And why aren’t hot hatches like the Type R or GTI on this list? They’re sporty, but that doesn’t make them sports cars, and there’s a difference.)

BMW M240i

The BMW M240i offers up nearly the same amount of fun as the BMW M2 for about $10,000 less. Buyers probably won’t be left wanting more performance with the M240i, either, with its turbo inline-six making a healthy 335 hp.

Nissan 370Z

The 370Z has been around for ages, but that doesn’t mean it’s still not a performance bargain. Anyone who has driven a 370Z knows the chassis is superb and that the engine sounds sweet. It’s also relatively cheap, starting at just under $30,000, and can be had with a manual transmission. Oh, and how about those SCCA results? They speak for themselves.

Toyota 86/Subaru BRZ

The 86 and BRZ twins may not be the fastest sports coupes around, but they sure are a good deal. For just $27,000, there’s no cheaper way to get yourself into new rear-wheel drive car. The pair also boast extremely cheap running costs – another important factor when deciding to buy a sports car.

Audi TT RS

The TT RS isn’t that affordable, coming in at just over $65,000, but it has a ridiculous amount of performance on tap for the price. With a 400 horsepower five-cylinder, the all-wheel drive coupe will sprint from 0-60 mph in just 3.4s. The car will also tackle a winding back road with ease and unlike some other entries on this list, would be just as fun in the winter months as it is in the summer. Lesser TT variants also receive good reviews and are reasonably priced.

Ford Mustang EcoBoost

The entry-level Mustang has quite a bit of power on tap from its 310 hp 2.3-liter EcoBoost engine, and with the optional 10-speed automatic, the turbocharged Mustang will scoot from 0-60 mph in under 5 seconds. It starts at just over $25,000 and is also offered with a well-priced performance package if you want improved handling and braking performance.

ALSO SEE: Top 10 Cars That Look More Expensive Than They Actually Are

Chevrolet Camaro 1LE

The Camaro 1LE is offered with a four-, six- and eight-cylinder engine, making it an appropriate choice no matter what your price range is. The 1LE package adds $4,500 to the price of the Camaro and brings improved cooling, more powerful brakes, a performance exhaust and wider wheels with stickier tires, among more. If you’re into track days, this is a solid choice for you.

Chevrolet Corvette

What do we need to say about the Corvette? This ubiquitous American sports car has been punching above its weight for years, and the C7 generation remains a performance bargain, offering up 455 hp for just over $55,000.

Alfa Romeo 4C

For nearly $60,000, there are certainly faster cars than the 4C, but few do such a good job at mimicking a supercar. You step over a tall carbon fiber sill to lower yourself into a 4C, and the paddle-shifted single clutch transmission makes it feel like you’re driving a little GT4 car. It’s hard to think of a car that is such an event for so little money. This is one special offering, and it won’t be around forever, so don’t sleep on it, sports car fans.

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Mazda Miata

Like the Corvette, the Miata is a mainstay of bargain performance top 10 lists. You can’t have more fun on the road for $25,000. And like the 86 and BRZ, the Miata’s cheap running costs make it popular among price-conscious buyers.

Porsche Cayman

The Porsche Cayman is often touted as the sportscar to have, and it’s easy to see why. It offers up Porsche’s famed chassis tuning and a sweet-sounding powertrain for an accessible $57,000. You knew that when Porsche lent its chassis tuning know how to a small, mid-engine product, it was going deliver, and the Cayman definitely does.

Sam McEachern
Sam McEachern

Sam McEachern holds a diploma in journalism from St. Clair College in Windsor, Ontario, and has been covering the automotive industry for over 5 years. He conducts reviews and writes AutoGuide's news content. He's a die-hard motorsports fan with a passion for performance cars of all sorts.

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2 of 7 comments
  • K03sport K03sport on May 20, 2018

    New Supra FTW...oh, wait, nevermind; and it probably won't make next year's list either...I do not think the Z car is a good bargain. It is 8-9 yo, does nothing special, has 1 old engine choice, and if you want one w/any kind of "racey looks", you are well north of $40k. The base model is a horrible proposition w/its lack of features. It needs to start in the mid-20s w/the 86/BRZ and go up from there. The Sport trim (best all-around feature list IMO) needs to be at $30k, not $33.5. Sure, when the Z debuted, it was a performance bargain, but now, not so much. I'd just assume put the Fiat 124 Spyder Abarth/500 Abarth at #9.

  • Haji Haji on May 23, 2018

    Can't wait for Honda to export the S660.