Hyundai recently entered the sporty hatch market with their Veloster N, while Alfa Romeo’s Stelvio SUV offers impressive driving dynamics in an economical package.
Cadillac’s XT4 provides an elegant, refined drive at an accessible price point.
Mazda MX-5 Miata
Mazda’s lightweight MX-5 Miata stands out in an ever-more complex performance car market by staying true to its roots – pure and elemental. The mere thought makes people smile; even its ride may be tolerated and the infotainment system inferior to others in the market.
No other rear-wheel-drive convertible offers as much fun for the money as the Miata, yet not everyone should own one; tall drivers may find the cockpit cramped while even its soft top impedes rear vision.
However, those willing to endure it will be rewarded with impressive fuel economy (EPA-rated at 26 mpg city and 34 mpg highway) and the exhilarating wind experience in your face while you rip through curves. Its light curb weight makes the Miata easy and fun to drive in town! For optimal agility and comfort in city driving conditions, opt for the Club trim of Miata with a limited-slip differential, Bilstein suspension with front shock tower brace, Brembo brakes, and power retracting hardtop.
Despite lacking an additional back seat, BMW can craft enjoyable two-seat sports coupes at reasonable prices. For example, the BMW 240i – its latest edition – offers practical two-door solutions in this class.
Its turbocharged six-cylinder isn’t as large as those found in competitors like the Audi S3 and Mercedes CLA, but that doesn’t matter: This junior M car can navigate traffic with ease while also offering plenty of acceleration on highway trips and being happy to take corners quickly.
BMW’s iDrive infotainment system still pushes the envelope of simplicity yet remains easy to use and comes standard with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity. Furthermore, this BMW comes packed with safety equipment including forward collision warning, lane departure warning, front and rear parking sensors as well as its claimed 26 mpg fuel economy – an added benefit over four-door models like Honda Civic Type R or Toyota Supra that offer more excellent fuel economy but cost significantly more in comparison.
If you’re in search of a car that makes every commute more exciting, the 2023 Subaru BRZ could be just what you’re searching for. This sports coupe provides responsive handling and a powerful four-cylinder engine at a much more reasonable cost than many performance vehicles. Furthermore, this vehicle offers an approachable driving experience more suitable for novice drivers than its rivals.
The rear-wheel drive layout and low center of gravity of the BRZ make it easy to take sharp corners on open roads. Furthermore, its communicative steering and linear power delivery provide an excellent opportunity to learn basic car control principles.
The interior of the BRZ is simple yet functional, featuring an eight-speaker stereo that offers Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and SiriusXM integration and features two quick-charge USB ports. Unfortunately, premium audio systems are unavailable, which could be an issue for music enthusiasts; otherwise, limited rear seat space and subpar interior finish may also be an issue. Thankfully, a comprehensive warranty helps alleviate such worries, with three years of bumper-to-bumper coverage and five of powertrain protection provided with every purchase of this vehicle.
The Nissan Z is designed as an everyday driver with a standard backup camera and advanced safety features such as lane-departure warning. However, its sports car heritage remains evident as its optional dual-camera system can record race day footage while paddle shifters and carbon fiber composite drive shafts provide unparalleled control at every turn.
The new Nissan Z’s design pays homage to its history; its headlights, grille, and hood harken back to the first-generation Datsun 240Z, while its side profile recalls previous-generation 370Zs. Furthermore, inside its spacious cabin, you will find all sorts of amenities and technology, such as an infotainment display screen for added comfort and technology.
The Nissan Z is available in two trim levels: Sport and Performance. The latter provides upgraded brakes and mechanical limited-slip differential, 19″ RAYS wheels with yellow calipers, unique 19-inch RAYS wheels, and yellow calipers, unique 19″ RAYS wheels, and yellow calipers. If you have more to spend, Proto Spec is limited to only 240 units–that builds upon Performance with yellow calipers and suede interior trim for an even more intimate driving experience! All models can also come with manual transmissions for even closer driving experiences.
The 2021 Toyota Supra takes us back to Japan’s classic sports car era of the 1990s with its BMW-sourced components that help it deliver adequate performance and an engaging drive. Its primary competitor in terms of driving experience for less money is Nissan Z.
If you’re on a tight budget but still interested in performance driving, opt for the turbo-four-powered 2.0 Supra. While not as fast as its more costly straight-six counterpart, this fun daily driver offers great enjoyment and excellent fuel economy.
If you want to take your Toyota GR Supra experience to the next level, opt for the 3.0 Premium or A91-MT trim. This trim adds numerous advanced safety features not available on its predecessors, such as blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert and parking sensors; high-speed adaptive cruise control that isn’t offered on 2.0 models is also included here; for those wanting maximum engine power from their 335 horsepower straight six, consider selecting the three Premium trim with six-speed manual transmission as this trim features launch control which optimizes engine torque to give maximum power at race start or when driving on twisty back roads!
The Toyota 86 is an affordable rear-drive sports car with captivating looks and engaging handling that has captured the hearts and minds of car enthusiasts across the globe. As such, its niche within automotive history was quickly established.
This car aims to deliver a driving experience worthy of purists, rivaling enthusiast-favorite models such as the Mazda MX-5 Miata and Fiat 124 Spider with its communicative steering and precise handling, and offering legendary Toyota reliability at affordable pricing.
However, its stiff suspension tuning can become tiresome over an extended driving period, and its manual transmission’s clutch pedal feel can become uncomfortable after only a few miles of city driving.
Toyota has addressed some of these concerns by offering the GR86 Special Edition with a more comfortable ride setup and several TRD accessories that enhance its incredible performance. These include $639 lowering springs, $425 performance air intake, and a quick-shifter; its Solar Shift orange paint color and cat-back performance exhaust make for an attractive appearance in this Limited Edition vehicle.
The Jaguar XE offers an attractive alternative to the usual compact luxury saloon suspects. While not possessing the same pedigree as Audi A4, BMW 3 Series, or Mercedes-Benz C-Class models, its agile handling makes it an enjoyable option when traveling along winding country roads. While its ride may feel firm sometimes, even with optional 20″ wheels and R-Dynamic S trim (with sports suspension), it never feels stiff or unforgiving.
The Jaguar XE offers an attractive combination of petrol and diesel engines that feel responsive on long motorway journeys or around town, plus four-wheel drive for added traction in harsh conditions. Safety was another highlight: Euro NCAP awarded it five stars during 2015 testing; additionally, some models offer advanced driver aids like blind-spot monitoring and lane-departure warning. Vehicle Excise Duty and insurance costs remain competitive, making the XE an attractive proposition; consider the tiny back seat size and limited trunk storage space when considering purchasing it.
Honda Civic Type R
Honda was right to make changes to their outgoing Type R after receiving near-universal praise rather than simply adding some cosmetic updates and calling it done. Instead, Honda focused on every aspect of the car to find ways to enhance it further – resulting in a 2023 Civic Type R that is lower, longer, and broader than ever before, featuring front “tracks” an inch wider and rear tracks three-quarters of an inch wider for an increased sense of plantedness and security.
The Type R proves comfortable and compliant despite its sportier design on the road. The clutch pedal offers the proper resistance, while using a manual gearbox is effortless. Even long journeys won’t prove taxing thanks to competitive fuel economy ratings of 22 mpg in town and 28 on highway driving conditions.
The cockpit of the Civic Type R is truly captivating to witness, boasting bright red suede bucket seats that hug you snugly like they were custom-designed to support your body. In addition, these lightweight seats weigh 7 percent less than their counterparts and won’t leave bruises behind should something hit them unexpectedly.