2024 Top 5 Affordable and Reliable Sporty Cars: Thrills Without Breaking the Bank

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Top 5 Affordable and Reliable Sporty Cars

What are the best reliable and affordable cars that are sporty and fun to drive? That’s what we’re going to find out.

I’m going to share five cars that are fun to drive with great performance, but are also reliable and affordably priced, roughly between 30,000 to 40,000, well below the average price of a new vehicle.

If you want a fun car that offers amazing thrills without breaking the bank or without visiting the mechanic, these are the cars that you need to focus on.

Mazda 3 Turbo

But first, let’s get into the list, starting with the car in the number five spot, and that is the Mazda 3 Turbo.

The Mazda 3 turbo basically delivers most of the thrills of a sports sedan or a hot hatchback, but in a more mature and affordable package.

You can get it as either a sedan or a hatchback. Either way, you get a surprisingly powerful 2.5 liter turbo engine that produces up to 256 horsepower and 320 pound feet of torque.

That’s near sports car levels of power. Plus, you get standard all wheel drive and a simple, no nonsense, six-speed automatic transmission, which makes it perfectly livable and easy to drive on a daily basis.

No, it’s not going to set any lap records, but this is still a very fun, great handling car. The interior is surprisingly luxurious and feature-packed.

And best of all, it is incredibly well made, reliable, and will easily tolerate years of daily use and abuse without any fuss.

It’s the perfect type of car for somebody that wants something that’s mature, sensible, and a grown-up ride, but still offers the same thrills that you get with a sports sedan or a hot hatchback. And I think that’s a formula that’s pretty attractive.

Honda Civic SI

if you want something that’s a little bit more focused on the fun aspect that you can shift yourself, then take a look at the next car in the number 4 spot, which is the Honda Civic SI.

The SI is a sportier, more powerful version of the Civic with unique suspension tuning and a 1.5 turbo, 4-cylinder engine that’s tuned to produce 200 horsepower and 192 pound feet of torque.

And to make it extra fun, you can only get it with a standard six-speed manual Gearbox.

Manuals are not only a great anti-theft device, but they are incredibly fun and engaging, and Honda makes one of the very best, slickest shifters around.

And not only is the SI incredibly fun to drive, but it retains all the same amazing qualities that make the other versions of the Civic such amazing cars.

You get a super spacious interior, tons of great standard features, surprisingly good fuel economy, and a great reputation for reliability and maintaining strong resale value.

And considering that it only comes one way with every feature as standard, the pricing is not too bad either. It is a really well-rounded car and a terrific choice.

Subaru WRX

the next car in the number three spot, which is the Subaru WRX. The WRX is a bit of a legend among the enthusiast community. It has all the right ingredients for a fun driving experience.

A powerful 2.4 liter turbo four-cylinder boxer engine producing 271 horsepower and 258 pound feet of torque.

A standard six-speed manual gear box or an optional CVT for those who prefer an automatic, and of course, Subaru’s full-time symmetrical all-wheel drive as standard.

With that combination, you have a properly quick sports sedan that can attack corners with confidence, and it’s still comfortable enough and capable enough to be used year-round, day-to-day.

Especially for those who deal with harsh winters and poor weather, that symmetrical full-time all-wheel drive is going to give you so much confidence and make you feel like you can conquer anything.

It also has plenty of space. Its reliability and resale value are pretty solid, and the pricing isn’t too bad, considering the amazing performance that you get. All things considered, it’s a solid the choice.

Toyota GR86 and the Subaru BRZ

And for the car that I’m putting in the number 2 spot, I’m moving away from four doors over to a two-door coupe.

And if you’re okay with sacrificing some interior space and the back seats, it’s hard to find a car that’s more fun to drive on a budget than the Toyota GR86 and the Subaru BRZ.

These two coupes are nearly identical vehicles with different batches, so basically, just take your pick.

Either way, you’re getting one of the most fun to drive cars available to to buy brand new.

The rear wheel drive chassis and the tight suspension tuning deliver crisp, well balanced handling.

And because these cars are surprisingly lightweight, they feel agile and tossible in a way that few modern cars can match.

The engine is a naturally aspirated 2.4 liter Subaru boxer engine, producing 228 horsepower and 184 pound feet of torque. More than enough for a lightweight car like this.

And you can choose between either a six-speed or a slick shifting six-speed manual Gearbox.

You don’t get much interior space, and the back seats are next to useless, but the interior is comfortable, well-equipped, and gives you just enough to make this a usable everyday car for one or two people.

Lightweight, rear wheel drive, analog-feeling sports cars or coupes are incredibly rare these days.

And finding one as affordably priced as these two are, well, they just don’t exist. So take advantage and get one while you still can.

Mazda MX-5

Now, as fun as they are, there is one other car that I would still take over both the Toyota and the Subaru, and that car is my number one pick, which is the Mazda MX-5.

This one is a bit of a predictable choice, but for good reason. No other car in this price range offers the same level of fun and enjoyment that you with an MX-5.

It is a total blast to drive, super lightweight, rear wheel drive, incredibly nimble, and incredibly agile with perfect weight balance.

It also has a nicely tuned, naturally aspirated 2.0 four-cylinder engine, which comes standard with one of the best 6 speed manual shifters around.

181 horsepower might not sound like very much, but because the MX-5 is so lightweight, it’s just as quick as the other car is in this group.

Of course, being a convertible adds a whole another level of joy to the experience, and you can choose between either a simple manual folding soft top or a power hard top.

The MX-5 is certainly not practical. The interior is tight.

You don’t have much space to carry much of anything, but it is extremely fuel-efficient and extremely reliable, so using it as an everyday car is certainly possible, and it won’t break the bank doing so. It is a total bargain and easily the best fun sports car available.

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