Porsche has never offered great value-for-money, but that's ok.
When you think of sports cars that offer great value-for-money, it is easy to think of the Ford Mustang, Chevy Corvette, and even the Nissan GT-R. These are cars that can keep up with European cars costing double or even triple the price, with only slight concessions in interior quality and driving pleasure. Contrary to the bargain sports cars, Porsche 911 prices have been on the rise in recent years and the recently-revealed 2020 Porsche 911 Carrera starts at a whopping $98,750, or $111,550 if you opt for the cabriolet.
This seems like a huge amount of money to spend on a sports car with just 379 horsepower from a 3.0-liter twin-turbocharged flat-six. In other words, the nearly six-figure 911 Carrera has less power than a $35,000 Mustang. So if you feel like your money would be better spent elsewhere, we have seven cheaper used sports cars that might be a better fit.
Why opt for a base 911 when for less, you could have one that feels a bit more special? The 991.2 generation 911 has just wrapped up production, giving way to the new 992. Porsche introduced a new Carrera T model into the mix for the 2018 and 2019 model years, using the 3.0-liter twin-turbo flat-six producing 370 hp in the base Carrera.
Yes, this might be less powerful than the new Carrera but the T features weight reduction using thinner glass, reduced sound deadening, and fabric door pulls to provide a more pure driving experience. Used examples can now be found starting at under $90,000 and the 911 Carrera T will still be available brand-new with a warranty.
GT cars rank at the top of the Porsche sports car hierarchy, which is why instead of buying a base 911 Carrera, we'd buy a used Cayman GT4 or Boxster Spyder. Unlike the new 911, which is turbocharged, the GT4 and Spyder rely on a high-revving 3.8-liter flat-six producing 385 hp. The only transmission choice was a six-speed manual, meaning these cars were built for the true enthusiasts. Both cars were only built for a single model year and can now be found starting in the low-$80,000 range.
The Mercedes-AMG GT was created as a direct competitor to the Porsche 911. It arrived on the market back in 2016 with a 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8 producing 503 hp going out through a dual-clutch transaxle. The AMG is quicker than the new 911 Carrera with a 0-60 mph sprint of just 3.6 seconds. The only major difference between a first-year 2016 model and a new one is the front grille design. Prices for a used 2016 S model start in the low-$70,000 range.
Few cars can match the Chevrolet Corvette on performance value, especially not a used Z06 model. The C7 Z06 went on sale in 2015, packing a 6.2-liter supercharged V8 producing 650 hp. Few 911 models can match the Z06 in a straight line, especially for under $100,000 and used C7 models can now be found starting at under $50,000.
Jaguar F-Type mainly competes with the Porsche 718 Boxster and Cayman but in its highest SVR trim, the Jag is a serious 911 fighter. The SVR model is powered by a 5.0-liter supercharged V8 producing 575 hp, second on this list only to the Corvette. Prices for the convertible can now be found in the low-$70,000 range while the coupe is closer to the $80,000 range.
Not everyone buys a sports car to take to the race track or push it hard on mountainous roads. Some people just want a cool-looking car that is also comfortable to drive into work every day. The Lexus LC500 may not be the quickest sports car on the road (it's actually a GT car) but it has a wonderful 5.0-liter V8 producing 471 hp and it is more comfortable to drive than a 911. Lexus cars typically don't depreciate quickly but you can already pick up a used LC 500 for less than $70,000.
The Porsche 911 is a wonderful car but there are so many of them around, it hardly stands out at a car show. The Lotus Evora 400, on the other hand, is far rarer and is likely to draw a crowd. Lotus just replaced the 400 with a new GT model, but the old 400 is still a fantastic car. The 3.5-liter supercharged V6 produces 400 hp and used prices now start at under $70,000.