If you are looking for something fun, but very cheap, these are the cars for you.
When Toyota and Subaru joined forces to build the GT86/BRZ, the goal was to build an affordable sports car with RWD for the masses. Unfortunately the car hasn't been a massive success, and we think it may have something to do with the price. You could buy one of these cars new for around $25,000, which sounds quite reasonable for a sports car. But for some this still might be out of reach. For those of you who want a sports car but can't afford something new, here are our top five picks, all from Cars.com, that can be had for less than $5,000.
The Z3 was a nifty little roadster from BMW which can now be purchased for outrageously cheap prices. We found a 1999 model for just $4,950. The car is listed for sale by Patterson Auto Sales in North Carolina with 118,000 miles on it. This particular Z3 comes with a 2.5-liter straight-six engine 170 horsepower. This power figure may not seem like much, but it is actually more than you get from a brand new Mazda Miata which costs almost $25,000. For one fifth of the cost of a new sports car you are getting the prestige of a BMW badge and the simplicity of a late '90s sports car. Who needs Bluetooth streaming when you have a cassette deck?
Before Mazda decided to revolutionize the affordable sports car market with the Miata, it built the amazing RX-7. The RX-7 was an extremely interesting car in all of its generations, but we will be focusing on the third-generation FC model. We found a 1987 with a modest 87,000 miles on it. The car is listed for sale by Cross Pointe Auto in Texas for just $4,988. The RX-7 came with a unique 1.3-liter rotary engine which produced 146 horsepower. This helped the car sell well in markets that taxed cars with engines above a 1.5-liter displacement. When it was new, the RX-7 may have been an odd choice over something with a big engine like a Corvette, but the RX-7's light curb weight makes it an autocross stud.
When building the perfect sports car it is tough to image anything better than a mid-engined design. Mid-engine cars are very well-balanced, but unfortunately they are usually very expensive and complicated to build. Luckily, Toyota tried its hand at building a cheap, mid-engine sports car and prices are now extremely low. We looked for the newest third generation of Toyota's MR2, and came across a 2000 model with 94,000 miles. The car is for sale for $4,995 at iCar Autos and Trucks in Virginia. The 1.8-liter 138-horsepower four-cylinder engine may be straight out of a Corolla, but this little sports car offers amazing handling.
The Mk4 GTI was available with a a 2.8-liter VR6 engine making 200 horsepower. Volkswagen no longer builds a GTI with a V6 which is quite a shame. This motor was one of the best sounding V6 engines of all time, and gives the GTI one of the best exhaust notes ever found in a hot hatchback.
The 924 isn't really the most collectible Porsche out there. This means that you can now pick one up for an unbelievably low price. The 924 was never a quick car, but the Turbo model did come with an Audi-sourced 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine. The 924 Turbo produced 170 horsepower thanks to a K-26 turbocharger with 10 PSI of boost. We were amazed that we could find a turbocharged Porsche for less than $5,000. The 1979 model than we found is for sale at Nashville Speed Shop in Tennessee and only has 63,000 miles on it. Not only is this a cool sports car, but it is also something that we could see becoming a future collectible.