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Published: Jan 25, 2024 6 min read
Illustration featuring a car for Best Cars & Trucks feature
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Sports cars are built for speed. But the dynamic performance doesn’t necessarily need to come at a cost. We tested a mix of two-door coupes and four-door sports cars, some all-wheel drive and some rear-wheel drive, with a few common denominators: great value as well as superb handling and acceleration that provides a thrill.

Below are our five top choices, based on expert evaluation of attributes such as value for money, safety and (of course) performance. Several of our picks cost around $35,000 or less, but we also included a luxury model starting over $75,000 that we think is worth the money. The specs listed below each review are for the trim level we assessed, which we judged to be the best value.

(If you’re interested in a broader look at the new vehicle marketplace, check out our full list of the Best Cars & Trucks of 2024.)

Best Sports Cars of 2024

Best Overall: Mazda MX-5 Miata
Best for Safety: Toyota GR86
Best for Retained Value: Subaru WRX
Best Warranty: Jaguar F-Type
Best CPO: Chevrolet Camaro

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Reviews of the Best Sports Cars

Best Overall: Mazda MX-5 Miata

Courtesy of Mazda
  • Price: $35,750
  • Mileage: 26/34 mpg
  • Peppy ride
  • Responsive handling
  • Tiny trunk

Starting at $35,750, the two-door, rear-wheel-drive Mazda MX-5 Miata is about as affordable a sports car as you can find. Though it produces just 181 horsepower (the least on this list), its lively four-cylinder engine and smooth six-speed manual transmission return it to a purist state, which is why it is widely considered among true car enthusiasts as one of the most fun-to-drive sports cars.

With room for just two people, the Miata’s small size means that it has the segment’s smallest trunk, too. The space measures just 4.6 cubic feet, which may only fit a small suitcase or a few grocery bags. Taller drivers or owners who need to haul several passengers or larger cargo will probably be better served by a larger sports car like the Subaru WRX.

Best for Safety: Toyota GR86

Courtesy of Toyota
  • Price: $28,400
  • Mileage: 20/27 mpg
  • Affordable
  • Headlight illumination
  • Cramped rear seats

Safety on the road is crucial, especially when you plan to push the limits of your sports car’s performance. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) designated the Toyota GR86 a Top Safety Pick+, the agency’s highest honor.

The 228-horsepower, rear-wheel drive coupe starts at $28,400, making it the most affordable model on this list. But its low price includes plenty of standard safety features such as adaptive cruise control, a blind-spot warning sensor and rear-parking-distance sensors. Toyota’s two-door hatchback seats four people and received top marks in all crash tests, as well as the agency’s challenging nighttime headlight evaluation.

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Best for Retained Value: Subaru WRX

Courtesy of Subaru
  • Price: $32,735
  • Mileage: 19/25 mpg
  • All-wheel drive
  • Lots of horsepower for the money
  • Clunky infotainment system

Knowing your vehicle’s residual value — the amount you’d pay if you want to buy the car at the end of the lease term — is key in deciding whether the purchase is worth the money. According to JD Power, the Subaru WRX stands out among sports cars because it is an in-demand entry-level model with exceptional performance.

Starting at $30,605 for the 2023 edition and $32,735 for the 2024 model year, the Subaru WRX delivers 271 horsepower via a turbocharged four-cylinder engine. It provides impressively peppy performance at a low price point.

Best Warranty: Jaguar F-Type

Courtesy of Jaguar
  • Price: $77,900
  • Mileage: 16/24 mpg
  • Excellent performance
  • Large trunk
  • Expensive

Maintenance and routine repairs can cost thousands of dollars out of pocket if your vehicle isn’t covered by warranty. That’s why buying a sports car with the longest and most comprehensive warranty should be crucial to your decision.

All of the sports cars on this list provide a five-year/ 60,000-mile powertrain warranty. However, the Jaguar F-Type goes above and beyond by including a five-year/60,000-mile limited warranty as well, which covers faulty components and other repairs. That type of coverage provides peace of mind since expensive sports cars tend to have more expensive parts. The Jaguar EliteCare program also includes complimentary scheduled maintenance and roadside assistance. The four other cars on this list provide three-year/ 36,000-mile limited warranties.

Best CPO: Chevrolet Camaro

Courtesy of Chevrolet
  • Price: $30,900
  • Mileage: 13/20 mpg
  • Wide choice of engines
  • High horsepower
  • Subpar fuel economy

A certified pre-owned car is a used car backed by the manufacturer’s or dealer’s CPO program. Most include an extended warranty, but each manufacturer has different requirements for qualifying a CPO vehicle, including age, mileage and condition.

Chevrolet offers the most comprehensive program among the sports cars in our list. Cars must pass a 172-point inspection, be less than six years old and have no more than 75,000 miles on the odometer. The other manufacturers on this list operate less stringent CPO programs. Mazda and Toyota have 160 inspection points, while certified pre-owned Subarus must pass a 152-point inspection to qualify for the program.

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