The Best Sports Cars Under 50k
Do you need lots of money to experience the joy of owning a sports car? Think again.
Many of the world’s fastest cars cost well under $50,000. Here are our favorite options. The Toyota GR Supra may resemble a BMW Z4, but its performance behind the wheel differs substantially – it offers precise corner cutting at a starting price below $50K.
1. Mazda MX-5 Miata
Few cars evoke such powerful emotions as the Mazda MX-5 Miata does. This roadster-inspired delight offers thrill-seekers a driving experience like no other, one that feels alive under your control as you press harder on its accelerator pedal. Its competitive pricing makes this car one of the most accessible sports cars around – providing big fun at low costs!
The 2023 Mazda MX-5 roadster marks its fourth generation and continues its winning formula, offering smaller and lighter driving experiences that remain agile and engaging open-air driving experiences for drivers around the globe.
With a curb weight of under 3,300 pounds, the MX-5 is light and maneuverable. Its compact dimensions make perfect weight distribution, enabling easy flick ability through turns. Electric power steering may be weaker than in earlier models but still provides excellent feedback and approachability; optional Brembo front brakes and BBS wheels increase its handling capabilities.
The Miata’s small size doesn’t hinder its fuel economy either; it achieves 34 miles per gallon on highway driving – more than you’d expect from a sporty two-door convertible! Thanks to its lightweight construction and aerodynamic features, its impressive fuel efficiency is achieved.
The Miata’s basic seats don’t help its reputation for comfort either; designed to reduce weight rather than offer much in terms of adjustability or padding, these rudimentary seats don’t provide much in terms of adjustability or padding – to maximize to opt for Grand Touring’s leather seats if possible. In terms of active safety features, the 2023 MX-5 comes equipped with rear cross-traffic alert, blind spot monitoring, and lane-keeping system; you can connect via Apple CarPlay/Android Auto or connect via Apple CarPlay/Android Auto while enjoying music via nine-speaker Bose Premium Audio System.
2. BMW M2
If you’re shopping in the high-end performance coupe segment, one car that should not be overlooked is the BMW M2. Though more costly than its rivals, BMW is known for making enjoyable cars; their M2 is no different.
The BMW M2 is a front-engined, rear-wheel-drive coupe designed as an all-out sports car. Its front end recalls that of a 2-Series coupe, while its flared fenders and unique side skirts shout “performance.” It’s an attractive vehicle and serves as a reminder that BMW still cares about making sporty vehicles (rather than just SUVs and crossovers that dominate its current portfolio).
Driving it is even better! Although difficult to describe in words, any car enthusiast will understand when they get behind the wheel of an M2 – it’s instant driver-configurability and dynamic versatility have long been hallmarks of M cars, making this M2 an exciting yet familiar ride for any enthusiast driver. While less exciting in corners than its F87 predecessor, and with additional mass and heft to deal with than its F87 cousin – it remains an authentic and charming M car character!
The standard equipment on this car is excellent, featuring an advanced Harman Kardon audio system and an adaptive LED steering wheel from BMW. To add extras such as carbon roof panels or bucket seats, BMW also provides options packages with carbon roof panels or bucket seats – plus, you can upgrade to their Track Package, which increases top speed to 180mph while including a voucher for M driver training!
At PS63,000, the M2 is the most expensive car in its class – though that doesn’t necessarily translate to any financial hardship; on the contrary, its starting price makes it somewhat more accessible than alternatives such as AMG A45 S or Audi RS3. Furthermore, being unique among cars of its kind by offering both manual and automatic transmissions has made the M2 so beloved by drivers everywhere. Plus, iDrive infotainment software fans love BMW, so it’s no wonder why people flock to them so quickly.
3. Nissan GT-R
The Nissan GT-R is one of those cars that doesn’t just challenge established authority; it outclasses it. Its massive twin-turbo V-6 generates 480 horsepower and 430 lb-ft of torque for an incredible 0-60 time of less than 3.8 seconds and a top speed approaching 200 mph. Furthermore, its quick-shifting sequential dual-clutch paddle-shift transmission and sophisticated drivetrain tuning help create an engaging driving experience, while its steering provides precise feedback when pushing to its limit.
Although powerful, the GT-R is far less thirsty than you might imagine – getting 16 MPG in the city and 23 on the highway. That makes this performance car easily achievable near 180mph speeds while remaining more accessible to live with than its predecessors due to better-tuned suspension and user-friendly driver aids.
Nissan first showed its middle finger to Porsche, Audi, and BMW by unveiling Godzilla several years ago, but this latest iteration goes further still by increasing power, acceleration, and handling performance. Aerodynamic features, including a fixed rear wing and bodywork designed to channel cooling air and generate downforce, enhance its sleek shape while lightweight RAYS 20-inch wheels shod with Dunlop high-performance summer tires connect the GT-R to the road while Brembo’s six-piston front and four-piston rear brake calipers help bring things to an abrupt halt.
Within, an array of technology and comfort features makes the cabin invitingly spacious and relaxing, and recent enhancements such as a revamped center stack and smartphone integration make for welcome upgrades.
4. Mazda BRZ
The Subaru BRZ is the stuff of sports car dreams: lightweight, agile, and affordable. Inspired by the Toyota GR86 mechanical twin, the BRZ recalls days when three pedals and rear drive were standard features. Last year’s complete redesign brought this pint-sized coupe up-to-date with modern technologies and features while keeping its classic spirit.
The standard six-speed manual transmission of the BRZ is an absolute joy to operate and makes its 205 horsepower 2.4-liter flat-four engine feel much more muscular than its modest power output would suggest. The rumble of its engine can be heard through its audio system in the cockpit; sport mode amplifies chassis and steering response for an exhilarating driving experience. In a straight-line manner, it can reach 60mph in around five seconds, though we recommend keeping to manual mode for optimal results.
Although its weight may seem low, its impressive cornering grip and responsive handling entice drivers to use it in autocross events or racetrack driving sessions. Yet its practical everyday driving capabilities include plenty of storage cubbies, rear jump seats, and a trunk capable of holding several days’ worth of groceries.
The Subaru BRZ features an infotainment system featuring an 8.0-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration, two USB ports, and an aux input. For the 2022 model year, an additional configurable digital instrument cluster that displays essential vehicle data including g-forces, was introduced. Subaru EyeSight suite of safety technology can also be found across all models, but you must opt for Limited trim to receive blind-spot monitoring technology.
5. Nissan Z
Even as a throwback from its past, the Nissan Z is still one of the finest sports cars for less than 50k. A blast to drive on the track, its new generation is a worthy successor to Datsun’s original Datsun 240Z.
This generation of the Z is more accessible than ever, being easier to drive on track or winding roads with more excellent performance than its primary rival, Toyota Supra, yet significantly cheaper (with 400 horsepower on offer for only $39,990!).
The Z’s twin-turbo setup effectively eliminates turbo lag and power delivery is pretty linear when accelerating. While not relatively as quick as its BMW M2 counterpart, it remains a compelling performer.
The Z was always quick and composed on a day of follow-laps around Las Vegas Motor Speedway’s outfield road course. Its nine-speed automatic transmission effortlessly picked the appropriate gears under acceleration without feeling confused or lurchy.
The cabin of the 350Z is comfortable, with supportive front seats providing good support. Additionally, its infotainment screen and instrument cluster offer significant improvements over those found in its predecessor car; retro auxiliary gauges atop its dash display boost pressure and turbo speed.
Given the current state of the automotive industry, including supply chain shortages and rising gas prices that threaten car sales, it could be the last time we see a gasoline-powered Z. However, Nissan has learned from its mistakes, and the new Z shows great promise for its future – we would only like to see an even more powerful Nismo version become available soon, though!