Best used sports cars

More character than a new car for a lot less cash: the best used sports cars you can buy

BuyaCar team
Aug 16, 2018

Buying a used sports car isn’t just a way of paying less for your next car: it also gives you a broader choice of models, which have been discontinued.

Left behind in the march of progress towards small, more efficient engines and increased space, some of these cars can actually be just as desirable as the models that replaced them.

Many of our choices have larger, louder and more characterful engines than you’ll find in a brand new version.

Here we bring you our pick of the five best sports cars discontinued in recent years that are now much cheaper on the used car market.

Porsche Boxster/Cayman

Best used sports car for dynamism 

Latest Porsche Boxster deals from £31,000
Finance from £398 per month

The heart of a sports car is its motor, and for decades, Porsche used an engine made up of six cylinders, which gave a characterful growl when you pressed the accelerator. Then, for the latest model, it ripped the heart out of its Boxster and Cayman cars, replacing it with a smaller four-cylinder engine that’s more efficient and powerful - but doesn’t sound as good.

These newer versions are badged 718 Boxster and 718 Cayman. Avoid these and go for the plainly labelled Boxster or Cayman, and you’ll have a Porsche classic, which will weave through corners with the lightness and agility of a ballet dancer, and then fire itself up the road with an nerve-trembling wail.

Our pick Porsche Boxster (2012 - 2016)
New equivalent Porsche 718 Boxster (2016-on)

BMW M3

Best used sports car for a V8 soundtrack

Another victim of engine downsizing is the BMW M3. Inside the family saloon shape is the engine of a sports car, which provides all the power that you’ll ever need on the road, and also an impressive turn of speed if you take it onto a racing circuit.

But the latest model has a turbocharged six-cylinder engine, with starship acceleration but a dull droning sound that accompanies it. And despite some impressive official mpg figures, it’s not particularly economical in the real-world either.

That’s why the older BMW M3, built up to 2013 is arguably the better choice, with a larger non-turbocharged V8 engine that sounds sensational and requires you to rev it to get the best out of it - for an even greater roar.

Our pick BMW M3 (2007-13)
New equivalent BMW M3 and BMW M4 (2014-on)

Audi R8

Best used sports car for out and out power 

Latest Audi R8 deals from £63,950
Finance from £787 per month

New or old, just standing still, the Audi R8 looks supercar quick. And it is. Particularly as the new model only comes with the large and powerful V10 engine.

However, the older version, built up to 2015, was also available with a smaller V8 version. Just as smooth as the V10 motor, the V8 is also lighter, so if you choose a car with the smaller engine, it will switch direction more eagerly and with greater nimbleness. Its performance - offering acceleration from 0-62mph in 4.6 seconds - is hardly slow. And today, it’s much cheaper than a new V10, too.

Our pick Audi R8 V8 (2010-15) 
New equivalent Audi R8 V10 (2015-on)

Jaguar XK

Best used sports car for British charm 

Latest Jaguar XK deals from £38,989
Finance from £530 per month

Jaguar’s current F-Type is a sports car that rewards drivers who push the car to the limit, thanks to its grip and stability in corners - even at high speed - and the blistering pace available from its engines.

It’s far off the experience offered by its predecessor, the Jaguar XK, which was built up to 2015. This was a GT car - one that offered performance, but also comfort, so that it could be driven across Europe in relaxing luxury.

The power available from the faster XKR or XKR-S models still make it an entertaining drive, but you feel less obliged to use it in everyday motoring.

Our pick Jaguar XK (2006-15)
New equivalent Jaguar F-Type (2014-on)

Renault Megane RS

Best used sports car for hatchback practicality 

Latest Renaultsport Megane deals from £16,140
Finance from £248 per month

Admittedly the humble Renault Megane might seem a bit underpowered in comparison to other cars on this list, but in many ways it’s easily as rewarding to drive as the any of the others, plus, much more affordable.

Best of all it’s just been replaced by a whole new Megane RS. The new one is more sophisticated, more grown up, yet... less fun. It’s all a bit serious, not something you necessarily want from a hot-hatch.

Which is why we recommend the older car. It’s a whole lot more lairy, and a whole lot more fun. Power is fairly similar to the new version depending on which model you choose, as is the all important 0-62mph time. Best of all, prices are continuing to tumble.

Our pick Renault Megane Renaultsport (2010-2016)   

Latest best cars & vans

  1. Best SUVs to buy in 2018

  2. Most efficient petrol cars

  3. Most reliable cars 2018

What our customers say