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
Mar 20, 2017

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 and now much cheaper on the used car market.


Porsche Boxster

The heart of a sports car is its engine, and for decades, Porsche used an engine made up of six cylinders, which gave a characterful growl when you pressed the accelerator. Then, last year, 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, 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)

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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)

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Audi R8

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)

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Jaguar XK

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 GtT 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)

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Suzuki Swift Sport

In this company, Suzuki’s supermini looks like an error more than anything else, but no car is better at providing affordable fun than the Swift Sport.

It will shortly be replaced by a new car with a turbocharged engine, which should deliver a burst of performance without needing to rev the engine. Acceleration will be speedy, thanks to a lighter car.

But this development will mark the end of the non-turbocharged Swift, which engaged the driver because it needed to be revved for the best performance, requiring well-timed gearshifts to keep it roaring on. At current used prices, it’s a bargain from an era that is disappearing.

Our pick Suzuki Swift Sport (2010-2017)

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