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
Nov 8, 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.

Best used sports cars

1. Porsche Boxster/Cayman

Best used sports car for dynamism 

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.

New equivalent Porsche 718 Boxster (2016-on)

 

2. 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.

New equivalent BMW M3 and BMW M4 (2014-on)

 

3. Audi R8

Best used sports car for out and out power 

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.
Audi R8 buyers' guide

New equivalent Audi R8 V10 (2015-on)

 

4. Jaguar XK

Best used sports car for British charm 

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.

New equivalent Jaguar F-Type (2014-on)

 

5. Ford Focus RS

Best used sports car for hatchback practicality 

Latest Ford Focus RS deals from £24,490
Finance from £356 per month

Admittedly, the Ford Focus RS doesn’t follow the classic sports car silhouette, and it even has the gall to have five-doors and a big boot.

However, the way it drives is befitting of a sports car. At the heart of the car is its turbocharged 2.5-litre engine. It’s keen and sounds mean, and makes a hearty 350bhp. It has four-wheel-drive (like the R8 further up the list) and different driving modes, including a drift button, which can boost power to the rear wheels in order to allow the car to get a steering angle more crooked than a politician's smile.

There’s a brand-new Focus on sale which means the RS - based on the old one - has been discontinued. So if you want one, you’ve got no choice about buying used.
Ford Focus RS buyers' guide

         

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