Best used sports cars

Ready to live the dream in a fast car that costs less than a family SUV? Here are some of the best used sports cars you can buy

Simon Ostler
Feb 12, 2020

Many of us have dreams of owning a sports car, but few of us have ever had the opportunity to live that dream. Sports cars, by design, are very expensive, but you can make some major savings if you turn to the used car market.

In fact, we've got some opportunities here for you to get hold of some of the best sports cars around for less than than you could spend on a Kia Sportage - that's a whole lot of joy and performance at a relatively low price.

There's also the option of heading down the used car finance route. Here, it's possible to find some substantial savings on cars that have already lost a majority of their initial value via depreciation.

So if you're ready to fulfil your dream and become a sports car owner, we've picked out five great options that could soon be on your driveway.

Best used sports cars

1. Porsche Cayman

Best used sports car for dynamism

Used deals from £33,000
Monthly finance from £521

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 the Cayman by 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 as the 718 Cayman, if you're looking for the full sports car experience, avoid these and go for the older generation Cayman instead. The thing to remember though is that, either way, you'll have a very pure driving experience thanks to some excellent Porsche engineering. Stepping away from the engine controversy, the Porsche Cayman will weave through corners with the lightness and agility of a ballet dancer, and then fire itself up the road with a nerve-trembling wail.

2. BMW M3

Best used sports car for a V8 soundtrack

Used deals from £35,850
Monthly finance from £420

Another victim of engine downsizing is the BMW M3. The previous generation car that ended production in 2013 was powered by a fiery 4.0-litre V8 engine that made the M3 one of the most powerful saloon cars in the world. As the need for more environmentally friendly engines has intensified however, it was an engine that no longer had a place in the world.

So, nowadays, a turbocharged 3.0-litre six-cylinder engine powers the BMW M3. It's still powerful; in fact the addition of two turbos means this latest M3 is actually the most powerful yet, so the car itself has not suffered in terms of performance. But, as with the Porsche Cayman, that engine note is certainly not what it was.

But enough of the doom and gloom. The BMW M3 is a popular and high-quality saloon car that can sprint from 0-62mph in 4.3 seconds - say no more. It's still as good to drive as ever, but crucially maintains the practicality of a saloon car that means you can justify it to the other-half as well.

3. Audi R8

Best used sports car for out and out power

Used deals from £58,990
Monthly finance from £808

While it might be more expensive than the other four options on this list, the fact you could be driving an Audi R8 for less than £40,000 is astonishing in itself. New or old, just standing still, the Audi R8 looks supercar quick. And it is. Particularly as the new model only comes with a very large and very 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

4. Jaguar F-Type

Best used sports car for British charm

Used deals from £28,944
Monthly finance from £424

The Jaguar 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.

One good thing about the F-Type is that you do have a choice of engines, from a 2.0-litre four-cylinder option with 300hp on tap, through a 3.0-litre V6 with 340hp, and finally a 5.0-litre V8 with a whopping 550hp. If money was no object, we'd all be going for the big one, but having the choice of cheaper options does open the door to a wider audience of hopeful customers.

Perhaps more important than the engines is the bodywork that covers them. The Jaguar F-Type is an astonishingly good-looking car. From the tip of the long bonnet to the muscular proportions of the rear haunches, every surface sweeps smoothly back to form a hugely satisfying and aerodynamic shape - especially in coupe guise.

A face lifted F-Type is due to arrive in 2020 with a sharper looking front end and a revised engine line-up. The V6 is gone and set to be replaced by a toned-down version of the 5.0-litre V8.

JAGUAR F-TYPE BUYERS' GUIDE

5. Ford Focus RS

Best used sports car for hatchback practicality

Used deals from £22,780
Monthly finance from £330

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 350hp. 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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