5 Best Affordable Sports Cars Under $30,000 According to U.S. News

Sports cars like the Mazda MX-5 Miata can add style, flare, and fun to a sea of sensible cars and monstrous SUVs. However, not all sports cars are created equal, and some cars in the sports segment are far from affordable. Still, if you’re willing to live with less horsepower, you can snag an affordable sports car like a 2022 Chevy Camaro 1LT V6 for less than $30,000.  

  • Chevrolet Camaro– $27,095
  • Ford Mustang EcoBoost– $27,470
  • Mazda MX-5 Miata– $27,650
  • Toyota GR86– $27,900
  • Subaru BRZ– $28,595

Which is the most affordable sports car?

There is no shortage of affordable sports cars in the new and used vehicle market. However, U.S. News says the 2022 Chevy Camaro 1LT V6 is one of the most affordable sports cars potential owners can get. The base 1LS Camaro starts at around $27,095. Better yet, the Camaro 1LT V6 trades its 275-horsepower turbocharged four-cylinder mill for an optional 335-horsepower 3.6L V6 for an extra $600. 

The 2022 Chevy Camaro LT1 V6, like this red one cornering on a coastal road, is one of the most affordable sports cars.
Chevy Camaro LT1 | General Motors

Armed with the extra horsepower, a choice between a manual and automatic transmission, and even a convertible option, the 2022 Chevy Camaro 1LT V6 is one of the most affordable sports cars for new buyers.  

Is Mustang EcoBoost a good sports car?

The 2022 Ford Mustang EcoBoost might start at a slightly higher price point than the comparable 2022 Chevy Camaro 1LT V6, but it’s still an excellent choice for an affordable sports car. For instance, the EcoBoost gets a score of 8.9 out of 10.0 from U.S. News, making it their pick for the best affordable sports car option. However, U.S. News says the EcoBoost starts at around $27,470, making it pricier than the entry-level Camaro. 

Is the Mazda MX-5 Miata a sports car?

The 2022 Mazda MX-5 Miata is an affordable sports car with heritage to spare. The Miata has been the preferred weekend toy for many enthusiasts for over 20 years. Moreover, the 2022 model year makes the list of the best fun cars under $30,000. 

The Mazda MX-5, like the 2022 Chevy Camaro LT1 V6, is one of the most affordable sports cars on the market.
Mazda MX-5 | Mazda

While the MX-5 is a bit down on power compared to the 335 horsepower of Camaro V6, the Mazda model offers a soft-top and power-retractable roof RF model. Better yet, U.S. News says the 2022 Mazda MX-5 Miata starts at around $27,650.   

How much does a GR86 Toyota cost?

The 2023 Toyota GR86, like the Subaru BRZ, is a cheap option for fans who want a back-to-basics coupe with driving fun to spare. The short-wheelbase GR86 packs a standard six-speed manual with an optional automatic transmission for those who don’t want to select their own gears. The three-pedal setup is attached to a 2.4L flat four-cylinder engine with 228 horsepower going to the rear wheels. Few cars on the market offer better driver’s car credentials at the GR86’s sub-$30,000 price point. 

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Is a BRZ a good first sports car?

If you don’t want a Toyota badge on your first sports car, the 2023 Subaru BRZ is a direct sibling with many of the same characteristics. For instance, the BRZ shares the GR86’s flat four-cylinder engine, transmission options, and most aesthetic features. Moreover, with a similar starting price, the BRZ is a comparable coupe for car enthusiasts and first-time sports car buyers alike.