With the prices of used cars the way they are in the current market, it’s hard to think that one could still find a good deal on a desirable vehicle. However, with gas prices turning many folks toward more practical and fuel-efficient cars, you may be surprised to see the deals one can come across when it comes to sports cars. Sure, they’re not the most optimal vehicle for daily use. However, if you’re in the market for a fun weekender but don’t want to break the bank, here are five used sports cars you can buy right now for less than $15,000.
Third-generation (NC) Mazda MX-5 Miata
Despite their recent uptick in prices, you can’t make an affordable sports car list without including the Mazda Miata. While first-gen Miatas are having a pricing glow up, the lesser loved third-generation (or NC) models offer modern amenities, classic sports car handling, stellar fuel economy, and a great price.
According to U.S. News, consumers can have a 2010 Mazda Miata for right around $10,000. With fuel economy ratings of 22 mpg city and 28 mpg highway, it’s the perfect compromise of spirited driving and decent fuel savings.
2005-2014 Ford Mustang (S197)
Obviously, with gas prices the way they are now, a V8-powered car is not the most optimal choice. However, if it’s within your budget to fill it up or you’re just planning on having it to occasionally drive, by all means, go for it!
The S197 Mustang powerplant ranges from a V6 to the modular 4.6-liter V8 or Coyote 5.0 V8. U.S. News lists the average price for a 2010 model between $9,078 and $13,161. However, for a GT model with a V8 under the hood, expect to be right on the cusp of the $15,000 budget in today’s market.
The Nissan 370Z still marks the most recent offering in the long heritage of Z cars. That is until the 2023 Nissan Z officially releases.
It offers phenomenal handling, and sports car feel with its conic body lines and V6 engine producing up to 350 horsepower. Additionally, both coupe and convertible variants are available.
For a 2010 Nissan 370Z, expect to spend somewhere between $12,689 and $13,753.
The Scion FR-S, Subaru BRZ, and Toyota GT-86 are all the same car. A cooperative venture between Subaru and Toyota, these iconic affordable sports car models are renowned for their remarkable handling capabilities and fun rear-wheel drive characteristics.
The FR-S comes with a 2.0-liter boxer four-cylinder engine from Subaru. Though it isn’t the most powerful unit out there, the 200-horsepower output is more than enough to have a good time.
There are plenty of examples of used 2013 FR-S models for under $15,000. However, for one in excellent shape, expect to be maxing out the budget.
This one is a bit of a stretch because the first thing that comes to mind when thinking of a Camaro is V8 power. However, to find a V8 Camaro under $15,000 is a bit of a stretch.
That being said, the fifth-generation Chevrolet Camaro spanning model years 2010 to 2015, is an option that can apply. Unfortunately, shoppers with a budget of $15,000 will likely have to stick to V6 models. Though it may not have the same grunt that the V8s have, they still have plenty of pickup for the average driver to enjoy. Better still, the V6 models get better fuel economy.
As with any car, shop for you, not for others
While “settling” for an NC Miata or a V6 powerplant in a car that traditionally has a V8 may land some ridicule, it’s important to remember that you’re buying a sports car for yourself to enjoy. If you just want a car to show off, you’re in it for the wrong reasons!
If any of these cars tickle your fancy and budget, you should absolutely go for it! You won’t regret being behind the wheel of any of these awesome cars.