Daily driving a sports car doesn’t have to be expensive. You might think it’s impossible to find a fun yet reliable new sports car for under $50,000. But U.S. News recently compiled a roundup of the easiest sports cars to live with, based on reliability, passenger comfort, and performance. We combed through the list and found that many can be had for under $50K. Here’s everything you need to know about the best new sports cars for the money.
2023 Volkswagen GTI
Coming in at only $30,530, the 2023 VW GTI is one of the most exciting new hatchbacks. It offers the room you’d expect from this body style and the quick performance of a sports car. The Golf R model harnesses 315 hp and 280 lb-ft of torque. With available all-wheel drive and a standard six-speed manual transmission, it’s hard to imagine a more practical sports car than the 2023 Volkswagen GTI.
2023 Dodge Challenger
The 2023 Dodge Challenger is one of the few remaining American muscle cars you can still buy new. Coming in at $30,545 for the base model, this respectable daily driver boasts pep and an unmistakable swagger. The base-model SXT has a V6 and automatic transmission, but you can choose between rear-wheel and AWD. For the under-$50,000 price point, we recommend the R/T Scat Pack, featuring significant visual upgrades, a 485-hp Hemi V8, and a six-speed manual transmission, starting at $46,940.
2023 Kia Stinger
Get it while you still can. The Stinger will soon end production after a short but impressive run as Kia’s luxury sport sedan, competing with the likes of BMW and Mercedes-Benz. The South Korean automaker built the Stinger with a small 2.5-liter turbo-four producing an impressive 300 hp and a twin-turbo 3.3-liter V6 harnessing an unheard-of 368 hp. With the GT2 model, you get a limited-slip differential, Brembo brakes, variable steering ratios, and adaptive suspension, all for the base price of $36,590.
2022 BMW 2 Series
BMW is known for its sports sedans, but the 2 Series is a solid change of pace, offering performance in a compact coupe. For as little as $35,700, you get all of the expected flair and performance with a ton of luxury features and a design found only in a Bimmer. The 2 Series maxes out at 382 hp with a turbocharged 3.0-liter inline-six and an eight-speed automatic transmission.
2023 Audi A5
The Audi A5 has become a favorite among drivers looking for a classy vehicle offering solid performance and handsome aesthetics. The 2023 A5 comes in coupe, convertible, and four-door body styles. All boast an opulent cabin and four-wheel drive. This sports car starts at $44,600 and comes in various trim levels, with the range-topping RS 5 producing a whopping 444 hp with its twin-turbo V6.
By far the cheapest sports car on this list, the praise-worthy Mazda3 starts at only $22,550. And though it isn’t the most powerful, it offers excellent handling and some luxury features found only in much more expensive vehicle classes.
The 2023 Mazda3 comes in sedan and hatchback body styles, with FWD as standard equipment and AWD as optional. The quickest model packs a 227-hp turbo four-cylinder engine and a six-speed automatic transmission. Sports car–minded drivers will appreciate the six-speed manual transmission available with the Premium Hatchback trim.
Fun under $50K
Faced with increasing vehicle prices, you might think it’s inconceivable to get behind the wheel of anything faster than a city car for under $50,000. But plenty of sports cars fit the bill. So if you’re looking for fun under $50K, consider some of the new sports cars on U.S. News’ list.