The Top-Rated 2021 Sports Cars on Consumer Reports Couldn’t Be More Different

Sports car is a reasonably broad term that can apply to an array of models. Every car enthusiast seems to want one, but everyone defines them differently. Many wouldn’t group the 2021 BMW 2 Series, 2021 Porsche 718 Boxster, and 2021 Toyota Supra together. However, all three models earned a spot on the podium for the 2021 model year.

There are plenty of affordable sports cars under $30,000. However, most of these models don’t quite deliver the same level of excitement as pricier ones.

Consumer Reports evaluated a plethora of new 2021 sports cars that cost more than $40,000. Only three stood tall above the rest of the pack. Notably, the Mazda Miata topped the publication’s list for sports cars priced under $40,000, but its affordability makes it ineligible for this list.

Which sports cars dominated this year? Let’s find out.

2021 BMW 2 Series: An entry-level luxury vehicle that excites

A blue 2019-2021 BMW 2 Series Gran Coupe sports car parked on display with a mountain range in the background
The 2019 BMW 2 Series Gran Coupe on display | BMW

The 2 Series is the embodiment of a luxurious sports vehicle. With sleek lines and a classic silhouette, it’s no wonder the model tops Consumer Reports’ list with a score of 88/100. But the 2021 BMW 2 Series has more than just a pretty face. 

BMW offers a vast assortment of engine options, allowing you to choose your desired level of performance. The 2021 228i Gran Coupe starts at an MSRP of $35,700. This budget-friendly model features a spirited 228-hp 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine.

However, you’ll want to cross the $40K barrier to obtain the most thrilling options. BMW cranks the power up to 301 hp with the M235i Gran Coupe. Meanwhile, the M240i has a 3.0-liter six-cylinder that kicks out 335 hp, and the top-tier M2 Competition comes with a twin-turbo six-cylinder that makes 405 hp.

Nearly every aspect of this small luxury car blew away Consumer Reports’ testers. The publication gave it a road test rating of 98/100, which was by far the best in the segment. Particular high notes include the 2 Series’ agility, seat comfort, ride quality, and 

2021 Porsche 718 Boxster: A high-end sports car that delivers high-speed thrills

Workers prepare a red 20219-2021 Porsche 718 Boxster GTS sports car for the opening of the Chicago Auto Show
A 2019 Porsche 718 Boxster at the Chicago Auto Show | Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images

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Let’s face it; there’s nothing that screams sports car quite like a Porsche. The 2021 Porsche 718 Boxster packs an incredible punch in terms of performance while still getting you around in style. With a score of 83/100, this speedster was just shy of first place on Consumer Reports’ list. 

Additionally, the 718 Boxster aced the publication’s road test, earning a 95/100 rating. This stellar performance doesn’t come as a surprise, given Porsche’s legacy for manufacturing beastly machines. And the 718 Boxster has long been one of the best roadsters on the market.

You’ll experience incredible thrills when you’re behind the wheel of this sports car, no matter which trim level you choose. The base model starts at an MSRP of $62,000 and comes with a 300-hp 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine. Available powertrains reach horsepower numbers as high as 414, giving you track-ready levels of performance.

While Consumer Reports’ testers seemed to love the driving experience, they weren’t as keen on the car’s value. The publication’s review criticized the 2021 Porsche 718 Boxster’s noisy cabin, firm ride, and limited cabin storage space. 

However, unlike 2021 BMW 2 Series owners, the drivers of this roadster aren’t exactly expecting a plush ride. They’re in it for the thrills.

2021 Toyota Supra: The revived legend lives up to expectations

A yellow 2021 Toyota Supra sports car driving on a race track with a cloudy sky in the background
The 2021 Toyota Supra in action | Toyota

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The recently resurrected Supra changes the game with interesting lines and unique styling. It’s no wonder this car tied for second place with the coveted Porche, according to Consumer Reports.

While the Supra’s road test score (91/100) is less than that of the 718 Boxster, it doesn’t mean it’s a lesser car. Toyota’s sports car comes with an impressive assortment of standard driver-assistance features. These include forward-collision warning with pedestrian detection, automatic emergency braking, lane-keep assist, lane-departure warning, and more.

Notably, the 2021 BMW 2 Series comes with a similar suite of smart safety systems. However, the 2021 Porsche 718 Boxster features minimal safety offerings on its base trim.

The Supra’s starting MSRP of $42,990 may surprise some shoppers, considering it’s a Toyota. But don’t be fooled; this car delivers the goods. You can choose between two engines – a 255-hp 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder or a 382-hp 3.0-liter turbocharged six-cylinder.

Consumer Reports praised the 2021 Toyota Supra’s quick acceleration, smooth transmission, and precise handling. But like Porsche’s roadster, the publication had trouble ride quality issues, which is to be expected.