It takes a special kind of personality to shop for a 2-seater car. 2-seater cars essentially tell the world that you are willing to sacrifice the practicality of a second row of passenger accommodations for style, performance, and a passion for driving. Most, but not all 2-seater cars fall into the sporty segment of the market for exactly this reason, as they are able to make the emotional connection with a buyer that is necessary to throw common sense to the wind and enjoy an automobile that is out-of-step with the realities of the daily grind. Rest assured, there are a few exceptions to this rule, and we'll point them out below when we take a quick look at 10 2-seater cars that are worth a test drive.
10 2-Seater Cars that are Worth a Test Drive
10 2-Seater Cars that are Worth a Test Drive
Photo Credit: Fiat Chrysler Automobiles
1) 2017 Fiat 124 Spider
The FIAT 124 Spider roadster, all new for this year, quickly became one of our favorite 2-seater cars. As soon as we found out it was based on Mazda’s MX-5 Miata, we knew it would be good — it even comes from Mazda’s factory, though it’s assembled with Italian parts. Powering the 124 Spider is a 160-horsepower, 1.4-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder engine, paired to either a 6-speed manual or 6-speed automatic transmission. The Abarth edition boosts horsepower just slightly, but also adds a limited slip differential and a sport exhaust upgrade.
Photo Credit: Honda
2) 2016 Honda CR-Z
The 2016 Honda CR-Z is not the first 2-seater hybrid built by the Japanese brand — that particular honor belongs to the first-generation Honda Insight. The Honda CR-Z does, however, represent the most fun-to-drive battery-assisted automobile in the company's lineup. Although horsepower checks in at a somewhat low 130 ponies from its 1.5-liter, 4-cylinder engine and electric motor combo, the CR-Z has been given responsive suspension tuning, offers a relatively light curb weight, and can be had with a 6-speed manual transmission if desired. All together, it presents a winning formula for a fun, urban roundabout for buyers who simply don't need to lug around a back seat
Photo Credit: General Motors
3) 2016 Chevrolet Corvette
The 2016 Chevrolet Corvette is the ultimate people's performance car, a fiberglass-bodied 2-seater car whose base model Stingray is motivated by a 455-horsepower, 6.2-liter V8 that allows the coupe (or convertible) to leap to 60 mph in well under four seconds. Not quick enough? Consider the Chevrolet Corvette Z06, which steps up to a supercharged version of that 6.2-liter V8 that yields 650 horsepower and helps knock its 0-60 time down to 2.9 seconds. The 2016 Corvette can be had with either a 7-speed manual or an 8-speed paddle-shifted automatic.
Photo Credit: Mazda USA
4) 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata
If the Corvette is the people's performance car, then the redesigned 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata 2-seater is the people's sports car. The extremely affordable Mazda MX-5 Miata is one of the lightest and best-balanced roadsters on the market, and driving one quickly demonstrates why on any given weekend there are more Mazdas participating in motorsports in America than any other single brand. The Miata's 155-horsepower, 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine loves to be pushed up to the redline, and although a 6-speed automatic transmission is available with the car, it is best enjoyed with its classic soft top and its 6-speed manual transmission.
Photo Credit: Nissan USA
5) 2016 Nissan 370Z
The 2016 Nissan 370Z is available in both coupe and roadster editions, and each model is a dedicated 2-seater. The Nissan 370Z definitely looks every inch the part of the sports car that continues the automaker's proud Z car tradition. The 370Z is also able to back up its appearance with strong performance, thanks to a stiff suspension system, a 332-horsepower, 3.7-liter V6, and the availability of either a 6-speed manual or a 7-speed automatic transmission (both of which can be had with automatic rev-matching during downshifts). A special NISMO edition of the car adds even tauter handling to the equation for those who intend to take their Z car to the track.
6) 2017 Smart Fortwo
The 2017 smart fortwo might seem a little bit out of place on this list of corner carvers, but it has gathered significant attention as a 2-seater ever since it was introduced to American buyers. The Smart Fortwo is aimed at those who might just as soon buy a bicycle as a car, providing ultra-compact proportions and the ability to haul a single passenger and a decent amount of cargo. It also turns in decent fuel economy from its 89-horsepower, 1.0-liter 3-cylinder engine. For many city dwellers, this kind of easy-to-park mini-car is exactly what they are looking for. Opt for the convertible version to make things a little bit more interesting.
7) 2016 BMW Z4
The 2016 BMW Z4 is a roadster that has become the go-to choice for many fans of 2-seater cars looking to balance both sport and luxury under the same roof (or lack thereof). The BMW Z4 provides a retractable hardtop, plush interior amenities, and the choice between three trim levels: a 240-horsepower, turbocharged 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine; a 3.0-liter, turbocharged inline 6-cylinder motor that develops 300 horses; or a twin-turbo 3.0-liter 6-cylinder that boosts output to 335 horsepower. Transmission choices for the convertible include a 6-speed manual, an 8-speed automatic (4-cylinder) and a 7-speed dual-clutch automated manual (6-cylinder). Able to accelerate to 60 mpg in 4.8 seconds with the twin-turbo mill under its hood, the BMW Z4 is quick enough that one would never want to weigh it down with more than two occupants.
Photo Credit: Audi
8) 2016 Audi TT Roadster
The redesigned 2016 Audi TT Roadster lops off the vestigial rear seats found in its coupe sibling and provides a stylish open air driving experience that offers more than a few thrills for drivers interested in testing the limits of the compact luxury car. The Audi TT roadster is often held up as one of the most beautifully styled of all 2-seater cars currently available (we’d say the same about this new version) and it derives its thrust from a 2.0-liter, turbocharged 4-cylinder engine that pushes out 220 horsepower. A 6-speed dual-clutch automated manual transmission sends that grunt to all four wheels via Audi's quattro all-wheel drive system, giving the TT phenomenal grip that goes a long way towards enhancing its cornering ability.
9) 2016 Porsche Boxster GTS
The 2016 Porsche Boxster GTS is the latest version of the brand’s 2-seater mainstay. The 2016 Boxster GTS is a more upscale version of the Boxster S, and offers just two seats, a 7-speed dual clutch automatic transmission, and a rock hard suspension system that is intended to be enjoyed while flogging the 2-door during hot lap after hot lap at the local road course. The 3.4-liter 6-cylinder engine yields 330 ponies and 273 lb-ft of torque, as well as a 0-60-mph time that hovers near the 4-second mark.
Photo Credit: Ferrari
10) 2016 Ferrari 488GTB
What would a discussion of 2-seater cars be like without the inclusion of at least one Ferrari? The 2016 Ferrari 488GTB is the current standard-bearer in the Italian exotic brand's lineup, and when the full 661 horsepower produced by its 3.9-liter twin-turbo V-8 engine are unleashed it can reach 60 mph in a cheetah-like three seconds flat. A 7-speed, dual-clutch automated manual transmission is charged with making sure that the motor's output makes to the rear wheels as efficiently as possible.