Top Ten Best Used Sports Cars: Intro
Any discussion of sports cars must first start with a definition. After all, with the plethora of high performance hardware out there these days, many people are tempted to call anything fast with good handling, responsive steering, and great brakes a sports car.
While all cars with those characteristics can be called sporty cars, the fact of the matter is a sports car is a small, agile, two-seat automobile, ideally with a folding top. And yes, we know a Porsche 911 has four seats, but what adult in their right mind would try to ride back there?
We are currently living in a golden age of good used sports cars. Never before in history have there been so many excellent choices, in such a broad spectrum of price ranges. Narrowing it down to ten was difficult, still we think you’ll agree each of these ten good used sports cars is outstanding in its own way.
Top Ten Best Used Sports Cars: Aston Martin V8 Vantage
Inextricably entwined with the James Bond mystique, the Aston Martin V8 Vantage, while benefitting tremendously from that association, genuinely deserves considerable merit on its strengths alone. Few used sports cars are as lovely to look at, fewer still offer the Aston’s combination of hand-crafted exclusivity, outstanding performance, and that difficult to define quality known as presence.
Top Ten Best Used Sports Cars: Audi R8
Achingly beautiful, but in a highly functional Germanic fashion, the Audi R8 is a true mid-engine exotic sports car. Audi’s corporate cousins at Lamborghini provided the platform from their Gallardo to facilitate the development of the R8. Constructed of aluminum with a space frame chassis, a used Audi R8 sports car is powerful, lightweight, rigid, and an absolutely outstanding driver.
Top Ten Best Used Sports Cars: BMW Z4
A company billing itself as the purveyors of the ultimate driving machine must have the capability of delivering and outstanding sport car—right? The Z4 is the two-seat BMW and absolutely fits the corporate philosophy. The only two-seat roadster on the market leveraging the silken smoothness of an inline six-cylinder engine, the BMW Z4 also offers a well-crafted interior, Teutonic toughness, and that gorgeously fetching long nose/short deck styling. As a good used sports car choice, few models offer the pedigree of the BMW Z4.
Top Ten Best Used Sports Cars: Chevrolet Corvette
Pound for pound, dollar for dollar, there exists no better used sports car value on this earth than the Chevrolet Corvette. Easily making anybody’s list of best used sports cars for sale, the Chevrolet Corvette (while justifiably criticized over the years for the quality of its interior) goes faster, stops better, turns quicker, and brakes better than any other car in its price range. Add to that a heritage that goes all the way back to 1955 and its easy to see why the Chevrolet Corvette owns a spot on any list of good used sports cars.
Top Ten Best Used Sports Cars: Honda S2000
So enamored was one automotive journalist with the Honda S2000 after his first drive in the roadster, he quipped; “This car should come with a fire suppression system to extinguish the roads after you’ve driven them.” Honda’s first true sports car effort after its vaunted NSX sports car (BTW the S2000 was built in the same factory as the NSX), the S2000 boasted a 9000 rpm redline, a rifle bolt shifter, and a driving experience rivaling that of a racing car. Fold in Honda’s reputation for outstanding reliability and you’ll have the recipe for one of the best used sports cars for sale.
Top Ten Best Used Sports Cars: Mazda Miata (MX-5)
There was a time when small, affordable, lightweight, two seat convertible sports cars were plentiful. However, they broke down frequently, leaked oil profusely, and just generally demanded tremendous devotion from their owners. Then Mazda stepped in with the exact same concept—minus all the pratfalls. The Miata immediately developed a cult-like following and remains a top seller nearly 25 years after its introduction. One of the best used sports car values anywhere, a Mazda Miata will provide miles and miles and miles of smiles for anyone savvy enough to pick one up on the secondary market.
Top Ten Best Used Sports Cars: Mercedes-Benz SL Class
The very epitome of class, style and distinction, the big Mercedes two-seat roadster is a universal symbol of wealth. That it is also powerful, agile, fast, and exceptionally comfortable only serves to justify its position in the automotive hierarchy. As a one of the best used sports cars, the acquisition of a Mercedes SL (one does not buy the SL, one acquires the graceful Mercedes sports car) immediately confers status upon the tasteful individual behind the purchase.
Top Ten Best Used Sports Cars: Nissan 350Z/370Z
The resurrection of the original Z concept by Nissan, but updated to reflect 21st century values was greeted with considerable acclaim. That the car returned to the market with near exotic good looks at an affordable price point was further cause for celebration. Showcasing Nissan’s outstanding VQ series V6 engine, the Nissan Z is fast, delivers one of the sweetest exhaust notes this side of a Ferrari, and thanks to its front-mid-engine layout, amazing balance. Anyone considering the purchase of a good used sports car would do themselves a tremendous favor to find a used Nissan sports car for sale.
Top Ten Best Used Sports Cars: Porsche 911
What can you say about the single greatest line of sports cars ever built? Even people who don’t like Porsche cars acknowledge the greatness of the 911. The only car on the road to look basically the same for nearly 50 years, rather than reinvent the 911 every five to seven years the way other manufacturers do, Porsche has incrementally evolved the 911 over time. Thus, the best used Porsche 911 sports car to buy is the newest one you can afford. They all offer exceptional dynamics, outstanding steering feel, dynamic braking and handling, and more than adequate power. The Porsche 911 represents a classic among the best used sports cars.
Top Ten Best Used Sports Cars: Porsche Boxster/Cayman
When a company like Porsche decides to do a mid-engine sports car, you’re guaranteed it will deliver amazing handling and grip, plenty of power, and a driving experience unequalled by any other car. Whether you choose the convertible Boxster, or its closed Cayman counterpart you’ll be in possession of one of the best used sports cars for sale. The fluidly curvaceous styling, the low stance, and the outstanding cachet of the mid-engine Porsche lineup further enhance the desirability of the Boxster and Cayman as two of the best used sports cars.