Let’s be honest: The most important thing you need when shopping for the best sports cars under $20,000 is a large imagination. Oh, there are some relatively athletic new vehicles below that price, including at least one actual sports car worthy of the name. Most, however, are mainstream small cars.
It’s just that nowadays, even choices like these can offer sharp-edged handling, turbocharged engines, dynamic design cues and a thoroughly enjoyable driving experience. And if those vehicles rarely exceed 150 horsepower, guess what? That’s the kind of output folks in the early 1980s were “enjoying” from their muscle cars. It’s also worth noting that, regardless of how much performance it buys, $20K will cover a surprising number of upscale features, too.