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10 Best Used Sports Cars Under $20,000

Looking for a fast car on a budget? Need to feel the wind in your hair? Want to shake things up? If any of these sounds like you, an affordable sports car could be in your future. Here are 10 used sports cars available for $20,000 that’ll scratch the itch.

1. 2013 BMW Z4

2013 BMW Z4 Front Left in Yellow

The second-generation Z4 is a hybrid between a roadster and a grand tourer. In its second-gen body style, offered from the 2010 through 2016 model years, the Z4 came standard with a folding hardtop, making it great for those wanting a convertible but living in an area with cold winters. While it isn’t as edgy as the Porsche Boxster or Ford Mustang, this era of the Z4 was available with a 3.0-liter turbo inline-6 making 335 horsepower, capable of propelling it from 0-60 mph in 4.8 seconds. See 2013 BMW Z4 models for sale

2. 2016 Chevrolet Camaro

2016 Chevrolet Camaro Front in Blue

Long the Mustang’s top competitor, the Camaro is another rear-wheel-drive pony car. It got a redesign for 2016 and has since been offered with 4-, 6-, and 8-cylinder engines. As with the Mustang, buyers with around $20,000 to spend will likely find the most value in a 4-cylinder Camaro, which puts out an impressive 275 horsepower and 295 lb-ft of torque. Both manual and automatic transmissions are offered, as is a convertible body style. See 2016 Chevrolet Camaro models for sale

3. 2004 Chevrolet Corvette

2004 Chevrolet Corvette

It wasn’t a question of if a Corvette would be on this list, but rather, which generation. For around $20,000, expect to find a reasonably well-kept ‘Vette from the C5 generation, offered from 1997 through 2004. Like every modern Corvette, the C5 comes with rear-wheel drive and a V8 engine under its hood. In the case of the C5, this was a 5.7-liter putting out about 350 hp, depending on the model year. Chevy offered both a 4-speed automatic and 6-speed manual transmission. Get the manual. See 2004 Chevrolet Corvette models for sale

4. 2015 Ford Mustang

2015 Ford Mustang Front in Red

The Mustang is one of the original affordable performance cars. The most recent generation came out for the 2015 model year, and it’s relatively easy to pick up a 2015 model for right around $20K. A choice of 4-, 6-, and 8-cylinder engines are available. The turbo-4 will provide immense value for those on a budget, putting out 310 hp and 320 lb-ft of torque. This is routed to the rear wheels via a 10-speed automatic transmission. See 2015 Ford Mustang models for sale

5. 2007 Honda S2000

2007 Honda S2000 Front Left in Blue

One of the most beloved sports cars of the 2000s, the Honda S2000 was kind of like a Mazda Miata on steroids. It was only available as a convertible and was never offered with an automatic transmission, only a 6-speed manual. Under the hood, you’ll find a high-revving 2.2-liter naturally aspirated 4-cylinder engine. Output is 237 hp, impressive for a non-turbocharged engine. Altogether, the S2000 remains one of the most sought-after used sports cars. See 2007 Honda S2000 models for sale

6. 2013 Jaguar XK

2013 Jaguar XK Front Right in White


A sub-genre of the sports car segment, grand touring, or “GT” cars mix power and performance with luxury and comfort, making them exceptional for road trips and long drives through the mountains. The Jaguar XK represents a good option for anyone looking for an affordable grand tourer. Despite its high starting price when new, relatively modern examples of the XK are available for right around $20,000. V8 power and rear-wheel drive come standard. See 2013 Jaguar XK models for sale

7. 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata

2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata Front Left in White

The Miata is another legendary sports car, and our list here wouldn’t be complete without it. Sold now over four generations, the Miata is known for offering a pure driving experience. It’s never been big on power, but its balance, handling, and power delivery are top-notch. The 2016 model marked the first year of the latest generation Miata, known as the “ND.” Under the hood is a naturally-aspirated 4-cylinder engine making 155 hp. We highly recommend the 6-speed manual. See 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata models for sale

8. 2015 Nissan 370Z

2015 Nissan 370Z Front Right Side in White

When it comes to affordable sports cars, the 370Z is a pretty good value. It’s often overlooked, though, due likely to its age and lack of a true segment. More powerful than a Miata, but not as muscular as a Mustang, the 370Z puts out 332 hp from a V6 engine, mated to either a 7-speed automatic or a 6-speed manual. The best part is that the Z has hardly changed since the 2008 model year, so even the earliest examples will still feel similar to a brand new one. As a bonus, a convertible is available, too. See 2015 Nissan 370Z models for sale

9. 2008 Porsche Boxster

2008 Porsche Boxster

Due to their cult following and performance pedigree, Porsche models tend to hold their value pretty well, meaning that your $20,000 might not go as far here as it would with a Mustang or Miata. On the other hand, a Porsche will offer a driving experience like nothing else. Working within our budget, your best bet is to seek out a second-generation Boxster, which was offered from the 2004-2012 model years. Mounted behind the rear seats, you’ll find one of Porsche’s iconic flat-6 engines, putting out between 237 and 291 hp. See 2008 Porsche Boxster models for sale

10. 2018 Toyota 86

2018 Toyota 86 Front in Blue

The Toyota 86 and its Subaru BRZ twin take a similar approach to the Mazda Miata. While the Miata comes exclusively as a convertible, the 86 and BRZ are exclusively sold with a fixed roof. Either way, the 86 prioritizes driving dynamics and approachability over raw power, just like the Miata. The 86 and BRZ use a 2.0-liter Subaru flat-4 engine making about 200 hp but just 151 lb-ft of torque, sent to the rear wheels via a 6-speed manual or 6-speed automatic transmission. See 2018 Toyota 86 models for sale

Jason Fogelson
Jason Fogelson
Jason Fogelson is a freelance automotive journalist and editor. He has covered cars, trucks, SUVs and motorcycles for a variety of print, web and broadcast mediaHis first book, “100 Things for Every Gearhead to Do Before They Die,” came out in 2015. He also writes music, theater and film criticism, in addition to the occasional screenplay. Jason lives near Detroit, Michigan, with his wife,... Read More about Jason Fogelson

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