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10 Best Used Performance Cars Under $15,000


A modest used car budget of $15,000 doesn’t mean you’ll get stuck with something boring. Whether you’re looking for a fun daily driver or a second car to enjoy on the weekends, there are some great performance cars on the used market for the driving enthusiast. Some are more practical than you might expect.

Here are the 10 best used performance cars you can find on Autotrader under $15,000.

1. 2010 Audi TT

2010 Audi TT front left in red
The 2010 Audi TT is available for under $15,000 on Autotrader.

A used Audi TT is a luxury sports car that’s more affordable than it looks. On top of its head-turning styling, the TT provides a premium interior and the legendary quattro AWD system. This is a performance car that’s comfortable enough for daily driving duties. See Audi TT models for sale

2. 2012 Chevrolet Camaro

2012 Chevrolet Camaro front left in yellow
The 2012 Chevrolet Camaro is available for under $15,000 on Autotrader.

The Chevy Camaro has a long reputation as a cool performance car that the average enthusiast can actually afford, especially on the used market. The fifth-generation Camaro is in a sweet spot right now, offering good performance and modern features at a nice price point. See Chevrolet Camaro models for sale

3. 2011 Dodge Challenger

2011 Dodge Challenger SE in white.
The 2011 Dodge Challenger is available for under $15,000 on Autotrader.

The Dodge Challenger is old-school cool with its retro styling and muscular performance. It’s also a muscle car with a surprising measure of practicality thanks to its bench back seat with decent legroom. Even with the base V6 engine, you won’t get bored behind the wheel of a Challenger. See Dodge Challenger models for sale

4. 2013 Ford Mustang

2013 Ford Mustang front left in white
The 2013 Ford Mustang is available for under $15,000.

Everyone loves the Ford Mustang for its balance of performance, style, and value. It’s an outstanding value after a few years of depreciation. It’s easy to find a used Mustang at this price point with reasonable mileage, making it a good bargain for enthusiasts. See Ford Mustang models for sale

5. 2013 Mazda MX-5 Miata

2013 Mazda Miata Mx-5 front left in red
The 2013 Mazda Miata MX-5 is available for under $15,000.

The NC generation of the Mazda Miata may not have the same driving dynamics as the earlier models, but it’s still a fun, lightweight sports car, and it’s a comfortable grand touring car. You can get one with an automatic transmission, but we highly recommend the precise manual gearbox for a more engaging drive. See Mazda MX-5 Miata models for sale

6. 2015 Mini Cooper S

2015 Mini Cooper S front left in blue
The 2015 Mini Cooper S is available for under $15,000.

Suppose you like the idea of distinct British styling and go-kart-like handling. In that case, you’ll love the unique driving experience of the Mini Cooper S. The 2015 model includes 3-door and roomier 5-door hatchback body styles, both of which are available in the sporty S trim. See Mini Cooper models for sale

7. 2011 Nissan 370Z

2011 Nissan 370Z Convertible Front Left Side in White
The 2011 Nissan 370z is available for under $15,000.

The Nissan 370Z is a sports car with styling that looks futuristic today. It’s also still fun to drive by today’s standards, thanks to the potent standard V6 engine and a well-tuned chassis. This 2-seater is available as a coupe or a convertible, which you don’t see very often. See Nissan 370Z models for sale

8. 2003 Porsche Boxster

2003 Porsche Boxster front right in yellow
The 2003 Porsche Boxster is available for under $15,000.

The best Porsche model to get on a budget is an early example of the original Boxster. This is a mid-engine sports car with performance that lives up to its brand’s heritage at a price that won’t break the bank. It’s also pretty luxurious with comfortable seats and high-quality interior materials. See Porsche Boxster models for sale

9. 2013 Scion FR-S

2013 Scion FR-S front right in red
The 2013 Scion FR-S is available for under $15,000.

The earliest examples of the Scion FR-S are starting to get easier to find for under $15,000. The FR-S (later to become the Toyota 86) boasts sharp styling, agile handling, and responsive steering. It’s been accused of being underpowered, but this 200-horsepower engine is a good fit for this lightweight sports car. See Scion FR-S models for sale

10. 2013 Volkswagen GTI

2013 Volkswagen GTI front left in silver
The 2013 Volkswagen GTI is available for under $15,000.

The Volkswagen GTI has a well-earned reputation as a practical hatchback you can drive with authentic sports car performance every day. It’s a well-balanced hot hatch with a roomy, upscale interior, nimble handling, and a punchy engine under the hood. We especially like it with the 6-speed manual transmission. See Volkswagen GTI models for sale

Eric Brandt
Eric Brandt
Eric Brandt is an author specializing in Oversteer content, new car reviews, and finding the best car, truck, and SUV deals each month. Born and raised in Wisconsin, Eric can often be found exploring the north woods on his 1983 Honda Gold Wing when the weather allows it. Father of four, husband of one, and unapologetic minivan enthusiast. Eric mastered driving stick by having a 3-cylinder Chevy... Read More about Eric Brandt

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