Under assault from SUVs, the marketplace appeal of sports cars has narrowed even as their capabilities have expanded. Here are 10 examples of today’s best, based on value for money, technical innovation, and above all, driving fun. All are thoroughbreds, designed from the start as pure sports cars.
They range from very affordable to indulgences of the very affluent, but we stop short of super-exotics in the $200,000-plus range. By any measure, there’s enough here to sate even the most hard-core enthusiast. Arranged least expensive to most, base prices cited include the manufacturer’s destination fees, which average around $950.
10. Mazda MX-5 Miata:
For pure driving bliss, the Miata is tops—and you’ll need only one turn behind the wheel to see why we named it a 10Best winner for 2016. This legendary two-seater has a 155-hp 2.0-liter four-cylinder with a six-speed manual; a six-speed automatic is optional. Its use of aluminum keeps weight down, so the Miata remains eminently flingable in the twists and turns that you’ll surely seek out whenever you hit the road. Standard features include Bluetooth, cruise control, and air conditioning.
9. Nissan 370Z:
The iconic Z is a decent package of power and handling, but it’s starting to look dated versus the competition. Its 3.7-liter V-6 makes 332 hp, but that’s also getting old; a six-speed manual is available with optional rev-matching. The seven-speed automatic, however, is not a willing partner in spirited driving, with slow shifts that detract from the fun.