What defines a sports car? Many believe speed has something to do with it, along with sleek looks to set the car apart from the usual day to day traffic. The truth is, a sports car should bring a smile to your face. It should be fun, and yeah, it's also got to look the part too.
But can you secure a decent sports car for under £10,000? We have put together a list of five great sports cars that can be had for the price of an entry-level supermini! What's not to like?
We have included some of the best names in the business and even some cars that you may not have thought that fall into the sub £10,000 category.
Which is your favourite? Discover below.
Starting strong with one of the greatest sports cars ever created. Since its introduction in 1989, the Mazda MX-5 has proved to the world that big power isn't needed to create a superb little sports car.
'Jinba Ittai' - which translates roughly into English as 'rider and horse as one body' is the design philosophy of Mazda, and is why the MX-5 features perfect 50/50 weight distribution. This has ensured the MX-5 is loved the world over, and yet models come with humble power, between 120-160bhp for the third-generation model.
£10,000 gets you a low mileage, high specification third-generation car (code-named NC). You can even find cars with metal folding roofs, as this is a roadster after all. You can pick previous generation cars up for under £10,000 too, if you are preferred to search for a tidy example.
Another icon in the sports car segment, the Audi TT hit the scene just before the millennium with its design becoming an instant classic. Since then three generations have been born, all offering a quality sports car experience.
£10,000 buys first and second generation cars, either in coupe or roadster format. First gen cars command around 8-10k for a mint example, whereas second generation cars with less than 50k miles and good specification can be found. Build quality is superb, and interiors are fantastic too and have aged really well. First generation cars have a decent 1.8 turbo engine, whereas second generation cars feature a more potent 2-litre, although a 3.2-litre V6 offers superb sports car noise.
If you are after a sports car that still looks great today, and offers a superb driving experience, then the Audi TT is a great example.
Upon launch in 2002 the BMW Z4 had the perfect proportions and sharp design required to be a success in the sports car game. The design was very angular and has seemed to get even better over time.
Second generation cars came about in 2009 and featured a metal folding roof. Interestingly first generation cars were roadsters, but a coupe joined the range in 2006. The coupe in the first generation is arguably even better looking, and the stiffer nature of a coupe means the driving experience is more rewarding.
Second generation cars are a lot more modern, as you'd expect. Cars still look great today, despite being over a decade old. M sport models are the ones to go for featuring nicer wheels, and better specification. The Z4 is a great sports car that looks like it is worth a lot more than £10,000.
'But it needs more power' was usually the words spoken by petrol heads when the GT86 was launched. But if you know anything about sports cars, you'll know huge power is not needed to have fun.
Using a 2-litre flat four petrol engine, the GT86 came with just shy of 200bhp. But it comes with the driver focused preference of rear-wheel drive, along with a six-speed manual gearbox - automatic can be specified as well but trust us, you need the manual.
It is also naturally-aspirated and features normal skinny tyres - the same used on the eco-friendly Prius. This all adds up to ensure the GT86 is a hoot to drive and well worthy of its sports car classification. It's a light car too, it takes after the Mazda MX-5 - which only strengthens the GT86's appeal.
Luxury, refinement, class. The Mercedes-Benz SLK is arguably the most sophisticated sports car in our list. In truth it is a very grown up sports car, and one that can also effortlessly cruise.
First generation cars range from 1996-2004, with second generation ranging between 2004-2010, whilst third generation cars range from 2011-2019. Each version can be had for under £10,000, with the second generation looking similar to the incredible McLaren Mercedes SLR - well, from the front end at least - which is pretty cool, if you can't afford a £300,000 plus supercar.
Engines include some characterful specifications, such as a V6 option which naturally sounds great, and being a roadster, you'll get to hear it more. Like a few cars in this list, the car comes with a hard folding roof.
This concludes our list of the 'Best Used Sports Cars under £10,000', showcasing a selection of great cars, which in this instance are from Japan or Germany.
Factors such as lightness, sleek looks, characterful engine choice, coupe or convertible body styles and heritage play a big part. The beauty about some of these cars is the fact they have a large following, so owners clubs and information is readily available, adding to the overall ownership experience.
Also, in this day and age, £10,000 doesn't get a lot, but on the other hand, with some of the quality, pace and reputation on offer, you may think sub 10k for either of these cars is a bargain. What's more we have many other sports cars at different price points in our stock, why not have a browse and see what you can find.