Used Car of the Year Awards 2022: Sports cars
With demand for used cars on the rise, you’ll want to know which are the best buys. That’s where our annual Used Car Awards come in. These are our favourite sports cars...
Price from £40,000
The i8 boldly rewrote the traditional sports car formula. Its Blade Runner looks are backed up by a novel plug-in hybrid set-up that combines a 228bhp 1.5-litre petrol engine with a 129bhp electric motor.
This not only gives it enough punch for a 0-60mph time of 4.4sec but also enables near-silent electric cruising for up to 34 miles, leading to low CO2 emissions and impressive fuel economy.You can expect to beat 40mpg – remarkable for a sports car.
All that would be for nothing if the i8 wasn’t fun to drive, but don’t fret; it impresses with sharp handling and confidence-inspiring grip. Okay, its rather more conventional Porsche 911 rival can thrill in a more visceral way, but that car can’t match the sheer sense of occasion you get in the i8. Plus, small rear seats make the i8 more usable than the two-seat Alpine A110 and Jaguar F-Type day to day.
Used prices start at around £40,000, but we reckon values will only rise now that i8 production has ceased. Our other sports car favourites, the Mazda MX-5 and Porsche Cayman, are cheaper, but neither of them offers such guilt-free driving pleasure.
One we found: 2016 BMW i8, 37,000 miles Price £45,995
Porsche Cayman (2013-2016)
It may not be as high-tech as the BMW i8, but the previous-generation Cayman is even more engaging on the right road, with a howling flat six engine and poised, agile handling. It’s also a steal as a used buy, at around £30k for a 2015 car. Although the Cayman isn’t as practical or easy to live with as the i8 or its cheaper Audi TT and BMW Z4 rivals, the purity of the experience will be all the compensation that some drivers need.
One we found: 2015 Porsche Cayman, 30,000 miles Price £35,000
Mazda MX-5 (2015-present)
The enduring MX-5 delivers bucketfuls of driving fun by being light and nimble in bends, rather than outrageously fast in a straight line. And with 2015 cars starting at £13,000, it’s far more affordable than the BMW i8. It beats its Subaru BRZ and Toyota GT86 rivals when it comes to sheer enjoyment (though not for practicality), and makes a fine cut- price alternative to the Porsche Cayman or its soft-top Boxster sister. Just don’t expect i8 levels of sophistication.
One we found: 2016 Mazda MX-5 1.5 SE, 25,102 miles Price £14,599