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Used Car of the Year Awards contenders: sports cars
You’ll have to wait until 30 September for the winner of the 2021 What Car? Used Car of the Year to be announced, but you can get a preview of the top contenders here...
Less than £20,000
Fans of classic sports cars that are lightweight, have an engine at the front and the driven wheels at the back will be drawn to the GT86. It's good old-fashioned fun, with an engine that you must thrash to get the best from.
Sports cars are meant to be enjoyed and one of the best examples that'll bring a smile to your face is the Mazda MX-5. Every control is a joy to use from the slick gear change, the accurate steering and the willing engine that loves to be thrashed. It's great fun to hoon on a country road.
Audi TT Roadster
As with the closed roof TT, the Roadster impresses with crisp handling, a fast-acting electric folding roof and it has an interior so well finished that it could shame many pricier cars.
Less than £35,000
Think of the current BMW Z4 as a bit more of a tourer and you'll come to appreciate the more accommodating boot it has compared with its rivals. It's got a strong range of punchy engines, too, and if you stick with a 20i or 30i the ride is surprisingly good.
Porsche 718 Cayman
The 718 Cayman is a brilliant sports car. It'll get you to a race track in relative comfort; blast around said track all day without complaint and then get you home again without issue. It also works incredibly well as an everyday car because you get a front and rear boot since the engine is tucked behind the rear seats in the middle of the car.
Porsche 981 Cayman
Oh, the difficult question of whether or not the six-cylinder Cayman is better than the newer four-cylinder version. The brilliant handling, wonder interior and surprising practicality of having two boots remain; but you also have a more tuneful engine to play with. You will have to weight this against going for something older, though.
Less than £50,000
The Alpine A110 is one of the few sports cars that can hold a candle to the mighty Cayman because this ultra-lightweight machine feels even more nimble to drive. And because it doesn't weigh much, overly firm suspension isn't needed to keep body lean in check through the corners, so the ride is remarkably comfortable.
The i8 offers a truly unique sports car driving experience that is genuinely refreshing in this enlightened age of concern for the environment. If you plug it in often, you'll get better fuel economy than a city car, yet still have the performance of something that can sprint from 0-62mpg in 4.4 seconds.
Jaguar F-Type Convertible
We've gone for a more sensible V6 here because it still sounds great and doesn't have the horrendous thirst of the V8. You get a lot of equipment for your money and it would make for a fine long-distance car if it were a tad more practical.