5 Great Sports Cars for Under $15,000


Having a second car dedicated for trips to the local race track and blasts through the hills is the dream of many an auto aficionado. Luckily, picking up such a vehicle doesn’t have to break the bank as well. While highly specialized track terrors like the new Camaro Z/28 retail for over $70,000, you can get behind the wheel of something significantly fun… for significantly less. 

For $15,000 — or right around the price of an entry-level hatchback — you can not only buy a relatively low mileage sports car, but also have enough cash on hand to leave room for upgrades – brakes, tires, and suspension. Click on the links to see some actual sports cars for sale, at or below $15,000.

Ford Mustang SVT Cobra



The Mustang was known, somewhat dubiously, for hanging onto its solid rear axle well beyond the age when other muscle and sports cars had dropped it. But not all Mustangs kept a rigid beam in the back. The SVT Cobra arrived in 1999 sporting a corner-taming independent rear suspension and prices for low mileage examples are now well below the $15k mark.

Why you’ll want one:

How does a five-speed bolt-action and 320 horsepower out of the box sound?

Mazda MX-5 Miata



If you can’t find a decent, low-mileage Mazda Miata for sale for less than $15,000… you haven’t looked at all. The incredibly popular roadster has just spawned an all-new version for 2016, but it’s the first two generations that make the best reasonably priced sports cars. Light, small and throwable, the MX-5 also offers amateur racers a great first step into auto racing.

Why you’ll want one:

Because everyone else does. Spec Miata racing is one of the most popular SCCA classes.

Honda S2000



The Miata has a fantastic balance of engine, brakes, and chassis. The Honda S2000 does too, but it’s that 2.0 high-revving four-cylinder that makes it exemplary. At its debut, it boasted 240 horsepower put to the ground through a slick six-speed gearbox. Expect to pay a premium over a similarly aged Miata, however. And be warned, many S2000s have lived a previous life of aggressive street and track use.

Why you’ll want one:

Spinning up that engine close to its 9,000 rpm redline is a religious experience.

Chevrolet Corvette C5



The Chevy Corvette is the American sports car, and within the $15,000 price range, your best option will be looking for a mid to lower-mileage C5. The C5 Corvette offered up the 5.7-liter LS1 V8, good for 345hp, which it put to the ground with great urgency. A new chassis featured equal weight distribution, and though the price will likely be budget-breaking, the heady Z06 version brought 385hp to the table. Admittedly, the C5 interior is not great.

What you’ll want one:

Zero to 60 mph in less than five seconds and a top speed of 175 mph – the C5 was a seminal moment in Corvette history.

Porsche Boxster



Drivers have sung praises of the Boxster’s handling for years, and they’re not telling tall tales. Its snug mid-engine layout provides nimble driving dynamics, and its range of flat-six engines ensure you’ll be competing against someone on track. One word of caution, the Boxster has an Achilles heel – intermediate shaft failure. Like the Corvette, a good Boxster might come close to your budget, and in that case… haggle.

Why you’ll want one:

Beyond its track abilities, it’s an extremely livable sports car that you could drive 365 days a year.

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