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The 6 best sports cars under $50K: Get an amazing ride without breaking the bank

These six cars prove that you don’t have to be a millionaire to get a fun sports car 

Everyone thinks that they have to win the lottery to get into a sports car, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. Sports cars come in all shapes and sizes. As long as you’re willing to compromise on performance and size, you can get into a sports car at a relatively affordable price. 

Sure, most sports cars that cost less than $50,000 aren’t nearly as powerful as those with six-figure price tags, but that doesn’t make them any worse. Plus, there’s nothing like pushing a small, underpowered car to its limits. It certainly beats trying to stay in control of a high-powered machine. If you’re looking for cheap sports cars on a budget of $50,000, here are our top six choices.

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2022 Toyota GR Supra 2.0 front end driving on a race track with clouds in the back ground.

Toyota GR Supra 2.0 – $45,135 

The six-cylinder Toyota GR Supra may get all of the praise, but the four-cylinder version of the sports car is mighty impressive. The turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder delivers 255 horsepower. That may not sound like a lot, but the GR Supra 2.0 can still get to 60 mph in roughly 4.5 seconds, which is mega-quick. Plus, it feels nearly as quick around corners with handling that’s just as sharp. The GR Supra 2.0 is proof that more power doesn’t necessarily result in a substantially better sports car.

2022 Toyota GR86 Premium front end angle driving on a race track with green trees in the back.

Toyota GR86 Premium MT/Subaru BRZ Limited – $32,095/$32,115

This is a two-for-one deal. The Toyota GR86 and Subaru BRZ are twins that are so closely related, you’ll need a microscope to tell the difference between the models. If it were up to us, we would choose the GR86. It’s slightly more affordable in our recommended trim and has ever-so-slightly more enjoyable handling.

These two sports cars continue to be some of the most driver-focused cars on the market. They deliver direct steering, easy tail-out antics, and buttoned-down chasses that love being pushed. Compared to the previous generation, the new models come with a 2.4-liter flat-four that makes 228 horsepower. Fast? No. Fast enough? Yes — and incredibly fun to drive.

2022 Dodge Challenger R:T Scat Pack Wide Body front end angle overhead shot of the car parked on a salt flat.

Dodge Challenger R/T Scat Pack – $47,440

Having driven the Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat on many occasions, I can tell you that over 700 horsepower wears out much quicker than you think. It’s cool to tell your buddies about how fast your car is and all and scare them a few times, but at the end of the day, it’s just too much.

For regular use, the R/T Scat Pack is a much better choice. It comes with a “meager” 6.4-liter V8 that produces 485 horsepower. Consumers still get a zero-to-60 mph time of 4.3 seconds and an ungodly V8 rumble. With that kind of performance, you can still race every car you want at a set of lights, do burnouts, and pull off some smoky donuts. That means you can live out all of your muscle car dreams without breaking the bank.

2019 Mazda MX-5 Miata front end angle from driver's side with top down parked in front of a city skyline.

Mazda MX-5 Miata Club – $32,615

Oh, the Mazda MX-5 Miata. If there was one car I would write a love letter to, it would be the Miata. In a world of over-powered, flamboyant, look-at-me sports cars, the Miata shines as a beacon of light for exactly what you need and nothing more.

The Miata loves to make the driver happy, just like a puppy that wants to get adopted. It’s playful, easy to drive, and loves to always be pushed hard. Unlike most sports cars on the market, the Miata lets you know exactly what’s going on at all times. With a 181-horsepower engine that needs to be revved out, rear-wheel drive, and a six-speed manual transmission, the Miata will make you a better driver.

2023 Nissan Z overhead shot of front end angle in front of a sunset with mountains in the back.

Nissan Z Sport – $41,015 

Most sports cars on this list come with a four-cylinder engine, but that’s not the case with the Nissan Z. This sports car comes with a twin-turbo 3.0-liter V6 that makes 400 horsepower. The engine helps the Z get to 60 mph from a standstill in 4.5 seconds. There’s plenty of grip on hand to have fun around corners, and the Z is more than comfortable enough for the daily commute or a road trip.

2017 Chevrolet Camaro SS 1LE front end angle from driver's side parked on a race track with mountains in the back.

Chevrolet Camaro SS 1LE – $48,295

The Chevrolet Camaro continues to be one of the most affordable V8-powered sports cars on the market. While the Camaro may have an iconic history as a muscle car, make no mistake: The current Camaro is a bona fide sports car.

The best Camaro at the $50,000 price point is the 1SS with the 1LE package. For drivers that yearn for a sharp sports car, the 1LE package is a must. It adds Recaro sport seats, a dual-mode exhaust system, enhanced cooling, more powerful brakes, a limited-slip differential, and upgraded suspension. The result is a V8-powered sports car with 455 horsepower that’s at home on the track or on your favorite backroad.

Editors' Recommendations

First drive: 2023 Chevrolet Colorado is a pickup that appeals to everyone
The Colorado proves to be a true chameleon with powertrains and trims that feel completely different
2023 Chevrolet Colorado Z71 front end angle from passenger's side parked on a grassy field in front of mountains.

It’s no secret that large pickup trucks are all moving upstream. Once the obvious choice for workers needing a capable pickup for towing or hauling, large pickups have morphed into family-friendly vehicles with luxurious touches and six-figure price tags. While a lot has changed for large trucks, automakers are happy to continue offering midsize trucks with no-frill interiors, decade-old powertrains, and terrible ride quality. The fully redesigned 2023 Chevrolet Colorado enters the segment and immediately gets to work on changing the status quo. Like an overzealous 16-year-old heading into their first job, the new Colorado eagerly looks to change how things are done.
Chevy must have gotten tired of falling behind the reliable Toyota Tacoma in sales, being pushed aside by the off-road ready Jeep Gladiator, or being ignored by the comfortable Honda Ridgeline, because the 2023 Colorado incorporates qualities from all of its main rivals.
Do the changes work? Yes, undoubtedly so. They do more than just work; they send the Colorado to the top of the tier list, regardless of where your allegiances – Toyota for this particular writer – lie.

What’s new with the 2023 Chevrolet Colorado?
Pretty much everything. While most people will get caught up on the Colorado’s far more rugged design that improves off-roading capability, the changes are more than skin deep. The truck utilizes a new frame that’s derived from the Silverado 1500. Compared to the outgoing Colorado, the new pickup’s front axle is moved forward for a far shorter front overhang, and the wheelbase has been stretched by 3.1 inches.
Chevrolet has streamlined the Colorado’s body styles by only offering the 2023 version of the pickup as a crew cab with a short bed. Seeing as how two-door pickup trucks have all but disappeared from existence, this isn’t a surprising change.
Another large change is what’s under the hood. Before, the Colorado was offered with three engines: a four-cylinder, V6, and a turbo-diesel. Now, consumers have to spec their Colorados with a turbocharged 2.7-liter four-cylinder engine with three different power ratings. More on the engine later.
Unlike other midsize pickup trucks in the class that have infotainment systems from the prehistoric era, every Colorado comes with an 11.3-inch touchscreen with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. You’re also getting Google built-in and an 8-inch digital instrument cluster. These features blow anything you’ll find from a competitor out of the water.
Chevy brought us to San Diego to drive a few Colorados. We had some time with the base Work Truck, rugged Trail Boss, and Z71. The LT trim was harder to get a hold of than decent weather, and while Chevy did have a ZR2 on hand, it was more for the purposes of teasing everyone.

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What’s the ideal amount of horsepower for a sports car?
That 700-horsepower car your buddy keeps bragging about isn't the answer
how much horsepower is ideal 2019 dodge challenger srt hellcat redeye widebody charger r t scat pack 5

When Dodge introduced the Challenger SRT Hellcat, it knowingly initiated a horsepower war for practically all modern sporty cars to participate in. Before, it was all about lap times around the Nürburgring. At some level, those lap times still count, but horsepower now reigns supreme. Following in the wake of the Hellcat twins, Ford now offers a Shelby GT500 Mustang that pumps out 760 horsepower and the most powerful car BMW sells is rated at 627 horsepower. Whether you want an SUV, sports car, sedan, or wagon, getting 600 horsepower in a modern car is easier than ever. While you can get a vehicle with enough power to shake a flat-earther’s faith, should you?
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BMW just made a critical (and expensive!) change to its M series X5 and X6
BMW's X5 M and X6 M: Hope you’re ready for the electrified future, because it’s arrived
2024 BMW X5 M and X6 M Competition parked in front of a glass building in the desert with mountains in the back.

After seeing the changes that BMW made for the 2024 X5 and X6 midsize SUVs, we were expecting to see similar changes for the high-performance M variants. As we expected, the X5 M Competition and X6 M Competition arrive with similar changes that include updated exterior designs and new tech features. More importantly, the X5 M Competition and X6 M Competition mark a new era for BMW’s M-badged vehicles, as they’re the first to come with a 48-volt mild-hybrid system that supplements the V8.
Let’s start with the SUVs’ engines. Both come with a twin-turbocharged 4.4-liter V8 that’s heavily revised compared to the outgoing models. The S68 is rated at 617 horsepower and 553 pound-feet of torque. The mild-hybrid system consists of an electric motor that’s integrated into the 8-speed automatic transmission’s housing. It adds 12 horsepower and 147 pound-feet of torque. The 48-volt system also acts as a starter generator for the SUVs.


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