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Car Advice

Sports Cars Under $80k

Mazda MX-5
1
  • Willing, free-revving 2.0-litre engine; Brilliant manual shift action; Agility and stability through corners; Quality ride; Good pricing

  • Some major ergonomics issues in the cabin; Lots of hard plastics; Engine doesn't sound very sporty; No standard reverse-view camera on any variant

Ford Mustang
  • Louder and more powerful V8; New adaptive suspension option; It's just undeniably cool

  • Not quite the bargain it was; Cabin trims still feel cheap; ANCAP crash rating still average

BMW 2 Series
  • Great rear-drive dynamics; Looks premium; Keeping the coupe tradition alive

  • Small infotainment screen; Firm urban ride; Tight rear seat

Subaru BRZ
  • Chassis still beautifully balanced; Long overdue new infotainment system; Dynamically adept; Beautifully tactile

  • Still suffers from mid-range torque drain; More power... More power!; Needs its neck wrung to extract its best; Lack of modern active safety tech

Toyota 86
  • Braking has more power, durability and precision; Handling is more lively and responsive; Cabin feels more upmarket

  • No gain in outputs for the struggling engine; No improvement in grip to match suspension updates; Solar Orange will polarise buyers and 86 fans alike

Sports Cars Between $80k-$200k

Porsche 718
1
  • The blackout 'GTS' highlights make for sinister appearances; A hike in power really suits the Boxster/Cayman chassis; Pure driving focus without the 911 excess and premium price

  • Regardless of hi-po GTS upgrades, they still cop the 'poor man's Porsche' stigma; Limited practicality of the small sports car format; Cabin design still a bit old school

2

BMW M2

BMW M2
  • Simply sublime handling; Jekyll/Hyde characteristics, a proper daily; Crisp and aurally satisfying six-pot; Looks to make a BMW fan cry (happily)

  • Sneaky price hikes with LCI; M240i is still better bang-for-buck; BMW made me give the key back

Audi A5
  • Excellent cabin quality; great dynamic ability for its class; very refined; great infotainment system; comfortable ride

  • Still needs a few option packages to make it ideal; S5 lacking steering feedback; big weight disadvantage over coupe

Mercedes-Benz C300
  • Outstanding active safety tech; No MBUX, but new infotainment still slick; electrified C200 drivetrain adds smoothness, cuts fuel use

  • Expect some price increases; digital dash less info-rich than Audi Virtual Cockpit; C200 greener, more advanced, but also slower to 100km/h

Jaguar F-TYPE
  • Savagery of engine is matched by the exhaust note; Feels properly premium and different, and garners attention everywhere; Beautiful cabin is finished properly

  • Infotainment can't match current segment leaders; Boot is near useless with a space-saver spare tyre optioned; You won't ever go anywhere unnoticed again

Sports Cars Over $200k

Porsche 911
1
  • Turbo engine note is a winner in my books at any speed; Combination of ride and handling is exceptional on any road; Manual gearbox is absolutely sensational

  • Options list – as always – gets prohibitively expensive; Transition to sixth and seventh gear isn't quite as intuitive as we'd like; Rear wing is silly, the 911 T looks way better with it down

Lamborghini Aventador
  • The best sound on the planet; Unrivalled levels of presence; UFO on the road; absolute uniqueness; personalisation opportunity

  • Infotainment system a hit and miss; Not a very refined transmission; fuel usage laughably awesome;

McLaren 570S
  • Extraordinarily capable; Able to carry big speeds in the bends; Flawless handling; Dual-clutch gearbox is refined and fast; First-class materials and build quality; Huge stopping power; Ride comfort

  • Exhaust note still lacking; Infotainment screen difficult to read in sunlight

Mercedes-AMG GT
  • Intoxicating engine and exhaust note throughout the rev band; Look at it!; Usable interior with functional storage and enough to be a daily driver

  • Centre console can be difficult to open; Pricing is not too far away from the Aston Martin DB11 V8

Ferrari 812
  • Insanely quick, the 6.5-litre V12 is a work of art in terms of power output; Sounds like an F1 car at full noise; Easy to drive, world's fastest shift, ride and handling is peerless in class; Throttle control and steering borders on telepathic; Comfort and craftsmanship; Huge stopping power;

  • If you find one, let us know