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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
  • Looks the part, inside and out; Plenty of kit; Easy to live with; Fast enough as a touring coupe

  • Transmission never where you want it; Lacklustre engine note; Quite simply, it lacks passion

BMW 2 Series
  • Techy and sporty vibe; Charming three-pot in the 218i; Decent performance in the M235i; Competitive pricing

  • Sharp ride quality; Questionable styling; Lacks some maturity; Price hike over the 1 Series

Renault Megane
  • Noticeable power bump; Excellent dual-clutch transmission; Active exhaust brings the ruckus

  • Sticker shock at first glance; Fiddly infotainment system; Constantly firm ride is not for all

Toyota 86
  • It doesn't need a turbo!; Raw and pure sports car; Back seats fold down for more practicality; Tight handling

  • Lacking safety tech; Cabin features are dated; Exhaust could sound better

Sports Cars Between $80k-$200k

Porsche 718
1
  • All the Porsche you need!; Manual, six-cylinder, fast and fun; Two boots make it practical; Giant spoiler makes it cool!

  • Get used to scraping that front lip; PCM interface is so dull; Come on, keyless entry and start shouldn't be optional on a $200k car; Loooooooooong, geeeeaaaaarrrrr, ratioooooooooos

2

BMW M2

BMW M2
  • Increased performance from the reworked M six-pot; Superbly responsive and engaging handling; Improved body control, added grip; Wonderfully sonorous exhaust note

  • Expensive carbon-fibre parts vulnerable to damage; Still weighs the same as the M2 Competition; Cup tyres are iffy in damp conditions; Question marks remain over ride quality; Rear seat lacks for space; High price tag

Audi A5
  • Fun for you, fun for the family; Surprisingly practical; Engine is strong and willing despite being a relatively small four-cylinder

  • Adults won't enjoy riding in the back; The Coupe rides better and offers more duality; It's $13,500 more expensive than said Coupe

Mercedes-AMG C43
  • Blisteringly quick when you want it to be; Rear-biased AWD oozes confidence; Nine-speed auto a delight; So too the 3.0-litre turbo V6; Adaptive dampers at their peak when driven hard...

  • ... but a touch brittle in their softest setting; Engine drones at city speeds; Infotainment now a generation behind

Toyota Supra
  • Unrivalled sports car performance for $85K; Entertaining dynamics; Great seats and driving position; Impressively comfortable ride for a sports car

  • Some obvious BMW links; No manual gearbox option; Some visibility restrictions; Model upgrade due late 2020

Sports Cars Over $200k

Porsche 911
1
  • Wide arches and fat rear end have aged well; Comfortable and tractable enough to drive every day; Still plenty of punch from the NA flat six

  • Manuals are rare, and the Tiptronic isn't the greatest; Check for IMS bearing service history; It's maturing well, but the 996 still not to all tastes

Lamborghini Huracan
  • Savage performance; Approachable limits on-track; V10 remains a pinnacle engine

  • Circuit bias will make it crude on-road; Feedback-lite steering

McLaren 720S
  • The ease with which you can drive it day-to-day is impressive; Cabin execution and comfort are as good as the best; Ride quality on poor roads is incredible given the performance on offer

  • More luggage space would be handy for more than a weekend away; Angle of the screen means there is some glare when the roof is stowed; More exhaust noise please

Mercedes-AMG GT
  • Tremendous pull from the TT V8 - and an improved soundtrack thanks to echoey carbon fibre; Aero and chassis setup offer excellent lateral grip; Drive it home - like any other Mercedes; Exclusivity - 15 only coming to Aus, against 28 Black Series.

  • Exclusivity has its price - it's a whole A35 (with options) above a 'regular' GT R; Need to 'Riggs' your shoulder to access the center console; You really need to be a Pro to extract the true performance value out of the car

Ferrari 488
  • Uncompromising performance; Unrivalled street appeal; Best V8 engine in existence; Brilliant ride and dynamic capabilities; Very much a race car you can happily drive daily

  • Options, options, options; Interior feeling its age; Lift kit needs to remain on at higher speeds; Sounds insane, but it's no 458