No two sports cars are alike. Discover what strikes your fancy.
Sports cars sure are pretty, aren’t they? The two-door look is sleek, the engines are designed to own roads like a boss and every technical gadget seems to come straight out of a James Bond movie.
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But, if you’ve never driven one before, there’s a learning curve. This isn’t your mom’s sedan; these cars are the real deal and are meant for a lot more than just a Sunday stroll through the neighborhood. Knowing which sports car to buy when you’ve never owned one can be tricky. You need to factor in your age (for insurance purposes), cost-to-own, depreciation, and other elements. Owning your first sports car can get pricey really quick, so heed my advice so you’re not upside-down as soon as you get the keys.
For the uninitiated, let’s start with beginner sports car basics.
You’ve decided to purchase a sports car. Way to go! Have you done all of your research? If you’ve read any of my previous articles, you’ll know how hard I harp on doing your research before purchasing a vehicle. If you’ve crossed all the t’s and dotted the I’s, then move along. If you are jumping in without dipping your toes in the water first, heed the following:
- Owning a sports car can be expensive. Ask yourself this question, “Can I afford a sports car?” Owning a sedan versus a sports car is significant. The thrill of buying a sports car can sometimes overpower your logic. If you think you can own a sports car, you need to do a little math. Jot down your total income and deduct the monthly payment. While you’re at it, write down your downpayment, too. If the final deduction doesn’t leave you with enough to pay for essentials, now isn’t the time to purchase a sports car. You’d be foolish to go ahead with a purchase that would leave you in the red right off the bat.
Thought about maintenance costs yet? Sports cars have a lot of cool gadgets on them. Want to know what isn’t cool? Having to replace said gadgets once they become glitchy. Spare parts are going to be pricey when compared to regular vehicles. Sports cars put an emphasis on being premium vehicles, and you’ll have to pay for it. Sure, you can always find great deals on parts when scouring the interwebs, but that may not always be the case.
Roof or no roof? You’ll most often see sports cars with a convertible top. So, you’ll need to decide whether you want the wind whipping all around you or keep things quiet with a hard-top. Just remember, a convertible will require a lot of intricate parts that will malfunction at some point. If it’s not that big of a deal to you, more power to you. If you live in an area where the sun doesn’t bake you during the summer, a convertible would be a good choice. Keep that roof if you don’t see a lot of warmth during summer and spring.
It's time to pick the best sports car for a beginner driver.
First off, get your head out of the clouds. A Corvette, Audi A8 or any Ferrari model is way out of your league as a beginner. Sorry. You’ll thank me later as those cars are for expert drivers who have skins on the wall. Plus, you don’t want to touch that car payment. Let’s stay in the real world and look at the best affordable sports cars. Below are the Top-5 best sports cars under $30,000 according to U.S. News:
- 2019 Ford Mustang -- MSRP $25,845. The Ford Mustang is a true classic that’s been around for 54-and-a-half years. The standard model comes powered by a four-cylinder engine that’s very fuel efficient. You can upgrade to the GT model for horsepower ranging from 460-526, but standard may be more your style to start off. Enjoy a comfortable, smooth ride with a futuristic interior.
- 2019 Mazda MX-5 Miata -- MSRP $25,730. The updated model is the best one yet featuring a powerful engine. You can go with a soft-top or upgrade to a hard-top (crazy, huh?). Mazda Miatas are known for engaged handling, quick acceleration, fancy interior, but it's the simple infotainment system that rounds out this Mazda.
- 2019 Chevrolet Camaro -- MSRP $25,000. The Chevy Camaro is another classic that’s been in the sports-car scene for decades. It’s been said the interior isn’t as flashy or well thought-out as other sports cars, but the car still offers great handling and horsepower. You can choose from a four, six or eight cylinder engine. A 275-650 horsepower range is nothing to sneeze at.
- 2018 Ford Focus ST -- MSRP $25,075. A Ford Focus that rivals other sports cars? You betcha. Its 252 horsepower engine and six-speed manual transmission fall in line with other sports cars. In addition, it offers agile handling dynamics and a solid safety score to boot.
- 2019 Volkswagen GTI -- MSRP $27,595. Though technically not a sports car at first glance, that all changes once you get behind the wheel. Its handling is concise and comes equipped with an engine that spits out 228 horsepower. It also has features a typical sports car doesn’t; a roomy interior that fits four passengers and 52.7 cubic feet of cargo space.
Know ahead of time what you're looking for in a beginner sports car.
As you can see, the best sports cars don’t have to break the bank. Do you wish you had a Lamborghini or Bugatti? Of course, we all would. But why not save yourselves the hundreds of thousands of dollars and get something a bit more practical for our roadways? There are diamonds in the rough to be found and, hopefully, I’ve started you on the right path. Sports cars come in all shapes and sizes, but you need to find one that speaks to you and you feel most comfortable driving. Just remember to take it slow and respect the car.
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