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Top 10 Sports Cars of 2016 | CarMax

With these spirited sports cars, getting there is more than half the fun. 

No time for boring drives? Check out these sports cars! Here are 10 of the most popular sports cars we offer, many of which can be found for less than $30,000.

These aren’t family haulers or utility vehicles; they’re driving machines, built to spirit you from point A to point B in eye-catching style. All come with notable handling and impressive acceleration. They can be had with manual transmissions, and nearly all are rear-wheel driven.

10

Subaru BRZ

Research or Buy a Used Subaru BRZ | CarMax

Enthusiasts love the BRZ because it’s both light and quick. This nimble, not-as-pricey little brother to the WRX rolls with an impressive power-to-weight ratio and gets 30 mpg on the open highway. The BRZ is rear-wheel-drive only, something relatively new from the mostly-AWD car company, and newer models have upgraded suspension systems. Seating is deliberately low in this car, to help give a low center of gravity that makes for crisper handling. Plus, you can’t ignore the distinctive, throaty burble of its 2-liter engine.

Horsepower/Torque: 200 hp/151 ft-lbs @ 6400 rpm
Transmission: 6-speed manual (automatics available, with paddle shifting)
Curb Weight: 2,776 lbs
Hot Stuff: BRZ stands for Boxer Rear-Drive Zenith; engines like the BRZ’s, with their horizontally-opposed, 4-cylinder layout, are referred to as “boxers.”

09

BMW M3

Research or Buy a Used BMW M3 | CarMax

The closest thing you’ll find to a German hot rod that comes straight from the factory. These four-wheeled rockets don’t stick around our lots for long. This may be because of the 4-liter V8 and 400-plus horsepower. Or maybe it’s the choice of hardtop or convertible. Driving enthusiasts’ lists of likes is long, and the M3 seems to check all the boxes. CarMax offers late-2000-model M3s for less than $30,000.

Horsepower/Torque:414 hp / 295 ft-lbs @ 3900 rpm
Transmission: 6-speed manual or automatic
Curb Weight: 3,704 lbs
Hot Stuff: The 2008 M3 jets from 0 to 60 mph in just over four seconds.

08

Mitsubishi Eclipse

Research or Buy a Used Mitsubishi Eclipse | CarMax

As more of an entry-level sports coupe, the Eclipse is a combination of great looks, strong performance, and cost-efficient fun. It’s also one of only two front-wheel drive cars on this list. The Eclipse GT has gobs of power, but the base model’s 4-cylinder engine is the economical choice, and when coupled with a 5-speed stick shift, it delivers strong performance too.

Horsepower/Torque: 162 hp / 162 ft-lbs @ 4000 rpm (GS Sport) or 263 hp / 260 ft-lbs @ 4500 rpm (Eclipse GT)
Transmission: 5-speed manual or automatic
Curb Weight: 3,269 lbs or 3,609 (Eclipse GT)
Hot Stuff: Eclipse fans seek out the Spyder convertible version for wind-in-your-hair driving fun.

07

BMW Z4

Research or Buy a Used BMW Z4 | CarMax

The Z4 is a convertible hardtop. The hard top, which is quieter than a cloth top and has better rear visibility, is hinged and drops into the trunk in less time than it takes you to pull on your driving gloves. The 4- and 6-cylinder engines are turbocharged in later models; the larger engine is brawnier, but the lighter 4-cylinder makes for steady cornering through the turns.

Horsepower/Torque: 255 hp / 220 ft-lbs @ 2600 rpm (3.0i) or 300 hp / 300 ft-lbs @ 1400 rpm (SDrive35i)
Transmission: 6-speed manual or automatic
Curb Weight: 3,252 lbs 
Hot Stuff: The retractable hardtop is a first for BMW, and the Z4 is also currently the company’s only 2-seater. 

06

Nissan 350z

Research or Buy a Used Nissan 350z | CarMax
Sleek, powerful, and flat-out fun, the 350Z is a return to form, a re-embracing of Nissan’s classic 2-seat sports coupe design that dates back to 1970. Under the hood of the 350Z is a V6 tuned to deliver 300 horsepower. Behind the wheels are big brakes and multilink independent suspension. And under your butt is a thicker wallet in your back pocket — used 350Zs can be had for less than $20,000. That’s a lot of performance for not a lot of money. The 350Z Roadster is a drop-top, and the underbody stiffening adds a little weight to this particular model, but all of these Zs are nimble and can return more than 25 mpg. The 350Z was the latest Z-car until 2009, when it was replaced by the 370Z.

Horsepower/Torque: 306 hp / 268 ft-lbs @ 4800 rpm
Transmission: 6-speed manual or automatic
Curb Weight: 3,380 lbs
Hot Stuff: The 350Z won many awards when it was unveiled in the early 2000s, and it’s been embraced by enthusiasts in its many configurations ever since. 
05

Volkswagen GTI

Research or Buy a Used Volkswagen GTI | CarMax
The other front-drive car on this list. Shoppers seek out the GTI in both the 3-door and 5-door versions because it’s a “hot hatch,” a hatchback that really moves! Its 2-liter 4-cylinder engine is strong and torquey and can return better than 30 mpg. Its 18” wheels are wrapped with lots of rubber, and more tire on the ground means better handling through the curves. Compared to most of the other cars here, the GTI is roomy, with seating for five and 23 square feet of cargo capacity.
Horsepower/Torque: 210 hp / 258 ft-lbs @1500 rpm
Transmission: 6-speed manual or 6-speed automatic
Curb Weight: 3,113 lbs
Hot Stuff: This car’s engine comes with a turbocharger as standard equipment. A higher-performance package option includes even more horsepower and beefier brakes.
04

Nissan 370z

Research or Buy a Used Nisssan 370z | CarMax
The latest in Nissan’s legendary Z-car series. The 370z is decades removed from the original Datsun 240Z of the early 1970s, but that means designers have had lots of time to perfect an already-great concept with smoother, more rounded lines and stronger-than-ever performance. It retains the original Z-car’s focus on great looks, hot performance, and plenty of horsepower under the hood. 
Horsepower/Torque: 332 hp / 270 ft-lbs @ 5200 rpm
Transmission: 6-speed stick or 7-speed automatic
Curb Weight: 3,968 lbs
Hot Stuff: The 370Z NISMO (short for Nissan Motorsport) version comes with even more V6 power, plus tweaked-for-the-track brakes and suspension. 
03

Chevrolet Corvette

Research or Buy a Used Chevrolet Corvette | CarMax
Yes, the sixth generation body style Vette (2005-2013) can be had for less than $30K. Shoppers seek out the Corvette because it’s — well — a Corvette. With 400 to 650 horsepower to pump up your adrenaline, this affordable supercar is the king of the American open road. 

Horsepower/Torque: 400 hp / 400 ft-lbs @ 4400 rpm
Transmission: 6-speed manual or automatic
Weight: 3,179 lbs
Hot Stuff: Corvette owners who manage to exercise some discipline with the gas pedal can get close to 30 mpg.


02

Ford Mustang

Research or Buy a Used Ford Mustang | CarMax
Arguably the first American pony car, the Mustang has been tearing up roads since 1964. It was designed for agility, speed, and to muscle out the competition — in other words, it’s the definition of what a sports car should be. The 6-cylinder Mustangs have plenty of get-up-and-go, and the GT cars have big V8s that make more than 400 horsepower. 

Transmission: 6-speed manual or automatic (paddle shift)
Weight: 3,618 lbs
Hot Stuff: Late-model Mustangs also now come with a turbocharged 4-cylinder engine. Plenty of pep (300 hp) plus solid mpg for the EcoBoost Mustang (30+)!

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Chevrolet Camaro

Research or Buy a Used Chevrolet Camaro | CarMax
Next year marks the 50th anniversary of the Camaro, Chevy’s original muscle car. This classic all-American, front-engine/rear-drive sports car has aggressive styling and performs great on the road. Base models’ 6-cylinder engines produce more than 300 horsepower; these motors are still powerful but drink fuel a bit more measuredly. There’s also the go-big or go-home Camaro SS, which packs a 400-horsepower V8. Just try to catch an SS running flat-out!

Transmission: 6-speed manual or 8-speed automatic (some 2016s come with a paddle-shift, 10-speed automatic).
Curb Weight: 3,960 lbs
Hot Stuff: The Camaro SS borrows its 6.2 liter V8 from the Chevy Corvette.

Drivers who want to kick up their commutes could do much, much worse than these 10 cars. If you’re on the hunt for a sports car, take your time and enjoy researching all models thoroughly. Good luck and happy hunting!

* This list was generated from carmax.com search data and includes the sports cars that received the most customer inquiries in 2015.