Snag a Sporty Sedan for Under $10,000
Sports sedans offer a rare set of virtues. They are exceptionally rewarding to drive, yet they have enough room for most families. Alas, for auto enthusiasts on a budget, new sports sedans tend to be costly.
Fortunately, highly desirable sports sedans become much more affordable when they are offered for sale as used cars after a few years pass. Here are nine used sporty sedans that offer room for up to five passengers, are great fun to drive, and may be purchased for less than $10,000. The selection is based on the U.S. News rankings of cars with high performance scores.
2007 BMW 3 Series
Average Price Paid: $7,870 - $12,479 (Details Below)
It is fitting that the company credited with creating the sports sedan category nearly 50 years ago should be the first company highlighted in this rundown of affordable used sports sedans. In this case, it is the 2007 BMW 3 Series that can meet the $10,000 price target. When new, U.S. News noted that this 3 Series offered “…world-class performance and luxury in a midsize sedan.” These cars still deliver a level of performance and comfort that is competitive today. But they do it at a price that would barely cover the typical down payment on a new model.
Average Price Paid: $8,306 - $11,984 (Details Below)
Bold styling and highly responsive handling made the Mazda6 a fun-to-drive midsize car when it was new. These attributes continue to make this model attractive. Granted, the cabin may not be trimmed to luxury car standards, but its price and roominess more than compensate. When new, buyers could choose a peppy four-cylinder engine or a more powerful V6. Don’t expect to set fuel economy records with either engine. Instead, plan on enjoying each and every drive.
2010 Suzuki Kizashi
Average Price Paid: $5,850 (Details Below)
The Suzuki Kizashi has a lot to recommend it. Larger than a compact but smaller than a midsize sedan, the Kizashi defied traditional classifications when it was introduced. It did not, however, skimp on performance, thanks to its powerful four-cylinder engine. Nor did it compromise on handling, which has been described as rewarding, precise, and highly capable. Optional all-wheel drive makes this model even more attractive in many parts of the country.
Now, for the downside. While Suzuki remains in business, it is no longer active in the U.S. automotive market, a fact that is reflected in the very low price. Check for your servicing options before you buy.
2007 Acura TSX
Average Price Paid: $8,589 - $9,162 (Details Below)
This first generation TSX was based on the European Honda Accord. A 2007 TSX is part of this first generation production run that spanned five model years, ending in 2008. That is good news for sports sedan enthusiasts since this first generation vehicle has sharper handling than later versions, thanks to a firmer suspension calibration. Its four-cylinder engine is powerful, but a driver has to let engine speeds climb before that power can be tapped. For many enthusiasts, that simply adds to the fun.
2007 Honda Civic Si
Average Price Paid: $8,918 (Details Below)
Highly desirable in 2007, the sporty 197-horsepower Si version of the Honda Civic continues to be in high demand for its nicely balanced performance. Still, finding a good 2007 Civic Si, the sportiest and most powerful version of the Civic, is possible. All you need is a little patience. 2007 was the first year that the Si sedan joined the Coupe.
Among the Si’s features that endear it to enthusiasts are the six-speed manual gearbox, which features a surprisingly good linkage and an easily modulated clutch, and a limited slip front differential. The Si’s combination of powerful acceleration, sharp handling, and interior upgrades will prompt you to take the long route to your destinations whenever possible.
2007 Audi A4
Average Price Paid: $7,229 - $11,719 (Details Below)
Was there ever a time when the Audi A4 wasn’t desirable? Certainly not in 2007, when this Audi offered a combination of performance, handling, and interior comfort that placed it among the leaders in its class. Most A4s were four-door sedans, but Audi also offered the A4 as a wagon or four-seat convertible in this year. Quattro all-wheel drive was a common option and a real plus for handling, even in areas that never see snow. The 2.0T, with its 200-horsepower turbocharged four, comes to life at about 3,000 RPM, while the A4 3.2, with its 255-horsepower V6, delivers ample amounts of effortless power at lower RPMs. Transmissions included a six-speed manual or automatic. Front-wheel drive models came only with a CVT.
2007 Honda Accord
Average Price Paid: $6,112 - $9,513 (Details Below)
To tap the full performance potential of the 2007 Accord, choose a coupe or sedan with the optional V6 engine. For the ultimate in performance, you may want to search out a V6 gasoline-electric hybrid Accord from this year in good condition. Few people bought these hybrids as Honda attempted (unsuccessfully, based on sales) to make hybrid technology appealing to performance enthusiasts as well as the hyper-mileage crowd. The non-hybrid V6, however, gives up only nine horsepower to the hybrid version (244 horsepower vs. 253) and it could be mated to a five-speed manual or a five-speed automatic transmission. Making these Accords all the more appealing are agile handling, a comfortable ride, and good room inside the sedan.
2007 Volkswagen Jetta GLI
Average Price Paid: $4,748 - $7,064 (Details Below)
Jettas from this period were noted for their above average build quality, nicely done interiors, and European driving feel. It is the GLI trim level, with its 200-horsepower 2.0-liter turbocharged engine and choice of a six-speed manual or slick-shifting DSG automatic transmission that qualifies for sports sedan status. Bolstering the GLI’s handling are an upgraded sport suspension combined with 17-inch or optional 18-inch alloy wheel-tire packages. Front seats featured side bolstering and fabric upholstery, which helped keep the driver and front seat passenger properly positioned during enthusiastic cornering.
Average Price Paid: $7,950 - $11,889 (Details Below)
A sporty compact, the redesigned 2010 Mazda3 was deemed to have a “... winning combination of sporty performance and a practical, well-made interior,” by U.S. News. Most buyers seeking a sporty ride would be satisfied with a Mazda3 equipped with the optional 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine. Hardcore driving enthusiasts, however, will want to search out a used Mazdaspeed3. Standard equipment included a 263-horsepower turbocharged 2.3-liter four-cylinder engine, a six-speed manual transmission, and limited-slip differential. The sport suspension was also upgraded for the 2010 redesign, resulting in improvements to both the ride and handling.