The Mazda Miata is one of the most popular cars in the sports car segment. A brand-new Miata comes at a decent price of $40,000. They are super fun to drive and come with an old-school layout for customers looking for a classy bold look. If I was to define the Mazda Miata in one sentence, it’s a roadster with a high-speed manual transmission, comfortable rear-wheel drive, and near-perfect 50:50 weight distribution throughout the body.
Another worth appreciating aspect of the car is its entry into the Consumer Reports’ list of 10 Most Reliable Cars in 2019. Interestingly, it was the only sports car on the list.
If you want to buy a sports car but not blend in with the Mazda Miata crowd, here are some similar options with similar features or better than Miata.
Cars Similar To Mazda Miata
1. Honda Beat
Image credit: Wikipedia
To begin with, let’s talk about the Honda Beat. The Honda Beat may seem a simple car compared to the Mazda Miata; but it has a lot of character for you to consider as a showstopper in your private garage.
It has an intelligent built and comfortable interior to lure you. The engine has a capacity of 656cc and is fitted with a powerful 3-cylinder engine.
With a five-speed manual transmission, this rear-drive can reach up to 64 HP in just 13 seconds! It weighs around 1675 lb. The interior of this convertible car is roomier than you might presume and can reach an electronic high speed of up to 100 MPH.
The Beat was first introduced in May 1991 and only 33,000 Beats were ever created as Honda stopped its production in 1996. But the good news is that the Beat is set to hit the roads again, although the price is unannounced. This is the car for you if you want to feel the road but don’t want to be confined to a sedan.
2. Lotus Elan M100
Image credit: Wikipedia
Think of motorsports and Lotus Elan M100 is the first name that would come to your mind. Though it may have lost its charm in recent days, it’s still every car collector’s dream car.
The engine of Lotus Elan took inspiration from the turbocharged version of an Isuzu 1.6-liter inline-four. Lotus generates a massive 130hp with its naturally aspirated engine and 162hp with 148 lb-ft of torque with its turbocharged engine.
It weighs around 2200 pounds. Thus, it is much heavier than the previous models launched by the brand. The turbocharged Elan can hit 0-60 MPH in quick 6.7 seconds. Moreover, Elan can come to a complete emergency stop in 114 feet.
You get a robust fiberglass-based body. It’s something other cars with rigid steel lack. Its backbone chassis weighs nearly 1021 kg. The average price of an Elan is $16,335.
Though it has drawbacks like bump steer and steering kickback, handling this car is still a sublime experience. So, if you’re a frequent mountain traveler, you’d get yourself this Lotus Elan M100 and it won’t disappoint you.
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3. Chevrolet Camaro 1LE
Image credit: Wikipedia
Before discovering the Chevrolet Camaro 1LE in detail, let’s spoil the beans upfront. The car is not as spacious from the inside like some other sports cars. However, its high speed and superb handling capabilities are what make it worth considering for small families. This makes driving easy and joyous for the owners. It has two powerful V8 engines, a range of aggressive powertrains, and decent mileage. The price starts at $26,195 and it weighs nearly 3414 lb.
According to some users, the interior quality of the Camaro is a downside to its competitors. This muscle car has a decent price tag. The Chevy Camaro 1LE is much less priced than its other competitors belonging to the same class. This car has the rating of #6 in Sports Car Category and #3 in Convertibles.
4. Audi TT
The luxurious Audi TT is an excellent value-for-money car. It has standard parking sensors, a high-performance TT RS model, and seven-speed automatic transmission to help you zoom past other cars on the road. If you’d compare it with other luxury vehicles, its cost will come out as the lowest. This adds to its huge list of positives. The interior is small but stylish.
Here are the top features to make your spending of $50,000 worth.
- 3-inch digital gauge cluster, navigation,
- Apple CarPlay,
- Android Auto, HD Radio,
- 12-speaker Bang & Olufsen sound system,
- 2 USB ports,
- Wireless device charging,
- Automatic climate control,
- Keyless entry,
- Push-button start, and more.
The base engine of the Audi TT is turbocharged and equipped with 2.0-liter four cylinders. This generates power worth 228 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. It weighs around 3164 lb. To sum up, the overall performance of the next-gen Audi TT might not blow your mind, however, it adds plenty of fun to your drive time.
5. Mercedes-Benz SLK
This premium sedan is an excellent option to go with as far as luxury cars are concerned. It has amazing features like safety and comfort, which are at par when compared with the other contenders. It also has an ultra-modern interior design and a lavish seating arrangement.
The most crucial feature of this Benz SLK model is its performance, courtesy of the 3.5L petrol engine. The engine comes coupled with captivating power and high torque output. The modern-day beast weighs nearly 1195 lb. and costs around $50,000.
Note that this convertible Mercedes-Benz SLK has a seating capacity of just two people. The price is more expensive than other cars available in the same segment.
Another negative of this car is the absence of a thermotropic AC unit. Under the price range of $50,000, it is a sought-after must-have thing. This might disturb the comfort of its passengers.
The Command Online system can be given as a standard feature in this sedan. Despite having a petrol mill, the fuel economy of SLK Class is surprisingly good.
6. Honda S2000
The Honda S200 is undoubtedly the best sports car on the market. The existing customers of Honda S2000 proudly label it even better than Miata in some ways.
The S2000 comes in different variants and can cost you anything between $14,500 to $40,000 depending on specifications and model. The company claims a drive worth 300,000 miles with hardly any maintenance. However, this completely depends on your driving skills and conditions.
The biggest con of the Honda S200 is its rust issues which are fairly common if it’s not maintained properly. This beast weighs just over 1,200kg. It has a 50L fuel tank and can easily achieve over 25mpg. The S2000 is a bonafide modern classic.
7. Suzuki Cappuccino
Image credit: Wikipedia
The Cappuccino is popular for its handling, grip, looks, build quality, and roof. It has a 657cc 995 turbo engine with 3 cylinders in line. and can achieve a top speed of 83mph.
Coming to the ride quality, the ride is nearly perfect when cruising. However, it fidgets over small bumps on the road. It comes for £11,995. It also has poor legroom and luggage space and weighs around 725 kgs. It is pretty adorable for a sports car.
8. Chevrolet Corvette (C5)
There is no real budget race car other than the Chevrolet Corvette (C5). You can get one for as little as $20,000 if you’re sure to invest in a second-hand model. If you wish to get your garage a brand-new Chevrolet Corvette, make sure you’ve at least $60,900 to spend for its base model.
Further, it has a relatively low annual maintenance expenditure. It stars an LS1 V-8 engine that was first installed in 1997. Chevrolet Corvette (C5) can race from 0 to 60 in 4 seconds!
You can fold down the Chevrolet Corvette due to its partially-removable Targa roof. I would suggest avoiding early model years, as they had some reliability issues. Look for a 1998+ model.
9. Nissan 350Z
The Nissan 350Z is a dream sports car for car lovers on a low budget.With a 3.5-liter V6 engine, it makes a throaty roar and spins to 7000 RPM in the original and 7500 RPM for the update.
Its coupe-style blends with almost all varieties of rims. Plus, you can choose among several color choices that look totally at ease on the leaping body. It features a V6 torque and is steadily becoming uncommon. Nissan 350Z’s 2003 versions have a top speed of 155 mph.
Just like other cars, this 350Z from Nissan isn’t perfect. While some of its users reported faulty fuel dampers that cause an annoying ticking noise, others noticed an erratic or high idling after cleaning the throttle body.
If this is not enough, some older models of Nissan 350Z have a tapping noise or rattle from the timing chain. The compact car weighs nearly 3188 lb. It comes with loads of tuning and customization options and is super affordable.
10. BMW Z4
The swept-back headlights give the BMW Z4 an aggressive look. This modern-day beast comes fitted with a tremendously powerful 3-liter turbocharged engine with an inline-6-cylinder engine.
As per the manufacturers, you can expect an impressive 345bhp and 500 Nm of torque from the car. The steering is light and pretty quick with loads of grip, making handling the vehicle smooth.
It does not have the most spacious cabins and is just a two-seater. It has a base price of $49,900 and weighs around 1505 kg. While the interior space is quite decent, the same doesn’t go well with the cargo space which is merely 281 liters.
This much space is just enough for a weekend trip involving 2-4 people. Nonetheless, the Z4 is an interesting package and will surely turn heads wherever you go.
11. Fiat 124 Spider
Image credit: Fiat USA
Fiat 124 Spider ranks #6 in the list of most affordable sports cars of all time. It offers a poised ride with well-rounded handling, impressive fuel economy, and a quality interior but also snugs seating space and a tiny trunk. The 2020 Fiat 124 Spider convertible comes in four options: Classica, Urbana, Lusso, and Abarth.
All these options come with a four-cylinder turbocharged engine. Most users vote for the latter due to its more comfortable driving experience.
Like most luxury cars, this one too has less headspace for taller people and comes with a small trunk. The range starts from $25,390 and weighs around 2436 pounds depending on the model. Overall, it’s fun to drive.
12. Porsche Boxster
The Porsche Boxster encompasses a 3.4-liter engine that generates 315 horsepower worth of power. It has a long-duty motor that is responsible for its high torque.
The car can accelerate from 0-60 mph in just over 4 seconds! It comes in a streamlined and stylish design. Not only the looks are subtle but bold enough to compel others to get themselves clicked with it.
Appearance-wise, it has an angular head and sporty tail lights. It has the signature Porsche front grill and a convertible roof. The only downsides are engine knocking noise, excessive oil consumption, and a black exhaust tailpipe.
The prices start from $62,600 and weigh nearly 1320 kg. It is a two-seater race car with surprising convenience and gives you the full thrill of the ride.
Mazda, if not much, was like a breath of fresh life into the segment of the family-friendly sports car. The designers and engineers of that time gave birth to a great car that still manages to impress modern-minded car lovers. So, you can always consider alternatives and not blend in with the crowd. The trick is to do your research.