For most of us, high-performance cars will remain out of reach whenever we want to buy a new ride. We all dream of Ferrari’s, Porsche’s and Chevrolet’s but realistically, not many of us will really get the chance to own one.
But, there are ways to buy a supercar or high-performance car at a reasonable price. Say, around the $15,000 mark. If so, going the used car route is the way to go.
New cars, of course, are out of the question. Even a lot of the more mundane cars go beyond that figure. But used cars can be purchased well below that price.
Here are some examples of fast cars that can be bought for $15,000 and below. Not all are easily available, for instance, and it isn’t every week you will be able to find a budget Ferrari. But if you look hard enough these cars can be had for a respectable price.
15 Porsche Boxster S - $10,000
The Porsche Boxster S was introduced in 2000 and was a popular spider version of the Boxster, the first generation of which emerged in late 1996. The 2000 – 2001 variant can often go for under $15,000 and don’t be surprised to find good ones around the $10,000 mark. It's not often you can get a Porsche badge for that price.
14 Ford Mustang GT - $11,000
The Ford Mustang GT is not only good for straight-line speed, but post-2005 models became very adept at handling as well. For models from around 2006 or 2007 you can pick one up for just under the $11,000 mark. Heck, if you are lucky you might find one at around $9,000.
13 Honda S2000 - $12,000
The Honda S2000 doesn’t get as much love as the Mazda MX-5, but in many ways, it was a lot better. It certainly looks better and is rarer than the MX-5. It is harder to find these below $15k, but they can go for around $12,000 if you are lucky, for variants in very good condition as well.
12 Nissan 350Z - $11,500
The Nissan 350Z is in effect, the spiritual successor to the companies long line of Z coupes. A 300bhp 3.5 liter V6 is a very good return for less than $15,000 and for that you can probably expect to pick up a 2006 model. Near the $11,500 mark is a safe bet, with the odd one going for just over $9,000 as well.
11 Chevrolet Camaro SS - $15,000
The Camaro SS is a modern rival to the Ford Mustang, and one thing it shares in common with the Mustang is that nice, big chunky V8 engine. Want one for a good price? Go look for a 2010 model. It's still good despite being nearly ten years old. If you find one, you will be looking at around the $15,000 price range.
10 Chevrolet Corvette C6 - $13,000
The Corvette C6 is probably one of the best of the modern Chevrolet Corvettes and is high up on a lot of people's lists when they want a used muscle car. The best bet for a used C6 is around the 2005-’07 model range, again in the upper regions of the budget range from $13,000 upwards.
9 Porsche 928 - $10,000
A classic Porsche with pop up headlights, the 928 is a favorite of many Porsche collectors for its simple yet sleek lines and gorgeous interior. Real classic 928’s can go for over $15,000, but it is possible to pick these up for anything from $10,000 upwards in the budget range, with 1980's versions being the best bet. I’d happily pay more for such a gorgeous car.
8 Subaru WRX STI - $15,000
Still in production, the Subaru WRX is synonymous with the brand's glory days in the World Rally Championship, with the likes of Colin McCrae and Carlos Sainz at the wheel. You are looking at 2006, ’07 models ideally for under or around $15,000, perhaps around $13,000. For a good one, of course, one which still runs as well as it did when new.
7 BMW M3 - $15,000
The BMW M3 is perhaps one of the most well-known performance cars in the world, and perhaps a bland choice to many? Not to everyone though, as a lot of people think this car is an all-time classic. Mid-2000 models will go for under $15,000, as you creep into this decade they start to go over that price bracket.
6 Maserati Quattroporte - $11,500
There is something magical about Maserati. To be honest, there is something magical about Italian cars in general. And yes, you can find this Italian beauty for under $15,000! A 2006 model can go for about $11,500 and you still get a lot for that price. The Quattroporte has actually existed since 1963 when it really had a lot of Italian style and flair about it.
5 Maserati Merak - $9,000
This is on here thanks to it being featured famously on a BBC Top Gear episode. Back then, it was bought by Jeremy Clarkson in a ‘Cheap Italian supercars for under £10,000” challenge. They all proved very unreliable, but the Merak actually blew its top end out of the engine! Jeremy’s 1974 Merak cost him just over $9,000, although it was obvious why.
4 Lotus Elise - $15,000
Lotus’ are very cool and quirky little cars. Famed for their agility, the Lotus name can trace it’s root back to Colin Chapman and the fabled Formula 1 team that ran drivers such as Jim Clark and Graham Hill. Rare in the US, they can be bought in the UK near the $15,000 price point for models from the early 2000s.
3 Ferrari Mondial - $15,000
Everybody wants to own a Ferrari at one point, but can you get one for under $15k? Yes, you can! The Mondial is a great way to buy a classic Ferrari for a very reasonable price. Just be wary of its condition. You are certainly looking at $15,000 for one if they do come up at this range.
2 Porsche 911 (966) - $14 - $15,000
A 911 for under $15,000 might sound crazy but if you look hard enough you can actually find one! It will be a second-generation 911, as opposed to anything really bang up to date. But they can be snaffled for between $14 - $15,000 and that is surely a good deal for what is still a capable Porsche 911.
1 Chevrolet Corvette C5 - $14,500
Not only is the Corvette C6 in this budget range, but so is the C5! Perhaps a bit more stylish than it’s later sibling, it’s performance to price ratio is great if you can get one for a good price. One recently went for $14,500 on a popular auction site from 2001 and that is fantastic value for money.
Sources: Barrett Jackson, Car Gurus, Wikipedia, Gear Patrol, W Supercars