Plenty of choice for between £1,000 and £2,500 - the Mazda RX-8 is one of our favourites
Not all of your options at this price bracket need to be front-wheel-drive hot hatchbacks.
You can get behind the wheel of the fun yet practical rear-wheel-drive Mazda RX-8 coupe for a touch under £2,500.
The four-seater is an Auto Express favourite, and the combination of revvy rotary engine, low-slung coupe body and reverse-hinged half doors makes it unlike anything else on the road. The chassis is well balanced, and even in 228bhp Hi Power guise, the RX-8 is fairly easy to handle.
Of course, the engine is thirsty – for oil as well as fuel – but if you factor in the higher running costs, you shouldn’t expect any nasty bills. Buy one that’s been cared for properly, and it should be reliable, too.
We saw a 2004 RX-8 Hi Power with 67,000 miles and a full history for £2,150 – and it came with air-con, heated mirrors and an electric sunroof.
- 1IntroductionWe pick eight of the best performance car bargains, with budgets ranging from just £895 to £29,000
- 2Sub-£1,000Want performance car thrills for less than £1,000? Try the Fiat Coupe
- 3£1,000 - £2,500 - currently readingPlenty of choice for between £1,000 and £2,500 - the Mazda RX-8 is one of our favourites
- 4£2,500 - £5,000Fancy owning a Porsche for less than £5,000? The Boxster is a great used buy
- 5£5,000 - £10,000The latest Renaultsport Clio can now be had for less than £10,000
- 6£10,000 - £15,000The rally-bred Mitsubishi Evo can be yours for less than £15,000
- 7£15,000 - £20,000The mighty BMW M5 gets a 5.0-litre V10 and is now less than £20,000
- 8£20,000 - £25,000At less than £25,000, the previous-generation 911 is a superb used buy
- 9£25,000 and aboveFor less than £30,000, little comes close to the V8 Vantage for badge appeal and driving thrills