Whether your idea of performance is straight-line squirt, sweet handling or both might dictate your own order for this category. But being cheap to buy, with a tenacious grip on new value, remains a car-buying recipe to stick to for spendthrifts with a sports slant. Circa-$30K sports coupes and Light hot hatches are where it’s at, and the Fiesta ST gets off to a flying start at $25,990. It’s quicker than the MX-5, costs a similar amount to fuel each year,
and is cheaper to insure. The Ford’s 52 percent retained value is 10 percentage points worse than the Mazda’s, but the $6K saving on purchase price prevented it from undoing a stellar campaign.
Mazda’s 6.1L/100km economy is to be believed. And if enduring popularity is any guide, so is the fourth-gen roadster’s rock-solid 62 percent resale.
A higher price than the Fiesta ST, with identical resale, proved more than this French firebrand could overcome with its generous five-year warranty and on-the-money fuel and insurance costs.
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BEST PERFORMANCE CARS $75K to $150K
Don’t hurt your wallet just for some cheap thrills. The Audi RS3, Lotus Elise S, and Alfa Romeo 4C will tickle you in the right spots without breaking the bank.
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