Okay, engines aren't really what these cars are about.
That’s why during a recent comparison we lined up the three cheap rear-drivers for a sound off video. The first to clear its throat was Subaru’s BRZ.
The brand’s boxer-four is popular for the configuration’s signature off-beat rumble. Especially in turbocharged form.
The atmo 2.0-litre boxer’s not so revered. Even though, this is the most Subaru’s squeezed from the unit (152kW and 212Nm) and for 2017 it scores longer runners and a beefier exhaust.
Whether that’s added bite to its bark is up for debate but there’s no doubting the Abarth 124 Spider belts out a mean war cry.
As the Mazda's Italian cousin the Spider certainly plays to the country’s reputation for shouty, dramatic sportscars.
There might be only 1.4-litres hiding under that bonnet but that DOHC inline-four makes a racket from its capacity.
Blowing spent gases through a Garret turbocharger and then out an Abarth sports exhaust system the engine plays a tune both wicked and guttural.
It’s the main point of difference to its donor, Mazda’s MX-5. We’ve brought along Mazda’s 2.0-litre variant, forgoing the 1.5-litre, to keep up with the Subaru and Abarth on price.
But the ‘big-block’ engine can’t hide from its mainstream origins. Pinched from the Mazda 3 it’s obvious its outputs (118kW and 200Nm), rather than its vocal chords, add the most excitement.
Of course this is all up for debate. This video’s no Hollywood production; we recorded the three with an iPhone at a dragstrip. But it’s good enough for you to make a call on which you think sounds best.
Drop your two cents in the comment box below.