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Five options if you are looking for a used sports car to enjoy, for less than 15,000 euros

Be able to enjoy a passionate car, be it a sports, a convertible, a saloon or a prestigious SUV implies a high outlay if we want it new. And that is when the depreciation of the car can be our ally.

If you don’t care if you don’t drive the latest model, you can get models that cost 10-20% of what they were worth new today. They are real bargains, ideal to treat yourself and sell them after a year.

Yes, some of those models on the second hand market have the reputation of being a time bomb when it comes to maintenance. An electronic failure and suddenly the funny car becomes a bank account eater. It doesn’t have to be the case if the weak points and the maintenance of the car are controlled that we look at before we buy it.

But this is not about buying a car for life, or maybe yes. A passionate car, by definition, does not respond to a rational need. There are other options on the second-hand market that are reputed to be more reliable, but also more boring.

In the case of a passionate or aspirational car, our advice is to buy with your heart, of course that a little reason does not hurt to be able to take the leap with confidence and that the dream does not turn into a nightmare. So as far as possible we have chosen candidates with proven reputation for mechanical reliability.

Some cars are for saving vacation time and reselling them before the end of the year. Others may be an investment, as they are destined to revalue over time. Behold, our pick of five used sports cars that will reconcile the heart and the reason.

Audi TT ‘8J’ (2006-2014)

Audi TT 8J

When Audi launched the Audi TT in 1999, it immediately became a hit. And while much of its appeal lay in its exterior and interior design, it also delivered the right performance. The second generation, introduced in 2006, did nothing more than improve these characteristics, adding also an improved dynamic behavior.

While it is not the outright sports car that many imagine, it is an excellent grand tourer with a sufficiently dynamic side to be considered a sports car.

Audi TT 8J interior

The range of engines available ranged from 1.8 liters of 150 hp to the V6 3.2 of 250 hp going through a 2.0-liter 200 hp, in gasoline, with a 2.0 TDi of 170 CV for those who had to do many kilometers a year and wanted to do them with style. Starting in 2008, the TT S versions (2.0-liter 272 hp) and TT RS, with the legendary 340 hp 2.5-liter 5-cylinder and enchanting sound. At the same time, the V6 disappeared.

If we want to maintain a tight budget, the TT with a 2.0-liter 200 hp engine, with a six-speed manual transmission (there was also a DSG change), after 2008 seems the best compromise. There are for less than 13,000 euros. And it is that the 1.8 and 2.0 prior to 2008 consumed a little oil. In itself it is not serious nor is it a problem, but not all the owners monitored the oil level so these engines could now have sequelae.

Audi TT MkII

For the rest, engines are the most reliable. Prices range from 8.400 euros for a unit with a lot of mileage up to 16,900 euros for a neat unit, DSG gearbox and all-wheel drive. Of course, like any car of a certain era, it is not perfect. The most critical point is located in the wiring of the electric windows and taillights, prone to getting wet, the ignition coils (they were the subject of a recall) and a noise in the timing pulley.

Mazda MX-5 ‘NB’ (1998-2005)

Mazda MX-5 NB

The chance to get a Mazda MX-5 cheaply priced first-generation ones are long gone, though there is still some rare opportunity for less than 6,000 euros. This is not the case with the second generation MX-5 which still seems to have relatively low prices. It was in production from 1998 to 2005.

The Mazda MX-5 is the quintessential English roadster. Yes, English roadster. Although it is a Japanese car, the source of inspiration assumed for the car has been the small English roadsters of the 60s, such as the Lotus Elan and the MG B. Rear-wheel drive, manual transmission and lightness, Mazda improved the recipe and proposed it to a Reasonable price. Result: it is the best-selling convertible in history.

Mazda MX-5 NB

It’s a low-end, rear-wheel drive car that has a excellent and playful dynamic behavior. The MX-5 is all about fun and driving pleasure. The low power of its gasoline engines (from 110 to 145 hp) are not a problem, since the car is a featherweight (1,045 kg).

Not everything is perfect, of course, the damping is a bit firm and it has a reputation for having a body that is prone to corrosion. Otherwise, it is a extremely reliable car and whose maintenance is reasonable.

MINI Cooper S ‘R53’ (2001-2007)

Mini Cooper S R53

The first MINI of the BMW era has been a success. From the design to its dynamic behavior through the reliability of the model, especially in the Cooper S version that interests us.

It was launched in 2001 and underwent a restyling in 2004. The Cooper S is equipped with a 1.6-liter 4-cylinder supercharged by an Eaton volumetric compressor. Develop 163 CV and is associated with a 6-speed manual gearbox (0-100 km / h in 7.4 seconds). In July 2004, a little facelift refreshed the exterior, while power increased to 170 hp and 0-100 km / h dropped to 7.0 seconds. But what’s really brilliant is its dynamic behavior.

Mini Cooper S R53

This engine has a reputation for being very reliable. Of course, as long as the previous owners of the car have done the correct maintenance. In any case, this four-cylinder engine has not shown any major defects over the years.

However, the Cooper S R53 is also not without small problems, as in the power steering pumpa (the invoice may be raised if it needs to be changed) or the premature clutch wear and the gearbox on some models.

Mini Cooper S R53

The steering is very lively and the suspension is firm, but in return the car offers great body control and more control in curves. Of the MINIs of the BMW era, the R53 comes closest to that idea of ​​a license plate kart, licensed from the exclusive GP series. The MINI Cooper S R53 is undoubtedly one of the best sports utility vehicles to date.

Units are found from just 4.900 euros up to 15,000 euros. In that price range, we even find its convertible version, but a compromise can be a 2004 version with less than 50,000 km and for less than 10,000 euros.

Nissan 350Z (2003-2009)

Nissan 350Z

With the Nissan 350Z The brand wanted to return to the essence of the original 240Z, whose lineage over time had grown into a car packed with technology, certainly fast, but also expensive for a Nissan coupe at the time.

The Nissan 350 Z went on sale in July 2002 in the US and in late 2003 in Europe. Nice, the Nissan 350Z is not at all retro, but it immediately feels like a Z. The reception in the market is excellent. It has a remarkable Cx (0.29), a new platform, a powerful V6 VQ of 3.5 liters and 280 CV in front central position and a suspension with a deformable parallelogram scheme in aluminum on both axles.

Nissan 350Z

In 2005, the V6 of the 350Z goes up to 300 hp and up to 313 hp in 2007. Each increase in power was accompanied by slight aesthetic touches and increasingly fine tuning of the suspensions. In 2004, Nissan introduced a roadster version. The 350Z dropped to the 370Z in 2009 after more than 23,000 units were sold in Europe and more than 160,000 in the United States.

At the wheel, the driving position is impeccable. The sound of the V6 is suggestive, although it does not like to exceed 6,000 rpm. The chassis is precise and noble, while the braking is powerful. In terms of comfort, it is firm and amply sufficient for everyday use, to which the 350Z lends itself very well, with its good visibility and spacious luggage compartment.

Nissan 350Z

Reliable, the 350Z presents no other bad surprise than the price of some parts in the Nissan network. As for the price, it seems to be in an upward phase, especially for the more careful units that have not been customized and / or prepared.

You have to count 10,000 euros for a unit with 200,000 km and between 13,000 and 16,000 euros for a unit with less than 100,000 km and in the original state.

Renault Clio R.S. (2006-2012)

Renault Clio RS

The train to get a bargain-priced Renault Clio Williams has passed. Whether it’s one of the top 4,500 (with its numbered plate) or the next, when Renault finally decided to go ahead with production, prices have already gone up. Now they are trading between 20,000 and 30,000 euros. Although a unit in good condition for 20,000 euros can be a good investment, its price is bound to rise over time.

Renault Clio RS

On the other hand, it is not too late to get hold of a Renault Clio RS. Manufactured from 2006 to 2012, it has a characteristic design with its flared wings and is only manufactured in a three-door version. The engine, a 2.0-liter naturally aspirated 4-cylinder that develops between 197 CV (from 2006 to 2009) and 200 CV (from 2009 to 2012) is exclusively associated with a 6-speed manual change. It’s a little sports car old school, analog, of which there are practically no longer.

Most of the units sold in Spain have the Cup chassis, set-up without compromise, and which included the Standard Recaro bucket seats. It is a very easy car to drive, with a very noble and very communicative chassis.

Renault Clio RS Cup

It is an authentic wonder that can now be found for prices ranging from 8,000 euros to 15,000 euros, depending on the mileage. A good option due to its rarity is the special series Gordini for less than 13,000 euros.

Note: This car offer belongs to an affiliate. Despite this, the car on display has not been proposed by either the brand or the seller, its introduction being a unique decision of the team of editors.

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Lenny Li

I started to play with tech since middle school. Smart phones, laptops and gadgets are all about my life. Besides, I am also a big fan of Star War. May the force be with you!

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