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Telebest: The six best sports cars under £28,000

By Paul Connolly

Sports cars sell the dream; a fast jet-setting life where you work hard, play hard and reap all the rewards.

They need to be great to drive, handle brilliantly, but also be versatile enough for the daily commute or a weekend, or longer, away. A lovely engine soundtrack is a must, too.

But sports cars also tend to be pricey, with most starting way over £30,000 and the high-end ones costing hundreds of thousands.

So we’ve done the research to see what best brand new sports cars can be had for under £28,000.

All prices are an approximate general guide only and are subject to change for a variety of reasons including discounting, offers, new innovations, manufacturer price rises, etc.

Mazda MX-5

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The legendary MX-5 is the world’s biggest-selling sports car, and for a reason too. Its lightweight body and beautiful handling mean that although it’s one of the least expensive to buy, it is also one of the most enjoyable too.

It’s not the fastest car on our list, but it is one of the most enjoyable. And, pound for pound, it’s almost certainly the best value for money one. too. From £18.5k.

Fiat 124 Spider

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The 124 Spider is based on the Mazda MX-5, but brings more attractive Italian external design flair to the party.

It also has a 1.4-litre turbo engine that pumps out more torque than its Japanese cousin, making it more compelling (although perhaps not as much fun) to drive than the MX-5.

Build quality and the cabin interior is similar, so it’s really down to personal choice which of these siblings you prefer: Italian cool versus Japanese joie do vivre. From £20k.

Audi TT

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For many, the Audi TT is a thing of beauty. And so it is, particularly if you can’t afford premium sports cars that have the sports wow factor but which will often leave you with little change from six figures.

The TT is a great all-rounder, that grips the tarmac on twisty roads and exudes acceleration precisely when required. However, head out on to the motorway and you’ll find it cruises beautifully. It’s packed full of technology, too. From £27.5k

Toyota GT86

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The Toyota GT86 brings more oomph to the sub-£28k sports car party. Its firm suspension, lightweight frame, rear wheel drive and a sporty 2.0-litre petrol engine that pumps out 200bhp make sure of that.

The cabin is more basic than some on this list, but car was the subject of a welcome mid-2017 facelift which heralded some welcome changes. If you enjoy the thrill of driving a sports car, you should enjoy how the BT86 handles. From £26.5k

Subaru BRZ

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Subaru took the Toyota GT86 and worked some magic on it to turn it into the BRZ.

The external changes are reasonably subtle, but the car handles differently, with even firmer suspension and a flat-four low-mounted Boxer engine that gives it a very low centre of gravity.

It’s not the quickest car on our list, or the most comfortable, but for those looking for an authentically sporty experience it may well be the one to choose. Circa £25k.

Nissan 370Z

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The muscular 370Z followed in the proven wake of its 360Z predecessor, majoring on power and driving appear, rather than comfort and interior space.

Unlike the others, which mostly prefer small, lightweight engines, the 370Z gets a beefy 3.7-litre V6 petrol engine. It’s fast (0-62 in 5.2 seconds), loud and comes with a limited slip differential for added fun. But on the flip side, it’s less practical for everyday use than some of our other choices.

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