In Australia, there are two. Just two.
Come on manufacturers! We want small, we want fun, we don’t need big power, we don’t need it to be too ‘smart’, it doesn’t need to be too ‘connected’, it just needs to look good, drive well, and put a smile on your face.
20 to 30 years ago this list would’ve included a Honda Prelude, Mazda MX6, Mazda MX5, Honda CRX, Honda Integra, Holden Calibra, Nissan 200SX, Toyota MR2, Toyota Celica, Eunos 30X and more.
Under $50,000 AUD
Even Chris Harris can’t deny the current MX5’s driving ability. It’s hard to believe the current MX5 is now almost 5 years old but a replacement is in development. There’s talk of hybridisation but also further light-weighting promising an even more driver connected vehicle.
Toyota GT86 (Subaru BRZ)
Universally praised for bringing back an accessible and fun sports car to the market, the joint venture between Toyota and Subaru is set to continue with a replacement on its way. Hopefully a little bit more of everything.
For a little bit more you can get…
Ford Mustang 2.3L
Closer to $60,000 will get you into a Ford Mustang. As a four cylinder. It might be sacrilege not to go for a V8, it might not have the performance, but at least it still has that Mustang look and feel.
Honda Civic Type R
The Honda Civic Type R is based on a hatchback despite looking like a sedan trying to appear like a coupe. At a children’s party. By all accounts you won’t care when you get behind the wheel as it has been universally lauded as one of the best front wheel drive sports cars of the last decade. These are currently around the late $50k mark.
The Nissan 370Z may be very long in the tooth but it can still provide thrills, and it uses a Nissan straight six which means you can probably tune it to hell and back and never break a thing. It doesn’t matter that it isn’t as fast as more modern cars, what matters is that it’s not a sedan or hatchback and so offers a different experience.