The top 5 cars for driving fans
Just because you want a car with a bit of oomph you shouldn’t need to break the bank. There are plenty of used cars out there that still offer driving enthusiasts exactly what they’re after – power, handling and an all-round thrilling ride.
Here are five options for used, affordable cars that we think really talk the torque.
The sound of the Mazda RX-8’s high-revving engine is music to any driving fan’s ears. This was, to date, Mazda’s last rotary-engined car. And while it’s a bit greedy on the oil front, the RX-8 has left its mark on the sportscar world and remains a joy to drive.
Rear-wheel drive and powered by 1.3-litre rotary engine, its handling is flawless and rev range intoxicating. Plus, its unique design sets it apart from other cars – at first glance, it looks like a two-door coupe, but further inspection will show its near-invisible rear doors.
The Nissan 350Z is more than just a pretty face. It’s got the guts to deliver on what its sleek, mean exterior promises. Nissan’s first sports car of the 21st century has aged well, boasting a 3.5-litre V6 engine that feels every bit as powerful as it looks. Its two seats are positioned at the back to give the 350Z a traditional sportscar feel – which, in our opinion, is a worthy sacrifice of space.
Its rear-wheel-drive balance gives the car a responsive platform and provides excellent steering. For a tough-looking car that delivers on power, you can’t go wrong.
Suzuki Swift Sport
The Suzuki Swift is pretty good at getting on top-car lists. Year-on-year, it’s announced as one of New Zealand’s best-selling cars. And when you take performance and affordability into account, it’s easy to see why. Its Sport evolution brings a new dimension of driveability, adding a grunty engine and highly responsive handling. While not exceptionally powerful, its lightweight design gives it a level of manoeuvrability and agility that makes it a joy to drive, enabling you to hang onto speed around corners.
This, along with a range of fun tech features and gadgets, fuel efficiency – and next-level safety to boot – all come together to deliver a truly immersive driving experience.
Do we even need to explain why this car’s on our list? The Mazda MX-5 Miata is one of the most iconic sports cars ever made. In fact, it’s Guinness certified as the world’s best-selling roadster. And no matter which generation you drive, you’re in for a wild time. Its combination of rear-wheel drive, and naturally aspirated petrol engines has proven to be a winning formula, spanning each successive model. It also delivers precise handling and perfect balance, which make for a truly remarkable driving experience.
It’s no wonder that this Japanese work of art remains, to this day, the standard for how a good sports car should perform.
Nissan Sentra SE-R
The Nissan Sentra SE-R seems to slip under the radar when it comes to affordable, fun-to-drive cars. But this sedan is as powerful as it is practical. Its base model is equipped with a 2.5-litre engine, which produces 177 horsepower at 6,000 rpm. And its handling takes it to another level, giving you far more than you’d expect from an inexpensive sedan. With the looks, the power and the price, it’s an ideal option for any driving enthusiast on a budget.
For more options, check out Niccars’ range of used cars or visit a dealership near you. Our team of experts are always happy to help.
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