Sports cars are about having fun, feeling the road, and experiencing a connection between driver and machine. Buying one is a choice of passion, value be damned, right?
Well actually, some sports cars can make some sense from a value perspective. IntelliChoice, a part of the MotorTrend group, determines car values by factoring costs like fuel, insurance, repairs, maintenance, financing, state fees, and depreciation. By calculating these expenses over a five-year period, the company ranks cars based on their total ownership cost and overall value. So which new cars are sporty and offer good value? Keep reading.
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2020 Ford Mustang GT Coupe
America’s original pony car has earned fanfare for its timeless styling, potent V-8 engine, and reasonable pricing. Every year since 2013, the Ford Mustang GT Coupe has won IntelliChoice’s Best Value Performance Car award, a streak that continues in 2020. It holds 57 percent of its value, with a $48,660 five-year ownership cost total. How does the Mustang GT compare to its nemesis, the Chevrolet Camaro SS? The Camaro is more expensive than the Mustang, holding only 51 percent of its value and costing $53,210 over the same period.
2020 Acura RDX
As we found over a year with an RDX in the MotorTrend long-term test fleet, the Acura has quick acceleration and sweet handling, aided by its clever SH-AWD system. For purposes of value the RDX definitely appeals: it wins IntelliChoice’s Best Overall Value Award in its class. Retained value is nearly 49 percent, just about average for the class. However, five-year ownership cost of $47,214 is less than any competitor, aided a bit by low insurance costs.
2020 Porsche 718 GT4 and 718 Spyder
Porsche irked its ardent fans when it switched the Boxster and Cayman from atmospheric flat-sixes to turbocharged four-cylinder engines. Time behind the wheel proved that two fewer pistons didn’t mean any less mid-engine magic—actually, the 718 might provide even more of it depending on the model you pick. Nonetheless, Porsche appeased the purists by fitting a superb flat-six in the range-topping 718 GT4 and Spyder, which tie for IntelliChoice’s Best Value Premium Performance Car award. Credit for that goes in part to class-best retained value of 63 percent.
2020 BMW Z4 sDrive30i
Although the latest Z4 controversially shares its underpinnings with the Toyota Supra, we’ve found the two vehicles to offer entirely unique driving experiences. The BMW wins the Best Value Premium Convertible Award, thanks partially to its 46 percent retained value and $55,707 five-year running cost. In its IntelliChoice class, the four-cylinder Z4’s closest finisher was actually the BMW 230i convertible.
2020 Porsche 911
Porsche’s infamous options list can take the price of its rear-engine icon into supercar territory, but at least the 911’s performance backs that up. So how is the 911 a good value? It resists depreciation just like it does changes in design. According to IntelliChoice, certain 911 variants can hold up to 65 percent of their value over a five-year period, by far the highest in the Luxury Performance Car class. That helps it earn a fourth consecutive win for Best Overall Value in that class; Porsche also wins Highest Retained Value among Premium Brands. You’ll pay dearly just to use the 911—IntelliChoice predicts total ownership costs well over $90,000—but it’ll still be worth plenty if you decide to sell. And, if you love driving, it’s worth every cent. After all, the 911 was MotorTrend’s 2019 Best Driver’s Car.
2020 BMW 230i
Although BMW’s ultimate performance models are stupendously quick, that speed comes through computerized filters that sap communication and feel. In the 230i, it’s the other way around. Its acceleration won’t stretch your cheeks back, but it’s delightfully engaging on a twisty road. The BMW 230i wins IntelliChoice’s Best Overall Value Award for Premium Sporty Coupes, showing class-average value retention of 44 percent, but a class-best five-year ownership cost total of $45,772.
Best Sporty Car Values for 2020:
- Ford Mustang GT Coupe
- Acura RDX
- Porsche 718 GT4 and Spyder
- BMW Z4 sDrive30i
- Porsche 911
- BMW 230i Coupe
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