Value for Money Performance Cars

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Top ten value for money performance cars

At every price point there are bargains to be had. From £1,000 to £30,000, here's our guide to the top tenvalue for money performance cars. 

Mazda MX-5
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Mazda MX-5

Mazda MX-5

The humble MX-5 has been many a petrolheads’ first taste of sports car motoring. The Japanese roadster has been on sale since 1989 and in that time close to a million have been sold around the world across three generations. Leggy original models can be found for less than £500, although it pays to spend a little more.
Price: from £500

Ford Focus ST170
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Ford Focus ST170

Ford Focus ST170

The original Focus ST170, available as a hatchback or an estate, wasn't met with critical acclaim when it arrived in 2002, but with good examples available today from as little as £1,000 there's no doubting its value for money. The Focus chassis is a gem and the 2.0-litre, four-cylinder engine returns lusty straight-line performance. 
Price: from £1000

Renault Clio 182
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Renault Clio 182

Renault Clio 182

The victor of what seems like a countless number of magazine group tests, the Clio 182 moved the hot hatch game on so far that the likes of Citroen and Peugeot have never caught up.
Price: £2,000 - this is nothing for one of the all time great hot hatches. 


Honda S2000
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Honda S2000

Honda S2000

Similar in concept to the MX-5 but with much more performance and spikier handling on the limit (as many unsuspecting owners quickly realised whilst travelling backwards through a hedge), the rear-wheel drive S2000 is a proper driver’s sports car.
Price: £5,000 - for an engine that revs to 9000rpm is a bargain. 

Nissan 350Z
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Nissan 350Z

Nissan 350Z

For sports car fans who prefer their engines butch and barrel-chested, the 350Z presses all the right buttons. The 3.5-litre V6 sends close to 300bhp to the rear wheels – enough to propel the Nissan to 60mph in less than six seconds and on to a top speed of 150mph. 
Price: from £6,000

BMW M3
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BMW M3

BMW M3

The third-generation M3 will be remembered as one of BMW’s all-time great performance cars. The 3.2-litre straight six engine, good for 340bhp, is a gem. The M3 handles as well as it looks and with prices likely to start creeping back up very soon now is the time to buy. 
Price: from £7,000

Audi RS6
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Audi RS6

Audi RS6

In terms of bhp-per-pound, the original RS6 could just be the best value performance car on sale. The twin-turbo V8 returns a mighty 444bhp and early cars can be picked up for less than the price of a new Skoda. Of course, you’ll face maintenance bills to match the massive performance, but that’s still extraordinary value. 
Price: from £8,000

Porsche 911
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Porsche 911

Porsche 911

A Porsche 911 for less than £10,000? You better believe it. Okay, so the 996-generation model that arrived in the late Nineties isn’t the purists’ favourite 911, but with prices dropping as low as low as this there are bargains to be had. The engine, the styling and the handling are all pure Porsche. 
Price: from £9,000

BMW M5
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BMW M5

BMW M5

The E60 M5’s 5.0-litre V10 is a monster of an engine. It delivers more than 500bhp and revs to 8000rpm, drinking unfathomable quantities of super unleaded as it does so. The paddle-shift gearbox is a weak point, but the M5 seems to look better everyday and that engine is fit for an Italian supercar.
Price: from £15,000

Aston Martin V8 Vantage
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Aston Martin V8 Vantage

Aston Martin V8 Vantage

What better way to play out your James Bond fantasies than in your very own Aston Martin? The Vantage is undeniably one of the best looking cars of recent years and that 4.3-litre V8 sounds glorious at full throttle. No other car offers this much feel-good factor for the money.  
Price: from £30,000

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