Ten of the Best Cheap Mid-Engine Sports Cars

Looking for that mid-engine driving experience on a budget? These are the cars for you.

Lotus Esprit
The Lotus Esprit was built for nearly 30 years, which means there are plenty of different versions to choose from. Some are more expensive than others, but the cheap ones cab be found for well under $30,000.

Honda Beat

The Honda Beat is a Kei car convertible only offered in Japan when new. It’s now old enough for to be imported to the US, which means enthusiasts here have another choice for affordable mid-ship fun. The engine is a tiny three-cylinder with a 9000-RPM redline. This one’s on eBay right now for $5800.


Mazda Autozam AZ-1 / Suzuki Cara

Now that the AZ-1 is eligible for import into the US, it’s becoming highly desirable. The car’s mid-engine layout and gullwing doors combined with its tiny footprint make it a joy to drive. Prices are hovering around $10,000-$15,000 now, but expect those numbers to climb over time. This one can be yours for just under $13,000.


Toyota MR2
Of course the MR2 is on this list. Go on Craigslist anywhere and odds are you’ll find one for about the same price as an old Miata. Plus, thanks to that Toyota reliability, you won’t have to worry about dumping money into keeping it on the road. This first-gen example is just $5700 right now on eBay.
Pontiac Fiero
Okay, hear us out. The Fiero might not be known for its driving attributes, but there’s not a ton cheaper you can buy that has its engine mounted in the middle. Plus, it looks pretty cool. This white one’s in perfect condition, for sale for under $10,000.

Fiat X1/9
Fiat X1/9s are getting harder and harder to come by nowadays, but running and driving examples can still be found for less than $10,000 if you know where to look. For a mid-engine Bertone-designed targa-top classic, that sounds like a deal to us. This one can be yours for just $5450.

Ferrari 348
The 348 is one of the cheapest used Ferraris you can buy. It’s certainly not the most iconic car to come from Maranello, but it’s still a mid-engine Ferrari, after all. That means a gated manual transmission and a V8 behind the passenger compartment. This one is on eBay right now for an absurd $25,000.


Porsche 914
For the longest time, no one wanted to own a 914. The polarizing looks used to scare people away, but these days, collectors are paying close to six figures for six-cylinder examples. The cheaper, slower, 1.8-liter four-cylinder models can still be had for relatively little money, though. This white one is up for bidding right now.
Porsche Boxster (986)
While people have warmed to the looks of the 914, the same can’t be said of the 986-generation Boxster. Used examples with some mileage can easily be had for under ten grand, and for that, you get a super capable mid-engine track car right out of the box. There’s one on eBay right now for just $8100.
Porsche Cayman (987)
If you’d rather not have a convertible experience, high-mileage first-gen Caymans are starting to creep below the $20,000-mark as well—but you’re getting a driving experience worth triple that. This white one is for sale for just under $17,000.

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