Sports Cars are a staple among us car lovers growing up, and owning one is special. If you are looking for a first car that can not only get you to work but also something that can get you from point A to point B in the fastest and most fun way then this list is for you.
I have come up with a list of the 10 Best Daily Driver Sports Car Under $10k for those who want sportscar level performance without breaking the bank.
1. 2011 Dodge Charger SE
Dodge is known for the Charger model since the muscle car era, and the 2011 version is no slouch. This car shows off its muscle with its aggressive body lines and massive front grille. The low stance, twin exhaust tips and rear spoiler does really give it that sports car vibe.
This retro-styled four-ton muscle car comes standard with a 3.6-liter V6 engine paired with a 5-speed automatic gearbox. This big engine produces 292 horsepower and 260lb-ft of torque. It can reach a limited top speed of 120mph and has a 0-60mph time of 7.3 seconds. The Charger consumes 18mpg when commuting around the city and 27mpg on the open roads.
Forking out a bit more, you can find the R/T trim that boasts a 5.7-liter V6 with a power output of 370hp.
Also read: Are Dodge Parts Expensive? (with Exact Costs)
2. 2012 VW Golf GTI
The 2012 Volkswagen Golf GTI is a pocket rocket of a hatchback. On the outside, it may just look like any other VW Golf with a few extra trimmings, but it does come with a lot of fun. With a better engine and extremely balanced handling, the VW Golf GTI shows you that good things can come in small packages.
This pint-sized car has a 2.0-liter inline-4 engine paired with a 6-speed automatic transmission that will surely put a smile on your face when you take it out for a long drive on the weekends. This little inline-4 outputs 200hp and 207nm of torque which is more than enough to propel the GTI from 0 to 60mph in 7.3 seconds and a top speed of 147mph. Fuel economy is at 27mpg combined city and highway driving.
The combination of speed and extremely nimble handling of the Golf GTI is something its owner would surely enjoy.
Also read: Are Volkswagens Reliable? (and Models to Avoid)
3. 2011 Acura TSX
The 2011 Acura TSX is a sporty sedan from the North American subsidiary of Honda. This high-revving and lightweight luxury compact comes with all the creature comforts you would expect. The TSX is styled to be more refined and the driving experience is very enjoyable.
For the budget we set, you can have yourself the base model with comes with a 2.4-liter inline-4 engine and a 5-speed automatic transmission. The engine makes 201hp and 170lb-ft of torque, which translates to a 0-60mph time of 7.7 seconds and a top speed of 137mph.
The TSX is a great choice if you want the image of a luxury sedan but with a sporty driving experience.
4. 2012 Ford Taurus SHO
The Ford Taurus is known as a working man’s car and can be a bit bland. The Taurus SHO though takes it up to a whole new level and then some. The SHO brings with it a big engine and aggressive acceleration, which makes this way more fun out on the streets.
The 2012 Ford Taurus SHO is a mid-sized sedan that hides a 3.5-liter twin-turbocharged V6 under the hood. This powerful engine produces 365hp and 350lb-ft of torque and is paired with a 6-speed paddle-shift gearbox. The Taurus SHO can accelerate to 60mph from a standstill in 5.8 seconds and tops out at 150mph. The Taurus SHO is touted to have V8 performance without sacrificing fuel consumption thanks to its EcoBoost technology, its fuel economy is at 20mpg combined.
Adding to the cool factor is that this car was used in the film Men in Black 3. Hey, if it is good enough for the guys in the black suits then it’s good enough for us.
5. 2011 BMW 3 Series
The BMW 3 Series is known for the famed M3 but the more affordable 328i and 335i trims are no less fun to drive. These sports sedans have the same pedigree as the top-of-the-line M3. Our focus would be on the mid-tier 335i which is a good combination of power and luxury.
The 2011 BMW 335i came out as one of the best luxury sports sedans of that year. It boasts a 3.0-liter turbocharged inline-6 engine with an output of 300hp and 300lb-ft of torque. It sprints from zero to 60mph in 4.8 seconds and has a top speed of 140mph. It has decent range with its 23mpg combined fuel economy.
If you want an agile and quick compact luxury car, then the 2011 BMW 335i is absolutely for you.
Also read: Are BMWs Reliable After 100k Miles? (Checked)
6. 2010 Subaru Impreza WRX
A list of fun four-door sedans would not be complete without a Subaru Impreza and the 2010 WRX model makes the cut for this list. The Subaru WRX is known because of its rally heritage, and the 2010 Impreza WRX certainly has it.
This sub-compact sedan has a turbocharged 2.5-liter horizontally opposed flat-four engine with a power output of 265hp and 244lb-ft of torque. The powerplant is paired with a 5-speed manual gearbox and an all-wheel drivetrain to boot. The Impreza WRX can reach speeds of 158mph and has a 0-60mph time of 5.2 seconds. The fuel economy is at 25mpg.
If you want to feel what it is like to drive a rally car, then the Subaru Impreza WRX is the closest you will get without spending a fortune. It will surely be fun to drive, whether on pavement or out on a dirt road.
7. 2012 Honda Civic Si
Honda Civics are popular because of their performance and handling, and the 2012 Honda Civic Si makes the list for those reasons. This beloved Japanese four-door sedan is known for its high-revving engine and instantaneous throttle response, which can be an absolute joy for car owners.
Sporting a 2.4-liter i-VTEC inline-four engine that comes with a 6-speed manual transmission, the 2012 Honda Civic Si has a power output of 201hp and 170lb-ft of torque. The Civic Si has a top speed of 135mph and 0-60mph time of 6.6 seconds. It also has a fairly good fuel economy of 25mpg combined.
Where the Honda Civic Si shines the most is the availability of aftermarket performance parts. This car is a good project car for those who want to customize their rides. Think of the Civic Si as a blank canvas for you to work on.
Also read: Where is Honda Made? (The Full List)
8. 2010 Jaguar XF Supercharged
Fancy owning a Jaguar for under 10K? The 2010 Jaguar XF Supercharged certainly fits the bill and your budget. The XF is a premium four-door sports car that can really go fast. It also has an executive-grade cabin complete with all the goodies that will surely please any driver.
This luxury sports sedan has a really beefy supercharged 5.0-liter V8 engine, which is paired with a 6-speed automatic gearbox. The 2010 Jaguar XF Supercharged is quick, with its 4.3 seconds 0-60mph time and a limited top speed of 155mph. The fuel economy suffers a bit because of the big engine, with a combined 19mpg; power does come at the cost of mileage.
With the combination of luxury and raw power, the 2010 Jaguar XF Supercharged a drive you will surely enjoy.
9. 2009 Audi S4 Quattro
The S4 is a high-performance compact executive class sedan from Audi, much like the BMW 3 Series. It is a four-door executive compact class car that looks and feels premium both on the interior and exterior.
This luxury sedan comes with a 4.2-liter V8 engine producing 339hp and 302lb-ft of torque. The S4 has a 6-speed manual transmission and all-wheel drive. The S4 can sprint from 0 to 60mph in 5.8 seconds and has an electronically limited top speed of 155mph. The fuel economy is on the lower end at 15mpg combined. There is also an issue with regard to the timing chain guides and tensioners being plastic instead of metal, which can be quite expensive to replace if it breaks.
One cool thing about the Audi S4 is that it comes in 3 body variants: Sedan, Cabriolet, and Avant. You would be spending a little more on the Cabriolet, but it would be nice to drive around in a convertible.
10. 2014 Ford Fiesta ST
What is more fun than a Fiesta? Well, that would be a Ford Fiesta ST. The 2014 Ford Fiesta ST is a party that comes in a very small package.
This four-door hatchback comes with a tiny turbocharged 1.6-liter engine, which is the smallest on this list. The powerplant can produce 197hp and 202lb-ft of torque, which is enough to make this car go fast. It can reach a limited top speed of 143mph and has a 0-60mph time of 7.0 seconds. The fuel economy is really good for this performance model at 25mpg combined.
The 2014 Ford Fiesta ST looks like it’s ready to race thanks to the aggressive styling and low stance. Just looking at the 2014 Ford Fiesta ST, you know you will be having a fun time.
Also read: How Long Should a Clutch Last on a Ford Fiesta (Solved)
Most of the 2022 models are already out in the market, and this would probably be the best time to go out to find bargain deals as a lot of owners are looking to upgrade. With a bit of time and a lot of research (and some negotiation), you might get lucky. Always remember to check service records and do a test drive to check for anything that doesn’t sound right. Wishing you good luck and happy hunting.