These are the perfect sports cars for highlighting one’s individuality and stimulating the driver’s dopamine release. They are undeniably sleek and universally pleasant to operate.
The best sports cars come in a variety of styles, weights, and price ranges. Whatever your preferences are, we are confident that you can find something on this list of the best sports cars of 2021 that will satisfy your need for speed and efficiency.
- Mazda MX-5 Miata
It is not an exaggeration to call the Mazda MX-5 Miata an automobile staple, as its legacy dates back more than 30 years and its joyful driving demeanor have always been its best character trait. The Miata’s four-cylinder engine provides just enough power to make it sound spirited, and its frame is delightfully balanced—ideal for zipping along curvy roads. There is a soft-top convertible model as well as a power-folding hard-top model called the RF, so buyers can have fun in the sun with anyone. The Miata’s cabin is cramped for two, and cargo space is small, but it wasn’t intended for long road trips; instead, it was built for spirited sun-drenched drives and track days. The fact that it is still one of the most affordable ways to get into a convertible sports car only adds to its allure.
- Toyota Supra
Don’t let the fact that the 2021 Toyota Supra shares much of its platform and powertrains with the BMW Z4 fool you—it has its own distinct personality and is a delight to drive. There are two turbocharged powertrains available: an inline-four and an inline-six, both of which drive the rear wheels via an eight-speed automatic transmission. We know what you’re thinking: a six-speed manual would be preferable. To be frank, this automatic transmission performs admirably, shifting gears crisply and adapting easily to the Supra’s paddle shifters. We’re so taken with the Supra that we’ve given it a tag.
- Chevy Corvette
The spotlight was on Chevrolet to produce a modern-day classic after years of waiting for the mid-engine Corvette to make its debut. As the C8-generation car reaches its second model year, we are pleased to report that its standing has been maintained—indeed, it has been elevated. The Corvette offers outstanding results, a 490-hp V-8 engine, and a low starting price, which helped it earn a 10Best award for 2021. The Corvette comes in coupe and convertible body styles, and the two-seat cabin is spacious and convenient for full-size adults. Aside from its stellar results, Chevy’s engineers designed the ride to be supple enough for regular driving and cross-country road trips, but with the Z51 kit, the Vette becomes a sports car. Aside from its stellar results, Chevy’s engineers designed the ride to be supple enough for regular commuting and cross-country road trips, while still being track-capable with the Z51 kit. Cargo space is small, but golf clubs can still be stored in the rear, and the front trunk (frunk) has a deep well that can comfortably accommodate a carry-on suitcase.
- Porsche 718 Cayman
The Porsche 718 Cayman 2021 captures the same physical and emotional thrill of driving as supercars. This coupe, as well as its convertible sister, the 718 Boxster, which we review separately, offers unrivaled driver engagement among sports cars. The Cayman’s otherworldly chassis allows for direct contact between the driver, the vehicle, and the lane. Porsche knits together solid braking, an unflappable suspension, and a steering system rich in feedback to create the 718. The end result is so fantastic that all 718 body shapes made our 10Best list for 2021. The brand’s faultless automatic and manual transmissions, as well as powerful engines, especially the melodic flat-six, round out the picture. Although the 2021 Cayman is more expensive than its distinguished rivals, the Chevy Corvette and Toyota Supra, it remains the most concentrated and rewarding choice in the market.
- Porsche 718 Boxster
Few automobiles do as well as the 2021 Porsche 718 Boxster, which is why it is one of our 2021 10Best award winners. The same can be said for its coupe sibling, the 718 Cayman. This car’s mid-engine architecture and sport-tuned suspension help it provide well-balanced driving characteristics, and its lineup of horizontally opposed four- and six-cylinder engines provides plenty of power to go along with its sharp handling. This rear-driver is available with a six-speed manual transmission or a quick-shifting seven-speed automatic transmission. Drop the hood, let the wind blow through your hair, and enjoy all of the efficiency and driving pleasure that Porsche can get for thousands less than a 911.
- BMW M2
The term “compromise” is a curse when it comes to maximum results, but don’t worry, the 2021 BMW M2 doesn’t have to put a quarter in the swear jar. As compared to the standard BMW 2-series, this badass coupe has a meaner mug and wider hips, a frame tuned for racing, and a more robust engine. The twin-turbo straight-hard-charging, six’s high-revving twin-turbo straight-six eats straightaways faster than Kobayashi eats hot dogs. As we brace for the end of manual transmissions, this little BMW continues to fight. It also has a fast dual-clutch automatic transmission. The hard ride and unimpressive interior are less of an issue on the less expensive M240i, but the real M car is fantastic specifically because it is an uncompromising driver’s car.
- BMW Z4
Nothing beats putting down the top on a sunny day and finding an exciting path to drive down, and the 2021 BMW Z4 is an excellent choice for such an endeavor. Buyers can go for a turbocharged four-cylinder or a twin-turbo inline-six engine, the latter of which accelerated the Z4 to 60 mph in 3.8 seconds on our test track. A rear-wheel drive is standard, but an all-wheel drive is not available, nor is a manual transmission; all Z4s come with an eight-speed automatic transmission. The Porsche Boxster is still our favorite ragtop sports car, but the Z4 provides plenty of driving fun with a much cleaner ride for day-to-day use. The cabin is small but cozy for two adults, with plenty of basic creature comforts and accessibility features. If you want a fixed-roof coupe, consider the mechanically identical Toyota Supra. Toyota worked with BMW on it, and the two vehicles share powertrains and suspensions.
- Chevy Camaro
Nothing beats the exciting timbre of a throbbing exhaust note or the satisfying feedback from a superbly tuned steering device when speeding down a twisty lane. Few inexpensive vehicles have both of these pleasurable pleasures, but the 2021 Chevy Camaro is one of them. It is not, however, strictly concerned with being noisy and fast—though it excels at both. Chevy’s two-door pony car is available as a coupe or convertible, with several features and personalization options. Although the 650-hp Camaro ZL1 is the most raucous model (and is tested separately), any model from the base four-cylinder to the V-6 to the V-8 can be upgraded for track duty with the transformational 1LE kit. Sure, the interior can feel claustrophobic at times and has a few other glitches, but the 2021 Chevy Camaro is specifically designed for those who enjoy driving. Much like us.
- Chevy Camaro ZL1
The 2021 Chevy Camaro ZL1 is the king of monster muscle cars, boasting a 650-hp supercharged V-8 and fearsome road capability. Sure, the Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat and Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 have horsepower scores that begin with seven, but the bow-tie beast promises comparable thrills for less money. In reality, if the mid-engine Corvette didn’t exist, the ZL1 would be referred to as the world’s best production rating. Regardless, the Camaro perfects the front-engine, rear-drive template that has long been associated with muscle cars. While both the coupe and convertible have a spectacular chassis that is more clairvoyant than Miss Cleo, unleashing the ultimate Camaro necessitates the transformative 1LE track kit, but be aware that it stiffens the suspension. If you can see beyond Chevy’s flawed cabin, the 2021 Camaro ZL1 can be more thrilling than a roller coaster, and it’ll constantly reward thrill-seekers and track rats alike.
- Ford Mustang
The Ford Mustang family has a legendary reputation and is made up of models with a wide range of identities. This year, the Mach 1 moniker, first used on the 1969 ‘Stang, is being brought back to life. The Mustang 2021 will continue to be available as a coupe or convertible, and its lineup of high-performance options will remain as extensive as ever. Whether it’s the turbocharged four-cylinder EcoBoost or the V-8-powered GT, any iteration of the original pony car can be outfitted with track arms to compete with the Chevy Camaro or Dodge Challenger. The Ford’s stunning bodywork, extensive personalization choices, and realistic interior also make it appealing to those who think less about lap times and more about comfort. The Ford’s stunning bodywork, extensive personalization choices, and realistic interior also make it appealing to those who are less concerned with lap times and more concerned with sporty daily transportation. It is why the Mustang remains an icon: it has something for everybody.