carsales has announced its best used cars for 2020, and the best sports car is…

Sports cars have enduring popularity among enthusiasts and luxury car buyers, but global sales are waning as people increasingly look for functionality over fun.

Make no mistake, there are still fans out there, and they’re perfectly content to own a car tasked primarily with putting a smile on their dial.

In the main, these buyers are in the market for convertibles and coupes, rather than hot hatches or muscle cars.

Sports cars should have two doors only, say the purists.

These days, buying a used sports car doesn’t have to mean trouble for the owner on a budget.

The modern sports car, provided it’s correctly maintained and not thrashed and trashed every waking moment, will last as well as any light hatch or small SUV.

For the 2020 carsales Best Used Car Awards, proudly presented by Bingle, the year in review is 2014.

Back then, the sports car segment was showing signs of waning buyer interest, with sales for the year totalling fewer than 24,000 units – about 1700 down from the previous year.

Global sales have continued to decline since then, despite new entrants in the market such as the BMW Z4 and Toyota Supra twins.

In common with other market segments scrutinised for carsales Best Used Cars, the winner and two honourable mentions in the sports car category were decided by adding a score out of 50 from RedBook and individual scores out of 10 from each of the five judges.

And in 2020, the carsales best used sports car is the 2014…

Toyota 86 GTS

For its first time in the carsales Best Used Cars limelight, the Toyota 86 GTS has beaten the highly regarded Mazda MX-5.

On its arrival in Australia, the Toyota was a shock to those who thought sports cars and Toyota were mutually exclusive, or that the 86 would be shown up by the MX-5.

Toyota and Subaru worked together on the project, with the 86 sharing just about everything but the badges with Subaru’s counterpart, the BRZ.

In its flagship grade, the Toyota 86 GTS produced a score of 86.6 – 45.6 from RedBook and 41 from the judges.

Priced from $36,490 plus on-road costs when new, the 86 GTS in average condition for its age is still worth $20,300 in the used-car market, according to RedBook.

Summing up the 86 GTS, carsales used-car buying expert Cliff Chambers says: “Fun factor to the max and easy-to-afford used ones that haven’t done silly distances.”

“Good combination of a sporty drive at great value, with Toyota reliability. Find a good one and you’re on a winner,” says Ross Booth, RedBook data services director.

“There’s a lot of Subaru DNA in this Toyota, but that hasn’t held back buyers looking for a smart sports car that’s not a Mazda,” says Ken Gratton, carsales technical editor.

You can read more about the Toyota 86 GTS in our launch review.

After driving the 86 for the local launch, carsales managing editor Marton Pettendy had this to say: “Toyota, in its drive to reconnect with driving enthusiasts for the first time since the demise of the Celica and MR2 in 2006, is right to say its most anticipated model ever redefines the concept of the affordable sports car.

“It literally creates an all-new vehicle segment beneath the established hot-hatch players.”

Find a used Toyota 86 GTS on carsales

Honourable mentions:

Mazda MX-5 Roadster Coupe Sports

Scored 38.0 from RedBook and 36.0 from the judges for a total of 74.0 points
RedBook value: $18,300

“Reliable, value-for-money fun when it comes to wind-in-your-hair motoring” – Ross Booth, RedBook data services director

“Forget cockroaches, Mazda’s extraordinary MX-5 will still be around when all the other cars have dissolved to dust” – Cliff Chambers, carsales used-car buying expert

Porsche Cayman 981 GTS

Scored 27.8 points from Redbook and 39 points from the judges for a total of 66.8 points
RedBook value: $106,200

“Entertaining to drive and appreciably cheaper than a 911, this is the Porsche sports car for the budget-minded” – Ken Gratton, carsales technical editor

“The market won’t let Porsche kill the 911 so they made a politically correct version” – Cliff Chambers, carsales used-car buying expert

“Sublime” – Bruce Newton, carsales senior journalist

What makes a car eligible for carsales Best Used Car Awards?
• Less than six years old
• Standard side-curtain airbags
• Standard Bluetooth
• Standard electronic stability control (mandated for 2014)
• Standard reversing camera for SUVs

How did RedBook weight the categories for scoring?
• 10 per cent for resale
• 10 per cent for ANCAP rating
• 20 per cent for cost of ownership
• Five per cent for service intervals
• Five per cent for number of days for vehicle to sell

Read all about carsales Best Used Cars for 2020 here

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