Maybe you want a sports car, but you don't want it to be a Miata. These are the best alternatives you can buy.
The Honda Beat wasn't originally sold in the US, but since it's now more than 25 years old, you can finally import one. Sporting a mid-engine layout, a convertible top, and a high-revving three-cylinder engine, it's everything you could want from a (very) tiny roadster. has low mileage, and it's for sale right now.
Since the Miata carries so much of the original Elan's ethos, we figured someone who doesn't want a Miata also wouldn't want a '60s Elan. But what about the '90s version? It's front-wheel drive, but still handles wonderfully. Plus, it has a sweet turbocharged Isuzu engine.
Chevy now offers the 1LE track package on the base four-cylinder Camaro, to a new Miata Club. It's not exactly as small or as light as a Miata, but thanks to a turbocharged engine, the Chevy makes nearly 100 more horsepower, and has twice as many seats.
The TT might not be as fun to drive as the Miata, but it's still a cool, stylish alternative. First-gen models look great, and they can be had .
The Pontiac Solstice and Saturn Sky are perfect Miata alternatives if you want to buy American. They might not give you exactly the same driving experience as an MX-5, but with either of these lightweight two-seat roadsters, you sure won't be frowning behind the wheel. .
The SLK isn't as sporty as some of the other cars on this list, but sometimes, that's a good thing. Because it's a Mercedes, it has a bunch of luxurious features that make it perfect as a comfy drop-top cruiser. .
In a lot of ways, the S2000 is better than a Miata. It has more power and can get around a track quicker than a stock Miata ever could. That VTEC engine can rev to the moon reliably for hundreds of thousands of miles. The only downside, unsurprisingly, is the price. S2000s are historically than Miatas of the same vintage.
The Cappuccino is a Japan-market Kei car that's now old enough to be imported under our 25-year import law. Like the Miata, it has a front-engine, rear-wheel drive layout and a convertible top. Consider this if an MX-5 is just too darn big for your taste. up for bidding right now.
If you've already driven your Miata to the fullest, and want something more powerful for the same price, it's hard to go wrong with the C5-generation Corvette. Prices for base cars , and for that you get an LS V8 and a wonderful chassis.
The Miata wasn't the only good car Mazda made in the '90s. There was also the FD-generation RX-7, a turbo rotary-powered two-seater with stellar looks and endless behind-the-wheel smiles. Plus, it still looks modern 25 years after it went into production. for about the price of a new Miata Club.
Those looking for a fun rear-wheel drive two-seater with real power on the cheap need look no further than a 350Z. Its cool looks and reliability don't hurt either. Best of all, they're .
Sure, the Caterham Seven probably isn't as livable on a day-to-day basis as your average Miata, but it's one of the few cars that provides just as much fun behind the wheel. And because they're so bare-bones, they remain .
Want a little luxury in your RWD drop-top experience? The BMW Z4 is the car for you. We recommend finding a for that perfect fun-to-luxury balance.
In case you don't like the Z4 (or can't afford it), there's another BMW alternative worth considering: the Z3. Cheaper and simpler than its newer sibling, it provides plenty of top-down fun. .
Technically, the 124 Spider is a Miata underneath. It uses the same chassis and is even built in the same factory in Japan. But the looks and the turbocharged engine are pure Fiat, giving drivers a distinct experience. Plus, if you opt for the Abarth version, you get some rally flair on your roadster. is for sale on eBay right now.
As far as two-seat convertible sports cars go, Porsche makes one of the best. The Boxster sounds awesome, handles great, and with the right maintenance, can be reliable too. They can be found for under $10,000 .
The Lotus Elise is in a curious spot in the market. A 13 year-old example costs a bit more than a new Miata, meaning buyers have a choice: Risk it with a fantastic British-built targa-top sports car known to leak in the rain, or a new Japanese-built two-seater with a warranty. It's up to you. .
If you want a sports car on the cheap with the prestige of cars ten times its worth, look no further than the Porsche 944. Running, driving examples can be had , and all provide a fun, Porsche-engineered experience.
If you can't go for a Miata, the next logical step is to search for MR2s. They provide nearly as much fun behind the wheel, mixed with mid-engine quirkiness and Toyota reliability. can be yours for under $10,000.