2011 Honda CR-Z
The all-new sport-oriented 2011 Honda CR-Z is the only hybrid on our list of best 2011 sporty cars under $25,000. While it’s no muscle car – it doesn’t pretend to be – the CR-Z may be perfect for consumers who want to reduce their carbon footprint and have a fun-to-drive car to boot. Starting MSRPs are certainly attractive, too -- $19,200 for CR-Z and $20,760 for the CR-Z EX. Both models feature the 122-hp 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine with integrated motor assist, six-speed manual or continuously variable transmission (CVT), Honda-exclusive three-mode driving system, six airbags, ABS, vehicle stability assist, hill start assist, and more. EPA-estimated fuel economy is 35 mpg city/39 mpg highway.
2010 Nissan Altima
As a family sedan, you wouldn’t normally consider the front-wheel drive Nissan Altima as a sporty car – yet, it is. First of all, the 2011 Nissan Altima, delivers 175 horsepower from a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine paired with continuously variable transmission (CVT) with manual mode, and gets an EPA-estimated 23 mpg city/32 mpg highway. That’s not bad for a four-passenger mid-size sedan. The 2.5 and 2.5 S models carry starting MSRPs of $19,900 and $22,060, respectively. Six airbags, vehicle dynamic control, and traction control are standard. For power and efficiency, sleek exterior design, details that are bound to be noticed, the 2011 Nissan Altima proves a family sedan can be sporty as well.
2009 MINI Cooper
With a starting MSRP of $20,100 for the 2011 MINI Cooper, and $23,700 for MINI Cooper S, consumers looking to make a statement can find a lot to like in this zippy, sporty front-wheel drive compact car. Power comes from a 121-hp 1.6-liter in-line four-cylinder engine and six-speed manual (or six-speed automatic) transmission. EPA-estimated fuel economy is 29 mpg city/37 mpg highway. For Cooper S, the engine is a twin scroll turbocharged 1.6-liter that achieves 181 horsepower and EPA-estimated 27 mpg city/36 mpg highway fuel economy. Rear cargo capacity, however, is limited – only 5.7 cubic feet with rear seats up. And it’s best to think of the MINI as a two-seater, with seating for up to four in an emergency. For a fun-to-drive sporty car with a no-question-about-it unconventional attitude, check out the 2011 MINI Cooper or Cooper S.
Want to know the rest of the list? Check out Best 2011 Sporty Cars Under $25,000 – Part Two.