2. Mazda MX-5 Miata
2. Mazda MX-5 Miata
Base Price: $22,960

The Miata breaks the two-seat rule, but I've included it because 1) it was an instant classic when it was introduced in 1989 and remains so today; and 2) its canvas top is a model of utility, designed to be pulled up by the driver while seated with one hand.

The optional retractable hardtop doesn't make the cut. The Miata is a sports car any driver can appreciate -- no prior experience required. It's fun to drive even when you aren't going fast. And shifting through its smooth-as-butter six-speed gear box helps you understand why manual transmissions are still manual.


Last updated June 17 2011: 11:11 AM ET
Join the Conversation

Speed is a dying breed in America, but here are 10 models still available to help you unleash the beast. More

All the market research, focus groups, and top engineering can't change one simple fact: Sometimes carmakers blow it. More

Find Your Next Car

Get the latest car news:

Market indexes are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer LIBOR Warning: Neither BBA Enterprises Limited, nor the BBA LIBOR Contributor Banks, nor Reuters, can be held liable for any irregularity or inaccuracy of BBA LIBOR. Disclaimer. Morningstar: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Disclaimer The Dow Jones IndexesSM are proprietary to and distributed by Dow Jones & Company, Inc. and have been licensed for use. All content of the Dow Jones IndexesSM © 2014 is proprietary to Dow Jones & Company, Inc. Chicago Mercantile Association. The market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved. Most stock quote data provided by BATS.