The Best New Car Under $30,000 Is…a Mazda Miata

Just because you’re lowballing on price doesn’t mean you sacrifice fun.

Courtesy of none other than the monumentally trustworthy Consumer Reports, here’s wholesale justification to get a ridiculously fun convertible as a second car. CR has released a list of the top ten best cars under $30K, and for our money, the only top-level suggestion therein is the enthusiast’s perennial favorite, the Mazda Miata. Other “sporty cars” worth noting (read: runners-up) are the twin sport coupes, Toyota’s 86 and Subaru’s BRZ. Good choices, all.

At first, it does seem confusing that Subaru crossovers comprise 30 percent of the list as a whole, but considering all the factors that go into this decision, those inclusions begin to make sense. “Every model listed here meets the stringent requirements to be recommended by Consumer Reports,” says the fine print. The list is compiled by “…factoring road test performance, owner satisfaction, predicted reliability, and safety.”

Aside from sporty cars, everything seems pretty bargain-bin and tepid. And that’s just not why we like cars, is it? Let that be a further lesson: when shopping for something new on four wheels, always start with the sports car.

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