The Ten Most Underrated Sports Cars

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People rave endlessly about the Porsche 911, the Mazda Miata, and their ilk for good reason, but these ten sports cars deserve some of that praise as well.

10.) Toyota MR-2 (Third Gen.)


The final iteration of the MR-2 tends to get overshadowed by the Miata, and the S2000, but it's a mid-engined roadster bargain. I like to think of it as a Boxster on a budget. Former Jalopnik EIC Mike Spinelli likes them so much, he owns one.

Suggested By: sm70- why not Duesenberg?, Photo Credit:

9.) Opel GT

Take one Opel Kadett chassis, wrap some sexy new bodywork around it, and voila! You get one Opel GT. Perhaps it wasn't the greatest performer, but it was a lightweight at just 2,000 lbs. That and it had the one of the coolest pop-up headlight designs known to man.

Suggested By: Canofminus, Photo Credit: Opel

8.) Fiat X1/9


A beautifully handling, mid-engined, Bertone designed, Italian sports car that was unfortunately built in the "fix it again, Tony" era.

Suggested By: Phil_L, Photo Credit: Fiat

7.) Suzuki Cappuccino


You think your Miata is cute? The Suzuki Cappuccino would like to have a word with you. It may have only had a 63 hp three cylinder, but it only weighs 1,500 lbs, and it's rear wheel drive. If anyone knows how to import one to the US, please let me know.

Suggested By: Bawanga, Photo Credit: Suzuki

6.) Sunbeam Tiger


Quick! Name a British roadster crammed with a Ford V8, engineered by Carroll Shelby. The AC Cobra, you say? Well, that's correct, but so is the Sunbeam Tiger. Buy one of these instead of a Cobra kit car.

Suggested By: 6shelBfan6, Photo Credit:

5.) Isuzu Impulse


1980s Giugiaro styling, and a chassis tuned by Lotus? The Impulse had both of those boxes ticked for the 1988-1989 Models, and yet no one ever talks about them.

Suggested By: Turbolence88, Photo Credit: Isuzu

4.) Datsun Roadster


The Datsun Roadster was in a lot of ways, the proto-Miata. The Miata was basically a Japanese version of the '60s Lotus Elan, and this early Datsun was basically a Japanese version of even earlier 1950s Triumphs. The Datsun started the formula for a stylish, reliable counterpart to classic European roadster offerings.

Suggested By: My X-type is too a real Jaguar, Photo Credit: Bill Abbot

3.) Matra Murena


This spot could have gone to the any Matra, but today the lovable Murena gets the spotlight. It has its engine in the middle, three abreast seating, beautiful wedge styling, and it's French.

Suggested By: RaymondStantz, Photo Credit: T N

2.) De Tomaso Pantera


No, the Pantera was not the most reliable, or well-built car the world has ever seen. That said, the combination of Italian good looks, and a muscular Ford V8 in the middle is irresistible. While Pantera values are starting to climb, these cars always seem to be overshadowed by their contemporary Italian competitors.

Suggested By: BigNSlow, Photo Credit: De Tomaso

1.) Porsche 914


Porsche sold quite a lot of 914s, but it never caught on with enthusiasts or the press. Sure, the Volkswagen air-cooled 4 cylinder wasn't exactly powerful, and the styling wasn't for everyone, but it was a capable, balanced car filled with unlocked potential.

Suggested By: Brian, The Life of, Photo Credit: Alden Jewell

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Top Photo Credit: Marjolein