Auto Export

The Best Sporty Cars For A First Time Driver

6 July 2022

Here at AutoExport, we understand that having a good car is essential – no matter what age. So we have decided to do our investigating and have created a collection of the best first sports cars. Ranging from under 30K. Before we get started you may be wondering if a sports car is a good first car. Well, if you can afford to spend a little bit more and understand that with a good car comes expensive insurance then go for it! As with any car that is a 1.4-litre or above, you’re looking to pay over £1500 and potentially over £2000 as a first-time driver. But, with that, you get excitement, thrill, memories, and happiness. 

Volkswagen Golf GTI/Up! GTI

Starting off strong with Volkswagen. VW has been the staple of hatchbacks since the release of the LUPO. However, the Golf and Polo pandemic has been stable since its beginning in the 70s. The price of a GOLF GTI in the UK ranges from £34,000-£38,000 depending on what specs and packages you’re after. With a whopping 242hp, you’re definitely going to get a thrill out of this car. Alongside pure power, Volkswagen Golfs are stylish, elegant, and sporty – regardless of whether it is a GTI model or not. Two engines are readily available with the GTI trim. With only a fractional difference between the TSI DSG 2.0-litre and the 2.0 TSI in their 0-62mph, CO2 emissions, and fuel economy, both trims seem to do their job to a powerful and high standard. The noticeable difference between the two trims is that one version is manual and the other automatic. So depending on whether you want that racer thrill with long gear changes or you just want a sporty easy-to-drive vehicle, both different trims will give you nearly enough of the same performance level. If you like the Golf GTI but think the car is way too big for you, don’t be disheartened. The Volkswagen Up! GTI packs a strong pump to it too. With its 1-litre 3-cylinder turbocharged engine the UP produces 113hp. Because the car is so tiny you can really feel yourself getting ragged about even if the car is only doing 50mph. Which is perfect with all the restrictions on speed limits in the UK. Both the Golf GTI and the VW Up GTI are accompanied by sports seats to emphasise the high-quality sporty design inside and outside of the car. Volkswagen themselves described the seats as a “Sophisticated design, the seats are a real treat for the eyes, and for your back” (Volkswagen, 2022). When spending this much on your first car you want it to be jam-packed with features and Volkwagen hasn’t forgotten this, their interior is full of technological innovation. Vehicles being released in 2022 have to produce the latest tech to be in with a chance to compete against their rivals. If this price is still a little out of budget you can get second-hand Golf GTIs with decent mileage (below 50k) from £10,000-£15,000. It just means that the car model will be an older version with not as much contemporary tech. It will still impress you nonetheless. 



Ford Fiesta ST

Ford Fiesta ST exterior colour in red With the Ford Fiesta ST, you are getting the maximum amount of fun for the minimum amount of funds. If the car is bought brand new the average price in the UK is around £24,000. 

Ford Fiesta ST Exterior colour in red side view

However, if you wanted to add a performance package (which we suggest that you do) this is an additional £850. But, we feel that you need to go all out if you want to experience this car to its full power potential. The Fiesta ST can achieve 0-62mph in a quick 6.5 seconds and reach top speeds of 144mph. Incredibly impressive for a first car. The ST doesn’t stop there, it’s 1.5-litre 3-cylinder engine can produce horsepower of a colossal 200. So when you’re giving your friends and family a lift, they will feel the direct force of this small but mighty vehicle. The sporty feel is reinforced through a flat-bottomed steering wheel and sports seats. What we do know about Ford, in general, is that they are really reliable. Parts are cheap to fix and Ford actually lets you insure your car directly with them, so you know that they will look after and repair your car properly. 


Fiat 695 Abarth

 Giat 695 Abarth exterior colour in dark matte grey rear viewYou shouldn’t be fooled by this tiny car, as the Abarth is dynamic, agile, and energetic. The 695 Abarth not only sounds fantastic when being driven, but it is also physically fun and practical when being driven too. 

Fiat 695 Abarth exterior colour in matte grey front view

It has a fancy lower suspension. Much lower than the 595 Abarth. This is incredibly impressive and shows that the Abarth engineers and designers are really working hard on improving every newer model so that the Abarth can reach its full potential as a mini sports car. Starting from around £23,654 in the UK you are really getting a mean-looking and driving car. As this little power ball can go from 0-62mph in 5.9 seconds. With a horsepower of 180. Slightly slower than the ST and the Golf GTI but it’s as expected with a much smaller car.

Audi TT


Audi TT Grey exterior colour side view

The Audi TT is still a step down from the TT RS, however, for your first car you want it to be fast and sporty but not uncontrollable as you’ll still be getting used to the road and learning how you like to drive. So for now, it will benefit you to not jump into the deep end with Audi’s RS model just yet. Don’t be disheartened, as the TT still has a lot of power, 228hp in fact. So you’re guaranteed to have an exciting ride no matter where you go due to the same principle as the Abarth. The TT is small, meaning that because of the horsepower and the dimensions of the TT, you’re going to feel the force of the vehicle a lot more when handling the car. 

Audi TT exterior colour in grey close up of alloys from side on

Audi TT exterior colour in grey side angle of car

The sports version of the TT is a little bit on the expensive side, starting from around £35,415 from brand new. But, if you’re not too bothered about your first car being brand new then you can pick up a second-hand, newish model for anything between £6,000-£15,000. So there is some leeway around the price of this car all depending on what you want from the car. Obviously, if you want the vehicle to be less than 5 years old then the price may increase. But, even some of the 2015 T models with low mileage and still in good condition can be sourced and sold for around £10,000. Which is a really good price. The TT is stylish, sharply designed, and progressive. Its ever-changing design keeps the coupe relevant each year. This is a really good car to invest in and the aesthetic and ability of it will remind you every time you drive it that it’s a sports car.

Mini John Cooper Works

Mini JohnCooper works coupe hatchback exterior colour green white and red

Mini’s are the underdogs of the car scene. Again a small and precise car, however, the Cooper S and John Cooper works models are incredibly impressive. The John Cooper Works model comes with sports mode as standard – so you can already tell how fast and exciting this car will be. The vehicle is a 3-door hatchback with tight control and perfect precision. Excellent for city driving or on the track. 

Mini John Cooper Works exterior colour in green white and red side view

The Mini has 231hp and can almost get up to 306hp, which is outstanding. Mini is most likely able to reach up to that hp because of its 2.0-litre twin-turbo 4-cylinder engine. Even though the vehicle is small in size, the Mini remains stable even at high speeds. This is an important element when driving a small sports car – you want to feel safe and comfortable. The Mini John Cooper Works does this for you. Reportedly, the Mini can reach up to 62mph in a matter of 6.3 seconds. Which isn’t the best out of our selection, but is still a good contender. What’s more imposing about the Mini is the vehicle has a top speed of 153mph. There are only 740 models of these cars worldwide so be sure to get your hands on one otherwise you will seriously be missing out. Because of limited stock available, the price is a little more on the expensive side with their starting price of £31,030. But it will be worth every single penny when you hear the vehicle’s low-frequency growl coming from the 95mm twin-pipe exhaust system.

Thank You

I hope you have found this entry interesting and informative. It’s a little different from the contemporary car reviews but we hope this is helpful enough to help you decide if you ever are interested in owning a sports car for the first time or if you’re a first-time driver and want to own one. Head over to our NEWS page for more entries like this or new car reviews and features and be sure to CONTACT us for any inquiries. Thank you. 






Share this post