Everyone knows that sports cars tend to be more expensive than other types of transportation, so if you’re in the market for one it may prove beneficial to consider the cheapest sports cars to own.

Chances are, you might just be surprised.

What factors should you take into consideration when looking at sports cars? For one thing, you need to factor in the sports cars with the best resale value. That’s because you’ll wind up spending less overall in year-over-year transportation costs for a car that retains its value well than one that doesn’t. To gauge sports cars with the best resale value, we checked out the 2012 Best Resale Value Awards from Kelley Blue Book (KBB).

  • 2012 Chevrolet Camaro V6 – The number 10 of the top 10 in the KBB 2012 Best Resale Value Awards and category winner of Best Sports Car is the 2012

    Chevrolet Camaro V-6. While the least-expensive Camaro, which was previously dismissed as a “secretary’s car,” may cost less than its higher-horsepower V8 brother, this is no wimpy sports car by any means. Power comes from the 312-horsepower 3.6-liter V-6 engine which, when mated with a six-speed manual transmission, gets good fuel economy of 17 mpg city/28 mpg highway. KBB highlights the 2012 Camaro’s winning exterior design as well as an interior that “exudes style despite some hard plastics and a small back seat.” Base priced at about $23,500, the 2012 Chevrolet Camaro is an affordable American performance coupe. It also holds its value well, with KBB projected resale value of 55 percent at 36 months and 41.3 at 60 months.

  • 2012 Mazda Mazda3 Touring – Second place in the Best Sports Car category of KBB’s 2012 Best Resale Value Awards goes to the 2012 Mazda Mazda3 Touring hatchback, also called Mazdaspeed 3. KBB calls the Mazda3 Touring “a powerful, eye catching and comparatively inexpensive hatchback” with “a welcome dose of practicality.” That practicality is well evidenced in projected resale values of 52 percent at 36 months and 37 percent at 60 months.
  • 2012 Ford Mustang Third-place isn’t all that bad, considering the many competitors in the sports car field. That it belongs to the 2012 Ford Mustang might be a

    surprise. After all, the Mustang has been a formidable competitor to the Chevrolet Camaro ever since the launch of the two cars in the 1960s, although the Mustang is the only one with continuous production (the Camaro had an eight-year hiatus, returning for the 2010 model year). Of the 2012 Ford Mustang, KBB says, “Rear-wheel drive, iconic good looks and a powerful V6 blend with modern technologies and surprising fuel economy to make the Mustang a contemporary classic.” Resale value at 36 months is projected to be 50.3 percent, while 60-month resale value is projected to be 35.3 percent.

  • 2012 Chevrolet Camaro SS – In the category of Best High-Performance Sports Car, the 2012 Chevrolet Camaro SS wins hands-down. Besides the outstanding performance from the 426-horsepower LS3 6.2-liter V8 engine paired with six-speed manual transmission, with zero-to-60 mph time of 4.6 seconds, the 2012 Camaro SS has a strong performance-per-dollar ratio that KBB finds “hard to ignore.” Base price for the 2011 Camaro SS is around $32,000. But the projected 36-month resale value is 60 percent, and at 60 months, it’s 43.5 percent.
  • 2012 Lexus IS-F – In second place of Best High-Performance Sports Car is the 2012 Lexus IS-F. The “raciest IS yet,” the 2012 IS-F has a projected 36 month resale value of 55 percent, while 60-month resale value is projected to be 40 percent.
  • 2012 Chevrolet Corvette – Wondering where the Chevrolet Corvette is in the list of Best High-Performance Sports Car? Fear not, as the legendary American icon

    is number three in the category. KBB finds that the Corvette is “wickedly quick yet less expensive than its lap times would suggest.” Projected 36-month resale value for the 2012 Corvette is 53.8 percent, while at 60 months it is expected to be 39.5

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