Front engine, rear drive still king of the cheap sports cars

The Toyota 86 was 2015's best-selling sports car under $80K

AUSSIES appear to want front-mounted engines and rear drive when it comes to the nation’s most affordable two-door sports cars.

The hot hatch segment appears yet to ignite buyers, with the front-wheel-drive Holden Astra GTC – launched mid-way through last year – ranking only fourth among the top five bestsellers.

Despite losing significant ground last year compared with 2014, the $29,990 Toyota 86, which received a mild facelift last year ahead of significant suspension and engine changes slated for this year, held onto the top spot in the sub $80K performance sandpit.

Top 5 Sports Cars Sub $80K

A run-out of the old model ahead of the introduction of the fourth-generation MX-5 late last year helped push the two-seat soft-top, priced from $31,990, into third spot behind BMW’s strong-selling 2 Series coupe and convertible range, priced from $51,000.

Rounding out the top five are the Astra GTC Sport, priced from $26,990, and the latest entry to the Australian market that is yet to have its first full month of sales, the Ford Mustang priced from $44,490 for the turbo four-cylinder model.

If the Mustang’s strong sales performance has you thinking about buying one, remember, there’s already a year-long waiting list for the pony car.

Sign up here to receive the latest round-up of Wheels news, reviews and video highlights straight to your inbox each week.

Want free access to 5 years of Wheels archive content? Sign up now!