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Top Gear’s top five junior sports cars

Subaru BRZ

Price: £22,495
Specs: 197bhp, 151lb ft, 0-62mph 7.6secs, 130mph top speed, 36.2mpg, CO2 181g/km

Modest but revvy power, rear-wheel drive and a decent manual gearbox make for one of the most complete fun-per-£ cars of the modern age.

Read Top Gear’s full verdict on the Subaru BRZ

Toyota GT86

Price: £22,995
Specs: 197bhp, 151lb ft, 0-62mph 7.6secs, 130mph top speed, 36.2mpg, CO2 181g/km

The Toyota twin of the BRZ, except it’s imported in higher numbers (and it’s a smidge more expensive). Think a modern version of a Ford Escort Mexico, except Japanese and reliable.

Read Top Gear’s full verdict on the Toyota GT86

BMW M235i

Price: £32,995
Specs: 322bhp, 332lb ft, 0-62mph 5.0secs, 155mph top speed, 34.9mpg, CO2 189g/km

Good value, incredible performance, slightly plain looks, but overall a truly great road car. And now with optional 4wd and a proper diff. Also available as the M135i hot hatch, for a couple of grand less.

Read Top Gear’s full verdict on the BMW M235i

Audi TT 2.0 TFSI Sport

Price: £29,860
Specs: 227bhp, 273lb ft, 0-62mph 6.0secs, 155mph top speed, 47.9mpg, CO2 137g/km

The new TT not only looks sharper, it drives sharper, too. You can have it with Quattro all-wheel-drive, but the front-drive version has a manual gearbox and is basically a Golf GTI. Nowt wrong with that.

Read Top Gear’s full verdict on the new Audi TT

Mazda MX-5

Price: £18,495
Specs: 126bhp, 123lb ft, 0-62mph 9.9secs, 121mph top speed, 39.8mpg, CO2 167g/km

It’s getting slightly geriatric these days, but that’s okay, because there’s a new one on its way. This one’s still a great way to learn how to handle rear-wheel drive.

Read Top Gear’s full verdict on the Mazda MX-5

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