In today’s modern world of crossovers and semi-autonomous luxury cars, true sports cars are becoming harder and harder to come by at reasonable prices. If you want a genuine sports car, you’re going to have to pay big bucks. There are a few affordable sports cars, such as the Mazda MX-5 and Volkswagen GTI but they’re becoming increasingly hard to come by. If you want something sporty and fun but also quite premium, you’re looking at near the $50,000 mark. So Forbes has listed off three cars it thinks are best under that mark. One of them is the BMW 230i xDrive.

To be honest, you can get a BMW 230i xDrive for under $40,000, if you’re careful with options. So it’s actually a pretty affordable sports car. And don’t mistake the cheapest 2 Series for the base model lease-special. the BMW 230i is a damn good car to drive, making it one of the more entertaining non-M BMWs on the market.

Under the hood lies BMW’s new B48 2.0 liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine that makes 248 hp. That little four-pot is mated to an eight-speed automatic and powers all four wheels, via xDrive. It’s quick, too, as 0-60 mph happens in about 5.3 seconds. That’s certainly more than enough to provide some fun on the commute home from work.

What’s even better, though, is the way it drives. Since the 2 Series’ inception, it’s been largely lauded as the best-driving Bavarian. Its compact size, balanced chassis, sharp steering and nippy handling make all 2 Series variants exciting to drive. Some might even argue that the BMW 230i is the most fun of all non-M 2 Series’, thanks to having the lightest front end and simplest nature. It’s the most honest, devoid of all of the gimmicky “M” badges of the M240i.

For under $50,000, sometimes even under $40,000, it’s hard to argue with the value of the BMW 230i xDrive. Not only is it fun to drive and quick but it’s good looking, comfortable and comes with some nice technology and premium features. The xDrive model is even capable of being a fun daily driver during harsh winters. So it’s hard to find a more well-rounded premium sports car at the price point of the little 230i xDrive.

[Source: Forbes]