For around £50,000 in the UK, you can get three very different sports cars, all of which are fast, fun, and usable on a regular basis (though, some more than others); the BMW M240i, Porsche 718 Cayman, and the Mercedes-AMG CLA 45S. But of those three cars, which one is best? This new video from Autocar finds out.
First, let’s check the specs. The BMW M240i is the only front-engine, rear-drive coupe in the test and it uses a 3.0 liter turbocharged inline-six engine, making 374 horsepower (382 horsepower in the US) and 369 lb-ft of torque. While the Mercedes-AMG CLA 45 S is a front-engine, four-door, front-wheel drive based sedan, with a 2.0 liter turbocharged four-cylinder that makes 415 horsepower and 369 lb-ft. Lastly, the Porsche 718 Cayman is a mid-engine, two-door, rear-wheel drive coupe that uses a 2.0 liter turbocharged flat-four, with 300 horsepower and 280 lb-ft.
Each car is very different and each has its own set of unique qualities that makes it great. However, in terms of driving dynamics, it’s clear which car has the advantage — the Porsche 718 Cayman. It’s built from the ground up as a sports car, uses a mid-engine chassis, and has no pretense of practicality. It’s only goal is to be a thrilling performance machine. While the BMW M240i is based on a good rear-drive chassis, it needs to also have back seats, everyday comfort, and a usable trunk. However, the Mercedes-AMG CLA 45 S is at the biggest disadvantage, being the most practical of the bunch and also based on the least exciting chassis of the bunch — a front-wheel drive hatchback.
It’s pretty easy to guess which car is best to drive — it’s the Porsche. Doesn’t take a psychic to see that the mid-engine, rear-wheel drive, from-the-ground-up sports car is best. That leaves the Bimmer and AMG in a two-horse race for the best £50,000 sports car.