Top 35 Affordable Cars That Are Surprisingly Fast

Patrick Oziegbe
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Imagine the thrill of driving a fast car without the hefty price tag. This article introduces 35 affordable cars that deliver speed without breaking the bank.

The automotive industry has ushered in an era of cost-effective performance. Manufacturers have created vehicles that offer both power and affordability. Our list includes a selection of the best budget-friendly cars, from agile compacts to powerful sedans, all without sacrificing performance for price.

Subaru BRZ

Subaru BRZ
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The 2024 Subaru BRZ is an affordable sports car that offer impressive performance and handling. With its naturally-aspirated 2.4-liter boxer engines producing 228 horsepower, this rear-wheel-drive coupe promise an enjoyable driving experience. In terms of design, this model features aggressive yet sleek styling, keeping its appeal to driving enthusiasts.

Ford Mustang Ecoboost

Ford Mustang Ecoboost
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The 2024 Ford Mustang Ecoboost stands out as an affordable, fast model in Ford’s legendary lineup. Powered by a turbocharged 2.3-liter EcoBoost engine, it delivers a solid 350 horsepower while maintaining respectable fuel efficiency. Its impressive performance, paired with its iconic design, makes the Ecoboost a favorite among car enthusiasts.

Chevrolet Sonic RS

Chevrolet Sonic
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The Chevrolet Sonic RS is an excellent choice for those looking for a compact car with a sporty edge. Equipped with a turbocharged 1.4-liter engine, it delivers quick acceleration while maintaining fuel efficiency.

Volkswagen GTI and Golf R

Volkswagen Golf R
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For those looking for a performance bargain with added practicality, the 2024 Volkswagen GTI and Golf R should not be overlooked. The GTI is powered by a 2.0-liter turbocharged engine producing 241 horsepower, while the Golf R boasts 315 horsepower. Both hatchbacks provide ample cargo space and their sophisticated European styling make them attractive options for drivers seeking performance without compromising on pragmatism.

Nissan Sentra SE-R Spec V

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For a sporty compact sedan, the Nissan Sentra SE-R Spec V offers commendable performance, featuring a 2.5-liter engine, sport-tuned suspension, and aggressive styling. It’s a solid choice for those needing a practical daily driver with a hint of excitement.

Chevrolet Camaro

2002 Chevrolet Camaro
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Last but not least, the 2024 Chevrolet Camaro is a powerful, American muscle car at an accessible price point. It offers multiple engine options, starting with a 2.0-liter turbocharged engine delivering 275 horsepower, up to a roaring 6.2-liter V8 with an impressive 455 horsepower. Combining sleek, modern design elements with its traditional muscle car heritage, the Camaro is an appealing choice for those seeking a fast, yet affordable car.

Volkswagen Jetta GLI

Volkswagen Jetta GLI
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The Volkswagen Jetta GLI delivers a sporty ride at an affordable price. This compact sedan features a turbocharged 2.0-liter engine with 228 horsepower. Inside, comfortable seating and quality materials create a premium atmosphere. Its sharp handling makes it fun to drive on winding roads. For performance and value, the Jetta GLI is an excellent pick for budget-conscious enthusiasts.

Honda Civic Si

Honda Civic Si
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The Honda Civic Si stands out as an affordable hot hatch, combining reliability with a fun driving experience. At the heart of this sports compact is a 1.5-liter turbocharged engine with 205 horsepower. Its sport-tuned suspension and responsive steering provide excellent handling. The Si also boasts distinct features like a body kit, red accent stitching, and a rear spoiler. It’s a top choice for drivers who prioritize performance and dependability.

Hyundai Elantra N

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Rounding out the hot hatch segment, the 2024 Hyundai Elantra N redefines sporty compacts. It’s equipped with a 2.0-liter turbocharged engine pushing out 276 horsepower and a sport-tuned suspension for nimble handling. The interior is modern, with plenty of tech features. The Elantra N is ideal for enthusiasts seeking excitement without a high cost.

Porsche Boxster and Acura Type S

Porsche Boxster
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The Porsche Boxster is a symbol of accessible performance, blending power, agility, and design. Its mid-engine configuration and dynamic drive make it a prime entry point into sports cars. Conversely, the Acura Type S offers a cost-effective option for performance seekers, providing a practical yet spirited drive, similar to the Acura Integra.

Key features of the Porsche Boxster, Mid-engine design, Superior handling, Classic sports car look and Strong resale value. The Acura Type S features comes with affordable performance, available in models like the Integra, sporty aesthetics and drive and reliable and pragmatic.

2024 Nissan Z: Iconic And Accessible

Nissan Z 2023
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The 2024 Nissan Z is an iconic sports car that offers impressive performance at an accessible price point. Under the hood, Nissan’s latest iteration of the Z series boasts a powerful turbocharged V6 engine that delivers quick acceleration and an engaging driving experience. Its aggressive styling and modern features make it an attractive option for those seeking speed on a budget.

Toyota GR86: Agile Sports Coupe

Toyota GR 86
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The Toyota GR86 is an agile sports coupe that delivers excellent performance and handling, all at an approachable price point. With a naturally aspirated engine and rear-wheel drive, the GR86 is a driver’s car that can hold its own against more expensive rivals.

Dodge Neon SRT4

Dodge Neon SRT4
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The Dodge Neon SRT4 is a budget-friendly performance car, offering impressive power and acceleration. Its turbocharged engine and front-wheel drive configuration give this compact sedan a competitive edge in the affordable performance market.

E39 BMW 540i

E39 BMW 540i
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The E39 BMW 540i is a luxury performance sedan that boasts a powerful V8 engine, responsive handling, and a well-appointed interior. Its performance rivals that of many contemporary sports cars, making it a remarkable value for those seeking a fast, comfortable ride.

Lexus LS400

Lexus LS400
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The Lexus LS400 is a luxurious and powerful sedan. Its reliability and smooth ride make it a popular choice for those seeking high-end performance without breaking the bank. The LS400’s V8 engine offers ample power, enabling drivers to enjoy spirited driving without compromising comfort.

Jaguar XJR

Jaguar XJR
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The Jaguar XJR is a luxurious and powerful sedan with a classic British design. Its supercharged V8 engine delivers impressive performance, while its sumptuous interior and numerous features ensure a comfortable and enjoyable ride for occupants.

BMW 330i

BMW 330e
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The BMW 330i is a balanced and responsive sports sedan. With its turbocharged engine and rear-wheel-drive configuration, the 330i offers impressive performance and outstanding handling, making it an excellent option for those seeking a fast yet refined driving experience.

Infinity G35 Coupe

Infinity G35 Coupe
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The Infinity G35 Coupe is a stylish and powerful sports car with a well-appointed interior. Its rear-wheel-drive configuration and potent V6 engine provide a winning combination of performance and luxury.

Ford Fiesta ST

Ford Fiesta ST
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The Ford Fiesta ST is a sporty and versatile hot hatch, offering impressive performance and a fun driving experience. Its nimble handling and turbocharged engine make it a compelling option for enthusiasts looking for an affordable and engaging ride.

Mini Cooper S

Mini Cooper S
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The Mini Cooper S combines its iconic styling with impressive performance in a compact and agile package. Its turbocharged engine and nimble handling make it an ideal choice for those looking for a fun, affordable driving experience.

Hyundai Veloster N

Hyundai Veloster N
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The Hyundai Veloster N is a compact sports car that delivers thrilling performance at an affordable price. Its turbocharged engine and sport-tuned suspension provide an engaging driving experience, making the Veloster N an unexpected contender in the fast, cheap car market.

2023 Nissan 400Z

Nissan 400Z
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Nissan is set to launch the 2023 Nissan 400Z, a successor to their popular Z sports car lineup. With a rumored twin-turbo V6 engine and rear-wheel-drive, it’s expected to offer impressive performance at an accessible price.

Audi S3

Audi S3
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The Audi S3 is a luxury compact sedan that combines impressive performance in a refined package. With a turbocharged 2.0-liter engine and all-wheel-drive, it’s a great choice for those seeking a perfect balance of speed and comfort.

Kia Forte GT

Kia Forte GT
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Kia’s entry into the affordable-performance market, the Kia Forte GT, offers a turbocharged 1.6-liter engine, sport-tuned suspension, and a sleek design. An excellent choice for budget-conscious enthusiasts looking for a fun daily driver.

Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution

Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution
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Although no longer in production, the Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution is a legendary car in the affordable performance segment. Renowned for its turbocharged 2.0-liter engine, all-wheel-drive system, and rally-inspired handling, it’s still a popular choice for car enthusiasts.

Scion FR-S

Scion FR-S
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The Scion FR-S is another affordable sports car, co-developed with Subaru and essentially identical to the Subaru BRZ. This rear-wheel-drive coupe features a naturally aspirated 2.0-liter engine and well-balanced handling, suitable for both daily driving and spirited weekend cruises.

Chevrolet Cobalt SS

Chevrolet Cobalt SS
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Introduced in the mid-2000s, the Chevrolet Cobalt SS delivered impressive performance for its price range, with a turbocharged 2.0-liter engine, sport-tuned suspension, and sharp handling. It has become a favorite for budget-oriented enthusiasts and autocross competitors.

Ford Focus ST

Ford Focus ST
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The Ford Focus ST, Ford’s performance-oriented hatchback, offers a turbocharged 2.0-liter engine, front-wheel-drive, and agile handling. Its combination of practicality and grin-inducing capabilities earned it a dedicated fan base among hot hatch enthusiasts.

MazdaSpeed3

MazdaSpeed3
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Another hot hatch option for affordable performance is the MazdaSpeed3. Its blend of power, sportiness, and practicality have made it a favorite among car enthusiasts seeking both fun and versatility.

Pontiac GTO

Pontiac GTO
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Before Pontiac’s demise, the GTO made a comeback with powerful V8 performance and rear-wheel-drive, marking a return to classic American muscle car roots. Although production has ceased, it remains a sought-after option in the used-car market.

Scion tC

Scion tC
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The Scion tC is a budget-friendly sports coupe with a peppy engine and attractive design. It offers a great mix of economy and enjoyment, making it perfect for style-conscious enthusiasts looking for some excitement without breaking the bank.

Mitsubishi Eclipse GT

Mitsubishi Eclipse GT
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The Mitsubishi Eclipse GT is a sporty coupe with a powerful V6 engine and reasonable price tag. Its eye-catching design and enjoyable driving experience make it a popular choice among budget-conscious enthusiasts.

Honda Accord V6

Honda Accord V6
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Known for its reliability and practicality, the Honda Accord V6 also offers a surprisingly impressive performance option. The V6 engine provides ample power to make this family sedan an enjoyable and speedy choice.

Saturn Ion Red Line

Saturn Ion Red Line
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The Saturn Ion Red Line is a sporty, affordable compact car with a supercharged 2.0-liter engine. Although no longer in production, it remains a unique option for those seeking something different with a touch of performance.

Mazda MX-5 Miata: Lightweight Fun

Mazda MX-5
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The Mazda MX-5 Miata is a lightweight, fun-to-drive roadster that offers impressive performance at an affordable price. Its nimble handling and peppy engine make it a favorite among enthusiasts. The Miata’s sleek design and rear-wheel drive configuration ensure a thrilling driving experience.

Chevrolet Cruze RS

Chevrolet Cruze RS
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The Chevrolet Cruze RS is a compact sedan with an optional turbocharged engine and stylish design. A great mix of efficiency and fun, the Cruze RS deftly straddles the line between economy and excitement.

Hyundai Genesis Coupe

Hyundai Genesis Coupe
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Rounding out our list is the Hyundai Genesis Coupe, a rear-wheel-drive sports car at an affordable price. It offers an enjoyable driving experience, with a choice between a turbocharged four-cylinder or powerful V6 engine.

Speed Doesn’t Have to Break the Bank

Lamborghini Aventador
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Getting a fast car on a budget is easier than you might think. There are plenty of affordable options that deliver speed without costing a fortune, including sport sedans, hot hatchbacks, and muscle cars. Here’s a look at some cost-effective choices for speed enthusiasts.

The Mazda MX-5 Miata is known for its performance and has a starting price of about $28,050. For an eco-friendly performance car, the Chevrolet Bolt EV scores 9.0 out of 10 in performance and is priced at $26,500. In the muscle car category, the Chevrolet Camaro starts at roughly $30,900 with a performance score of 9.2 out of 10.

The Volkswagen GTI is priced at $30,530 and matches the Camaro’s performance score. For a classic fast car experience, the Nissan 350Z offers the thrill of speed with a powerful V6 engine at a lower cost than the newer 400Z.

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