20 of the Most Fun New Cars You Can Buy for Less Than $40,000

Because no one should be stuck driving a boring car.

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Richard Pardon

If you're looking for an affordable car that's enjoyable to drive, these are some of the best, according to you.

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Nissan
Nissan 370Z - $29,990

People seem to forget about the 370Z—not surprising considering it's been on sale since 2009, virtually unchanged. It's still a fun car though—how can something with over 300 horsepower and a manual transmission not be? You won't be able to get a Nismo edition for under $40,000, but the nicely-equipped Sport Touring model is more affordable. on sale for just under $35,000.

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Ford
Ford Focus ST - $25,170

Though Ford has plans to stop selling passenger cars in the US, you can still purchase a new Focus ST from dealerships. It's a great mix of fun and practicality in a package that isn't too in-your-face. Plus, at just $25,170, it's about $3000 cheaper than a VW GTI. has just 25 miles on the clock, and you can own it.

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Chevrolet
Chevrolet Camaro 1LE - $32,395

If you're into the Camaro as a legitimate track car, but don't want to have a V8, we have good news: You can now get the 1LE track pack with the V6 or four-cylinder Camaro as well. Sure, it might not sound like a muscle car, but with the way this thing corners, we doubt you'll care. on eBay for just over $36,000.

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Toyota
Toyota Corolla Hatchback - $19,990

When you think of fun cars, the Corolla probably doesn't immediately come to mind. This new hatchback version, though, deserves some attention. Thanks to its simplicity and light weight, it's actually fun as hell, especially with a six-speed manual.

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Subaru
Subaru BRZ tS - $34,355

The BRZ tS might not be the big-power turbo BRZ we've all been asking for, but it's still a very good car. Thanks to ultra-sticky tires and real aerodynamics, it has more grip than you'll ever need, which means ultra fast cornering speeds.

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Kia
Kia Stinger GT - $38,350

The Kia Stinger is one hell of a car, and for less than $40,000, you can even option the bigger 3.0-liter twin-turbo V6 making 365 horsepower. That, combined with rear-wheel drive and some excellent chassis tuning, make for a seriously fun daily driver. in rear-wheel drive spec you can own right now.

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DW Burnett/Puppyknuckles
Alfa Romeo Giulia - $38,195

The Giulia is one of the best-driving new luxury sport sedans out there, and if you're willing to live with a base model, you can get one for under budget. But don't worry, you still get a 280-horsepower turbocharged inline-four, an eight-speed automatic, and rear-wheel drive. has just 7300 miles on the odometer, and it's for sale right now.

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Dodge Charger R/T Scat Pack - $39,995

At $39,995, the Scat Pack Charger skirts just underneath budget. The 485-horsepower 6.4-liter Hemi V8 comes standard, as do Brembo brakes and an active exhaust. If you want an old-school muscle vibe in your new sedan, this is the car for you. painted in a beautiful shade of blue, and can be yours.

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Fiat
Fiat 500 Abarth - $19,995

With a punchy little turbo four-cylinder and a hilariously loud exhaust, the Fiat 500 Abarth is perhaps the world's angriest hot hatch. To drive, it's a total riot, and a bargain with a base price under $20,000. on eBay for just under $11,000.

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The Ford Fiesta ST is tiny, but so is its base price. And for the money, you won't find any other new car on the market that's as fun to drive. Sure, the Fiat 500 Abarth makes a louder noise, but the Fiesta ST is the king of small, inexpensive fun.
Zach Bowman
Ford Fiesta ST - $21,340

The Ford Fiesta ST is tiny, but so is its base price. And for the money, you won't find any other new car on the market that's as fun to drive. Sure, the Fiat 500 Abarth makes a louder noise, but the Fiesta ST is the king of small, inexpensive fun. And despite Ford announcing it will stop selling small cars in the US, you can still buy a Fiesta ST new from a dealership... for now, at least. is now two years old, and can be yours for thousands off MSRP.

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2016 Mazda Miata in action
Mazda
Mazda MX-5 Miata - $25,730

What list of fun cars would be complete without the Miata? It's definitely a cliche at this point, but for good reason. The Miata is light, simple, affordable, and an absolute blast to drive. on eBay for sale on the cheap.

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Brian Silvestro
Toyota 86 - $26,455

We were happy to see the FR-S survive the death of Scion. Despite never getting a turbocharged version, its outstanding handling and affordable price made the FR-S a performance bargain. Plus, the Toyota badge on the hood adds another five horsepower if you choose the manual transmission. And you should definitely choose the manual transmission. has less than 10,000 miles on it, and it's for sale right now.

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<p>The Volkswagen has been the king of hot hatches for years, and we can't see that changing anytime soon. It's more refined than ever before, but it's still a blast to drive. We recommend springing for <a href="http://quizcards.info/new-cars/future-cars/news/a29704/2017-volkswagen-gti-sport/" target="_blank">the GTI Sport</a> and leaving it at that. But if you want even more power and all-wheel drive, <a href="http://quizcards.info/new-cars/first-drives/reviews/a24608/first-drives-2015-volkswagen-golf-r/" target="_blank">the 292-horsepower Golf R is a great buy</a>, as well.</p>
Volkswagen
Volkswagen GTI - $28,490

The Volkswagen has been the king of hot hatches for years, and we can't see that changing anytime soon. It's more refined than ever before, but it's still a blast to drive. We recommend springing for the GTI Sport and leaving it at that. But if you want even more power and all-wheel drive, the 292-horsepower Golf R is a great buy, as well. that looks to be in good condition.

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Jeep
Jeep Wrangler Rubicon - $28,045

The new 2018 Jeep Wrangler is one of the most capable off-roaders you can buy from the factory. Compared to most new SUV's, it's incredibly old-school, one of the main reasons it's so popular. with just 40 miles on it for sale on eBay right now.

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Honda
Honda Civic Type R - $36,595

After years of waiting, Honda has finally brought the Civic Type R Stateside. It's everything we asked for more, with a 305-horsepower turbocharged engine and a wing bigger than most supercars. is sitting on eBay with an asking price of just under $39,000.

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<p>When BMW gave the 228i a few extra horsepower, the little coupe also got a new name—<span class="redactor-invisible-space" data-verified="redactor" data-redactor-tag="span" data-redactor-class="redactor-invisible-space">230i. And if you equip it with the Track Handling Package, we expect the 3&nbsp;to be just as much fun as its predecessor.&nbsp;</span>The M2 is still faster, but for the money, <a href="http://quizcards.info/car-culture/a29245/bmw-2-series-comparison-test/" target="_blank">you'll have a hard time beating the regular 2-Series</a>.&nbsp;</p>
BMW
BMW 230i - $35,300

When BMW gave the 228i a few extra horsepower, the little coupe also got a new name—230i. And if you equip it with the Track Handling Package, we expect the 230i to be just as much fun as its predecessor. The M2 is still faster, but for the money, you'll have a hard time beating the regular 2-Series. equipped with xDrive on sale right now.

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Ford
Ford Mustang GT - $35,355

You can equip other, less-expensive Mustangs to still be a blast, but the one you really want is the Mustang GT. Equipped with the Performance Pack, it's not good for a Mustang. It's downright good. can be yours for just over $35,000.

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Subaru
Subaru WRX STI - $36,595

In comparison to a lot of other cars you can get for $36,000, the WRX STI doesn't have a lot of power. But take one down a winding back road, and you won't care at all. The less-powerful WRX is also a fantastic performance bargain, but the STI is still the one to get if you have the budget. with gold wheels listed on eBay for just $26,800 right now.

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Chevrolet
Chevrolet Camaro SS - $37,495

It's hard to describe exactly how good the new Camaro SS is. Not only does it have the same motor as the Corvette, it was also the clear winner in our last head-to-head comparison of it and the Ford Mustang GT. As we said in our first drive, it's "very, very good. Very good. Damn good." painted in all black, and you can own it.

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<p>Dodge didn't want to be left out of the group that lets you get a lot of muscle car for less than fifty grand. This one has even more power than the cars from Chevy or Ford with 485 horses from its Hemi V8, starting at $38,995.</p>
Dodge
Dodge Challenger R/T Scat Pack - $39,995

The Dodge Challenger isn't nearly as athletic as the new Camaro or Mustang, but it offers some pretty wild paint colors. Oh, and you can also get a ridiculous amount of power for surprisingly little money. 485 horsepower, to be specific. And if you need more space, you can always go with the four-door version, the Charger Scat Pack. with barely any miles on the clock painted in red for sale.

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