You might not have a $100,000 budget for a performance car, but for half of that you can get a variety of great performance cars that run the gamut from hot hatch to muscle car to roadster. Here are some of the best performance car under $50,000, according to you.
The 370Z has been around for awhile, but that doesn't make it a bad buy. For under $50,000, you get a 350-horsepower V6 sending power to the rear wheels via an available manual transmission, Nismo-tuned suspension, and a set of sweet RAYS forged wheels.
Sadly, the excellent BMW M2 doesn't slot in under $50,000, but both the four-cylinder 230i and the six-cylinder M240i do. Our pick is actually the 230i for its sweet handling and punchy 2.0-liter turbocharged motor, but the M240i offers nearly the same amount of performance as the M2. The 2-Series might be BMW's cheapest car, but it's one of our favorites too.
All things considered, the Civic Si is a huge bargain. No, this new one doesn't have a rev-happy VTEC engine like older models, but it still has a sweet, 205-hp 1.5-liter turbo four, a great chassis, and an excellent six-speed manual shifter. Add $200 for the optional set of Goodyear summer tires, and you've got one of the best sub-$25,000 cars out there.
The Honda Civic Si is offered as a sedan or coupe, while the Type R is sold only as a hatchback, which is because the cars were handled by different development teams. With a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder sending 306 hp to the front wheels, the Type R is a totally manic hot hatch. A practical car for crazy people, which sounds about perfect to us.
Don't have the $36,000+ for the Focus RS? Then you can just go to the Fiesta ST. The starting price is just around $21,000, and it's one of the most fun cars you can buy today.
If you can't swing the Focus RS but still want the space, the Focus ST is another perfect alternative. Power goes just to the front wheels, but you still get a ton of features and more smiles behind the wheel than you can count.
The Mustang GT is a screaming deal for a great car. For $33,195 you get a 460 horsepower V8 in the best Mustang in years. Though you can't get the epic GT350 for less than $50,000, you don't have to feel too bad for saving more than $20,000 and getting the GT. Just make sure you spec the optional $3995 Performance Package to get the most out of your GT.
The GTI has always been one of the best hot hatches you can buy, and the newest one is no different. And for just $25,595, it's a steal. For the money, few cars mate such high levels of practicality, refinement, and performance.
If you're looking for the most high-performance VW out right now, look no further than the Golf R. It packs 292 horsepower under the hood and sends power to all four wheels via either a manual or dual-clutch DSG gearbox.
For around $40,000, you can have an all-wheel drive Golf with 292 hp, the Golf R on the previous slide, or, you could buy its Audi sibling, the S3. The S3 gives you subtle good looks, and a ton of all-weather performance. To most people, it doesn't look like much, but this is a seriously quick car.
The new Miata is truly spectacular. It might be the best car you can buy today. Seriously. Jump for the Club package and you get upgraded suspension and a limited slip differential for around $31,000. You can't lose.
It may not be as much of a masterpiece as its Miata sibling, but the MX-5-based 124 Spider Abarth still makes for an excellent driver's car. And unlike the Miata, the Abarth is turbocharged, which means torque at low revs.
Though the 500 Abarth's MSRP starts at just under $20,000, current incentives at dealerships could land you an even better deal. For a car so cheap, you'll be surprised how much you're having behind the wheel.
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. That's some serious value.
For just $2000 more than the Challenger, you can upgrade to four doors with the Charger Daytona 392 and still get that massive 6.4-liter 485-horsepower Hemi V8. You also get six-piston Brembo brakes up front and Nappa leather performance seats.
The Subaru WRX is truly excellent. It's more civilized than ever and still just as fun to drive, it's a deal at $26,995. If you absolutely need all-wheel drive, this is the affordable performance car to get.
You wouldn't necessarily think that Toyota and Subaru working together would create a fun car. Well, it did. The Toyobaru twins are legitimate Miata competitors that were built with the enthusiast in mind. You can't go wrong with either one.