The 16 Most Fun New Cars You Can Buy for Less Than $27,500

Because you shouldn't have to spend $30,000 to drive a great car.

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Subaru

You don't have to spend tons of money to own a fun car. Here are some of the most enjoyable new vehicles out right now for less than $27,500, according to you.

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Ford
Ford Mustang ($26,395)

Yes, you can get a Mustang for under $27,500. You'll have to settle for the Ecoboost four-cylinder engine, though. We think 310 horsepower is plenty for most people. Plus, you'll save a bunch on gas versus the V8 GT model.

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Mazda
Mazda3 ($18,095)

Mazda's fun cars aren't just limited to the Miata. Even its normal cars, such as the Mazda3 hatch, are a joy behind the wheel. Now that the new model has been announced, we bet you can get some pretty good deals on 2018 model year cars still sitting on the lot.

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Dodge
Dodge Challenger ($27,295)

No, you won't get a V8, and you can't option a manual transmission. But the base Challenger still has those menacing retro looks and over 300 horsepower. For just over $27,000, we'd say that's fair.

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Toyota
Toyota Corolla Hatchback ($19,990)

If you told us a couple years back there would be a Corolla on this list, we would've laughed at you. But the new Corolla hatch is a legitimately fun car. It's light, simple, good-looking, and comes with a manual transmission. With a starting price under $20,000, we're not sure what else you'd need.

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Chevrolet
Chevrolet Camaro ($25,995)

Like the Challenger, there's no way you're getting a V8 for under $27,500 in the Camaro. But you do have a choice between the base turbo inline-four or the 3.6-liter V6. Either way, you're getting a car that's fun to drive.

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The Fiat 124 Spider's $24,995 starting price puts it about as close to our $25,000 cutoff as you can get, but hey, it still counts. And while it's heavier and not quite as quick as the Miata it's based on, that added weight goes towards making the 124 Spider more comfortable and refined.
Fiat
Fiat 124 Spider ($24,995)

Though you can't get the 124 Spider Abarth for under $27,500, the normal 124 falls well within the price limit. If you're not into the Miata's looks but want all the fantastic chassis design, it's the car to have.

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Hyundai
Hyundai Elantra GT N Line ($24,185)

The full-on Veloster N doesn't quite make the cut for price, but the new Elantra GT N Line is the perfect budget substitute. In addition to the good looks and 201-horsepower engine, you get a retuned suspension and an available seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox (a six-speed manual is standard.

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Honda
Honda Fit ($16,190)

The Honda Fit is the cheapest car on this list by several thousand dollars, but provides plenty of fun. It's a sensible hatchback with plenty of practicality, Honda reliability, and some sublime handling characteristics.

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<p>If you want a city car that will make you look forward to driving it, you'll have a hard time finding a better car than the Fiat 500 Abarth. It has plenty of flaws, but you won't care every time you hear the exhaust pop and crackle. It's amazing, and it never gets old. Ever.</p>
FCA
Fiat 500 Abarth ($20,495)

If you want a city car that will make you look forward to driving, you'll have a hard time finding a better car than the Fiat 500 Abarth. It has plenty of flaws, but you'll forget them every time you hear the exhaust pop and crackle. It's amazing, and it never gets old. Ever.

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<p>It's not often that the little brother overshadows the older brother, but in this case, the less expensive and less powerful Fiesta ST has pulled it off. It's tiny, fast, fun, and (surprisingly) more popular than the Focus ST.  It's also quite inexpensive, starting just a bit over $20,000.</p>
Ford
Ford Fiesta ST ($21,340)

It's not often that the little brother overshadows the older brother, but in this case, the less expensive and less powerful Fiesta ST has pulled it off. It's tiny, fast, fun, and (surprisingly) more popular than the Focus ST. It's also quite inexpensive, starting just a bit over $21,000. Better act fast if you want one, though, because Ford is killing off pretty much every car in its lineup that isn't a crossover or SUV by mid-2019.

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If you love the idea of the Fiesta ST but need more space, Ford has your hot hatch bases covered. With 252 horsepower and 270 pound-feet of torque, the Focus ST is significantly more powerful than the Fiesta ST, too. It's not nearly as defined as the Volkswagen GTI, but it will still be great fun when the roads get a bit twisty.
Ford
Ford Focus ST ($25,170)

If you love the idea of the Fiesta ST but need more space, Ford has your hot hatch bases covered. With 252 horsepower and 270 pound-feet of torque, the Focus ST is significantly more powerful than the Fiesta ST, too. It's not nearly as refined as the Volkswagen GTI, but it will still be great fun when the roads get a bit twisty. Like the Fiesta, it too will be killed off later this year. Better get to the dealer soon.

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BRENDAN MCALEER
Honda Civic Si ($24,300)

The new Civic Si is a fantastic little car that slots nicely below Honda's hardcore Civic Type R. It has sensible looks and a comfortable ride, yet still has the performance to back up that Si badge.

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<p>It may look a little different than previous generations, but when the road gets squiggly, the ND Miata is still sublime to drive. The lack of a back seat limits its practicality, but even if you can't fit two weeks worth of groceries in the trunk, you won't mind. You'll be too busy enjoying the drive.</p>
Mazda
Mazda MX-5 Miata ($25,730)

It may look a little different than previous generations, but when the road gets squiggly, the ND Miata is still sublime to drive. The lack of a back seat limits its practicality, but even if you can't fit two weeks worth of groceries in the trunk, you won't mind. You'll be too busy enjoying the drive.

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<p>With the sport package, the base Cooper is still far more fun than it has any right to be, but with more power comes more fun. In this case, the S offers an extra 55 horsepower. 40% more power is always a good thing.</p>
Mini
Mini Cooper S ($25,900)

With the sport package, the base Cooper is still far more fun than it has any right to be, but with more power comes more fun. In this case, the S offers an extra 55 horsepower. 40% more power is always a good thing.

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<p>You may want to consider a different car if you're looking for a daily driver in the city, but if not, you're going to be hard-pressed to find a better performance bargain than the Subaru WRX. It's one of the best all-around sporty cars on the market and punches significantly above its weight.</p>
Subaru
Subaru WRX ($27,195)

You may want to consider a different car if you're looking for a daily driver in the city, but if not, you're going to be hard-pressed to find a better performance bargain than the Subaru WRX. It's one of the best all-around sporty cars on the market and punches significantly above its weight.

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Subaru
Subaru BRZ / Toyota 86 ($25,795 / $26,505)

Yes, it only offers 205 horsepower, and no, Subaru won't build a turbocharged version, but that doesn't really matter. You won't need to make any modifications to get the BRZ or 86 to put a smile on your face. Grins come stock.

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