Top 5 Thrill Machines For Under $30,000

The top new affordable sports cars for under $30,000 including the Chevy Camaro, Hyundai Genesis Coupe and the Subaru Impreza WRX.
By Zach Bowman  

Nissan 370Z Coupe

These days you don’t need a whole stack of cash to keep up with some of the quickest sports cars on the planet. Manufacturers from around the globe have been hard at work bringing cheap power to the people and we’ve got five models to prove it. Check out our top 5 list of affordable sports cars for under $30,000.

Chevrolet Camaro LS

Hyundai Genesis Coupe 3.8

This car was built with economical performance in mind. In fact, one of the goals from the get go was to have the base model fall under our magic $30,000 mark. For $29,930 you get an impressive 332 horsepower out of one of the best engines anywhere – the newest generation of Nissan’s stout VQ V-6. This car is the successor of one of the cars that built the model for cheap, rear-wheel drive speed and it does the Z name proud
MSRP: $29,930
Engine and Drivetrain: 3.7-liter V-6 engine with 332 horsepower and 270 lb-ft of torque; six-speed manual transmission; rear-wheel drive
MPG: 18 city/26 highway
While the big, bad Camaro SS has stolen the spotlight, Chevrolet has a gem in its V-6 LS. The 3.6-liter engine in this car produces a heady 304 horsepower – more than the V-8 Mustang GT – and boasts one of the sharpest suspensions to come out of General Motors in years outside of the Corvette. The LS starts at an eye-widening $22,995. Great power for little dough? Isn’t that what made the Camaro a hit to begin with?
MSRP: $22,995
Engine and Drivetrain: 3.6-liter V-6 engine with 304 horsepower and 273 lb-ft of torque; six-speed manual transmission; rear-wheel drive
MPG: 18 city/29 highway
If you’re still trying to figure out what a Hyundai is doing on a performance list, prepare for an education. The company from Korea decided it can build a sports car better and cheaper than the best the rest of the world has to offer, and the result is the 2010 Genesis Coupe 3.8. It’s true you can get the Coupe in a turbo four-cylinder, but with a silky smooth 3.8-liter V-6 offering nearly 100 extra horsepower over the base model (306 hp, total) for just $3,000 more (MSRP $25,000), why bother? Along with all that gusto, you get a solid six-speed manual transmission and rear-wheel drive to boot. 
MSRP: $25,000
Engine and Drivetrain: 3.8-liter V-6 engine with 306 horsepower and 266 lb-ft of torque; six-speed manual transmission; rear wheel drive
MPG: 17 city/26 highway
Not too long ago, Subaru attempted to detune the WRX so that the car might appeal to a wider audience. Fans of the all-wheel drive heathen revolted and the company returned the car to its former glory. Once again buyers are treated to a 265 horsepower turbocharged four-cylinder engine, a track-hardened suspension and serious brakes. If you’re looking for an all-wheel drive go-machine, it’s hard to do better than the Impreza WRX.
MSRP: $24,995
Engine and Drivetrain: 2.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine with 265 horsepower and 244 lb-ft of torque; 5-speed manual transmission; full-time all-wheel drive
MPG: 18 city/25 highway
Ford has rolled out an all-new generation of Mustang to fight the mounting competition from manufacturers everywhere. With new looks and a more stable platform, the car has plenty to offer over the last iteration of the iconic Mustang. Unfortunately, the 4.6-liter V-8 engine under the hood is starting to show its age. The mill dishes out 300 horsepower. While that’s usually respectable, when lined up against the six and four-cylinder competition on this list, this Pony just doesn’t have the gusto to hang with the pack. Still, for just $27,995, there’s little denying this American muscle car’s appeal.
MSRP: $27,995
Engine and Drivetrain: 4.6-liter V-8 engine with 300 horsepower and 320 lb-ft of torque; 5-speed manual transmission; rear-wheel drive
MPG: 15 city/23 highway

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