18 Affordable High Horsepower Cars to Buy

Affordable High Horsepower Cars
Photo by oskaline

Many cars on the market can deliver an unbelievable amount of power and performance. But they are extremely expensive and often out of reach for many consumers.

This article lists some affordable high horsepower cars that won’t break your budget. But before we get to the list, let’s define high horsepower.

Horsepower (HP) refers to the power output of an engine, which is calculated by multiplying the engine’s rotational speed by its torque output (both in pounds).

Now, let’s get to see the role of the affordable high horsepower cars we compiled for you!

1. 2020 Ford Mustang GT

The starter of our list of affordable high horsepower cars is the 2020 Ford Mustang GT. This is a classic American muscle car, and it’s just as powerful as it looks.

With 460 horsepower and a top speed of 160 mph, this car will get you to the finish line in style. Also, it handles well for an old-school ride with its modern touch thanks to power steering and four-wheel disc brakes. 

Interestingly, the 2020 Ford Mustang GT has a USN performance score of 9.3/10. There is one performance package available for the GT.

It comes with Michelin Pilot Sport 4 S tires, Brembo six-piston front brakes, staggered wheel sizes (19×8.5 front & 19×11 rear), 3.73 rear axle ratio, stainless steel quad exhaust tips, and more. 

2. 2018 Dodge Challenger Demon

This “demon” car is the second on this list of affordable high horsepower cars. If you’re looking for raw power in your high horsepower vehicle, look no further than the 2018 Dodge Challenger Demon.

3. 2022 Mazda MX-5 Miata Grand Touring

I’m not sure what you’re looking for in a car. However, the Mazda MX-5 Miata is one of the most affordable high horsepower cars and also a well-performing option.

With 181 horsepower, it’s one of the few cars at this price point with high horsepower. Plus, it has an 8.9/10 USN Performance Score, which is quite impressive for a car at this price point.

The Mazda MX-5 Miata is bucket list worthy because it’s a fun car that delivers incredible performance value. All the trims share the same 1.5L four-cylinder engine.

Additionally, it comes standard with 15 wheels, 6-speed manual transmission only, 17 optional (standard on GT), and rear-wheel drive only.

For just $32,650 – $32,950 MSRP, it’s hard to find another sporty coupe like the Mazda MX-5 Miata Grand Touring. Especially one that offers similar specs and quality as the Grand Touring trim.

4. 2022 Volkswagen GTI

The Volkswagen GTI is a favorite among Volkswagen enthusiasts, and it’s easy to see why. From its comfortable interior to its stunning exterior, the GTI is one of the most well-rounded cars on the market.

The GTI has a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that puts out 241 horsepower and 258-pound feet of torque. 

Though it’s not quite enough power for some people, it’ll do well on anything except for steep hills or long mountain passes.

It handles well on curves and corners and has an enjoyable driving experience in all conditions. However, this is as long as you keep your foot out of the gas pedal while cornering. This is equally one of the most affordable high horsepower cars you’ll see today.

5. 2022 Subaru BRZ

The Subaru BRZ sports car has been on the market for nearly five years. It has a 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine with an output of 200 horsepower and 151 pound-feet of torque.

The engine is paired with an automatic transmission, and the car can go from 0 to 60 mph in 6 seconds. 

Furthermore, the chassis features symmetrical all-wheel drive, which helps provide stability when driving at high speeds, making this car perfect for mountain roads.

The BRZ comes with several standard features, including Bluetooth connectivity and heated seats. But if you want to pay more for options like leather seats or a navigation system, they are available at additional cost. 

This Subaru, one of the affordable high horsepower cars, manages to drive the line between sporty and practicality well. Coupled with that, it isn’t too expensive, but it also won’t disappoint your need for speed!

6. 2022 Chevrolet Camaro LT1

Next on the list of affordable high horsepower cars is the Camaro LT1. This car has 455 horsepower and starts at $34,000.

But it’s not just about power with this vehicle, as it also has a sporty look and feels about going along with it. 

In fact, it even has a ten-speed automatic transmission for more efficient fuel economy! The Camaro LT1 comes in coupe or convertible styles and is perfect for those who want to feel like they have a muscle car without breaking the bank.

Without the additional features, the LT1 has athletic seats that are upholstered in cloth but can be upgraded to leather.

The cars come standard with 18-inch wheels but can be upgraded to 20-inch ones. Also, it comes with a six-speed manual transmission that is easily switchable from the console.

7. 2022 Toyota GR86

With the Toyota GR86, you get a bargain at $27,700. The GR86 is ideal for people who want to try something different.

It has both low and high horsepower options with a 228 hp engine. It’s also very eco-friendly and has a solar roof panel for energy efficiency. 

With all these features, it’s no wonder it scored an 8.5 on USN Performance Score! What’s more about this car on the list of affordable high horsepower cars? There are two trim levels, but they share the same basic powertrain.

The lower level starts at about $24,000 and offers 198 horsepower, while the higher trim level starts at about $28,000 and offers 228 horsepower. 

Going further, it can be configured as either a 2+2 or 4+2 seating arrangement in any configuration desired by the buyer – up to six total seats in total (depending on the model).

The Toyota GR86 is available only in one color option: white gold pearl metallic paint with tan leather interior.

8. 2022 BMW 230i Coupe

A car is a dream that is often taken for granted. We are spoiled with choices in today’s market, and it can be hard to decide.

If you’re looking for affordable high horsepower cars, here is another great option for your next new vehicle. 

The BMW 230i Coupe retails at $36,350 and has 255 horsepower. This vehicle gets an 8.5/10 on the USN Performance Score, which makes it one of the best vehicles on this list.

The Porsche Cayman S also makes a great option with 238 horsepower, and its base price is $59,400. Thus, making it more expensive than the BMW but still affordable.

9. 2022 Mazda3 2.5 Turbo Hatchback

I’m a car enthusiast, and I love everything about them. The smell, the sound, the feel, the speed; I just love cars, period.

That’s why I found out this Mazda3 2.5 Turbo Hatchback has 250 hp and is in my price range with a USN performance score of 8.4/10; it was an instant sale for me! 

What really caught my eye, though, is that this vehicle has an estimated fuel economy rating of 34 mpg on highways and 25 cities.

Actually, this is a step up from the average 18 mpg highway and 16 cities for most new cars today. To sum up, this is one of the most affordable high horsepower cars on the market today.

10. 2022 BMW X1 xDrive28i

Speaking of affordable high horsepower cars, the BMW X1 is the perfect city car that can get you from point A to B without feeling like you’re driving a bus.

Coupled with that, the BMW X1 xDrive28i offers 228 horsepower and a USN Performance Score of 8.4/10! 

In addition, the X1 uses an M Sport suspension, which allows for confident handling on any terrain, no matter how bad the weather.

Plus, with plenty of cargo space in the trunk and fold-down seats in the back seat, it can handle your daily routine while keeping you safe at night. 

11. The Honda Civic Si

The Honda Civic Si is one of those affordable high horsepower cars that are just so good at what it does. – Driving around town and looking cool doing it – that its flaws don’t even matter anymore.

12. 2022 Honda Civic Si

Considering getting one of the affordable high horsepower cars? The Honda Civic Si is a performance car for the budget-minded driver.

With a starting price of just $27,300, this car has plenty of high horsepower for an affordable price. Also, it gets an 8.3/10 USN Performance Score and is rated highly by Car and Driver magazine. 

Moreover, the Si is a great way to get into the world of performance cars at an affordable price point! The Si also has a stiffer setup for responsive handling and can come with either a 6-speed manual or 6-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifters.

The Honda Civic Si should be your next purchase if you’re looking for affordability combined with excellent power.

13. 2022 Hyundai Kona N

The 2022 Hyundai Kona is among the best in its class and, equally, one of the most affordable high horsepower cars.

The USN Performance Score gives this car an 8.2/10. With a 280-horsepower engine, this car has plenty of power to get you anywhere you need to go. 

So, if you want a good price and great performance, this is the car for you! The Kona N has other performance upgrades, including better cooling and exhaust.

It also offers a 2-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine that will give you plenty of power and fuel efficiency at 22 cities MPG/27 highway MPG. 

14. 2022 Dodge Challenger R/T

The newest edition to the Dodge Challenger lineup, the R/T, is a four-door coupe with a performance-tuned suspension.

It as well has an eight-speed automatic transmission. In addition, it comes with 375 horsepower and 400 lb.-ft. Of torque from its 3.6-liter V6 engine. 

Proceeding, the available features include an 8.4 touchscreen infotainment system, a leather interior, and adaptive headlights with LED light pipes and fog lights, to name just a few.

This ultimate track car is perfect for those looking for affordable high horsepower cars on a budget!

15. 2022 Kia Stinger GT-Line

This car will not only make you feel like a race car driver but will also leave you wondering why you have been waiting so long to get in the driver’s seat.

The Kia Stinger GT-Line is full of speed and strength, with a turbocharged four-cylinder engine and an 8-speed automatic transmission.

It has multiple driving modes that ensure comfort for all occasions, and it also gets an estimated 34 mpg. 

Furthermore, it comes fully equipped with amenities such as heated front seats, ventilated front seats, Bluetooth connectivity, a built-in navigation system, and more.

Plus, this car has a sleek design along with outstanding handling qualities. The Kia Stinger GT-Line starts at $36,090; hence one of the affordable high horsepower cars!

16. 2022 Hyundai Veloster N

The Veloster N is Hyundai’s latest and greatest performance car, bringing a lot to the table. The base model starts at $32,500, but an optional package can bring that up to $33,500.

With 275 horsepower and 295 lb-ft of torque under the hood, this hatchback has enough power for most people. 

Uniquely, it’s equipped with Brembo brakes, a sport-tuned suspension system with Bilstein shock absorbers, and a limited-slip differential for improved cornering.

The 2019 Hyundai Veloster N comes in three different trims; the Veloster N Sport (base), Veloster N Eco+, and the top-tier Veloster N Track+.

Each trim brings various features to suit your needs. Looking for affordable high horsepower cars again? Go for Hyundai Veloster N!

17. 2022 Volkswagen GTI

Of the affordable high horsepower cars, the 2022 Volkswagen GTI is one on the bucket list. It’s a sporty, economical car that does what it does well.

The GTI is available in two body styles, as a coupe or a convertible, with either a 2-door or 4-door configuration. Equally important to note, it comes with two engine options. 

Meanwhile, the base model has an inline 4-cylinder engine with a turbocharger, and the performance model boasts an inline 6-cylinder engine with a turbocharger.

With these two engine options, your horsepower can range from 200 to 300. The fuel economy is 27 mpg city and 37 mpg highway for the base model and 22 mpg city and 32 mpg highway for the performance model. You can’t go wrong with this car!

18. 2022 Subaru WRX

Wrapping up our list of affordable high horsepower cars is the 2019 Subaru WRX. This is a high-horsepower, all-wheel drive, turbocharged sports car from the famous Japanese automaker.

The new model has a 2.0-liter turbo four-cylinder engine that makes 271 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. In addition, it comes with either a six-speed manual or automatic transmission. 

What’s more? The WRX starts at $29,105 for the base model with an automatic transmission and $30,495 for the manual transmission model.

The interior got an upgrade in materials as well. Standard features include 17-inch aluminum alloy wheels, power windows, locks and mirrors, full power accessories, and leather upholstery with red stitching on the seats, and a steering wheel.

It even has a 7-inch infotainment screen with satellite radio capability; overall, it ends our list of affordable high horsepower cars!


When you buy a car, it’s easy to get caught up in buying a flashy supercar that looks cool from the outside but might not be so great to drive.

They look good, but they also cost you an arm and a leg every month just to keep on the road. Well, there are those of us with more practical budgets who want our cars to go fast as well as look good.

This guide listed some of the affordable high horsepower cars worth considering when you’re ready to replace your current ride.

Meanwhile, every car enthusiast has their dream set of cars they’d like to own. But not every car on your bucket list can be the ultimate dream car due to budgetary and financial constraints.

We put together this list of affordable high horsepower cars that won’t completely break the bank. And, in fact, allows you to start ticking off more and more of your bucket list!

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