16 Best Performance Cars Under $30k

Best Performance Cars Under $30k
Photo by Campbell

Purchasing a new car can be an exciting and rewarding experience. It can also be daunting if you’re unfamiliar with the wide variety of cars available to you.

For example, some people want the luxury of an Audi or the speed of a Lamborghini, but they don’t have nearly $80,000 to spend on such luxuries.

Luckily, there are plenty of best performance cars under $30k. This range will allow you to get everything you want without breaking the bank.

1. Ford Mustang  

The Ford Mustang has long been a favorite among best performance cars under $30k for enthusiasts. It’s got a powerful engine and excellent handling, making it a blast to drive. 

Plus, it’s relatively affordable, starting at just under $30,000. The Mustang is a great option if you’re looking for a performance car that won’t break the bank.

2. Dodge Challenger  

The Dodge Challenger might not be the first car that comes to mind when you think of a performance car. But it deserves a spot on this list of best performance cars under $30k. For under $30,000, you can get a V8-powered Challenger with 485 horsepower. 

That’s more than enough power to have a lot of fun with. The Challenger is pretty good at handling too. The Challenger is worth checking out if you’re looking for a performance car that’s a little different from the usual suspects.

3. Chevrolet Camaro  

The Chevrolet Camaro is one of the best performance cars under $30k. It has a V8 engine with 455 horsepower and a 0-60 time of 4.0 seconds. 

Plus, it comes with a six-speed manual transmission and Brembo brakes. The Camaro also has excellent handling and steering feel.

5. Subaru WRX  

The Subaru WRX is the best performance car you can buy for under $30,000. It’s a great all-around car that is both fun to drive and practical. 

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It has a turbocharged engine that produces 268 horsepower and comes standard with all-wheel drive. Plus, it has a comfortable interior with plenty of room for passengers and cargo.

6. Mazda MX-5 Miata  

The Miata has long been a favorite of driving enthusiasts thanks to its lightweight, perfect 50-50 weight distribution, and tight handling. 

It’s also one of the best performance cars under $30k, with a base price of just $26,580. Add in its 26 mpg city/34 mpg highway fuel economy rating, and you’ve got a winner.

7. Subaru BRZ  

If you’re looking for best performance cars under $30k, the Subaru BRZ is a great option. It’s lightweight and elegant, making it great for handling. Plus, it has a boxer engine that provides plenty of power. 

And with its low center of gravity, it can take corners at high speeds. If you’re looking for a fun and affordable performance car, the Subaru BRZ is a great choice.

8. Toyota GR86  

The Toyota GR86 is the best performance car you can buy for under $30,000. It’s got a naturally aspirated 2.0-liter boxer engine that produces 205 horsepower and 156 lb-ft of torque. 

It’s light and elegant, making it great for cornering and zipping around city streets. Plus, it has a stylish interior and exterior that’ll turn heads while driving.

9. Volkswagen GTI   

The Volkswagen GTI is making the best performance cars under $30k. It’s a true-performance car with a responsive turbocharged engine, sharp handling, and a well-tuned suspension. 

Plus, it’s practical with a spacious interior and a hatchback body style, making it easy to live with daily. If you’re looking for the best performance cars under $30k, the Volkswagen GTI is a clear choice.

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10. Fiat 124 Spider   

The Fiat 124 Spider is one of the best performance cars you can buy for under $30,000. It’s an excellent choice for those who want a fun car that’s also affordable. The 124 Spider has a turbocharged four-cylinder engine that produces 164 horsepower and 184 lb-ft of torque. 

It’s also relatively lightweight, which helps it handle well and makes it fun to drive. Plus, it comes with a six-speed manual transmission.

11. Honda Accord Sport 1.5T  

The Honda Accord Sport 1.5T is quick and handy yet still comfortable and practical. Plus, it comes with a host of standard features that are usually optional on other cars in this price range. If you’re looking for the best performance car for your money, the Accord Sport 1.5T is it.

12. Honda Civic  

The Honda Civic has long been a favorite among car enthusiasts for its excellent performance and handling. And for a good reason – the Civic is consistently one of the best-selling cars in America.

But many people don’t realize that the Civic is also one of the best performance cars you can buy for under $30,000. 

The Civic offers tremendous value with a base price of just $19,550. For less than $20,000, you get a car that’s fun to drive, reliable, and fuel-efficient. 

Plus, the Civic comes standard with many features that are typically optional on other cars in this price range. The Honda Civic should be at the top of your list if you’re looking for an affordable performance car.

13. Hyundai Elantra Sport  

The Hyundai Elantra Sport got a turbocharged engine that produces 201 horsepower and 195 lb-ft of torque. 

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Plus, it comes with a six-speed manual transmission and sport-tuned suspension. The result is a car that’s fun to drive and extremely capable.

14. Jeep Wrangler  

The Jeep Wrangler is one of the best performance cars under $30k. It’s rugged and capable off-road, yet still comfortable and stylish on the road. 

Plus, it has a surprisingly powerful engine, making it a blast to drive. If you’re looking for a performance car that can do it all, the Jeep Wrangler is a perfect choice.

15. Volkswagen Jetta GLI  

Though it may not be the sexiest car on this list, the 2019 Volkswagen Jetta GLI is one of the best performance cars under $30k.

It’s powered by a 228-horsepower turbocharged engine and comes standard with a six-speed manual transmission (a seven-speed automatic is optional). 

The Jetta GLI is also one of the most well-rounded cars in its class, with a comfortable interior and a long list of standard features. If you’re looking for a fun-to-drive car that won’t break the bank, the Jetta GLI should be at the top of your list.

16. Mazda 3  

The Mazda 3 is one of the best performance cars you can buy for under $30,000. It’s elegant and fun to drive, with excellent handling and a responsive engine. 

Plus, it’s stylish and well-equipped, with a long list of standard features. If you’re looking for a performance car that won’t break the bank, the Mazda 3 is a great choice.

Conclusion

If you’re looking for the best performance cars under $30k, there are plenty of great options.  From muscle cars to sports cars, there’s something for everyone. And, with so many great choices, it’s hard to go wrong.

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