What are the most affordable sports cars?

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A row of 2020 Mustangs sits at a Ford dealership Sunday, Oct. 11, 2020, in Littleton, Colo. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

People commonly fantasize about driving a fast car on an open road. But given the price tag and impracticality of sports cars, owning these vehicles remains a fantasy for many. However, there are many affordable new and used sports cars that can satisfy your need for speed without blowing your budget. 

Here are the sports cars that offer a thrilling ride without the high price tag. We’ll look at the fastest new sports cars under $30,000 and the fastest used sports cars for under $20,000 and $15,000.

Here are the fastest and cheapest cars:

Fastest Cars Under $30,000
RankSports Car0-60 TimeStarting Average New Car Price
1Ford Mustang5.1$25,697
2Dodge Challenger5.3$23,994
3Chevrolet Camaro5.4$24,590
4Hyundai Veloster N5.5$27,652
5Mazda MX-5 Miata5.7$26,551
6Subaru BRZ 6.3$28,826
7Toyota 866.4$27,174
8Fiat 124 Spider6.9$22,548

1. Ford Mustang

The Ford Mustang earns the top spot as the fastest, most affordable sports car. It’s also the sports car with the highest iSeeCars Quality Score at 8.8 out of 10, and ranks high on our list of most reliable sports cars. The Mustang comes standard with a 2.3-liter turbo four-cylinder engine with 310-horsepower and a six-speed manual transmission. ThisIts entry-level engine can go from zero to 60 mph in 5.1 seconds when equipped with the optional 10-speed automatic transmission, and reaches a top speed of 121 mph. Higher trims with the 5.0-liter V8 engine have even faster acceleration and higher top speeds, like the Ford Mustang GT, which reaches 60 mph in 3.5 seconds and reaches a maximum speed of 180 mph. A new Ford Mustang for sale starts at an average price of $25,697.

2. Dodge Challenger

An American muscle car ranks second, the Dodge Challenger two-door coupe. It is among the best sports cars on the market with an iSeeCars Quality Score of 7.8. The brawny Challenger comes standard with a powerful 3.6-liter six-cylinder engine making 303 horsepower. The base Challenger goes from zero to 60 mph in 5.3 seconds and reaches a maximum speed of 156 mph.  While the base V6 offers ample power and acceleration, higher SRT trims offer more powerful V8 engines, including a 5.7-liter Hemi V8 with 375 horsepower, a 6.4-liter Hemi V8 with 485 horsepower, or the 717-horsepower supercharged 6.2-liter V8. These more powerful engines can go from 0-60 in less than 3.5 seconds. A new Dodge Challenger for sale starts at an average price of $23,994. 

3. Chevrolet Camaro

The “everyman’s sports car,” the Chevrolet Camaro ranks third. It is also iSeeCars second-ranked best sports car overall with a quality score of 7.9. The Chevy Camaro’s standard turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine, with 275 horsepower, goes from zero to 60 in 5.4 seconds and reaches a max speed of 155 mph. More powerful engines with quicker acceleration are also available, including a 3.6 liter V6 with 335 horsepower that does zero to 60 in five seconds, a 355 horsepower 6.2-liter V8 that can go from zero to 60 in four seconds, and the most powerful 6.2-liter V8 with 650 horsepower that can go from zero to 60 in 3.5 seconds. A new Chevrolet Camaro for sale starts at an average price of $24,590.

4. Hyundai Veloster N

Ranked fourth is the Hyundai Veloster N hot hatch, which is the high-performance variant of the Hyundai Veloster. The Hyundai Veloster N has a 275 horsepower 2.0-liter turbocharged engine. While it comes standard with a manual transmission, an eight-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission is available for an extra $1,500. The Hyundai Veloster N does 0-60 in 5.5 seconds and reaches a top speed of 155 mph. Along with being fast and fun-to-drive, the Veloster N offers more cargo space than typical sports cars thanks to its hatchback bodystyle. A new Hyundai Veloster N for sale starts at an average price of $27,652.

5. Mazda MX-5 Miata

Earning the fifth spot is the Mazda MX-5 Miata two-seat roadster. The Miata can go from zero to 60 in 5.7 seconds and reaches a maximum speed of 135 mph. It has one engine choice, a 2.0-liter four-cylinder with 181 horsepower and 151 pound-feet of torque. It also returns excellent fuel economy at 26 mpg in the city and 35 mpg on the highway, an excellent rating for the sports car class. A new Mazda MX-5 Miata for sale starts at an average price of $26,551.

6. Subaru BRZ

The Subaru BRZ ranks sixth. The BRZ comes with a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine with 205 horsepower and 156 pound-feet of torque with the manual transmission, and 200 horsepower and 151 pound-feet of torque with an automatic transmission. Thanks to its above-average reliability, value retention and reliability, it earns an iSeeCars Quality Score of 7.3. The rear-wheel drive BRZ does not offer all-wheel-drive like like the Subaru WRX. Subaru did not release its 0-60 times or maximum speed, but test drivers have reported a zero-to-60 speed of 6.3 seconds and a maximum speed of 143 mph. A new Subaru BRZ for sale starts at an average price of $27,174.

7. Toyota 86

The Toyota 86, which is nearly mechanically identical to the sixth-ranked Subaru BRZ, ranks seventh. The Toyota 86 and the Subaru BRZ have some minor differences, including their exterior styling, interior materials, pricing, and some minor suspension tuning differences. As such, the Toyota 86 has a slightly slower 0-60 time at 6.4 seconds and a maximum speed of 140 mph. A new Toyota 86 for sale starts at an average price of $28,826.

8. Fiat 124 Spider

Rounding out the list is the Fiat 124 Spider, which shares a chassis and much of its underpinnings with the Mazda Miata. The Fiat 124 Spider comes with a turbocharged 1.4-liter four-cylinder engine with 160 horsepower. A six-speed manual transmission and rear-wheel drive are standard, while a six-speed automatic transmission is also available. The Fiat 124 Spider goes from zero to 60 in 6.9 seconds. A new Fiat 124 Spider starts at an average price of $22,548.

Fastest Cars Under $20,000

Sports car buyers with a budget of $20,000 can find used versions of the fastest new cars under $30,000, as well as the additional sports cars highlighted below.

Fastest Cars Under $20,000
RankSports Car0-60 TimeAverage Used Car Price
12012 Nissan 370z4.8$19,877
22012 Audi S54.9$18,940
32012 Ford Mustang5.1$16,685
42012 Mercedes-Benz SLK5.1$16,251
52014 Audi TT5.3$19,255
62012 Dodge Challenger5.3$18,308
72014 Chevrolet Camaro5.4$19,051
82012 BMW Z45.5$17,969 
92012 Mazda MX-5 Miata5.7$15,993

Nissan 370z

A classic Japanese sports car, the Nissan 370z comes as a coupe or convertible and has a 3.7-liter V6 engine with 332 horsepower. It goes from 0-60 in just 4.8 seconds and has a maximum speed of 155 mph. A 2012 used Nissan 370z costs an average of $19,877. 

Audi S5

The Audi S5 is the performance variant of the Audi A5. The S5 coupe has a direct-injection 4.2-liter V-8 engine with 354 horsepower, while the convertible has a supercharged 3.0-liter V-6 that makes 333 horsepower. The Audi S5 can go from 0-60 in 4.9 seconds and has a maximum speed of 155 mph. A 2012 Audi S5 for sale costs an average $18,940.

Mercedes-Benz SLK

The Mercedes-Benz SLK roadster has a 1.8-liter four-cylinder base engine with 201 horsepower and a 3.5-liter direct-injected V-6 engine rated at 302 horsepower. It goes from zero to 60 in 5.1 seconds and reaches a maximum speed of 155 mph. A 2012 Mercedes-Benz SLK for sale costs an average of $16,251.

Audi TT

The front-wheel drive Audi TT is an elegant sports car with a unique design and engaging driving dynamics. The Audi TT from the 2014 model year has a 2.0-liter turbo four-cylinder engine with 211 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque, and it accelerates from 0-60 in 5.3 seconds. A used 2014 Audi TT has an average price of $19,255.

BMW Z4

The BMW Z4 two-seater luxury convertible comes with a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine with 240 horsepower. It can accelerate from 0-60 in 5.5 seconds and reaches a maximum speed of 130 mph. A 2012 BMW Z4 for sale costs an average of$17,969.

Fastest Cars Under $15,000 

For a fast car on a tight budget, there are a number of used sports cars that can be found for under $15,000. 

Fastest Cars Under $15,000
RankSports Car0-60 TimeAverage Used Car Price
12014 Hyundai Genesis Coupe5.2$12,904
22012 Audi TT5.3$14,266
32014 Ford Mustang5.8$13,764
42014 Mazda MX-5 Miata6.0$14,498
52012 Chevrolet Camaro6.6$13,574

While four of the five vehicles are used versions of the fastest new cars under $30,000 and the fastest used cars under $20,000, the Hyundai Genesis Coupe also makes the list.

Hyundai Genesis Coupe 

The Hyundai Genesis Coupe was discontinued after the 2016 model year to make way for Genesis to become its own luxury brand. The Hyundai Genesis Coupe has two engine options: a turbocharged four-cylinder with 274 horsepower and a V6 with 348 horsepower. The Hyundai Genesis Coupe reaches 146 mph and has a zero-to-60 time of 5.2 seconds. A 2014 used Hyundai Genesis Coupe costs an average of $12,904.

Bottom Line

All sports cars are fun to drive, but the ones topping this list offer a fast-yet-practical option for budget-minded enthusiasts. Be sure to also check out our guide on the best sports cars under $30,000 for additional practical sports cars, as well as our list of Best Sports Cars for more information on the sports cars listed above.

More from iSeeCars.com:

If you’re in the market for a new or used sports car, you can search over 4 million used and new cars with iSeeCars’ award-winning car search engine that helps shoppers find the best car deals by providing key insights and valuable resources, like the iSeeCars free VIN decoder reports. Whether you want a coupe, convertible, sedan, or hatchback, car buying has never been so easy.

This article, Fastest Cars for Cheap, originally appeared on iSeeCars.com

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