While it may be easy to daydream about putting that perfect Porsche in the driveway, the reality of spending upwards of $100,000 leaves most of our wallets in tears. However, for those of us on a more mainstream budget, there are several exciting cars on today’s market that will leave a few dollars in your pocket without sacrificing the grin on your face. Here are our favorite sporty new cars that start below $25,000:
With a base price of only $22,200, the Ford Mustang is the most affordable and most powerful car on our list. It’s a modern-day classic that earns street cred with young and old enthusiasts alike, and it’s also a legitimate sports car that has evolved since its historical pony-car days.
The Mustang’s 3.7-liter V6 lays down 305 horsepower while earning as much as 29 miles per gallon with the six-speed manual transmission, and as much as 31 mpg with the automatic. It’s been reported to rocket from 0-60 in fewer than six seconds, too, making it a quick car that isn’t too bad on gas. Considered to be the very first “pony car” car back in 1964, the Mustang was once just a stylish, compact coupe with a big engine that pushed the car quickly in a straight line. It’s evolved into a machine that can handle around the corners, so this affordable muscle car can keep up in the mountains, too.
Check out our listings at eBay Motors to find the Ford Mustang for you.
The Honda Civic Si is one of those cases where an automaker took an economy car, bolted on a few go-fast parts, and with it created a cult of fans. With one of the easiest manual transmissions available on any car today, the Civic Si not only entertains with its rumbling exhaust and slick design, but it’s also one of the best “first” performance cars money can buy. Plus, you get Honda’s reliability on your side.
It’s available as both a coupe and a sedan, and both models come standard with a sports-tuned suspension and a 201-horsepower 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine. The Civic Si is only available in manual, but given the ease of shifting here, we think it makes for the perfect excuse for newbies to learn how to drive with both feet.
Check out our listings at eBay Motors to find the Honda Civic Si for you.
When it comes to the fun-for-money equation, the Mazda Miata has been ahead of the game since its debut for the 1990 model year. The Miata’s formula is a simple one taken from the British roadsters of yore: front-engine, rear-drive and as lightweight as possible. Predictable, sporty handling, one of the most precise manual transmissions in the business and the delights of topless driving give the Miata the same driving characteristics of the cars it emulates, but it’s the exceptional reliability that has made the car into the most-sold roadster of all time.
The MX-5 Miata only offers seating for two, but there are a handful options available that can take the car from fun-ready at $23,720 to a nearly-luxurious track car with a power-folding hardtop that costs just over $30,000.
Check out our listings at eBay Motors to find the Mazda MX-5 Miata for you.
Hyundai has come a long way from its old reputation for building cheap, economy-oriented cars, and the Genesis Coupe is perhaps the best example of the brand’s new take on life. It’s a sleek, stylish, sporty, two-plus-two coupe with a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine that sends 274 horsepower to its rear wheels.
Despite its smaller engine, the turbocharger gives the Genesis Coupe a lot of “oomph” at low RPMs (275 lb-ft of torque, in fact), and the sports-tuned suspension makes this one a more nimble competitor for similarly sized cars like Ford Mustang or Chevrolet Camaro. Plus, the Genesis has a decent manual transmission for folks who are happiest with a third pedal in the floor. The base Hyundai Genesis Coupe is an entertaining car priced from $24,250, but for those with a larger budget, you can stretch all the way to track-oriented 3.8 Track edition, with a 348-horspower V6 under the hood.
Check out our listings at eBay Motors to find the Hyundai Genesis Coupe for you.
The most expensive car on our list is also the one with the longest heritage. It’s been a vintage economy car, a racer and a dune buggy, but the modern Volkswagen Beetle has grown to be more spacious and more capable than any before it. The Beetle is certainly quirky, but it’s also more masculine than past versions. It uses the same 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine found under the hood of many of VW’s sporty cars, including the Jetta GLI and Golf GTI, as well as modified versions of the engine in many Audi products.
With its 200 horsepower and 207 lb-ft of torque, the Beetle is zippy, and its tight suspension and direct steering make give the car surprisingly flat handling for a car that qualifies as “cute” in the right colors. It’s the kind of car feels comfortable as a daily driver, but isn’t lost on twisty mountain roads, either. Plus, it’s the most affordable way to put a brand new piece of “vintage” German sport in the driveway, which should earn you big points with the enthusiast crowd.
Check out our listings at eBay Motors to find the VW Beetle Turbo for you.
What would you like added to the list? Let’s hear your suggestions in the comments.
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