10 Performance Cars That Won’t Break the Bank

Between the Dodge Challenger and the Ford Mustang, you have plenty to choose from when it comes to affordable performance cars.
Written by Macy Fouse
Reviewed by Carrie Adkins
There are quite a few options out there when it comes to affordable performance cars like Mustangs, Miatas, and Camaros. With all of these being under $50,000—and most under $30,000—you don’t have to miss out on anything. 
Another perk to these cars? Most of them don’t qualify as luxury brands, which is an important distinction when it comes to
car insurance
. To pare down your best options, car super app
Jerry
has rounded up the cheapest performance cars on the market. 
If you want to save money on car insurance, the Jerry app is a good place to start. A licensed broker, Jerry does all the hard work of finding cheap quotes from the 50+ top name-brand insurance companies. Jerry will even help you cancel your old policy.
Do you dream of revving your engine or speeding down the road in a hot rod, but don’t have Lamborghini money? If so, keep reading to learn about the best, cheap performance cars. 
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Alfa Romeo Giulia 

Price: $44,445
Engine: 191-hp turbo V-6 
Starting out with the most expensive option on this list: the Alfa Romeo Giulia. It’s also one of the fastest five-passenger vehicles in the world. With its agile steering, luxury-level amenities, driver-assistance features, and top safety ratings, this car rivals even the top-rated performance cars. 
Cons: There’s not much interior storage space or backseat room, but that’s par for the course with sporty sedans like this. 

Chevrolet Camaro 

Price: $26,495–$37,995
Engine: 275-hp turbo 2.0L inline-four, 335-hp 3.6L V-6, or 455-hp 6.2L V-8
Camaros always ride the line between sports cars and muscle cars, but with such an affordable price, they’re as versatile as you need them to be. Between its three engine options, smooth handling, and surprising quickness, Camaros can compete with the best of them.
Cons: Camaros can be a little hard to see out of. That, and the general lack of spaciousness, as they tend to feel a little stuffy inside the cabin.

Dodge Challenger R/T or Scat Pack

Price: $35,790–$40,490
Engine: 375-hp 5.7L V-8 or 485-hp 6.4L V-8
The base Challenger is fine, but the R/T and Scat Pack trims are where the Challenger shines—that is, if you exclude the over-$50,000 SRT Hellcat trim. These trims are both affordable and quick, especially for such robust cars. On top of that, the Challenger is one of only two two-door muscle cars available in all-wheel drive. 
Cons: Interior materials tend to be unexceptional. The manual transmission can be sluggish as well. 

Ford Mustang

Price: $27,490–$36,450
Engine: 310-hp turbo 2.3L inline-four or 460-hp 5.0L V-8
Another muscle-sports car hybrid, Mustangs are classic options when it comes to power and affordability. Mustangs offer nimble steering and steady rear-wheel-drive—with several engine options to boot.
Cons: Unremarkable interior quality and a mediocre base engine keep Mustangs humble. 

Honda Civic Type R

Price: $36,620
Engine: 306-hp turbo 2.0L inline-four
Honda Civics are admittedly not your typical idea of a performance car, but don’t count the Type R trim out. Coming with plenty of horsepower and a six-speed manual transmission, these cars don’t play around. 
Type Rs also come with an edgier body than other Civics, while still maintaining the spacious interior of the other trims. It’s definitely one of the fastest-accelerating front-wheel-drive cars out there. 
Cons: The style is an acquired taste. They can also be a bit loud at higher speeds. 

Hyundai Veloster N

Price: $33,545
Engine: 275-hp turbo 2.0L inline-four
Built just for folks who love driving, the Veloster N comes with plenty of bang for your buck. As a hatchback, the Veloster brings a bit of funkiness to the performance car genre—complete with colored seatbelts. The Veloster is notably fun to drive and also comes equipped with plenty of updated tech features. 
Cons: Interior feels a bit cheap. The back seat is also—you guessed it—on the small side.

Kia Stinger GT 

Price: $40,295
Engine: 365-hp twin-turbo 3.3L V-6
Want a car that can tote your family around and intimidate on the highway? Enter the Kia Stinger GT. Its four doors and 4.6-second 0-to-60-mph acceleration time give you the best of both worlds. Not only does it have the power of rival performance vehicles, but it has a roomy back seat and cargo area. 
The GT version is your best bet if you’re looking for an exciting drive
Cons: Grip could be better, as well as the braking. It may feel slightly unstable on fast, curvy roads. 

Mazda MX-5 Miata

Price: $26,650
Engine: 181-hp 2.0L inline-four
The Miata has been the most popular affordable performance car for years—and for good reason. With its small, lightweight frame, the Miata is a responsive and tactile driving experience. They also come with all your favorite infotainment features. Put simply, Miatas are fun to drive. 
Cons: Miatas are obviously a bit short on interior space. They also ride a bit stiff, so bumpy roads can feel pretty bouncy. 

Subaru WRX

Price: $28,420
Engine: 268-hp turbo 2.0L flat-four
All-wheel drive. Reliable brand. High quality. No wonder the WRX is a favorite for enthusiasts. Getting you to 60 mph in 5.5 seconds, the WRX is an entertaining drive. With smooth handling, a direct fuel injection engine, athletic body, and retuned suspension, the Subaru WRX is a top choice for accessible performance cars.
Cons: The interior can get a bit loud. 

Volkswagen Jetta GLI 

Price: $31,990
Engine: 228-hp turbo 2.0L inline-four
One of the highest-rated affordable sports sedans on the market, the Jetta GLI has it all: spacious cabin, peppy engine, independent rear suspension, and agile handling. They also come standard with a limited-slip differential with the option for additional performance features. With four doors, the Jetta GLI is also a family-friendly option.
Cons: Interior materials aren’t the best. It’s also not the sportiest style, if that’s what you’re going for.

Honorable mentions

BMW 230i

Price: $37,345
Engine: 255-hp 2.0L turbo four-cylinder
Pros: Fast acceleration, good value for performance
Cons: Small backseat, not as practical as other options

Dodge Charger R/T

Price: $40,945
Engine: 370-hp 5.7-liter V-8
Pros: Lithe for its size, one of the cheaper V-8 options
Cons: Lackluster cabin materials, low-feedback steering

Toyota GR86

Price: $27,700
Engine: 228-hp 2.4-liter flat-four
Pros: Highly rated, powerful torque curve
Cons: Loud at highway speed, microscopic backseat

How to find affordable car insurance

Now that you’ve found your affordable performance car, you’ll need affordable
car insurance
to go with it. Sports cars usually come with higher insurance premiums, but when you use the
Jerry
app, you can find the cheapest insurance out there. 
Jerry gathers quotes from top companies in under a minute. Not only that, but Jerry can sign you up for a new policy or help cancel your old one—all without phone calls or paperwork. You’ll also receive new quotes when it’s time to renew, so you know you’re always getting the best price.
“As a young person who owns a sports car and a high-end sedan, I couldn’t find quotes below a certain threshold. By using
Jerry
, I managed to find full comprehensive coverage on both vehicles and am now saving $150 a month!” —Channing Y.
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