8 Fastest Cars You Can Purchase For $20,000 Or Less

You can’t help but feel like you’re on top of the world when you’re behind the wheel of a fast automobile. But let’s be honest: not everyone has the money needed to acquire the quickest cars available. Many have astronomical price tags of hundreds or even millions of dollars.

Obtaining a high-performance sports car without breaking the budget is possible if you know where to look. The average Joe can buy a speed demon without draining his life savings.

Here is a helpful rundown of some of the fastest cars you can buy for more or less $20,000:

8. 2014 Ford Mustang

0-60 miles per hour: 5.8
Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price: $19,934
 Country of Origin: United States
 Year First Manufactured: 2014

2014 Ford Mustangphoto source:  MotorTrend

The standard engine in the Mustang is a 3.7-liter V-6 with 305 horsepower. You can also get a 5.0-liter V-8 with 420 horsepower. A six-speed manual or automatic transmission is paired with each engine. The performance-focused Mustang Shelby GT500 has a supercharged 5.8-liter V-8 engine that makes 662 hp. The back wheels drive all Mustangs.

Even though it’s a performance car, the 2014 Ford Mustang’s cabin is cozy and easy to get around. Soft-touch surfaces make things feel more expensive and take away from the look of lots of flat surfaces and plastic panels.

Some seats resemble Recaro racing seats, but the standard front seats are also very supportive. The two back seats look nice with deep curves, but adults of average size will find it hard to move around.

Did You Know:

The Electronics Package adds an 8-inch color touchscreen and navigation system to the Premium and GT500 models.

7. 2015 Volkswagen Golf GTI

0-60 miles per hour: 5.7
Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price: $19,976
 Country of Origin: Germany
 Year First Manufactured: 2015

2015 Volkswagen Golf GTIphoto source:  Car and Driver

The 2015 Golf GTI has a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine that generates 210 horsepower. A performance package available for purchase adds 10 horsepower. A six-speed manual transmission is standard, with an optional six-speed automatic manual transmission. Both transmissions work well with the turbo-four engine.

The GTI is enjoyable to drive because of its accurate steering and agile handling. Additionally, it rides nicely on the majority of road surfaces.

The 2015 Volkswagen GTI’s interior boasts soft-to-the-touch, well-grained materials and a cabin design that, although rather austere, is comfortable and even sporty due to the use of prominent red stitching. The 5.8-inch touchscreen is a bit smaller than others, and the visuals aren’t as sharp as on rival panels, but it functions well and is easy to see at a glance.

Did You Know:

The 2015 GTI was an IIHS Top Safety Pick and received the highest rating of “good” in five crash tests and the second-highest ” acceptable ” grade in the passenger-side small overlap front test.

6. 2015 BMW 328i

0-60 miles per hour: 5.4
Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price: $19,161
 Country of Origin: Germany
 Year First Manufactured: 2015

2015 BMW 328iphoto source:  MotorTrend

Next up is the 2015 BMW 328i coupe. The 328i has an automatic or manual six-speed transmission to complement its 230-horsepower 3.0-liter inline-six-cylinder engine. When equipped with an automatic transmission, the BMW 328i can go from zero to sixty miles per hour in 5.4 seconds.

Even with the engine and suspension set to Sport mode, the 2015 BMW 328i sedan rides nicely. With its rear-drive chassis and variable sport steering, the small sport sedan is effortless to position around curves and through tricky portions. However, the car’s cornering speeds may be terrifying for passengers unfamiliar with the 3 Series’s capabilities.

The front eight-way power seats are comfy, and the adjustable driver’s seat lumbar gives decent lower back support. In addition to the blue M Sport brakes standing out against the Alpine White exterior, the Coral Red Dakota leather upholstery and brushed metal accents provide a beautiful contrast. The total of our color and molding scheme was a high-end appearance.

When equipped with an automatic gearbox, the BMW 328i is rated at 23/35/27 mpg by the EPA. It beats the manual-equipped variant by 1 mpg.

5. 2011 Nissan 370z

0-60 miles per hour: 5.4
Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price: $19,493
 Country of Origin: Japan
 Year First Manufactured: 2011

2011 Nissan 370zphoto source:  The Car Connection

The Nissan 370z, a timeless example of a Japanese sports vehicle, is up next. A coupe and a convertible version of the 2011 Nissan 370z are offered. The 370z can go from 0 to 60 miles per hour in 5.4 seconds.

The Nissan 370Z is an outstanding sports vehicle that offers a remarkable combination of performance and affordability. A coupe and a roadster version of the 370Z were released for the 2011 model year, both of which have a style that honors heritage and history.

The 3.7-liter engine revs enthusiastically and makes a distinctive sound. It has variable valves and four camshafts, producing 332 horsepower and 270 pound-feet of torque at 5200 revolutions per minute (rpm). Still, the majority of its power is accessible at lower rpm.

The 2011 Nissan 370Z Roadster’s interior is faultless. The 370Z Roadster’s interior makes you feel like you are in a more expensive and exotic car, from the fanciful curves on display and controls to the high-quality materials used everywhere. Despite its modest size, the 370Z Roadster has a covered center console bin and functional storage below the front seats.

Did You Know:

The Sport Package incorporates a system that provides smooth manual downshifts by electrically matching engine speed to outgoing gear rpm via the throttle.

4. 2010 Dodge Challenger

0-60 miles per hour: 5.4
Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price: $19,827
 Country of Origin: United States
 Year First Manufactured: 2010

2010 Dodge Challengerphoto source:  Edmunds

The 2010 Dodge Challenger SRT8 has a 6.1-liter Hemi V8 engine and costs less than $20,000; It generates 425 horsepower. In only 5.3 seconds, the SRT8 Challenger can accelerate from 0 to 60 mph.

The Challenger rides on the same Chrysler LX chassis as the larger Charger and 300 sedans, which accounts for most of the car’s size and weight. In addition, several Mercedes-Benz suspension parts from the DaimlerChrysler period have also been included in this platform.

The Challenger is a more refined and quiet option than the Mustang and the Camaro, and it also has more room in the back for passengers.

The Challenger’s interior is spacious enough to fit four adults and has comfy seats, but its design is essentially monochromatic and uninspired. However, even though it doesn’t have the same flair as the competition when it comes to interior design, it does provide many of the same modern comforts, such as Bluetooth, GPS, and iPod compatibility.

Did You Know:

The LX chassis that the Challenger is based on is also used by the Chrysler 300 and the Dodge Charger sedans; hence, the Challenger’s black interior is mostly borrowed from both vehicles.

3. 2010 Dodge Charger

0-60 miles per hour: 5.2
Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price: $19,995
 Country of Origin: United States
 Year First Manufactured: 2010

2010 Dodge Chargerphoto source:  Edmunds

Even in base and mid-level trim, the Charger’s sharp styling and sporty wheels make a bold statement, and those who can afford the Hemi V8 engine get bold movements. The 2010 Dodge Charger combines American power with Daimler-Chrysler suspension and drivetrain technology. The result is a car that outruns most in its price class and several tens of thousands more.

The Charger’s 5.7-liter HEMI V8 is smooth and powerful, as it is in other Dodge cars. Even the 3.5-liter V6 has enough power for fun. The Charger rides and handles like the Chrysler 300. However, its Charger emblem and aggressive appearance suggest a more aggressive configuration. The Charger looks sportier than the Chrysler 300, which is enough for most.

Did You Know:

The Dodge Charger was designed for people who want the practicality of a four-door vehicle but despise the concept of driving a boring family sedan.

2. 2012 Chevrolet Camaro SS

0-60 miles per hour: 5.2
Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price: $18,646
 Country of Origin: United States
 Year First Manufactured: 2012

2012 Chevrolet Camaro SSphoto source:  MotorTrend

The Chevrolet Camaro is often called the “everyman’s sports car.” The muscle car’s chassis is GM’s Zeta rear-wheel-drive architecture. The 2012 Camaro is 3700–3900 pounds, has a wheelbase of 112.3 inches, and is 190.4 inches long. Muscle cars are heavier now than in the 1967–1969 era, so they don’t have the same “pony car” feel as those earlier versions.

Most enthusiasts will be satisfied by the 426 horsepower of the Camaro SS (400 horsepower with the automatic transmission). Still, if you need more power than that, the brand-new 2012 Camaro ZL1 has a supercharged 6.2-liter V-8 producing 580 horsepower and a magnetic ride control suspension that is unique in its class.

On paper, all three engine options easily outperform the competition from Ford, Dodge, and Hyundai. The Mustang’s competition, a convertible version, was introduced last year.

Did You Know:

The redesigned Camaro, which debuted in 2010, was more powerful than competing sports coupes and quickly became the market leader.

1. 2011 Audi S5

0-60 miles per hour: 4.9
Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price: $19,370
 Country of Origin: Germany
 Year First Manufactured: 2011

2011 Audi S5photo source:  Cars and Bids

The Audi S5 is the fastest car for less than $20,000, capable of speeding up to 155 miles per hour. The 2011 S5 coupe features a 354-horsepower direct-injection 4.2-liter V-8, while the convertible gets a 333-horsepower supercharged 3.0-liter V-6. Both have Audi Quattro AWD. As a result, the Audi S5 boasts a 155-mph peak speed and a 4.9-second 0-60 time.

The S5 is well-designed and executed by a business noted for its interiors. The leather-upholstered front buckets give that rare mix of accessibility and lateral support, while the rear sitting area is a cozy two-person space.

Despite the Coupe’s roomy greenhouse, the EPA classifies its interior as small. Larger adults should get an A5. S-design leather sport seats, Silk Nappa leather, and distinctive inlays (brushed aluminum, carbon fiber, stainless steel, or gray birch) make the S5 high-performance.

Did You Know:

The S5 Cabriolet’s dual-clutch gearbox, a milestone in high-performance motoring, enhances the S5’s uber-tourer capabilities.

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