6 Legit Sports Cars for Less Than $26K
Technology is a wonderful thing. There was once a time when the words "budget" and "sports car" simply didn’t go together. But now, thanks to ultra-efficient engines and a host of sporty chassis from a number of manufacturers, going quick on a budget has never been easier. Better yet, all of the vehicles you'll see bellow will keep your insurance premiums from reaching mortgage-like levels that were once associated with sports cars in years past.
- Scion FR-S. This vehicle marks Toyota's return to the budget sports car arena with a rear-wheel drive sports coupe that pays homage to the company's 1980's cult-classic, the AE86 Corolla. While sold with a Scion badge in the U.S., Toyota teamed with fellow Japanese car maker Subaru (who also makes a version of the car) to create the best all-round sports car for the price. For less than $25,000, buyers are rewarded with a torque-y, Subaru-developed flat-four engine, standard Bluetooth and iPod connectivity, and an impressive 25 city/34 highway mpg.
- Volkswagen GTI. The little-hatchback-that-could makes the list despite lacking the sultry lines of a coupe, and with less-than-impressive horsepower figures from its 2-litre, turbocharged motor. However, what you do get with the GTI is a car that is just as easy to live with on a daily basis as it is to flog down your favorite roads. The GTI also manages to do all of this at a level of refinement you won't find in any other vehicle on the list.
- Ford Mustang. While the V8-powered Mustang GT (and its more powerful siblings) can easily smash the $35,000 mark, Ford found a way to bring power to the masses with its 305-horspower Mustang V-6. The Mustang gallops to 60 mph, needing just tick longer than 5.5 seconds to hit the mark. The car also wows occupants with its retro-modern gauge cluster and interior design.
- Hyundai Genesis Coupe 2.0T. Hyundai adds its own special ingredient to the mix with its Genesis Coupe 2.0T. The "T" in 2.0T stands for turbo. This helps the 2-litre inline-four crank out an impressive 274 horsepower, and 275 lb-ft of torque. In addition, the car needs just 5.7 seconds to skate to 60 mph. Thanks to the car's capable chassis and spot-on suspension tuning, the car is more than just a straight-line performer. To top it off, the 2.0T comes with a ton of standard features, including a standard stereo system equipped with Bluetooth, satellite radio, and iPod and USB auxiliary jacks for those who appreciate great music as much as they do performance.
- Mazda MX-5 Miata. When it comes to a no-frills, budget sports car, the Miata is not just old school, it's from the school they tore down to build the old school. Mazda continues to keep its tried-and-true method of a building a simple, two-seat roadster. In fact, the basic principle remains just as pure as when it was first introduced. Weighing in at a scant 2,400 pounds, the car rewards drivers with pure, unadulterated driving pleasure that has the handling benchmark for small cars for more than 20 years.
- Chevrolet Camaro. While at a considerable size and weight disadvantage to others in the group, the Camaro makes up for it by being the hands-down most powerful of the group. The Camaro's 3.6 liter V6 creates a whopping 323 horsepower, good enough to shuttle the car to 60 mph in 5.9 seconds. The car also comes standard with dual-outlet, stainless steel exhaust, a slick-shifting six-speed manual transmission, Bluetooth, MP3 player, and satellite radio.