We’re sure you’ve daydreamed about what you’d do if you suddenly won a lottery you didn’t even know you’d entered, or received an inheritance from a relative you’d never heard of, and were given more money than you could ever count. We know we did it.
For all of us gearheads, the ideas of where to go, what to do, and how to spend our money usually turn to vehicles sooner or later, right? After you’ve decided on your dream home, you’ll need to fill your fantasy garage, and for many of us, the models we’d choose are always of the performance automobile variety.
There’s something enticing about speed, but it typically comes at a cost. Many of us cannot afford brand-new sports cars and muscle cars, but if you go around and do your research, you may discover a variety of fast automobiles for less than $20,000. So, the next time you’re daydreaming, forget about the millions, the once-in-a-lifetime vacation, and the mansion, and instead fill your fantasy garage with these shockingly affordable buys.
Mazda RX-8 2009 – $6,000
Most people think of the renowned MX-5 when they think of a Mazda sports car, but while it has become somewhat forgotten by the general public, the RX-8 is equally notable in some gearhead circles, thanks largely to what’s under the hood.
The RX-8, which was manufactured between 2003 and 2012, was in many respects the ideal sports vehicle. Its engine was unusual; a fantastic 1.3-liter Wankel rotary with 232 hp, propelling the car from 0-60 mph in 6.2 seconds, with a top speed of 150 mph, and it was also quick and fast, handling exactly like a Mazda sports car.
Okay, so the fuel efficiency isn’t fantastic, and excellent maintenance is required — the Wankel engine has a reputation for, well, blowing up — but if you take care of your RX-8, you can enjoy the thrill of a 150-mph automobile for less than $6,000.
$7,000 for a 2007 Ford Mustang GT
The Ford Mustang is a perennial favorite of gearheads searching for high performance on a low budget. If you want heaps of power but don’t have a lot of money to spend, the fifth generation version is now the greatest bargain available. When designing the new Mustang for release in 2005, Ford wanted to look back.
The car included numerous nods to the classic 1967 model, including a retro-inspired cabin. A humming and powerful 4.6-liter V8 engine hid beneath the hood, delivering 300 hp and propelling the car from 0-60 mph in roughly 5.3 seconds, with a top speed of 150 mph. These days, you can acquire an early fifth-generation automobile for approximately $7,000, and it won’t fall apart. These vehicles are well-known for their dependability.
Pontiac Solstice GXP 2008 – $7,000
A car for the sun – you must have the convertible in yellow — the Pontiac Solstice GXP was a final high point for the Pontiac brand in the 2000s, and a nice one isn’t too expensive these days. The Solstice sold well for Pontiac until the company’s demise in 2010, and it’s simple to understand why. The GXP, in particular, followed the ideal recipe for a sports vehicle.
Its turbocharged inline-four developed 260 horsepower, allowing it to accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in 5.5 seconds and reach a top speed of 142 mph. The GXP also had a number of appealing, sporty aesthetic elements and handled well thanks to several performance enhancements. Surprisingly, you can still get one of these for under $10,000, and why wouldn’t you? The Pontiac Solstice is an almost perfect sports car that you should purchase. It is fast, entertaining, athletic, and stylish.
Nissan Altima 3.5 SR 2010 – $8,000
A mid-size Nissan sedan may not appear to be a car that fits this list at first glance, but recall that we stated unexpectedly fast, and the 3.5 SR wasn’t your normal Altima. The Altima 3.5 SR had a 3.5-liter V6 engine that produced 270 horsepower, as the name suggests. This was enough to propel the car from 0 to 60 mph in under 6 seconds and on to a top speed of 130 mph.
The SR also received a lot of handling modifications, assuring a sporty driving experience, as well as a slew of extra luxury items in the cabin. While it may not be the fastest car on this list, the Altima 3.5 SR has enough power to make you happy. There are several things to consider before purchasing one, but at $8,000, you’d be crazy not to.
Saturn Sky Red Line 2008 – $8,000
Yes, we realize that the Saturn Sky was constructed on the same Kappa platform as the previously mentioned Pontiac Solstice, but if you don’t like the Pontiac’s bold, effervescent style, the Sky Red Line is worth a look. The Red Line was Saturn’s hot version of the Sky, featuring the same 260 hp 2.0-liter turbocharged inline-four as the Solstice GXP and a 0-60 mph pace of 5.5 seconds.
The cars differed in terms of design. The Saturn, unlike the Pontiac, was more angular, with vents and sharp edges giving it a purposeful stance. The Sky may cost a little more than the GXP of the same year, with a decent one costing around $8,000, but if this is the design language for you, this car is an unappreciated gem. However, we still insist on getting the drop-top in yellow.
Pontiac GTO 2006 – $10,000
The 2006 Pontiac GTO was a suitable closing act in the GTO tale, and it could be precisely what you’re looking for if you’re searching for tremendous performance at a low price. Based on the Holden Monaro, a car with a cult following, the GTO brought some classic muscle car features to the table when it was resurrected in 2004.
The GTO was powered by a gigantic 6.0-liter V8 with 400 hp, allowing it to go from 0-60 mph in around 5 seconds and reach an electronically limited top speed of 155 mph. Furthermore, while the exterior wasn’t very flashy, the interior was well-appointed and luxurious, with plenty of polished and modern features. Despite excellent appraisals at the time, the final GTO never sold well, and their values have yet to rise. One can be had for roughly $10,000.
Audi TT 2008 – $10,000
As long as you don’t get too caught up in the unjust “hairdresser’s car” label, the Audi TT is a fantastic sports car that offers performance, looks, comfort, and durability at a reasonable price. The second-generation TT came with a 3.2-liter V6 engine that produced 250 horsepower and could propel the car to an electronically-limited top speed of 155 mph, with a 0-60 mph time of 5.4 seconds.
The TT also had precise handling thanks to Audi’s proprietary Quattro drivetrain, as well as a number of performance improvements over the previous version. The TT is nearing the end of its run, and while we will miss it, now is the time to buy your own. Purchase one for roughly $10,000 and demonstrate how fast a “hairdresser’s car” can be.
$12,000 for a 2008 Nissan 350Z
The Nissan 350Z was a poster car for the brand for many years, and it grabbed the imagination of a generation. It remains one of the most revered and prized vehicles of recent times, and you can still get one for less than $15,000.
For nearly a decade, the 350Z has wowed drivers with its impressive performance numbers. The Nissan is another car that can run 0-60 mph in less than 6 seconds and peak out at roughly 155 mph, thanks to its 306 hp 3.5-liter V6 engine.
It’s also earned a reputation for dependability throughout the years, with several cars exceeding 300,000 miles. Nissan’s 350Z may be getting on in years, but it still goes fast, and $12,000 seems like a steal for any 00s kid’s fantasy vehicle to us.
$13,000 for a 2010 Chevrolet Camaro
The 2010 Chevrolet Camaro revitalized the storied moniker in the finest way conceivable, and it remains a brilliant investment to this day.
The Camaro was equipped with a massive 6.2-liter, 426 horsepower V8 engine that provided enough power to propel it from 0-60 mph in 4.6 seconds and up to an electronically-limited top speed of 155 mph. The ’10 also had an outstanding interior and external appearance, focusing on retro aesthetics like its Mustang rival of the era and incorporating many design influences from its famous past.
They are currently available for roughly $13,000, which appears to be a small price to pay for all of the power, flair, and history. We absolutely adore them.
2010 BMW M5 – $15,000
With a BMW M automobile, you can be pretty certain of quality, performance, and comfort, and the 2010 M5 does not disappoint on any front. The E60 generation of M5 was produced beginning in 2005, and it was one of the greatest of its class. The E60, powered by a 5.0-liter V10, exuded power from every pore, producing 500 hp, reaching 155 mph, and accelerating from 0-60 mph in 4.5 seconds – an incredible time for a premium four-door sedan.
In terms of luxury, the M5 has all the bells and whistles you’d expect, such as heated seats and clever infotainment. Prices are now around $15,000, which we believe is a bit of a steal considering how much automobile you get for the money.