Home > Cars >  

Top 13 Performance Cars Under $50K

Check Out The Fastest Cars Under $50k!


In this list of the top 13 cars costing less than $50,000 we show you that driving in style doesn’t have to break the bank. The variety of hatchbacks, roadsters and extreme muscle cars ensure there is something for everyone. High quality performance cars are not only available to those on the six figure budget. Ford has managed to secure three of the top 13 positions. An achievement to be admired. So, which of these new cars would you most like to see in your garage?

Ranking The Best Sports Cars Under $50k

13. Toyota 86/Subaru BRZ

Both the Toyota 86 and Subaru BRZ are incredibly fun cars to drive. Built specifically to impress car fanatics, these car have both style and speed. They are considered as competitors of the Mazda Miata and no matter which one you opt for, you will not regret it.

12. Subaru WRX/WRX STI

With the asking price of $26,695, the Subaru WRX is truly amazing at a brilliant price. If you want added muscle then $35,195 will upgrade you to the Subaru WRX STI with added power and a sporty rear spoiler. For the extra money, the Subaru WRX STI is a worthy investment, considering how much it costs compared to other new cars.

11. Mini John Cooper Works Hardtop

Costing only $30,600, this new Mini JCW is fun to drive. It has excellent traction and we love the ability we have to personalize the car which gives it bonus points.

10. Mercedes-AMG CLA45

Both the Mercedes-AMG CLA45 and the GLA45 are within the $50,000 limit set for this list, costing $49,500 and $49,900. This is a fantastic offer considering their mighty 375hp and 2.0 liter engine. This luxury car would look good in your collection, right?

9. Dodge Challenger Scat Pack

Starting price of the Dodge Challenger Scat Pack is $38,995, which is very reasonable considering the cost of other new cars and the important fact that it has a Hemi V8 engine which produces 485hp! This car sure looks the part and will leave its rivals – Ford and Chevrolet – struggling to compete in terms of speed. The Doge Charger is also worthy of note (of course) but the difference between the Dodge Charger and Challenger in terms of price is what gives the Challenger the edge this time ’round. This modern muscle car is one of the best cars on the market with a reasonabl price tag, especially if you shell out on the performance package.

8. Mazda Miata

This car looks pretty cool and is sure to give you a driving experience you won’t be disappointed with. We recommend investing in the Club Package which has an on the road price of $31,000. This package provides you with improved suspension and reduced loss of drive which is a common occurrence when wheels spin on one end of an axle. Not a bad sports car at all, with an excellent bang to buck ratio.

7. Chevrolet SS

There is no denying that the Chevrolet Camaro SS is one of the best sedans available at the moment, and one of the best new car models in general. It is the perfect replacement for the discontinued BMW E39 M5. This car has a six gear manual transmission and is packed with power thanks to its V8 engine.

6. Chevrolet Camaro SS

At under $50,000 the Camaro SS is an absolute bargain. Complete with the same LTi V8 engine as the Chevrolet Corvette which delivers power to the rear wheels, this Camaro impresses with its huge 455hp. Overall, it’s one of the best sports cars you can buy without breaking the bank (too much!).

5. VW Golf R

If you are impressed with the style of the Volkswagen Golf GTI, but you want to enhance the power, then the all-wheel drive Golf R is what you need. Over $10k more expensive than the GTI, it has an impressive 2.0 liter four-cylinder, turbocharged engine, reaching up to 290hp, delivered through a slick manual transmission.

4. VW Golf GTI

The Golf GTI is an awesome all-round hatchback which delivers on appearance and price. It’s fun and fast to drive and also comes equipped with Volkswagen’s 4Motion all-wheel drive (AWD). What’s more, it only costs $25,595, which is pretty affordable for such a fast car.

3. Ford Mustang GT

If you are after power, performance and style within a budget then the Ford Mustang GT is the car for you. Although the GT350 comes with a starting price of $50k, the GT is $20k cheaper and once you get behind the wheel you will not be disappointed. Its V8 engine boasts 435hp and brings with it a driving experience you just can’t get enough of.

2. Ford Fiesta ST

If the all-new Focus RS is out-with your price range then fear not as we have identified the next best thing. With an on the road price of as low as $21,000, this responsive car is great value for money.

1. Ford Focus RS

America has been waiting patiently for the arrival of its first Ford Focus RS. There is a sense of excitement and anticipation as the car is finally here. Not only is it small and sporty, the new model also boasts all-wheel drive (AWD) too.  Costing a reasonable $35,900, this real deal hatchback comes with an impressive 350hp.


The Nissan 370Z Nismo: $41,990-$45,490

Equipped with a 3.6-liter V-6, the 370Z cranks out 350 horsepower and 276-pounds feet of torque. You can equip it with either a six-speed manual or a seven-speed automatic transmission. The potent combo should treat you to 0 to 60 runs in the 4-second range. The stylish, raked body sports coupe slices through the air cleanly. Through turns and around corners, the Nissan 370Z zips through on any line you choose. The tuned front suspension works with the shocks, springs and stabilizer bar so the 370Z corners as if it were on rails. You can easily take it up to its limits. It’s one of our favorite affordable sports cars.

About Chris Riley

I have been wrecking cars for as long as I've been driving them, but I keep coming back for more. Two wheels or four, I'm all in. I founded GearHeads.org and then built and ran AutoWise.com until selling it to Lola Digital Media in 2020. I look forward to watching AutoWise grow as part of the AllGear group.