You can buy fun cars for under 30 grand.
A few weeks ago, I recommended five fun coupes for singles, whose base prices didn’t start with a three. Readers demanded more so here are five more cars that are a little easier on the wallet in purchase and operation.
Disclaimer, you don’t have to be single and willing to mingle to fall in love with these vehicles. In fact, some of them are family friendly. No really, they are.
Ford Focus ST – $29,999
Hot hatch? I think so.
Ford’s Focus ST (ST meaning Sports Technologies) is quite the exciting ride.
As soon as you sit inside the Ford Focus ST cabin, you’re embraced by Recaro sport seats that hug you and don’t let go. There’s a six-speed manual gearbox that’s then connected to a 2.0L High-Output EcoBoost I-4 engine.
The high-output engine puts out 252 horsepower and 270 lb-ft of torque. Yes, that’s a herd of horses under the hood, but driving this sport-tuned version of ST is actually quite agreeable in the city.
Chevrolet Sonic RS – $23,995
The Sonic RS Hatchback might not be the first choice of “performance” vehicle on your list, but that doesn’t mean it couldn’t be added.
This five-door has some cool features like: a unique RS liftgate-mounted rear spoiler, 17-inch Midnight Silver painted-aluminum wheels, Lane Departure Warning, a leather-wrapped steering wheel with contrasting stitching and flat-bottom design, and leather-appointed seating surfaces with ‘sueded’ microfibre inserts.
That’s on top of seating for five and a powerplant comprised of a 1.4L, turbocharged 4-cylinder with 138 horsepower and 148 lb-ft of torque.
Fiat 500 Abarth – $20,995
Anytime you see a scorpion on something – or in real life – you can count on there being some sort of sting. The Fiat 500 Abarth is no different, except this sting makes you smile.
This pint-sized two-door might look somewhat cutesy, but the terrestrial arachnid badging denotes otherwise.
Turn the ignition on and the rumble of the dual exhaust comes to life. It’s anything but tame in tone. Put the five-speed, heavy duty manual transmission into gear and hopefully you’ll be able to make good use of the 160 horsepower and 170 lb-ft of torque. That’s the kind of power being generated from its 1.4L, MultiAir turbocharged engine.
Along with a performance tuned-suspension, performance brakes and 16-inch wheels, this Fiat might be small, but makes up any “size matters” issues with its dynamic performance.
Honda Civic SI (Coupe/Sedan) – $26,245/$26,250
Take the exceptional reliability of Honda, its popular-selling Civic coupe/sedan, lace it with a potent engine and some cool gadgetry and you have the SI trim.
Up until only a few years ago, the Civic SI was only offered in coupe format, but that changed in 2007. Those who wanted performance and practicality would be granted access to such pleasures of life.
Setting it apart from its tamer siblings is a 2.4-litre engine producing 201 horsepower and 170 lb.-ft of torque. It also comes standard with 17-inch aluminum alloy wheels and a rear spoiler. Not to mention a 6-speed manual transmission.
Whether opting for two or four doors, you can’t go wrong.
Scion FR-S – $26,450
The return of the fun-to-drive rear-wheel drive sports coupe that’s priced under $30K can be linked to the Scion FR-S. You could also say it is linked with the Subaru BRZ as these four-seater, two-door vehicles were a joint venture product between the two Japanese brands.
The FR-S features a 2.0-litre, four-cylinder boxer engine, developed in collaboration with Subaru. It combines Subaru’s horizontally opposed engine and Toyota’s D-4S injection system. The result is 200 naturally aspirated horses and 151 lb-ft of torque and can be matched with either a six-speed manual or a six-speed automatic transmission.
The back seats might not be incredibly comfortable for rear passengers but all the festivities are happening up front anyway.