Top 10 sports cars you can buy for less than $27,000

Article by Christian Andrei, on November 27, 2015

If you wish to spend up to $50,000 to get a high performance car, you are going to find there is a huge list to pick from. Even at $40,000, there are a lot of models in the market to choose from.

Nevertheless, if your budget is not that high, it gets harder to choose a powerful car, for the list starts to fill with more and more humble options, or so it has been until now. Nowadays, the market aims to offer young buyers a vehicle that can offer them the excitement and emotion of a fast, high level performing car at more friendly prices.

Basically, the market aims to balance power with price so people can get cheaper cars without sacrificing the excitement of a high-octane performance vehicle. Although you can get a quite powerful car bellow $20,000, the range of options gets broader at prices between $20,000 and $27,000.

This range of prices features legendary cars such as the Volkswagen GTI and Chevrolet Camaro. New technologies have allowed engineers and designers to offer more engine power at a lower cost through the years; so naturally, these models have just gotten better with age.

Having a high performance car has never been more affordable. After carefully studying what the market has to offer at these prices, we have selected the vehicles that offer the most power, excitement and emotion to the driver. These cars are listed according to their horsepower output.

1. Chevrolet Camaro

And the classic battle for supremacy between the Mustang and the Camaro ends this time with the Camaro raising its metaphorical arms triumphantly. Chevrolet emerges victorious when it comes to affordable power and performance.

It is powered by an amazing 2.0-liter four-cylinder turbo engine with an efficiency of more than 30 miles per gallon on the highway, and has a starting price of $26,695 for the base model. With all these, the Camaro gets crowned number one in our list.

Obviously the basic model is a far cry from its $72,000 Z/28 Camaro sibling; nonetheless, any car enthusiast will feel the same adrenaline rush driving any of the Camaro presentations.

The basic Camaro’s number one spot in our list is well-deserved; nevertheless, any of the cars listed here will definitely give any consumer much satisfaction from getting a top-performing car that doesn’t break the budget.

2. Ford Mustang

The classic Mustang amazes us this time with a 3.7 liter V6 engine at just $23,098. Its 300hp of power is transmitted from the engine through a six-speed manual transmission. The power-price ratio this car is offering easily makes it one of the best offers in the market.

Its 2015 model has been completely redesigned (with the V6 as the base model car) while the EcoBost inline-four puts out an extra 10hp taking it out of our price range starting slightly above the $25,000 mark.

From the base model V6 to the upcoming GT350r, the new Mustang totally redefines its traditional concept offering with one of the best power-price ratios on the market.

3. Ford Focus ST

Powered by its 252 horsepower turbocharged inline-four engine, this new model has ventured outside of the conservative Focus concept the American marked was used to!

Ford has turned this compact economy car into a more aggressive stylized sporting car, merging high performance with the practicality and maneuverability of a compact SUV.

With a starting price of $23,350, this new model is here to redefine the Focus. This five-door street racer is practical too, with a spacious cargo area and an everyday sensibility.

4. Honda Civic Si Coupe

A model loved by many, the Civic Si still has what it takes to amaze all kind of buyers around the globe. This model bears a powerful 205hp VTEC inline-four cylinder engine making it possible to accelerate from zero-to-60 in less than seven seconds.

The sporty coupe could be yours for just $22,890, allowing customers to count on a budget friendly option that merges artistic style and design with the incredibly reliable engineering that Honda is famous for.

The Honda Civic Si also offers you the possibility of staying connected at all times thanks to its HondaLink technology.

5. Hyundai Veloster Turbo

The Hyundai Veloster Turbo is powered by its 201hp twin-scroll turbocharged engine that allows this model to sprint from zero-to-60 below the seven seconds mark.

This compact is moderately stylized but what will stun you is that this car is available for a surprisingly low price of just $23,435, achieving a real balance in terms of price and performance.

A facelifted model is expected to come in 2016, keeping these numbers at about the same.

6. VW Golf GTI

As it is nearing its 40th anniversary, the Volkswagen GTI is still going strong as one of the pioneers of the hot-hatch category.

The GTI has only gotten better with the passing of the years, making it one of the best options available for a high quality, emotion-inspiring and highly capable hatchback.

Its turbo-charged 2.0 liter inline-four engine generates a power of up to 210 hp. Notably, this car barely meets our price criteria at $24,995.

7. Ford Fiesta ST

This has a 197hp output, which is what the engine of the Mazda MX-5 Miata is also capable of delivering. Likewise, the Fiesta ST is considered as a top player among the drivers’ cars in the market.

Available at $20,731, the Fiesta ST is priced lower than the standard bearing GTI. Its power and handling make this car an all-round competitor in all the categories. It is powered by the 1.6 liter EcoBoost inline-four engine.

Its transmission is a six speed manual. Honoring its sporting car attitude, this car carries a ST-unique sport suspension and is fitted with Recaro sports seats.

It is, without a doubt, quite an achievement for a compact car to be competing with a Porsche or a Nissan GT-R.

8. Mazda MX-5 Miata

The 155 horsepower SKYACTIV-G 2.0L DOHC 16-valve 4-cylinder with VVT of the Mazda Miata may not impress at first. However, this engine combined with the Miata’s 50-50 weight distribution and impeccably tuned suspension and chassis make this car an amazing competitor among the top drivers’ cars currently available.

This vehicle focuses on being a high performance roadster before being affordable. At a price of $24,915, this car has earned as much as 178 awards through its 25 years of existence.

2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata is the latest addition in company's lineup and you might be interested to check it out!

9. MINI Cooper S

Following the Abarth, here we got another city car with a sporting car attitude.

Its 189 horsepower twin-turbocharged engine (developed by parent company BMW), top speed of 146 mph, and acceleration of zero-to-60 mph in 6.4 seconds allow this car to win the ninth spot on our list.

For a price of $24,750, this is one of the best options within our price range for the everyday driver niche.

10. Fiat 500 Abarth

While Fiat’s 160 horsepower is not that massive compared against other vehicles, this car does much more with what it has than many cars that have double its power. Its size and easy maneuverability make this model a great option for a city car.

Its upgrades feature a performance-tuned suspension, bigger brakes, modified steering and a heavy duty five-speed manual transmission, which make this model deserve the title of a true sport car.

Fiat 500 Abarth comes with an MSRP of $22,495 positioning this car well under the $25,000 mark. However, the Cabrio model starts at $26,595.

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