What's the Best Cheap Speed Car for $30,000?

By Patrick Olsen  on July 28, 2014

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Cars.com photo by Evan Sears

Plenty of drivers want a level of performance without breaking the bank. We found eight cars that prove fun at the track is not limited to the well-to-do.

$30,000 Cheap Speed Challenge
Index | What the Judges Said | Mileage Test

We focused our Challenge on compact coupes, sedans and hatchbacks that cost less than $30,000, including destination charge. We picked the price based on Cars.com's listings for cars of this type that came with the features we know are popular with younger drivers looking for a performance kick. After five days of testing (including a day at a drag strip and a day on a road course) by experts from Cars.com, USA Today, "MotorWeek" and a real-life, in-market family, here's how the results broke down:

 

 

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What You Get for $30,000 (click for full table)

 

 

Cars.com photos by Evan Sears

Volkswagen GTI Hyundai Veloster Kia Ford Fiesta Subaru WRX Nissan Juke Nissan Volkswagen Fiat 500 Scion Scion FR-S Fiat Hyundai Ford Subaru Kia Forte 30000 Cheap Speed Challenge


Editor-in-Chief Patrick Olsen was born and raised in California. He loves pickup trucks and drivers who pay attention.  Email Patrick