When comparing automobiles, it is easy to assume a car’s price has a lot to do with the way it performs on the road. After all, you get what you pay for. However, automotive advances and manufacturers’ increased focus on young drivers have changed the marketplace for quick, sporty cars. Affordable performance is no longer out of the question.
If your new car budget tops $60,000, you’ll have no problem finding the speed and handling you are looking for in a high-end performance auto. But what if your bankroll is a modest $25,000? Is it still possible to get around Memphis, Tennessee, in style without sacrificing speed and maneuverability? The road to frugal performance starts with a close look at these sporty stand-outs, each available with a sticker price below the $25,000 threshold.
Mazda MX-5 Miata Sport
Few sports cars have enjoyed the loyal following experienced by Mazda’s Miata line. Since the early 90s, fans of the car’s speed and style have embraced the two-seater’s classic lines. The car was originally designed in the image of timeless British roadsters such as Triumph and MG, so the Miata gives drivers the same close-to-the-road driving experience as these sports classics. Aside from its styling, however, the car is modern in every way.
The Miata Sport’s motor puts out more than 150 horsepower, moving the lightweight car from 0-60 miles per hour in under six seconds. But it’s the car’s balanced weight distribution and advanced suspension you’ll appreciate most as you take tight turns in downtown Memphis.
Image via Flickr by Ian Gulinao
Honda Civic SI Coupe
Honda’s reliability and solid resale value are two practical reasons to consider this time-tested classic, but you’ll forget about these sensible concerns the minute you unleash the Civic’s VTECH inline four-cylinder motor. The SI power plant generates more than 200 horsepower, giving you ample pedal for merging onto I-40 or hopping the bypass to East Memphis.
Roomier than a true sports car is, the Honda Civic Coupe doubles as everyday transportation. But don’t be fooled by its pedestrian exterior. Cornering, acceleration, and braking are all top notch. The Civic will take you from 0-60 MPH in 6.6 seconds and its Hondalink technology works with your smartphone to provide navigation and other functions.
Hyundai Veloster Turbo
The Veloster’s shifting packages includes a dual clutch option much like an automatic, as well as a manual transmission setup. To experience the Veloster at its best, driving enthusiasts should complement its 200 HP motor with the manual version, creating a performance hatchback that belies its price.
In addition to turbocharged performance, the Hyundai Veloster moves design trends forward with a three-door configuration. The driver’s side door is full-sized, while the passenger entry is split in two for easy access to the rear compartment. Among this year’s crop of affordable fast cars, this Hyundai is an ideal Memphis daily driver for those with high handling expectations.
Horsepower costs money, but you may be surprised how far your budget goes in today’s performance car market. These are only a few of the sporty options available to Memphis buyers with $25,000 to spend.