Horsepower isn’t cheap. After a certain point – usually around 200 HP – it gets super expensive. For those who desire a little extra something under the hood, finding fast cars isn’t a big deal. But fast AND affordable is a tough combination to acquire.
Whenever you think about the cheapest cars on the road, a few attributes come to mind. Small size and limited safety features are two such characteristics. But the one thing that’s always lacking with ultra-affordable cars is horsepower.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, sleek sports cars (especially European imports) have a hefty price tag, with some models routinely starting around $75,000. Of course, those multi-million dollar sports cars are hard to beat in the horsepower department. But we’re looking for affordable rides. We realize that most folks don’t have unlimited money to spend.
Bargain hunters, it’s time to celebrate. Are you looking for the most HP per dollar spent? Our team here at BuyAutoParts.com looked around for some quick cars that won’t bust your budget.
Five Fast Rides – All Under $35,000
Let’s define affordable, at least for the purposes of this blog. As the saying goes, there are no free lunches. In the automobile world, there’s no such thing as free power. Simply put, HP costs money. While most “cheap” cars are considered around $15,000 - $20,000, we’ll have to almost double that to $35,000. It’s very difficult to find a powerful car for less than $20,000. But since the $35,000 figure is reasonable, and it also opens up a sizable amount of automobiles to choose from.
Here’s a good benchmark to measure cost-efficient horsepower: take the car’s sticker price and divide that amount by the HP. Any car with a cost-to-HP ratio around 100 is worth a test drive, if you’re looking for a fast car that aligns with a reasonably low price point. The lower the dollar – HP ratio, the better.
In terms of pure HP per dollar spent, here are a handful of cars you simply can’t ignore:
2015 Ford Mustang GT
Dollar – HP ratio: 76
For at least half a century, the Mustang has set the pace for fast, affordable cars. Their latest offering is no different. In fact, the ’15 GT sports a 435 HP, V-8 engine that rivals some of the most pricy sports cars around – regardless of price. Plus, the Mustang GT has aggressive styling and a retooled interior.
2015 Honda Accord Coupe
Dollar – HP ratio: 110
For sports-car enthusiasts, Honda always delivers underrated power and performance. The EX-L Coupe somehow manages to combine full-throttle HP with some environmentally friendly features. The above price will get you 278 horses, which is a slight upgrade from the base Accord Coupe ($28,495 and 178 HP). The base Coupe has a dollar – HP ratio of 160, which might be a little high if you’re all about the speed. All in all, this is another winning entry from Honda.
2015 Subaru WRX
Dollar – HP ratio: 98
268 horses, sporty lines, surprising MPH output, Subaru quality – is there anything the WRX doesn’t have? The perennially popular WRX, in our opinion, is an affordably priced sports car that supplies all the power you want, and more. And if you’re into modifications, this Subaru’s revision-ready frame offers versatile options and endless possibilities.
Dollar – HP ratio: 90
With a dollar – HP ratio well under 100, it’s hard to find more affordable power than the 370Z. What’s more, this car commands attention with much more than raw HP. The Nissan 370Z gets better every year, and the latest model will satisfy any speed demon’s appetite. If you’re willing to spend a little more, you can enjoy greater power and even more cost-efficient performance. But even the base 370Z can accelerate from 0 to 60 in just over 5 seconds.
Hyundai Genesis R-Spec
Dollar – HP ratio: 84
Forget what you think you know about fast and affordable. Hyundai’s Genesis R-Spec is redefining HP on the cheap. More than any other car we’ve researched, the Hyundai R-Spec’s 84 dollar – HP ratio was the lowest by far. Hyundai has made significant strides recently with quality, and that same innovation has now translated to the sports car realm. While most people don’t regard the R-Spec as a “classic” sports car, you simply cannot ignore the car’s impressive power and reasonable sticker price.
Whether you drive an affordable dragster or opt for a more conservative ride, BuyAutoParts.com has the components and accessories to keep your car running like new. Our easy ordering interface allows you to select the year, make and model for fast, efficient shopping cart additions. If you have any questions about our parts, or can’t find the component you’re looking for, please give our experts a call at (888) 907-7225. We also have an online chat accessible, which you can find on our contact page.
Do you have any other suggestions for cars that should’ve made our list? Drop us a line and let us know – thanks for reading the BuyAutoParts.com blog!
Written By Dara Greaney