10 Coolest Cars Under $30,000

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Overview

10 Coolest Cars Under $30,000

Even though cool is a relative term, if you ask a group of people which cars are cool, they will come up with a list that most of them can agree on. And when it comes down to it, some cars are cooler than most. Each of the following cars have that X factor, meaning they’re among the most fun, stylish and/or spirited cars available for less than $30,000 according to Kelley Blue Book Fair Purchase Price.

There’s a wide range of Mini Coopers available for less than $30,000. Those who want the most fiery option in the lineup gravitate to the John Cooper Works edition. The great news is that you can get into the 2-door Mini JCW at this price range, and enjoy the upgraded 228-horsepower turbo engine, as well as bigger brakes and a stiffer suspension. Read more in our full review

With a wide range of trim levels and engines, the Challenger offers retro looks and modernized muscle-car performance for almost every budget. For under $30,000, you can get the Challenger equipped with a 305-horsepower V6, and still enjoy great performance while onlookers take in the Challenger’s cool style. Read more in our full review

Our expert review of Subaru’s only rear-drive model, the BRZ, says it all: “If you’re looking for a small, highly stylized coupe that loves to run through curves like a greyhound on track day, the 2019 Subaru BRZ deserves a test drive. With only 205 horsepower on tap, the lightweight BRZ isn’t muscle-car fast, but it is quick.” Read more in our full review

Chevrolet’s muscle-car classic has been a part of the American landscape for more than 50 years. The 2019 model year brings some styling changes, as well as some new trim levels. You can get the turbocharged Camaro with the new Turbo 1LE package, which includes an upgraded track-ready sport suspension, heavy-duty brakes, and a driver mode system with track mode, and stay within your budget. If naturally aspirated Camaros are what you prefer, you can get a base-model V6 Camaro for less than $30K. Read more in our full review

The Honda Civic Si is the sportiest version of the mainstream Civic you can get; for more performance, you’d have to spend an extra $10K to get into the Civic Type R. The Civic Si, available as a sedan or coupe, has a sport-tuned suspension, torquey turbocharged engine, limited-slip differential, and a quick-shifting manual transmission. In addition, you can opt for the dealer-installed summer tires and still stay within your budget. Read more in our full review

The Mustang’s styling pays homage to the storied past and classic looks of the 1960s models, while sophisticated technology, excellent powertrains, a refined driver interface and an independent rear suspension keep the Mustang modern. Read more in our full review

Last year, the Jeep Wrangler received a wide array of updates and improvements that make this iconic model more capable, and simultaneously more civilized. The Wrangler appeals to a wide variety of people, from those who are more likely to blaze their own path in the dirt, to those who want a cool, convertible ride to the beach. The open-air, go-anywhere Jeep Wrangler is legendary for a reason. Read more in our full review

The appeal of the GTI has spread from within the inner circle of diehard VW fans, and the GTI has become a bona fide automotive legend since it arrived in America in the early 1980s. This hatchback offers a mix of surprising practicality, understated demeanor, and a healthy dose of driving fun, starting at a reasonable price. Read more in our full review

The Mazda MX-5 Miata is the best-selling sports car of all time, due in no small part to the amount of fun per dollar this roadster offers. The Miata isn’t the most powerful car on this list, but it’s nimble, with excellent response and terrific handling. Thirty years after its introduction, it continues to be a world-class driver’s car and a legend in the automotive enthusiast world. Read more in our full review

Hyundai followed up the introduction of the all-new Veloster with a fiery high-performance version, the Veloster N. When you opt for the N, the cool three-door coupe comes with 100 more horsepower than the standard engine (250 versus 147). Bump that up to 275 horsepower with the optional Performance Package, which also includes an electronic limited-slip differential, and larger brakes and tires. (Happily, you can get the Performance Package and still stay under the $30,000 ceiling.) That, plus the N’s track-ready suspension and driving modes make this a bargain car that can offer a full day of fun at the track; it also offers a reasonably comfortable ride for your trip home afterward. Read more in our full review

 

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