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buying The 12 Cheapest Cars With 300 Horsepower, 2020 Edition

17:10  09 october  2020
17:10  09 october  2020 Source:   automobilemag.com

2020 Ford Explorer: What You Need to Know

  2020 Ford Explorer: What You Need to Know The redesigned 2020 Ford Explorer has improved handling, a lineup of peppy engines, and a lengthy list of standard safety features. Though it's much improved, the Explorer is up against some outstanding rivals and places near the bottom of our midsize SUV rankings. © Ford Motor Company 2020 Ford Explorer The 2020 Ford Explorer is ranked: #17 in Midsize SUVs #43 in Crossover SUVs #17 in SUVs with 3 Rows Is the Ford Explorer a Good SUV? The Ford Explorer is an OK midsize SUV. The good news is that its 2020 redesign includes significant changes, and the result is a much improved three-row SUV.

It wasn't all that long ago that buying a brand-new 300-horsepower car was reserved for well-to-do enthusiasts shopping for exotic sports cars. Today, a grandmother taking her grandchildren for ice cream in her Toyota Camry may well have 300 horses under her right foot. How's that for progress? Here, we show you the 12 cheapest cars with 300 horsepower that you can buy new in 2020, right off the showroom floor—no modifications or other trickery needed.

2020 BMW X5: What You Need to Know

  2020 BMW X5: What You Need to Know The 2020 BMW X5 ranks near the top of the luxury midsize SUV class. It has refined handling, strong engine performance, an upscale interior, and an above-average predicted reliability rating. © BMW of North America, LLC 2020 BMW X5 The 2020 BMW X5 is ranked: #2 in Luxury Midsize SUVs #4 in Luxury Crossover SUVs #3 in Luxury SUVs with 3 Rows Is the BMW X5 a Good SUV? Yes, the BMW X5 is a great luxury midsize SUV. The X5 sports a sleek interior, lots of standard tech and safety features, and an easy-to-use infotainment system.

a car parked in a parking lot: 2009 AMAG LEAD Cheapest 300hp cars © Automobile Magazine Staff 2009 AMAG LEAD Cheapest 300hp cars

But if you think 300 horsepower equals driving excitement, well, think again. Some of these cars are far better suited to grocery store runs than they are track days. Still, with even the most expensive car on this list ringing in at under $38,000, that's something to celebrate. If you're looking for even more horsepower, don't miss our breakdowns of the most affordable cars with 400-plus-horsepower and the 500-plus-horsepower kings and queens of the road.

Without further ado, the cheapest cars with 300-plus horsepower:

a blue car driving on a road © Automobile Magazine Staff

2020 Ford Mustang EcoBoost Fastback: 310 HP/$27,865

The 2020 Ford Mustang EcoBoost is absolutely the cheapest car with 300 horsepower on the U.S. market today with a base MSRP of $27,865 including destination fee. With a 2.3-liter turbocharged inline-four making 310 horsepower paired to a six-speed manual, you could even call the turbo-four Mustang fun to drive. Want an automatic transmission? Ford's 10-speed slushbox adds $1,595. Feeling spendy? Step up to the 2020 Ford Mustang GT Fastback with the 5.0-liter "Coyote" V-8 and you'll get 460 horsepower for just $37,075, less money than the most expensive car on this list.

2020 Toyota Yaris: What You Need to Know

  2020 Toyota Yaris: What You Need to Know The 2020 Toyota Yaris ranks near the top of the subcompact car class. It offers agile handling, a handsome interior, user-friendly features, and a good predicted reliability rating. © Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc. 2020 Toyota Yaris The 2020 Toyota Yaris is ranked: #5 in Subcompact Cars #17 in Small Cars Is the Toyota Yaris a Good Car? Yes, the Toyota Yaris is a good subcompact car. It is available in sedan and hatchback body styles. It boasts a stylish cabin, decent seating space, and lots of standard features, including a 7-inch touch screen, Apple CarPlay, and forward collision warning.

a car parked on the side of a road © Automobile Magazine Staff

2020 Dodge Challenger SXT RWD: 303 HP/$29,590

The base Dodge Challenger SXT with rear-wheel drive has Chrysler's "Pentastar" 3.6-liter V-6 sitting up front with a healthy 303 horsepower on tap for just $29,590, paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission. Given that the Challenger isn't a lightweight, you may want to step up to the R/T RWD trim, giving you a 5.7-liter V-8 rated at 375 horsepower for just $36,490.

a car driving down a street © Automobile Magazine Staff

2020 Chevrolet Camaro LS Coupe: 335 HP/$30,090

Like its pony car sibling the Ford Mustang, entry level Chevy Camaros start with a turbocharged four-cylinder engine these days. Unlike the Mustang, the Camaro's base 2.0-liter turbo four only makes 275 horsepower. That means you'll have to step up to 3.6-liter V-6 for its 335 horsepower, paired with the standard six-speed manual transmission. At $30,090, you'll spend several thousand more than a base Mustang, but you'll also get a little extra oomph and arguably a more engaging exhaust note. For about five grand more ($34,995), we'd be tempted to splurge for the 6.2-liter V-8 with a big 455 horsepower which is possibly a slightly better value than the entry-level 5.0-liter 'Stang.

2020 Acura NSX: What You Need to Know

  2020 Acura NSX: What You Need to Know The 2020 Acura NSX is quick and responsive, and its performance suits all level of drivers. Though this supercar is comfortable, it sits in the bottom half of our luxury sports car rankings because it isn't as fierce or as opulent as some of its direct rivals. © American Honda Motor Co., Inc. 2020 Acura NSX The 2020 Acura NSX is ranked: #13 in Luxury Sports Cars Is the Acura NSX a Good Car? Yes, the NSX is a good luxury sports car. If it were ever inclined to get a tattoo, the ink would probably read, "Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee.

a car parked on the side of a road © Automobile Magazine Staff

2020 Nissan 370: 332 HP/$31,015

Yes, Nissan's decade-old 370Z steed is about ready for the glue factory, but while it's been available it's consistently been one of the cheapest 300-horsepower cars you can buy brand new. To get this price, you'll choose a base 370Z with a six-speed manual transmission and the 3.7-liter VQ-series V-6, with its 332 horsepower output. A new Nissan Z-car may be on the way soon, but a bone stock 370Z is still a treat to drive and a true performance bargain for traditional sports car lovers.

a car parked in a parking lot © Automobile Magazine Staff

2020 Toyota Camry TRD: 301 HP/$32,165

And you thought we were kidding. Yes, you really can buy a 301-horsepower Toyota Camry, and the cheapest way of doing so is with the TRD trim level. That includes sportier styling and suspension, along with Toyota's 3.5-liter V-6 engine paired to an eight-speed automatic for $32,165. Being a TRD version, you just might even get a few envious eyeballs at the local drive-thru or grocery store parking lot. And let's not forget, this is the cheapest way you'll get 300 horsepower in a brand-new four-door sedan in the U.S. right now.

2016 Porsche Cayenne Hybrid: What You Need to Know

  2016 Porsche Cayenne Hybrid: What You Need to Know The 2016 Porsche Cayenne Hybrid has incredible acceleration, athletic handling, and a stately cabin, yet it sits in the lower half of our luxury midsize SUV rankings. It has high ownership costs, subpar fuel economy for a hybrid, and a small cargo space. The 2016 Porsche Cayenne Hybrid is ranked: #4 in 2016 Hybrid SUVs #10 in Used Hybrid SUVs $30K and up Is the 2016 Porsche Cayenne Hybrid a Good Used SUV? There's no denying the 2016 Cayenne Hybrid is an exceptional vehicle, boasting sporty performance and a posh interior. But it will cost you more to buy this Porsche than it will to purchase most other luxury midsize SUVs.

a car parked on the side of a road © Automobile Magazine Staff

2020 Chevrolet Impala LT FWD: 305 HP/$32,495

As we told you, a minimum of 300 horsepower alone isn't necessarily going to be enough to get your blood boiling. Case in point: the 305-horsepower Chevy Impala LT with front-wheel drive. Still, if you want the bragging rights that 300 horses bring, and you need four doors, and you want to buy from a historic American brand, this is your entry point.

a purple car parked in a parking lot © Automobile Magazine Staff

2020 Dodge Charger GT RWD: 300 HP/$33,490

Arguably a more exciting option than the Impala, the (not always purple) Dodge Charger GT sedan in its base rear-drive spec boasts a tire-chirping 3.6-liter V-6 making dead-on 300 horses, just edging into the cheapest cars with 300 horsepower ranks. It also has a pretty decent eight-speed automatic transmission and a retail price of just $33,490. Want tire smoke instead of tire chirps? Try the Charger R/T RWD and its 375-horsepower 5.7-liter V-8 for less than five grand more ($37,990).

a car parked on the side of a road © Automobile Magazine Staff


Gallery: 2021 Kia Stinger facelift (motor1)

a close up of a car: 2021 Kia Stinger facelift front view

2020 Nissan Maxima 3.5 S: 300 HP/$35,375

Nissan's front-wheel-drive "four-door sports car" is a looker, and nicely trimmed to boot. As a performance car? Well, we think you can do better in this price segment considering this one's lumped with a fun-sapping CVT transmission. Still, this is a fairly luxurious-feeling sedan with an honest 300 horsepower from its 3.5-liter V-6 for well under $40,000, which isn't something to take for granted.

2020 Kia Optima: What You Need to Know

  2020 Kia Optima: What You Need to Know The 2020 Kia Optima's spacious and premium cabin, intuitive infotainment system, smooth ride, and stellar predicted reliability rating propel it toward the top of our midsize car rankings. © Kia Motors America 2020 Kia Optima The 2020 Kia Optima is ranked: #1 in Midsize Cars Is the Kia Optima a Good Car? The 2020 Kia Optima is a great midsize car. This sedan boasts a spacious and high-quality interior, comfy seats, and user-friendly tech features. It also rides quite nicely, even on rough road surfaces, and it’s packed with a lot of standard safety features.

a car driving on a road © Automobile Magazine Staff

2020 Toyota Avalon XLE: 301 HP/$36,870

Call it an expensive Toyota, a budget Lexus, or both simultaneously—you won't get any backtalk from us. The Avalon continues to hit its niche with middle-aged non-enthusiasts, and all Avalons, including the XLE base model, are equipped with Toyota's 301-horsepower 3.5-liter V-6. A comfortable, roomy, pulse-reducing 300-horsepower sedan if we ever knew one. And all for just $36,870.

a person driving a car © Automobile Magazine Staff

2020 Infiniti Q50 3.0t Pure: 300 HP/$37,425

If you're shopping in the premium market space, the Infiniti Q50 3.0t Pure is going to be your cheapest 300-horsepower car option with its twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter V-6 for $37,425. With rear-wheel drive and a decent seven-speed automatic transmission, the Q50 is even up for a little backroads fun. Still, we'd venture that the Q50's 300-horsepower engine is its most salient feature.

a car parked on a beach © Automobile Magazine Staff

2020 Subaru WRX STI: 310 HP/$37,895

If you enjoy a focused performance car, here's where things start getting extra good. The WRX STI may be at the end of its production run for the current generation, but it may also be the last STI that isn't paired with a hybrid powertrain. If you're a traditionalist, you might just want to hurry down to your local Subie dealer and pick up a brand-spanking-new STI with its 310-horsepower, 2.5-liter turbocharged boxer-four, paired with a six-speed manual transmission. For $37,895 it remains an all-wheel-drive performance bargain, even if it's not the cheapest 300-horsepower car available today.

2017 Kia Cadenza: What You Need to Know

  2017 Kia Cadenza: What You Need to Know The redesigned 2017 Kia Cadenza is among the top-ranked large cars. Perfect safety and predicted reliability scores reflect the car’s improved build quality, and its cabin is laden with technology. Its few flaws include a steering wheel that feels a bit heavy and a smallish trunk. The 2017 Kia Cadenza is ranked: #1 in Used Large Cars $20K and up #1 in 2017 Affordable Large Cars Is the 2017 Kia Cadenza a Good Used Car? Things have also gotten better under the hood, with a retuned V6 engine and a new 8-speed transmission. However, the change isn’t enough to bump acceleration above that of its competitors.

a parked blue car on a dirt road © Automobile Magazine Staff

2020 Honda Civic Type R: 306 HP/$37,950

Or, if you want to be slightly contrarian, you could opt for the Honda Civic Type R and its unnaturally good front-wheel-drive chassis. The CTR's turbocharged 2.0-liter four pumps out 306 horsepower and its track-tuned suspension and slick-shifting six-speed manual gearbox will make you an instant backroads champion. Still, its styling may be a bit much for some—we get it. But for the driver, even as the most expensive car on this list, it's the king of the cheapest 300-horsepower cars.

Cheapest 300-HP Cars in 2020

  • 2020 Ford Mustang EcoBoost Fastback: 310 HP/$27,865

  • 2020 Dodge Challenger SXT RWD: 303 HP/$29,590

  • 2020 Chevrolet Camaro LS Coupe: 335 HP/$30,090

  • 2020 Nissan 370: 332 HP/$31,015

  • 2020 Toyota Camry TRD: 301 HP/$32,165

  • 2020 Chevrolet Impala LT FWD: 305 HP/$32,495

  • 2020 Dodge Charger GT RWD: 300 HP/$33,490

  • 2020 Nissan Maxima 3.5 S: 300 HP/$35,375

  • 2020 Toyota Avalon XLE: 301 HP/$36,870

  • 2020 Infiniti Q50 3.0t Pure: 300 HP/$37,425

  • 2020 Subaru WRX STI: 310 HP/$37,895

  • 2020 Honda Civic Type R: 306 HP/$37,950

This article is an update to an article originally published December 21, 2012.

2016 Toyota Prius: What You Need to Know .
The 2016 Toyota Prius ranks at the top of its class, thanks to its refined ride and handling, handsome interior, generous cargo space, and excellent safety and reliability ratings. The 2016 Toyota Prius is ranked: #1 in Used Small Cars $14K and up #1 in 2016 Affordable Small Cars #1 in Used Hybrid Cars $20K and up #1 in 2016 Hybrid Cars Is the 2016 Toyota Prius a Good Used Car? Why You Can Trust Us We’ve researched 20 Toyota Prius reviews, as well as hard data points like reliability scores and cost of ownership estimates, to help you make the best car-buying decision possible. U.S.

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