Tips, Tricks & Trends

5 Quick Cars Priced Under $30,000

There’s a difference between a car being “quick” and being “fast.” Fast refers to how fast the car can go, as is top speed, while quick refers to a car’s acceleration. While having a fast car is nice, having a one that can accelerate quickly is much more useful, even in everyday driving situations. For anyone that’s looking to get into a car that can get off the line quickly, here is a list of 5 of the quickest cars currently priced under $30,000.  

Subaru WRX | $28,395

With rally-bred DNA, it shouldn’t be a wonder that the Subaru WRX is on this list. Stereotypical Subaru jokes aside, the Impreza has gotten better and better every year and the latest iteration is nothing to sneeze at.

Its turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine puts out 268 horsepower and 258 lb-ft of torque and is able to propel the car up to 60 mph in about 5 seconds. What’s more, you can choose either a six-speed manual or CVT automatic transmission, however, your acceleration results may vary. Just be sure to get the base Premium model to stay under $30,000, though.

2020 Subaru WRX driving on a canyon road.
2020 Subaru WRX | Subaru

Chevrolet Camaro | $25,995  

If anyone would have told us 10 years ago that a four-cylinder Chevrolet Camaro could pull off 0-60 times in a little over 5 seconds, we never would have believed them. The turbocharged inline-four produces 275 horsepower and 295 lb-ft of torque which is impressive considering it’s only a 2.0-liter engine. Apparently, using a lighter weight engine really does help.

Ford Mustang EcoBoost | $27,865

Just like the aforementioned four-cylinder Camaro, the Ford Mustang Ecoboost is surprisingly quick. While it’s still weird to hear a turbocharged 2.0-liter engine in a muscle car that’s been around for ages, we can all relax as the numbers don’t lie.

As it turns out, 310 horsepower and 350 lb-ft of torque are able to get the Mustang up to 60 mph in 5.1 seconds. Again, it’s not too shabby, especially considering this pony car is also rated at 31 mpg on the highway.

2020 Ford Mustang Ecoboost HPP
2020 Ford Mustang Ecoboost HPP | Ford

Buick Regal Sportback | $26,295

If you’re looking for something unique, then look no further than a Buick Regal Sportback. We like to call this car the “American A7” as it has the same functional, spacious hatchback-style liftgate trunk as Audi’s A7 Sportback.

Cargo capability aside, this Buick is quick, clocking in at 5.6 seconds under Car and Driver’s instrumented testing. And while it’s unlike anything else on this list, we can assure you that it’s unassuming aesthetics will leave everyone confused as they watch your taillights trail off ahead of them.

2018 Buick Regal is on display at the 110th Annual Chicago Auto Show
The 2019 Buick Regal | Raymond Boyd/Getty Images

Mazda MX-5 Miata | $27,525

Since the answer “is always Miata,” you’re probably surprisingly unsurprised that the Mazda MX-5 is on this list. Its 2.0-liter, four-cylinder engine received a much-needed bump up from 155 to 181 horsepower, which we can probably attribute to the 5.7-second 0-60 time that’s able to pull off. It might not be really fast, but the MX-5 can definitely handle well and it sure is quick.

2019 Mazda MX-5 Miata
2019 Mazda MX-5 Miata | Mazda

Gone with the quickness

While these five cars might not be the fastest vehicles on the block, they sure can sprint from stoplight-to-stoplight much quicker than most others. If these aren’t quick enough for you, then you can check out more vehicles on Car and Driver’s list and see if any of those fit your style.