Budget Power: 5 New Cars with Over 300 Horsepower but Under $45,000

Car shopping isn’t easy for anyone. However, sports car enthusiasts with a tight budget may well have it the worst of all. After all, there’s not often a way to have your cake and eat it too in terms of fast and affordable. However, there are quite a few more options than you might think. Here are five cars you can buy with at least 300 horsepower and an MSRP under $45,000.

2022 Lexus ES 350 FWD – $41,875

2022 Lexus ES luxury midsize sedan with a blue paint color driving on a highway at sunset
2022 Lexus ES | Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc.

True Car listed the twenty best cars with over 300 horsepower. Narrowing the field down to fit within the confines of a $45,000 budget leaves a small collection of great cars to choose from. First up is the 2022 Lexus ES 350.

The 2022 Lexus ES 350 FWD has a starting MSRP of $41,875. Under the hood is a 3.5-liter V6 engine with a sufficiently spicy 302 horsepower rating. Accompanying the horsepower is a healthy 267 pound-feet of torque that will provide fun, punchy acceleration. However, you’ll still get the luxurious Lexus experience and fuel economy ratings as high as 32 miles per gallon to boot!

2022 Volkswagen Golf R – $44,640

Volkswagen Golf R on stage as a 2022 Car of the Year Finalist at the LA Auto Show in Los Angeles, California
2022 Volkswagen Golf R | FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP via Getty Images

Just barely squeaking under the $45,000 budget is the 2022 Volkswagen Golf R.

The Golf R, of course, is the slightly more potent version of the iconic Golf GTI. It features a 2.0-liter turbocharged inline four-cylinder engine that happily spits out 315 horsepower. With its accompanying 295 pound-feet of torque jumping in at 2,000 RPM, it’s certain to be a good time. Combining the power with its fabulous all-wheel drive system makes every road exciting. Better still, it gets 30 miles per gallon on the highway.

2022 Genesis G70 – $43,445

Just barely squeaking under the $45,000 budget is the 2022 Volkswagen Golf R.

The Golf R, of course, is the slightly more potent version of the iconic Golf GTI. It features a 2.0-liter turbocharged inline four-cylinder engine that happily spits out 315 horsepower. With its accompanying 295 pound-feet of torque jumping in at 2,000 RPM, it’s certain to be a good time. Combining the power with its fabulous all-wheel drive system makes every road exciting. Better still, it gets 30 miles per gallon on the highway.

2022 Kia Stinger – $37,365

Kia’s now-iconic sports car, the stinger, makes this list and passes the budget test with flying colors. In fact, it beats the limit by nearly $10,000. Don’t let the low price fool you, though. The Stinger means business.

Under the hood is a 2.5-liter turbocharged inline four-cylinder. It hits the nail right on the head at precisely 300 horsepower and backs it up with 311 pound-feet of torque. Much like its luxury cousin, the G70, though, its torque peaks incredibly low at just 1,650 RPM. Turbo lag is not a challenge in Korea, evidently!

2022 Toyota Camry TRD V6 – $33,485

2022 Toyota Camry TRD midsize sedan with a light blue paint color racing down a highway
2022 Toyota Camry TRD | Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc.

Yes, you’re reading that correctly. A Toyota Camry made the list of affordable cars with over 300 horsepower. It toes the line, but we’re happy to report that it makes it across! Where it certainly has no arguable points, though, is the price. Coming in well under $10,000 lower than the allotted threshold, the Camry is undoubtedly the budget pick on this list.

Under the hood of the awesome Toyota Racing Development (TRD) Camry is the same 3.5-liter V6 engine you’ll find in the Lexus ES 350. In the Camry, it makes a healthy 301 horsepower and 267 pound-feet of torque. You could have a phenomenal time surprising any passengers with your little Toyota’s shocking amount of power. Furthermore, you’d still be pulling up to 31 mpg on the highway.

Horsepower isn’t always cheap, but it can be!

While $45,000 still isn’t quite a budget pick in the mind of many car shoppers, it’s hard to find a budget that allows for a decent amount of horsepower. However, any of the cars that made this list would surely put a smile on the face of whoever is behind the wheel.

So, if any of these fall into your budget, you should absolutely go take a test drive!

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