Skip to main content

Muscle cars and performance cars like the Dodge Challenger and Chevrolet Corvette have been around for a long time. However, unlike their stratospherically expensive European rivals, the American cars have been the best at one thing: affordable horsepower. According to Kelley Blue Book (KBB), you should buy one of these newer American options if you want the most bang for your buck.

  • Dodge Challenger
  • Dodge Charger
  • Chevrolet Corvette
  • Chevrolet Camaro

Is the Dodge Challenger one of the cheapest performance cars to own?

If your definition of performance starts and stops with horsepower, quarter-mile times, and 0-60 mph times, the Dodge Challenger is one of the cheapest performance cars to own. Mind you, depending on the trim, a Challenger can weigh as much as 4,400 lbs and outstretch many sedans in every metric. As a result, you won’t see many Challengers living with a Toyota GR Supra on the track, but the Challenger will fight at the drag strip. 

A Dodge Challenger, like this one, is on KBB's list of the cheapest performance cars to own.
Dodge Challenger | Michael Brochstein, LightRocket via Getty Images

Still, a big V8-powered Dodge Challenger can cost around $59,766 to own over a five-year period. That number puts it well ahead of the most recent Chevrolet Corvette and Chevrolet Camaro, according to KBB. 

Are Dodge Chargers expensive cars?

Owning a new V8 Dodge Charger may cost around $59,766, considering factors like trim, fuel cost, maintenance, and insurance rates. The prices are similar to the Dodge Challenger, but that makes sense given the shared powerplants and transmissions. Interestingly enough, KBB found that average V8 Charger owners paid less in fuel and maintenance costs than comparable Challengers. However, like the Challenger, TrueCar says Chargers can cost as much as $87,000 for trims like the Jailbreak.  

How much do Chevrolet Corvettes cost?

A new 2022 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray has a starting price of $65,595 and goes up with packages like the Z51. However, the latest generation, the mid-engine C8, has seen quite a bit of markup and supply shortages. As a result, many C8 Corvettes sell for over $100,000. Still, if you manage to snag one for a reasonable price, KBB says it’s one of the cheapest performance cars to own, with a five-year cost of $70,432.  

The Chevrolet Corvette C8, like this one, made KBB's list of the cheapest performance cars to own.
2020 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray | Chevrolet

Is the Chevrolet Camaro a cheap performance car?

Depending on the trim, the Chevrolet Camaro is a cheap performance car. Frankly, throughout the last few years, one of those trims, the ZL1, has transformed from drag strip regular to track day weapon. The news gets better from there since KBB says it’s one of the cheapest performance cars to own over a five-year period. The performance-oriented V8-powered Camaro has a five-year ownership cost of around $73,660. 

Should you buy one of the cheapest American performance cars like the Corvette?

Again, calling these cars the cheapest performance cars requires a few caveats. Chief among which, KBB put cars like the Toyota GR Supra and Tesla Model S into separate categories. Also, exotic cars have a class of their own, leaving some room for the Corvette and Challenger to claim victory. Still, if you want somewhat affordable horsepower, nothing beats the muscle car segment and the venerable Chevrolet Corvette.  

Scroll down to the following article to read about other bargains!


Cheap Fast Cars to Go 0-60 MPH In Under 4 Seconds