Sedans & Coupes

Fan-Favorite Sports Cars That Look Faster Than They Actually Are

There seems to be a common understanding that sports cars are fast, but in a day and age where even luxury sedans are picking up speed, it’s hard to determine what fast is among lower-priced vehicles. Some cars are surprisingly fast, and then some cars look fast and are remarkably slow. Cars like the Hyundai Veloster and Scion FRS have a lot in common. While they are all well-designed, good-looking sports cars, they aren’t fast in comparison to the horsepower we are getting from other sports cars in the same price range, at least without modifications and tuning.

First up, the Hyundai Veloster

The Hyundai Veloster is a sporty, well-designed hot hatch that has all of the stylings of a genuine sports car, with the practicality of having useable back seats. They range in price from an affordable base-model tag of around $18,800 for an enjoyably manual transmission experience, or as much as $28,350 for the highest trim level and performance package. The Veloster is well-loved for its ability to provide a pleasant, sporty driving experience while being a reliable and spacious daily driver. Still, they aren’t as fast as most people seem to think.

2020 Hyundai Veloster N
2020 Hyundai Veloster N | Hyundai

RELATED: Does the Hyundai Veloster N Beat the Volkswagen GTI at its Own Game?

Lower models of the Veloster only offer a shockingly small amount of power, with just 147hp, which isn’t a lot for even a standard luxury car these days. The manual option is also available in the Veloster N trim, which boosts the car up to 250hp, still not a shockingly powerful drivetrain. The Veloster is by no means a bad car or a bad option for buying a new sports car — if that’s how you want to classify it — because these cars still provide the style and handling even if they don’t offer much in the way of actual performance.

The Scion FRS, Subaru BRZ, and Toyota 86

If you like to lump the Scion FRS, Subaru BRZ, and Toyota 86 together you aren’t alone. Jokes have risen all over the internet about how these cars are essentially the same vehicle with different badging — and they aren’t necessarily wrong. They are different in their own ways, but debatably share more than owners car to admit to. Besides styling choices, these cars also share one major let down: power.

2020 Subaru BRZ | Subaru-
2020 Subaru BRZ | Subaru

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Don’t get me wrong, these cars have a crazy amount of potential to be customized aesthetically and mechanically, and with enough time and money they can produce a very competitive amount of power. They handle well on the streets and around tight corners, but from the factory they just don’t impress us in way of performance numbers.

Regardless, all of these cars are still great options, especially if you are looking for something affordable and reliable — because lets face it, we don’t need 1000+ horsepower for our daily drive.