Although most people associate fast cars with six-figure sticker prices, several new models prove that raw power and speed don’t have to cost a fortune. The 2021 Dodge Charger is arguably the best example of a car that combines affordability with a strong engine.
Here’s a look at some of the fastest cars under $30,000 and what makes the Dodge Charger a standout.
The fastest cars under $30,000
U.S. News recently released “30 Fastest Cars Under $30K in 2021.” The list features an impressive array of models from various manufacturers and some notable surprises. For instance, who would’ve thought there’d be a place for the 2021 Kia Soul on this list? Sure, it’s the version with a turbo engine, but even with that upgrade, the Soul still costs less than $30,000.
Other surprising and notable models on this list include the Toyota Camry, Toyota RAV4, and Honda Accord.
But one that might not be a shocker is the Dodge Charger, thanks to its muscle-car status.
The standard Dodge Charger model
According to U.S. News, the base-model 2021 Dodge Charter squeaks in just $5 under $30,000. Still, it made the cut and deserves a spot. The new Charger comes equipped with a 3.6-liter V6 engine capable of generating 292 hp and 260 lb-ft of torque. The base model can go from 0 to 60 mph in about 6.5 seconds. U.S. News’ reviewers praise it for its smooth handling, excellent steering, and cushioned ride. The Charger comes standard with rear-wheel drive, but an upgrade to the GT or SXT trim will get you all-wheel drive.
Most consumers shopping for sports cars don’t consider gas mileage, which bodes well for the 2021 Dodge Charger. The base model isn’t fuel-efficient, and the trims with stronger engines fare even worse. The standard Charger can get about 19 mpg in the city and 30 mpg on the highway.
Dodge offers several other engine options that are easily more powerful, but they put the Charger over the $30,000 mark. This is especially true for the Charger SRT Hellcat Redeye, which costs more than double the base model.
The Charger SRT Hellcat Redeye
Looking for a car that can harness almost 800 hp and over 700 lb-ft of torque? The Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Redeye might be the model for you. Its 6.2-liter supercharged V8 packs an enormous punch, allowing this four-door sedan to go from 0 to 60 mph in a searing 3.6 seconds. Its speed is an equally impressive 203 mph. Simply put: This car is fast.
U.S. News notes the SRT Hellcat Redeye’s suspension is much firmer than the base model’s to compensate for the engine’s raw power. As a result, the car feels sporty and fun to drive, but it has less cushion than other Charger models.
Additionally, with great speed comes abysmal fuel efficiency, but nobody expects anything different. You’ll get 12 mpg in the city and up to 21 mpg on the highway in Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Redeye. This car will also cost you more at the dealer, with an MSRP starting at $78,595. For some drivers, the price is worth the thrill of unprecedented power and speed.