Many factors go into shopping for a used car beyond the car itself. There’s insurance, gas, and of course, payments (if you’re not buying in cash). It can be tough to calculate, and by the end, your options might seem limited. Thankfully, several websites have calculators to help you figure out how much car you can afford. Let’s say if you make $60,000 per year, you won’t be buying a new M3, but there are several fast options within your price range. Plugging in a $60,000 salary into one of those calculators yields an affordable budget of $24,827, and that’s with a $0 down payment and a 48-month loan. It calculated $899 per month, which includes gas, insurance, and the monthly payment. Here are a few cars that fit well within a $24,000 budget that you can buy right now.
2016 Acura TLX: almost sports luxury
The Acura TLX is an entry-level sedan bordering on sports luxury. It uses all-wheel drive and a 3.5-liter V6 that produces 290 horsepower, which gets the car to 60 mph in 5.8 seconds, according to Car and Driver. It won’t break any records, but it’s no slouch. Honda reliability is a big factor as well, along with decent gas mileage. Acura TLXs are relatively comfortable, yielding lots of interior space for front and back passengers, with semi-agile handling and comfortable suspension.
2016 Chrysler 300 is a lot of car
The 2016 Chrysler 300 is another luxury car with less sportiness than the TLX. However, one of its engine options is a 5.7-liter V8 which sends 363 horsepower to the rear wheels via an 8-speed automatic. That helps this 4,000-pound tank to 60 mph in about 4.4 seconds. Even with its inferior V6, the Chrysler 300 reaches 60 mph in 6.6 seconds. At $24,000, the 2016 Chrysler 300 is a lot of car.
2016 Hyundai genesis coupe 3.8 is almost a perfect sports car
On paper, the 2016 Hyundai Genesis Coupe is almost a perfect sports car. It’s rear-wheel-drive, uses a 3.8-liter V6 which makes 350 horsepower, and a manual transmission. Its only real drawback is its curb weight, which tips the scales at around 3,500 pounds. Even then, it storms to 60 mph in 5.2 seconds. Like the Chrysler, it won’t break records, but the Genesis Coupe is a proper sports car with a hint of luxury.
2010 Dodge Challenger R/T: classic muscle
What can be said about the Dodge Challenger R/T that hasn’t been said already? It’s a large, comfortable coupe with a 5.7-liter Hemi V8 and a manual transmission. The Challenger pampers its occupants with big cushy seats and soft independent rear suspension, soaking up the bumps and dips in the road. There’s one flaw with the Challenger, and that’s the inability to ignore its massive presence. You can feel the car’s size from the driver’s seat, and it becomes cumbersome. Be that as it may, it’s a time machine: a modern classic and its 5.9 second 0-60 time shouldn’t be ignored.
A $60,000 salary opens the doors to a wide variety of choices. A 2016 model dodges that sticky depreciation as well, making it a smart choice. At this point, you can be prepared for anything a 2016 car might throw at you, and that means you can rest easy while having fun in any of these cars.