Road & Track’s Best Sports Cars Under $30,000 Will Satisfy Your Need for Speed Without Breaking the Bank

Choosing a new sports car can be tough. There are lots of options from luxury car brands like Mercedes-Benz, Porsche, BMW, and Lexus. But what if your budget doesn’t allow for that level of luxury? Fortunately, there are still car brands you can choose to provide a fast car at a low price. Here are the best sports cars under $30,000, per Road & Track: 

2022 Ford Mustang

A white 2022 Ford Mustang parked in a warehouse
2022 Ford Mustang | Ford

MSRP: Starting at $27,470

It’s no surprise that the 2022 Ford Mustang landed a spot on Road & Track’s list of the best sports cars under $30,000. The Ford Mustang invented the “pony car” segment of sports cars decades ago and continues that tradition today. However, only one Ford Mustang model is available under $30,000: the base Ecoboost. But it’s still a fast car. 

The 2.3-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine generates 310 horsepower and 350 lb-ft of torque. A six-speed manual transmission comes standard, but an automatic option is available. It’ll hit 0 to 60 miles per hour in just 5.1 seconds. This new sports car has plenty of power on a budget with lots of available options and standard features. That includes safety features like lane keeping assist, forward collision mitigation, and blind-spot monitoring.

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2022 Chevrolet Camaro

MSRP: Starting at $26,195

Chevrolet’s Camaro is a sports car competitor to the Mustang and comes with plenty of power. Three trims are available under $30,000: the base 1LS, 1LT, and 2LT.

The 1LS is powered by a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine producing 275 horsepower and 295 lb-ft of torque. The 1LT gets a boost in power with an optional 3.6-liter V6 engine generating 335 horsepower and 284 lb-ft of torque. A six-speed manual transmission comes standard as well, with an optional eight- or 10-speed automatic transmission.

All three trims of this sports car come standard with a seven-inch touchscreen infotainment system, Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto, and a 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot.

2023 Honda Civic Si

MSRP: Estimated around $27,500 (2022 model)

Looking for better seating and a four-door layout for your new sports car? The 2023 Honda Civic Si fits the bill. The Civic Si was redesigned for the 2022 model year and comes with a turbocharged 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine generating 200 horsepower and 192 lb-ft of torque. Per Motor Trend, it’ll do 0-60 mph in 7.1 seconds. 

It’s also a safe new sports car as well. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) rates it a top safety pick plus.

2023 Subaru BRZ

MSRP: Starting at $28,595

Like the Civic, Subaru’s BRZ sports car was redesigned for the 2022 model year and continues with those changes. The 2.4-liter flat four-cylinder generates 228 horsepower and 184 lb-ft of torque. At less than 3,000 lbs, it’s a fast car that’s fun to drive at a low price. Per Car and Driver, the BRZ takes 5.4 seconds to go from 9 to 60 mph.

The base Premium trim comes in below the $30,000 limit. A six-speed manual or automatic transmission is available. Each model comes with an eight-inch touchscreen infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, a limited-slip rear differential for better traction, and a leather-wrapped steering wheel. If you’re looking for pedigree, Edmunds named the BRZ the top-rated sports car of 2022.

2023 Toyota GR86

MSRP: Starting at $27,900

Toyota’s GR86 sports car is made in tandem with the BRZ. It has the same engine (2.4-liter flat four-cylinder) and power figures (228 horsepower, 184 lb-ft of torque) as the BRZ. Car and Driver say it’ll do 0 to 60 mph in 5.4 seconds as well.

Only the GR86 base trim comes in under the budget limit. It boasts many of the same features as the BRZ – rear limited-slip differential, Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto, leather-wrapped steering wheel – and comes standard with a six-speed manual transmission. An automatic transmission is available. The GR86 comes standard with the active safety suite of features like pre-collision braking, lane departure warning, and adaptive cruise control. TrueCar named the GR86 the best coupe for the money in 2022 and 2023.

2022 Mazda MX-5 Miata

A grey 2022 Mazda MX-5 Miata with the top down
2022 Mazda MX-5 Miata | Mazda

MSRP: Starting at $27,650

Mazda’s MX-5 Miata sports car has long been one of the best fast cars for the money. The 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine gives you 181 horsepower and 151 lb-ft of torque. Those are the lowest figures on the list, but the Miata is by far the lightest car on the list. At a curb weight of 2,341 lbs., it’s two-thirds the weight of the Mustang. It’ll do 0 to 60 mph in 5.7 seconds, per Car and Driver.

The Miata’s standard convertible top makes it ideal for coastal and/or summer drives. The base Sport trim comes with a seven-inch touchscreen infotainment system, cruise control, and a six-speaker audio system. Safety features like forward collision mitigation, lane departure warning, and blind-spot monitoring systems are standard.

Which is the best sports car for under $30,000?

There are lots of options on the market for a new sports car on a budget. There are fast cars with four doors, two doors, two seats, and in between. If you’re looking for the most power, it’s hard to go wrong with the Mustang. It’s an icon for a reason and gives you lots of power and torque. The more practical choice would be the Civic Si as there’s room for cargo and five passengers. The GR86 likely beats out the Miata and BRZ due to the lower price but any of the three are ideal coupes for a budget price.

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