According to MotorTrend, the average price of a new car bought in the U.S. is slightly above $30,000. While the price may be average, the vehicles can still be enjoyable. MotorTrend put together a list of 15 sporty cars with starting prices of less than $30,000. One surprise on the list is the 2020 Jeep Wrangler. Here’s a look at what makes it a sporty vehicle.
Affordable sporty cars under $30,000
The unranked list includes many different types of vehicles. There are pony cars, including the Chevrolet Camaro (base price of $25,995), the Dodge Challenger (base price of $29,590), and the Ford Mustang (base price of $27,765.) There is a roadster on the list, the Fiat 124 Spider (base price of $26,935.)
There are also sedans with sporty handling, including the Honda Accord Sport 1.5T (base price of $27,460), the Hyundai Elantra Sport (base price of $24,730), the Subaru WRX (base price of $28,395), and the Volkswagen Jetta GLI (base price of $26,890.)
The Honda Civic Si (base price of $25,930) is available as either a coupe or a sedan. The Mazda 3 (base price of $22,420) is available as either a sedan or a hatchback.
Sporty hatchbacks include the Hyundai Veloster Turbo or Veloster N (base prices of $24,070 or $28,320) and the Volkswagen Golf GTI (base price of $28,490.) There are sporty crossover SUVs, too, like the Kia Soul GT-Line (base price of $21,335.) For actual sports cars, there are the Mazda MX-5 Miata (base price of $26,650) and the Toyota 86 or Subaru BRZ (base prices of $28,330 or $29,745.)
The 2020 Jeep Wrangler surprise
The Jeep Wrangler is a surprise addition to the MotorTrend list. It has a base price of $29,790. It made it onto the list of sporty vehicles because MotorTrend feels the Wrangler has lots of character and uniqueness and is excellent for rugged sports.
Despite its nearly $30,000 starting price, the Wrangler doesn’t provide many standard amenities. It has a fabric roof and no air conditioning. It’s a back-to-basics option, which MotorTrend recommends embracing, saying to skip the optional air conditioning and automatic transmission.
The Jeep Wrangler’s performance
The unique Jeep Wrangler still resembles the military vehicles used in World War II. It’s fantastic for driving off-road. With the doors and roof removed and the windshield folded down, drivers can be part of the nature they’re exploring.
The Wrangler’s standard engine is a 3.6-liter V6 and produces 285 hp. It is matched with either a six-speed manual transmission or an eight-speed automatic transmission. The turbocharged 2.9-liter four-cylinder engine is also available and can be supported by eTorque assist. The engine options also include a diesel engine. Four-wheel drive is standard.
Depending on the engine, the transmission, and the number of doors, the Wrangler can accelerate from zero to 60 MPH between 6.1 and 6.8 seconds. Car and Driver found the handling to be a bit like a truck, although the Wrangler’s performance has improved since the previous model.
The interior and technology can be basic or upgraded. The touchscreen is available in three different sizes, and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are both optional. There are upscale features available, from the air conditioning to leather finishes. There is also the Wrangler Unlimited, which is a longer, four-door version.
Average new car prices may have risen, but there’s plenty of variety among the average-priced sporty options. The 2020 Jeep Wrangler is a unique twist on a sporty vehicle since it isn’t designed with road-driving primarily in mind. However, the Wrangler does offer lots of off-road performance.