The 10 Best New Cars Under $30,000

Break free on the highway without breaking the bank.

Evidence abounds that proves you don't need big bucks to get ground-pounding performance and impressive styling. These are ten everyday road cars that deliver exceptional value for budget-minded drivers. And for more great car coverage, check out 10 New Cars That Are Instant Collectibles.

Honda Civic Si

top ten cars under 30K

A fantastic all-around performer, the Civic Si combines a punchy 205 horsepower inline-four turbo with a crisp six-speed manual gearbox with a limited-slip differential. Terrific fun to toss around, and it will probably run forever. Best of all, it's a bargain at the starting price of only $23,900.

Dodge Charger

top ten cars under 30K

One of the best values around, this handsome and roomy full-size American sedan makes no apologies. It comes standard with Chrysler's tested Pentastar V6, good for 292 horsepower paired with an 8-speed automatic—one of the smoothest transmissions anywhere. At only $27,995 you'll have change left over for a wealth of custom mods from the extensive Mopar performance parts catalog.

Ford Focus RS

top ten cars under 30K

This well-rounded front-drive hot hatch hauls butt and groceries. With 252 horsepower packed into a small, space-efficient, grin-inducing package, at $25,950 it makes a compelling business case.

Mazda 6

top ten cars under 30K

Coming in at the astonishingly low price of $21,945, this Mazda's elegant street presence puts it in league with cars several segments above. At 184 horsepower, it's not a screamer, but nicely sized, comfortable, and when paired with a six-speed manual, sporty to drive.

Mini Cooper S

top ten cars under 30K

The very definition of fun, the new S now has more power and improved handling. Lay off the extensive options list to keep it near its $21,600 list price, and you'll be rewarded with a serious and capable pocket rocket.

Chevrolet Camaro

top ten cars for under 30K

With Camaro available in so many flavors—each one more sensational than the next—it's easy to overlook the more-than-adequate 335-horse V6, a super-stylish sports coupe for only $28,395.

Toyota 86

top ten cars for under 30K

When Toyota tossed Scion into the dustbin of history, it kept the lithe and limber FR-S sports car and renamed it the 86. Though its 2.0 flat-four comes bearing only 205 horsepower, it's got a smooth six-speed gearbox, and light-weight, balanced chassis that delivers heaps of driving entertainment on curvy roads. Priced to sell at $26,225.

Subaru WRX 

top ten cars under 30K

Take a simple, all-wheel-drive family sedan, add a turbo with a six-speed manual slushbox and flared fenders and you've got the makings of a sports car with a backseat. The tightly-wound, precise WRX wrings magic from the base Impreza for the low price of $26,995.

Ford Mustang EcoBoost

top ten cars under 30K

Not long ago, a stout 4.6 liter V8 Mustang GT netted 300 horsepower and drank like a sailor on leave. Comparatively, the 2018 Mustang EcoBoost punches out 310 horses in a compact unit exactly half the size and looks better doing it. Opt for the manual tranny and have yourself an all-American blast. Starting at $25,585.


top ten cars under 30K

The benchmark of practicality, performance, and value, the GTI remains in a league of its own. A testament to the virtues of evolutionary refinement, everything about this hot-hatch is perfectly reasoned. Available in six-speed stick or DSG automatic, it's a steal at $25,595. Stay out of the snow drifts this season with the 10 Best New Cars for Winter.

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