4 Under $40k: The Best Budget Performance Cars Out There

By Max Anthony •  Updated: 11/24/21 •  4 min read

Do you dream about taking to the open road with a supped-up performance car? Do you think about how cool it would feel knowing that you’re turning people’s head in the street as you drive your new wheels past?

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If you’ve always wanted to get your own performance car, the great news is, this dream is probably more achievable than you realise.

There are many performance cars out there for under $40k and to make things easier for you, we’ve put together a little bit of info about some of the best budget-friendly performance cars from some of the most well-known car brands out there.

Get those engines revved to find out about some of these high quality and instantly cool cars.

1.     Ford Fiesta ST

For a true budget friendly performance car, you can’t go past the Ford Fiesta ST.  This performance beast flies under the radar a little, but with it’s manual and front-wheel drive, it offers a responsive and engaging experience with every drive.

Enhancing power and performance, the Ford Fiesta includes a huge range of sport technologies which can easily turn it from your every day vehicle to a car worthy of the race track.

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It’s fair to say that it might not have the same showroom appeal as other performance cars upon first glance, but that doesn’t mean you can’t do anything about that, with a huge range of body kits available for this one. And really, you’ve only got to hear the power to understand what this baby can do.

And the best part is, prices for the Ford Fiesta start at only $27k, which leaves you plenty of money in the budget to create the car of your dreams.

2.     Mazda MX-5

This next option is another slightly more budget friendly performance car, starting at around $30k, and that is the Mazda MX-5.

With a style that is reminiscent of cars with a significantly higher price tag, the open-top design of the Mazda MX-5 provides the driver with high performance and of course open air vibes.

The rear wheel drive offers full control for a smooth ride and with the option of a 1.5L or 2L engine, you can feel the full power in this baby. And if there is one thing about Mazda cars, it’s that they are reliable, so you can feel confident knowing that your MX-5 is going to last the long run.

One thing to keep in mind, the Mazda MX-5 is only a 2 seater, but you’re probably not after a family car, right?

3.     Toyota 86

Another budget friendly option is the Toyota 86, with prices starting at around $30k. While the Toyota 86 isn’t the most powerful performance car out there, the rear-wheel drive gives you full control at all times.

Drivers of an 86 have the ability to really harness control and make the most of every turn in the road.  Maximum traction, a responsive transmission and an engine that definitely packs some heat will have you remembering the true thrill driving a performance car can bring.

But it’s not just about the power under the hood, this reimagined take on a classic Toyota has been modernised to truly cut through the air with it’s aerodynamic body and details that are there to make the most of the world around it.

And one of the best parts is that the budget friendly price tag means you will have money left over to check out the Toyota Supra Wide Body Kits that can create the sleek stylish wheels of your dreams.

4.     Mini Cooper S

Though it’s a small package, this baby packs a punch. The British legend of the Mini Cooper S is not only instantly recognisable on site, but the sound, the power and the thrill are known throughout the performance car circles.

The Mini Cooper S has become beloved by the car community because it can pack so much power, especially when you choose a 2L turbo engine. In addition to the power, you can really make the Mini Cooper your own with a huge range of colour options and of course, you can choose 3-door or 5-door styles.

Of the cars we’ve mentioned today, the Mini Cooper S is the priciest, scraping in at under $40k, but hey, legendary is priceless, right?

As you can see, performance cars come in so many different styles that you can find something to suit you and your budget, and don’t forget, with add ons and mods available from places like AusBody Works, you can turn it into the iconic wheels of your dreams easily.

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Max Anthony

Max is a gizmo-savvy guy, who has a tendency to get pulled into the nitty gritty details of technology and cars. He attended UT Austin, where he studied Information Science. He’s married and has three kids, one dog and a GMC truck and a Porsche 911. With a large family, he still finds time to share tips and tricks on cars, trucks and more.

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