When you think of cool cars, what comes to mind? For most people, it’s things like a Corvette, Mustang or a sleek Aston Martin with James Bond at the wheel — things that would look amazing in your garage, but would probably empty your wallet. You don’t need to break the bank to bring home a cool car. Here is a list of 15 of the coolest cars you can bring home for under $60,000, in no particular order.
If you’re looking for a low-slung luxury car that could double as a sporty coupe, look no further than the Audi TT. It’s got a turbocharged four-cylinder engine that puts out 228 horsepower, paired with a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. Unfortunately, manual transmissions aren’t an option for this model. Still, it handles beautifully, and you don’t have to tell anyone you brought home this sexy little sports car for less than $60,000.
Fiat is one of those brands that has fallen in and out of favor over the years, but they’re back, and you can get your hands on this nifty Italian roadster for less than $30,000. Note that this is a tiny two-seater, so you won’t be playing the role of soccer mom in a 124 Spider Abarth. However, if you want a cool car that handles well and has upgraded brakes, the 124 Spider Abarth should be on your list. You’ll want to opt for a manual transmission to get the most out of it.
You can’t have a list of cool cars without at least one Dodge sportscar on the list — and our choice is the Challenger SRT 392. It gets its name from the 392-cubic-inch 6.4 L V8 HEMI under the hood that accelerates from zero to 60 in 4.2 seconds and has a top speed of 182 mph. There are plenty of extras you can add onto your Challenger, but the base model starts at just over $50,000.
Most people avoid luxury names like BMW and Mercedes when they’re looking for an affordable car because they automatically equate these brands with high cost. If you want to add a BMW to your collection but don’t want to break the bank, check out the M2. The 2019 M2 starts at just under $60,000. The 2019 version also has a new engine — a 405 horsepower inline-six that derives from the engines in the M3 and M4 — along with stiffer suspension and better stability control.
Miatas have always been fun little cars — emphasis on little — with plenty of power under the hood, and the 2019 incarnation is no exception. The nice thing about this year’s Miata is that you’ve got three options to choose from — Sport, Club or Grand Touring — and all of them start below $60,000. We like the Club model the most, which starts at $30,485 and comes with sport suspension, 17-inch wheels and a limited-slip differential to improve the handling. You’ve also got the option to choose a six-speed manual, which we love, or an equally useful six-speed automatic.
Ford skipped the 2019 model year with the Focus RS, so when it comes back in 2020, it will likely have a 2.3L turbocharged four-cylinder engine tuned for power and speed. The best thing about the new incarnation of the RS is that Ford addressed the head-gasket problem that sidelined so many of the older versions of this car. Focuses used to overheat or have coolant in the oil that would eventually ruin the engine, and it wasn’t worth the cost to fix it. Ford has fixed that problem, and with the new tune-up the 2020 RS is getting, we can’t wait to get behind the wheel.
Here is another luxury car you can easily bring home for less than $60,000. The Mercedes-Benz AMG C43 Coupe sports a twin-turbo V6 engine with 385 horsepower, and a sport-tuned suspension that offers a smooth ride. If you don’t need four doors, you can also opt for the C43 Coupe that starts at $58,445 — still well under our $60,000 budget. It’ll cost you quite a bit more for the Cabriolet convertible, but both the coupe and the sedan come with all the bells and whistles, from all-wheel drive to the push-button start and proximity keys that unlock the car as soon as you get close.
Civics are popular cars because they’re easy to modify and provide the reliability synonymous with the Honda name. The price of the Civic Type R has been slowly creeping up for the last few years, but it’s still below our budget. It’s kept the same turbocharged 2.0L four-cylinder engine that generates an easy 306 horsepower and 295 lb.-ft. of torque, as well as the six-speed manual transmission. If you like sporty hatchbacks, add the Civic Type R to your list.
The Nissan 370Z has been around for a while, but it’s got that ageless quality that makes us think it’ll be around for years to come. Unlike many of the other entries on this list, the 370Z doesn’t offer a turbocharged engine, opting instead for a naturally aspirated 3.7L V6, stiff suspension, and a six-speed manual transmission, the 370Z is one of our favorites.
You can’t get cooler than a Camaro. The Camaro SS is one of our favorite incarnations of this classic sports car, with a V8 engine under the hood that generates 455 horsepower and 455 lb.-ft. of torque. It can accelerate from zero to 60 in 3.9 seconds, and comes with a 10-speed automatic transmission with a manual shifting mode if you want some more control over your RPMs. Plus, it’s a Camaro — what’s cooler than that?
You’ve got four different options when it comes to the 2020 Golf GTI:
All four are well below our $60,000 budget, so you can choose the model that works best for you. They’ll all come equipped with the GTI’s iconic turbocharged four-cylinder engine and the option for manual or automatic transmissions.
You’d be surprised what you can bring home for just under $60,000. A standard 2018 Jaguar F-Type will set you back $59,900, leaving you with $100 to spare! It’s not especially practical if you’re planning on using your new car to haul groceries or passengers, but who’s thinking about their next trip to the grocery store while they’re behind the wheel of an F-Type? No matter which engine type you choose, this Jaguar roars just like its namesake.
The Subaru BRZ is a fantastic little sports car for anyone who has been a fan of the Toyota 86. It’s priced at less than $30,000 to let it compete with two other cars on this list — the Mazda Miata and the Fiat 124 Spider. You’ve got a naturally aspirated 2.0L four-cylinder engine under the hood, with the option for a six-speed automatic or six-speed manual. The automatic version has fewer ponies but not by much, and both will manage zero to 60 in 6.2 seconds.
With a $60,000 budget, you don’t have to stick with base models. The 2019 Mustang Bullitt is designed to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Steve McQueen movie of the same name, and it’s got everything you could want in a pony car — retro aesthetics, power, a six-speed manual transmission and a zero-to-60 time of 4.4 seconds. This model is easily one of our favorite Mustangs of recent years.
You can’t go wrong with a luxury sports car that looks like it could tear up the highway alongside your favorite Mustang, Audi or BMW. The Q60 Red Sport can manage zero to 60 in 4.5 seconds and comes equipped with a twin-turbo 3.0L V6 engine. This price is for the base RWD version of the car — there is also an AWD model, but that’s beyond our $60,000 budget.
Which one of our “cool cars under $60,000” is your favorite? Or did we overlook your favorite affordable sports car? Let us know in the comments below!
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