From second-hand muscle cars to high-end luxury sedans, there's something here for everyone.
There’s an old saying in the world of car-crazy performance junkies. Speed costs money; how fast do you want to go? These days, 400 horsepower is pretty much a starting point for speed freaks seeking new cars, but an entry-level Mustang GT still costs close to $40,000. Some call that a performance bargain, but it’s not a small chunk of change by any stretch of the imagination. 300 hp in the right car can be plenty entertaining, but in the new car world, you’re still talking about something that costs upwards of $30,000.
Dipping under $10,000, however, is a price point just about any gearhead can manage. A couple years ago we took a look at what kind of 300-horsepower rides you could buy with that budget, and now we’re taking a fresh look with a few basic guidelines. We’re keeping things relatively recent – the average age for a used car in the United States is 11 years old, and that’s where nearly all the cars on this list fall. Also, with cheap speed comes a concession in mileage, so we’re basing the prices on yearly average mileage for each vehicle. For our purposes, that generally works out to 100,000 miles on the clock. We turned to NADA for average figures, which represent vehicles in good condition selling at current retail price.
The good news is that we found all kinds of sweet performance bargains with over 300 ponies, and in a few cases, over 400 hp. Some cars weren’t that pricey to start with, while others suffer some horrendous depreciation due to maintenance costs. Either way you slice it, a keen shopper can find all flavors of performance for less than $10,000. Hit the slideshow above to see some of our picks.