Thirteen of the Most Fun New Cars You Can Buy for Less Than $40,000
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Thirteen of the Most Fun New Cars You Can Buy for Less Than $40,000

This is a discussion on Thirteen of the Most Fun New Cars You Can Buy for Less Than $40,000 within the News forums, part of the Site News category; By Collin Woodard and Chris Perkins, Apr 28, 2017 If you're looking for an affordable car that's enjoyable to drive, these are the 13 we ...

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Thread: Thirteen of the Most Fun New Cars You Can Buy for Less Than $40,000

  1. #1
    Super Moderator Hoonigan's Avatar
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    Thirteen of the Most Fun New Cars You Can Buy for Less Than $40,000

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    By Collin Woodard and Chris Perkins, Apr 28, 2017

    If you're looking for an affordable car that's enjoyable to drive, these are the 13 we recommend.

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    Fiat 500 Abarth - $19,995

    With a punchy little turbo four-cylinder and a hilariously loud exhaust, the Fiat 500 Abarth is perhaps the world's angriest hot hatch. To drive, it's a total riot, and a bargain with a base price under $20,000.

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    Jeep Wrangler Rubicon - $33,645

    Even though there's a new Wrangler on its way, the old model is still a*solid buy. Why? Well, in Rubicon form, it's one of the most capable factory off roaders on the market, and the aftermarket can turn it into a beast.

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    Honda Civic Sport Hatchback - $21,300

    Offering just 180 horsepower, the*Civic Sport*isn't exactly a hot hatchback, but no one told Honda's chassis engineers. It handles beautifully, but without making any sacrifices to comfort. It's exactly what the Civic should be, and it makes a great base for the upcoming Si and Type R.*

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    Ford Fiesta ST - $21,140

    The Ford Fiesta ST is tiny, but so is its base price. And for the money, you won't find any other new car on the market that's as fun to drive. Sure, the Fiat 500 Abarth makes a louder noise, but the Fiesta ST is the king of small, inexpensive fun.

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    Volkswagen GTI - $25,595

    The Volkswagen has been the king of hot hatches for years, and we can't see that changing anytime soon. It's more refined than ever before, but it's still a blast to drive. We recommend springing for the GTI Sport and leaving it at that. But if you want even more power and all-wheel drive, the 292-horsepower Golf R is a great buy, as well.

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    Mazda Miata - $24,195

    What list of fun cars would be complete without the Miata? It's definitely a cliche at this point, but for good reason. The Miata is light, simple, affordable, and an absolute blast to drive.*

    (Caitlyn Jenner drives a Miata?)

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    Toyota 86 - $26,255

    We were happy to see the FR-S survive the death of Scion. Despite never getting a turbocharged version, its outstanding handling and affordable price made the FR-S a performance bargain. Plus, the Toyota badge on the hood adds another five horsepower if you choose the manual transmission. And you should definitely choose the manual transmission.

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    BMW 230i - $33,150

    When BMW gave the 228i a few extra horsepower, the little coupe also got a new name–230i. And if you equip it with the Track Handling Package, we expect the 230i*to be just as much fun as its predecessor.*The M2 is still faster, but for the money, you'll have a hard time beating the regular 2-Series.*

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    Ford Mustang GT - $33,295

    You can equip other, less-expensive Mustangs to still be a blast, but the one you really want is the Mustang GT. Equipped with the Performance Pack, it's not*good*for a Mustang. It's downright good.

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    Subaru WRX STI - $35,195

    In comparison to a lot of other cars you can get for $35,000, the WRX STI doesn't have a lot of power. But take one down a winding back road, and you won't care at all. The less-powerful WRX is also a fantastic*performance bargain, but the STI is still the one to get if you have the budget.

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    Ford Focus RS - $36,120

    Ford took the hot hatch to the next level when it introduced the Focus RS. With 350 horsepower and torque-vectoring all-wheel dive, it's one seriously fast car. And while drift mode has gotten a ton of attention, let's not forget how incredibly capable the Focus RS is on the track.

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    Chevrolet Camaro SS - $37,295

    It's hard to describe exactly how good the new Camaro SS is. Not only does it have the same motor as the Corvette, it was also the clear winner in our last head-to-head comparison of it and*the Ford Mustang GT. As we said in our first drive, it's "very, very good. Very good. Damn good."

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    Dodge Challenger R/T Scat Pack - $38,995

    The Dodge Challenger isn't nearly as athletic as the new Camaro or Mustang, but it offers some pretty wild paint colors. Oh, and you can also get a ridiculous amount of power for surprisingly little money. 485 horsepower, to be specific. And if you need more space, you can always go with the four-door version, the Charger Scat Pack.

    Cheap Fun Cars - Fun Cars for Less Than $40,000
    2013 #2008,#349 of 2286 in PB ST2, Panda Tuned, Mountune CBE, CAI, DP, re-circ valve, and Strut Tower Brace, FRPP shifter, K&N filter, Steeda rear sway/strut tower bars, 3M clear bra, WeatherTechs w/ST badges, Zunsport grill kit, Tail of the Dragon decal, Hoonigan crash bar!
    2017 Phantom Black Metallic Chevy SS (Holden Commodore)(Wife)
    2015 Tuxedo Black FiST (Daughter)
    2016 Stealth Grey RS2, Dewey: Order placed: 30OCT2015, Built: 3MAY2016, Delivered: 31AUG2016!

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    Supporting Member wrecklass's Avatar
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    It's funny, but 5-10 years ago if you'd asked me what my next car would be I'd have answered Camaro without hesitating. I had one of the previous generation cars and we have been a GM family for about 20 years now, Fords mostly before that.

    However, the end of last year when the bug to really get a fun DD that I could take to the Mountains for canyon run excursions the RS popped right to the top of recommendations I got. AWD had become one of the things I really wanted in a new car having driven plenty of serious RWD cars in the Colorado winters.

    For me, Ford really smashed it out of the park with the RS. I see Camaro's now and just see another drag racing straight line car. Like the Charger or the Mustang. Built for one thing and one thing only.
    2016 Stealth Gray Focus RS
    RS2 -- Moon roof

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