Six Cars Under $30K That Can Do 60 MPH in 6 Seconds or Less


You feel like you’re ready to channel Mario Andretti, but your new car budget is channeling Grandpa Tom’s Sunday afternoon ride. Don’t panic. You’ve got options when you look at the fastest cars under 30K available in 2018.

Thanks to car makers’ obsession with horsepower and torque, you can now get a sports car or a muscle car with a 0-to-60 time in 6 seconds or less for a very reasonable price.

These rides aren’t growling, gas-guzzling V8s because they don’t have to be. Technological advances in the powertrain and suspensions have turned V6s and inline-4 engines into powerhouses.

Some of these cars won’t surprise you at all, aside from their low cost. Others may be vehicles that you would not expect to be blowing past you.

Are there cheaper cars that go fast? Yes, there are. But by stretching to the $30k sticker price you get more horsepower, more torque, a smarter transmission and a better tuned suspension. So, with that in mind, let’s take a look at the fastest cars under 30K.

2018 Dodge Challenger SXT

0-to-60 time: 6 seconds

This one is just a brutish, old school muscle car whose retro looks bring back the fight for bragging rights in high school for those of a certain age. Who doesn’t love a Dodge Challenger?

The Dodge Challenger has awesome big brothers that get the headlines, most certainly the Dodge Demon, which can rocket to 60 mph in just over 2 seconds. But the 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 that comes as the base engine on the Dodge Challenger SXT is no slouch at all.

Generating 305 horsepower and 268 lb-ft of torque is formidable. The Pentastar will propel the Challenger to 60 in 6 seconds. Not only that, the instrument cluster has a nifty 0-to-60 meter to track performance. You can keep trying to beat your personal best. Mostly this car is just a ton of fun to drive.

2018 Volkswagen Golf GTI

0-to-60 time: 6 seconds

Yes, the Volkswagen Golf GTI is a hatchback, but it’s a hatchback with plenty of attitude to go around. This hot hatch has a turbocharged inline 4-cylinder engine that generates 220 horsepower that is mated to a six-speed automatic.

That may not sound like much but it gets the GTI to 60 mph in 6 seconds flat. One of the secrets to this ride’s acceleration is the dual-clutch transmission that promotes performance with every shift.

It’s a VW, it’s a hatchback, it’s quick and it sells for under $27,000. We think it belongs on this list.

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