2018 Subaru WRX

0-to-60 time: 5.5 seconds

If there was a category for millennial muscle car, the Subaru WRX would probably be king of the organic juice bar. Small, sexy looking and packing a motorized punch, the WRX is like this generation’s Challenger.


A big air scoop on the hood, flared fenders, a reputation as an urban hot-rod, and a base selling price of $27,855 are enough to make this list of the fastest cars under 30K. Under the hood is a turbocharged flat four that cranks out 268 horses. Zero to 60 takes a brief 5.5 seconds, and it promises a top speed of 144 mph. Crisp steering carves up twisty roads like the rally cars that inspire the Subaru WRX.

As an added bonus, even the base model comes as a sure-footed AWD. Think about that the next time you try to burn rubber on a snow packed road.

2018 Chevrolet Camaro 1LS

0-to-60 time: 5.4 seconds

Always a contender, even when it’s powered by the base turbocharged inline 4-cylinder powerplant. The Camaro engine comes up a bit short on torque compared to the Ford Mustang EcoBoost at 295 lb-ft, but it still gives a sporty ride. We’re not talking about the $70,000 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1, and you can’t get to 60 from a dead stop in 3.2 seconds. But the Camaro 1LS can run to 60 mph in 5.4 seconds.

You can take curves at speed and the rear end will track nicely. It is a compact sports car that when compared to most others performs ably but looks like a cripple when run against its V6 and V8 big brothers.

One other problem. Just like all Camaros, visibility sucks. It takes a while to get accustomed to. Equally important to some, it’s hard for others to see who’s driving the beast.

2018 Nissan 370Z

0-to-60 time: 5.2 seconds

At $29,990 the Nissan 370Z just sneaks under the $30,000 threshold. Of course, this means we are only talking about the base trim, but that’s still pretty impressive.


The Z car looks like a fast car. It will not be confused for a Golf GTI for example. It is a two-seater sports car with a 3.7-liter V6 that generates 332 horsepower and 270 lb-ft of torque. A short throw, snappy 6 speed manual transmission comes standard. This is a sports car, not a daily driver. I

It goes from 0 to 60 mph in 5.2 seconds and has a top speed of 165 mph. If you’re interested in the fastest cars under 30K, this one is for you.

View on One Page