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Go Fast on a Budget: 20 of the Best Cars with 300 HP or More for Under $10K

Vukasin Herbez March 10, 2019

  1. Pontiac GTO

Produced for just three model years, from 2004 to 2006, the last GTO is a true performance bargain. Under the hood is an LS1 5.7-liter V8 that provides 350 HP. The GTO provides enough performance to be one of the hottest American cars for the 2004 model year.

The 2005 model year saw the introduction of the 400 HP 6.2-liter engine and even better performance of 0 to 60 mph times of just 4.6 seconds. But even that didn’t help, so by late 2006, Pontiac discontinued the GTO.

  1. Audi RS6

The first RS model that came to the U.S. was the 2003 Audi RS6 Sedan. It introduced the RS performance and philosophy to the American market in a perfect manner. The RS6 was 450 HP strong with a twin turbo.

A super sedan with unmistakable style, it provides a brutal performance and unbelievable handling thanks to its signature Quattro all-wheel drive train. The Audi RS6 cost around $85,000 when they first released it. But today, you can find it for exactly 10 percent of the original price.

  1. Dodge Charger R/T

The new Charger R/T sedan debuted in 2005 as a true American four-door with a rear wheel drive platform and optional AWD. Dodge provided a 5.7-liter Hemi V8 engine as the top engine choice. It had an aggressive muscular design that reminded the buyers of the Charger heritage and history.

And immediately, it was a fantastic success since it combined modern technology with retro styling and Hemi power. With 360 HP under the hood and the R/T package, this car is an affordable muscle sedan that delivers a respectable performance with easy maintenance.

  1. Hyundai Genesis Coupe

When Hyundai debuted it in 2010, the Genesis Coupe was a stylish and powerful entry-level sports car. Hyundai designed it to battle the Ford Mustang and Chevrolet Camaro. It had a cool design and a rear-wheel-drive layout. Its top of the line engine choice was a 3.8-liter V6, which you could get with a 306 or 346 HP rating.

Despite its power and good looks, the Genesis Coupe couldn’t match the appeal of the Mustang or Camaro, so it wasn’t a big sales success. But this makes it an affordable and interesting proposition if you want 300 HP for an affordable price.

  1. Pontiac Grand Prix GXP

Despite the name, most people don’t consider the Pontiac Grand Prix to be a performance car. In fact, by the early 2000s, it was just an ordinary GM sedan. However, when Pontiac unveiled their GXP package, suddenly the front wheel drive Grand Prix was a hot performance car.

The GXP package consisted of 5.3-liter V8 sending 303 HP to the front axle. Also, it had an updated suspension and gearbox. The transformed this family sedan into a highway missile. For sure, the GM engineers invested a lot of time to make this front wheel drive car perform and handle like a European performance sedan.

  1. BMW 550i E60

The BMW M5 is the perfect performance sedan, but it doesn’t fit this list since there isn’t a good example at the price range of $10,000. However, the next best thing is the E60 550i with 380 HP from its V8 engine in either an automatic or manual. Whatever version you find, you will get a perfectly balanced chassis, a powerful engine, and a luxurious interior.

In fact, the 550i E60 is a highway cruiser that produces north of 300 HP for less than 10 grand, which is the deal of a lifetime. Just bear in mind that the maintenance can be costly.

  1. Nissan 350Z

Available as a coupe or a roadster, the Nissan 350Z is a sports car legend in an affordable package. The handsome front-engine rear-wheel drive car has a potent V6 engine and limited slip differential as standard equipment. This feature makes it safe to drive hard and also makes it a favorite drift car.

And don’t forget the enormous aftermarket support for this model. It means you can easily tune and customize your car. Best of all, under the hood is a 3.5-liter V6 with 300 HP that delivers a respectable performance.

  1. Mercedes CLS 550

This gorgeous four-door coupe was one of the most radical Mercedes sedans they ever built. It captivated the public’s imagination with elegant styling, a luxurious interior, and powerful engines. For example, the 2008 CLS 550 came with a V8 engine and 382 HP that provided a sports car-like performance.

The base price for this car was close to $70,000 just 10 years ago. But now you can find them for less than $10,000 due to the magic of depreciation and its notoriously expensive maintenance.

  1. Jaguar XF Supercharged

For just $10,000 you can buy a 420 HP, supercharger 10-year old Jaguar. This statement is exciting and yet frightening at the same time. First, having a blisteringly fast 4.2-liter V8 powered Jaguar is exciting. But owning 10-year old luxury sedan that is in need of painstaking, expensive maintenance is also scary. However, the choice is yours. So, are you brave enough?

  1. Volvo S60 R

If you are looking for a stealth super-sedan with all-wheel drive, a 300 HP engine and great performance for a bargain price, the Volvo S60 R is for you. The mid-2000s S60 Rs are budget-friendly, too.

And better yet, it packs its turbocharged five-cylinder engine with exactly 300 HP. This makes those cars eligible for this list, and their prices are well below the 10-grand limit.

  1. Porsche Cayenne Turbo

Porsche unveiled the Cayenne Turbo in the early 2000s. However, the Cayenne Turbo may have offended a lot of brand purists since it was an SUV. But it also brought much to the segment in terms of driving dynamics, performance and prestige. It was a proper Porsche with a 450 HP engine providing capable handling.

Also, it had plenty of interior space. But, even though it is Porsche Turbo, it doesn’t drive like one because it is still just an SUV, despite the fact it produces 450 HP.

This list showed you how to go fast on a budget with the 20 best cars with 300 HP or more for under 10k. Did you choose your favorite? If you did, you’d better hurry up before they become rarer and far more pricey.

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