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If you’re shopping for a sports car under $30,000 – AutoGuide.com has you covered.
Yesterday we eliminated five cars from the 2014 AutoGuide Under $30,000 Performance Car Shootout.
That leaves the final three, which are all completely different takes on affordable fun. Weren’t we surprised when the numbers were tabulated and the top cars included not just all-wheel drive, rear-wheel drive and front-wheel drive rivals, but a hatchback, a sedan and a coupe.
The Scion FR-S is a low-slung, rear-wheel drive sports coupe built without compromises. The Ford Fiesta ST is a sub-compact hatchback jacked on steroids. And finally we have the sensible, all-wheel drive Subaru sedan, that also just so happens to deliver awesome amounts of turbocharged thrust.
This is it, time to crown a victor. Who is your money on?
Yesterday we took eight fun-to-drive performance vehicles under $30,000 and put them through their paces on the street.
After much deliberation, we chose the 2014 Ford Fiesta ST as the king of the street. Despite a somewhat harsh ride, nothing else matches the raw, hilariously fun driving experience behind the wheel.
Day One: Street Test
Sporty cars are not dead. Rumors of their demise are premature. Thrill-packed machinery litters the automotive landscape, available to suit nearly every budget.
When it comes to motoring fun, one of the most intriguing segments is the under $30,000 price bracket, where several enticing choices can be found in a variety of shapes and sizes.
Bugatti is developing a replacement to its Veyron supercar that it is expected to show for the first time in 2016.
Mercedes’ new sports car will be powered by a 4.0-liter biturbo V8 that cranks out 503 hp and 479 lb-ft of torque.
The Classic Tale of the Saabaru
In 2005 Saab wanted a compact vehicle to sell in North America against products like the Audi A3 and Volvo V50. At the time GM owned Saab completely and had an influential ownership share in Subaru. To fill the gap in Saab’s lineup, the company began to sell a version of the Subaru Impreza wagon with Saab family styling front and back as well as a more premium interior. Other than that, the vehicle was mechanically similar to the Subaru and features the Impreza’s basic body shell.
Like the Impreza, the Saab 9-2x was offered with the regular 2.5-liter horizontally opposed engine as well as the WRX’s 2.0-liter turbocharged four. In 2006, a few 2.5-liter turbocharged vehicles were produced and to this day are the rarest of the model line.
Renault announced today that it set a new record lapping the Nurburgring in a front-wheel drive car.
Street Legal Rally Car
For 2002, Subaru sent its rally-inspired WRX to North America. Based on the Impreza, the WRX brought in a new era of compact performance cars thanks to its all-wheel drive capability and a turbocharged horizontally opposed engine.
Add Alfa Romeo’s North American return to the list of reasons why visiting this year’s New York Auto Show will be worthwhile.
Two turbos, six cylinders to power four wheels
Reese’s Puffs might be the single greatest invention since beer, the automobile or YouTube.
They successfully marry candy and breakfast in a symphony of synthesized taste that makes ordinary corn-based cereal irrelevant. This stuff gives a new meaning to “most important meal of the day.”
Putting General Mills’ chocolate salty balls aside for a moment, Porsche is another company that managed to mash the essence of being awesome and useful into one product. They call it the Panamera and you should probably take out a second mortgage to own one.
OK, that’s a bit extreme, but if you’re in the market for a luxury sedan names like BMW and Mercedes carry a lot of cache, but not this much. Yes, it may have four doors, but this Porsche is also at home at a race track.