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Earlier this year I found myself looking seriously at a B6 Audi S4 Avant.
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.
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.
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.
Subaru has just taken the wraps off of the 2015 WRX STI and it is more than just a WRX with a giant wing.
Freezing in the Woods has never been so Fun
“You are going to stand in the middle of a forest, in the dead of winter, for hours on end, to catch a glimpse of 30 cars driving by?”
Yup. This is winter rally racing and to those not involved in the automotive culture, spectating at such events sounds downright insane.
This week, AutoGuide revealed its Utility Vehicle of the Year, while a pair of auto shows kept plenty of automotive enthusiasts glued to our YouTube channel. From the LA Auto Show, the unveiling of the Subaru WRX drew excitement while viewers also wanted to catch the first glimpse at the 2015 Nissan GT-R and GT-R Nismo.
Watch the videos below and subscribe to the AutoGuide YouTube channel here.