Cheap V8 Cars (and Trucks) Still Available Today

Mike Schlee
by Mike Schlee

Once upon a time, the V8 engine ruled the earth. Well, the part of our planet called North America at least.

The V8 was the go to engine for everything except the smallest of cars. For a few decades in the middle of the twentieth century, the eight-cylinder burble was the soundtrack of highways and byways across America. But like all good things, it had to come to an end. Rapidly increasing fuel prices and more stringent emissions standards has pushed automotive manufacturers to find new ways produce engine power aside from big beefy V8 engines.

But that’s not to say they’re all gone; not yet at least. There’s still are a handful of V8s on sale today and some are even relatively affordable. Below we are the five lowest price V8 cars and the five lowest price V8 trucks on the market today. Not surprising, they are all offered by American automobile manufacturers.

Top 5 Cheap V8 Cars

5. Chrysler 300S V8

The Chrysler 300 is the closest thing left on the market to the traditional full-size American sedan. It’s big, rear-wheel drive, and focuses on occupant comfort while still providing ample straight-line speed. The outright performance variant, the SRT, has been dropped, leaving the sportier Dodge Charger to carry the Mopar’s sport sedan banner. But the 300S V8 still comes equipped with a 363 hp 5.7-liter V8 that is capable of roasting the rear tires on this 4,380 lbs. sedan if desired.

SEE ALSO: Top 10 Best American Sport Sedans

Inside it comes equipped with ample seating for five passengers and the choice of three color schemes. A panoramic sunroof is standard and items like a heated steering wheel, ventilated front seats, and Bi-Xenon HID headlights can be added for an additional cost. Starting at less than $43K, it is a good luxury-sedan alternative.

Price: $42,825 USD ($50,060 CAD)

4. Dodge Charger R/T

The next least expensive V8 car on sale today is the Chrysler 300’s corporate sibling, the Dodge Charger. With less content, but the same 5.7-liter V8 engine, the Charger starts a price that undercuts the 300 by $4,700. What’s more, the Dodge also has an additional seven horsepower, for a total of 370. Being a more performance orientated sedan, the Charger has various V8 engines throughout its lineup including the 797 hp Hellcat Redeye.

In fact, technically the Charger could hold the #5 slot on this list as well since it offers another V8 engine option at a whopping $25 less than the Chrysler 300S V8. For the tidy sum of $42,800 it is possible to get the Scat Pack that includes a much beefier 485 hp 6.4-liter V8, as well as plenty of other go fast goodies.

Price: $38,125 USD ($45,765 CAD)

3. Ford Mustang GT

Ford Mustangs and V8 engines go hand in hand like the holiday season and over eating. For a bit over $36K, the Mustang GT can be had with its snarling 460 hp 5.0-liter V8. As America’s original pony car, it continues to be a performance bargain, championing the glory of the V8. There should be a statutory holiday dedicated to the sound the 5.0L V8 makes at wide open throttle.

The GT isn’t just a big engine with no supporting substance either. It can be had with the choice of a rev-matching six-speed manual transmission or a 10-speed automatic. Standard are large brakes at all four corners and 18-inch wheels. There is a handling package for serious performance, but of course that increases the price.

Price: $36,285 USD ($41,780 CAD)

2. Dodge Challenger R/T

If the Chrysler 300S V8 is the closest to a traditional large American sedan, then the Dodge Challenger R/T is a throwback to the classic American coupe. As recently as the 1980s, the automotive landscape in America was dominated by V8 powered, rear-wheel drive coupes that could comfortably seat four passengers. Whereas those cars of yesteryear were severely lacking in performance, the Dodge Challenger R/T is not.

SEE ALSO: Top 10 Best Sounding V8 Engines

Making its third appearance on this list is the 5.7-liter HEMI V8, making 375 hp in this application. Unlike it’s sedan siblings, the Challenger can be had with a six-speed manual transmission or the optional eight-speed automatic. The big Dodge may not have the reflexes of the Ford Mustang or Chevrolet Camaro, but it makes up for it in style, comfort, and personality. In fact, it’s hard to find any car on the market today with as much presence as the Challenger.

Price: $36,180 USD ($42,160 CAD)

1. Chevrolet Camaro LT1

Completing the trio of American muscle cars, and taking the crown of most affordable V8-powered car currently for sale, is the Chevrolet Camaro. Starting at just over $35K, the Camaro comes with a large 6.2-liter V8 engine producing 455 hp. For those keeping score at home, that’s a cost of $77.35 per horsepower compared to the Mustang’s $78.88.

The LT1 is a step lower than the traditional SS trim that allows consumers to get the V8 engine without being required to purchase all of the other performance parts. Most notably absent are all of the additional cooling systems, as well as the staggered performance summer tires. So, if the Camaro is intended for any sort of track use, best to step up to the $38,695 1SS trim level.

Price: $35,195 USD ($41,698 CAD)

Top 5 Cheap V8 Trucks

5. Chevrolet Express 2500 WT 6.6L

Well, we didn’t see this coming. The fifth least expensive V8-powered truck in America is a…van? With the Toyota Tundra doing away with V8 engines and the Nisan Titan starting at $36,950, the Chevrolet Express WT 6.6L just sneaks into the number five position. It features the largest V8 engine on our list, for car or truck, measuring in at 6.6-liters. It delivers a whopping 401 hp, which is a lot for a cargo van this size. For reference, when the Express first appeared in 1996, it had a choice of two V8s that made 220 or 250 hp respectively.

Of course there is a smaller V6 option as well as a diesel, but this list is about V8s, so we had to go with the big-bored monster. Look for one power-sliding packages to a neighborhood near you.

Price: $36,095 USD ($42,993 CAD)

4. GMC Sierra 1500 Pro Regular Cab Long Bed 2WD 5.3L

The next four entries are all good old American pickup trucks. First up is the GMC Sierra 1500 Pro in rear-wheel drive configuration with the 355 hp 5.3-liter V8. Although the Sierra is more upscale than its Chevrolet Silverado twin, it is still offered as a word truck, here in the Pro trim. With a regular cab and long box, the 2WD V8 model is intended for hauling large payloads and/or towing heaving amounts.

SEE ALSO: Top 10 Cheapest Pickup Trucks

Steel wheels are the name of the game at this price point, but unlike the next three entries, the Sierra at least doesn’t have an unfinished black front bumper. See, it’s totally more upscale.

Price: $34,685 USD ($43,443 CAD)

3. Ram 1500 Classic Tradesman Regular Cab 6’4″ Box 4X2 5.7L

The previous generation Ram 1500 is still available on the market for budget conscious consumers. Called the Ram 1500 Classic, it’s offered in a few trims for those needing a work truck for minimal cost. The most affordable way to get a V8 engine is to opt for the Tradesman regular cab with the 6’4″ box. It includes the powerful and familiar 5.7-liter V8 engine, producing 395 hp in this case.

The newer Ram 1500 does also offer a Tradesman trim level with a V8 option, but since the new truck does not come in a regular cab body style, pricing for the new Ram is about $5,000 more than the Classic.

Price: $31,715 USD ($39,185 CAD)

2. Ford F-150 Regular Cab 6 1/2′ Box XL 4X2 5.0L

Ford’s work truck is next on this list, the best-selling F-150. There has been a lot of fanfare around Ford’s turbocharged Ecoboost family of engines lately, but it is still possible to get a V8 in the F-150. Despite being the smallest V8 amongst the trucks on this list, it still makes 400 hp and 410 lb-ft of torque. It also sends power to the rear wheels via a ten-speed automatic transmission.

Configured as the Regular Cab, 6 1/2′ Box XL 4X2 5.0L, the F-150 costs just a bit over $31K. That is quite a bit less than the Ram 1500 Classic or the GMC Sierra, but not quite low enough to eclipse the Chevrolet Silverado’s price point.

Price: $31,285 USD ($37,629 CAD)

1. Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Regular Cab Long Bed WT 2WD 5.3L

The most affordable way to a V8 engine in any vehicle in America currently is with the the Silverado 1500 Regular Cab, Long Bed WT 2WD 5.3L. With so many possible configurations, pickup truck names can get quite long and confusing. But this is indeed the lowest priced option to get a Silverado with the 355 hp 5.3-liter V8. We actually like the rugged looks on this configuration, with the black grille continuing into the black bumper and the no nonsense steel wheels.

SEE ALSO: Top 8 Hybrid and Electric Pickup Trucks Worth Waiting For

The truck is also available with most of its exterior colors even in this low trim level, including Red Hot. It’s a refreshing change as many vehicles are severely limited in their exterior color choices at base trim levels.

Price: $30,645 USD ($34,493 CAD)

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Mike Schlee
Mike Schlee

A 20+ year industry veteran, Mike rejoins the AutoGuide team as the Managing Editor. He started his career at a young age working at dealerships, car rentals, and used car advertisers. He then found his true passion, automotive writing. After contributing to multiple websites for several years, he spent the next six years working at the head office of an automotive OEM, before returning back to the field he loves. He is a member of the Automobile Journalists Association of Canada (AJAC), and Midwest Automotive Media Association (MAMA). He's the recipient of a feature writing of the year award and multiple video of the year awards.

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