There are a few things that everyone – regardless of age, gender, or orientation – should want in a car. First, it should be able to carry enough groceries for you to eat for a day. Second, it should look like an elegant addition to anyone’s ensemble, like a fine suit or a blouse with all the frilly bits and whatnot. And third, it should get you from point A to point B in the minimum amount of time and the maximum amount of fun. In other words, it should be fast.
But there’s a problem. Most people think that unless you have several thousand dollars burning a hole in your bank account, you simply can’t afford a fast car. Speed is for the financially elite, the “one percent”, the Illuminati of lizard people controlling the government and oppressing the poor and velocity deprived. Those of moderate means are forever cursed to drive reasonable family sedans that can’t run a quarter mile in less than 30 seconds. I have some wonderful news for those people: they’re wrong.
There are plenty of options for those speed-conscious consumers who don’t have millions of dollars but do have a desire to get through that amber intersection before it changes to soul-crushing red, and you won’t need to remortgage your house to buy it either.
Here are 15 of the fastest cars you can own for under $30,000.
15 FORD FOCUS ST
When anyone says “sensible but fast,” the first thing that comes to mind is a hatchback, and the first hatchback that comes to mind when you say “fast” is always the Ford Focus. For decades, this hot hatch has been the sensible car for every young man or woman that wanted both style, comfort, and above all, nimbleness.
The fastest Focus is the RS, which can skid around a track like a berserk go-kart, but the trim model below that – the ST – is a perfectly acceptable example of Ford engineering for those who are a bit more budget conscious. It still comes armed with a 2.0-litre turbocharged engine putting out 252 hp, which is quite a lot for a small car and can propel it from zero to sixty in 6.2 seconds. That’s a steal at only $25,995.