Best Performance Cars for Under $40,000

Do performance cars have to set you back a small fortune? No way. For car-lovers who know their stuff, there’s plenty on the market these days.

 We’ve outlined a list of the top 6 performance cars that you can get your hands on for under $40,000. We’ve prioritised style, handling and quality manufacturers to give you a list of vehicles that represents not just value for money, but exciting driving too…

Mazda MX-5

If you’re dreaming of an open-top roadster, the Mazda MX-5 has the formula down. Rear-wheel drive, your choice of 1.5 or 2 litre engine, and with exceptional steering and control, this car is well worth the $30,000 starting prices.

Responsiveness, and connection between driver and chassis get another big tick for this car. With that said, it’s a two-seater, meaning it’s not going to be for everyone.  But if that’s not a problem for you, the MX-5 is a stellar car.

Mini Cooper S

This revived British icon is as eye-catching as ever, only now it has power to match. It’s available in a three door or a five door, and while prices start at around $38,000 you’ll find the turbo 2.0 litre engine option to be money well spent.

We need to forewarn you though that you’ll be tempted with plenty of extra add-ons which can impact the price significantly. They’re hard to say no to. But ultimately the power, style and flair here – not to mention the colour range – means that the Mini Cooper S is one of the best available in this price bracket.

Ford Fiesta ST

As far as hot-hatches go, this is an absolute winner. Front wheel drive, manual (as it should be!) and exciting to drive, this powerful Ford remains an absolute bargain. You’re looking at around $27,000 for one of the best hot-hatches on the market.

It’s garnered praise from all around, particularly for its grip and handling – essential if you’re after a quality performance car. And don’t forget – even if it’s not as eye-catching as some of the others on this list, it can be enhanced to make it a style of your own with the help of piece by piece modifications or a specialised body kit.

Toyota 86

This might not be the most powerful car in this price bracket, but for handling and sheer mechanical balance it’s way above its class here when it comes to cornering and drifting ability. Revived from its ultra-affordable predecessor in the 1980’s, this is a classic rear-wheel drive that’s exciting to control.

We were pleased to see upgrades in the styling and infotainment recently too, cementing the Toyota 86 as a strong choice for those looking at a solid performance car around the $30,000 mark. And, just like with the Ford Fiesta ST, what’s left if your budget can be put towards aesthetic modifications with the range of body kit options available. You won’t be disappointed.

Hyundai Veloster SR Turbo

Aesthetically, this car polarises people. We love it – its sporty asymmetrical look means it stands out in the crowd. And what’s more, you can’t fault its performance when it comes to value for money.

Three-door, manual, and with a sporty interior, this isn’t for everyone, but for around $30,000 it is a fantastic performance car for very little coin, and we think you’ll love driving it as much as anything else on the market.  

Subaru WRX

The recent Subaru WRX represents a return to its former glory. Known originally for its powerful starts and edgy looks, this latest generation has taken the best of its old characteristics and upgraded them to include excellent steering and grip, superb interiors and an overall premium feel. With a 0-100km/h achievable in under six seconds, this is still a thrill to drive.

Whatever style you’re looking for, these cars represent value for money for those in the know. Gone are the days of having to spend a fortune for an interesting vehicle – these cars are stylish, fun to drive, and can be fine-tuned and modified to make you stand out from the crowd.

Want Your Performance Car To Stand Out?

If you really want to stand out on the roads, with a performance car under 40k, then a body kit can be the perfect way to add style, class and ensure you get eyes on your ride.

For those of you who have purchased, or are doing your research, the cars we've listed above are some of the best cars for modifying with bodykits and other performance parts that will take your ride to whole new level.

For the best in affordable and quality bodykits get in touch with the team at Aus Body Works to see how we can help you today.