Affordable Cars That Make You Look Good

In today’s market, brand-new cars are not cheap, however, we all want to own one. New cars come with warranty, free of dents and scratches, no worries about breaking down, and lets not forget that new car scent. There’s just something special to say about owning a new car. For us recent or soon to be college grads, we want our rides to look sporty and sophisticated without having to break the bank. We made a list of four cars that look sweet, are fun to drive, and all under $30,000.

Fiat 500 Abarth: (Bottom Left) Though not the fastest of the four, the Abarth gets attention from its Ferrari-like exhaust note, and boisterous exterior sportiness. This is the quickest vehicle Fiat offers in U.S. and without a doubt the most exciting–not to mention the best sounding out of these four. The 500 Abarth offers its most potent version of Fiat’s turbocharged 1.4-liter 4-cylinder putting out 160 horsepower and 170 pound feet of torque. The power rating sounds slightly conservative until you realize the car weighs in at just 2500 pounds. Fiat’s Abarth starts at around $22,000–quite inexpensive for a brand-new car. Click here to build and price one on Fiat’s website.

Ford Focus ST: (Top Left) The Focus ST is something completely new for 2013. Ford hasn’t offered a hot-hatchback like this since ’04 when it discontinued the Focus SVT. The Focus ST is Ford’s attempt to wipe out the dominant Volkswagen GTI–and it does so by bringing 252 horsepower and 270 pound feet of torque to the table. Ford took the standard Focus and added a turbo 4-cylinder with an extra 90 hp, several new ground-effects, and a sport-tuned suspension. The ST also offers optional Recaro seats which we think are absolutely incredible. Ford really stepped up with its styling in recent years and it shows especially in the new Focus ST. With its sleek body lines, large grey wheels, and Aston Martin-like grill it stands out from most other cars under $30k. Coming in at a starting price of $24,000, this new hot-hatch is a complete bargain. Build the ST on Ford’s site here.

Hyundai Veloster Turbo: (Bottom Right) Hyundai introduced the Voloster back in 2011 as a 2012 model. The design was groundbreaking but the engine was weak. It only offered a tiny 4-cylinder engine with only 138 horsepower. This year, they added a new turbo model to the Veloster lineup with a dramatic shift to 201 horsepower. Hyundai also amped up the styling by adding sweet ground-effects and two fat center tailpipes. Not stopping there, Hyundai gave the Veloster 18 inch rims with sticky summer tires for improved cornering and grip. The Turbo version only adds about $3000 to the $17,000 price of the base model. Add an extra $2500 and you get a panoramic sunroof, navigation, backup sensors, and automatic headlights. Build it here on Hyundai’s site.

Subaru BRZ / Scion FR-S: (Top Right) After years of talk, Subaru has finally brought the BRZ to the car market. This year, they came out with their first ever rear-wheel-drive sports car. Subaru and Toyota (Scion) teamed up to build this car and in return they each created their own model–the BRZ and the FR-S. Each car is identical short of a few badges and small interior features. Subaru and Scion gave these cars a very sporty look, making them seem much more than their low-20K base prices. The car can back up its sportiness with its skills in the corners–the BRZ is one of the best handling cars in its class and can nearly out-handle a Porsche Boxster. Unfortunately its small 2.0-liter flat-4 only puts out 200 horsepower making the BRZ one of the slowest cars on this list–we estimate 0-to-60 to be around 6.3 seconds. There is talk of a faster model coming soon from Subaru but no guarantees. All in all, the BRZ is a complete joy to drive and looks fantastic which is why it made our list. Go ahead and build one on Subaru’s site here.