Top 10 Best New Fastest Sports Cars Under $40K

If your automobile purchasing budget is in the neighborhood of $40,000, you can walk away with a lovely car. This budget enables many options, including premium automobiles and even large SUVs. With so many possibilities, we asked our experienced editors to compile a list of the best vehicles under $40,000 to ensure you get the most value.

While all cars on this list have an essential manufacturer’s recommended retail price of less than $40,000, several have fully-equipped trim levels that surpass this price limit.

#1. 2022 Hyundai Sonata

Best Sports Car Under $40K
  • Price: $ 25,195
  • Engine: 1.6 L Intercooled Turbo Regular Unleaded I-4
  • Horsepower: 180 hp
  • Transmission: 8-speed automatic transmission
  • Fuel Efficiency: 27 mpg in the city and 37 mpg on the highway
  • Length: 192.9 inches
  • Width: 73.2 inches
  • Height: 56.9 inches

The Hyundai Sonata 2022 is a family car that is both physically appealing and very affordable. Hyundai’s midsize sedan is available in several trim levels, ranging from well-equipped entry-level models to a trio of fuel-efficient hybrids and a tire-squawking performance variant. While the latter’s 290-horsepower turbo-four engine and sporty suspension may add some excitement to supermarket errands, the remainder of the Sonata series is less thrilling to drive. Rather than that, the sedan impresses with a slew of standard driver assistance technologies and an elegant cabin brimming with popular tech features. Its plush seats and spacious accommodations compensate for its hard ride, particularly noticeable in the N Line performance variant. Although the 2022 Sonata isn’t as pleasurable to drive as, say, the Honda Accord, it remains one of the class’s best alternatives and one of our Editors’ Choice selections.

Related: 10 Best New 4-Door Sports Cars Under $20K To Buy in 2022

Hyundai makes no significant changes to the Sonata range for 2022. The only difference from the previous model year is the inclusion of a Night Edition, which is exclusively available on the sporty N Line trim. The Hyundai Kona also received a limited-production version of this blacked-out aesthetic option.

#2. 2022 Volkswagen Golf GTI

Best Sports Car Under 40K
  • Price: $ 30,540
  • Engine: 2.0 L Intercooled Turbo Regular Unleaded I-4
  • Horsepower: 241 hp
  • Transmission: 6-speed manual transmission
  • Fuel Efficiency: 24 mpg in the city and 34 mpg on the highway
  • Length: 168.8 inches
  • Width: 70.4 inches
  • Height: 57.6 inches

Volkswagen’s fears of annihilating the whole Golf portfolio have been allayed, with the 2022 Golf GTI slated to kick off a new generation of the sporty hatchback. Although it looks as if the German carmaker would continue to discontinue sales of standard (read: dull) Golfs in the United States, the GTI and the even more zesty R variant, which we examine separately, have been spared. Consequently, we now have a more powerful GTI with even more attractive features and the same attributes that earned the outgoing model our love and admiration. With a more current style both inside and out and the same legendary fun-to-drive characteristics, the resurrected Golf GTI draws new fans, rewards the devoted, and once again reaches our 10Best and Editors’ Choice lists.

Related: Top 10 Best AWD Sports Cars Under $30k You Can Buy in 2022

The all-new 2022 Golf GTI is the ninth iteration of the famous marque. While the hatchback’s appearance is progressive rather than revolutionary, VW has crammed it with additional technology and performance enhancements. Its updated external appearance is highlighted by slimmer LED headlights and a gaping lower grille with integrated fog lights. The inside undergoes a more dramatic transformation, with VW combining iconic aspects like plaid upholstery with cutting-edge technology. Dual digital displays, for example, are now standard, and the dashboard has been completely redone. The GTI’s turbocharged four-cylinder engine now produces 241 horsepower (up 13) and 273 pound-feet of torque (up 15), and it continues to come standard with a manual gearbox. Golf GTI sales are likely to begin at the end of the current year.

#3. 2022 Hyundai Ioniq

New Sports Car Under $40K
  • Price: $ 24,645
  • Engine: 1.6 L Gas/Electric I-4
  • Horsepower: 139 hp
  • Transmission: 6-Speed Auto-Shift Manual w/OD
  • Fuel Efficiency: 58 mpg in the city and 60 mpg on the highway
  • Length: 176 inches
  • Width: 71.7 inches
  • Height: 56.9 inches

The 2022 Hyundai Ioniq is ideal for those looking for a hybrid or plug-in hybrid hatchback that blends in and drives like a conventional vehicle. The hybrid’s combined EPA rating is 59 miles per gallon. In comparison, the plug-in version has a range of 29 miles on electricity alone. Unlike the Toyota Prius, the Hyundai Ioniq appears completely normal. Yet, the hybrid variant is more efficient than the ordinary Prius hybrid’s most frugal model. However, the Prius Prime plug-in hybrid achieves higher fuel economy than the Ioniq plug-in hybrid—though the Prius has a range of just 25 miles vs. the Ioniq’s 29. Both Ionics are tedious to drive and have some refinement concerns. Still, they’re comfortable and conventional enough to pass for a non-hybrid. The 2022 Ioniq is both eco- and user-friendly. Its interior comprises sustainable materials and a long list of desired standard amenities. Additionally, it is unpretentious but uninspiring.

The Ioniq hybrid lineup will remain unchanged for the 2022 model year. On the other hand, Hyundai has discontinued its all-electric model, which we previously examined separately. The business cites the launch of standalone Ioniq EV models, such as the future Ioniq 5, as the primary reason for discontinuing the EV.

Must Check: Top 10 Best AWD Sedans Under $20K You Can Buy In 2022

#4. 2022 Toyota Prius Prime

Best Sports Car Under 40K
  • Price: $ 25,650
  • Engine: 1.8 L Gas/Electric I-4
  • Horsepower: 121 hp
  • Transmission: CVT transmission
  • Fuel Efficiency: 58 mpg in the city and 53 mpg on the highway
  • Length: 180 inches
  • Width: 69.3 inches
  • Height: 57.9 inches

The Toyota Prius 2022 is an incredibly efficient hatchback, but it is no longer a must-have hybrid best car under 40k. Although its wedge-shaped form tries to optimize fuel efficiency, it is unattractive. The powerplant produces a paltry 121 horsepower, resulting in sluggish acceleration. And whereas the Prius Eco model has a combined EPA rating of 56 mpg, the Hyundai Ioniq Blue achieves a combined EPA rating of 59 mpg. On the positive side, the Prius is the only tiny hybrid with all-wheel drive. However, this does nothing to improve its abysmal driving characteristics. The Toyota is not as enticing as the Honda Insight sedan. The Toyota Corolla Hybrid is more affordable and almost as fuel-efficient. Unfortunately, the 2022 Prius struggles to maintain relevance in a market it helped pioneer.

The Prius selection has been expanded with the Nightshade model, which comes in three metallic colors: Silver, Super White, and Midnight Black. It includes black 17-inch wheels with black lug nuts for front-drive cars and black 15-inch wheels with black lug nuts for all-wheel-drive variants. On the inside, a heated steering wheel and front seats are included.

#5. 2022 Acura TLX

Fastest Sports Car Under 40K
  • Price: $ 38,745
  • Engine: 2.0 L Intercooled Turbo Premium Unleaded I-4
  • Horsepower: 272 hp
  • Transmission: 10-speed Automatic Transmission
  • Fuel Efficiency: 21 mpg in the city and 29 mpg on the highway
  • Length: 194.6 inches
  • Width: 75.2 inches
  • Height: 56.4 inches

The 2022 Acura TLX best sports sedan under $40k lacks the luxury heritage of Audi, BMW, and Mercedes-Benz sport sedans. Acura has an advantage in combining a thrilling driving personality and a compelling value offer. The Genesis G70, the TLX undercuts its German rivals in American dollars, and the indisputable champion of luxury-class value. Involved is the word that best describes how drivers feel behind the wheel when the car’s superior chassis tuning is displayed. Even TLX vehicles equipped with the base 272-hp turbo-four are capable of impressing and using Acura’s torque-vectoring all-wheel-drive system (SH-AWD) to maximize the impact. While the 2022 TLX isn’t nearly as sumptuous or as extraordinary to drive as the segment’s most exemplary, and its rear seat is smaller than its size indicates, the 355-horsepower Type S demonstrates that Acura is still capable of raising your pulse.

Acura makes no substantial modifications to its 2022 lineup one year after introducing a new version of the TLX. Fans of the brand’s Integra nameplate, on the other hand, will be thrilled to discover that it will return for the 2023 model year.

Must Check: Top 10 Best Luxury Sport Sedans Under $30k To Buy in 2022

#6. 2022 Cadillac CT4

Best Sports Car Under 40K
  • Price: $ 34,840
  • Engine: 2.0 L Turbocharged I-4
  • Horsepower: 265 hp
  • Transmission: 8-Speed Automatic Transmission
  • Fuel Efficiency: 23 mpg in the city and 34 mpg on the highway
  • Length: 187.2 inches
  • Width: 71.4 inches
  • Height: 56 inches

The Cadillac CT4 car, which serves as the brand’s starting point, exemplifies the fun seen in its more costly and high-performance siblings. Its agile handling and attractive styling also qualify it to fight against European small sedan competitors such as the BMW 2-series Gran Coupe and Mercedes-Benz A-class. Under the hood, choose between a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine producing 237 horsepower or a turbocharged 2.7-liter engine producing up to 325 horsepower in the top-spec V-Series model. By the way, that model should not be confused with the more powerful CT4-V Blackwing, which we analyze separately. The primary issue of the CT4 is similar to our criticism of previous Cadillac models: the inside materials and atmosphere fall short of those offered by luxury-brand rivals, who provide a more premium appearance and feel.

For 2022, Cadillac will offer two distinct packages that combine the Super Cruise semi-autonomous driving technology with luxury and convenience features on the Premium Luxury and Sport trim levels. The Super Cruise 1 option includes a 12.0-inch digital gauge cluster, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, and a 360-degree camera. In contrast, the Super Cruise 2 package includes a Bose premium sound system, in-dash navigation, and other amenities. The basic Luxury trim now has an increased number of standard driver aid technologies, including automatic high-beam headlights, blind-spot monitoring, and lane-keeping assist. On CT4 models equipped with the optional turbocharged 2.7-liter four-cylinder engine, the volume and tuning knobs on the dashboard have been removed. All versions now have a built-in wireless smartphone charging station.

#7. 2022 Subaru BRZ

Best Sports Car Under 40K
  • Price: $ 28,990
  • Engine: 2.4 L Premium Unleaded H-4
  • Horsepower: 228 hp
  • Transmission: 6-Speed automatic transmission
  • Fuel Efficiency: 21mpg in the city and 30 mpg on the highway
  • Length: 167.9 inches
  • Width: 69.9 inches
  • Height: 51.6 inches

The 2022 Subaru BRZ remains a proper sports vehicle for everyone, prioritizing affordability and lightweight agility above high horsepower and high-priced poshness. Subaru’s all-wheel-drive portfolio is incomplete without the revamped rear-drive coupe. The Toyota 86’s mechanical twin, the Toyota 86, will get the same treatment as the best sports cars under $40,000. The BRZ now has a 228-horsepower naturally aspirated flat-four engine, which solves one of our major issues. When combined with a lower center of gravity and a featherweight curb weight, this insistently designed 2+2 hatchback is set up to give the fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants sensation that distinguishes all great sports cars. With a new interior design that incorporates current technology while maintaining the realism of its predecessor, the 2022 BRZ outperforms other cheap sports cars such as the Mazda MX-5 Miata, earning a 10Best nomination and a position on our Editors’ Choice list.

Also Check: 2022 Subaru Outback vs. Subaru Forester vs. Subaru Crosstrek

Subaru’s second generation of lightweight sports vehicles will debut with the 2022 BRZ. Not only does the coupe sit around 0.5 inches lower and spread approximately 1 inch longer than previously, but its exterior is also more distinct. Its inside has been rebuilt to include more technology without losing functionality. Additionally, driving fans will like the addition of a new 2.4-liter flat-four engine that is more powerful than the 2.0-liter engine it replaces.

#8. 2022 Toyota GR86

Sports Car Under 40K
  • Price: $ 28,725
  • Engine: 2.4 L Premium Unleaded H-4
  • Horsepower: 228 hp
  • Transmission: 6-Speed automatic transmission
  • Fuel Efficiency: 21 mpg in the city and 31 mpg on the highway
  • Length: 167.9 inches
  • Width: 69.9 inches
  • Height: 51.6 inches

The second-generation Toyota GR86 is entirely new for the 2022 model year. It retains the first-generation car’s rear-wheel-drive configuration. The 2022 GR86, developed in cooperation with the Subaru BRZ, will be powered by a horizontally opposed four-cylinder engine with a six-speed manual gearbox as standard is the fastest cars under 40k. Toyota has addressed our primary criticism of the previous model by increasing the GR86’s horsepower for 2022. The new model is powered by a 2.4-liter horizontally opposed four-cylinder engine producing 228 horsepower, a 23-horsepower increase over the old model’s 2.0-liter mill. As a result, you get an excellent driving experience at an affordable price. This combination earns it a position on our 10Best and Editors’ Choice lists.

After missing the 2021 model year, Toyota will reintroduce the GR86 as a 2022 model after a complete overhaul.

#9. 2022 BMW 2 Series

Best Sports Car Under 40K
  • Price: $37,345
  • Engine: 2.0 L Intercooled Turbo Premium Unleaded I-4
  • Horsepower: 255 hp
  • Transmission: 8-Speed automatic transmission
  • Fuel Efficiency: 26 mpg in the city and 35 mpg on the highway
  • Length: 179 inches
  • Width: 72.4 inches
  • Height: 54.8 inches

BMW enhances the satisfaction of its entry-level two-door sedan with the 2022 BMW 2-series. We even included it on our list of Editors’ Choices. It is still available with rear-wheel drive or all-wheel drive, and turbocharged engine choices include a 255-horsepower four-cylinder engine (230i versions) and a 382-horsepower straight-six (M240i). Both the convertible body type and manual gearbox are no longer available. Nonetheless, the new two coupes are enjoyable to drive and arguably more composed on the road in the best sports cars under $40k. While the exterior is more distinctive and the inside is more contemporary, the rear seat is smaller than its predecessor. The 2022 2-series comes up to those expectations as the successor of one of BMW’s most cheap and rewarding automobiles.

The ’22 2-series is a new version of one of BMW’s most enjoyable cars. While we’re pleased to learn that rear-wheel-drive remains standard, the drop-top option has been discontinued. Thankfully, the M2 coupe will return even faster, maybe with a manual transmission.

#10. 2022 Ford Mustang

Best Sports Car Under 40K
  • Price: $ 28,400
  • Engine: 2.3 L Intercooled Turbo Premium Unleaded I-4
  • Horsepower: 310 Hp
  • Transmission: 6-Speed manual transmission
  • Fuel Efficiency: 21 mpg in the city and 29 mpg on the highway
  • Length: 188.3 inches
  • Width: 75.4 inches
  • Height: 54.4 inches

Whether for top-down excursions down the Sunset Strip or track time at Lime Rock, there’s a 2022 Ford Mustang to suit almost every lifestyle and personality. It may be heavily customized with various aesthetic packages, noteworthy performance enhancement options, and coupe or convertible body configurations is the best new sports car under $40k. Power is provided by a fast turbo four-cylinder engine or a massive 5.0-liter V-8; both engines are mated to the rear wheels through an exciting manual gearbox or a fantastic 10-speed automatic transmission. While all versions are enjoyable to drive, Ford provides a variety of optional packages, culminating in the track-focused Mach 1. Even the most aggressive Mustang (except the 760-horsepower Shelby GT500) is a daily driver. It boasts a roomier rear seat and superior outward visibility than the Chevy Camaro. When it comes to pony cars, the 2022 Mustang is unmatched, which is why it makes our Editors’ Choice list.

Ford is expanding the available aesthetic options for the Mustang in 2022 to distinguish the beloved horse better. A new all-white special edition package dubbed the Ice White Edition is now available for the Mustang Mach-E EV. It features white emblems, interior elements, paint, and wheels. Additionally, the pony car gets a Stealth Edition and the California Special returns for the GT’s V-8 engine. The latter has a distinctive black grille, a rear fender scoop, and other cosmetic and interior details. The Stealth Edition is offered on the four-cylinder EcoBoost Premium model. It includes 19-inch wheels, an abundance of black features both inside and out, and transparent taillight lenses. Regrettably, the optional V-8 in the Mustang loses ten horsepower and ten pound-feet of torque in all applications.

Conclusion

Automobile purchasing has become more difficult in the modern period, with increasing costs and diminishing supplies requiring prospective purchasers to reconsider their options or modify their expectations. With the average transaction price above $40,000, it’s critical to maximize your investment, but that doesn’t mean you can’t acquire a vehicle that’s enjoyable to drive. Here are our favorites for affordable automobiles around $40,000.

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