10 Cheap Sports Cars That Can Outrun A Mustang GT

10 Cheap Sports Cars That Can Outrun A Mustang GT

The Ford Mustang GT has rightfully forged a reputation as one of the most versatile sports cars you can buy. It looks brilliant, drives well and at a starting cost of just over $27,000 for a 2022 Ford Mustang, few options offer you more bang for your buck than the legendary pony.

But what if you wanted to go faster for even less? What if you were after a cheap and reliable sports car for 2023 that cost less than $27k, and provided more power than the 450-hp on tap with a Mustang? What are the best options for you?

The reality is that you won’t find many options that offer more speed outright, but rather, you need to find a good host car to add a few aftermarket parts to turn into a real street demon. So, here are 10 cars that have the most potential in our opinion.



10 Mitsubishi 3000GT ($17,000)

1991 Mitsubishi 3000gt vr4 twin
Via: Mecum Auctions

A car that certainly has its critics, but at HotCars, we believe the Mitsubishi 3000GT VR4 is one of the best used sports car bargains out there on the market. Right off the bat, you’ve got close to 300 hp and a 0-60mph time of around five seconds, making it a great building block upon which to create a Mustang competitor.

With prices for a used 1999 Mitsubishi 3000GT starting from $17,000, you’ve still got over $10,000 to apply various upgrades to it to both increase its power and overall performance. One key area that you’ll want to address is its weight since it comes in at between 3,100 and 3,700 pounds depending on the spec. Before long, though, you’ll have a genuine road racer.

9 Chevrolet Camaro SS ($16,000)

2012 Chevrolet Camaro SS
Via: Chevrolet

It’s hard to believe that used 2012 Chevrolet Camaro SS Coupe examples are going for between $14,500 and $16,500 right now, given the amount of car you’re getting in return. A max standard output of 426 hp makes it a mighty go-to option for Mustang slaying, and a 0-60mph time of 4.4 seconds will also be music to the ears of wood-be buyers.

The car has also aged beautifully, and the mini aero kit that’s fitted around the SS models gives it an aggressive edge that a standard Mustang GT can’t match. There are plenty of things that we love about the Chevrolet Camaro SS, and given the price point you can pick one up for these days, we’d be surprised if you didn’t either.

8 Nissan 370Z ($18,000)

Via: Edmunds

A severely underrated sports car of the 2010s is the Nissan 370Z. It may not look particularly thrilling – we’d even go as far as saying it’s a bit of a Frankenstein – but you can’t deny the performance provided by its brilliant 3.7-liter V6 engine. It’s the main reason we think the Nissan 370Z is one of the best bang-for-your-buck sports cars on the market.

A rear-wheel-drive bucket of fun that pushes out 332 hp at around 7,000rpm, examples of a used 2013 Nissan 370Z can be had for as low as $18,000. It’s also extremely reliable, and that motor is more than happy to be fed with more power, allowing it to hit 0-60mph in a sub-five-second time. It’s also a much more responsive car than the Mustang, so what’s not to like?

Related: 10 Fastest Sports Cars From Regular Car Brands

7 Jaguar XK ($19,000)

Via: Wikimedia Commons

It looked good when it first entered the market almost 15 years ago, but time has only encrusted the XK with even more beauty. The full-fat 5.0-liter V8 is what you want here, because that body paired with that soundtrack equates to nothing short of a masterpiece. Some of the best features of the Jaguar XK also revolve around its gorgeous interior.

So if you choose to buy a used 2010 Jaguar XK – and we believe that’s the model year to go for because it strikes a balance between pricing and updates – you’ll own a car that looks as special as anything out there, drives and sounds as good as any Mustang GT can, and adds a touch of British class to any environment it encounters. Lovely, lovely thing.

6 Subaru Impreza WRX STI GJ/GP ($19,000)

Bucky Lasek Subaru WRX STI
Via: Subaru

There’s not a lot of difference between the examples found at either lifecycle end of the GJ/GP era Impreza’s fastest guise, so we’d opt for a used 2015 Subaru WRX. There’s not a lot to be said here that isn’t common knowledge to gearheads already: the WRX STI is a hugely quick car that can literally go anywhere.

Its 305 hp and 4.6-second 0-60mph time is impressive enough, but adding a bigger turbo and tinkering further with the engine makes the Impreza a driving experience that’s borderline perfect. It’s built its reputation up over the years, and Subaru’s feeble attempts to make it a boring hatch has never worked. The legend always finds a way back, and that’s why the Subaru WRX STI is a truly special JDM.

5 Chevrolet Corvette C6 Z06 ($19,000)

Front 3/4 view of the C6 Z06 Corvette
Via: Chevrolet

The 2006-2013 Chevrolet Corvette C6 Z06 is pretty much known to gearheads as one of the fastest cheap sports cars you can buy right now, so it’s impossible to leave it out of this list. A C6 Corvette could also potentially be the best car you can purchase for the money, when all factors are considered.

The earliest models are going for less than $19,000 right now, but opting for a used 2009 Chevrolet Corvette would be the sweet spot. It serves up 430 hp from its 6.2-liter V8, and is capable of a 0-60mph sprint in 4.2 seconds (level with the current Mustang GT). It also leaves you with a bit of change to make a few alterations under the hood, pushing it beyond the reach of its competitor.

Related: 10 Sports Cars That Can Outlast Any Mileage Limit

4 BMW M6 E63/64 ($20,000)

Blue BMW M6 convertible parked
Via: Bring A Trailer

There are many that would root against us on this call, and say that gearheads should avoid the E63 BMW M6 at all costs. But where’s the sense of adventure in that? It’s one of the few V10-powered sports cars you can comfortably buy within this sort of price range, and the experience offered by that engine alone is worth the money.

A used 2010 BMW M6, which is the last model year for this generation, can be had for under $20,000 if you’re lucky. In return, you get 500 hp, a 0-60mph time of 4.1 seconds (quicker than the Mustang GT), and a soundtrack to die for. It sounds like a slightly drunk F1 car at low revs, but at its top-end high of 7,750rpm, it has the potential to shatter windows and create its own black hole.

3 Audi TT RS MK2 ($21,000)

Dolphin gray Audi TT RS
Via: Bring A Trailer

Used 2012 Audi TT RS Quattro Coupes are climbing in price right now, and the sole reason for that is the flexible skill set on offer. It’s well-equipped, returns a more than decent MPG, and when the mood takes you along a back road and up a mountain, few miniature sports cars can tackle the hairpins and crests the way a TT RS can.

The standard car alone could probably chase and leave behind a current Mustang GT with ease on a windy road, but a few dollars under the bonnet will mean the big Ford will see the Audi speed off into the distance. It may not have had the easiest start to its life, but its appreciating market value only proves why gearheads should give the Audi TT RS a second chance.

2 Mercedes-AMG C63 Coupe W204 ($22,000)

Mercedes C63 AMG Coupe Facelift Front Quarter Mars Red
Via: Mercedes-Benz

There are quicker cars on this list, and certainly better-handling ones, but you cannot ignore the drama and pantomime you’d experience on a daily basis if you own a used 2012 Mercedes-Benz C-Class C 63 AMG coupe. It’s as visceral as it’s possible to be with 451 hp, and a 4.4-second 0-60mph sprint isn’t far off a modern Mustang GT.

Notorious build quality and a well stocked interior are also major plus points for the 2008-2015 Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG, so you can understand why we at HotCars are huge advocates for it. Any money you do save on buying one of these over a Mustang will also likely be spent on frequently changing tires, since burnouts are a bit part of the C63’s personality.

Related: 10 Cheap Sports Cars For Performance And Comfort

1 Porsche Boxster 987.1 ($23,000)

The front of a red 987 Boxster
Via: Porsche

Not only is a used 2009 Porsche Boxster 987.1 among the more expensive cars on this list, but it’s also one of the least powerful. Depending on the spec, you’ll get between 255 and 310 horsepower. Nor are they particularly well-known for their tuning potential, and unlike most of the cars on this list, it only has two seats.

So why, then, have we included it on this list? It’s unlikely to beat the Mustang GT in a sprint, but in every other driving dynamic, the 2009 Porsche Boxster has the GT cornered. Its lighting fast steering rack, high-revving 2.9-liter six-cylinder, and rear-wheel-drive system make it a Porsche that’s truly deserving of the badge. If you want fast, look elsewhere on this list. But if you want a true driver’s high, you’d put your money right here.