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Old 05-08-2013, 12:52 PM   #1
warpath
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Default Cheap Performance: The 10 Most Powerful Vehicles Under $25,000

Performance is such a subjective word. Can we think of others?

Leftlane: http://www.leftlanenews.com/cheap-pe...der-25000.html



Quote:
Budget power. It's something we, as car guys and gals, have sought since the dawn of the automobile.

Today, cars are more powerful than ever before – but they're also more expensive. Naturally, price and performance are intrinsically linked. You won't find much horsepower for $15,000.



That said, there's still a lot of performance to be found for just $10,000 more, which is about $5,000 less than the average new car last year. Value shoppers, here's your list of the 10 most powerful vehicles under $25,000.

We scanned our comprehensive buyer's guide to come up with the 10 most powerful new cars you'll find for under $25,000 – including the mandatory (but rarely advertised) destination charge that covers shipping and handling of your new car to a dealership. We looked only at horsepower, but a true measure of performance could also include torque, weight, transmission type and gearing. Finally, we also avoided looking at full-size vans since they're bought almost exclusively by commercial users.

To qualify for our list, the sub-$25,000 cars needed to be available to purchase today for under $25,000 – not including any haggling a good negotiator might be able to do.

Given our price constraints, not all of these vehicles are the epitome of performance – but there's no denying that they all offer a lot of power for the money.

The 10 Most Powerful Vehicles Under $25,000
Ram Tradesman 4x2 – 395 horsepower - $24,945
Consisting of not much more than four wheels and a big V8 Hemi engine, the Ram Tradesman is an unlikely performance vehicle. But it's also undeniably cheap speed, especially if you pony up the extra $50 for a 3.92 rear axle ratio (which will help off-the-line performance at the expense of fuel economy). Ram's new eight-speed automatic is available, but it's a $500 budget buster.

Chevrolet Camaro 1LS – 323 horsepower - $24,245
Camaros have always been about performance, and the latest model hardly disappoints. Although it's heavier and pricier than its Ford Mustang competitor, Camaro is fresh-looking and it has been blessed with a terrific 3.6-liter V6. Chevrolet doesn't seem to be content with sitting still since it continues to update the base Camaro V6 on an almost annual basis.

Ford Mustang V6 – 305 horsepower - $22,995
The Camaro's arch rival might have less standard horsepower, but it's cheaper and it's lighter – two things that add up to success in our eyes. After years of underwhelming base engines, the Mustang gained a new 3.7-liter V6 a few years ago that transformed this “secretary's car” - as Carroll Shelby once famously quipped – into a serious performance machine on its own. Notably, Ford offers various suspensions on the Mustang, allowing buyers to dial in the kind of corner carving that suits their lifestyle best.

Ford F-150 XL 4x2 – 302 horsepower - $24,950
Though it might not offer quite the same performance value proposition as the Ram Tradesman, there's still a lot to like about the F-150 – even in work-oriented XL trim. Sharing the same 3.7-liter V6 engine as the Ford Mustang, the F-150 is rated at an impressive 23 mpg on the highway despite being able to haul nearly as much as V8-powered trucks could about a decade ago.

Dodge Grand Caravan American Value Package – 283 horsepower - $20,990
A minivan? You better believe it. The Dodge Grand Caravan gained Chrysler's stellar 3.6-liter V6 engine a few years ago and it never looked back. Remarkably fleet of foot, the Grand Caravan is also shockingly inexpensive when configured with the family-oriented American Value Package. Don't expect a lot of luxuries, but the base model Grand Caravan is still a heck of a value for hauling people – and butt.

Dodge Avenger SE V6 – 283 horsepower - $22,690
Dodge's Avenger offers a tremendous amount of old-school value for the money. It's the last V6-powered American midsize sedan (rivals all offer turbocharged four-cylinders with nowhere near this kind of power at this price point). Of course, just because you can doesn't mean you should. The Avenger remains a particularly dated design, even if it was given a substantial update for 2011.

Mazda Mazdaspeed3 – 263 horsepower - $24,995
Hold onto that steering wheel! The Mazdaspeed3 sends a whole lot of turbocharged power to its front wheels, which results in a fair amount of torque steer (pulling of the wheel in one direction under hard acceleration). Still, the Mazdaspeed3 is a hoot to drive thanks to its sublime steering, “just right” firm ride quality and nimble chassis. It might not be the most polished pocket rocket, but there's still plenty to love about it.

Nissan Xterra X 2WD – 261 horsepower - $23,785
OK, so the Xterra is designed to be an off roader... you really should opt for the 4x4 model. But if you're a sun belter just looking for rugged style, Nissan's old school SUV might be just the ticket. It's not sophisticated in the least, but the Xterra still includes a powerful 4.0-liter V6 engine that motivates this rig with some serious authority.

Nissan Frontier SV V6 – 261 horsepower - $24,735
Sharing the Xterra's V6 (and much of its frame), the Frontier is probably worth the extra $1,000 for most buyers. The compact pickup market has been whittled down to just Nissan and Toyota (although General Motors will be back), which means there's not a lot of competition. That said, we still really like the simple, back-to-basics Frontier, which offers a nimble feel for not too many clams. But another $250 nets you a Ram with a V8...

Ford Focus ST – 252 horsepower - $24,495
Rounding out our list is Ford's new hot hatch, the Euro-engineered Focus ST. Among the most fun ways to spend $25,000, it delivers a lot of powertrain and suspension sophistication for the money. We wish some of that translated into a nicer interior, but keep your eyes focused on the twisty road ahead of you and you'll find few more thrilling ways to spend less than $25,000 than the Focus ST.
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Old 05-08-2013, 01:05 PM   #2
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That's the worst list I've ever seen.
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Old 05-08-2013, 01:11 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Vostok 7 View Post
That's the worst list I've ever seen.
Yeah, it's a pretty disingenious, pointless list.
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Old 05-08-2013, 01:53 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by FaastLegacy View Post
Yeah, it's a pretty disingenious, pointless list.
But, but, they scanned their "comprehensive buyer's guide"! They even included "the mandatory (but rarely advertised) destination charge". I say it's research of highest calibre.

Yeah, it's pretty pointless.
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Old 05-08-2013, 02:18 PM   #5
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Turbo Genesis doesn't make the $25k cut anymore?

How coudl you use words like "performance" in there, in that context, and include pickups and SUVs? They need power because they weigh two tons...
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Old 05-08-2013, 02:27 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by SoapBox View Post
Turbo Genesis doesn't make the $25k cut anymore?

How coudl you use words like "performance" in there, in that context, and include pickups and SUVs? They need power because they weigh two tons...
Because 'murrica.

Half the list has no business being on the list I mean, Dodge Avenger? Who are we kidding?
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Old 05-08-2013, 02:31 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by SoapBox View Post
Turbo Genesis doesn't make the $25k cut anymore?

How coudl you use words like "performance" in there, in that context, and include pickups and SUVs? They need power because they weigh two tons...
you forgot yo mention the minivan


A minivan!!
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Old 05-08-2013, 03:25 PM   #8
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Just goes to show how abysmal the affordable new car segment is.

Nearly 25K for a base 4x2 truck, and that is what counts several times in the list as the most powerful vehicles for the price?

Ridiculous.
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Old 05-08-2013, 03:25 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by vapore0n View Post
you forgot yo mention the minivan


A minivan!!
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Old 05-08-2013, 04:09 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by vapore0n View Post
you forgot yo mention the minivan


A minivan!!


A MINIVAN!

A Minivan in my power cars list, Gary!
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Old 05-08-2013, 04:46 PM   #11
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Think the article would have been just fine if they said "The most powerful new vehicles under $25K" and left it at that.

In other news though, most have more power than most sports cars of the 90's.
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Old 05-08-2013, 05:05 PM   #12
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In other news though, most have more power than most sports cars of the 90's.
All have more power than my BRZ!
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Old 05-08-2013, 05:19 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by SoapBox View Post
Turbo Genesis doesn't make the $25k cut anymore?
2013 base model no options is over $25k with destination... by like $150.
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Old 05-08-2013, 05:28 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by HipToBeSquare View Post
Just goes to show how abysmal the affordable new car segment is.

Nearly 25K for a base 4x2 truck, and that is what counts several times in the list as the most powerful vehicles for the price?

Ridiculous.
They left off the Nissan Frontier 4x4, which is $25,700 but with 1700 cash on the hood. It just goes to show what happens if you hold one variable to be the only one that matters and ignore everything else. You end up with a pretty crappy car (or truck or minivan).
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Old 05-08-2013, 05:35 PM   #15
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No jeep wrangler?

Worst list ever.
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Old 05-08-2013, 06:08 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SoapBox View Post
Turbo Genesis doesn't make the $25k cut anymore?

How coudl you use words like "performance" in there, in that context, and include pickups and SUVs? They need power because they weigh two tons...
Right. Which is why the criterion for this list should have been, obviously, power-to-weight ratio and not power alone.
But, I guess the person responsible for this gem didn't bother to think 2 seconds before writing this nonsensical "article". Ridiculous .
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Old 05-08-2013, 08:22 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by neg_matnik View Post
Right. Which is why the criterion for this list should have been, obviously, power-to-weight ratio and not power alone.
But, I guess the person responsible for this gem didn't bother to think 2 seconds before writing this nonsensical "article". Ridiculous .

His deadline was approaching and he didn't have anything else. That's why he did the internet search and threw something together.
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Old 05-08-2013, 09:25 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by JustyWRC View Post
His deadline was approaching and he didn't have anything else. That's why he did the internet search and threw something together.
The irony is that he does bring up weight when talking about Mustang vs Camaro.
But, it seems like weight only affect these two; weight does not apply to other vehicles on that "list" .
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Old 05-08-2013, 11:28 PM   #19
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The article is referring to the engine performance. They are implicating that these high powered vehicles are available for not much money. The Ram isn't fast, but your still getting 395HP for under $25k.

"Performance" doesn't necessarily mean 0-60 times, nurburgring times, 1/4 mile times.

Engine output performance.
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Old 05-09-2013, 12:23 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by 4wdwrx View Post
The article is referring to the engine performance. They are implicating that these high powered vehicles are available for not much money. The Ram isn't fast, but your still getting 395HP for under $25k.

"Performance" doesn't necessarily mean 0-60 times, nurburgring times, 1/4 mile times.

Engine output performance.
The point everyone's making here is, who cares about the ten most powerful vehicles under $25,000 if they're all slow SUV/pickups?

Nobody.
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Old 05-09-2013, 10:14 AM   #21
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No jeep wrangler?

Worst list ever.
That's what I was going to say.
285hp, $22,700 base MSRP.
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Old 05-09-2013, 10:17 AM   #22
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That's what I was going to say.
285hp, $22,700 base MSRP.
Base Price $25,695

http://www.leftlanenews.com/new-car-...imited/prices/

edit - whoops Wrong Model

Corrected:
Basic Specs
Base Price $22,195
Destination Charge $995.00
Drivetrain All Wheel Drive
Curb Weight (lbs) 3760
City (MPG) 17
Hwy (MPG) 21
Horsepower 285@6400
Torque (lb-ft) 260@4800
Wheelbase 95.4
Length (in.) 152.8
Width (in.) 73.7
Height (in.) 70.9

http://www.leftlanenews.com/new-car-...angler/prices/
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Old 05-09-2013, 11:59 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 4wdwrx View Post
The article is referring to the engine performance. They are implicating that these high powered vehicles are available for not much money. The Ram isn't fast, but your still getting 395HP for under $25k.

"Performance" doesn't necessarily mean 0-60 times, nurburgring times, 1/4 mile times.

Engine output performance.
And that point we're trying to get across is that it's a pointless list.

No one says, "I'm going to buy the most power for the least money, regardless of what kind of vehicle it is" when they go out to buy a car. Maybe if they used performance based vehicles and went from there, it might have a bit more relevance.
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Old 05-09-2013, 12:14 PM   #24
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I'm pretty sure some Dodge Truck buyers say exactly that before they sign for a pickup with horrible driving dynamics, power delivery, reliability and interior.. otherwise why would they buy one?
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