Here is the criteria for vehicles making this list of the 8-best used high performance sports cars available for under $20K:
- They must be readily available in the continental U.S.
- They must be a 2000 model or later.
- They must be able to achieve 0 to 60 mph in 6.5-seconds or less.
- Of course, they must be available for $20k OR LESS.
1997 – 2004 Chevrolet Corvette C5
The Chevrolet Corvette is the stuff of little car enthusiast’s dreams. The truth is that this dream can become a reality for $20K or less. It comes in coupe and convertible variations and has a big old honking V8 engine with your choice of an automatic or manual transmission.
0 to 60 times:
- 1998 Corvette: 4.8 seconds.
- 2004 Corvette Z06: 4.2 seconds
2003-2011 Ford Mustang GT
The Ford Mustang is often credited with being the first muscle car. Whatever your opinion, you can’t argue that this particular batch of Mustang GTs has a ton of curb appeal and they are more fun to drive than a barrel of monkeys. The last stock Mustang GT that I tested was a 2003 and it bolted from 0 to 60 mph in only 5.6-seconds.
2009 Dodge Challenger R/T
Another retro-muscle car, the Challenger is loaded with aesthetic appeal and plenty of muscle. A giant 57-liter HEMI provides the muscle and the car is available with either a manual or automatic transmission. This car looks low, mean, and muscular and looks ain’t deceiving. It can rocket from 0 to 60 mph in 6.2-seconds.
2004 – 2010 Subaru Impreza WRX STi
This imported sports car was available as a coupe in earlier model (1995 – 2000) versions but later models were offered only as a sedan . At any rate, it is equipped with a turbocharged 4-cylinder that really makes the hay. The 2008 Impreza WRX STi can achieve 0 to 60 mph in just 4.8 seconds.
2000 – 2008 Honda S2000
As the first roadster on the list, the Honda S2000 is more than capable of hanging in there on the curviest of roads. With a long front end and an athletic stance, the S2000 provides smooth and ample performance for less than $20K. The S2000 can blast from 0 to 60 mph in 5.8 seconds.
2002 – 2008 Nissan 350Z
Like the flagship model GT-R, the Nissan 350z uses the legendary 3.5-liter VQ engine. This is also a retro-car of sorts as it pays homage to the iconic 240, 280, and 300 Z-Cars of old. The cabin is a little cramped and there is not a lot of room for cargo but this thing will corner like it is on rails and accelerate like a demon (when equipped with the manual transmission). The 350Z is capable of reaching 0 to 60 mph in 5.5 seconds.
2010 – 2012 Chevrolet Camaro
The Camaro has been called “the poor man’s Corvette” but it has recently become a performer in its own right. With a 300+ horsepower base package V6 engine and a low center of gravity, the Camaro is as much of a road car as it is a muscle car. The 0 to 60 time, with a V6 engine and manual transmission is 4.9 seconds.
2006 – 2011 Dodge Charger R/T
This is the sedan-sister of the Challenger R/T. If you like your high performance with four-doors, this is the hot rod for you. It also comes with the 370hp 5.7-liter HEMI engine and this is a family car that really “pick ‘em up and put ‘em down.” 0 to 60 is accomplished in 5.2-seconds.