Want a quick car that won’t break the bank? Once of these babies will do the trick!

LISTEN 11:37

A car’s performance is often a determining factor when on the market for one, especially if you are a car enthusiast. A good way to get an idea of a car’s performance is the time it takes to hit 60 mph (97 km/h) from a standstill. In general, performance cars are expensive, which is why the second-hand market might be a good place to look for one. The below-listed cars are quite different and some of the entries, quite surprising. That said, they can all be yours for less than $10,000.

Mitsubishi Eclipse 3.8 (2005-2011)

The Quickest 0-60 MPH Cars Under $10,000 High Resolution Exterior
- image 378305

Mitsubishi cars are a pale shadow of what they once were and it seems their glory days are over. The Eclipse was one of those cars, which started out quite well and even established a fan base. This was all shattered with the 1999-2002 Eclipse 3G. The 2005-2011 fourth-generation was a substantial improvement, but the damage was already done. The 3.8-liter SOHC V-6 develops 265 horsepower and 263 pound-feet (355 Nm), which allows the car to hit 60 mph in around 5.8 seconds on its way to 158 mph (255 km/h), despite being front-wheel-drive with an open differential. The gearbox was either a six-speed manual or a less-desirable five-speed automatic. You can get a good one for as little as $5,000.

Mitsubishi Eclipse 3.8 (2005-2011) specifications
Engine 3.8-liter SOHC V-6
Horsepower 265 HP
Torque 263 LB-FT
0 to 60 mph 5.8 seconds
Top Speed 158 mph

Read our full review on the Mitsubishi Eclipse 3.8 (2005-2011)

Ford Mustang (2011-2014)

The Quickest 0-60 MPH Cars Under $10,000
- image 335762

Yes, currently you can get a 2013 Mustang for less than $10,000. We are talking about the later S-197-generation, which has the new “Cyclone” 3.7-liter V-6. It’s not the V-8, but at least it’s not the old V-6, which has 100 horsepower less, despite being bigger. The “Cyclone” has often been referred to as the “American VQ” and for a good reason. In addition to being a reliable unit, it provides decent performance as well. It produces a stout 305 horsepower and 280 pound-feet (379 Nm). This is enough to propel the Mustang to 60 mph in around 5.1 seconds. Unlike the previous entry, power goes to the rear wheels. The gearbox is either a six-speed manual or an automatic with the same number of gears.

Ford Mustang (2011-2014) specifications
Engine 3.7-liter V-6
Horsepower 305 HP
Torque 280 LB-FT
0 to 60 mph 5.1 seconds

Read our full review on the Ford Mustang (2011-2014)

Ford Mustang GT (2005-2011)

2005 - 2013 Ford Mustang High Resolution Exterior
- image 426209
2006 Ford Mustang

If you absolutely need to have a V-8-powered Mustang, things get even more affordable. For as little as $6,000, you can get an early S-197-generation with the 4.6-liter Modular V-8. Earlier versions produce 296 horsepower and 320 pound-feet (434 Nm). After 2010, the horsepower figure goes up to 316, thanks to a reworked intake system. If you get it right, 60 mph can be dealt with in 5.0 seconds. However, opting for an earlier S-197 Mustang means you are willing to sacrifice some of the refinement. You also get a five-speed manual, which is one gear less than post-2011 Mustangs. At 151 mph (240 km/h), the GT is actually slower than the newer V-6 version.

Ford Mustang GT (2005-2011) specifications
Engine 4.6-liter Modular V-8
Horsepower 296 HP
Torque 320 LB-FT
0 to 60 mph 5.0 seconds
Top Speed 151 mph

Read our full review on the Ford Mustang GT (2005-2011)

Hyundai Genesis Coupe (2009-2012)

2011 Hyundai Genesis Coupe GT Exterior
- image 411507

About 10 years ago, you never would have thought a Korean car would make such as a list. Nowadays, they have a proper rear-wheel-drive coupe that can be had for as little as $7,500. You also have engine options. The base 2.0-liter produces 213 horsepower and 223 pound-feet (302 Nm), while the naturally-aspirated 3.8-liter V-6 makes 306 horsepower and 266 pound-feet (361 Nm). The sprint to 60 mph is dealt with in 5.5 and 6.0 seconds respectively. If you are lucky, you might even find a post-facelift model, from 2012-onwards. They are even quicker as power for the 2.0-liter turbo-four goes up to 275 horsepower and 275 pound-feet (373 Nm), while the 3.8-liter now gets 348 horsepower and 295 pound-feet (400 Nm). The 0-60 mph times are 5.8 and 4.8 seconds respectively.

Hyundai Genesis (2009-2012) specifications
Engine 2.0-liter four-cylinder naturally-aspirated 3.8-liter V-6 2.0-liter turbo-four 3.8-liter V-6
Horsepower 213 HP 306 HP 275 HP 348 HP
Torque 223 LB-FT 266 LB-FT 275 LB-FT 295 LB-FT
0 to 60 mph 5.5 seconds 6.0 seconds 5.8 seconds 4.8 seconds

Read our full review on the Hyundai Genesis

BMW Z4 (2002-2008)

2007 BMW Z4 Coupe
- image 35690

The E85 Z4 came in 2002, in order to replace the already aging Z3. Just like its predecessor, it was put together using existing parts from BMW’s parts bin. The E85 was not a perfect car and, to an extent, lacked the finish of cars like the 350Z. Still, it had a potent 3.0-liter naturally-aspirated inline-six, which produced 265 horsepower and 232 pound-feet (315 Nm), which went to the rear wheels through a six-speed manual. Because the Z4 is a light car, the sprint to 60 mph is achieved in 5.4 seconds, on the way to 155 mph (250 km/h). You can get a well-sorted 3.0 Si for around $7,500.

BMW Z-4 (2002-2008) specifications
Engine 3.0-liter naturally-aspirated inline-six
Horsepower 265 HP
Torque 232 LB-FT
0 to 60 mph 5.4 seconds
Top Speed 155 mph

Read our full review on BMW Z-4

Nissan 350-Z (2002-2009)

The Quickest 0-60 MPH Cars Under $10,000
- image 126199

You’ve been waiting for this one long enough. The 350Z should be one of your first choices if you’re looking for an affordable fast car, for a number of reasons. You get a 3.5-liter naturally-aspirated V-6 with 287 to 313 horsepower and up to 275 pound-feet (373 Nm). This allows for a 0-60 mph (97 km/h) sprint in around 5.1 seconds, on its way to an electronically-limited top speed of 155 mph (250 km/h). You can get a later Z33 with the higher-revving VQ35HR engine for around $7,600. Of course, power goes to the rear wheels, through a six-speed manual. There is also a less-desirable automatic and a soft-top roadster version, which is heavier and less rigid.

Nissan 350-Z (2002-2009) specifications
Engine 3.5-liter naturally-aspirated V-6
Horsepower 287 HP / 313 HP
Torque 275 LB-FT
0 to 60 mph 5.1 seconds
Top Speed 155 mph

Read our full review on the Nissan 350-Z

BMW 335i (2005-2012)

The Quickest 0-60 MPH Cars Under $10,000 Exterior
- image 344058

The E90-generation of the 3-series is considered by some to be the start of BMW’s downfall in terms of quality. That being said, we cannot argue that some of the engines it came with are quite potent. We are not talking about the M3 version, which essentially has a version of the M5 E60 V-10 with two of its cylinders chopped off. We are talking about the N54-powered BMW 335i, specifically the sedan version since it fits the $10,000 budget. With 305 horsepower and 295 pound-feet (400 Nm), the Bavarian sedan is able to hit 60 mph (97 km/h) in just 5.3 seconds, on its way to a limited 155 mph (250km/h) top speed. For around $8,500 you can get a well-equipped facelift model.

BMW 335i (2005-2012) specifications
Engine 3.0-liter twin-turbocharged straight-six
Horsepower 305 HP
Torque 295 LB-FT
0 to 60 mph 5.3 seconds
Top Speed 155 mph

Read our full review on the BMW 335i

Audi S4 (2004-2008)

2003 - 2005 Audi S4
- image 30357

For many, the Audi S4 is the epitome of a usable performance sedan. It has enough room for four plus luggage, it’s discrete, and has a naturally-aspirated V-8. You also get the Quattro all-wheel-drive system as standard. It might look like a bit of a sleeper, but its 4.2-liter 40-valve naturally-aspirated V-8 produces 344 horsepower and 302 pound-feet (410 Nm), which is enough to deal with 60 mph in 5.3 seconds. Even the RS4 version is considered to be more mildly-mannered than its M3 and C63 AMG rivals, but it’s also the least shouty and most usable of the bunch. So if you want to go fast and fly under the radar, the S4 might be just for you. As with the 335i, expect some of the parts to be a bit more expensive.

Read our full review on the Audi S4

Chevrolet Corvette C4 (1984-1997)

The Quickest 0-60 MPH Cars Under $10,000
- image 968805

Many would argue that the C4 was not the Corvette’s finest hour. It ditched the Coca-Cola bottle design in favor of a more simplistic, shape, typical for the 1980s. The worst thing is they carried on with it until 1997. It’s not all bad though, because you can now get this not so desirable “Vette” for around $9,000. Unfortunately, you’ll probably have to settle for the four-speed automatic, since manuals are quite rare and most won’t fit the budget. Still, you get a 5.7-liter V-8, producing 282 to 300 horsepower and 322 to 340 pound-feet (437-461 Nm). This was enough for a sprint to 60 mph in around 5.5 seconds, which was not too shabby for the 1980s. The C4 could also reach speeds of around 158 mph (255 km/h).

Dodge Challenger R/T (2009-2020)

2009 Dodge Challenger R/T Classic
- image 282306

The last entry just barely fits the budget. Most Challengers under $10,000 have the V-6, but if you look long enough, you will stumble upon the occasional pre-facelift R/T. The 5.7-liter HEMI develops 375 horsepower and 410 pound-feet (556 Nm), which are sent to the rear wheels through a six-speed manual or a five-speed automatic. Despite the car being relatively heavy, 60 mph is dealt with in just 5.1 seconds. Back when it came out, the R/T, also referred to as the small HEMI, offered about 90 percent of the SRT-8’s performance, while costing $11,000 less. Nowadays, it’s still a bargain, since you can pick up a Challenger R/T for around $9,900.

Read our full review on the Dodge Challenger R/T

Dim Angelov
Dim Angelov
Born in 1992, I come from a family of motoring enthusiasts. My passion for cars was awoken at the age of six, when I saw a Lamborghini Diablo SV in a magazine. After high school I earned a master’s degree in marketing and a Master of Arts in Media and Communications. Over the years, I’ve practiced and become skilled in precision driving and to date have test driven more than 250 cars across the globe. Over the years, I’ve picked up basic mechanical knowledge and have even taken part in the restoration of a 1964 Jaguar E-Type and an Alfa Romeo Giulia Sprint. Lately, I’ve taken a fancy to automotive photography, and while modern cars are my primary passion, I also have a love for Asian Martial Arts, swimming, war history, craft beer, historical weapons, and car restoration. In time, I plan my own classic car restoration and hope to earn my racing certificate, after which I expect to establish my own racing team.  Read full bio
About the author
What do you think?
Show Comments
Car Finder: