For some people, the need for speed is as visceral as the hunger for sustenance. But not everyone has the budget to get a high-performance vehicle. Not to worry, because we've rounded up 10 fast affordable cars — each with a starting price south of $30,000. Granted, these 10 thrill machines aren’t the brawniest in terms of horsepower, and they won’t match traditional muscle and sports cars in terms of straight-line acceleration. But they possess the speed, size, and driving dynamics to make zooming through S-curves and ripping down curvy canyon roads plenty of fun.
Some of our picks are based on more basic machines, but they have performance enhancements to set them apart from the regular version of the vehicle. Others are true driver’s cars right out of the box. And to our great surprise, all of them offer a row-'em-yourself gearbox. Even if a high-powered, genuinely fast car may not be in the cards for you right now, if you're seeking speed on a budget, you should be quite happy with one of these 10 fast affordable cars. We list them on the pages that follow in alphabetical order, and prices do not include destination charges.