e Are Our 10 Average Cars With Above-Average Horsepower And Performance - SUV VEHICLE

e Are Our 10 Average Cars With Above-Average Horsepower And Performance

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The performance of a vehicle can be measured in many ways: horsepower, torque, and even power-to-weight ratios. There is no need to cloud the term ‘performance’ with so much confusion though, as horsepower is, and may always be, the main determining factor in a vehicle’s performance.




Following this metric, however, can be flawed at times. Unfiltered lists will see six-digit supercars like Ferraris and McLarens inevitably pop up. Do you have to spend so much money to have a fun vehicle? Absolutely not. You could also look at a list of dependable sports cars that cost less than an average new car, but in this article, we’ve compiled a list of some reasonably affordable average cars that offer above-average performance.

To give you the most up-to-date and accurate information possible, the data used to compile this article was sourced from various manufacturer websites, and other authoritative sources, including Kelley Blue Book, Car and Driver, Road and Track, Bring-A-Trailer, and MotorTrend.

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10 Toyota GR86

228 Horsepower

White 2024 Toyota GR86 Trueno Edition
Toyota


The 2024 Toyota GR86 is an affordable sports car. It does not offer much cargo space or room for passengers, and it can not be used as a family car. All of these compromises allow the GR86 to boast a stellar driving feel and sharp handling.

Every model comes with Toyota’s 2.4-liter flat-four engine that outputs 228 horsepower. Do not be let down by this number, as the GR86 chassis only weighs 2,800 pounds, meaning it can do 0-60 MPH in under six seconds. The cabin is simplistic and to the point, but the built quality is up to standard. While the car does have a second row of seats, the room and accessibility are not great. Toyota’s new 8-inch infotainment screen also makes an appearance on the GR86 with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay.


Performance Specifications

Engine

2.4-liter flat-four

Transmission

Six-speed manual/ automatic

Horsepower

228 hp

Torque

184 lb-ft

Driveline

RWD

0-60 MPH

5.8 seconds

Top Speed

140 MPH

9 Volkswagen Golf GTI

241 Horsepower

2024 white Volkswagen Golf GTI
Volkswagen

Though the new Volkswagen GTI is more expensive than many of the other small-sized entries, it entirely makes up for it in the performance and reliability department. All the new 2024 GTI models now feature a turbocharged engine that outputs 241 horsepower. This is plenty of power to move the GTI chassis from 0-60 MPH in 5.2 seconds, plenty of power for driving in and around town and even on the highway.


It must be noted that the cabin lacks somewhat built quality. In turn, it makes up for that through the generous amount of standard equipment, which includes an 8.2-inch touch screen with Apple CarPlay and AndroidAuto, automatic climate control, and wireless charging. Volkswagen blessed the GTI with 20 cubic feet of cargo room, a magnificent number for what is perceived to be a “smaller” car.

Performance Specifications

Engine

2.0-liter Inline-4

Transmission

7-speed dual-clutch automatic

Horsepower

241hp

Torque

273 lb-ft

Driveline

FWD

0-60 MPH

5.2 seconds

Top Speed

155 MPH


8 Mazda3 2.5 Turbo

250 Horsepower

Mazda3-1 (1) (1)
Mazda

The 2024 Mazda 3 2.5 Turbo was an easy pick for this list. It can be purchased in both sedan and hatchback body styles, making it one of the most well-rounded platforms on the list, even from the base models. Its high-quality cabin is among the most premium and the most upscaled within the price bracket. Also included in the fantastic price are various driver aids that contribute to the Mazda 3’s stellar performance.

While the base engine produces a modest 191 horsepower, the 2.5 Turbo and 2.5 Turbo Premium Plus trims bump that figure up to 250 horsepower, with the addition of a turbocharger. The 2.5 Turbo can only be purchased as a hatchback, but the 2.5 Turbo Premium Plus can be picked up in both body styles.


Note that the turbocharged models produce 250 horsepower only with premium gas: regular fuel allows the models to produce a still-impressive 227 horsepower.

Performance Specifications

Engine

2.5-liter turbocharged inline-four

Transmission

Six-speed automatic

Horsepower

250 hp

Torque

320 lb-ft

Driveline

AWD

0-60 MPH

5.6 seconds

Top Speed

134 MPH

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7 Subaru Legacy Sport

260 Horsepower

Subaru Legacy dynamic
Subaru 

The 2024 Subaru Legacy Sport is the manufacturer’s mid-sized sedan. 2023 sees the model inheriting sharp aesthetic upgrades that especially refresh the vehicle’s front end. A turbocharger has also been equipped on the Legacy, but only for the Sport trims.

The 182-horsepower base engine is said to be underwhelming, especially because of the CVT transmission. The higher trims benefit from a livelier 2.4-liter turbocharged four-cylinder that has 260 horsepower. This engine variant brings the Legacy sedan to life, allowing it to accelerate from 0-60 MPH in 6.5 seconds. Subaru gives its affordable sedan all-wheel drive as standard, allowing the car to be more composed in all types of conditions. The Legacy also features improved suspension, turning the sedan into an above-average car.


Performance Specifications

Engine

2.4-liter flat-four

Transmission

CVT/ 6-speed manual

Horsepower

260 hp

Torque

255 lb-ft

Driveline

AWD

0-60 MPH

5.6 seconds

Top Speed

140 MPH

6 Subaru WRX

271 Horsepower

Blue 2024 Subaru WRX TR
Subaru


Subaru never fails to showcase their rally heritage when it comes to their road-going cars. Though the new Subaru WRX is not a new car, it features the brand’s history while also integrating revolutionary characteristics. The WRX now features noticeably more black plastic cladding, making the exterior of the new model look busy and unnatural.

The whole WRX lineup is powered by a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine that produces 271 horsepower. In typical Subaru fashion, a six-speed manual is offered as standard. Though a CVT can be equipped, the stick transmission is bound to catch the eye of enthusiasts.

Performance Specifications

Engine

2.4-liter flat-four

Transmission

Six-speed manual

Horsepower

271 hp

Torque

258 lb-ft

Driveline

AWD

0-60 MPH

5.5 seconds

Top Speed

140 MPH


5 Kia K5 GT

290 Horsepower

2025 Kia K5 GT front 3/4 action shot driving on the road.
Kia

The K5 model made its first appearance in 2021 and has since held a strong stance in the mid-sized vehicle market.

The model rolls out of the factory with a 180 horsepower engine that can be upgraded to Kia’s 2.5-liter turbo-four that boasts an impressive 290 horsepower. The GT models start at $31,690. It offers plenty of cargo and passenger room, as well as appealing standard features such as blind-spot monitoring, voice recognition, and wireless smartphone integration.


Performance Specifications

Engine

2.5-liter inline-four

Transmission

Eight-speed dual-clutch

Horsepower

290 hp

Torque

312 lb-ft

Driveline

FWD

0-60 MPH

5.2 seconds

Top Speed

155 MPH

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4 Hyundai Sonata N

290 Horsepower

2024 Hyundai Sonata N-Line
Hyundai

The Hyundai Sonata provides a solid ride with 3 engine choices. The first two engines offer 180 and 191 horsepower respectively: while they are respectable numbers, Hyundai knew that customers wouldn’t always settle for these numbers.


The N Line division offers the Sonata, a 2.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder that generates 290 horsepower. Along with this, the N Line upgrade brings about a sportier interior that is dominated by premium materials. Hyundai has also excellently insulated the inside of the Sonata cabin, so wind noise should never be a problem.

Performance Specifications

Engine

2.5-liter four-cylinder

Transmission

Eight-speed automatic

Horsepower

290 hp

Torque

311 lb-ft

Driveline

FWD

0-60 MPH

5 seconds

Top Speed

155 MPH


3 Dodge Charger

300 Horsepower

2024 Dodge Charger Front 3/4 exterior shot.
Dodge

The Dodge Charger is a beautiful symbol of what an American Muscle car should be; big, bold, and loud. The standard engine offered on the Charger is a 3.6-liter V-6 that produces 292 horsepower. V-8 variants are available, of course, offering up to 807 horsepower of raw power. Those variants, however, are anything but average.

The Charger boasts a spacious cabin that offers plenty of passenger room, even in the rear-most seat. That being said, the interior is not up to the most recent standards, and the built quality has often been complained about. Being a bigger vehicle, the trunk offers 16.7 cubic feet of cargo room, enough for grocery runs or even road trips.

This, unfortunately, is the car’s last year of production.


Performance Specifications

Engine

3.6-liter V-6

Transmission

Eight-speed automatic

Horsepower

300 hp

Torque

264 ft-lb

Driveline

AWD

0-60 MPH

6.4 seconds

Top Speed

132 MPH

2 Toyota Camry TRD

301 Horsepower

Side action shot of a 2024 Toyota Camry TRD
Toyota

The Toyota Camry is known for being an outstanding family car in the mid-sized sector. The spacious and well-designed cabin makes the Camry ideal for commuting, road trips, and even school runs.


The standard engine configuration offers an adequate 203 horsepower four-cylinder engine, but the V-6 variant brings out a whole new side to the Camry. This robust powerplant is capable of generating 301 horsepower in the standard TRD trim. With the addition of this engine, the Camry is capable of going from zero to 60 MPH in less than six seconds. The TRD trim also brings along performance upgrades such as track-tuned suspension and larger breaks.

Performance Specifications

Engine

3.5-liter V-6

Transmission

Eight-speed automatic

Horsepower

301 hp

Torque

267 lb-ft

Driveline

FWD

0-60 MPH

5.6 seconds

Top Speed

134 MPH


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1 Ford Mustang EcoBoost

315 Horsepower

Red 2023 Ford Mustang EcoBoost
Ford

The Mustang badge is synonymous with big coyote engines and torque-driven wheels. Though the EcoBoost variant does not have such a powerplant, its driving dynamics and performance make you forget about the roar of a V-8.

The cabin of the vehicle has somewhat flimsy plastics, but it remains an attractive and upscale interior. While the front-row passengers can benefit from ample space, the rear seats would struggle to comfortably seat adults. The base EcoBoost engine has an impressive 310 horsepower, but Ford offers more. The High-Performance package contributes an additional 20 horsepower to the engine, along with a limited slip-differential, sturdier front springs and larger breaks. This package would bring the total cost of the EcoBoost Mustang to $33,890, a price hard to beat in today’s market.


Performance Specifications

Engine

2.3-liter turbocharged inline-four

Transmission

10-speed automatic

Horsepower

310 hp

Torque

350 lb-ft

Driveline

RWD

0-60 MPH

4.5 seconds

Top Speed

155 MPH

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