10 Best 300 HP Cars for Less Than $20k

Power is important and enjoyable. It is exhilarating to drive a fast and powerful car. It’s even better when you can find one that is also good on fuel.

Our list of 300 hp cars under $20k has taken a number of factors into consideration. We hope you agree with it.

1. 2010 Hyundai Genesis 3.8 Coupe

The first car on our list of 300 hp cars under $20k is the Hyundai Genesis.

The Hyundai Genesis 3.8 Coupe is the Coupe version of Hyundai’s luxury sedan. The Genesis Coupe is two-door four-seater fighting in the mid-size luxury space. In terms of performance, style, and affordability, the Genesis Coupe is highly reviewed. Being a coupe, though, don’t expect too much rear-seat space.

Power comes from a 3.8-liter V6 with an output of 306 horsepower. The power is transmitted to the 19-inch rear wheels through a standard 6-speed manual or an optional 6-speed automatic with paddle shifters.

Whilst it was discontinued, its rarity will probably attract those who love the Hyundai brand.

The power train and drive train push the Coupe from zero to 60 mph in just 5.5 seconds.

The rated fuel economy for the manual shift Coupe comes in at 17 and 26 mpg for city and highway driving.

Standard equipment includes keyless entry and ignition, Bluetooth, spot-tuned suspension, a limited-slip differential, cruise control, Brembo brakes, and aluminum pedals.

Equipment specific to the 3.8 Coupe includes a sunroof, leather upholstery, Infinity sound system, and heated seats.

In terms of safety, the Coupe is equipped with antilock brakes with brake assist, front, and full-length curtain bags, and stability control.

Also read: What’s a High Mileage for a Hyundai? (The Facts)

2. 2012 Chevrolet Camaro LS V6

The Chevrolet Camaro is one of America’s big muscle cars offered with V8 and V6 engines in a four-seat coupe or convertible style.

For a 300 HP, you can get the stylish Camaro LS V6 and LT which deliver 312 horsepower through a 3.6-liter V6 engine, mated to a standard 6-speed manual or optional 6-speed automatic transmission to the rear wheels. 

The Camaro easily makes our list of 300 hp cars under $20k.

With such power, The Camaro reaches 60 mph in just 6 seconds.

Fuel consumption with the manual transmission comes in at 20 mpg combined and 22 mpg for the automatic.

The exterior and interior style is slated for some for not being driver-friendly, especially regarding visibility. However, for a cruise along a long straight stretch, you can enjoy a comfortable drive, although the same cannot be said for your rear-seat passengers, where the space is a bit cramped.

The V6 models include the 1LS and 2LS coupes, and 1LT and 2LT.

The entry-level 1LS and 2LS (automatic) come with standard automatic headlights, keyless entry, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, and rides on 18-inch wheels.

The 1LT rides on 18-inch alloys and adds 8-way power seats. Available packages add remote ignition and an iPod interface.

The 2LT comes on 19-inch alloys and adds a 9-speaker Boston Acoustics audio system, rearview camera, and rear park assist, among others.

The Camaro comes with standard stability control, antilock brakes, and front and full-length curtain airbags.

3. 2011 Cadillac CTS 3.6 

The expertly designed American native entry-level mid-size luxury sedan adequately caters to the critical criteria of performance and comfort. Handling may not be at par with the European standards though, but it still makes our list of 300 hp cars under $20k.

Powered by a 3.0-liter 270 hp or a 3.6-liter V6 engine that produces about 304 horsepower, the Cadillac CTS Base is one of America’s best-loved luxury power sedans.

Transmission is a 6-speed manual in a rear-wheel-drive layout as standard or a 6-speed automatic in an all-wheel layout as optional.

The power is enough to take the Cadillac to 60 mph in just 6.2 seconds.

The 3.6-liter V6 is capable of taking the Cadillac to 60 mph in a modest 6.7 seconds on the rear-wheel drive. Fuel consumption averages 21 MPG for the 3.6-liter.

Also read: Is Audi S6 V10 Reliable? (Solved)

Standard technologies include automatic headlights, cruise control, dual-zone climate control, and an 8-speaker audio system.

The higher trims, powered by the 3.6 V6, add keyless ignition (with remote start) and entry, heated and cooled front seats, and rear parking sensors.

At the top of the pile, the 3.6 Premium adds a backup camera, a hard-drive-based navigation system, and options that include a panoramic sunroof, 19-inch wheels, and performance suspension, among others.

Traction control, anti-lock brakes, stability control, and airbags, including full-length curtain airbags, come as standard.

The Cadillac CTS 3.6 costs from $13000 to $20000.

Also read: Cadillac Depreciation: 6 Popular Models

4. 2013 Buick LaCrosse

The next on our list of 300 hp cars under $20k is the 2013 Buick LaCrosse. 

The LaCrosse is a premium luxury sedan that operates under the radar.

It is equipped with a 3.6-liter V6 engine that sends 303 HP to the front wheels through a 6-speed automatic transmission. Optionally, the power can be directed to all four wheels.

The LaCrosse can reach 60 MPH in just under 6 seconds.

Fuel consumption is on the high side at 21 mpg combined for the front-wheel-drive and 20 mpg for the all-wheel drive.

On the road, the LaCrosse is praised for its handling and steering control and feel, whilst it scores low on rear visibility. 

Also read: Solo Werks S1 Coilovers- Is it Worth it? (Review)

Five trims are offered, with some of the more prominent features across the models being dual-zone climate control, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, and cruise control.

The Leather trim adds a leather interior, rearview camera, and heated front seats.

The top Touring trim comes with 19-inch alloys, xenon headlights, blind-spot monitoring, and adaptive suspension.

Safety includes standard stability and traction control, antilock brakes, and various airbags.

The purchase price is about $6500 before insurance costs, which depend on many factors.

5. 2011 Infiniti G37 Coupe

The Infiniti G37, as the name suggests, is a rear-wheel drive, two-door luxury coupe powered by a 3.7-liter V6 gasoline engine with an output of 330 horsepower.

Transmission is a 6-speed manual or 7-speed automatic. It can reach 60 MPH in just 5.2 seconds, which is very fast and within the speed of the fastest cars with much bigger engines! 

The Infiniti G37 needs no invitation to the list of 300 hp cars under $20k.

It comes standard with rear-wheel drive, although all-wheel drive is optional.

Fuel economy for the rear-wheel-drive models average 22 mpg in combined driving for the automatic transmission versions whilst for the manual it returns figures around 19 mpg combined.

The G37 is stylish outside and inside, with a comfortable cabin and good handling.

The steering mounted magnesium paddle shifters make driving pleasure from direct driver control of the shifting. A letdown is the rear seat space.

Five trims are offered, with the major features being standard keyless entry and ignition, automatic climate control, leather interior, xenon headlights, and 18-inch wheels.

The sport model comes with a 6-speed manual gearbox, 19-inch wheels, a sport-tuned suspension, an 11-speaker Bose audio system, and a navigation system.

A Technology pack comes with adaptive cruise and headlights.

The Infiniti G37 standard safety features include traction and stability control, front and curtain airbags. 

The Technology package adds adaptive headlights.

Also read: Are Infiniti Good Cars? Which Models Should You Avoid?

6. 2015 BMW 335i

The list of 300 hp cars under $20k cannot be complete without a BMW model. BMW is one of the standard-bearers in luxury and performance cars, regardless of which one you choose. They are renowned for fun and exquisite handling.

Our focus is on the 2015 BMW 335i powered by the 3.0-liter turbocharged N55 engine.

The output is 300 horsepower, transmitted through an 8-speed automatic with paddle shifters.

The power delivered to all four 18-inch wheels allows the 4-door sedan to reach 60 MPH in just 4.6 seconds, and reach 100 MPH in 11.9 seconds. This is pretty fast if speed is your cup of tea or coffee.

The fuel economy is 24 mpg combined.

Among the many standard and optional features for a car of BMW’s stature are LED accent lights, adaptive xenon headlights, keyless entry and ignition, a rearview camera with park assist, adaptive suspension, and a voice-controlled navigation system.

Safety includes traction and stability control, on top of the common usual features.

Among the options are blind-spot monitoring, lane departure, and frontal collision warning.

BMW vehicles are full of electronic controls that may fail for aging engines. Problems that have been experienced include oil leaks, injector problems, and carbon build-up.

Of course, some may be caused by failure to follow manufacturer oil recommendations.

7. 2016 Mitsubishi Lancer EVO 

The Mitsubishi Lancer Evo is one of those cars that hardly lose their value. The Evo is not the common man’s everyday car, but is well-known and admired within the performance vehicles circles. You have to love performance cars to know about the Evo! 

The Evo easily makes the list of 300 hp cars under $20k, although it is no longer in production.

What’s more, it is relatively inexpensive and reliable. Unfortunately, production of the Evo has since stopped, but they are still available on the market.

The Evo is powered by a 2.0-liter turbo that pumps out 291 horsepower for the small body. The power is transmitted to all the wheels through a 5-speed manual or 5-speed automatic with steering-mounted paddle shifters.

The Evo can sprint to 60 mph in about 4.8.seconds, with a top speed of 145 mph. 

Fuel economy comes in at 17 and 21 mpg in the city and highway, respectively.

The models are distinguished by the transmission type; GSR being manual, whilst the MR is automatic.

GSR rides on 19-inch alloys and comes with cruise control, automatic climate control, keyless entry, and Recaro sport seats, among others.

The MR is slightly different with a smaller rear spoiler, softer suspension, and xenon headlamps.

Options on either trim add keyless entry/ignition, leather interior, and a Rockford Fosgate audio system. These are just a few of the many features available.

In terms of safety, the Evo comes with front and full-length side curtain airbags, stability control, and anti-lock brakes.

8. 2008 Subaru WRX STI 

The all-wheel-drive Subaru WRX STI is synonymous with rallying. On the normal road, the size is deceptive of the power under the hood, until it whizzes past you on the highway, or leaves you for dead at the traffic lights! 

For the small body that rides on 18-inch wheels, it is a surprise for many that the Subaru WRX STI is powered by a flat-four 2.5-liter turbo engine that puts out a massive 305 horsepower.

Combined with a standard 6-speed manual box, the combination gives you 60 mph in just 4.5 seconds.

The fuel economy is rather high at 19 mpg combined, which is a drawback for some potential owners.

The statistics easily qualify the Subaru WRX STI for the list of 300 hp cars under $20k.

The WRX STI is a driver’s car, with no option for an automatic box.

Equipment includes leather upholstery, satellite radio, and a sunroof as part of the WRX Premium package. 

The WRX STI adds limited-slip differentials for front and rear, a tuned suspension, sports seats, Brembo brakes, xenon headlights, and leather interior.

Optional packages provide various other features, including a navigation system and Bluetooth.

Also read: 3 Subaru Engines to Avoid (They Will Ruin You)

9. 2014 Ford Mustang V6 Coupe 

The Ford Mustang is an American legend. It is one of Ford’s best offerings to the automotive market. It is one of the first choices for the list of 300 hp cars under $20k.

The Mustang V6 comes in either coupe or convertible body style, with a capacity to carry four adults.

Power comes from a 3.7-liter V6 that produces 305 horsepower. Transmission is a standard 6-speed manual, whilst a 6-speed automatic with paddle shifters is optional. The drive-train is rear-wheel drive.

Acceleration to 60 mph can be accomplished in 5.7 seconds using manual transmission. In terms of fuel consumption, Mustang V6 does about 22 and 23 mpg with the manual and automatic transmission respectively.

Four trim levels are available. However, our focus is on the V6 trims.

The entry-level V6 features a limited-slip differential. Keyless entry, cruise control, and xenon headlights. It rides on 17-inch alloys.

The V6 Premium adds Bluetooth, ambient lighting, a leather interior, and a premium 8-speaker sound system with satellite radio.

If you need specs, optional packages add 19-inch alloys, and suspension and brake system enhancements.

The usual safety features include airbags, traction control, antilock brakes, and hill-start assist for the manual transmission models.

10. 2009 Jaguar XF

The last on our list of 300 hp cars under $20k is the Jaguar XF.

The 2009 Jaguar XF four-door mid-size luxury sedan rolls around under the power of a 4.2-liter V8 engine in normal aspiration architecture or supercharged.

The former delivers 300 horsepower, whilst the latter delivers a whopping 420 horsepower.

The less powerful engine can push the big machine to 60 mph in 6.2 seconds through a complex 6-speed automatic transmission. 

The top speed is 155 mph.

The transmission offers three operational modes; standard automatic, sport automatic, and sequential manual. The system uses dials to select gears. Paddle shifters are also available for more driver-controlled gear shifting. 

Fuel economy is surprisingly within the range of smaller engines at 18 and 26 mpg for city and highway driving respectively.

Features in the Luxury edition, include a leather interior, power front seats, 18-inch wheels, and a premium audio system.

The Premium Luxury package makes available a navigation system, keyless entry/ignition, 19-inch wheels, and higher quality leather, among others.

Safety features for such a powerful and high-performance sedan are anti-lock brakes, side and curtain airbags, and many others, some of which are optional, such as blind-spot monitoring.