Making a list: Performance cars that are dependable and affordable

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A 2013 Hyundai Veloster Turbo.

A 2013 Hyundai Veloster Turbo. (Photo Credit: Public Domain/IFCAR/Wikipedia)

Look at the modern crop of consumer vehicles, let’s say post-2002, and think about value. Not just cheap cars, but those affordable, performance cars that can also be classified as dependable vehicles. Here are some cars that should be on your radar if you want to commute in style without strapping a heavy debt millstone about your neck.

Hyundai Genesis Coupe

Not coincidentally, this isn’t the first time Hyundai will appear on this list. The Genesis Coupe is bargain-priced and pretty utilitarian, but it handles quite well, maintenance doesn’t cost much and it has rear-wheel drive. If you want something that can be tuned more to your liking, Jalopnik suggests the lighter 2.0T models.

Mini Cooper

While you won’t get much speed out of this little number, the line looks good, handles well and has a fine history of dependability. A bit of a “pocket rocket,” if you play your cards right.

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Volkswagen GTI

A cool, cheap vehicle, Volkswagen GTIs still have some room to drop in price, but thing about what you’re getting. That’s right – the appearance of wealth and fine taste, but without the exorbitant cost that typically accompanies a luxury car purchase. That, and the GTI is reportedly a tuner’s dream, not to mention dependable.

BMW 1er

Going German again for a moment, think Mini and GTI, but amp up the glare, tuning included. This rear-wheel drive vehicle will be something once prices drop. Put it on your future watchlist.


An econobox vehicle for gearheads, the Mazda2 is easy to upgrade, fun to drive and very comparable to the Ford Focus, Fiesta, Honda Fit or Kia Rio.

Nissan 350Z

Younger U.S. drivers know Japanese import cars. As such, a practical, highly reliable option like the Nissan 350Z is a slam dunk. It makes no performance concessions and can be had at a reasonable price that will begin to look even better over the next few years.

Mazda Miata

Think value and style with the Mazda Miata. A two-seater that has been etched into the driving public’s consciousness, Miatas are a dream to maintain and can easily accommodate a turbo upgrade if you’re looking to step out of the price comfort zone a little.

Hyundai Veloster

Countless reviewers can’t be wrong about the latest Veloster Turbo offering from Hyundai. The hot hatch has plenty of power, it corners well and it’s sporty. Lots of standard features and a price insiders predict will be “highly competitive” should make the 2013 rendition a performance/value dream. Give it a couple years and it will be even more magnetic for value hunters that appreciate big-time quality.




JD Power and Associates

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