7 Awesome Cars Under $25,000

 
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When it comes to spending your hard earned money on a spectacular automobile, you don’t need to splurge and burn through your entire life savings. Yes, the Cadillac Escalade might be one of the most popular SUV’s for celebrities. But unless your annual income is well beyond $100,000, the monthly payments on a ride like that might be outside of your budget. Not only that, but it’s simply not worth getting in over your head on a car when there are plenty of options.

With so many car manufacturers focusing on making their car prices appealing these days, the chances that you will find an awesome car priced less than $25,000 are better than ever. For this write up, we found 7 of them that we feel are strong contenders in the market. We were pleasantly surprised, as you might be, to discover that some of these were available within the price range.

2013 Chevrolet Camaro2013 Chevrolet Camaro

1. 2013 Chevrolet Camaro Coupe
The Camaro Coupe has an MSRP of $23,345 and with a V6 engine, still provides 30 mpg during highway driving. The engine has 323 horsepower that will get you from the starting line to 60 MPH in only 6.4 seconds. This car will provide you with the ultimate sports car look, performance, and feel. It has a new and revised suspension system that will give you more than enough handling when taking it through sharp corners.

  • SirCharles Norris

    Scion TC but no Mazdaspeed 3? Wow epic fail. Seriously you should stick to writing about other subjects.

    • G-Man

      They’re doing the world a favor by not mentioning the MS3. Mazdas are precision-engineered to fail within 100 miles after the end of the warranty. And the MS3 is simply awful to drive in the real world (i.e. off the race track).

      • bcrisler

        Two Miatas, each ^150k, still running strong. An ’04 3 at 165k. An 07 CX-9 at ~110k. I’m pretty happy with my Mazdas. Every bit as good as any Japanese brand, and way more satisfying for a driver.

    • Marauder Man

      Mazda will rust within 5 years. Why would they write about it?

      • Chris

        Not newer ones. Japanese built cars of the 70s, 80s and early 90s had rust problems because they used to dip the body panels in salt water (due to shortages of fresh water.) desalinization and water recycling technologies have all but eradicated that problem in Japanese built cars like Mazda. The cars would rust away but the motors would keep going.

    • Chris

      The Honda Civic Si starts at 22,550 and is better than the TC in the vast majority of aspects. Maybe do a side by side comparo of the two… Then secretly change your answer to Si. Also the Mazdaspeed does barely fit in the parameter starting at 24,200 it has a lot of HP and TQ for a 4 cyl sports compact.

  • James Tichgelaar

    That’s not a Mini Cooper S in the photo…no turbo intake on the hood.

    • InsiderCarNews

      Well spotted, we fixed the picture. Thanks for the heads up.

      • crowd1

        also not a “regular Cooper S”! Some kind of sport fandango!

    • Alfred Bundy

      Doesn’t matter. One of the fugliest little pos’s out there.

  • Alfred Bundy

    First we had the AMC cars of the 70′s. Then some of those cars designers had kids, and they designed the Pontiac Aztec. Now they must of had kids too, because half the cars today are the ugliest things on 4 wheels ever! With all the tech today, how can people getting a check and have a good job approve some of the junk they market? I can’t decide which is uglier? the cube (PUKE!) or the cooper (BARF!!!)?

    • mike connor

      Wind tunnel aerodynamic design is also to blame.

      • Dale

        Aerodynamics are for people who can’t build engines.

        Enzo Ferrari

    • crowd1

      must be an old fart to remember AMC!

      • BAust

        Had one…a Concord DL. it drove rather nice and was good in snow.

      • 54Will

        I remember Rambler, then before that Nash. A very old fart.

      • Bob Lewis

        When I was a kid in 1986 I wanted a javelin and they were old cars at that time

    • ready_to_retire

      The Aztec looked like something the A-Team would build when they were locked in a shed with nothing but a tractor and a few pieces of sheet metal and a torch laying around. Then they’d come busting out with a home made tank. Loved that show.

      • tim stevens

        Jesus, are folks really endorsing buying this union made junk? Stick with a Toyota. You’ll be on the road more than you’ll be in a loaner. Anything union made is crap.

        • Andy Werner

          I have a Lexus GX470 V-8 puts
          my old Escalade 5.3 liter to shame

    • lordairgtar

      Pacer and Gremlin notwithstanding, AMCs weren’t bad looking cars. My old Hornet X with 304 V8 was a nice looking car and gave small block Camaros, Firebirds, Challengers and Mustangs fits at the Autocross courses.

      • fastoldphart

        I’m sure you’re correct. But keep in mind the old ‘muscle cars’ handled like crap. I could best most of them with an MGB on an Autocross course.

        • lordairgtar

          Sure you could. The MGB is an awesome little sports car. But I was talking of cars in my class. In those days the class structure was different. We did not compete directly with the MGs and the others of that type. I remember driving a Triumph Spitfire and I was in love with it. The sports car I owned was a Opel GT 1.9. Kind of a slug compared to the Spitfire, but was still fun.

  • JohnBryansFontaine

    Leaked! This is (Almost Definitely) the 2015 Ford Mustang: Exclusive 360º View and Full Details!

    All the dirt on the 2015 Mustang that Ford doesn’t want you to know. And yes, it still has those nifty sequential turn signals.

    Illustration by Nick Kaloterakis
    http://www.caranddriver.com/features/2015-ford-mustang-leaked-360-view-and-full-details-news

  • PeterBelles

    Best bang for the buck……Ford Mustang with a V8

    • Joe Blo

      Track Pack…get it while you can !

    • Marauder Man

      As the former owner of a 88 5.0 I am sorry that I have to say this:
      The V8 is nice, but costs much more than the 300+hp V6. Have you driven a V6 Mustang hard? On a track the V6 is a bit slower but handles much better with the handling package than the GT. On the street they are equal.

      • Nick

        I’ve owned both the v6 and two 5.0s, the 5.0 with the brembo brake package is supperior to the v6 in every way. But the number one reason to buy the V8, is the amazing sound, especially if you put some borlas on it! The V6 is a great car but sounds thrashy at high rpms.

      • JSebastian

        Definitely not equal on the street except under light driving conditions . Just in raw acceleration the GT has a two second advantage on the quarter mile.

        • Marauder Man

          Unfortunately in my province of Ontario the police can confiscate any vehicle for 7 days for going over 140km/h or whatever they consider street racing. The days of me doing 230km/h or really racing the car next to me at the lights are over. I’m almost 50 now so I’m not too bothered about it as I spent my youth beating the hell out of my V8′s :) Here is a Focus that a teenager tried to race down my street.

          • tim stevens

            That a ford for ya. Best to stick with Japanese autos. Fix or repair daily.

      • Ken Johnson

        so get the v6, and with the money you save over a GT you have a supercharger added….power on demand and still get good mileage, IF you keep your foot out of it. me, i’m waiting for ’15 turbo 4,(new SVO)

        • k mart

          Yeah that new mustang front end looks just liket the fusion great move ford. Lmao

    • Scott Cutright

      Camaro is. Handles better, better braking, better gearing

      • TJ Thompson Jr.

        Scott cutright I strongly disagree the camero has flaws the lack of head room the lack of ride comfort and doesnt get as good of gas milege as the mustang 5.0 mine gets 33 mpg everyday.and camero Is just a boat compared to the new 5.0 I mean I don’t see gm putting there camero up against the M6 like Ford has done with there 5.0 to find out its faster and better with The handling then the m6.just throwing it out there man not trying to trash on your ride but it’s really to comparing son so I am sticking with my new 5.0

        • Tommy

          Please know the difference between their and there ann then and than…

        • Kristopher

          Learn to spell Camaro. Its been a daily name brand and one of the most recognizable name for almost 50 years. Im not surprised you drive Mustang.

    • pedro

      The gas mileage is bad

  • FlyingsCool

    I have to agree, skipping the Mazda Speed 3 was a huge miss if you’re looking for a great sports car. Any comments on why you skipped it?

  • dogpark

    AMERICAN CAR AFTER 5 YEARS , THEY SHAKE AND RATTLE

    • dkmich

      Are you doing 90 on dirt roads and through chuck holes?. All we’ve owned are Fords and GMs, and we’ve never had quality problems.

      • solocoyote

        Dkmich is right on this one dogpark. The quality and reliability coming out of GM & Ford is outstanding. If we go back thirty years there was a gap, but Detroit got the message you and I sent to them by not buying their cars until they shaped up.
        The next revolution will be the Chinese car invasion. No doubt they will be a variety of Yugo’s, but there are bound to be a couple non-Chinese led companies that can instill the discipline necessary to produce quality cars, and at rock-bottom prices. Look at what the Koreans did with their invasion with the initially ugly duckling Hyundai…

        • Chris

          Everyone seems to claim that Fords and GMs are so much more reliable now. In the short term sure, they are a decent buy, but after long term test drives many publications are starting to see that Fords of the last 7 years weren’t as well build as they initially thought. Consumer Reports has almost done a 180 in their opinion of Fords in general in the last couple years. My wife’s last car a Mercury Milan (Fusion) ended up being a clunker with 3 different major electrical problems before it’s 5th birthday. We got rid of it after the 3rd problem, when the motor only had 75K, it was just too expensive to keep dumping money into.

      • Chris

        That’s the thing, if all you have owned are Fords and GMs you have no basis for comparison. Own over a dozen different makes of cars like I have, it will open your eyes to the level of quality that they so sorely lack many times. Don’t get me wrong both manufacturers can make some nice vehicles, but don’t be afraid to stray away and take a few test drives in other makes. Only like buying domestic? No problem considering many companies build their cars here in the US and provide thousands of hard working Americans with jobs. Honda, Toyota, Hyundai, Kia, Nissan all produce a good chunk if not almost all domestic sold vehicles in America.

    • Marauder Man

      My 74 Ford Maverick did that, but how many 74 imports are still on the road?

      • Chris

        How many ’74 cars are on the road period? The ones that are were either rebuilt or never driven in the first place. Are you saying that the odds of a 74 domestic car still being on the road are higher than any other vehicle? Cars just aren’t made to last that long period. In fact, not much is, we live in a disposable society.

  • Sage Plum

    There is nothing attractive about any of these cars. In fact most cars out now are just plain ugly. Why on earth do the car designers make them all egg shaped?

    • Bob Lewis

      Because the designers all have at least one common goal. Low wind resistance. That leads to the egg shape

      • solocoyote

        I think it is more than the wind thing. Truly, most cars are ugly. Using the same materials and altering the shape could result in very attractive product. I don’t understand why the manufacturers are not trying to design a competitive product. The Camero is an example of what can be done with the same materials as a ford fusion, or a Chevy malibu. Take the center console out of your 2014 cruze and you end up with a design that is marginally better than the 1974 Ford focus…

        • papparotc

          While I do agree the Camaro is an attractive car, not everyone buys a car for looks or performance. Safety, fuel economy, electronic goodies, and value are more important to a segment of the auto market.

          • Marauder Man

            I don’t mind the looks of the latest Camaro. I just hate sitting in one.

          • Chris

            I can’t stand the fake intake rakes on the quarter panels in front of the rear wheels on the Camaro. They make the whole car look cheaper, like they just flat out wanted to save a few bucks than make the car timeless. It has nice retro cues aside from that. But I don’t know how many people notice, the new Camaro is no longer a hatchback. This severely limits what you can fit in the trunk. The 90s camaros could swallow some serious luggage.

          • Aaron Howard

            Not to be the bearer of bad news but If you look at the 67′ to 69″ Body style they were trying to recreate they only came as a coupe and a convertible with a trunk. There would have been no way for them to recreate the same body shape with a hatchback. Then comes the part where the appeal drops cause it’s not really retro it’s just another strange looking model. PT Cruiser and Chevy SSR are examples.

    • G-Man

      That’s a lousy picture of the GTI. It’s much sharper in person. And the new 2015 model is stunning.

    • Marauder Man

      Curious as to what gorgeous looking car you drive?

  • Bob Lewis

    The article says the Camaro v6 makes over 300 horsepower and gets 30 mpg. Is that correct? That’s hard to believe

    • Brock N Bridget Feitknecht

      They are right. V6 Mustangs also have 300hp if you buy a 2011 model or newer. They both also get around 30 mpg highway. I think that is pretty good bang for your buck.

      • Bob Lewis

        I haven’t paid much attention to new cars because I’ve been happy with my 95 Thunderbird. Unfortunately it just got hit again and the insurance company totaled it and I’m thinking of putting the money towards something new. Since I’m a fan of rear wheel drive, v8 and two doors I’m probably looking at a Camaro or Mustang and now I think I’m may have to open my mind up to consider v6

        • Mickey

          The current V6 Mustang is as powerful as the V8 of just a few years ago, and sounds fantastic.

        • Marauder Man

          I had a 97 TBird Sport back in 97. The V6 Mustang kills that old V8 in every way.

          • Bob Lewis

            Yeah I guess it’s time for me to retire my Fred Flintstone mobile and join the modern century lol.

        • JSebastian

          Dodge charger is a better and more practical car.

          • Bob Lewis

            I think the charger has 4 doors, no? I’m in a wheelchair which I put in the back seat so I need a two door car. The bigger doors allow me enough room to pass the (folded) chair behind the seat while I’m sitting there.

            I would love love love a high performance, AWD, hatchback, 2 door

          • JSebastian

            Ah. Maybe a GTI? Not sure if they make an AWD version but if not then there is always the Audi A3 (AWD, 0-60 in under 7, top speed 144), and the S3 (if they bring it over).

          • makai

            under 25k**** not 75k

          • JSebastian

            I was referring to the poster Bob saying he “would love love love a high performance, AWD, hatchback, 2 door”. With the exception of the S3 the other cars are just normal low to mid-market cars.

          • David McIntosh

            The Charger is NOT what you want. The wheelchair makes it so that if you have to pick a Mopar product, get the Challenger. But their V6 is not equal with the high weight of the car. The Challenger NEEDS a V8. I think you will like the V6 Mustang and Camaro. The V8 is obviously best. So if you are really interested in MPG, you can get the Mustang Coyote V8 with gas mileage comparable to the V6. The LS3 in the Camaro SS also gets surprisingly good gas mileage..

          • TJ Thompson Jr.

            I have a 2012 5.0 that gets 33 mpg and rides so good that it really surprised me on the ride I have had 6 mustangs in my life time but the new 5.0 with out adout is the best for your money the camero and challenger well what can I say but that they need to catch up with Ford and that’s saying a lot cause Ford is killing em everything .and u couldn’t pay me enough to buy a camero or challenger the camero is just a peace it really is and the challenger has good looks but gets sorry gas mileage ? Has anyone seen the new sting ray corvette 8 ( looks like a lambo and I am not sure how much it cost but the new 2014 shelby has it beat to death

          • mark

            ok, mustangs will never beat corvettes. ever. and the camero ss blows away the mustang gt. i like mustangs but they arent as great as you say

          • Drew

            2015 VW Golf R
            or earlier would probably work too.

        • TJ Thompson Jr.

          Money well spent on the new 5.0 I get 33 mpg with mine. The down falls on camero is the lack of head room the ruff ride and trying to look in all directions out of the small windshield.i have driven both and my mind was maid when I got behind the wheel of a new mustang 5.0 there awesome cars. oh and is faster then the S’S CAMERO on everyday that ends with Y.buy a mustang 5.0 u can’t go wrong

        • Pamala Vela

          You have my sympathy for the loss of your TB.

      • TJ Thompson Jr.

        Very true the V8 and V6 newer mustang is the way to go both get 30 to 33 mpg I know cause I have a 2012 5.0 and it gets 32 to 33 mpg

        • bruce1942

          with a 20 mph. TAIL WIND 1

    • k mart

      I have a 2012 its 323 hp from factory. Added a flowmaster delta 40 exhaust and a cold air inductions cold air intake. Increased hp to around 355. Still get great mileage due to direct injection

    • fastoldphart

      I think Chevy rates it a 330. My daughter bought one and it is very fast indeed. No twisty roads around here, so I can’t comment on the handling. Also, I didn’t drive it enough to observe the mileage.

    • Rdy2Run

      its so true!… i have a 2010 v6 305 horsepower camaro and i get 30-32 mpg average, i have put 150k miles on it(the first 100k within the first year!) and have had absolutely ZERO problems with my car. well zero problems that weren’t my fault anyway.

  • gm5425

    I’ll take the Mustang.

  • Al Dente

    The Mazda Miata appeals to lots of men.; It is more fun to drive a slow car fast than a fast car slow. In the nimble handling RWD Miata everyone can feel like Michael Schumacher as they perfect their 4 wheel drift on highway cloverleafs. One car that should be on your list is the Scion FR-S.

    • reed1v

      The Miata is a girl’s car.

    • Marauder Man

      Nobody should be trying to perfect anything on a public road. That is what the closed track is for, where a Miata will be passed in the straights with no hope of catching up in the twisties.

    • Gomer Mcgregor

      appeals to men?? gay men perhaps

    • JSebastian

      I’d rather drive a genesis

    • David McIntosh

      You are right! These people are haters. I live next to Laguna Seca, and my friends have more fun driving their Miatas there at the limit then they do driving home in their Porsches, Teslas, etc.

    • 54Will

      ” It is more fun to drive a slow car fast than a fast car slow.”
      I couldn’t disagree more with that statement, grandpa’n a fast car really gently and always knowing there is more pedal and gears is Much more satisfying that thrashing a turkey to death like a highschool boy.

      • Al Dente

        To each their own. My first adventures with speed was riding small 2-stroke motorcycles off-road. These had a narrow power band near the red line and could go fast but they really made you work for it shifting constantly to keep the revs high. For me it is still a lot of fun to flog a small engine for all its worth. If you like the torque of a big engine than more power to you

    • Yogurt Head

      The Miata is a glorified Ford Escort.

  • frank1946

    Just purchased V6 Mustang after $ 3,000 Rebate.

    Power and quality and fun. I love driving it !

  • bmorelax

    The Mini Cooper S looks like a fish face or a sad face, I can’t decide. I was surprised to see the Mustang and Camero such reasonably priced. Nice to know. Thanks for the article.

  • Matt

    BMW’s are the best everyday car. My opinion is biased I love beamers.

    • papparotc

      Not everyone loves B’mers. People that can’t afford them usually.

      • Matt

        Its not that bad when your single. Get a roommate and your ready to go lol. It was hard for me because I have a wife and kid.

      • z2cents

        Yep, Just like Bmer owners cannot afford a Merc or a Porsche

    • Marauder Man

      How much does it cost to replace a catalyic converter on one?

  • matt

    Other than the Camaro and Mustang these cars has some serious styling issues.

  • ben dover

    give me
    a yugo anyday anytime

  • Kent

    I wonder how long it will be before there is an advertiser and reader revolt on those arrows on ads that take you to an ad you do not want to go to. SNEAKY = DESPERATE. It’s an abuse of visual cues.

  • Gomer Mcgregor

    buying a Camaro or a mustang with a v6 is like buying a jeep with 2 wheel drive. just lame.

    • Norm39

      Just maybe some people want to buy a good looking car who are content with it providing them with nice looking transportation. Novel Idea, huh.

    • Richard Crews

      The Mustang v6 is faster than my beloved ’87 Mustang LX coupe 5.0/5sp.faster 0-60 and quarter mile. and way better gas mileage. My ’87 was King at $12,650! It took a $30K BMW or Vette to even come close. Now Camrys can do it. Modern cars are great.

    • Hyatt Crystal

      When my 2014 Mustang V6 (or any other newer V6 Mustang) can beat a Challenger RT (5.7 Hemi), then you gotta know, these new V6′s are nothing like the past. These new V6′s can hang with, if not beat, previous model GT’s.

  • gunzee

    Sorry to say there is nothing like a V8 in an American car. I have owned three V8 mustangs from the last 3 generations. I have, however, rented my share is 6 cylinder mustangs and camaro’s recently and what may be overlooked is torque which is what really makes a car fun; there is no substitute for cubic inches which is directly related to toque in non supercharged/turbocharged applications. However, for about the same price as a new V6 Stang or Camaro, I recently bought a late model BMW 335ix coupe which is rediculously fun, (but not as fun as my 2010 Corvette GS.) Save your money for a real rocketship (GS) or spend it wisely on a late model bombshell which can also be driven in bad weather.

  • Sid

    Are you kidding me? You forgot to include Honda Civic Si and Honda Accord Coupe. This list is as obnoxious as the speed of your website. Seriously plan on recruiting better authors and reporters.

  • Nancy Charest

    I just have to say it one more time: I miss my ’89 supercharged MR2. Got totaled when a woman rear ended it on the freeway. I’ll never love another car as much as I loved that one. And I only paid $19,000 for it.

  • ready_to_retire

    I looked at the Camaro, and the Mustang too. I went with the Mustang. I wanted a convertible with leather seats. I ended up with a Certified 2012 Mustang convertible with the V6. I love it. And I saved about $12,000 off the price of a new one by getting the certified pre-owned with 25,000 miles on it. I also have a 2003 Lexus that we bought certified in 2005 with about 25,000 miles, and that car is still going strong with 137,000 miles on it. And it still looks new. I doubt if the Mustang will hold up that well. I think Lexus must use better materials – the paint and leather are still perfect. I’ve replaced the floor mats a few times just because they get nasty. And I put new headlights in it because they get all yellowed and cloudy looking. Other than that, just routine maintenance (which is kind of pricey on a Lexus).

  • averagejoeusername .

    What? 323hp and its 2/10ths of a second faster than a 184hp accord sport 6mt. Wow Chevy impressive…

  • Scott Cutright

    Camaro best of the lot. The V6 actually has a 5.4 sec 0-60. Looks better than the mustang. Better handling, better brakes. Also higher safety rating.

  • Cherry Chen

    The top car should definitely be the Honda Civic. It’s an absolute pleasure to drive. It’s cheap to maintain/repair, has $20/month insurance (thanks to 4AutoInsuranceQuote), and is really cheap to fill up ($20 thanks to Gas Buddy). Honda is amazing.

  • Jared M.

    Bottom line: American muscle should NEVER be fitted with anything other than a good old V8

  • onebigfurybear

    Ford F150 5.0 with 6 sp auto and towing package for pulling my 1971 Airstream, it’s like it’s not back there, this Truck rocks. Wish that I held out for 4wd and extended cab, otherwise no troubles

  • Yogurt Head

    Wow–maybe the Scion, but these cars generally suck, and I can think of more than 7 other cars for under 25k that handle better, get better mileage, and are definitely more reliable. Bad list.

  • Auggie Sanders

    Where’s the Mazda 3 on this list?

  • Pamala Vela

    AMEN! I just traded in my 1997 Chevy Cavalier (which I traded in a 1982 Cavalier for) for a Chevy Equinox. My brother traded in his 1998 Silverado work truck for a new one. He turned the odometer over twice. My sister traded in her 1987 Cavalier for a Chevy Cruze. Not sure what my brother paid for the Silverado, but my sis paid 22k for the cruze and I paid 24k for my Equinox. Good gas mileage, great cars!

  • Angela

    Buy a Cadillac Escalade!!! Awesome ride if you can afford the gas! Lol

  • Ford man.

    Go ahead and buy Government Motors.I will buy my Ford.First on race day.Best of all they did not have to be bailed out.Do your home work before knocking on the number one seller for over 30 years.

  • Brent Gray

    Tally up 1990′s toyota pickups u see now days.
    Then 1990′s ford pickups.
    ford’s got a 3 to 1 advantage, very few clean toyotas, mostly junk. Hell go 70′s fords against 90′s toyotas.
    Jump in a 90′s honda, whats louder the squeeking or road noise,
    now jump in my 95gt.at 280,000 mls her v8 sound, even better than it did 20yrs ago.
    oh ya and she still loves to eat rice.

  • QualiTree

    The announcement yesterday that GM adds another 8 million cars to their recall list – and 1.2 billion dollars in charges for the quarter to pay for it spells quality, and top-notch management.