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7 Exciting Muscle Cars Under $50,000 for 2019

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author photo by Chris O'Neill August 2019

Muscle cars are a blast to drive, whether on the racetrack or just on a spirited jaunt down a quiet back road. Another great thing about them is that they don't cost an arm and a leg. The very definition of the muscle car is changing, though, and while value is still important, no longer does a vehicle have to have just two doors and a V8 engine to compete in this exciting segment. Here we've listed seven of our favorite modern muscle cars under $50,000 for 2019. Some have two doors while others offer four, and some have V8 engines, while others pack twin-turbo V6s, but all offer big power and performance for a relatively small amount of coin.

2020 Ford Mustang GT

2020 Ford Mustang GT

We'd be crazy if we didn't start this list off with the Ford Mustang. Offering great performance along with a surprising array of comfort- and safety-enhancing features, the Mustang is the most well-rounded muscle car offering of today. Buyers working with a budget of $50k can look to a Mustang GT and its 5.0-liter V8 making 460 horsepower and 420 lb-ft of torque. While a 6-speed manual is standard, a quick-shifting 10-speed automatic costs an additional $1,600. We'd spec our $50,000 Mustang one of a few different ways. If it was performance and aggression we were after, we'd opt for a 6-speed manual-equipped Mustang GT with the $4,000 GT Performance Package, which gets you a variety of performance-enhancing upgrades, plus styling elements like a rear spoiler and unique 19-in wheels, and the $1,000 Ford Safe and Smart Package, which includes an impressive array of active safety features that you won't find in the Chevrolet Camaro: the Mustang's most obvious competitor. Alternatively, buyers wanting a subtler ride can spec a basic GT model with the 10-speed automatic transmission for well under $50,000, while a Mustang GT convertible starts at well under $50k, as well. Find a Ford Mustang for sale

2019 Chevrolet Camaro SS

2019 Chevrolet Camaro SS

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the Mustang's biggest rival, the Chevrolet Camaro, is available nicely equipped for under $50,000 as well. If it were our money, we'd go with a manual-equipped Camaro SS in 2SS guise, which includes a Bose audio system, heated and ventilated front seats, a memory driver's seat, and more. We'd then tack on the manual-only 1LE Track Performance package, which gets you General Motors' famous Magnetic Ride Control, Recaro seats, unique 20-in black wheels, a black hood, a rear spoiler, Brembo brakes, a dual-mode exhaust, an electronic limited-slip differential, a performance suspension and more. Alternatively, buyers wanting a more subdued experience can opt for the 2SS with the 10-speed automatic transmission, and then select options like the 1LE Suspension Package and various performance bits in a more a la carte manner. Finally, buyers wanting an open-air experience will be happy to know that a Camaro SS Convertible with a 10-speed automatic transmission comes in at just north of $50,000 nicely equipped in 2SS trim as well. The 6.2-liter V8 engine under the hood of the Camaro SS puts out 455 hp and 455 lb-ft of torque -- good for a 0-to-60 mph time of under 4.0 seconds. Find a Chevrolet Camaro for sale

2019 Kia Stinger GT

2019 Kia Stinger GT

Kia released the Stinger back in 2018 as a sort of bargain sports sedan, and GT models offer impressive performance credentials. As in the Genesis G70, with which the Stinger shares its platform, under the hood is a 3.3-liter twin-turbocharged V6 putting out an impressive 365 hp and 376 lb-ft of torque, which is good for a 0-to-60 mph time of 4.7 seconds. Rear-wheel drive is standard -- great for ripping donuts or oversteering your way around a track -- while all-wheel drive is a $2,200 extra offered on all trim levels, and should appeal to buyers in climates that see snow in the winter. The twin-turbo V6-equipped Stinger GT starts off at just around $40k, while a fully-loaded example will reach about $54,000. For those working with a budget of $50,000, we'd probably recommend either the GT1 trim with AWD or a RWD equipped GT2 model, and count on some financial incentives to get the price down to the $50,000 mark. Sure, it doesn't come with V8 power, but the Stinger is a blast to drive and offers performance credentials on par with the old-guard German sport sedans, and for significantly less money. Find a Kia Stinger for sale

2019 Infiniti Q50 Red Sport 400

2019 Infiniti Q50 Red Sport 400

While the company has struggled to find its identity in recent years and many of its products are in need of a refresh, Infiniti has always been willing to offer lots of horsepower for a relatively small amount of money, especially compared to other luxury manufacturers. The company's entry-level sedan offering, the Q50, is built on a RWD platform and in upper trims, offers a 3.0-liter twin-turbo V6. On the 3.0t Luxe and Sport trims, the engine makes 300 hp, while on the performance-oriented Red Sport model it puts out 400 hp. All trims come standard with a 7-speed automatic transmission driving either the rear wheels, or all four thanks to optional AWD. The least-expensive 3.0t-equipped Q50 starts at just over $39,000, while a RWD-equipped Red Sport 400 comes in at a hair over $51,000. Factor in the Q50's aging design though, and financial incentives are likely to bring these figures down by a few thousand dollars, meaning that the Red Sport 400 is likely in play for anyone on a budget of $50k. Find a Infiniti Q50 for sale

2019 Dodge Charger R/T Scat Pack

2019 Dodge Charger R/T Scat Pack

With a budget of $50,000, we'd recommend buyers interested in a Dodge Charger take a look at the R/T Scat Pack model. Like the Challenger, in the special Scat Pack trim, the Charger R/T packs a 6.4-liter V8 engine putting down 485 hp via the rear wheels -- good for a 0-to-60 mph time of about 4.2 seconds. Beyond this, the Charger R/T Scat Pack gains Brembo brakes, a spoiler, unique wheels and a unique grille with dual air inlets. Pricing for the Charger R/T Scat Pack starts at a little over $41,000. We'd probably add on the Daytona Edition package, which adds power front seats, heated rear seats, memory seating, some aesthetic bits and loads more, plus the Technology group, which adds active safety features like automatic emergency braking, lane departure warning, adaptive cruise control, and more. Sure, the Charger is getting old, but Dodge has managed to keep it at least somewhat fresh over the years, and if you want an American sedan powered by big a V8 engine here in 2019, the Charger is probably your most approachable option. Find a Dodge Charger for sale

2019 Dodge Challenger R/T Scat Pack

2019 Dodge Challenger R/T Scat Pack

While the Mustang and the Camaro have at least been redesigned in the past decade, the Challenger has soldiered on largely unchanged since it was reborn back in 2008, meaning that it's now in its 12th year of production since it's last full redesign. Needless to say, the Challenger feels a bit old and bloated, but that hasn't stopped Dodge from packing some massively powerful engines under the hood in recent years, and buyers looking for a throaty, old-school muscle car have plenty of options to choose from when it comes to the Challenger. While the popular Hellcat models all start at well north of $60,000, buyers wanting a powerful Challenger for around $50,000 have their choice of either the R/T Scat Pack or the R/T Scat Pack Widebody. Both come packing a massive 6.4-liter V8 under their hoods putting out 485 hp via either a 6-speed manual or an 8-speed automatic. Opting for the Widebody gets you improved handling along with a more menacing appearance. The Challenger R/T Scat Pack comes in at about $40,000 with the regular body, or $46,000 in widebody guise. 0-to-60 mph comes in at under 4.0 seconds for both. Either way, the Challenger makes for one of the most obnoxious muscle cars under $50,000 that you can buy today. Find a Dodge Challenger for sale

2019 Genesis G70 3.3T

2019 Genesis G70 3.3T

With the new G70, Genesis has blended the attributes of a luxury sedan with those of a muscle car, offering RWD and a potent 3.3-liter twin-turbo V6 engine good for 365 hp and 376 lb-ft of torque. Power is sent to the rear wheels via an 8-speed automatic transmission. We love the G70 for its upscale cabin (Genesis will certainly be a worthy competitor to the German luxury automakers in the very near future, if it isn't already), raucous power, excellent driving dynamics and attractive styling. It also comes with a better warranty than what you get with any of the American muscle cars on this list, let alone the European luxury marques for that matter, with 5 years or 60,000 miles of basic coverage and 10 years or 100,000 miles of powertrain protection (the Stinger carries the same warranty). With the twin-turbo V6, the G70 has a starting price of just under $45,000, leaving buyers on a budget of $50,000 room for AWD and/or a few options packages. Find a Genesis G70 for sale

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This image is a stock photo and is not an exact representation of any vehicle offered for sale. Advertised vehicles of this model may have styling, trim levels, colors and optional equipment that differ from the stock photo.
7 Exciting Muscle Cars Under $50,000 for 2019 - Autotrader