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Here Are the Best Performance Sedans Under $30,000

If you’re interested in an excellent performance sedan, you probably know the drill: expect to pay big money to get good performance. But if you consider used models, that won’t always be true — though you’ll have to think about reliability and budget for repairs and maintenance. Still, here are five great performance sedans listed for sale on Autotrader for less than $30,000.

2007 Audi RS4 - $26,495

2007 Audi RS4 – $26,495

The “B7” generation of the Audi RS4 is the only RS4 Audi has ever offered in North America — and given the car’s rarity and its manual transmission, prices haven’t come down as much as you might think. This bright blue RS4 is offered by The Warehouse in Conshohocken, Pennsylvania, near Philadelphia, with around 100,000 miles for $26,495 — a good figure for the 420-hp manual Audi sport sedan.

2007 BMW M5 - $29,995

2007 BMW M5 – $29,995

The “E60” BMW M5 is a special one, though it’s also known for reliability issues — so if you buy one, be sure to set aside some money for reliability modifications. This particular example is highly desirable, as it comes with a 6-speed manual transmission, and it’s finished in BMW’s gorgeous Interlagos Blue with a Silverstone interior. It’s offered by Gogel Auto Sales in New Jersey for $29,995.

2014 Chevrolet SS - $27,985

2014 Chevrolet SS – $27,985

The Chevrolet SS is a highly desirable sport sedan, touting an excellent driving experience, a responsive V8 engine, and good technology for a reasonable price that’s getting more reasonable by the day. This particular SS is an automatic, though manual models are available — and it’s offered by Patrick Cadillac Volvo in the Chicago area with 59,000 miles for just $27,985. Even though the SS is a largely unknown sport sedan, it’s still a desirable one — and it’s more reliable than its European counterparts.

2008 Lexus IS-F - $27,277

2008 Lexus IS-F – $27,277

The Lexus IS-F was Lexus’s high-powered sport sedan response to cars like the BMW M3 and the Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG. The IS-F is much rarer than those models, and reliability is likely a step above — and it touts an impressive 416-horsepower V8 that provides good grunt, along with flared fenders and other distinctive styling cues. This IS-F is a 2008 model, offered with 65,000 miles by Woodfield Lexus in the Chicago area for $27,277.

2010 Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG - $28,000

2010 Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG – $28,000

The Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG is Mercedes-Benz’s answer to the BMW M5 — and this particular model was the very last of the naturally-aspirated V8 versions of the car, with a big 6.2-liter V8 for brawny performance. This E63 has traveled 78,000 miles, and it’s offered by a private seller in Yorba Linda, California, in Orange County, for $28,000.

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  1. I would likely just get an old Z3, Boxster, or S2000. But the Chevy SS appeals to me most on that list, a Manual M5 sounds great, but I’d only tolerate E39 or older, which puts us way below this price bracket

  2. 2nd gen SRTs are under $30k and much better than their first-gen counterparts. 475HP 6.4L for $20-25k? Yes, please!

  3. The 2006-2009 Cadillac STS-V is Cadillac’s first full luxury performance sedan of the V-Series. It came with 469 hp, 439 lb-ft, and many amenities not seen in most vehicles until years later. This is a great performance sedan well under $30,000.00 that most do not know about.

  4. A couple of these seem really expensive, the IS-F especially. The Chevy SS seems high too especially since it cost around $42k new. The ’07 M5 is a manual which is nice but wasn’t that pretty much the same (minus manual) that Hoovie had a lot of issues with for like $10k?

    The other two I didn’t mention were also expensive, 100k mile Audi RS or not is still a 100k Audi. Maybe the Mercedes isn’t too bad since the NA engines are decently reliable.  
    • ISF is expensive because it’s the most reliable car of them all, plus is really rare. An example, in 2014 they only made 86 of them (in all colors and combinations)

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Doug Demuro
Doug Demuro
Doug DeMuro writes articles and makes videos, mainly about cars. Doug was born in Denver, Colorado, and received an economics degree from Emory University in Atlanta. After graduation, Doug spent three years working for Porsche Cars North America. Eventually, he quit his job to become a writer, largely because it meant that he no longer had to wear pants. Doug’s work has been featured in a... Read More about Doug Demuro

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