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Top 5 Cheap Sporty Sedans Under 5K For Students

Top 5 Cheap Sporty Sedans For Students Under 5K

Welcome to Best Car Guy. In this blog, we have listed Top 5 Cheap Sporty Sedans. All these cars are under 5K. You see I've always been more of a coupe type of guy and no I'm not talking about these 4 door coupe sedans we have in the modern era but more so 2 door cars. That said I can see why sporty sedans are very popular. They can be just as fun to drive, they are more practical and sometimes even perform just as well as other 2 door sports cars. Today I'll show you 5 affordable sporty sedans you can buy if you're on a tight budget.  

Subaru Impreza WRX

The first car on the list is the Subaru Impreza WRX. I’m sure this car won’t come as a surprise as it’s one of the sportiest sedans you can buy, and given how much more affordable they are now, they make a great choice for pretty much any demographic. The full-time AWD system makes them suitable for snowy, and rainy situations, the way it handles around corners make it a perfect candidate to go for a spirited drive and the 2L boxer engine provides great gas mileage making it a great daily driver. 20 MPG City and 27 MPG HIGHWAY. Keep in mind you can get the earlier version with the controversial bug-eye front for much less, but my goal was to keep the cars on this list as modern as possible. Plus I personally like this body style better. Everything from the exterior that screams sportiness to the same theme going on inside the cabin. The semi bucket rally type sports seats, leather-wrapped momo steering wheel, and a simplistic layout, a non-complicated interior that makes everything driver-focused and easy to use. Of course, the highlight of the Subaru WRX is the driving experience. Let’s be honest people that purchase this car is for one reason and one reason only, because of how it drives. Rally prepped Subaru’s have always existed in other parts of the world like Japan and Europe, but see when the car was introduced here in the States, it changed the game. The AWD system and rally tuned suspension provide stability and plenty of grip on any road you desire to take it on. The suspension along with its 4-liter boxer can take a serious beating which should allow you to extend your fun sessions. Performance-wise the 2L turbocharged 4 cylinder produces 227HP and 217lb-ft of torque which is enough power for twisty roads. While the WRX is not really known to be a straight line car it actually performs quite well in its stock form. A sprint from 0-60 happens in just under 6seconds which is pretty quick, even in today’s standard. Who am I kidding, that’s pretty slow by today’s standard here in the US, but honestly if you’re looking to take a car like this to the track, cars with the fastest accelerations don’t always win. Another reason the Impreza WRX is a win is because of the endless amount of aftermarket parts available for this platform. And since this car has been around for over a decade you can search up WRX builds find thousands for inspiration. Body modifications, wheel setups, tunes, aero, you name it. The best part is that you can find them for as low as 4900$.

Acura TSX

The second car on the list is the Acura TSX. As many enthusiasts may already know, the TSX is based off the European Honda Accord, unlike the Accord we received here in the  US, it was smaller, narrower, and sportier, making it much more of a fun car to drive. Essentially Acura needed to fill their gap between the Acura RSX and the Acura TL, which is why the TSX became a thing. It also satisfied those that we're fans of the Integra sedan, something that the successor RSX didn’t offer, as they only had 2 door variant. The TSX was supposed to be the car that competed with BMW’s 3 series and Audi A4, but I think it fell a bit short. For one it came with an FWD system, and the driving dynamics weren’t quite up to the level as those competitors. That said Acura TSX is an excellent car, 6speed manual versions were pretty much bulletproof, customization options were plenty. Truth be told as I used to see some really nice TSX builds in the front cover of tuner magazines and I so wanted one. And as sporty as there are, we can’t forget that it’s an Acura, with plenty of Luxury touches to go with the package. In fact, from the factory it came fully loaded with only one option being available, a $2K navigation system. Everything else came standard. Perforated leather seats that were heated, dual-zone automatic climate control, sunroof, hid’s, 360watt music system, you know all of that. Performance-wise you get a 2.4L 4 cylinder V-Tech engine that produces 200HP 166lb-ft of torque. It doesn’t sound like much but come on guys, it’s v-tech! Jokes aside it does feel like you get a bit more power out of the TSX once V-tech kicks in. Handling wise it’s a bit heavy for its size, but surprising response pretty well around turns. In summary, this is one of those cars that looks quite conservative when kept stock but with a few modifications can really stand out from the rest. Gas mileage is also quite impressive, 22 mpg city and 29 mpg highway making this not only a great daily driver but since it’s essentially Honda reliability shouldn’t be a concern in the long run and on higher-mileage models. I was able to find them for under 4K with around 100K miles on them. And considering these cars can last well past 200K miles, that’s actually a solid deal if you ask me.

Volkswagen GLI

The next car on the list is the Volkswagen GLI. Ah yes the Volkswagen GTi with a trunk. Well not exactly, but pretty close. Sure it shares the same power train as the GTI but it one, doesn’t have that sexy hot hatch look and doesn’t handle as well around the twisties. But that’s okay because chances are you’re more likely to find a GLI unmolested unlike the GTI and at a better price too! The GLI transforms the boring Jetta most are familiar with into a car that can be a joy to drive and the best part is that it can take a beating. I had a buddy of mine that absolutely ripped his Jetta GLI, when he wasn’t stopped at a red light he was flooring it and mashing through the gears, and around twisty turns, he really put it through its limits. Not only did the car surprisingly stayed planted but it never had mechanical issues. That said since it is a German vehicle if anything does end up failing on this car, parts, and labor can be expensive. So realistically I’d only recommend this car to those that work on their own cars. A lot of the Jetta Gli’s out there you can find with the Autobahn package that includes a few goodies including the 400 watt Fender sound system which I was very impressed with. Sitting in the front seats, listening to a high quality it feels like you’re in a concert. The soundstage coming to the perfectly proportioned speakers was unreal. Some things that separate the Jetta GLI from the regular Jetta are the inclusion of the independent sport-tuned suspension, a better-looking interior that includes a flat-bottom steering wheel, and of course, the outside looks much sportier. And of course, can’t leave out the TSI turbocharged2 L engine that produces 200HP and 207lb-ft. One gripe I have with the Jetta GLi is the tit lacks a traction control button?! Que?! Meaning that no matter how hard you want to drive it around the track the electronic system will always interfere. I guess to some people that is not necessarily a bad thing but to hardcore enthusiasts its kind of sad. But even with those traction limitations, it manages to reach from 0-60 in around 6 seconds. This is officially the most modern car on the list and can find them for under 6K.

E90 BMW 335i

The fourth car on the list is the E90 BMW 335i. You just knew that this car would make the list, I mean come on it’s me! this car isn’t for everyone I get it. This is a car for the risk-takers. How big is your risk tolerance? If it’s big then this car packs a massive punch with the right amount of luck and handy skills. It features a timeless design, loads of luxury features, it handles like a dream, and oh yeah it comes equipped with a highly tunable engine, in fact, it may be one of the easiest engines to get power out of in the modern era, and for cheap too! $100 gets you 100HP, on a stock engine. At this point I probably sound a little biased, well guess what I probably am but at the end of the day, the car speaks for itself. These cars have become so obtainable over the years thanks to depreciation, and man do you get a lot for the price. Earlier models are definitely more troublesome than the later ones because of several weak points but once you address those fragile parts the inline 6 engine can be very dependable. Owned my e93 335i for over 5 years. Only 2 major things broke, the hp fp which was replaced for free under a BMW recall and the electric water pump after 70K miles which I ended up paying out of pocket. Other than that just regular maintenance as you would expect from any performance car. The reason the sedan version is desirable is one, you can find them cheaper, they are more practical allowing to haul your family around and at the same time being a nice weapon for spirited driving. Also, it’s pretty much a sleeper. Looks almost the same as the less powerful328i version but why lies inside is the real deal. Comes equipped with a turbocharged inline6 engine that produces 300HP and 300lb-ft of torque. And man do you get that power very early in the powerband. At around 2400 RPM you have access to all the torque. Turn traction control completely off, brake boost and you’re flying. Okay, so I wouldn’t recommend any of those kids. Interior looks excellent, especially with the sports package that includes bolstering adjustable seats with thigh support, they really keep you hugged around hard corners. Definitely the most car you’ll get for the price on this list. You find them for as low as 3K and sometimes even lower than that.

Dodge Charger R/T

The last car on the list is the Dodge Charger R/T. Yeah, not really sporty per se, but more so a big RWD sedan with a massive engine upfront, which can somewhat be sporty right? I guess. Either way, Included, and I have to say it has great power to dollar ratio. Even when it first released it only went for30K which was a bargain back then for over 300HP and 300lb-ft. And now the deal is even sweeter as you can find them pretty cheap. You see this car can be fun but in a very different type of way. It’s big, it’s heavy but it can surely burn rubber even if it only came equipped with an automatic transmission. The fact that it can easily lose control and feel at times uncontrollable can be lots of fun within an enclosed road. This is the car you’d buy if your spouse told you a mustang is too impractical, well honey this one is very practical with plenty of room for basketball players and a massive trunk for groceries while having massive Hemi under the hood. The Charger R/T came at a time where there was this thirst for those 1960s and 1970s muscle cars, essentially this was a way to bring modern classic to the modern era. Did it work out that way though? Or was it just a failed plan to bring back an iconic nameplate for the sake of sales. 4doors vs 2 doors hmmm. Well, that is for you to decide. I will say this, the Charger R/T provides the worse fuel efficiency obviously but in order to combat that, the Hemi engine can deactivate 4 of its cylinders when it doesn’t think it needs it in order to conserve fuel. But honestly, if you’re in a market for a car like this one then you probably don’t give to squats about fuel consumption. It comes equipped with a 5.7L Hemi V8 that produces 340HP and 390lb-ft of torque, making it the most powerful car featured on this list. 0-60 happens in just 5.6 seconds if equipped with the Road track package. Yeah, a little confusing. An RT package on the RT package. Essentially you get 10HP bump and sportier suspension tuning. But yeah if you want a straight line machine that handles corners like a boat, then this might be the car for you. You can find them for just under 5k!


  1. Thanks for the article. Almost the entire line comes standard with forward collision warning and automatic emergency braking. Reliability is mostly below par, especially for the SUVs. More info at


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