I am certainly going to cheat on this one and take the Ford Focus RS for this particular test. As one of the premier hot hatches to every come down the assembly line the RS is not a cheap Focus but one that starts around $36,605, leaving us a great range of possibilities. Even though there are lots of cars that would be less expensive, here are ten that are excellent vehicles that come in under this price.
Chevrolet Camaro 1SS – $34,500 – This is a car that is a lot of fun to drive with a 6.2-liter V8 that offers 426 horsepower and 420 lb.-ft. of torque which is not only cheaper, but has more power than the Ford Focus SS. As we get a new model in 2016 it will be interesting to see if this pricing stays consistent or if the Camaro will no longer make the cut.
Ford Mustang GT – $33,200 – The direct competitor to the Camaro the Mustang GT has been a storied favorite for many hears and gives us the famed 5.0-liter V8 engine that shows off with 435 horsepower and 400 lb.-ft. of torque. One feature the Focus RS has over the Mustang is the torque-vectoring all-wheel drive system, making it a more dynamic drive, but still more expensive.
Chevrolet Volt – $35,170 – When going green is the way you want to go Chevrolet offers the Volt as a great choice. With a 38 mile all-electric range the Volt makes a fantastic choice especially if you live and work in a town or city that you don’t need to leave very often.
Acura RDX – $36,190 – Who would have thought you could get a luxury SUV for this price, but the RDX makes a great little choice. Acura has built this with a fantastic menu of great features and plentiful cargo space to be an SUV that is great to drive.
Hyundai Genesis Coupe 3.8L Ultimate – $35,495 – Full of power and luxury the 348 horsepower and 295 lb.-ft. of torque that comes out of the 3.8-liter V6 under the hood of the Genesis makes for one of the best looking and feature packed Hyundai models on the road today.
Subaru WRX STI – $35,490 – As one of the truly only direct comparison vehicles on this list the WRX shows up with 305 horsepower and 290 lb.-ft. of torque and the phenomenal all-wheel drive system that is the signature feature of any Subaru. This power is actually less than the Focus RS offers.
Chevrolet Silverado 3500HD Regular Cab, Long Box – $34,925 – This may be a huge surprise on this list, but this huge truck is actually less expensive and is powered by a 6.0-liter V8 that pushes out 360 horsepower and 380 lb.-ft. of torque to make the cut and be an impressive choice when needed.
BMW 320i xDrive – $35,945 – As one of the most popular luxury sedans on the road today, you can actually buy this car for less than the Focus RS and enjoy the all-wheel drive and comfort features. The power is a little on the light side, but it’s a trade for the luxury.
Nissan 370Z Sport – $34,395 – This is a huge value sports car that has been long touted as one of the premier sports cars on the market. With 332 horsepower from the V6 engine you can have a lot of fun in this awesome car.
Cadillac ATS 2.0T – $36,240 – Another luxury packed model that shows up with less power than the Focus RS but offers a dynamic and comfortable ride that will put a smile on your face and treat your whole family to a great ride on any road.
The Ford Focus RS may be your hot hatch of choice, and if that’s the car you want to drive that’s awesome. As a car that has run a superfast lap at one of the world’s favorite tracks there is no reason not to love the Focus RS, but these ten vehicles might suit needs in a different way at a lower price.