Anyone who loves cars will no doubt dream about having a performance car of their own, and while that elusive Porsche 911 might be far from within reach, there are actually plenty of impressive performance cars that are surprisingly affordable. We run through some of the best used performance cars under £20,000 in 2020.
Subaru WRX Sti
For some, the WRX represents the essence of Subaru. Over the years it’s this model that allowed Subaru to move from being known for sturdy 4x4s to a car manufacturer associated with dramatic performance and superb handling. In 2020 you can get your hands on one of these for anything from around £10,000 upwards. The lower prices are of course older and with more mileage, but it is possible to find a good deal with mid-range mileage of around 40k, for around £15,000. As a fast car for under £20,000, we think the Subaru WRX STI more than fits the bill. Take a look at used Subaru WRX STI models for sale.
Mitsubishi Evo I-X
The Mitsubishi Evo – also known as the Lancer Evolution – began life back in 1992 with the Evo I. The final version, Evo X went on sale in 2007, and production ended in 2016. Today there are talks of Mitsubishi manufacturing a next-generation Evo, but until then, it’s possible to find an older model of this powerful performance car. Older models with higher mileage start from around £4000, right up to £50,000 for a top quality model. For the £15-20,000 mark it’s possible to pick up late 90s, early 2000s model with mileage of 30k upwards. See second-hand Mitsubishi Evos for sale.
Ford Focus RS
Ford launched its highest performance version of the Ford Focus in 2002, with the Ford Focus RS. 70% of its components were original or improved, and it was hugely successful in the UK – where just less than half of the total cars produced were bought. Over the years this performance car has risen in status, and in 2009 a modified version with the ST’s 2.5 litre engine was built.
The 2016 model even has a ‘drift mode’ which enables drivers to safely drift – a feature that gives the Focus RS a well-deserved spot in the list of fast Fords. An older Focus RS with high mileage will set you back around £14,000, but it’s possible to find a newer model with mileage of around 50k for £18-20,000. See used Ford Focus RS’ for sale.
Mini John Cooper Works
In 2019, the Mini Hatch John Cooper Works won the Autotrader ‘Most Fun Car to Drive’ award, and as a surprisingly practical fast car for under £20,000, it’s easy to understand why. A new, uprated turbocharger, sportier ECU map and larger-bore exhaust means this car can reach 0-60 in just over 6 seconds. For around £20,000 it’s possible to buy a Mini JCW with mileage of just 10k up, from within the last few years. With a good eye you can find a model that’s a true. See used Mini JCWs for sale.
VW Golf R
The Golf R boasts impressive power with a 2.0 TSI petrol engine and improved traction thanks to four-wheel drive. The car can climb 0-62 mph in under five seconds, and the standard gear boxes are twin-clutch, so shifting between gears is seamless. Switch driver mode to ’race’ and you’ll experience the true speed and performance that the R types are capable of. An older model R32 will set you back around £10,000, but with double the budget you can find a far more recent, low mileage Golf R MK7. Take a look at this range of used VW Golf Rs.
Audi RS Models
Petrol heads all over have admired the features of the Audi RS since the first generation was launched back in 1994. The car manufacturer’s high-performance division introduced the RS (Racing Sport) with its five-cylinder unit first, and then went on to release more RS models with improved suspension, brakes, engine performance and more. For around £10,000, you’ll find a high mileage RS6 or RS4 from the early-mid 2000s, but for closer to £20,000 you can pick up a more recent model RS – although it’s still likely to have 70k miles plus on the clock. See second hand Audi RS’ for sale.
Mercedes AMG Models
Known as the high-performance cousin of the Mercedes Benz, the Mercedes AMG models have been designed with higher horsepower, a more aggressive looking exterior, better handling and improved stability. This division of Mercedes began by designing and testing racing engines, which gives a good indication of the thought that goes in to AMG models. In 2020, around £5000 will buy you a high-mileage Mercedes AMG from around the turn of the millennium, but for £20,000 you can pick up a mid-mileage A class (around 40k on the clock) AMG. Prices and ages vary greatly; see this range of used Mercedes AMGs for sale.
Regardless of your budget, if 2020 will be the year that you finally buy your dream performance car, get in touch with the team at Keith Michaels to arrange a fair insurance premium. With more than 30 years of experience in the business, we know how to find specialist insurance for unique situations.