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300-Horsepower Cars You Can Snag For Under $10,000 – Motor1

by Nov 7, 2022Blog0 comments

With used car prices at an all-time high, it’s getting tougher to find affordable power. But deals are out there, and we’ll help you find them with our list of 300-horsepower cars you can buy for under $10,000.
The parameters for this year’s selections are simple. We kept the $10,000 limit because that’s a price point nearly every gearhead can manage. The average number of years that people keep their cars, however, has grown to nearly a dozen, so we increased the age range to match. That put our search somewhere in the area of 2010 vehicles, give or take a model year. We also increased the mileage target from 85,000 to 100,000 miles to reflect the higher age of these vehicles.
We then turned to the experts at Kelly Blue Book to determine the private party value of the vehicles identified. In addition to the above parameters, we also indicated the cars be rated Good for condition, and since KBB’s tool forced us to choose a color, we picked the ever-popular Silver.
So here we go. Get your checkbooks out for this year’s list of cars with 300 horsepower for under $10,000.
Kicking off our list is the BMW 3 Series, specifically the 2011 model, which was the final model year of the E93 generation. This is actually a great model year because BMW changed out the 335i’s twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter inline six-cylinder engine, also called the N54, for the N55, which is a similar engine but with a twin-scroll single supercharger instead.
Power remained the same at 300 horsepower, but peak torque actually arrived a couple hundred RPM sooner for the N55 versus the N54. Also, the N55 engine is considered less complex and more reliable than the N54. Check out used examples of the 2011 BMW 335i Sedan for sale near you.
The Jaguar XJ is a great car for getting lots of horsepower cheap, mainly because it has terrible resale value. Model year 2009, though, is an especially good deal because it was the last year before the XJ underwent a major redesign. A 2009 Jaguar XJ8 will get you a 4.2-liter V8 engine producing 300 horsepower exactly. No, it’s not the XJR version with a supercharged engine making 400 horsepower, but it meets our criteria for costing less than $10,000. If you can stretch your budget, though, the XJR isn’t that much more. Check out used examples of the 2009 Jaguar XJ8 for sale near you.
Our first SUV on the list, the 2009 Land Rover Range Rover Sport came standard with a naturally aspirated 4.4-liter V8 engine producing 300 horsepower. Don’t expect super SUV performance, though, because the RR Sport weighs a ridiculous 5,700 pounds. That said, you’ll be riding in the lap of luxury with a throaty V8 included for well under $10,000. Just save some cash for the inevitable repair bills thanks to Land Rover’s legendary reliability. Check out used examples of the 2009 Land Rover Range Rover Sport near you.
This model year was near the end of the line for Saab as a going concern, and the fact that the 9-5 at the time was an all-new design makes this car even more of a unicorn. If you can find the top-of-the-line Aero model, though, you’ll get a great-looking Swedish sedan with a unique turbocharged 2.8-liter V6 engine producing 300 horsepower. It should even come with all-wheel drive, making the 2011 9-5 a nice option for cold climates.
Since Saab no longer exists, though, you may have trouble finding parts for service, but that’s a small price to pay for driving something truly unique like last 9-5. Check out used examples of the 2011 Saab 9-5 Aero near you.
Two Swedes! The 2011 Volvo S60 T6 joins the above Saab as the only Nordic cars on our list, and it’s an absolute gem. Powered by a turbocharged 3.0-liter inline six-cylinder engine producing 300 horsepower, it’s unusual in this group because 2011 was the very beginning of this generation’s styling period rather than the end. The year prior relaunched the S60 with a sleek new shape and sharp driving dynamics, both of which drew critical praise. And since Volvo stuck with this S60 design for nearly 9 years, even early ones look fresh today. Check out used examples of the 2011 Volvo S60 near you.
Welcome to our first “Two-fer.” The Buick LaCrosse presents two interesting ways to get 300 horsepower for under $10,000. The first is with the 2013 Buick LaCrosse Touring. This car shared its platform with the Saab 9-5, also included on this list, but used a different engine. The Touring trim came with a big 3.6-liter V6 that sent 303 horsepower to the front wheels, though all-wheel drive was optional.
Our second choice, though, is way more interesting. The 2009 Buick LaCrosse Super Sedan was a short-lived high-performance version of the second-generation LaCrosse with a honking 5.3-liter LS4 small-block V8 underhood making 300 horsepower. If you can find one of these front-wheel-drive unicorns for under $10,000, you should snap it up. Check out used examples of the Buick LaCrosse near you.
The last time we did this list you could get a much newer Chevy Impala with a 300-horsepower V6 for under $10,000, but used car prices have skyrocketed and that’s no longer the case. Instead, you can pick up the 2009 Chevy Impala SS V8, sister car to the aforementioned Buick LaCrosse Super Sedan, for under ten large. It comes with the same 5.3-liter LS4 small-block V8 sending 300 horsepower to the front wheels, but its name – Impala SS – carries a lot more historical significance. Check out used examples of the 2009 Chevy Impala near you.
We love this particular pair on our list. The 2011 Cadillac CTS was a great luxury car and decent handler, and you can get one now for under $10,000. It comes with GM’s now-familiar 3.6-liter V6 making 304 horsepower and has rear-wheel drive. It’s also a visual stunner with what we think is the best design of the CTS’s run. What’s more, you can even get a wagon version of this car if you step back one model year and go for the 2010 Cadillac CTS Sport Wagon 3.6 V6. Yes, our research puts the price of one at $10,011, but that’s so close we had to include it. Check out used examples of the 2011 Cadillac CTS near you.
Like some other cars on this list, you used to be able to buy a used Ford Mustang GT with a V8 for under $10,000, but higher used car prices these days means we can now only afford a V6-powered Mustang. That’s OK, though, because the 2011 Ford Mustang V6 is a solid pony car with a 3.7-liter V6 producing 305 horsepower. Most out there are probably automatics, but if you look hard enough, you can find a proper manual that hasn’t been abused. Check out used examples of the 2011 Ford Mustang near you.
Yes, in case you’ve forgotten, Hyundai had its own muscle car of sorts about a decade ago. The 2011 Hyundai Genesis Coupe was a rear-wheel-drive coupe with an optional 306-horsepower 3.8-liter V6 engine. While the Genesis Coupe never found a large following, it’s a great way to stand out today in a sea of Mustangs, Camaros, and Challengers. Check out used examples of the 2011 Hyundai Genesis Coupe near you.
Just like with the Mustang, you used to be able to buy a used Chevy Camaro with a V8 for under $10,000, but times have changed. Instead, we’re left the V6 option in the 2011 Chevy Camaro LS. At least you’ll have bragging rights over Mustang owners because your 3.6-liter V6 makes 312 horsepower to the ‘Stang’s 305. Plus, these older Camaro models have the best version of the car’s design from the days before Chevy designers began fussing with it. Check out used examples of the 2011 Chevy Camaro near you.
The Infiniti G7 makes this list because of its namesake engine, a naturally aspirated 3.7-liter V6 producing 328 horsepower in the sedan and 330 horsepower in the coupe. In addition to its beefy V6 engine, the G37 pair also looks fantastic with second-generation styling that looks great with four doors or two. Getting one with optional all-wheel drive may blow your $10,000 budget, so stick with the more sport-oriented rear-wheel-drive setup. Check out used examples of the Infiniti G37 near you.
The Lincoln MKS is a luxury sedan introduced in 2009 as a fancier version of the then-reborn Ford Taurus. It included one of the first applications of Ford’s newly minted EcoBoost V6, an all-aluminum, twin-turbo, 3.5-liter V6 engine producing a stout 355 horsepower. While The MKS EcoBoost came standard with AWD, it was also notoriously large and heavy, making it fast but not particularly dynamic to drive. That said, its peak horsepower figure puts it solidly in the top half of this year’s list. Check out used examples of the 2011 Lincoln MKS near you.
The Jeep Commander was a short-lived three-row SUV from the famous off-roading brand that came with an optional 5.7-liter V8 producing 357 horsepower. From a styling perspective, it was a true box on wheels, which is saying something coming from a brand that, at the time, only sold boxes on wheels. The Commander wasn’t fast by any means, but it was a suburban bruiser with real off-road chops. Thanks to the big V8 and epically bad aerodynamics, the Commander suffered from comical fuel efficiency; the EPA gave it a combined rating of just 15 miles per gallon. Check out used examples of the 2010 Jeep Commander near you.
The 2010 Jeep Grand Cherokee V8 has the same engine as the above Jeep Commander, but it’s installed in a lighter, more capable, and overall better vehicle in every way. This model year was the swan song for the third generation Grand Cherokee, back when its design still had some hard edges. We call it “butch light” thanks to round headlights that soften the SUV’s face. It was anything but soft, though, thanks to Jeep’s legendary off-road prowess being baked in. Check out used examples of the 2010 Jeep Grand Cherokee near you.
Who would’ve thought we’d have a BMW on this list, let alone a V8-powered one? Sinking values for this particular generation of 5 Series, the exterior design of which is not universally loved, gives you access to BMW’s large 4.8-liter V8 engine producing 360 horsepower. If you’re lucky, you may even find one with a six-speed manual transmission instead of an automatic. It’s not the prettiest Bimmer to come out of Munich, but at least it doesn’t have a giant grille like today’s models. Check out used examples of the 2010 BMW 550i near you.
If you want a large rear-wheel-drive sedan that’s newer than the above BMW, try the 2012 Chrysler 300C. It comes with the brand’s venerable 5.7-liter V8 engine producing 363 horsepower (a few more than the 550i). This model year was right after the 300’s first major redesign and came with upgrades like a super large 8.4-inch infotainment screen with the brand’s much-loved Uconnect operating system. Despite this car being a decade old, its tech package at the time was advanced and has kept the car feeling modern even by today’s standards. Check out used examples of the 2012 Chrysler 300C near you.
If you’re looking for pure performance, you may be surprised to find it in a Ford Taurus. The 2012 Ford Taurus SHO, however, was the rebirth of the marque’s famous Super High Output model from the late 1980s and 1990s. Featuring the same twin-turbocharged 3.5-Liter EcoBoost V6 as the MKS above, the SHO version made 10 more horsepower.
If you can find one with the Performance Package, get it. This option included a host of performance enhancements like better brakes, steering tweaks, a Sport Mode for the stability control, summer tires, and a spare tire delete to save weight. Yes, the Taurus was still a porker in regards to its weight, but 365 horsepower and two turbos can make up for a lot. Check out used examples of the 2012 Ford Taurus SHO near you.
Much like the Ford Taurus is the everyman version of the Lincoln MKS, the Dodge Charger has the same relationship with the Chrysler 300C mentioned above. And like the Ford Taurus SHO, the Charger R/T comes with the same engine as the 300C but tuned for a little more power. In this case, its 5.7-liter V8 produces 368 horsepower to the 300C’s 363. The big difference here, though, is you have to go back to 2010 to find a Charger R/T under $10,000. That means you’re missing out on the major redesign that occurred for the 300 and Charger in model year 2011. Maybe you won’t miss it because of all that V8 power. Check out used examples of the 2010 Dodge Charger R/T near you.
The Hyundai Genesis launched in model year 2009, and by 2012 was being offered with a giant 5.0-liter V8 engine producing 429 horsepower. That’s 29 more horsepower than the original Dodge Viper, which you assuredly can’t buy for under 10 large. Hyundai also offered an R-Spec version of this model that added some go-fast hardware, but unfortunately, it doesn’t fall under our price target. So you’ll have to make do with this fine-handling, luxurious, high-tech, powerful luxury sedan as is. You’ll be OK, we promise. Check out used examples of the 2012 Hyundai Genesis 5.0 near you.
This year’s award for most powerful car you can buy for under $10,000 goes to the 2010 Jaguar XF Supercharged. Its breathing-assisted 5.0-liter V8 engine produces a staggering 470 horsepower. Sure, these weren’t the most reliable machines when new, but if you look for ones with a full history of recorded maintenance, you should be fine. The 2010 Jaguar XF Supercharged has made this list every year we’ve done it, and may never be toppled as the King of Cheap Horsepower. Long live the King! Check out used examples of the 2010 Jaguar XF Supercharged near you.
Is 300 horsepower a lot for a car?
It depends on some factors, like the size and weight of the car as well as what that engine was designed to do (go fast or pull hard). In general, though, yes, 300 horsepower is a lot. This data from 2020 shows the average horsepower of a new car then was 247. That figure has usually gone up over time, but is still far from the magical 300 number.
How fast can a 300-horsepower car go?
The answer is dependent on a number of factors like the size and weight of the car, its tires, the type of engine, the purpose of the vehicle, and many more. For instance, the 2011 BMW 335i sport sedan on our list has a 300-horsepower twin-turbo inline six-cylinder engine and can go 0-60 miles per hour in 4.9 seconds, which is quick. However, the 2009 Land Rover Range Rover Sport on our list, which also has 300 horsepower, goes 0-60 mph in a much slower 8.2 seconds because it’s heavier, less aerodynamic, and its engine isn’t tuned just for maximum acceleration.
What cars have 300 horsepower?
Almost any car could have 300 horsepower, but we generally see this power figure in vehicles like luxury sedans, large SUVs, and muscle cars. Nearly every vehicle on our list falls into one of those three categories. Trucks are also usually available with engines that produce over 300 horsepower, but they’re less fun to drive.
What cheap cars have 300 horsepower?
The cheapest car on our list is the 2009 Buick LaCrosse Super Sedan at $6,075, while its twin, the 2009 Chevy Impala SS goes for $6,091. That said, the more miles a used car has, the cheaper it will be to buy. The prices on this list were all based on mileage of 100,000 miles, so if you found one of these cars for sale with 150,000 miles, it should be less expensive to buy than our list says. That said, it may be less reliable and require more maintenance. 
Is 400 hp a lot for a car?
Yes, 400 horsepower is a lot for any type of car. Back in the early 1990s, 400 horsepower was reserved for the most powerful sports cars around. But today, you can get 400 horsepower in many types of used vehicles, from luxury sedans to SUVs to affordable sports cars. 
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