6 Best Sport Sedans Under $40,000

best sport sedans under 40k

Choosing a sports sedan can be an exciting but challenging task, especially when you are working within a budget of $40,000. The market is filled with options, each promising a blend of performance, style, and practicality. 

To help you navigate through these choices, we’ve put together a comprehensive guide to some of the Affordable sport sedans available right now. This guide aims to provide you with reliable and trustworthy information, making your car-buying journey smoother and more enjoyable. 

Whether you prioritize speed, luxury, or cutting-edge technology, there’s something here for every driving enthusiast.

Understanding What Makes a Great Sport Sedan

Before diving into our list, it’s important to understand what characteristics define a great sport car. These vehicles are designed to offer a perfect balance of performance and practicality. They should have:

  1. Powerful Engine: A sport sedan typically comes with a robust engine that provides quick acceleration and a thrilling driving experience.
  2. Superior Handling: Precise steering and a well-tuned suspension system are crucial for handling corners and curves with confidence.
  3. Comfort and Features: While performance is key, comfort and modern features shouldn’t be overlooked. A good sport sedan offers a luxurious interior and advanced technology.
  4. Safety: High safety standards and features are essential, ensuring that the vehicle provides protection for all occupants.

6 Top Sporty Sedans Under $40,000

Note: The prices of all new models reviewed here have been verified using leading dealerships and reputable automotive websites, including Car and Driver, Edmunds, Kelley Blue Book (KBB), TrueCar, Cars.com, and CarGurus. The specifications and engine power were cross-referenced with the information provided on the manufacturers’ official websites.

Here are some of our top picks, each excelling in various aspects to cater to different preferences.

1. 2024 Honda Civic Si

MSRP : From $29,100

The Honda Civic Si is a long-time favorite among enthusiasts for its blend of performance and practicality. It comes with a turbocharged 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine producing 205 horsepower, paired with a six-speed manual transmission. The Civic Si is known for its agile handling, thanks to its well-tuned chassis and responsive steering.


  • Sporty design with aggressive exterior styling
  • Comfortable and tech-savvy interior
  • Excellent fuel efficiency for a sporty car
  • Affordable maintenance costs

2. 2024 Mazda 3 Turbo

MSRP : From $34,135

The Mazda 3 Turbo is a newcomer to the sport sedan market but has quickly made a name for itself. Its turbocharged 2.5-liter engine delivers 250 horsepower when using premium fuel, providing plenty of power for spirited driving. The Mazda 3 Turbo also boasts a sophisticated and upscale interior that rivals more expensive competitors.


  • Elegant design with high-quality materials
  • Advanced safety features
  • Smooth and engaging driving dynamics
  • All-wheel-drive option for better traction

3. 2023 Kia Stinger

MSRP : From $37,865

The Kia Stinger is a standout in the segment, offering a sleek design and impressive performance. Its base model features a 2.0-liter turbocharged engine with 255 horsepower, while higher trims come with a more powerful V6 engine. The Stinger is rear-wheel drive, enhancing its sporty credentials and handling prowess.


  • Attractive exterior with a fastback design
  • Spacious and luxurious interior
  • Strong performance and acceleration
  • Excellent warranty coverage

4. 2024 Subaru WRX

MSRP : From $32,735

The Subaru WRX is a performance icon, especially renowned for its all-wheel-drive system that provides exceptional grip and stability. Powered by a turbocharged 2.0-liter engine generating 268 horsepower, the WRX offers a thrilling driving experience, particularly on winding roads and adverse weather conditions.


  • Legendary all-wheel-drive system
  • Rally-inspired handling and performance
  • Functional and practical interior
  • High resale value

5. 2024 Toyota Camry TRD

MSRP : From 33,485

The Toyota Camry TRD takes a reliable and practical sedan and infuses it with sporty elements. Under the hood is a 3.5-liter V6 engine that churns out 301 horsepower, making it one of the most powerful options in this price range. The TRD model features sport-tuned suspension and a host of performance enhancements.


  • Powerful V6 engine with impressive performance
  • Sporty exterior and interior design elements
  • Reliable and known for longevity
  • Comprehensive suite of safety features

6. 2024 Volkswagen Jetta GLI

MSRP : From $28,085

The Volkswagen Jetta GLI is a performance-oriented version of the popular Jetta. It features a 2.0-liter turbocharged engine with 228 horsepower, mated to either a six-speed manual or a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. The GLI offers a refined driving experience with a well-balanced chassis and responsive steering.


  • Refined and understated design
  • High-quality interior materials and technology
  • Excellent balance of performance and comfort
  • Strong value for money

Detailed Comparison


Performance is often the first thing that comes to mind when thinking about sports sedans. In this category, each of these vehicles brings something unique to the table.

  • Honda Civic Si and Volkswagen Jetta GLI are both equipped with smaller turbocharged engines that provide a good balance of power and fuel efficiency. They are known for their lively handling and engaging driving dynamics.
  • Mazda 3 Turbo offers a significant power boost with its 2.5-liter turbo engine, delivering smooth acceleration and refined performance.
  • Kia Stinger and Toyota Camry TRD pack more horsepower, especially in their V6 configurations, providing exhilarating speed and acceleration.
  • Subaru WRX stands out with its all-wheel-drive system, making it exceptionally capable in all weather conditions and on various terrains.


Handling is another crucial aspect of a sport sedan, determining how well the car responds to driver inputs and navigates corners.

  • Honda Civic Si and Volkswagen Jetta GLI are praised for their sharp and precise handling, making them a joy to drive on twisty roads.
  • Mazda 3 Turbo offers a refined and balanced ride, with excellent steering feedback that enhances the driving experience.
  • Kia Stinger and Toyota Camry TRD provide a more substantial and stable ride, with the Stinger benefiting from its rear-wheel-drive setup.
  • Subaru WRX excels in handling, particularly in challenging conditions, thanks to its rally-inspired design and all-wheel-drive system.

Comfort and Features

Comfort and modern features are essential for daily driving, and these sport sedans do not disappoint.

  • Honda Civic Si and Volkswagen Jetta GLI come with sporty yet comfortable interiors, featuring supportive seats and user-friendly technology.
  • Mazda 3 Turbo takes the lead in interior quality, with premium materials and a sophisticated design that rivals luxury sedans.
  • Kia Stinger offers a spacious cabin with high-quality materials and a range of advanced features, making it a comfortable long-distance cruiser.
  • Toyota Camry TRD combines a sporty look with Toyota’s reputation for comfort and reliability, featuring a well-designed interior and plenty of tech options.
  • Subaru WRX focuses on functionality, with a straightforward interior design that prioritizes practicality and ease of use.


Safety is a top priority for any vehicle, and these sport sedans come equipped with numerous safety features.

  • Honda Civic Si and Volkswagen Jetta GLI include a variety of safety technologies, such as adaptive cruise control, lane-keeping assist, and automatic emergency braking.
  • Mazda 3 Turbo and Toyota Camry TRD offer comprehensive safety suites, with advanced driver-assistance features and high safety ratings.
  • Kia Stinger provides excellent safety features, backed by Kia’s strong warranty.
  • Subaru WRX is known for its robust safety credentials, particularly with its all-wheel-drive system contributing to overall stability and control.

Choosing the Right Sport Sedan for You

Selecting the right sport sedan depends on your specific needs and preferences. Here are some factors to consider:

  • Performance vs. Comfort: If you prioritize performance, models like the Subaru WRX and Kia Stinger are excellent choices. For a blend of performance and comfort, consider the Mazda 3 Turbo or Toyota Camry TRD.
  • Budget: All these models are priced under $40,000, but consider the cost of ownership, including fuel, maintenance, and insurance. Honda Civic Si and Volkswagen Jetta GLI tend to have lower operating costs.
  • Driving Environment: Your driving environment can influence your choice. The Subaru WRX is ideal for those who frequently encounter adverse weather conditions or enjoy off-road adventures, thanks to its all-wheel-drive system.
  • Technology and Features: If you value modern technology and premium features, the Mazda 3 Turbo and Kia Stinger stand out with their upscale interiors and advanced tech.

Final Thoughts

Choosing a right cheap sport sedan doesn’t mean you have to compromise on performance, comfort, or features. Each of the sedans mentioned in this guide offers a unique set of strengths, catering to different tastes and driving preferences. 

By understanding what you value most in a car, you can make an informed decision that will bring you joy and satisfaction every time you get behind the wheel. Remember to take test drives, compare features, and consider your long-term needs before making your final choice. Happy driving!

Stephen Madison
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