The best cheap fast new cars

  • Bag a performance car for less than you think
  • Our favourites range from hatches to sports cars
  • At less than £15,000 the cheapest is also one of the most fun
  • Bag a performance car for less than you think
  • Our favourites range from hatches to sports cars
  • At less than £15,000 the cheapest is also one of the most fun

Performance cars don't have to be cripplingly expensive. There are plenty of examples around which cost less than you might think, both to buy and in terms of how much they cost to run.

Here are some of our favourite cheap fast brand-new cars, including everything from a cheap-and-cheerful hatchback to a sportscar that thinks it's a supercar, listed in order of ascending price. 

Don’t forget to check out our Cars for Sale section for the latest deals on new and used cheap fast cars. And when you come to sell your current car, make sure you get a free car valuation with us to ensure you get the right price.

If you’re considering buying your new car on finance, make sure you visit our finance section for a quote - we work with more than 21 lenders to give our customers access to over 100 different lending options.

Used cars for sale

Here are our favourite cheap and fast new cars:

Suzuki Swift Sport

Suzuki Swift Sport - the best cheap fast cars

The often-overlooked Swift Sport is undeniably cheap and cheerful, but to leave it there would be to ignore some of its more endearing traits.

It’s a fantastic car to drive, with a 1.6-litre engine that does without a turbocharger, so it has mega throttle response, but thanks to the Swift’s lightweight construction it’s pretty good on fuel too.

And thanks to Suzuki’s enviable reputation for reliability, it’s unlikely to ever break either.

Spec secret: A built-in sat-nav is included in the standard specification, along with Bluetooth, DAB radio and keyless entry and ignition. You won’t need to spend much on optional extras.

Parkers rating: 4.5 stars
New price: £14,704 - £15,204
Used price: £4,590 - £10,935
Fuel economy: 44 - 44 mpg
0-62mph: 8.4 seconds
Top speed: 121mph

View the latest Suzuki Swift Sport cars for sale

Ford Fiesta ST

Ford Fiesta ST - best cheap fast cars

Ford is on a performance car hot-streak right now, but with the exception of the GT hypercar, all models major on good value as well as strong performance.

That’s the headline here. It’s so much cheaper, and arguably better, than all of its closest rivals (Peugeot 208 GTI, Renaultsport Clio and VW Polo GTI) that it’s difficult to ignore in a list like this.

Spec secret: The Mountune upgrade is a worthwhile addition if you’re interested in fast driving. It costs just £599 and adds another 15bhp, 30Nm of torque and even more excitement. Read more about this upgrade here

Parkers rating: 5 stars
New price: £18,215 - £20,215
Used price: £7,930 - £15,455
Fuel economy: 47 - 47 mpg
0-62mph: 6.7 seconds
Top speed: 139mph

View the latest Ford Fiesta ST cars for sale

Mazda MX-5

Mazda MX-5 - cheap fast cars

The MX-5 is a cheap, honest, lightweight two-seater convertible built around the concept of the classic British roadster but with a modern Mazda styling twist.

We love its rear-wheel drive chassis with fantastic steering feel and driver feedback, finding it a more rewarding drive than many more expensive sports cars but with far lower running costs.

Sure, its cabin and boot aren’t the last word in practicality, but there are well-equipped trim levels and a choice of two engines along with a variety of chassis upgrades to further improve the drive. If you’re looking for a cheap fast car, look no further. 

Spec secret: The 1.5-litre engine is the purists’ choice – it drives better than the 2-litre and makes the MX-5 feel more like the brilliant first generation.

Parkers rating: 5 stars
New price: £18,795 - £24,195
Used price: £13,055 - £20,975
Fuel economy: 40 - 47 mpg
0-62mph: 8 seconds (1.5 version)
Top speed: 127mph

View the latest Mazda MX-5 cars for sale

>> READ NEXT: The best fast AND economical cars

Skoda Octavia vRS

Skoda Octavia vRS - cheap fast cars

While most Skodas are sensible, practical machines with reliable build quality and lots of space, the Octavia vRS builds on those qualities by making use of the VW Golf GTI’s chassis and a choice of high-performance petrol and diesel engines along with six-speed manual and DSG automatic gearboxes.

This makes it a truly capable performance car as well as practical family transport, and it doesn’t cost very much to run - the ultimate cheap fast car.

You’ve got a choice of hatchback and estate bodystyles, both with huge boots measuring 590 and 610 litres respectively.

Spec secret: For the best performance possible, go for the petrol-only vRS 230. It’s got more power and a sophisticated differential on the front axle. Read the road test here

Parkers rating: 4.5 stars
New price: £24,660 - £27,790
Used price: £10,715 - £21,390
Fuel economy: 43 - 64 mpg
0-62mph: 6.5 seconds (vRS 230 hatchback)
Top speed: 155mph

View the latest Skoda Octavia vRS cars for sale

Audi S1

Audi S1 - cheap fast cars

It’s not the cheapest car in this article, but there isn’t another of the same size that offers better performance. With a quattro all-wheel drive system coupled with a six-speed manual gearbox and a 228bhp engine borrowed from the Golf GTI, this is one seriously capable machine.

On initial drive we thought it felt like a little rally car, with loads of grip and stable handling along with an exciting soundtrack and blistering performance.

Pick from three- or five-door bodystyles and of course, being an Audi, a plethora of optional extras to push that price right up if you want.

Spec secret: Sat-nav and leather sports seats are quality options to choose and will help with resale values.

Parkers rating: 4 stars
New price: £26,255 - £26,875
Used price: £14,780 - £22,055
Fuel economy: 39 - 40 mpg
0-62mph: 5.6 seconds (three-door)
Top speed: 155mph

View the latest Audi S1 cars for sale

Toyota GT86 / Subaru BRZ

Toyota GT86 - cheap fast cars

A joint venture between Toyota (mass-producer of super-reliable cars) and Subaru (builder of distinctive but even better-built machines) spawned the excellent GT86 and BRZ twins. The main aim of the project was to produce a fun-to-drive sportscar, and it’s a resounding success.

Its 2-litre engine up-front and rear-wheel drive mean it’s off to a fantastic start, and the cabin is built with performance driving in mind, featuring supportive bucket seats and driving controls positioned within easy reach.

Spec secret: Pick the Toyota over the Subaru for a longer warranty, more dealerships and a better-integrated infotainment system.

Parkers rating: 4 stars
New price: £26,855 - £30,225
Used price: £11,035 - £23,700
Fuel economy: 34 - 39 mpg
0-62mph: 7.4 seconds
Top speed: 140mph

View the latest Toyota GT86 cars for sale
View the latest Subaru BRZ cars for sale

Peugeot 308 GTI 270

Peugeot 308 GTI 270 - cheap fast cars

The 308 GTI 270 is a true hot hatch. Its performance is competitive with rivals in a straight line, but the tweaks to the chassis are what makes this car something special. While the GTI 250 is a softer version for everyday comfort, the 270 gets a Torsen limited-slip differential along with Alcon brakes for ultimate stopping power and lightweight 19-inch alloys.

We found the sports front seats to be extremely good, and the 308’s boot is one of the biggest in its class too. It’s not even that bad on fuel or car tax.

Spec secret: Pick the distinctive 270-only Coupe Franche two-tone paint-job for the best residual values.

Parkers rating: 4 stars
New price: £29,405 - £29,405
Used price: £13,670 - £17,470
Fuel economy: 47 - 47 mpg
0-62mph: 6 seconds
Top speed: 155mph

View the latest Peugeot 308 GTI 207 cars for sale

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Volkswagen Golf R

VW Golf R - cheap fast cars

If the outrageous Focus RS (below) doesn’t float your boat but you’re still after a performance car with hatchback practicality, the Golf R is also a fantastic option. It’s a more grown-up, refined option with comfier suspension and the capacity to go incredibly fast – thanks to its 296bhp 2-litre turbo engine – and very safely thanks to the 4MOTION all-wheel drive system.

We think the cabin is a nicer place to be as well, and it’s priced very close to the Focus RS, which makes them seem natural rivals even if typical buyers for both cars are quite different.

Spec secret: There’s a choice of six-speed manual or DSG automatic gearboxes to pick from, but keen drivers shouldn’t discount the latter – it seems to suit the Golf’s polished nature slightly better.

Parkers rating: 4 stars
New price: £31,000 - £33,775
Used price: £14,260 - £27,850
Fuel economy: 39 - 40 mpg
0-62mph: 4.7 seconds (DSG version)
Top speed: 155mph

View the latest VW Golf R cars for sale

Ford Focus RS

Ford Focus RS - cheap fast cars

The Ford RS is big news. Previous models have proven so popular with enthusiasts that their used values have skyrocketed far beyond their price when new on countless occasions.

This time around we’re treated to a Focus with a stonking 345bhp from its Mustang-derived 2.3-litre turbocharged engine. All that power is fed through an intelligent all-wheel drive system which features a number of drive modes, including a track-only ‘drift mode’ which allows for tail-out antics if you feel like shredding some Michelins.

We were blown away by the pace and handling of this car, both on the road and on the racetrack and with a list price £10k cheaper than some rivals, it starts to look like the performance bargain of the century - this is an excellent cheap fast car.

Spec secret: Residual values will be strongest if you pick the Luxury Pack, Recaro race seats and forged lightweight alloy wheels.

Parkers rating: 5 stars
New price: £31,680
Fuel economy: 36.7mpg
0-62mph: 4.7 seconds
Top speed: 165mph

View the latest Ford Focus cars for sale

Porsche 718 Boxster

Porsche 718 Boxster - cheap fast cars

It might seem strange including a Porsche in a feature about cheap fast cars, but bear with us. The 718 Boxster, in our opinion, is one of the best-handling cars at any budget.

While it's downsized engines may not sound as good as before, it'll still give the famously capable 911 a run for its money in terms of driving enjoyment. The crucial thing here is the chassis, which has a wonderful balance and feelsome steering.

Another surprising aspect of the Boxster is how practical it is when compared to other roadsters such as the Mazda MX-5 or Jaguar F-Type. It has two luggage spaces and combined they measure 290 litres, which is exactly the same as the UK’s best-selling car, the Ford Fiesta.

Spec secret: keep the price down by picking the entry 2.0-litre manual. It's not as fast as the 2.5-litre S version but gets you behind the wheel of one of the best handling cars on the market for significantly less cash.

Parkers rating: 4.5 stars
New price: £42,294 - £53,172
Used price: £33,750 - £48,160
Fuel economy: 34 - 40 mpg
0-62mph: 4.9 seconds
Top speed: 170mph

View the latest Porsche 718 Boxster cars for sale

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