And $35k is all it takes to enjoy the fun.
You could spend your hard earned money on a BMW M235i or a Mercedes-Benz CLA45 AMG. Both are fine, albeit expensive, choices. If you find yourself reaching to the very top of your budget in order to afford either, then perhaps it's time to consider something else. We're not suggesting you should lower your performance standards; just don't go for a premium brand. Perhaps the best and most affordable alternative is the 2015 Subaru WRX STI.
For a base price of just under $35k, you'll get a turbocharged 2.5-liter four banger with 305 horsepower, all-wheel-drive and a kick ass rear spoiler. Is it as exclusive as the Bimmer and Merc? Not really, but every bit as fun – if not more so.