Who says turbocharged cars have to be expensive?
Turbochargers are a fantastic way to add horsepower to a car. Modern turbocharged cars are easily tunable and can be modified to put out insane horsepower numbers. We put together a top five list of badass turbocharged cars, but not everyone has the budget to afford some of the cars on that list. That is why we put together a list of five performance turbocharged cars that you can buy for less than $10,000. Like our list of V8 cars for under $10,000, all of these cars are available in budget with less than 100,000 miles.
The first car on our list is the B7 Audi A4. The B7 generation A4 was built from 2005-2008 model years. You could buy the A4 as a sedan, Avant, or cabriolet with FWD or AWD with a choice of engines mated to a six-speed automatic or six-speed manual. In the US, the most common engine was the Volkswagen family's 2.0-liter four-cylinder turbocharged engine. In the A4 this engine produces 200 hp and 207 lb-ft of torque. The A4 is a handsome German sedan that is still nice by today's standards. You can find higher-mileage examples with Quattro for less than $10,000. You should avoid FWD models with the dreaded CVT transmission. Audis can be expensive to maintain, so this car comes in low on our list.
Our next car is another AWD sedan. However, this time it is Japanese. In 2002, Subaru unveiled the Impreza WRX to the US market. The car came with a 2.0-liter four-cylinder boxer engine with a turbocharger and was good for 227 horsepower. Of course we prefer the wagon variant with a five-speed manual.
We are continuing the trend of sedans with the MazdaSpeed 6. This car was also known elsewhere as the Mazda6 MPS. The Speed6 might just be the best performance car that Mazda has ever built. Like its more popular little brother, the Speed3, the Speed6 was powered by a 2.3-liter turbocharged direct-injected four-cylinder engine. In the Speed6 this engine produced 270 hp and sent power to all four wheels through a six-speed manual transmission. A run from 0-60 mph took just 5.4 seconds and it could get through the quarter mile in 14 seconds flat. Even compared to new offerings like the Ford Focus ST and Volkswagen GTI, this car is very fast. It is amazing to think that you can find a good one for less than $10,000. What a steal.
The next car is a small hatchback that we have featured before on CarBuzz. The Fiat 500 Abarth comes with a 1.4-liter engine producing 160 hp. This doesn't sound like much, but the car only weighs around 2,500 pounds. Early Abarth models came with a five-speed manual transmission and one of the best exhaust notes you'd find on an affordable car.
Our final car is the MkV Volkswagen GTI. Like the Audi A4 at the beginning of this list, the GTI is powered by a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine with 200 hp and 207 lb-ft of torque. Unlike the Audi, the GTI was available with a six-speed DSG gearbox. The GTI was one of the first usable dual-clutch transmission cars that you could buy in the US, and it quickly changed everyone's opinion about paddle-shift transmissions. You can buy a 2006-2009 GTI for less than $10,000 with the DSG or manual in four door or two door variants. The GTI is well-designed, affordable, and one of the best cars that you can get for less than $10,000.