Top 10 Coolest Cars under $25,000

Categories: Cars and Trucks

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Photo by Joseph Capparella
4. VW Beetle Turbo
Base Price: $23,395

This is the new Beetle, not to be confused with the old "New Beetle" or...er...the old Beetle. The only thing working against this VW is the overly cutesy reputation still lingering from its predecessor. Sure, the New Beetle was successful, but this is what the modern-day incarnation of the original VW should have been from the start. Taken on its own, this Beetle looks low and aggressive, with none of the bubble-top stance of the old version. It also comes with the fun turbocharged engine from the GTI or, if you're extra frugal, the efficient TDI diesel engine.

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Photo by Joseph Capparella
3. Ford Focus ST
Base Price: $23,700

The Focus ST is an especially feisty hot hatch with its 252 horsepower turbocharged engine and sharp reflexes. It improves upon the already good-looking Focus 5-door with an aggressive body kit, sporty wheels, and eye-popping colors like this "Tangerine Scream." Watch out with the options on this one, though. Definitely avoid the MyFordTouch multimedia system: it's criticized for its complex interface and slow responses and it adds more than $3,000 to the bottom line. Best to stick with the basics and enjoy the drive.

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Photo by Joseph Capparella
2. Scion FR-S
Base Price: $24,500

Scion created quite a stir when it released the FR-S and its twin, the Subaru BRZ. Created through a collaboration between Toyota and Subaru, these rear-wheel-drive sports cars are made for driving enthusiasts. The press has been going crazy over these two because of their near-perfect handling, light weight, and pure mission for driving enjoyment. It looks sleek too, with a no-frills coke-bottle shape that stands out on the road but isn't too flashy.

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Photo by Joseph Capparella
1. Fiat 500 Abarth
Base Price: $22,000

There really is nothing else like this car in this price range. To get a distinctive Italian flavor in a car, you used to have to step up to the upper echelons of Ferrari and Lamborghini. Thanks to Chrysler's recent merger with the Fiat, though, Fiat has made its triumphant return to the U.S. market with its legendary 500 microcar. The 500's hot Abarth version is zesty on the outside with its scorpion badges and red stripes, but the awesome exhaust note that hisses and pops is by far the best part of the car. It's a sound that rivals exotic cars costing 10 times as much. If you've always pined for a bright red Ferrari but have never had the budget for one, think of this as the next best thing.

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