5 best American FWD Cars under $10000
Despite America being a hub for fast RWD cars, they have produced some great FWD toys. So here is my list of 5 best American FWD Cars under $10000.
[Consider this a derivative of my previous post about Dodge's FWD cars]
From the time onwards cars came into being, Americans had the desire to pump out more and more power out of them. This is quite clearly testified by the 1930s' hot-rod era and later, 1960s' pony car era with rumbling V8s. However, their big bulky machines almost always utilized the popular RWD layout but that began to change by the 1980s with Dodge's Shelby products like Omni and Charger GLH. Even Ford's Europe division did not lag far behind as they too soon came up with the excellent Escort XR3.
However, for the sake of this post, we'll not be focusing on any of these classics as they are obviously very expensive. Therefore, here is my list of 5 best American FWD Cars under $10000.
Ford Focus RS/ST
Ford Focus RS MK1
Now that Ford's new SUV-oriented mindset has brutally killed the Focus RS, it is high time we realize its potential. Introduced in 2002, the 2.0 turbo Duratec-powered Focus RS was a homage to the similar Escort RS. Throughout the three generations, RS has utilized various powerful engines but it is somewhat difficult to find the third generation within my price bracket. The cheapest MK1 RS (212 bhp, 310 Nm) I could find was a modified one listed at $8675. Meanwhile, the cheapest 2.0 MK1 ST (167 bhp, 196 Nm) I found was listed at a mere $735! Surprisingly for $2145, I found a 2.5 MK2 ST (222 bhp, 320 Nm). With these figures and proven driving dynamics, it can achieve sub-7 s 0-62 mph times in all ST and RS avatars while also dashing around corners.
Dodge Caliber SRT-4
Here we have a hatchback that is actually American, unlike the European Focus. Despite being a 4-pot SRT car, Caliber ticked all the right boxes. The 2.4 turbo I4 'Warhawk' engine produced an astonishing 285 bhp, 359 Nm. The intimidating FWD hatchback is a forgotten GTI-killer with a 0-62 mph time of 6.5 s. To amplify the fun factor, it came only with a 6-speed manual transmission. The minimally electronically assisted animal has not yet become as much of a classic. This implies that the few thousand units produced are available in prices starting from $3505.
Dodge Neon SRT-4
Caliber's predecessor, the Neon was the first 4-banger to receive the SRT treatment. It was not as powerful as Caliber SRT-4 on paper with specifications as 230 bhp,339 Nm. However, it achieved a better 0-62 mph time of 5.3 s with the best tune. This might be possible because Neon practically produces 230 wheel horsepower, meaning that its bhp could be as high as 265. Anyways, Dodge later also released the ACR, Commemorative Edition and Extreme Lightweight editions with varying levels of upgrades. The cheapest Neon SRT-4 I could find was listed at $2793 but has now been removed. Therefore, now I find this one the cheapest at $4950.
Dodge Stealth R/T
Japanese in essence but technically American, the Stealth was a Mitsubishi GTO/3000GT in 'stealth'. Offered as both an FWD and an AWD, Stealth was a proper sports coupe. Very powerful in the V6 twin-turbo guise (320 bhp, 427 Nm), Stealth also handled very well due to the Mitsubishi-tuned suspension setup and optional AWD. Stealth had everything in its favour – blistering acceleration, quick-handling, beautiful design and decent interior, that is if you discount the slight nose heaviness and understeer at high speeds. Luckily, a good number of these cars were sold with a 5-speed MT to amplify the fun factor, although a 6-speed AT was available 1993 onwards. The cheapest FWD AT Stealth I could find was listed at $3500. However, I found an FWD AT GTO at $2101 and an FWD AT 3000GT at $4000.
Chevrolet Cobalt SS
Chevrolet Cobalt SS Coupe turbo
Popular for being one of the most boring American cars ever built, the Cobalt is obviously a very bland choice for an enthusiast. However, just adding the 'Sport' or 'SS' badge means a lot! Chevrolet first released Cobalt Sport with a NA 2.4 I4 (171 bhp, 226 Nm) for a 0-62 mph time of 7.1 s. The supercharged 1999 cc I4 later released produced 241 bhp, 296 Nm in the factory-warranted stage 2 tune for a time of 5.9 s. Lastly, the turbocharged 1998 cc I4 promised 280 bhp, 430 Nm in the factory-warranted stage 1 tune for a time of 5.5 s. The cheapest NA I found was listed at $1295. Meanwhile, the cheapest supercharged I found was listed at $3900. Lastly, the cheapest turbocharged I found was listed at $5995.