Tuesday, May 30

How Much Bang Can You Get for the Buck? (Pt 1)

2015 Porsche 911 Carrera 4 Cabriolet

When we buy vehicles, those of us who are car enthusiasts want to know how much horsepower can be had for the money we spend. This is the statistic that we are looking for and want answered even before the performance numbers are discussed. Most of us are also on some form of a budget for our car purchases and give us the ability to buy the most car we can get for the money. Here is what you can buy in a variety of horsepower categories along with the prices you should expect to pay.

Under 100 Horsepower

Maybe this shouldn’t be a category at all, but talking subcompact cars, especially these small hatchbacks that are included helps us sort out what these small-powered cars will cost you. Even though many of these cars don’t impose any threat to the general car population, they do comprise a certain segment of vehicles that should be discussed and considered, especially if your budget is very small.   The leader overall for this category is the Chevrolet Spark with the Smart Fortwo Electric Drive pulling up the rear.

  1. Chevrolet Spark – 84 hp, $12,270, $146.07/hp
  2. Scion iQ – 94 hp, $15,665, $166.65/hp
  3. Mitsubishi Mirage – 74 hp,$12,995, $175.61/hp
  4. Smart Fortwo – 70 hp, $13,270, $189.57/hp
  5. Toyota Prius C – 99 hp, $19,540, $197.37/hp
  6. Smart Fortwo Convertible – 70 hp, $17,930, $256.14/hp
  7. Smart Fortwo Electric Drive – 74 hp, $25,000, $337.84/hp

100- 200 Horsepower

This group is by far the largest in the automotive world and has something from every segment of vehicles to purchase. This range is where most of us buy what we need, especially if fuel mileage is important to you. The segment is littered with great vehicles with the Chevrolet Colorado leading the way as the most for the least and the Kia Soul EV pulls up the rear, lets you see one undeniable fact; even though we love the move toward electric vehicles they still aren’t cheap to make.

Least Expensive

  1. Chevrolet Colorado 2.5L – 200 hp, $20,120, $100.60/hp
  2. Dodge Dart SXT 2.4L – 184 hp, $18,895, $102.69/hp
  3. Dodge Dart SE 2.0L – 160 hp, $16,495, $103,09/hp
  4. Chevrolet Sonic – 138 hp, $14,435, $103.22/hp
  5. GMC Canyon 2.5L – 200 hp, $20,995, $104.98/hp

Most Expensive

  1. Kia Soul EV – 109 hp, $33,700, $309.17/hp
  2. Volkswagen e-Golf – 115 hp, $35,445, $308.22/hp
  3. Fiat 500e – 111 hp, $31,800, $286.49/hp
  4. Nissan Leaf – 107 hp, $29,010, $271.12/hp
  5. Mercedes- Benz E250 BlueTEC – 195 hp, $51,800, $265.64/hp

201-300 Horsepower

Once we get into this threshold the fun really begins. That doesn’t mean lower horsepower cars have less fun, but let’s get real; more ponies equals more fun. This list gives a look a t some amazing vehicles and stretches well into the luxury car categories to give us some of our favorite vehicles at either end of the spectrum. Leading the way is the Dodge Grand Caravan American Value Edition and pulling up the rear shows us the Audi A8 TDI.

Least Expensive

  1. Dodge Grand Caravan American Value – 283 hp, $21,295, $75.60/hp
  2. Ram Cargo Van – 283 hp, $22,000, $77.74/hp
  3. Ford Mustang 3.7L – 300 hp, $23,600, $78.67/hp
  4. Jeep Wrangler – 285 hp, $22,705, $79.67/hp
  5. Chevrolet Silverado 1500 4.3L – 297 hp, $26,105, 87.90/hp

Most Expensive

  1. Audi A8 TDI – 240 hp, $85,100, $354.58/hp
  2. BMW 740Ld xDrive – 255 hp, $82,500, $323.53/hp
  3. Audi A7 TDI – 240 hp, $68,300, $284.58/hp
  4. Mercedes-Benz GL350 BlueTEC – 240 hp, $63,600, 265.00/hp
  5. Porsche Cayenne Diesel – 240 hp, $61,700, $257.08/hp

301-400 Horsepower

This is the group most of us want to play in and at some point in our lives can do so. 300 horsepower used to be the mark of high power on any vehicle and is still revered as one of the most important numbers in the automotive industry. This is where you will see a great deal of high powered sports cars, powerful trucks and many luxury vehicles, all meant to give us some of the most fun driving vehicles on the planet. The leader for this group is the Chevrolet Camaro 3.6L and Toyota Tundra with the Porsche 911 Carrera 4 Cabriolet pulling up the rear.

Least Expensive

  1. Chevrolet Camaro 3.6L – 323 hp, $23,705, $73.39/hp
  2. Toyota Tundra 5.7L – 381 hp, $29,120, $76.43/hp
  3. Hyundai Genesis Coupe – 348 hp, $26,750, $76.87/hp
  4. Dodge Ram 2500 5.7L – 383 hp, $30,685, $80.12/hp
  5. Ford F-250 6.2L – 385 hp, $31,235, $81.13/hp

Most Expensive

  1. Porsche 911 Carrera 4 Cabriolet – 350 hp, $107,010, $305.74/hp
  2. Porsche 911 Carrera 4S Cabriolet – 400 hp, $121,610, $304.03/hp
  3. Mercedes-Benz G550 – 382 hp, $115,400, $302.09/hp
  4. Porsche 911 Targa 4S – 400 hp $116,200, $290.50/hp
  5. Porsche 911 Targa 4 – 350 hp, $101,600, $290.29/hp


Next month, we will go beyond the 400HP mark and see some serious power cars.

This post may contain affiliate links. Meaning a commission is given should you decide to make a purchase through these links, at no cost to you. All products shown are researched and tested to give an accurate review for you.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *