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With gas prices through the roof, most of us are driving the most fuel efficient vehicle we can afford. Despite having fuel economy forced upon us, our hearts yearn for sleek lines, responsive acceleration, and speed to spare. Normally, that means an expensive car that just can not resist a gas station. That does not have to be true. Here are a few cheap cars that are fast and decently fuel efficient.

Ford Mustang

Cheap Ford MustangIn order for the Mustang to meet the ”cheap” requirement, you will need to shop for a used one. Fortunately, you can find one that is used, not used up. With some careful shopping, you can find a niceĀ  2007 Mustang GT Deluxe coupe with fewer than 100K miles for around $12,500. The standard 4.6L V8 in the GT only offers 23 mpg on the highway, but will get you from 0-60 in five seconds. The standard 4.0L V6 in the non-GT only increases the fuel efficiency to 24 mpg on the highway, but drops the price tag to $9,500.

Subaru Impreza WRX

Cheap WRXThe Impreza WRX is a legit fast car straight from the factory. That may be why it is so frequently modified. The WRX is equipped with a 2.5L turbo-charged four-cylinder and a fun to operate five-speed manual transmission. The combination can propel you to 60 in 5.2 seconds if you operate it efficiently. You can find a nice 2006 Subaru Impreza WRX with around 100K miles for $11,500. You do need to take care that you buy one that has not been modified.

MazdaSpeed3 / MX-5

Cheap Mazda MiataMazda offers two cars that are fun to drive, fuel efficient, and reliable. The first is the Mazda Miata MX-5. This is a great convertible that offers a 0-60 time of around six seconds by way of a 2.0L four-cylinder engine. That number may not blow you away, but the responsive handling and great driving experience will. Add to that 27 mpg on the highway and a price tag that comes in at $9200 for the 2007 model and you have a great cheap car that is decently fast. The next offering that Mazda has is the MazdaSpeed3. The 2007 MazdaSpeed3 is equipped with a 2.3L turbo-charged engine and a sweet 6-speed manual transmission. The combo offers 26 mpg on the highway and a sub-six second 0-60. Not bad for a price tag of $11,250.

BMW Z4

Cheap BMW Z4Mix a touch of luxury, a dash of speed, and plenty of class and you come up with the BMW Z4. More specifically, we are talking about the 2004 BMW Z4 3.0i with the six-speed/SMG manual transmission. For $9,100 this car offers BMW class and reliability as well as a mid-six second 0-60 time. The V6 under the hood delivers 29 mpg on the highway when paired to the 6-speed manual. You can go as new as a 2006 model without pushing the sticker past $12,000. Who thought you could get a world-class German sports car for less than $10,000?

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