Lexus IS 250 Fast Family Sedans Under $40,000

9 Fast Family-Friendly Cars Under $40,000 for 2017

Who doesn’t want a supercar? 0-60 in a flash, tight cornering, sticky tires and a bucket seat. I know I want that. Practicality, however, has a funny way of ruining dreams. If I could afford a supercar, I wouldn’t be able to get a car seat in it and that’s a deal breaker. Have no fear. There are plenty of cars these days built for both speed and the needs of everyday family life. With the average MSRP for new cars hovering around $34,000 in mind, I set out to gather a list of the 9 best fast family-friendly cars under $40,000.

Audi A3

The Audi A3 is Fast and Luxurious
The Audi A3 is Fast and Luxurious

Bite-Size Luxury: The A3 has everything I love about Audis in one handsome, tight-handling package. Steering is precise, the ride composed and fit and finish are superb. A 220-hp 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder and six-speed automatic drive either the front or all four wheels. A backup camera and 10-speaker audio are standard; adaptive cruise control and an infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are optional. If you stretch just a bit beyond the $40,000 mark you can upgrade to the 292 horsepower S3 which will get you to 60 mph in 4.6 seconds.

Engine: 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder
Gas Mileage: 24/33
Horsepower: 220
Torque: 258 lb-ft
Drive: FWD or AWD
0-60 mph: 5.4 seconds
Top Speed: 129 mph
MSRP: $31,200

Volkswagen Golf GTI

Golf GTI the best fast family sedans under $40,000
The benchmark for all hot hatches

Refined Hot Hatch:The Golf GTI has been the hot hatch all others have been measured by since it rolled of the line in 1976. The base engine is a 210-hp 2.0-liter turbo four with a six-speed manual. The Sport model affords you 10 more horses as well as upgrades to brakes and a torque-sensing limited-slip differential. The GTI’s classic plaid seats come standard.

Engine: 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder
Gas Mileage: 24/34
Horsepower: 210
Torque: 258 lb-ft
Drive: FWD
0-60 mph: 5.8 seconds
Top Speed: 124 mph
MSRP: $26,415

Mazda6

Mazda6 Fast Family Sedans Under $40,000
The Mazda6’s looks and driving dynamics hit well above its price point

Best-Looking Family Sedan:The Mazda6 outshines cars with double the sticker price in the style and design department. While it’s not the fastest accelerating car on the list, it is one of the more responsive and better-handling cars on the road. The flowing design and great handling are almost unbelievable when you consider that it can all be yours for under $22,000. This is the perfect car for the budget minded who hate looking like they’re budget minded.

Engine: 2.5-liter four-cylinder
Gas Mileage: 26/38
Horsepower: 184
Torque: 185 lb-ft
Drive: FWD
0-60 mph: 7.4 seconds
Top Speed: 130 mph
MSRP: $21,495

Subaru WRX

Subaru WRX Fast Family Sedans Under $40,000
An AWD track car that can also carry kids

For Autocross on the Weekends:Despite the WRX hatchback no longer being with us, the rally-inspired sedan lives on and it’s a more refined and better-looking car than ever. The new platform introduces increased chassis rigidity with a more capable suspension and the new powerplant delivers more responsive and smooth power. A CVT is optional, but of course, the manual is more fun to drive despite its wide ratios.

Engine: 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder
Gas Mileage: 21/28
Horsepower: 268
Torque: 258 lb-ft
Drive: AWD
0-60 mph: 5.0 seconds
Top Speed: 144 mph
MSRP: $27,515

Cadillac ATS

Cadillac ATS Fast Family Sedans Under $40,000
Impressive performance and distinctive styling

For Getting to the Office Fast:The Cadillac ATS combines impressive performance and distinctive styling in a package capable of putting a real challenge to the best from Europe and Japan. Base models feature a potent 272-hp 2.0-liter turbo four mated to an eight-speed automatic and rear-wheel drive. A 335-hp V-6 is available, as are all-wheel drive and a six-speed manual. The Caddy offers an 8.0-inch touchscreen featuring Apple CarPlay and Android Auto for infotainment.

Engine: 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder
Gas Mileage: 20/30
Horsepower: 335
Torque: 295 lb-ft
Drive: AWD
0-60 mph: 5.6 seconds
Top Speed: 150 mph
MSRP: $35,590

Lexus IS250

Lexus IS 250 Fast Family Sedans Under $40,000
The obsessively detailed interior is a great place to be

Ultimate Comfort and Finish:Since its 2014 model year redesign, the Lexus IS sedan has evolved into a formidable competitor in compact luxury sport sedan segment thanks to its excellent handling and fantastic interior. The IS250 offers tremendous value to anyone looking for an affordable, sexy luxury car. Only downside is that the motor could use a little more beef.

Engine: 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder
Gas Mileage: 22/32
Horsepower: 241
Torque: 258 lb-ft
Drive: RWD or AWD
0-60 mph: 6.9 seconds
Top Speed: 143 mph
MSRP: $27,175

Volvo V60

Volvo V60 Fast Family Sedans Under $40,000
Everyone needs a quick wagon in their life

Best Looking Wagon:It was a sad day when the V70 wagon left the US market in 2010, but the Volvo wagon has returned in all its glory in the V60. Handsome styling and a sloping roofline make the V60 more of a stylish hatchback than a conventional station wagon. A 240-hp 2.0-liter turbo four, eight-speed automatic, and front-wheel drive are standard; all-wheel drive is optional, as is a 302-hp 2.0-liter turbo- and supercharged four. For the power hungry, the Polestar model makes 362 hp.

Engine: 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder
Gas Mileage: 22/30
Horsepower: 240
Torque: 258 lb-ft
Drive: FWD or AWD
0-60 mph: 6.2 seconds
MSRP: $37,145

BMW 330i

BMW 330i
The 3-series was once the benchmark for all sports sedans

The Most Well-Rounded:The BMW 330i has the performance to match its great looks with 248 horsepower and 280 lb-ft of torque. Legendary 3-Series handling especially when combined with optional all-wheel-drive and a luxurious interior delivers a very well-rounded car. The Dynamic Handling Package available for $1,000 gets you the fantastic Adaptive M suspension and Variable Sport Steering for even more fun.

Engine: 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder
Gas Mileage: 23/34
Horsepower: 248
Torque: 280 lb-ft
Drive: AWD
0-60 mph: 5.4 seconds
Top Speed: 155 mph
MSRP: $37,145

Ford Focus RS

Ford Focus RS Fast Family Sedans Under $40,000
Ready to rally

Ready to Rally Hot Hatch: The 2016 Ford Focus RS is about as close as you can get to a rally car without losing the ability to legal drive on pavement. The vehicle was developed by Ford Performance with consulting from Ken Block, the resulting vehilce has 350 horsepower and 350 lb-ft of torque. There’s even a “Drift Mode” for plenty of fun. Good luck finding one at MSRP though, dealers are loading these things up with so many options most are weighing in at $45,000+.

Engine: 2.3-liter turbocharged inline-four
Gas Mileage: 19/25
Horsepower: 350
Torque: 350 lb-ft
Drive: AWD
0-60 mph: 4.6 seconds
Top Speed: 165 mph
MSRP: $36,120
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