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Australia’s Fastest Production Cars That Won’t Break The Bank

There are several fast and sporty production vehicles available to Australians for under $40,000. Many feature powerful turbo engines and great standard features for their class. There are offerings from Germany, France and Italy in the lineup. You won’t confuse any of the cars on this list with a Toyota Corolla!

The Peugeot 308 Allure

Peugeot 308 Allure

Peugeot 308 Allure

French carmaker Peugeot offers the feisty 2012 308 Allure with its 2.0 liter six speed turbo-diesel engine and 120kW (161hp)and 340Nm (250 lb-ft) torque. Standard features include items that are included on prestige cars like a trip computer, dual-zone climate control, LED and dusk-sensing headlamps, reverse parking sensors, ABS brakes, and stability and traction control. The Peugeot gives a fast, fairly quiet ride and comes with a five star ANCAP safety rating for its front, side and curtain airbags. Drive away price for the Peugeot is $36,585.

The Alfa Romeo Mito

Alfa Romeo Mito QV

The Alfa Romeo Mito QV

The 2012 Alfa Romeo Mito QV gives a zesty, fun drive with its six speed 1.4 liter turbo rated at 125 kW (168hp) and 250Nm (184 lb-ft) of torque. Alfa Romeo’s DNA drive system offers Dynamic, Normal and All-Weather options to add even more control to your driving experience. The Dynamic drive gives more verve to your on the road experience and the MultiAir engine delivers precise valve timing for great combustion and fuel efficiency. MacPherson struts ensure a smooth, quiet ride on Australia’s varied roads.

Standard features on the Mito include dual zone climate control, rear parking control and power mirrors. ABS brakes, head, front and side airbags, and a collision seat belt tensioner contribute to the Italian sport car’s five star ANCAP rating. One of the Mito’s biggest appeals is its singular body style, a signature of the Italian sport car company. You can drive away the sleek Alfa Romeo for $39,000.

The Volkswagen Golf Cabriolet

VW Golf Cabriolet 118tsi

The VW Golf Cabriolet 118tsi

The 2012 Volkswagen Golf DSG 118 TSI Cabriolet has been getting rave reviews for its great handling, interior design and German engineered engine. Under the bonnet beats a 1.4 liter, seven speed supercharged turbo 188kW (252hp)/240Nm (177 lb-ft) engine with lightning fast throttle response. On the road, the ride is smooth and quiet even on Australia’s tarmac. Sport suspension and Macpherson struts keep vibration to a minimum. The robust VW boasts a five star NCAP safety rating for front, side and head airbags, ABS brakes, traction and stability control, front and rear head restraints and active roll-over protection which is so important in a soft top vehicle.

Standard features rival those of a prestige vehicle and include trip computer with Bluetooth and USB connectivity, automatic headlamps, rain sensing wipers, and dual-zone climate control. The Cabriolet is fast, fun to drive and offers sharp competition for its more expensive rivals. You can drive the VW off the lot for $39,000.

The 2012 Mini Cooper Diesel

Diesel Mini Cooper

The Diesel Mini Cooper

The Mini Copper D has been turning heads since its debut with its Euro retro styling. It also makes headlines with its 3.9 l/100km fuel economy and zippy 1.4 liter turbo diesel engine with 82kW (110 hp) and 270Nm torque (about 199 lb-ft, which is a LOT for a small car). MacPherson struts and aerodynamic design beneath the car limits drag and resistance for greater speed and less vibration. The Mini is agile in city traffic and its stop/start technology save dollars at the fuel pump. Standard features include trip computer, ABS brakes, traction and stability control and BMW’s brake control system for handling corners. You can roll away in a Mini for about $39,000.

The Verdict

With an array of affordable Euro cars to choose from, it is difficult to select the best from among them. Often buyers choose solely on body style or the power under the bonnet. However, for the best overall bargain for great handling, speed and versatility, the Volkswagen Cabriolet or its hardtop sibling delivers the most for the money. It is often compared to the Audi A3 and BMW 120i, both of which retail for $10,000 more than their more affordable German rival.

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