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Great 300-HP Cars and SUVs Around $40,000

Motor Trend logo Motor Trend 10/28/2014 Jason Udy

While there are plenty of 300-hp cars and SUVs for much less than $40,000, we want to focus on cars that offer more than just their power ratings. Many of these models offer roominess, luxury, handling, all-weather capability, and/or prestige. Some even offer value undercutting competitors or premium segment cars with their standard and available features, while still offering around 300 hp.

2015 Acura TLX 3.5 V-6 9-AT P-AWS with Technology Package ($40,145)

2015 Acura TLX© Provided by MotorTrend 2015 Acura TLX Effectively replacing the discontinued TSX and TL in the automaker's lineup, the 2015 Acura TLX is available with a 206-hp 2.4-liter I-4 or a 290-hp 3.5-liter V-6. Acura's innovative Precision All-Wheel Steer system standard, while the Technology Package adds Navigation, a premium audio system with hard drive, sport seats with Milano leather, Bluetooth, AcuraLink, rain-sensing wipers, Forward Collison Warning and Lane Departure Warning, Lane Keeping Assist, Blinds Spot Information, and Rear Cross Traffic Monitor systems. Acura's Super Handling All-Wheel-Drive is available as is an Advanced Package that adds even more features.

2014 Cadillac ATS 3.6L Luxury RWD ($42,020)

2014 Cadillac ATS© Provided by MotorTrend 2014 Cadillac ATS A 321-hp 3.6-liter V-6 offers quite a bit of punch for the compact 2014 Cadillac ATS sedan. Combine the powerful engine with a six-speed automatic and chassis development done on the Nürburgring Nordschleife and the Cadillac ATS 3.6 can hang and even beat the BMW 335i and outgoing Mercedes-Benz C35 sedans – especially in the corners. In addition to its powerful engine and sporty chassis, the ATS is available with Cadillac's intuitive CUE infotainment system. A seven-speaker Bose audio system is standard, while a 10-speaker audio system is available. All-wheel-drive is optional.

2015 Hyundai Genesis 3.8 ($38,950)

2015 Hyundai Genesis Sedan Front Side View© Provided by MotorTrend 2015 Hyundai Genesis Sedan Front Side View Now in its second generation, the original Hyundai Genesis sedan was the Korean automaker's first foray into the rear-drive premium sedan segment. Styling for the new 2015 Hyundai Genesis has matured and the automaker has added more equipment and options. The base engine is a 311-hp 3.8-liter V-6 mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission. All-wheel-drive is available. Standard features include leather seating, heated front seats, dual-zone climate, and navigation, projector headlights with LED accents, LED taillights, and 19-inch wheels. Even more options are available.

2015 Subaru WRX STI Limited ($39,290)

2015 Subaru WRX STI© Provided by MotorTrend 2015 Subaru WRX STI The 2015 Subaru WRX STI Limited offers the most performance bang for the buck. Powered by a 305-hp 2.5-liter turbocharged boxer flat four-cylinder, the rally-bred Subaru punches way above its weight class. Despite having just 305 hp, the Subaru WRX STI sedan's acceleration is only a few tenths of a second behind the new 435-hp 2015 Ford Mustang GT. Subaru's Symmetrical All-Wheel-Drive is enhanced with Subaru Intelligent Drive (SI-DRIVE) technology with driver selectable drive modes and the Driver-Controlled Center Differential (DCCD), which controls how much power is sent fore and aft. A six-speed manual is the only transmission, while Brembo brakes and BBS alloy wheels are standard. Luxury touches include heated leather seats, a moonroof, and navigation.

2015.5 Volvo S60 T6 Drive-E FWD ($39,925)

2015 Volvo S60 T6 Drive E© Provided by MotorTrend 2015 Volvo S60 T6 Drive E The 2015.5 Volvo S60 T6 Drive-E FWD is powered by a twin-charged 2.0-liter I-4 making 302 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque. Power is sent to the front wheels via an eight-speed automatic transmission. The changeover from the low rpm supercharger to the high rpm turbocharger is imperceptible. Standard features include LED daytime running lights, leather seats, and power front seats, leather-wrapped steering wheel, and navigation infotainment system with Bluetooth and iPod integration, a rain sensor, and 18-inch alloy wheels. Like all Volvos, the S60 T6 comes with an impressive assortment of active and passive safety features.

2015 BMW X1 xDrive35i ($39,750)

2015 BMW X1© Provided by MotorTrend 2015 BMW X1 Although the 2015 BMW X1 xDrive35i is the least expensive way into a BMW SAV (sports activity vehicle), the subcompact crossover still comes with lots of standard features including a 300-hp 3.0-liter turbocharged I-6 mated to a six-speed automatic and BMW's xDrive all-wheel-drive system standard. Other standard features include HID headlights with LED accents, eight-way power seats, and more. In addition to its standard features, the X1 xDrive35i offers the driving experience of a 3 Series sedan with the visibility of a crossover and the practicality of a station wagon.

2015 Ford Flex Limited AWD EcoBoost ($43,750)

2015 Ford Flex© Provided by MotorTrend 2015 Ford Flex While the 2015 Ford Flex Limited AWD EcoBoost pushes the price tag for our list, it's also the largest and most powerful model. The four-door, seven-passenger wagon is powered by Ford's 3.5-liter twin-turbo EcoBoost V-6 making 365 hp and 350 lb-ft of torque. Power is sent to all four wheels via a paddle-shifted six-speed automatic and the automaker's Intelligent All-Wheel-Drive system. Standard luxury touches include push-button start, 12-speaker Sony audio system, navigation, dual-climate zone, leather seats, heated front seats, and more. The Flex EcoBoost offers power and luxury in a family hauler.

2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited 4X4 ($39,490)

2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited© Provided by MotorTrend 2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited The 2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee is powered by the automaker's 3.0-liter Pentastar V-6 with 290 hp and 260 lb-ft. An eight-speed automatic transmission backs the engine, while power is sent to the wheels via the Quadra-Trac II 4WD system with two-speed on-demand transfer case. Standard features include heated front and rear leather seats with eight-way power front seats, dual-zone climate, rearview camera, Uconnect infotainment system with 5.0-inch touchscreen, and more. Maximum towing capacity with the V-6 is rated 6200 pounds. The Jeep Grand Cherokee offers families and luxury and off-road capability for a modest price.

2015 Mercedes-Benz GLK350 ($40,825)

2014 Mercedes Benz GLK350 4MATIC© Provided by MotorTrend 2014 Mercedes Benz GLK350 4MATIC Until the new GLA-Class crossover arrived, the Mercedes-Benz GLK-Class was the German automaker's smallest SUV. The GLK350 is powered by a 302-hp 3.5-liter V-6 mated to a seven-speed manual transmission and Mercedes' 4MATIC all-wheel-drive system. Being from the three-pointed star, the GLK350 comes with lots of standard premium features including dual-climate control, convincing MB-Tex upholstery with burl walnut wood trim, 10-way power front seat with four-way power lumbar and eight-way manual passenger seat, and LED daytime running lights and LED taillights. The 302-hp V-6 moves the GLK350 with authority on the street, while its handling is confident for a hefty SUV.

2015 Audi S3 ($41,995)

2015 Audi S3© Provided by MotorTrend 2015 Audi S3 With a 292-hp 2.0-liter turbocharged I-4, the 2015 Audi S3 sedan offers performance on par with the 2004 Audi S4 sedan with its naturally aspirated 340-hp 4.2-liter V-8. The six-speed dual-clutch transmission shifts quickly, while the Quattro all-wheel-drive grips the road. Not only does the new S3 provide impressive performance, but the compact sedan returns an EPA-rated 23/31 mpg city/highway. In addition to its modern exterior styling, the 2015 Audi S3 has a minimalistic interior with a retractable infotainment screen and MMI controller that operate most of the vehicle functions.

Great 300 hp cars and suvs© Provided by MotorTrend Great 300 hp cars and suvs

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