Top 10 Tuners under $20k

Top 10 Tuners Under $20k

What a time to be alive! Nowadays there are so many options available on the used market with respectable street performance for a reasonable price. These are Korvidae’s picks for the top 10 Tuners under $20k. 

To make this list the cars must be 2013 or newer. Each car is ranked by daily-drivability, reliability, street performance (speed and handling), features, style and value. These are cars anyone can find at a local dealer and some may even still have a factory warranty. Although we all know you’ll have the warranty voided the minute you bring it home. Especially since you’re most likely gonna mod the hell out of it. 

10. 2014 Lexus IS250

2.5L V6

204 hp 185 lb-ft torque

0-60: 7.2 secs

I really wish this car was farther up on the list, but if anything its an indication of my lack of bias on the topic. I personally owned a 1999 IS 250. Technically it was a Toyota Altezza but the US got the Lexus version. Honestly the 250 is just a neutered IS 300. However, for the money its a gorgeous car and a really shines when it comes to handling. Plus it has the reliability which Toyota is so widely known for. In the end this car was chosen for its striking look, comfort and luxury quality, and the amount of features you get for the money.

9. 2016 MX-5 Miata

2.0L SkyActive 4-Cylinder

155 hp 148 lb-ft torque

0-60: 6.8 secs

Now the next submission for Top 10 Tuners Under $20k is something I never would’ve thought would be so inexpensive. It makes sense really, considering there isn’t much to this car. I almost bought this new generation when it came out but ultimately decided against it due to the lack of amenities and basic storage space. This is the reason why its so far up on the top 10. Don’t get me wrong, Mazda doubled down on the performance roadster model with the new addition to the MX-5 family. Its really a great drivers car. Super fun to drive, takes corners like a champ, and overall looks stunning in my opinion. Most will never get bored when driving this car but its hard to recommend as a daily driver or “only car”. 

8. 2016 Scion FRS

2.0L 4-Cylinder Boxer

200 hp 151 lb-ft torque

0-60: 6.9 secs

Oh the FRS… BRZ? Toyota 86? FRS in this case. Originally I had this little monster further down the list. This car is one I have always wanted to own. Its a highschool kids wet dream. Or at least it was for me back in 2013 when the BRZ version was announced. It really is an amazing platform for modding. The aftermarket is insane. Body kits, boost kits, lighting, ect. This has become somewhat of a staple in the drift community. However, just like the MX-5 its a great drivers car, but not the best daily. Its undeniably faster and has quite the performance edge over the MX-5 though. There is also a million of these on the road so its not really all that unique. Plus the styling is starting to look dated these days compared to the competitors. Great car but its not something that’ll impress your date or the valet parking it.

7. 2014 Chevy Camaro SS

6.2L V8

426 hp 420 lb-ft torque

0-60: 5.0 secs

The Chevy Camaro. What an ugly car… Inside and out. The newest generation has really come a long way from this blocky, notchy, cluncky mess. I’ll never understand why American car manufactures went so damn cheap on their products. I’m talking to you GM… and Chrysler… Ford… Moving on. Things have since changed but you have to admit it, they went through a very long rough patch. But there’s hope!!! The engine is what saves this car. Who doesn’t love the sound and torque-on-demand feel of an American V8. More specifically the 6.2L crammed under the hood of this metal shit box. All jokes aside, Chevy and Dodge’s V8’s are some of my favorite engines. Toss a cam in this sucker and you got yourself a nasty setup. Ya gotta get the SS though. Anything else and you’re just wasting your time. 

6. 2014 Ford Mustang Gt

5.0L V8

420 hp 390 lb-ft torque

0-60: 5.8 secs

Surely its no surprise that the Mustang is on this list. These cars are all over the used market with under 100k miles well under $20K. Which as long as the car was taken care of shouldn’t be an issue. $14k gets you plenty of power to break traction and plow into as many crowds to your hearts content. In all seriousness, the 5.0l V8 in this car is pretty damn stout and can handle a fair amount of abuse. Not to mention the aftermarket for these things is vast and ever-expanding. Throw a VMP or a Rousche blower on the sucker and you got yourself a budget GT 500. That is if you beef up the innards. However, the 5.0 can handle enough boost to satisfy the ol’ “Butt Dyno” on stock internals. As far as looks go for the Mustang, well… Its definitely American and undeniably Ford. Take that how you will. You either love it or hate it. The good news is, thanks to the aftermarket you can make it look any way you want.  Overall, its quick, its loud, and parts are everywhere since Ford makes a metric dick ton of these vehicles. 

5. 2016 Acura TLX

3.5L V6

290 hp 267 lb-ft torque

0-60: 6.1 secs

Everyone and they’re grandmother has heard of the NSX. Its a household name in the car community. However, this is a car that just recently popped up on my radar. The TLX isn’t much of a looker from most angles in its stock form but that’s an easy fix. Toss some lowering springs and ground effects and you got the tuner look (if that’s what you’re in to). Get some wheels rice it out. It is a rebadged Honda afterall. But its not a Honda and thats why its on my list. Nothing against Hondas, they’re great. We’re just trying to get a bit more creative here. This car comes in a “racing spec” model like most of these cars, but this particular model has some respectable numbers. The handling is great, backed by Honda’s proven reliability, looks great, and its a sedan! Perfect combo for a daily driver. And that’s what brings this so far up the list of Top 10 Tuners Under $20k

4. 2016-2017 VW Golf GTI

2.0L Turbo I4 

210-220 hp 258 lb-ft torque

0-60: 6.5 secs

This next car was a no brainer for the list. After you finish reading this post go to YouTube and search GTI gaps (insert V8 muscle car here). I myself have been taken to Gapplebees by this goofy little hot hatch. I was dragging my nuts around behind my big 5.7 when I rolled up on a GTI. Roll or dig, it didn’t matter. My 350hp hunk of american steel could not keep up with this unassuming little car. And if you are in the market for one of these and you come across the diesel variant, BUY IT! There is nothing more hilarious than a tiny VW rolling coal on the fool who challenges this little guy.

3. 2013 BMW 335i/335d 

3.0L Turbo I6

335i: 300 hp 300 lb-ft tq

0-60: 4.8

335d: 265 hp 425 lb-ft tq

0-60: 5.7 secs

Speaking of diesels, this next whip has a diesel option.  The twin turbo inline 6 in the BMW 335i is a tuners dream. You really can’t go wrong with any car with factory turbos. This car has a ton of potential and puts out plenty of power out of the box. Plus its a four door sedan so if you don’t know whats under the hood you will surely be surprised when it leaves you at the light. The cool thing about BMW is that the resale value is absolutely awful!! So they are a great low mile used car find. The Germans know luxury so the inside of a BMW is a nice place to be and the ride is very comfortable. Four doors, comfortable ride, luxury interior… Boom perfect daily driver. Great for getting form A to B especially if B is the track. The only reason its not the number one pick on this top 10 is something the Germans are also known for… Well, maybe aren’t known for… Reliability. If these things weren’t always falling apart from the inside out and the parts to fix them weren’t so damn expensive it’d be a perfect car. Close but no cigar. Props to Beemer though.

2. 2013 Infinity G37

3.7L V6 

328 hp 269 lb-ft torque

0-60: 6 secs

There are going to be some readers that get upset that I included the G37 and not the Nissan 370z. Especially since they share the VQ platform. Unfortunately the 370z has outlived itself. Everyone knows what it is and not much has changed since its conception. Yes its lighter than the G37 but its an awful daily driver. Enough about the the Z. Check the honorable mentions if you want to see it so bad. Now the G37’s 3.7l V6 is frikin bullet proof! This is an engine with the blood of a race car. Again with the reliability ploy… ITS RELIABLE. ITS A NISSAN. Though this is the 2013 model, from the inside you wouldn’t think it. The interior has held up well over this generation of the car and looks fantastic. The 3.7L puts up some very respectable numbers from the factory, and there are supercharger kits available if 328 hp isn’t enough for ya. But stock it’s not as fast as our number one spot and arguably doesn’t look nearly as slick.

1. 2016 Hyundai Genesis Coupe

3.8L V6  348 hp 295 lb-ft torque 0-60: 6 secs

Top 10 Tuners Under $20k Winner!!!

The Geni is an all around perfect performance daily driver. After moving this coupe up and down the list I eventually realized that it literally meets all the criteria to make it here to begin with, and with little compromise. I honestly didn’t want to admit it but its a sure fire winner for numero uno. Hyundai really set the bar with this car and came out of nowhere seeing how they’re not exactly synonymous with speed and performance. The lines of this coupe are sleek and flowing from front to back with a very cohesive, luxe design. Its a two door coupe with back seats and actual trunk space making it just fine to drive every day. It comes with a 6 speed manual option for the trans and is rear wheel drive. The 3.8 cranks out enough power to smoke the tires and gap mustangs. The exhaust is tuned so well from the factory. IT SOUNDS SO GOOD!! The aftermarket is fair as well. Turbo charged Geni’s have been found to make up to 500 WHP. The engine is very strong and will hold up to your full sends all day. It has a classy overall look that makes you look like you have more money than you probably do when driving it. You get it all with this car for well under $20k! That’s what makes the 2016 Genesis Coupe Korvidae’s number one pick out of the 10 awesome cars listed above.


There you have it, Korvidae’s Top 10 Tuners under $20k. This line up took several days, a ton of research, and sparked plenty of debate here at Korvidae Customs. Take a look at the honorable mentions to see which cars didn’t fit the list. Disagree with our line up? Tell us why and leave a comment!! Check us out on Youtube, Like on Facebook, and enter your email for more content.


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