My favorite high horsepower car under $50k

If I had to pick one, the huge-horsepower car under $50 grand that I would both love to drive on fun days and also get along with fine on commute days is...

...the Ford Mustang Boss 302. Oh, I know, here come the Chevy and Mopar folks telling me I'm biased because I own a bunch of Fords, but the Fords I own were all made before Clinton was in office -- some before Nixon. So that's that.

I love the Boss because it moves well, sounds good, looks good, and is enjoyable to be in, not just be seen in. It's an absolute hammer on the road, does so without the lumpy, surging weirdness of turbos and blowers, and is just this side of too wild for daily use.

If there was ever a topic that called for a quick poll, this is it!

Least favorite on the list? In one key way, the Camaro SS. I just can't get past that turret slit of a windshield and cave-like interior, and I find it fundamentally occludes your ability to know where the car is when you're pushing it. Maybe if I owned and drove one for a longer time, I'd get over it. The SS is the least rorty car on our list, though also the cheapest and the only one that is really affordable for a lot of people. I think that deserves a runner-up award.

About the author

Brian Cooley joined CNET in 1995 and always comes at technology from the real consumer's point of view. He brings his high energy, often skeptical style to all avenues of CNET coverage, with an emphasis on car tech. You'll also find him frequently on television, radio and the TV screens at Costco!



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