There’s just something enticing about sitting in a high-performance vehicle that makes the heart start pumping before you ever hit the gas. However, there are a few things you should know about them before you sign on the dotted line.

Size Varies

Performance vehicles are available in a wide range of styles and sizes. There are “hot hatches” that are sporty compacts, the muscle cars from days of old and the luxury cars with the performance upgrade. The size you choose will depend on a few things, most notably what you like, how many people you plan to haul around and, of course, how much you want to pay.

Prices Vary Too

When it comes to size, it doesn’t always mean cheapest when it comes to performance cars. Sure, there are hot hatches at around $20,000, but that same size or just a bit larger can reach to the $100,000 or higher price range as well. There are also the luxury models that can easily reach $1 million. For these types of cars, it’s all about how much you’re willing to spend.

Cylinders Aren’t Everything

In the past the idea of a huge eight-cylinder engine was almost a rite of passage, but today, opting for a turbocharged V6 can offer better performance. The most important things you need to look for are the torque and horsepower. When it comes to performance vehicles, higher torque can offer a greater thrill while driving, even if the vehicle has less horsepower.

Acceleration or Fun?

While you’ll find these cars in front-wheel, rear-wheel and all-wheel drive, the choice really comes down to whether you care more about faster acceleration or you want to have more fun with those turns and smoking the tires. All-wheel drive provides improved handling, while the rear-wheel drive allows you to show off your skill at handling the car yourself.

Prepare for the Costs

Performance vehicles not only cost more initially, they also tend to have higher overall costs as well. Most require premium gas yet provide low fuel economy. You’ll also need to plan on shelling out more for tires as well – especially if you show off in your ride. Maintenance is also a major consideration, especially if you choose one of the luxury performance car manufacturers.

If you already own a performance car and need maintenance, make sure to contact YourMechanic for assistance – we’d love to help!

This article originally appeared on YourMechanic.com as 5 Essential Things to Know About High-Performance Vehicles and was authored by Valerie Johnston.


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