Last Updated on January 30, 2023 by Calvyn Ee
The mighty V8 engine has been an American muscle-car staple for several decades. Its burbles and roars have been said to cause hairs to tingle and stir high adrenaline levels, and understandably so. Unfortunately, with constantly rising fuel prices, the global push for low carbon-emission cars, and the advent of electric vehicles, the demise of the V8 engine is imminent.
Fewer and fewer automakers are making them. Volkswagen, for example, has said that it will have switched to all-electric powertrains by 2030; General Motors has also stated that it will follow suit by 2035. Therefore, V8 car lovers should snatch up on the available ones before disappearing from the market. If you want to get one yourself but have a tight budget, here are the cheapest V8 cars to buy in 2022.
Criteria Used in this Guide
One of the main focuses of this guide is the affordability of these V8 cars. You can get them for even less than $35,000. A $35,000 car loan with a $1,000 down payment, a 4.5% interest rate, and a 60-month payment period will demand monthly payments of just $633, having factored in sales tax and title/registration fees.
Engine and Performance
The bigger the V8 engine, the more power and the greater the thrills. So this guide also singles out the cheapest V8s with the biggest engines and best performance.
2023 Chevrolet Camaro LT1 – Starts at $37,795
The 2023 Chevrolet Camaro LT1 coupe offers solid V8 performance, captivating styling, thrilling driving dynamics, and much more for a price that undercuts the Mustang GT and several other competitors. It is based on the GM Alpha platform, making this Camaro’s chassis 200 pounds lighter and way stiffer than its prior generation. This explains why the Camaro does not disappoint in the handling department.
Its naturally aspirated 6.2L LT1 V8 engine comes standard with a performance-tuned six-speed manual transmission with active rev-matching. It makes 455 hp and 455 lb-ft. of torque, which is enough to propel this car from zero to 60 mph in just 4.0 seconds when equipped with an optional 10-speed paddle-shift automatic transmission. All power and torque are sent to the rear wheels. Even better is that the Chevrolet Camaro LT1 is also available as a convertible.
2023 Ford Mustang GT – Starts at $39,720
Thankfully, you can also get your hands on the popular 2023 Ford Mustang GT for not much more. There’s no disputing this car’s pedigree as a muscle car. It looks every bit the part with its angry-looking front end, muscular curves, and fastback profile; the thrum the engine makes also sounds fantastic.
Under its hood is a naturally aspirated 5.0L Ti-VCT V8 engine that develops 450 hp and 410 lb-ft. of torque; it sends all of it to the rear wheels. When paired with a standard 6-speed manual transmission with Rev Matching, this engine delivers a zero-to-60mph sprint time of just 4.4 seconds. It can also be optioned with an available 10-speed SelectShift® automatic transmission that may deliver even quicker times. If you choose to buy this car, consider its available active valve performance exhaust system; it will turn the car’s already fruity exhaust note into a thunderous roar.
2023 Dodge Challenger R/T – Starts at $40,980
The 2023 Dodge Challenger R/T is a good choice for something with much more oomph. It is driven by Dodge’s proven 375-horsepower 5.7L HEMI® V8 engine, which also pairs with a six-speed or eight-speed automatic. This big 2-door coupe is also notably quick in a straight line, boasting a 0-60mph time of 4.8 seconds.
The “R/T” stands for Road/Track package, which has traditionally signified the addition of an upgraded performance suspension and high-performance tires and brakes. Thanks to the above, you can confidently thrash the R/T on the track. However, its 4,182-pound curb weight remains an impediment to its agility.
Another thing you will love about the 2023 Dodge Challenger R/T is the fact that it can comfortably accommodate five average-sized adults; it also has tons of trunk space at the back, so it can handle family road-trip duties pretty well.
2022 Dodge Charger R/T – Starts at $43,980
We can’t talk about the 2023 Challenger R/T and fail to mention the 2023 Dodge Charger RT because they share many features. The Charger R/T is driven by a 370hp 5.7L HEMI® V8 and is equipped with performance-spec tires, brakes, and a sport-tuned suspension system. Therefore, expect it to deliver a similar performance.
The 2022 Dodge Charger R/T also makes a great family car. It has a spacious cabin that seats five adults and reasonable ride comfort. Also, there is easy 2nd-row access thanks to its four full-size doors. There’s also 16.5 cubic feet of trunk space at the back for your family’s shopping, cargo, or luggage.
2023 Chrysler 300S V8 – Starts at $43,750
Now 11 years old, the current generation of the Chrysler 300 full-size luxury sedan lives on in 2023. Its 300S V8 model offers a slightly detuned version of the 5.7L HEMI® V8 in the Charger and Challenger, making 363 horsepower and 394 lb.-ft. of torque. Despite that, the car is still relatively fast, hitting a decent zero-to-60mph time of 5.4 seconds. An eight-speed automatic transmission is standard, and so is rear-wheel drive.
However, the 2023 Chrysler 300S V8 is not just all about performance. It is also a refined luxury cruiser fit to carry royalty. It has a well-appointed, leather-trimmed cabin with all the bells and whistles you would expect to find in a large executive sedan.
Buying a V8 Car
These V8 cars have front-engine/rear-wheel drive body layouts, so they have near 50/50 front-to-rear weight distribution. Therefore, all of them will also offer excellent cornering stability and control.
These are the last of a dying breed. As 4-cylinder and 6-cylinder engines become the powertrains of choice for more and more automakers, new V8 cars will become harder to find. As a result, they will become more collectible, meaning their prices will keep rising. Therefore, if you are serious about buying a V8, do yourself a favor and buy now when the prices are still reasonable.