The 10 Cheapest New Cars with V-8 Engines
As the inexorable march toward eco-friendliness continues, our beloved V-8 engines are being pushed to the wayside as smaller forced-induction engines take the lead. To see the incredible progress the automotive industry has made, you need only recall that GM’s optional 7.4-liter V-8 available in 1974 made just 215 hp, while today Chevrolet offers a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder with 260 hp.
What if you’re not ready to let go of the tried-and-true V-8? New cars with V-8s are getting rarer and rarer, but there are still a few affordable options available to enjoy that eight-cylinder rumble on a budget. We compiled a list of the cheapest entries into new V-8 ownership. For fairness, each particular engine makes the list just once; The Dodge Charger R/T’s 5.7-liter Hemi didn’t make the cut because you can get the same engine more cheaply in a Ram, for instance. Take a look at the entries below, and let us know your favorite V-8 from the list.
2015 Dodge Ram 1500 Tradesman, 5.7-liter V-8, 383 hp/400 lb-ft, $ 25,365
You might think the stripped-down, $ 27,420 Ram Express is the go-to pickup for cheap power, rugged capability, and no nonsense. The heart and soul of that brutally basic pickup is the iconic 5.7-liter Hemi V-8, but there’s actually an even cheaper route to get the Hemi. Opt instead for the Ram 1500 Tradesman and tick the box for the 395-hp Hemi with 407 lb-ft of torque, and you’ll walk out the door paying $ 690 less than you would for a Ram 1500 Tradesman with a V-6. The secret is that the Hemi can be paired with an old-school six-speed auto; it undercuts the cost of the newfangled eight-speed automatic, which is included as standard on the V-6 to eke out every last MPG. More power, less money. What more do you want? -Eric Weiner
The cheapest way to get a V-8 engine in the new, aluminum-bodied 2015 Ford F-150 pickup is in a regular-cab, short-bed XL model with rear-wheel drive. The 5.0-liter V-8 itself costs $ 1,595 over the base 3.5-liter V-6, meaning that it slots in between the F-150’s two Ecoboost V-6 engine options, price-wise. A six-speed automatic transmission is standard, but not much else—the bare-bones XL does without a CD player, power windows and locks, and cruise control, making for a no-nonsense work truck with old-school V-8 power (385 hp to be specific). -Joey Capparella
While the genes of the Chevrolet smallblock can also trace its roots all the way back to the cam-in-block architecture first debuted in 1955, the available 5.3-liter V-8 in the 2015 Chevrolet Silverado originally debuted in its first generation in 1992. All of this automotive history can be yours for $ 28,495 in the 2015 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 with the regular cab, standard box, and rear-wheel drive. In standard trim, the 5.3-liter Ecotec3 V-8 pushes out a healthy 355 hp. Sure, bigger and more powerful V-8s are available at additional cost, but this is the competition for cheapest V-8, so the well-seasoned 5.3-liter will have to do. -Conner Golden
2015 Nissan NV2500HD, 5.6-liter V-8, 317 hp/385 lb-ft, $ 29,435
It lacks the sporting pedigree of some other cars on this list, but the 2015 Nissan NV2500HD cargo van does pack a V-8 for a reasonable price. Also available in a passenger-van configuration with up to 12 seats, the NV2500HD uses Nissan’s 5.6-liter V-8 and a five-speed automatic transmission, with 317 hp and 385 lb-ft directed to the rear wheels. Given that this is a cargo van, interior accoutrements are sparse; options include two roof heights, various interior tie-down points, underseat storage drawers, navigation, a backup camera, and more. So while it’s not the sportiest affordable V-8-powered vehicle, it may be the most versatile. –Jake Holmes
Toyota offers two V-8 engines in the Tundra. The smaller and marginally cheaper of the two is a 4.6-liter engine, making 310 hp and 327 lb-lft. The larger 5.7-liter engine has more power, more torque, and can be had for $ 30,315, but it returns slightly worse fuel economy than the 4.6-liter V-8. Available only in Double Cab versions of the Tundra, the 4.6-liter engine is rated for 15/19/16 mpg (city/highway/combined), which despite its larger size bests the Regular Cab Tundra with the 5.7-liter, which returns 13/18/15 mpg. It’s mated to a six-speed automatic transmission as standard. -EW
2015 Chevrolet Express Cargo, 4.8 liter Vortec V-8, 285 hp/295 lb-ft, $ 30,550
Just as the 5.3-liter V-8 in the Silverado has been uprated and somewhat modernized over time, the 4.8-liter Vortec V-8 in the 2015 Chevrolet Express Cargo has added variable valve timing and numerous other updates since its introduction. In this utilitarian application, the 4.8-liter V-8 pushes out 285 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque, enough to get the massive bulk moving safely. The cheapest buy-in to this engine is through the standard wheelbase, standard cab Express van. -CG
GM’s muscle car finds its way onto a list of cheapest V-8s, rounding out Chevrolet’s three entries with its mighty 426-hp, 6.2-liter LS3 V-8. The fifth-generation of Camaro came to us in 2010, and has been one of the main contenders in the revitalized muscle car wars. Its sharp, retro styling and strong performance keep the Camaro on pace with the 435-hp Ford Mustang GT and the 375-hp Dodge Challenger R/T. -CG
The new 2015 Hyundai Genesis is significantly improved over the last version of the Korean luxury sedan, with interior quality and driving performance close to par with German and Japanese rivals, but for significantly less money. While we think the standard 311-hp, 3.8-liter V-6 is plenty of motivation for the 2015 Hyundai Genesis, stepping up to the 5.0-liter gives drivers 420 hp with which to blast pass more pedestrian sedans. While the V-6 can be equipped with all-wheel drive, the 5.0-liter Genesis directs its power only to the rear wheels, by way of an eight-speed automatic transmission. –JH