If you've got $5 less than $30,000 to spend, you can get yourself a 2011 Lexus CT 200h. Or, if you actually like driving, you can get a 2012 Mustang GT. That's a drop of $500 from last year, making the 412-horsepower 5.0-liter Mustang one of the best performance values around.

Sure, you still have to deal with a solid rear axle, and the interior isn't the best in the base GT--the $33,895 Premium is much better--but Ford has figured out how to make the Mustang platform work. For evidence, one need look no farther than the GT500, an M3-killing borderline supercar for just $50,000. The GT, while not as finely tuned (or as massively powerful), still has a good measure of that go-fast.

No major changes to the Mustang GT or V-6 are expected for the 2012 model year, and the pricing reflects that.

The base V-6 model starts at $22,995, and with the new 3.7-liter V-6, shouldn't be overlooked for those wanting more fuel efficiency with their performance. Adding the premium package to the V-6 will run $26,895--the same $3,900 margin as the GT.

Opting for the convertible will cost $27,995 for the base V-6, or $34,995 for the base GT--a hike of $5,000 over the equivalent coupe. Convertibles can also be had with the premium package, for the same price premium.

There's always the BOSS 302, as well, if you're looking for a Goldilocks Mustang positioned between the GT500 and the GT, priced from $40,995.

[Mustangs Daily]