Forza Horizon 5 best cars for road, dirt, and free roam racing

The best Forza Horizon 5 cars are going to help you reliably win races by combining speed and handling for an easy driving experience on any circuit. However, the different race series and terrain types you’ll face in Mexico means your garage is going to be packed with all sorts of excellent cars if you you’re going to win every race in Forza Horizon 5. Unfortunately, this isn’t going to come cheap, and you’ll need to save a lot of Credits (CR) for some extravagant purchases. Although, a bit of luck with Wheelspins should help you out with a few free cars. Tuning what you’ve already got in your garage is another good option if you want to stay competitive without breaking the bank on a hypercar. Here are a few of the Forza Horizon 5 best cars for road, street, dirt, and cross-country races, and out in free roam across Mexico.

Forza Horizon 5 best cars

Forza Horizon 5 street race at night driving a porsche

(Image credit: Xbox Game Studios)

Forza Horizon 5 Barn Finds

Forza Horizon 5 barn finds barn with yellow door

(Image credit: Xbox Game Studios)

Forza Horizon 5 Barn Finds also offer some decent classic cars too

Before we give our recommendations for some of the best cars in Forza Horizon 5, we should explain that there is simply not a ‘best car’ in the game. A Ferrari is always going to beat a Jeep in a road race, but that same Ferrari will be wrapped around a tree as the Jeep zooms by on a cross-country circuit. Owning a variety of cars – which you can see in the Forza Horizon 5 car list – is really important to succeeding in all aspects of Forza Horizon 5, so we’ve tried to pick cars across a range of classes that are well-suited to different race types and are good to use right from the start.

It’s important to note that the assists you have active will also quite drastically affect how different cars feel. You can read our Forza Horizon 5 tips guide for more information on assists, but we’ve been playing with Simulation Steering and Traction and Stability Control off. Finally, tuning and modifying your cars is a huge part of Forza Horizon 5, so experiment with auto upgrades, custom tunes, and community-made tune setups to find what works for you. But here are a few great cars to pick up that will help you out with tearing up the track.

Koenigsegg Jesko (2020)

Forza Horizon 5 keonigsegg jesko hypercar

(Image credit: Xbox Game Studios)

Class: S2 – 971

Price: CR 2.8 million

The Koenigsegg Jesko makes its Forza debut and it’s certainly one of the fastest cars in the game right out of the box. If you manage to get hold of one, it should definitely be one of your go-to S2 rated cars for races and speed traps. While driving along the main highway road in Mexico, we got the top speed to be around 283mph and sometimes even a little over that. In fact, any of the modern hyper-powerful Koenigseggs will do the job if speed is what you’re after. The Agera RS is 800,000 CR cheaper than the Jesko with similar stats and a slightly higher rating of 980. Likewise, the Koenigsegg One:1 has a rating of 983 with Speed and Braking stats of 10 but is equal to the Jesko in price.

Forza Horizon 5 keonigsegg jesko hypercar top speed

(Image credit: Xbox Game Studios)

Mercedes-AMG Project One (2021)

Forza Horizon 5 Merceded-amg project one

(Image credit: Xbox Games Studios)

Class: S2 – 927

Price: CR 2.7 million

There’s a reason this car is on the cover of Forza Horizon 5. The Mercedes-AMG Project One is a phenomenally powerful car with a top speed over 200mph and great acceleration. Made with F1 hybrid technology, the AMG One also boasts great grip and turning, even at higher speeds. As part of the S2 Class, taking this car around any of Forza Horizon 5’s races is going to be a challenge, but road races and some street races will definitely be the best place for it. It’s incredible speed also makes it a good choice for free roam activities such as Speed Traps, Speed Zones, and Danger Signs. We found a player-made tune that upped its rating to X Class and topped its speed at 251 mph.

Porsche Taycan Turbo S (2020)

Forza Horizon 5 Porsche taycan turbo s electric car

(Image credit: Xbox Game Studios)

Class: S1 – 900 (Welcome Pack) / S1 – 807 (normal version)

Price: Included in premium Welcome Pack / CR 185,000 (normal version)

The Taycan is an all-electric Porsche that makes its Forza debut in Forza Horizon 5. We’ve got the Welcome Pack edition of the car – available as part of the Premium edition of Forza Horizon 5 but can also be bought as part of the Premium Add-On Bundle – which comes pre-tuned to have significantly higher speed and launch. This helps it tear up drag strips and straighter road races, but it’s an incredibly cumbersome car due to its weight, so definitely avoid it for more technical street races. However, it is on the cheaper end of S1 cars in Forza Horizon 5, with others costing in excess of one million CR. If you don’t have the Welcome Pack version of the car, you can install player-made tunes that will bring it up to that level.

Lamborghini Sesto Elemento – Forza Edition (2011)

Forza Horizon 5 lamborghini sesto elemento driving

(Image credit: Xbox Game Studios)

Class: S2 – (Forza Edition) / S2 – 936 (normal version)

Price: N/A (Forza Edition) / CR 2.5 million (normal version)

The Sesto Elemento’s stats speak for themselves, really. 10 in Handling, Acceleration, Launch, and Braking. It might not be the fastest car but it’s definitely up there and excels in everything else. Like the Mercedes-AMG Project One and Koenigsegg Jesko, this is a road race or free roam speed activity car. The benefit of the Forza Edition of the Sesto Elemento is that you’ll also get a flat 25% boost for trick points you build up as part of Skill Chain too. You can pick up the regular model from the Auto Show or you can get the Forza Edition variant from a Wheelspin or the Auction House.

Forza Horizon 5 Lamborghini Sesto Elemento car stats

(Image credit: Xbox Game Studios)

Hoonigan Ford Escort RS Cosworth WRC (1991)

Forza Horizon 5 hoonigan ford escort cosworth cross country dirt race

(Image credit: Xbox Game Studios)

Class: A – 783

Price: Free for everyone (CR 500,000 to buy again)

The Hoonigan Ford Cosworth is a great, little rally car that is excellent for dirt and cross-country races. Best of all, everyone gets it for free within the first hour of Forza Horizon 5 after completing the game’s first Showcase event. The solid handling, both on and off-road, and great acceleration will allow you to easily stay near the front of the pack as you race on mud or mixed surfaces. Some slick driving and drifting on corners will really help you get to the front and get high scores in Forza Horizon 5 Drift Zones.

Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution X GSR (2008)

Forza Horizon 5 Mitsubishi lancer gsr at horizon street scene

(Image credit: Xbox Game Studios)

Class: A – 800 (Welcome Pack) / B – 649 (normal version)

Price: Included in premium Welcome Pack / CR 43,000 (normal version)  

This Mitsubishi Lancer GSR is certainly one of the most versatile cars in Forza Horizon 5 and is definitely one you should pick up as soon as you can. Admittedly, we’ve been using the Welcome Pack edition which, like the Porsche Taycan, comes pre-tuned and is only available in the premium Welcome Pack. This Class A version of the Lancer has high Acceleration and Off-Road stats, making it a great choice for mixed-terrain Dirt races. Despite its off-road capabilities, this souped-up Lancer is also great for any Street or even road races thanks to its steady handling, speed, and acceleration. A tune setup for the base B Class version of the Lancer that brings its rating up to 700, or a better setup that elevates it to A Class is the way to go if you don’t have the premium Welcome Pack.

M12S Warthog CST

Forza Horizon 5 halo warthog car

(Image credit: Xbox Game Studios)

Class: A – 719

Price: 850,000

While not a real car in our world, we think the Warthog from Halo is a real hidden gem of a car. It’s got some of the best in-class Launch for an off-road vehicle, meaning it will fly off the line at the start of most Cross-Country races and its incredible off-roading stat means it’ll remain super stable on all terrains. Its major downside is that it’s base top speed of 117mph (we see what you did there, Playground Games) is pitiful, so a custom tuning setup is essential to keep it competitive in races on higher difficulties.

Although, if you’re looking for a fun car to drive in free roam, the Warthog is definitely the one. It’s size, weight, and power mean it’s almost unstoppable as you drive across Mexico – perfect for smashing through objects, such as Forza Horizon 5 solar panels. In the Warthog, you won’t need roads where you’re going. This novelty Halo vehicle is a bit on the expensive side for an off-road A Class car, but we think it’s worth it if you’ve got the CR.

Ford Capri RS3100 (1973)

Forza Horizon 5 ford capri burning out

(Image credit: Xbox Game Studios)

Class: D – 497

Price: CR 55,000

We’re not going to sugarcoat this one. Most D Class cars are old bangers that have been around longer than the average Forza Horizon 5 player. It’s unlikely that you’ll ever need one of these cars, but in case you do, may we recommend the Ford Capri RS3100. For the cars in this category, this one is definitely up there as one of the best ones. It’s got balanced stats across the board with good Launch, Acceleration, and Handling. It’s good for road races, the less technical street races, and even the odd mixed-terrain dirt race. The fact that it’s such a barebones car – like a lot of the Class D cars – means it’s very receptive to modifications. You can find plenty of tune set ups for the Ford Capri that will boost its performance to A or S Classes.

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