Just because you don't want to spend a lot of money on a car, doesn't mean you have to buy something boring. Here are the most fun new cars you can buy for less that $5000, according to you.
Thanks to its popularity as a drift car, it's getting harder and harder to locate a nice 240SX for less than $5000. They're still out there, though—you just have to put a bit more effort into find them. with a few issues listed for just $2500.
Believe it or not, the Pontiac Solstice is now 13 years old. Early models have begun to depreciate under the $5000 mark, which is good news for roadster fans. They're not especially common at that price, but I was able to find with little effort.
If you want a nice, running V8-powered Mustang for less than $5000, you don't have very many cars to choose from. You could go the Foxbody route, or buy something like .
Looking for a nicely-styled, reliable, sporty GT car? The Nissan 300ZX can check all of those boxes for you. It might be difficult to find a turbocharged model for under five grand, but naturally aspirated cars can be sourced under budget all day long.
If you're looking for a different sort of fun, why not consider a Wrangler? Newer ones will take years to depreciate to under $5000, but examples can be reliably found for good prices.
Though you couldn't originally buy them in the US, imported Honda Beats can still be . For that you get a high-revving mid-mounted three-cylinder engine and a convertible top. Sounds like a deal to us.
Though prices are on the rise, it's still easy to find a good E30-generation 3-Series for under $5000. That kind of money can get you a ratty 325is, or a four-cylinder 318i in good condition. Just be on the watch for rust, however. on eBay right now for $4750.
While your chance to pick up an Integra Type R for cheap have long since past, there are still other fun small FWD Hondas out there for little money. The lightweight two-seater CRX Si is a perfect example.
When talking about cheap fun cars, it's hard not to mention the Miata. First- and second-generation MX-5s can easily be found for under five grand, and for that price, you're getting one of the best, most smile-inducing driving experiences on earth. listed in Chicago for just under the $5000 mark.
If the E30 is a bit too old for your tastes, consider its successor, the E36. Pretty much any non-M3 version can be found under budget, whether you want a strong inline-six or a frugal four-banger. has a manual transmission, and you can own it.
If you need a cheap performance car that can plow through any terrain, the bugeye WRX is the car for the job. With a turbocharged boxer-four, it shouldn't have any trouble muscling through the toughest of blizzards.
Because many people think the C4 is the "worst" Corvette, there are many deals to be had on them. Sure, you won't find a late-production six-speed for under $5000, but early cars can be had within budget fairly easily. All needs is a new battery to get on the road.
If brand image is what you're after, there's no better cheap car than the Porsche 944. Though it may not be rear-engined, it still drives like a Porsche, and has the same wonderful build quality. has low miles, and it's for sale on eBay right now.
Whether you're looking for a first-, second-, or third-generation MR2 to add to your garage, you won't have much trouble finding one for under budget. We think the sweet spot is the second-gen SW20 model shown here. listed for sale right now.
The rear-wheel drive Cappuccino Kei car was never officially sold in the US, but thanks to our 25-year import law, they can now be brought into the country. There aren't many to be found under $5000, but there are some.
If the Corvette isn't really your thing, maybe you'll like the Camaro Z28. It has a totally different look, but packs a Corvette-sourced LT1 V8 under the hood.
Unlike the WRX, the Impreza 2.5RS does not come with a turbocharged engine. What it does have, however, are much cooler looks, a lighter curb weight, and a rear locking differential.
Though it may be tough to find a first-gen Boxster under five grand, they're out there. Thanks to its mid-engine layout and flat-six engine, it's one of the most capable cars on this list. The only thing you'll have to deal with are the questionable looks.
The Conquest TSi (also know as the Starion) packs a turbocharged engine under the hood, and like the similarly-styled 944, puts its power to the rear wheels. They're a little tough to find for sale, but when they do pop up, prices hover around $5000, for the most part.
Believe it or not, the first-gen SLK has depreciated under the $5000-mark. They can easily be found for under budget on Craigslist—though finding one with a manual transmission may be a bit tougher. listed on eBay can be yours for just under $4000.
People seem to forget about the Civic Si hatch of the early 2000s, and we can't see a reason why. Prices are cheap, and for your money you get a fun, manual hot hatch with Honda reliability and massive aftermarket support. has under 100,000 miles, and it can be yours.
You won't find the gorgeous third-generation twin-turbo RX-7 for under $5000. You'd struggle to find one for under $10,000, but you can get naturally aspirated versions of the first two generations for under $5000. Its rotary engine can be tricky to maintain, but it's so cool, you might not care. with around 85,000 miles for just $4900.