These 13 used performance cars may not be legends of zero-maintenance reliability, but they're far more engaging than any economy commuter, and buying one won't break the bank.
The 500 Abarth can still be bought new at Fiat showrooms today, but early examples have depreciated well under the $10,000 mark. The Abarth is a smile-inducing city-friendly hot hatch equipped from the factory without a muffler, and it's tons of fun to drive.
The first-gen Boxster's looks haven't aged gracefully, and as such, they're shockingly affordable. For under 10 grand, you can get a mid-engine convertible sports car built by Porsche with a manual transmission and a naturally aspirated flat-six engine—all you have to do is put up with the looks (and maybe a few maintenance items now and then).
When it comes to cheap mid-engine performance, look no further than the Toyota MR2. Used examples from any generation of the MR2 can easily be found for under five figures, so you can choose which generation is right for your needs.
Most people will see a handsome luxury sedan, but what they might not detect is the hammer under the hood. The B6 S4 packs a 4.2-liter, 40-valve V8 making 339 horses in stock form, with Audi's legendary dynamics and Quattro all-wheel drive, .
No one's going to argue that the M5 version wasn't a better driver's car, but . And even though it doesn't have 400 horsepower, the 540i's low-end torque will keep you plenty entertained.
If your idea of having fun is going fast in a straight line, you're going to have a hard time . You'll have to be careful in the corners, but you'll sure have fun in the straights.
The Dodge Neon is cute and generally competent, but the turbocharged SRT-4 version is viciously quick. Just be careful of buying someone's heavily modified project. And look out for torque steer.
Any G35 coupe you find is going to be at least 10 years old, but the design still looks great, even today. They're fun, surprisingly quick, .
If you're considering a used BMW 3 Series but you value reliability, . The IS300 only had 215 horsepower, but its excellent handling and handsome design make up for it.
Looking at the Mitsubishi lineup today, it's hard to imagine that the company behind the Mirage used to build a world-class sports car. But at the time, the 3000GT was exactly that. The one you want is the twin-turbo, all-wheel drive VR4. They're steadily increasing in value, .
Before the Nissan 350Z, there was the 300ZX. It's a screaming deal for anyone looking to get their hands on a rear-drive Japanese sports car, and if you can find , you'll have one of the darlings of 1990s import performance.
Used Porsche 911 prices are skyrocketing, but if you're on a budget, you can still buy a Porsche. The 944 might not be the 911, but it's still .
If you want a performance car but still need something practical, the Volvo V70 R is a great answer. It's a station wagon with nearly 300 horsepower, all-wheel drive, and an available manual transmission. ?