13 of the Best Rally Cars for Beginners

Rallying is a tough sport to dive into. Here are some cars perfect for the job.

Brian Silvestro

We ask you yesterday what sorts of cars would make for perfect beginner rally cars. As always, there were a ton of responses. Here are the answers we saw repeated the most.

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Volvo 240

The 240 is a tank of a car, which makes it a perfect entry-level racer for the budding rally driver. It can take hits and roll over without so much as a dent in the roof, and keep on going. is up for sale right now.

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Honda Fit

The Fit is one of many hatchbacks you'll see on this list, mainly because they're all light, compact, and easy to turn into race cars. Being a Honda, it's going to be dead reliable, which is one less thing to worry about when you're rallying for the first time. is available for just $10,500.

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Volkswagen Golf

Old Golfs and Golf GTIs are incredibly simple cars that are light and agile enough to have fun in. That translates to the rally stage, making them great for first-timers. example can be yours for just under $4000.

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Brian Silvestro
A Naturally Aspirated Subaru

Turbos may be nice, but for beginners, most sanctioning bodies prefer you start off naturally aspirated. Being able to learn momentum driving and left-foot braking is key before moving onto bigger power. is just under $6000 on eBay right now.

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Brian Silvestro
Nissan 240SX

The 240SX is famous for being a fantastic drift car, but it also makes for a pretty good rally car too. Its balanced chassis and flickability mean its easy to learn how to carry speed on dirt. Plus, who doesn't love a RWD car off pavement. can be yours for just under $5000.

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Brian Silvestro
BMW E36 3-Series

While E30 prices continue to skyrocket, it's becoming more apparent the E36-generation 3-Series is actually the car to race. With some mods, it makes for a solid rally machine. is on sale right now for $5000.

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Brian Silvestro
Subaru BRZ / Scion FR-S / Toyota 86

The BRZ, FR-S, and Toyota 86 are fun pretty much anywhere. But they're especially fun on a closed course, preferably one where it's easy to slide around. With a standard limited-slip differential, you'll have no problem learning the ins and outs of car control on stage. for $15,500.

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Brian Silvestro
Ford SVT Focus

The last-generation Focus doesn't get much love, but in the rally community, its one of the stars. A light chassis that's easy to learn on and improve is perfect for beginners and veterans alike, which is why so many racers own them. can be yours for just $3700.

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Ford Fiesta

The Fiesta is the go-to for any new rally driver who has enough money to spend on a new rally car. It's used by rally teams everywhere, as well as Team O'Neil Rally School as their teaching car. can be yours for under $10,000.

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Not a fan of the Fiesta? The Mazda2 is based on the same great platform, just in two-door fashion. It's as fun as the Fiesta, and just as capable on a rally stage. You can own for just under $7000.

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Brian Silvestro
Porsche 944

An old Porsche may seem like a strange choice for beginners, but the 944 is cheap and balanced enough for most new drivers to handle. Parts may be a little harder to come by, but it may be worth it for all the tail-out fun. You can own , which is currently up for bidding on eBay.

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Fiat 500 Abarth

Fiat 500 Abarths are starting to creep down in price, which means more and more people start converting them to race cars. The small size means you won't have a hard time avoiding trees, and that tiny turbocharged engine should provide plenty of power for off-roading fun. You can own for under $10,000.

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Brian Silvestro
Ford Escort

First- and second-generation Ford Escorts are some of the most popular vintage rally cars in Europe. They're eligible for import via the 25-year rule, which means people are starting to rally them on this side of the pond too. If you're looking for a good time on dirt, the Escort is the car for you.

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