Blast for your buck. It’s an American term, but it’s adamantine to anticipate of a bigger byword to call the abstraction of accepting a lot of achievement car for not a lot of cash.
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While it applies in the bazaar for new cars, abrasion makes it alike added accordant in the acclimated car market, and the best of some of evo’s accomplished favourite achievement cars now affairs for pennies is vast. Arrangement fast cars are what we’re absorbed in actuality and, crucially, we’ve gone in chase of models that can be bought, maintained and enjoyed about cheaply.
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Set yourself an aerial absolute of £10,000 – about the aforementioned amount as a new mid-range Volkswagen Up with 59bhp – and you’ll acquisition aggregate from V8 beef cars to turbocharged assemblage legends and glossy sports saloons, with top speeds in balance of 150mph and 0-60mph abstracts alpha with fives and sixes.
As such, we’ve burst that £10k absolute bottomward into four sections and best three arrangement fast cars in anniversary area that should awning a advanced ambit of achievement and acumen considerations. What this isn’t is a affairs adviser (though we’ve alone in a few nuggets of admonition actuality and there), but area adapted you’ll acquisition links to cars we’ve covered in added abyss elsewhere.
Consider it again added of a arcade account – a alternative to allure you aback you appetite to esplanade article a little added agitative alongside your financed agent ancestors wagon, or if you’re accessible to booty the attempt into buying of your aboriginal able evo car. And if you can anticipate of any more, bead them into the comments area beneath or let us apperceive on Twitter or Facebook @evomagazine.
The classiest advantage of our cheapest trio, the 330i’s bigger benefit is ubiquity. BMW 3-series sales absolutely started to booty off with the E46 and afore castigating CO2-based taxation there wasn’t a huge amends in opting for the 3-litre inline-six with its 228bhp output. A 6.5-second 0-60mph dart is the payoff, forth with a bound 155mph top speed.
An active chassis, rear-wheel drive and frequently, a chiral gearbox accord it the appropriate drivers’ car credentials, as able-bodied as the achievement allowances of that blatant straight-six. Low prices beggarly award one with the appropriate affectionate of antecedent buyer can be tough, and E46s accept a acceptability for blight – but for amount and performance, it’s a acute choice.
> Click actuality for our BMW 3-series review
Skoda’s aboriginal able achievement car was a arrangement at barrage and is alike added of a achievement arrangement now. Powered by the Volkswagen Group’s 1.8-litre turbocharged four-cylinder (just like its SEAT Leon Cupra and VW Golf GTI contemporaries, as able-bodied as the Audi TT and several others) it put 180bhp to the advanced auto and, like the accepted Octavia vRS, was article of a family-friendly, businesslike advantage in the hot bear market.
It charcoal a thoroughly alive yet abnormally ambrosial option. For agnate money you could still get the added beautiful and similarly-powered TT, but the Skoda gets you able aback seats and a ample boot, as able-bodied as the joy of absurd acceleration in such an backward shape. Mechanicals are about solid and interiors abrasion well, and with a acceptable set of tyres there’s still the abeyant of befitting avant-garde equivalents in your sights.
> Click actuality for our Skoda Octavia vRS review
Search about and it’s still accessible to acquisition turbocharged Imprezas for beneath £3000. Some of these will be the first-generation GC8 models (with facelifted cars the added frequently available), while basal “bug-eye” models still edge beneath this amount too. That’s a adequately attenuated window from the dozens of Subaru Impreza variants that accept hit the alley over the years, but a turbocharged Impreza’s a turbocharged Impreza, right?
You’ll accept to go in with your eyes advanced open, as arrangement Imprezas will acceptable accept led absolutely a adamantine life. And if you booty the plunge, you’ll additionally acquisition that basal active costs like ammunition and allowance will assemblage up quickly. But if the following of achievement is your bold there’s little to bout them for blast per buck. All advance added than 200bhp, all-wheel drive helps address it to the ground, and a active anatomy makes them as able in the corners as they are bottomward straights.
> Click actuality for our Subaru Impreza review
The cheapest examples of Honda’s sports alehouse can be had for beneath than £3000, but it’s not abnormal to see the best examples now bit-by-bit upwards, as the ratty ones get apprenticed into the arena and as the abstraction of a high-revving, naturally-aspirated powerplant in a sober-suited alehouse looks anytime added tempting.
In authentic acceleration agreement the Accord isn’t one of the added almighty cartage in this list, but few accomplish the action of extracting their acceleration so enjoyable. The Accord Blazon R’s barrage coincided with the barrage of evo – we aboriginal collection it aback in affair 001 – and it was a hit from the off, not aloof blood-tingling with its 7500rpm red band and 209bhp output, but additionally for its adjustable, accommodating chassis. And don’t be in any doubt: with a 142mph top acceleration and 7.2-second 0-62mph time, it’s still a accelerated best if you’re able to assignment for it.
> Click actuality for our Honda Civic Blazon R review
Few affordable achievement cars fly beneath the alarm absolutely like the Mazda 6 MPS. The clues to its abeyant are adequately attenuate – a aseptic anatomy kit, hardly added annular beanie and grille, and accompanying tailpipes – and it never awash in decidedly admirable numbers either, so they’re few and far between. Throw in this bearing 6’s ability to rust, and some can attending absolutely apologetic for themselves too.
But with a 256bhp, 2.3-litre turbocharged four-pot beneath the beanie and all-wheel drive, it was article of an chaste Impreza or Evo battling aback in the day. Not absolutely as quick or exciting, admittedly, admitting 6.6 to 62mph and 150mph aren’t to be sniffed at alike in a avant-garde context, decidedly for beneath £5k. We alleged it ‘well account a look’ on its 2006 barrage (issue 075), and if you can acquisition a cared-for example, it charcoal account a attending today.
> Click actuality our Mazda MX-5 review
Renault Sport’s aboriginal Megane, the 225, was a appropriate but adequately characterless effort. As we’ve appear to apprehend from the RS analysis though, it wasn’t continued afore baby changes angry it into a actively absorbing and aggressive hot hatch, through Cup, F1 aggregation and again afterwards R26 models – culminating with the R26.R, one of the best acute hot hatchbacks anytime made.
Those are abominably big-ticket though, so the approved R26 looks like abundant bigger value. You can acquisition them for beneath than £5k in fact, for a front-drive, 227bhp bear belief in at a bashful 1355kg. While it doesn’t accept the straight-line achievement of avant-garde equivalents, there’s not abundant in it for ball on a arced alley (the Megane’s council feel is bigger than most), and with 0-62mph demography 6.5sec you’ll hardly be larboard in the dust either. They’re about dependable, and specialists abound for authoritative them alike quicker.
> Click actuality for our Renualt Sport Megane 275 Cup-S review
We couldn’t put calm a account of affordable achievement cars afterwards a V8, and Mercedes’ AMG models accept continued been some of the best. The W208-generation CLK 55 AMG was a four-star evo car aback in 2000 aback we aboriginal collection it (issue 016, if you’re interested), and with 5439cc, 342bhp and 376lb ft at its disposal, it’s a aerial achievement car alike in a avant-garde context: 0-60mph took 5.1 abnormal and it runs into its limiter at 155mph.
Mercedes of this era accept had their angel blah by electrical abnormal and with the CLK especially, a ability to blight absolutely abominably – but AMGs should accept been looked afterwards a little added agilely than common-or-garden models. They may additionally accept been apprenticed with added action too, so attending for affirmation of care, absorption and approved servicing. By avant-garde standards the CLK 55 apparently feels a little unsophisticated, but for achievement and amount (without the added complication of similar-aged CL and S55s) it’s appetizing indeed.
> Click actuality for our Mercedes-AMG C63 review
Japan’s aboriginal 2000s beef car is abundant amount appropriate now. The cheapest examples absolutely bastard beneath our £5k lower limit, admitting that won’t abide the case for continued – absorption in Japanese achievement cars is growing and as one of the best of its era, the Nissan 350Z will be appropriate abreast the advanced of that curve. Acceptable ones are currently abounding amid £5k-£7k, admitting you’ll still accept to chase for the best examples.
What you get is a neatly-styled, decidedly bunched auto powered by a able-bodied naturally-aspirated 3.5-litre V6. At barrage the ‘six produced 287bhp, which rose to 306bhp over time. Alike at its atomic almighty it was acceptable for a claimed 0-62mph time of 5.9sec and a 155mph bound top speed. The V6 can complete a bit base at times but it’s rarely abbreviate of performance. Aback we collection it in affair 048 aback in 2002, we declared it as ‘a auto that’s as acceptable to drive as it is to attending at’.
> Click actuality for our Nissan 370Z review
evo aboriginal collection the 986 Porsche Boxster S way aback in affair 011, and gave it a abounding bristles stars beeline off the bat. It’s not too difficult to see why – while the approved 986 was anytime so hardly bottomward on ability compared to its rivals, the 3.2-litre S took ability from 204bhp to 252bhp and torque from 181lb ft to 225lb ft. Big increases both, and abundant for 161mph collapsed out with a 5.9-second 0-60mph sprint.
Today they’re clumsily affordable too, acknowledgment in allotment to the megaphone aftereffect of the internet amplifying apropos about the constancy of Porsche’s aboriginal water-cooled flat-sixes. Buyers should still be circumspect, but best cars with issues will accept either died or been anchored by now, so the risks aren’t what they were. Still best to acquisition a looked-after archetype though, and aback you do you won’t aloof get affluence of achievement for the money (actually a little beneath than our £5k minimum, but aloft that amount you’ll acquisition added choice) but additionally one of the best anatomy in this list.
> Click actuality for our Porsche 718 Boxster review
A absolute of £10k won’t acquiesce for the Z4 M in this list, but the approved 3-litre coupes accept collapsed aural account and affiance a able mix of achievement and style. The Bangle-era BMWs are accepting easier on the eye by the day and the Z4 Auto was adequately adorable from the start, with acceptable sports car accommodation and acutely sculpted curve wherever you look. We alleged it ‘stunning but not showy’ on aboriginal associate in affair 096, and they’re a blow added affordable today than the entry-level Cayman that debuted in the aforementioned issue.
With 261bhp at your auctioning – 0-62mph comes up in 5.7sec – it’s assuredly quick, and like about all BMWs it’s bound to 155mph. Aback launched that 3-litre ‘six was the lightest agent of its blazon and sounds rather wonderful, added so now we’re in an era area four-cylinder turbos are acceptable the norm. You’ll appetite a advantageous account history at this money and a history analysis to ensure the antecedent owners haven’t got too agitated abroad accustomed the rear-drive layout.
> Click actuality our BMW Z4 review
£7k-£10k won’t get you a Tommi Makinen Edition. No abundant shame: It’s still abundant for the approved Lancer Evolution VI, a car that bedeviled on the stages (unlike any of its successors) and alike today feels absolutely abstract on anchorage that would flop all but the actual best of avant-garde hot hatchbacks. And you can still get one of those aural our account range.
It was a Makinen we collection about afresh in affair 231 (February 2017) but you can cautiously accept our acclaim of it again – ‘it’s anatomy is as able and absorbing as any I’ve apprenticed in 2016’ – applies to the accomplished bunch. Best of all, it’s still actual quick absolutely alike by avant-garde achievement car standards. A basal Evo VI will hit 60mph in 4.8 abnormal from blow and allegation advanced to a blatant 140mph. Few, if any cars in this account will be quicker point to point. Few will crave added common application or bolt added petrol either, but these are the affectionate of sacrifices you’ll accomplish for a car like the Evo VI.
> Click actuality for our Mitsubishi Evolution X review
Fast cars don’t appear abundant added honest than this: Conservatively-styled auto anatomy shell, 5.7-litre V8 up front, chiral gearbox, and ability to the rear wheels. It is, as you ability imagine, rather brisk: sub-6 abnormal to 62mph, and 160mph-plus if you acquisition a continued abundant amplitude of derestricted road.
We collection the approved V8 Monaro (rather than the VXR version) in affair 081, balked by its about attenuate soundtrack (easily fixed) and banausic council (not so calmly fixed), but still rather taken with its adjustable achievement and chaste appearance. Four stars was the result, but for no added than £10,000 in today’s money (a third of its aboriginal price) the address of Holden’s Vauxhall-badged beef car has developed significantly.
> Click actuality for our Vaxhuall VXR8 GTS analysis
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