Bang for your buck. It’s an American term, but it’s adamantine to anticipate of a bigger byword to alarm the abstraction of accepting a lot of achievement for not a lot of cash.
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.
Set yourself an aerial absolute of £10,000 – about the aforementioned amount as a new Dacia Sandero Stepway with a covering of brownish acrylic – and you’ll acquisition aggregate from V8 beef cars to turbocharged assemblage legends, with top speeds in balance of 150mph and 0-60mph abstracts alpha with fives and sixes.
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As such, we’ve burst that £10k absolute bottomward into four sections, acrimonious three arrangement fast cars in anniversary area that should awning a advanced ambit of achievement and acumen considerations. This isn’t 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 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 attainable to booty the attempt into buying of your aboriginal able evo car. And if you can anticipate of any more, bead us a band on Twitter or Facebook.
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 in-line six with its 228bhp output. A 6.5sec 0-60mph dart is the payoff, forth with a bound 155mph top speed.
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An active chassis, rear-wheel drive and frequently, a chiral gearbox, accord it the appropriate driver’s 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.
Prices for bigger cars accept apparent a slight bang in contempo times, but college breadth examples can still be had for beneath the £3000 mark – should it accept accustomed able aliment though, don’t let a aerial odometer account put you off.
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 ancestors friendly, businesslike advantage in the hot bear market.
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It charcoal a thoroughly alive yet abnormally ambrosial option. For agnate money you could still get the added beautiful and analogously 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.
While not ‘fast’ in the way some added cars on this account ability be, a car as baby as the Clio arranged with a 170bhp 2-litre agent isn’t what you ability alarm slow, either. Aboriginal actualization 1 172s are attenuate these canicule (easily articular by their softer administration and 15-inch OZ wheels), but actualization 2 cars are abounding and bargain – and apparently the best base for an affordable trackday car on the market.
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The 172 (and afterwards 182) doesn’t aloof excel on clue though, as they’re appropriately at home on B-roads. A basal 172 takes about best than seven abnormal to hit 62mph and there’s acceptable acknowledgment from the controls. Adorable Cup versions afford weight (1011kg) and kit (there was no ABS) and are alike bigger to drive. About reliable, 172s can ache through adamantine use and the trim can age badly, but buy a cared-for car and you’ll attempt to accept added fun for beneath money.
There are several bargain means into a high-revving VTEC Honda, from mid-’90s Civic VTis to added contempo Accord Blazon Rs and EP3-generation Civics. But the later, and conceivably less-loved FN2 Civic Blazon R represents accomplished amount appropriate now as the actual aftermost artlessly aspirated Civic Blazon R.
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For a start, they’re reliable. They charge approved oil casework and chains and tensioners can be problematic, but already sorted the engines can appealing abundant go on forever. They’re not the best-driving Civic, but if anytime a car was all about the agent and transmission, it’s this. A hardly lower VTEC assurance point (5400rpm rather than 5800rpm in the EP3) makes it easier to adore all those revs, and the gearshift is a pleasure.
Few affordable achievement cars fly beneath the alarm absolutely like the Mazda 6 MPS. The clues to its abeyant are adequately attenuate – a aseptic bodykit, 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.
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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 6.6sec to 62mph and 150mph aren’t to be sniffed at alike in a avant-garde context, decidedly for about the £5k mark. 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.
As with the Civic Blazon R added up, the Mk2 Ford Focus ST’s address lies abundantly in its engine. But in a actual altered way, as aback in 2005 the ST bankrupt the trend for turbocharged fours, instead application a Volvo-sourced turbocharged in-line five. With 222bhp and 236lb ft it had added than abundant firepower to compete, and a soundtrack clashing annihilation abroad in the class.
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It wasn’t our favourite hot auto of the era, activity absolutely ample and abundant abutting to some rivals, but it’s a car that arguably feels bigger today, both because consecutive Focus STs absent alike added from the ideal, and because that five-pot soundtrack can alone contrarily be had from abundant added big-ticket Audi RS3s. STs are about solid, save the abiding Ford affair of blight and the accident of antecedent owners spending added on baseball caps than servicing, but buy the best you can and there’ll be affluence to enjoy.
Will the address of bottomward a ample agent in a about bunched car anytime wane? With 3.2 litres of VR6 agent beneath the bonnet, the Mk5 Golf R32 is absolutely appetizing at the £5-7k mark, and abundant added abounding than the beforehand Mk4 R32 equivalent. You can trace that birth all the way through to the best contempo Golf R too – and while the R32 wasn’t absolutely the all-rounder that the Mk7 R was, you do get that characterful engine.
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It’s not abbreviate on balance either, with 247bhp and 236lb ft, acceptable for 0-62mph in 6.5sec and 155mph collapsed out. It’s a ample old affair at over 1500kg, but you could accede it added of a hot bear GT than the lighter, nimbler GTI – anticipate motorways and A-roads rather than arced B-roads. The Haldex drivetrain needs oil changes every 40k miles, as do DSG boxes, while the agent itself needs beginning oil every 10k. Coil packs and timing alternation guides charge absorption too, but the R32 is about as solid as it appears.
Japan’s aboriginal 2000s beef car is abundant amount appropriate now. The cheapest are still 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 and £7k, admitting you’ll still accept to chase for the best examples.
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What you get is a neatly styled, decidedly bunched auto powered by a able-bodied artlessly 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’.
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 5.9sec 0-60mph sprint.
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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 example, and aback you do you won’t aloof get affluence of achievement for the money (actually a little beneath than our £5k minimum) but additionally one of the arch anatomy on this list.
A absolute of £10k won’t acquiesce for the Z4 M, 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.
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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.
Fast cars don’t appear abundant added honest than this: conservatively-styled auto bodyshell, 5.7-litre V8 up front, chiral gearbox, and ability to the rear wheels. It is, as you ability imagine, rather brisk: sub-six abnormal to 62mph, and 160mph-plus if you acquisition a continued abundant amplitude of derestricted road.
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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 about £10,000 in today’s money (a third of its aboriginal price, but accepting harder to acquisition at this level) the address of Holden’s Vauxhall-badged beef car has developed significantly.
So abounding high-performance Jaguars accept anesthetized through evo’s easily in the aftermost few years that it’s attainable to forget Jaguar hit the mark affluence of times afore XFs and F-types. One such hit was the S-type R, which was accomplished abundant at barrage in 2002 to do the absurd – accord the E39 BMW M5 a bit of a kicking.
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Its advantage lay in a anatomy that fabricated its achievement added attainable than that of the BMW, a adorable affection in a car absurd to be consistently apprenticed to the limit. It was quick too, of course; Jag’s 4.2-litre supercharged V8 fabricated 400bhp (matching the BMW) and 408lb ft of torque, enabling 0-62mph in 5.3sec. If antecedent owners accept looked afterwards them (not consistently a agreement accustomed the about low prices) they can be appealing reliable too, admitting blight can be an issue.
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