Top 5 fun cars on a budget!
It’s one of those arguments that will destroy every forum, every website and every YouTube video. Let’s try and tackle that. In this blog we are going to go through our personal top 5 fun cars on a budget. “Fun Cars” would classify as a vehicle that puts a big ol’ smile on your face when you get behind the wheel, or the sound it makes, or the speed. In this wonderful blog entry, we are going to work with STOCK vehicles that are used and under $10,000. In addition, we are going to take into account the wonderful weather of Wisconsin. This is an opinionated blog so feel free to comment on what YOU think matters on making a car fun!
Number 5: 2001 Audi S4 (Average CL Price $5500-8500 Stock)
Coming in at number 5 is the Audi B5 S4 (1997-2001). Now before everyone gets in a fuss over Audi being on a list for budget cars, allow me to remind everyone that if you take care of ANY car, it will last. Audi is no exception to this rule and if you can find an unmolested S4, you’ve hit gold. These S4’s came with a 2.7L V6 30 Valve Dual overhead cam that was paired with two k03-series turbochargers. Planting the power to the ground is Audi’s infamous Quattro AWD system that is acknowledged by many as the best AWD system on the market. Pushing out 261HP with 295ft lbs. of torque, you can get a 6 speed manual to have all the shifting and winter sliding fun you want. Although the motor is what makes you go, this car doesn’t lose any great comforts an all year round car would need. Heated seats, dual climate control, leather interior and much more are all the more reason to get one. The reason this only makes number 5 on our list is simply due to the maintenance and the MASSIVE amount of upfront costs to really make it a “looker.” While some argue that it’s a “Sporty” looking car, it really isn’t. Its soft lines and easy eyes make it almost look like a standard A4 model which can be displeasing to some.
Number 4: 2002-04 Subaru WRX $4000-$8000.00
The official BRO car of Wisconsin. I’m kidding, but in all seriousness the WRX provides an excellent starting point for enthusiasts and drivers alike to have some fun up here in Wisconsin. Sure, the bug eye is considered the ugly duckling of the Subaru world, but they have a special charisma that many cars don’t have. Subaru’s are the car you get when you aren’t overly considered with looks, and you just want to brap along and have a lovely exhaust tone. In my wonderful personal opinion, the boxer motor produces one of the best exhaust tones out of any enthusiast car under 20k. If you are looking for a car you can drive all year around, have a great exhaust note, and not pay insane amount of money for repairs, this is your car. This makes number 4 on the list because of the Subaru not standing out (blue paint, gold wheels ALL THE TIME) and the fact that most people think their Ken Block when they drive them and beat them to high hell. Note: if you buy one, make sure the plugs have been done; you just don’t want to have that headache in your life.
Number 3: Beginning of Time-2010 Volkswagen GTI (VR6 if Possible) – Cost: $3500-7500
Why VW? Because why not? VW is on this for the sole fact that its community/mods are so insanely abundant and awesome that you can truly make something cool without a massive price tag. Plus, with them being so common, finding one in decent shape isn’t difficult at all. As I’m writing this, there is a VR6 for sale with some tasteful mods for only $6,000! When I talk about the VW community, I mean that their tastes are so unique and cool that you will never see the same style VW twice at a show, let alone Wisconsin. This is the vehicle I recommend if you are looking for making something truly “yours.” This only makes number 3 on the list due to its overall reliability, and its problem with the power going to the wrong wheels.
Number 2: Honda AP1 S2000 – Cost: $10,000~
This is the top of the budget in our top five, and for good reason. Honda made this car right. The S2000 pumps out nearly 250hp out of an inline 4-cylinder engine that is naturally aspirated. On top of the limited slip differential in the rear, it achieved a 50:50 weight distribution and revved all the way to 9,000RPM. Mechanically, this car is the beefed up version of the Mazda Miata (please don’t kill me.) Although it isn’t recommended to drive this all year around, it takes the number 2 spot because of its amazing looks, convertible style, gorgeous color combinations, amazing motor, and excellent handling. The reason that it didn’t take the #1 spot is due to its inability to drive all year around (this is Wisconsin after all) and those damn u-joints.
Number 1: IT’S NUMBER 1 – Mazda Miata (NA/NB) – Cost: $2000-$6000
You probably knew this was going to happen. You can’t be surprised it’s here. The Mazda Miata is one of the best affordable sport cars out there. With the low initial cost and high reliability, it is a great beginner car for those just getting into the community and wants to learn. Let’s also be honest, the car shouldn’t be driven in the winter time, but it can be. With such a low price tag, picking up a daily along with a Miata isn’t a problem to most. I think the most fundamental reason this car is at #1 is just because of what it is. The Mazda Miata isn’t a boasting car and it certainly doesn’t attempt to be something its not. The Mazda Miata beats the other cars because it truly is the ultimate driving machine.
So what do you think? Is our list just absolutely wrong, or do you agree with it? Post a comment below on your opinion AND post what our next subject should be!
Special thanks to Midwest Automotive (Brandon Deuster) and AM Productions - Automotive (Alex Martinez) for the phtoos!
Written by Alex Martinez