Just because you don't want to spend a lot of money on a car, doesn't mean you have to buy something boring. Here are the most fun cars you can buy for less that $5000.
Ford's Taurus SHO sport sedan of the '90s came with a high-revving Yamaha-tuned V-6 engine paired with a five-speed manual. Because so many were built, prices remain low. This one can be yours right now for just $3200.
Mk4 Supra prices have exploded in recent years, but older Supras like the Mk3 can still be had for reasonable numbers. Here's a Turbo model that needs some love for sale on Craigslist now.
The Cressida might not look like much from the outside, but a straight-six engine sending power to the rear wheels means a whole lot of fun for not that much money. This one can be yours for just $1800.
The Crown Vic isn't exactly sporty, but it is durable. Plus it has a V-8 that sends power to the rear wheels, meaning there's plenty of fun to be had. Here's an ex-Police Interceptor on eBay now for under $4000.
Thanks to its popularity as a drift car, it's getting harder and harder to locate a nice 240SX for less than $5000. They're still out there, though—you just have to put a bit more effort into find them. Here's one with some mods listed for just $3500.
Believe it or not, the Pontiac Solstice is now 13 years old. Early models have begun to depreciate under the $5000 mark, which is good news for roadster fans. They're not especially common at that price, but I was able to find this one on Craigslist with little effort.
Looking for a nicely-styled, reliable, sporty GT car? The Nissan 300ZX can check all of those boxes for you. It might be difficult to find a turbocharged model for under five grand, but naturally aspirated cars like this one can be sourced under budget all day long.
If you're looking for a different sort of fun, why not consider a Wrangler? Newer ones will take years to depreciate to under $5000, but examples like this 1999 TJ model can be reliably found for good prices.
Though you couldn't originally buy them in the US, imported Honda Beats can still be found for under the $5000 mark. For that you get a high-revving mid-mounted three-cylinder engine and a convertible top. Sounds like a deal to us.
When talking about cheap fun cars, it's hard not to mention the Miata. First- and second-generation MX-5s can easily be found for under five grand, and for that price, you're getting one of the best, most smile-inducing driving experiences on earth. This one's listed in Pennsylvania right on the $5000 mark.
If the E30 is a bit too old for your tastes, consider its successor, the E36. Pretty much any non-M3 version can be found under budget, whether you want a strong inline-six or a frugal four-banger. This '94 convertible has a manual transmission, and you can own it.
If you need a cheap performance car that can plow through any terrain, the bugeye WRX is the car for the job. With a turbocharged boxer-four, it shouldn't have any trouble muscling through the toughest of blizzards. Here's one you can own right now.
Because many people think the C4 is the "worst" Corvette, there are many deals to be had on them. Sure, you won't find a late-production six-speed for under $5000, but early cars can be had within budget fairly easily. This one on Craigslist can be yours today.
The rear-wheel drive Cappuccino Kei car was never officially sold in the US, but thanks to our 25-year import law, they can now be brought into the country. There aren't many to be found under $5000, but there are some.
If the Corvette isn't really your thing, maybe you'll like the Camaro Z28. It has a totally different look, but packs a Corvette-sourced LT1 V-8 under the hood.
Unlike the WRX, the Impreza 2.5RS does not come with a turbocharged engine. What it does have, however, are much cooler looks, a lighter curb weight, and a rear locking differential. Here's one with some mods you can own today.
Though it may be tough to find a first-gen Boxster under five grand, they're out there. Thanks to its mid-engine layout and flat-six engine, it's one of the most capable cars on this list. The only things you'll have to deal with are the questionable looks and relatively high maintenance costs. Here's one for sale now.
The Conquest TSi (also know as the Starion) packs a turbocharged engine under the hood, and like the similarly-styled 944, puts its power to the rear wheels. They're a little tough to find for sale, but when they do pop up, prices hover around $5000, for the most part.
Believe it or not, the first-gen SLK has depreciated under the $5000-mark. They can easily be found for under budget on Craigslist—though finding one with a manual transmission may be a bit tougher. This red one listed on Craigslist can be yours for just under $5000.
People seem to forget about the Civic Si hatch of the early 2000s, and we can't see a reason why. Prices are cheap, and for your money you get a fun, manual hot hatch with Honda reliability and massive aftermarket support. This one is in good condition, and it can be yours.
You won't find the gorgeous third-generation twin-turbo RX-7 for under $5000. You'd struggle to find one for under $10,000, but you can get naturally aspirated versions of the first two generations for under $5000. Its rotary engine can be tricky to maintain, but it's so cool, you might not care. Here's an FC for sale for just $3800.