It's not obligatory for fun sports cars to be expensive. The process of hunting and buying a used performance sports car should not break your budget. Take Japanese sports cars for instance, they can offer great reliability, decent performance for the price and best of all they don't cost too much on to buy either. On the other hand luxury cars like Lexus, Acura and BMW can cost more when they are new but once they hit the used market their prices rapidly plummet down.

This is usually the price point at which you are winning out of your purchase which we refer to as a "bargain". Unfortunately most sports cars require quite a lot more maintenance than regular family sedan or a small SUV. Chances are the family sedan will be in a lot better condition than your average sports car. You don't buy a compact SUV to trash it around in the dust, do you ?
Fortunately for us, there are lots of cars that handle that with ease ( sub 2000 Mercedes cars and Volkswagen). Taking this into account while forming out our list of the cheapest thrills money can buy, we set our target budget just bellow the mid price point of what you could expect to pay for something that you'll transform into a project car.

bmw e30

84 – 91 BMW 318is and 325is Series (E30)

The BMW E30 is the first car that was a real massive success for the German automaker. The e46 was driven only by enthusiast but it didn't reach the much desired wider audience. The first generation of the 3 series, the E21, didn't impress anyone but they've gotten the recipe right with the E30 3 series. It was a solid build, plenty of fun, reliable and it out-handled anything in its category with ease.
The best part is that the car was sold with a variety of engines, our recommendations given the selected budget would be to go for the super lightweight 1.8 : M42 134hp ( the 1991 318is sport package) or the two door M20 2.5L 6 cylinder, punching a healthy 168hp in the 325is. These BMW cars and their prices are around $3k.
To sum up we'll give a short pros and cons:

Pros : Small, Sturdy, Fast, Reliable, Easy to drive and live with, popular. The e30 is a classic car which is very stylish and quite exciting to drive. Everything about the car is manual, which means the car handles and responds even to the slightest touch with no hesitation!

Cons : Bad backseats, heavy maintenance. Rust. The E30 is arguably the best BMW model.


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