Darren Cassey 10 years ago

7 Sacred Sports Cars You Can Buy For Under £3000

Each of these cars oozes street cred but none will burn a hole in your wallet. What are you waiting for?

Remind me later
Image courtesy: s681.photobucket.com Image courtesy: s681.photobucket.com
New cars are great. They're generally safer, faster and more reliable than their retro counterparts, but they lack that all important je ne sais quoi legendary old motors leak in spades. It's probably oil, but it might just be your excessive awesomeness marking your route. Sure you could hand your hard earned cash over for a simple hatchback, but there's nothing cooler than driving something that turns heads. We've given ourselves a budget of £3000 to find you something you'll be proud of...

Mazda RX-8

Mazda-RX-8-Picture There's only one car we can start this list with, and the Mazda RX-8 is a CT favourite. We've noted before the RX-8's virtues as a cheap entry point into performance motoring - it looks stunning, it goes like stink and that Wankel engine is a rev hungry monster. The elephant in the room is obviously the reason they've depreciated so rapidly. Well firstly they drink like an Irishman on Paddy's Day and you'll go through buckets of oil. But seriously, do you care? When it looks and drives as sweet as it does, these are small prices to pay. Price now: £2000

BMW 8-Series

bmw-850csi Image courtesy: bmwblog.com
Perhaps a bit of a stretch on this one, but with a bit of haggling you could find yourself nestled into the worn leather of a high mileage 8-Series. With the limited budget you're probably looking at an entry level 840Ci, but don't let that put you off as they make a healthy 280bhp. It's a handsome looking thing with its long swooping bonnet and squared off front end, but the real selling point in this car is the pop-up headlights. Everyone loves pop-up headlights. Price now: £3000

Honda Integra Type-R

Image courtesy: integradc2.com Image courtesy: integradc2.com
So we've been fueling the flames of Honda bashing at CT Towers recently, so to prove we love them really here's an often overlooked heroic Honda. The 'Teg Type-R has always suffered next to its Civic rival, which makes them a much rarer sight on the roads. They are, therefore, infinitely cooler. But like the girl of your dreams it isn't just a winner in the looks department. The 1.8 litre VTEC engine kicks out 190hp, which is ample for its lightweight frame. Sure it suffers a little from the fact it's front wheel drive, but Tiff doesn't seem to care, as he describes it as "a winner for those who prefer sophisticated engineering to brute force." Price now: £2750

Ford Focus ST170

Image courtesy: autoweb.com.au Image courtesy: autoweb.com.au
For well under the £3k budget you get the 170bhp version of one of the greatest 'everyday car' chassis ever created. The Focus has been a back road favourite of road testers for years, so increase the power, chuck some low profile tyres over delightful 17-inch multi-spoke alloys and you've got yourself an understated weapon. Price now: £2500

Volkswagen Corrado VR6

Image courtesy: corrado-vr6.info Image courtesy: corrado-vr6.info
The Corrado is the epitome of 'boxy is sexy'. Swooping lines can take a hike - this car is an unashamed brute. The VR6 pisses all over its Golf VR6 counterpart, with better handling and more power from its 2.9-litre V6: 192bhp to be exact. Straight out of the box you get bucket seats to hold you firmly in place as you cane one of the sweetest handling front-wheel drive cars ever made, and the curving dash is beautifully driver-focused. Very few were ever sold, which makes them rare and as we know, rare is cool. Price now: £1750

Porsche 944

Image courtesy: bestautophoto.com Image courtesy: bestautophoto.com
You may have thought Porsche ownership was out of your reach, but you can get your grubby mitts on a 944. Okay, so you might have to put up with nerds bitching it's not a 'proper' Porsche, but who cares? Ignore the fact its not a 911 and you've got a decent car that looks good and goes like hell. Barter hard and our £3k will get you a Turbo version, of which Clarkson is a fan. Watch him review the car, then blow up a speed camera. And a Traffic Officer. And a bus. Standard. Price now: £3000

Mazda MX-5

Image courtesy: driversgeneration.com Image courtesy: driversgeneration.com
The MX-5 is a true legend. Above are a few cars that have been praised to handle brilliantly, but none have quite the iconic handling status of the MX-5. Probably the ultimate roadster, it is acceptable for both genders and all ages to own one. Whether you're taking in the sun on a summer's day or blasting along your favourite B-road, the little Mazda will see you through. It's so good you won't even notice it's lacking in the power department as it hugs the inside of a hairpin. Everyone should drive an MX-5, it is a simple motoring pleasure. Price now: £1500