Even though many people believe that $10k is not nearly enough for an interesting car, they are wrong because there are many impressive cars even at that price segment. However, you will obviously have to buy used because a relatively decent-looking affordable new car still costs more than twice as much.
If you want a cool-looking car, you are best off with a sports car. This is the best route to go because great looks and great handling are bound to make you fall in love with a car. As such, it’s always worthwhile to consider buying a used Ford Mustang because the Mustang can be had in almost every price category.
Besides the Mustang, be sure to check out the legendary Mazda MX-5 Miata because the Miata is one of the best sports cars on the market no matter the price. The BMW Z3 is also a great option because it arguably looks even better than the Miata, the same story goes for the Fiat 124 Spyder.
If these three are a bit too compact for you, be sure to check out the Subaru BRZ/Scion FS-R. If you want an exotic-looking car for less than $10k, be sure to check out the Corvette C5/C4. If you want a Porsche on a budget, the Porsche 944 could be the one to get.
Ford Mustang – A muscle car icon for less than $10k
The Ford Mustang is arguably one of the coolest cars to even exist, and you are able to scout out the Fox Body 3rd gen V8 model for less than $10k. This generation of the Mustang is available with both an automatic transmission and a lovely manual.
You can also opt for either the hardtop coupe or a soft-top convertible. However, it seems like you can also buy a late 4th gen Mustang for pretty much the same amount of money. It all depends on if you want a more daily able car or just a weekend cruiser.
Mazda MX-5 Miata – Superior handling and style
The MX-5 is often regarded as the best sports car you can get for less than $10k, and I agree with that 100%. The Mazda MX-5 is equally appreciated by both high-end supercar owners and your regular suburban tuner baby drivers. Either way you look at it, your MX-5 is bound to be appreciated by everyone.
For less than $10k, you can get the first, the second, or the third-generation models. You can also choose between lightly or heavily modified examples, nonetheless, you are likely going to be satisfied with the outcome.
Subaru BRZ/Scion FR-S – Pure driving enjoyment
The Subaru BRZ and the Scion FR-S are the two newest cars on this list which means that these are the two most advanced and best all-around cars on this list. They are accompanied by an exciting-looking exterior and a utilitarian, yet functional and intuitive interior layout.
Higher mileage examples can easily be had for under $10k, but if you wait a little bit longer, you can even get a nicely equipped one. This sportscar offers great handling characteristics and the aftermarket scene is booming with all sorts of cosmetic and performance upgrades.
Corvette C5/C4 – Most exotic-looking car on this list
The Corvette C5 is one of the best-looking Corvette models out there because it comes equipped with pop-up headlights, and everyone loves a good old pop-up headlight. Out of all the cars listed in this article, the C5 is definitely the most exotic-looking.
However, for the same amount of money you can also get a relatively more affordable Corvette C4. The best thing you can do is to prepare your cash and try to buy a ZR1 C4 Corvette soon because these ZR1 C4 Corvette models in good condition are surely going to increase in value in the coming years.
Porsche 944 – It’s a Porsche for less than $10k
The Porsche 944 is not all that popular, and that’s why you can find a few of these lurking under the $10k mark. It’s a great performer for the money, maybe the best one out of all cars on this list. So, if you value function over form, be sure to check out the Porsche 944.
That’s not to say that the 944 is not a good-looking car, because it is. It’s also worth mentioning that the 944 also comes with a set of pop-up headlights. All in all, the 944 is slowly starting to gain some traction within Porsche enthusiast circles which means that these might also raise in value eventually.
What is the best luxury car you can buy under 10k?
There are a few luxury cars you buy for under $10k like the 2015 Jaguar XF for example. The XF offers great value because it is after all only a 7-year-old car. You can also get the 2010 Porsche Cayenne SUV if you can swallow the Cayenne’s exterior design which is rather questionable, to say the least.
The 2009 Audi A8 is a great car, and many Audi enthusiasts believe that the D3 A8 is the best A8 model ever to be released. When you consider the fact that this car once cost as much as $75k for the most basic version, it’s rather obvious why it’s a good idea to buy one for $10k, but beware as these can be a bit costly to maintain.
What is the best SUV you can buy under 10k?
There are a couple of legitimately great SUV options you can get under $10k. Whether it be for off-road purposes or as a daily, a $10k SUV is not a bad idea. The 2008 Toyota Highlander is a perfect SUV for around $10k because it offers a strong V6 engine, a fairly modern-looking exterior, and AWD.
The 2011 Buick Enclave is also a great idea if you want to buy the newest SUV you can. You can also get the 2012 Subaru Outback for pretty much the same amount of money.
Is buying a cheap car a good idea?
You can never be too rich to buy cheap because buying a cheap car can be either a great idea or a money pit. After all, a $10k car is not a lot, but $10k is a lot if the car in question needs another $10k for maintenance now and then.
That’s usually the story with older European sedans which have depreciated heavily, but the parts needed to keep them running are still pricey. The best course of action would be to properly investigate the car you are interested in and try not to buy now and think later.