A good friend recently asked me to pick out my choices for cars around $10,000. Now I know that most of you may think that there’s nothing out there at that price. I, however, beg to differ.
Me being the nice person that I am, decided to help my friend out by making a list of cars that I found on Craigslist that met his criteria: manual transmission (yes, people still love to actually drive), coupe (if possible), mod friendly and fun to drive.
Before I dive right into my list, there are some things that I should make clear. These cars are used, some may even be completely molested. They will need some work and will probably have a lot of miles on them. These are the cars that I would look at if it were my money. Your list will definitely be different.
Here’s my list and a quick write-up on the one that I would buy with my money and why.
- 2003 Honda S2000 $10,500 (if you don’t like the body kit, here’s another 01 S200)
- 2005 Infiniti G35 Coupe $9,000
- 2007 Nissan 350z $9,500
- 2002 Subaru WRX with STI Motor $10,000
- 2006 Nissan Altima SE-R $9,000
- 2006 Mini Cooper S $9500
- 2007 Honda Civic SI $9500
- 2009 Volkswagen GTI $7500
- 2001 Mazda Miata $7500
- 2000 Audi S4
These 10 cars are the best I could find, in my specific area, for around $10,000. While the mileage and the condition of these vehicles vary, I believe that they’re the best you can get for the money. Now onto the good part.
My vehicle of choice would be the Honda S2000. There some stipulations, of course, since nothing is really simple anymore. I would need to have a garage to store an extra set of winter tires/rims, a tarp – or some room in the garage in case the top ripped – and narrow my list of friends down to one lucky individual, since it’s a two-seater.
Why the underpowered convertible? Simple, it takes me back to a time when Honda put driving in front of their econo-box lineup today. Powered by a 2-liter inline-four cylinder engine making 240 hp and 153 lb-ft. of torque, the S2000 revs all the way to 9,000. Not to mention the extra horsepower from the magical V-Tech unicorns.
The power may not be that impressive, but with a curb weight of 2800 lbs., a short-shifting six speed manual transmission and being driven by its rear wheels, the S2000 was a riot to drive and will surely please a lot of people.
Some may see the absence of a roof as a negative, but when the weather gets nice, you’ll be able to get as much headroom as an astronaut. What’s there to complain about then? It won’t get the best gas mileage or allow you to carry a lot of groceries, but when the road gets twisty there isn’t a whole lot better than this.
Besides, it is a Honda and will last longer than the majority of other vehicles. For the money, I don’t think there’s a better vehicle for me, but there might be one that’s better for you. Take your time, do your research and look at my tips on buying a car from Craigslist.