Drifting is not less than figure skating or motorsports. After all, it needs skills, style, and having the right car being the most important. For finding the best drift cars, the used car market is however the main vein and is worth checking out. But wait before moving your way to craigslist, pick up the cheapest rear-wheel-drive manual and unite the distinct, pay attention to this list first which includes the best drift cars under $10k, and then consider according to your interests.
So, here we move to our list of best drift cars.
The Best Drift Cars Under $10k
So, firstly I need to tell you that the list is divided into two sections one is the list of most popular drift cars about which you may have some info and the second is the most hidden ones about which you have no idea. But the common thing among these cars is that these are available for less than $ 10k. These are the types of cars you will hear more often from the mouth of car enthusiasts. So, just have a look.
1- Mazda Miata- NA/NB MX-5
It provides a power output of 140hp @6500 rpm| 162 nm @ 4500 rpm. Engine capacity up to 1.8L, wheelbase 2260 mm, curb weight-1000kg, weight to power ratio- 7.1kg/hp, and suspension- the independent double-wishbone.
You may have heard about it from someone and we will tell you again. The Miata is the little zippy car that does all desired things. So, it’s good to start with Miata, if you are just starting this drifting journey. It’s the furthest learner drift car being tricky and unforgiving.
Well ironically the thing that makes Miata fun to drive, makes it hard to drift. As it is designed to seize the road and play a good role.
It will throw an outburst at the modest driver mistake- not the most tolerant car to drift with. You might not get a wide drift angle because of the short wheelbase. The more you try to push it, the more it will spin.
However, some aftermarket parts can help your Miata to drift more easily like if you drift effortlessly in a Miata, you can do the same with just any other car in this list. It’s going to make you a better drifter.
2- BMW E 36 325i
So, the BMW E 36 325i will offer you a power output of 192 [email protected] 5900 rpm| 254 nm @ 4700 rpm, an engine capacity of 2.5L, with a wheelbase of 2700 mm, along with a curb weight of 1329kg and gives weight to power ratio- 6.9kg/hp and suspension- front- Mc Pherson struts | rear – multi-link Z Axle.
This car is among the best drifting cars and shines when reshaped. Believe it, that BMW E36 is flawless and one of the best drift cars under $10k. So, unite the distinct, and get the shock set up and the cooling system improved, and you’re all ready.
With practically 50:50 distribution, this car is just as obvious in a drift in a beeline. Add a wailing inline 6 to this equation and you’ll get a soft drift missile. Since there were more than one million BMW E36s sold, they have fallen in price well. So, E30s and E46s are pretty good, and at times it depends on the price.
3- Mazda RX-7 FC turbo II
So, this drift car provides you a power output- 200 hp @ 6500 rpm | 265 nm @ 3500 pm, with an engine of 1.3 L and a wheelbase of 2430mm, along with a curb weight of 1250kg and gives weight to power ratio of 6.2kg/hp, and suspension- front-independent McPherson strut | rear- independent transverse arms.
Nonetheless, Mazda RX-7 has become a leading name in the drift scene. It is stunning in looks and comes with a small displacement rotary engine which is fond of being redlined- a good recipe for going sidelong.
Notwithstanding flaws, rotary engines receive a crazy amount of love from many car enthusiasts. Well, it takes a lot of work to handle it but is worth it.
So, what makes them a so-drift-friendly model? Well, because they can revolve to their maximum capacity without giving a break. Mazda also suggested reviving its engine to the limit for the sake of clearing out carbon deposits. Fortunately, the FC RX-7 hasn’t skyrocketed in value yet, just like other JDM legends did. And you know what, it’s quite possible to find a fourth-generation, FC RX-7 under $10k.
4- Nissan 350z
It provides you a power output: 283 [email protected] 6200 rpm| 362 nm @ 4800 rpm, an engine capacity of 3,5L, and a wheelbase of 2650 mm gives you a curb weight of 1545 kg, has weight to power ratio: 5.2kg/hp, and suspension: front and rear independent multi-link.
Well talking about drift cars on sale and the 350z is likely to pop up in the conversation. Nissan’s Z platform is drawn away by a huge aftermarket community that never felt dry off stock.
You can’t make a wrong way with a 350z irrespective of the style of motorsport you’re into. It’s fond of burning rubber and a tested and true platform for just about everything.
Its VQ V6 motor provides enough squeak to break traction flawlessly, whenever required. It also comes along with a solid manual transmission setup that has achieved a street reputation for being highly reliable even after shoving hard.
Moreover, you can easily get a pre-2007 used Nissan 350z for under $10k. And those manufactured after 2007 come with a powerful VQ35HR engine and generally price above $10k. Z33 is still a bargain for something new.
Compare this wide range of 350z models with the aftermarket and you will see the difference and will find this car drift on the cheap.
5- Nissan 300ZX twin-turbo
It provides you a power output of 283hp @ 6400 rpm| 375 nm @ 3600 rpm with an engine capacity of 3.0 L, and wheelbase of 2570 mm, and gives a curb weight of 1644 kg, along with a weight to power ratio of 6.75 kg/hp and suspension: front- double wishbone| rear- depreciated rack
The 300zx is enough for a car for the money. Although they are not on the hit list for most drifters available, they don’t look stunning when going sideways. This much that even Lamborghini sometimes felt the need to copy its design cues for the diablo.
It delivers two turbos that provide more than the required grunt to break traction. And its long, tourer-Esque dimension makes it easy-ish to control your drift angle.
However, it’s not as light and catchy as other drift cars, but still, some enthusiasts like its quality while some don’t.
6- Nissan S13- KA24 240SX
It provides a power output of 155 hp @ 5600 rpm| 217 nm @ 4400 rpm, an engine capacity of 2.4 L, and wheelbase of 2463mm, gives a curb weight of 1223kg along with a weight to power ratio of 7.89kg/hp and suspension: front- McPherson strut| rear-multi-ink.
Nissan’s S-chassis cars helped allocate the foundation of drift culture as we know it today! They are light, easy to handle, and more exquisite than most of the cars on the list. Furthermore, their longish wheelbase permits better angles and stability while drifting.
Drifts events worldwide make a mess with madly modified, engine swapped 240SXs- the coupe varieties of the S13 and S14 chassis sold in North America.
Well, the Miata will make you drive in the same way. Nissan’s S-chassis will make you a good mechanic for sure. Switch an SRT20DET and it would not be a low-maintenance car, but they are justifly easy to work on.
So, if you find an S13 or S14 that hasn’t been used this much, don’t miss it and brag before someone else does. Because getting these cars under $10k is hard to find nowadays is a big deal due to the massive drift tax imposed on these cars.
Read more: Audi S6 2022| everything you need to know
Whereas, S13 are often easier to find as compared to S14 and S15s-u forbidden fruit of the American car scene.
7- Toyota corolla sport GT-S AE86
It provides you a power output of 112 hp @ 6600 rpm | 132 [email protected] 4800 rpm, an engine capacity of 1.6L, and a wheelbase of 2400mm, gives a curb weight of 1089kg and weight to power ratio-7kg/hp and suspension-front-independent MacPherson strut| rear- four-link live axle.
Well, this model doesn’t need an introduction at all. The Corolla AE86 is one of the reasons why drifting got its global recognition as a sport.
Who thought that this whipping boy of the JDM would do something phenomenal! That’s what makes AE86 remarkable. This substandard hatchback completely dominated every motorsport used in the rally, touring, and the more on drifting.
Its well-nigh weight distribution and live rear axle make it better for drifting. And this will drift even when you’re not trying so. It’s snappy and cool, especially when sideways.
Come with an AE86 to drift excellently at high speeds needs a serious commitment. Though if done correctly, it’s rewarding.
The Hidden Ones
So, as we have already discussed, these cars are like hidden gems, about which most car enthusiasts won’t think of getting under $10k. Yes, these are the best drift cars under $10k. It might seem challenging at first, but when you search in the right place, you can get it no doubt.
Here are the best unknown drift cars across the world:-
1- Ford mustang fox body-1992
It provides a power output of 220 hp @ 4200 rpm| 300mm @ 3200 rpm, an engine capacity of 5.0L, and a wheelbase of 2553 mm, and gives a weight to power ratio of 6.3kg/hp and suspension: front- MacPherson strut| rear live axle.
The fox body mustang is very popular for its flawless drifting dynamics. There is something different about V8s that the other small displacement engines cannot replace. Moreover, the extra torque makes it even easier to control slip angles and helps reduce driver error.
So, finding this in good shape is not a very difficult thing, and ford has sold over a million units over the past 15 years.
You will come upon a fox mustangs with a 5L Windsor V8 and a 2.3L turbo. Although both are good, V8 is the most genuine option here.
2- Toyota Cressida MX83
It provides a power output of 168 hp @ 5600 rpm | 230 nm @ 4600 rpm, an engine capacity of 3.0L, and a wheelbase of 2600mm, and gives a curb weight of 1355 kg/hp and suspension: independent MacPherson coil springs.
To be honest, Toyota Cressida is immensely underrated and at times overlooked when it comes to motorsports like drifting. Intriguingly, exactly like SC300, this also shares some parts with the supra.
Nonetheless, finding a Cressida in a top-class condition isn’t a big issue. This bare-bone sedan can easily be turned into a cool and cheap drift thing. All it needs is a little work and a remapped ECU.
So, the appearance is praised by some while hated by some, yes it is overrated but after a little work on it, can be fabulous. Having a long wheelbase means you can have some serious drifts. It’s kinda predictable!
3- Lexus SC300
It provides a power output of 225 hp @ 6000 rpm | 298 nm @ 4800, an engine capacity of 3.0L with a wheelbase of 2690 mm, and gives a curb weight of 1610 kg, and weight to power ratio of 7.06 kg/hp, and suspension: front- double-wishbone | rear- helical spring.
However, it’s a real hidden gem and the perfect way to describe the SC300 because it’s usually a supra wearing a tuxedo.
So, if you are an MK4 supra admirer and have one who wanted to own it, but resisted due to the huge drift tax, give this a shot. Keep it low-profile, instead.
Both of them- supra and SC300 were formed on a similar platform and share a common list of parts. This means that it will get the same benefit from aftermarket support as supra. Parts are however cheap and enough- an ideal case for a drift car.
It comes with the same tuner-friendly 2JZ-GE engine, subframe, and transmission as supra. One thing which differentiates them is the luxury, although, maybe it’s not the first thing on your mind about the drift build checklist.
So, if drifting is common to you and you want a comfortable, and correct car that you can drive to your track and also to the club, this one is for you.
4- Merkur XR4Ti Turbo- ford sierra
It provides a power output of 175 hp @ 5200 rpm| 271 nm @ 3000, an engine capacity of 2.3L, and a wheelbase of 2610 mm, it gives a curb weight of 1339 kg and weight to power ratio of 7.65kg/hp, and suspension: front- Macpherson Strut| rear- coil springs, semi-trailing arm.
Hence, the XR4Ti is a german made variety of the ford sierra which had been on sale in the U.S between 1985 and 1989. It was sold by the name “mercury”, which was a sub-brand of lincoln and mercury at the time.
This mini, turbocharged car offers a healthy 175hp and is just phenomenal when it comes to driving. Finding one must be comparatively cheaper as nobody wants to look after it.
In terms of drifting capability, it’s on the top list, being lightweight and possessing a good power to weight ratio.
5- Mercedes – Benz 190
It provides a power output of 132 hp @ 5100 rpm| 198 nm @ 3500, engine capacity of 2.3L, and wheelbase of 2660 mm, and gives a curb weight of 1220kg, and weight to power ratio of 9.2 kg/hp and suspension: front- MacPherson strut| rear- multilink.
Amidst all the variants of Mercedes-Benz’s W201 list, two cars specifically got the most attention- 190E 2.3L and 190E 2.3L-16V Cosworth. The final is becoming extremely rare and hiking up the value by the day.
Even though it’s possible to get one under $10k, but the chances may be less. However, 190E 2.3 can be easily purchased and is one wreck of a car.
Since light drift cars are safe and easy, but the heavier ones aren’t that bad.
That’s all about the best drift cars at low cost and high efficiency. So, if you doubt the quality of those cars and wonder if cheap cars drift, here is the answer.
Can Cheap Cars Drift?
In your initial days of drifting, you might certainly go land up breaking things. With that overhead, going for a cheap RWD car that has good aftermarket support is your best deal. With that, you can easily find used parts and the maintenance cost won’t load you too much.
And the most important and tricky thing about drifting is that most of the well-known car drifters started their work with a cheap and low-profile drift car that was sober and quite well functioned. So, at times it’s better to go low-key rather than dive into some exotic.
FAQs Of Drift Cars
What cars make good drift cars?
There are few examples of good drift cars-
- BMW E36 M3
- Nissan Skyline R33 GTS-T
- Nissan 350z
- Nissan 240sx S14
- Mazda MX-5 NB
- BMW E46 M3
- Nissan 180sx
- Toyota JZX-90
- Toyota Corolla AE86
- Mercedes C230 kompressor
- Infiniti G35
- Lexus IS200
- Mazda RX-7 FD3S
What is the best JDM drift car?
The best JDM drift cars are-
- Toyota chaser
- Toyota sprinter trueno
- Toyota Mark II
- Nissan Silvia S13
- Nissan Silvia S15
Which is the best drifting car in the world?
The top 10 best drifting cars in the world are-
- Mercedes C63 AMG
- Nissan Skyline R33 GTS
- Chevy lumina SS/Pontiac GTO
- Toyota Corolla AE 86
- BMW M3- E6
- Toyota Supra
- Mazda RX7
- Ford mustang
- Nissan 200SX
- Nissan 350Z
What is the cheapest drift car?
Well, the cheapest drift cars include-
- Nissan 350Z
- Nissan Silvia 200SX/240SX
- Nissan Skyline R33
- Lexus SC
- Honda S2000
- Brz/ Toyota GT86
- Toyota Corolla AE86
- Mazda RX-7 FC and FD
- Toyota JZX/ Cresta/ chaser/Cressida
Is drifting badly for a car?
A short answer to this would be that drifting causes various damages to your car. As your rear tires won’t last very long from the friction. And then you will need to replace them with a new set every 2-3 drifting sessions, well it depends on how long the session will last. And the exterior damages are the commonest one by which you may have to suffer.
Can you drift an FWD?
It’s possible now to drift a front-wheel drive. So, it’s technically true, because it all depends on speed, technique, and timing. So, technically the more the car has the power to get us higher, the better it will stay. So, always try to drive safely.
Can every car drift?
Technically it’s possible to drive every car, but there are the specific ones for drifting and you will see rear-wheel drive more for drifting cars and it has comparatively higher power than most other vehicles.
Is the handbrake drifting badly for your car?
Well depending on how hard you pull it, splitting the cable is kind of a real risk. Your whole driveline up to your clutch gets a huge kick every time you hit the e-brake and again you release the clutch. However, locking your rear wheels will stop your differential, transmission, and driveshaft and half your clutch plates.
Can drift in snow damage a car?
Yes, at times when you drive on snow and tires hit dry flagstone and get traction, that may cause damage to your car. That is tint 20% rear and 35% front.
Is FWD good for rallies?
The loading leads to spread equally all over the four tires. On the good part, FWD cars do it all such as accelerating, most of the braking, and next to all of the turning on the front two tires. Aside from fuel, it’s more important, as in rallies tires are more consumable rather than the fuel.