These are some of the best JDM cars of all time. There’s just one problem, they cost well north of $10,000. So, today we have put together 6 cool cars that are some of the best JDM cars you can get for under 10k. Strap up and ride shotgun as we explore the best of JDM.
One of the best all-around sports cars ever made, Honda’s two seat rear wheel drive roadster that not only looks the part but this spectacularly balanced chassis is just way too much fun to play with. What’s crazy is that Formula-One engineers from Honda’s racing department built the S2000 which makes sense because the high revving 237 horsepower 4-cylinder, makes 124 horsepower per liter. That’s the highest of any mass-produced naturally aspirated car at its time.
What’s awesome is this engine will scream to its 9,000 k red lines, kind of like an F1 car! Not only is the engine a work of art, this direct linkage 6-speed manual transmission with uber short flows and confidence-inspiring gates is literally
One of the best transmissions at any price range. When you get on it, 0 – 60 mph comes in under 5 seconds. Yeah, you can tell I’m not in love. If you look hard enough, there are a few ones floating around for under the 10k mark. I mean, what’s not to like it? Not only handles like a go-kart, but it’ll handle your wildest dreams with ease. It’s definitely one of the best sports cars ever built.
Subaru Impreza STI ’02-’05 1.56
From one of the best sports cars ever built to one of the best-looking Subarus ever built. The facelift STI is the turbocharged rally winning machine we all lusted over 4 years. But, the STI was never offered to the American market until 2004. We’re lucky that they finally did. There are very few cars on this planet that make more sense than a Subaru WRX STI. You get the turbocharged and intercooled 2.5-liter 4-cylinder boxer motor that puts out 300 horse in the same amount of torque. It has confidence-inspiring all-wheel drive for any conditions. Not only that, it’s got a smooth 6-speed manual transmission to put all that power to the ground.
One thing I almost forgot; it has 4 doors. So, you think it’s practical. With that being said, it probably isn’t very good-looking but you’d be wrong because this thing has a ton of curb appeal. With a few minor modifications, you can nake well over 400 hp. You’ll find that the blob eyes are hovering just above the $10,000 mark.
The 2000s era Impreza is impressive. If you’re looking for something with Boxster character, timeless looks, a need for speed, and your budget is a bit less but you still want a sube check out this article about fun first cars for under 3,000 bucks. In that article, you’ll find the bug-eye WRX. Both are rally cars and both bleed blue and gold.
Mazda Miata NB MazdaSpeed
For not one but two years, Mazda produced an extremely special Miata. This little roadster, called the Mazdaspeed, has a little turbo hiding under the hood. Only 5,400 or so were ever built. It makes this model pretty rare.
The Mazdaspeed Miata was thoroughly gone through by its engineers. With one of the highlights being the 1.8 liter engine, that lost a little bit of compression, but gained a factory turbo. The results were pretty stellar, 178 hp and 166 foot-pounds of torque. Definitely a nice upgrade over the stock NA examples and is the perfect complement to this balanced chassis.
Looking on the interwebs, you can get a sweet slice of turbo Miata pie for as little as 8K grand. I mean, we already knew that Miata is always the answer but you can put an exclamation point on the end of that statement when you throw a factory turbo on one.
The Nissan 350Z is a throwback to the Datsun 240Z, which was one of the coolest sports cars in the world in the 70s. When Nissan announced it was going to create a new 2-door sports car in the early 2000s, fans of JDM were hyped. The result was nothing short of spectacular. With a 3.5 liter 24 valve quad cam unit, pushing out 287 horsepower.
As for the chassis, its Nissan’s FM platform, that was shared with the Infiniti G35. That’s the secret as the 350Z is so good. CFM stands for front mid-engine meaning the engine sits fully behind the front wheels for optimal weight distribution. Although it’s no slouch in a straight line, doing 0 – 60 in a respectable 5.4 seconds.
I love the sound of those motors. The aftermarket community has accepted the Z with open arms. Whether you’re a hell of flesh kind of guy, or you like getting some slide weighs action in, or you just want to join the bigwang gang, modding the 350Z is way too easy. Since it’s so widely popular, finding parts is not only easy but they’re usually pretty cheap.
They are an ideal value these days. Just look at this 04 touring for 5,900 bucks. In 1970, for the money, the 240Z was about as close to perfection for a fun little sports car. Today, the same thing rings true for the 240s, 30-year younger brother.
I’m going to throw you guys a curve ball really quick because it’s also the question of the day which is “if you have an unlimited budget, what is your favorite all-time JDM car? Is it a Gen 1 NSX? or is it Godzilla the R34 GT-R? or maybe something kind of weird like a Honda Beat?
Nissan R32 GTST
I got a dumb question for you; “do you love the R32 GTR”? This one, the 3rd generation with a power-hungry RB26DETT all-wheel drive. Yeah, me too. If you’re like me and you don’t have 30k grand just lying around, but you would like to get into the R32 game for a third of that, well, you’re in luck because the Nissan R32 GTST is the bargain JDM car you never knew you needed, until now. Wow, everyone and their mom is distracted by the legendary GTR.
You can go snag a GTS-T for a lot less money and come away with the ultimate bargain Japanese performance car. It’s rear-wheel-drive instead of all-wheel drive like the GTR. It has 60 less horsepower than its bigger brother. But, there’s always a but; weighs 300 pounds less. The way I like to explain the GTS-T to people is; think of this Porsche GT3 as the R32 GTR. Then, think of the base Porsche 911 as the R32 GTST. The GT3 is more tracked ready but the base 911 is no slug either! I almost forgot to mention that you can drip the snot out of these GTSTs with their superior rear-wheel drive. Prices are hovering right above the 10 grand mark.
Nissan S14 240SX
While on the topic of Nissan, I want to get this out of the way right away. Here is the S13 240SX and here’s its younger brother, S14 240SX. Which do you like better? I’m really curious to see the results of this question.
The S14 generation of the 240SX was widely considered as an evolution of the previous highly successful car. One of the main weak points of the S13 got addressed on the S14, specifically the engine. Featuring KA24DE, dual overhead cam power plant, good for a respectable 7.5 seconds 0 to 60. The main reason that these cars are so popular these days is thanks to drift culture. The motorsport event will power oversteer meet synchronized swimming. How you’re drifting, why don’t you slide it into these cheap cars that you’ll never lose a dime on.