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Popular Mechanics Gives Us Their Top Sub-3k Car Picks

Popular Mechanics Reveals the Best Sub-$3k Cars 

While Vote on Cars specializes in affordable new cars, we certainly appreciate a good value.  We also like fun lists. In a recent-ish blog post, Popular Mechanics posted their top 9 Fun Cars Under $3,000. In it, they highlight some really cheap cars that are also really fun. After reading the list, we have to agree: These are some mighty fun cars. 

Admittedly, finding a decent 1984–1991 3 Series for three grand might be tricky, but they're worth the search. We'd hold out for six-cylinder version, as the silky-smooth inline-six is a stand-out engine, especially among other cars from the Eighties. If you find one with "i" at the end of the badge, grab it. That denotes a more powerful version, with 168 horsepower. The chassis is the main draw, however, as these rear-drivers (yes, they made an AWD version, but good luck finding one for under five grand) had near perfect weight distribution and eager handling. Inside, the cabin is airy and surprisingly roomy considering the compact exterior dimensions. As with the Miata, there's a healthy enthusiast following for these cars, so aftermarket parts are plentiful.

BMW E30 3 Series. It may be tricky to find one of these bad boys for under $3k, but it made the list anyway because it’s a sweet, sweet ride.

Here’s the list:

  1. Mazda Miata (1989-1994)
  2. BMW E30 3 Series (1984-1991)
  3. Toyota MR2 (1985-1988)
  4. Volkswagen Rabbit GTI (1983)
  5. Jeep Wrangler YJ (1987-1995)
  6. Pontiac Fiero (1984-1988)
  7. Porsche 914 (and old one. Side note, Porsche might hold the record for most timeless vehicle styling.)
  8. Mitsubishi Starion ESI (an old one)
  9. Ford Probe GT (1993-1997)

So, what do you think? Are they missing a car? Give us YOUR favorite sub-3k car in the car in the comments section.

Read the full article here.