Despite coming with a single 1.5L 4-cylinder engine that makes 130 horsepower, the Honda Fit still offers two transmission choices. The 6-speed manual arguably utilizes the small 4-cylinder’s potential better than the CVT, but it fails in the efficiency department. 33 mpg combined isn’t as good as the CVT gearbox’s 36 mpg combined, but the latter drones a lot and generally has trouble with acceleration.
So what do you get for $22k? One of the best and most balanced driving experiences of your life. This car is the ultimate daily roadster, and it offers a perfect blend of performance (thanks to a 237 hp, 160 lb-ft 2.2L I4) and handling (thanks to aero upgrades which reduced aero lift by upwards of 80%). It may not fit in terribly well with some of the other crazy cheap cars here, and especially not on craigslist, but it’s worth every last penny.
We started the Japan section of our Used Engines Countdown with a rare find that only came in one car, and these aren’t much better. Used engines of the Wankel variety are most commonly found in models that we didn’t get in the US. Score one point for eBay.
Of course, no good list of crazy cheap cars would be complete without some American muscle. Of course, the Ford Mustang is iconic as any of its counterparts, so we sprung for the 1996-98 SVT Cobra. Unfortunately for the purists, this is the first model Mustang that saw Ford retiring its 5.0L V8 in place of a new 4.6L Modular unit. The Crown Victoria actually shares the same engine, albeit in a slightly different configuration that makes about 100 fewer hp.
As for the money, you may be looking at around $70,000+ per year, but you have to keep your eyes open. It is not every day that jobs like this pop up. Here it is, the king of all driving jobs: Race Car Driver! Do I really have to write anything about race car driving? It is the most exciting thing about cars there is. You get paid to drive as fast as possible.
Whether it’ll receive a new CVT gearbox remains to be seen. The sedan will come with a standard 6-speed manual and, for the first time, an optional CVT for upgraded fuel economy, which should see the new Forte sedan deliver up to 3 mpg more than the current model. The 2019 Kia Forte will also feature 54% more high-strength steel in its frame which should ensure it gets top crash scores.
Who knows, maybe if this new sales move works for them, they could justify sticking a turbo on the V6 model and we might finally see a comeback from the Grand National trim. The recently redesigned Hyundai Elantra GT hatchback keeps things nice and simple.
Fuel economy and reliability are both profound (as is expected), but the model year difference is where you should pay attention. The ’90 and ’91 models are going to be your best bet because, after some minor restyling, Honda decided to give the CRX four-wheel disc brakes and new wheels, which can make a world of difference as far as handling is concerned.
You know that there is such a thing as a stunt driving school!? It does exist and if you really want a high-paid driving job, this is it. Sure, making it to the A-list is a hard process, but if you make it you will have a lot of work. With this many movies, TV-series, and documentaries coming out every year, wrecking cars on camera can be required every single day.
The Canadian gearheads over at Pistonhead Productions stuffed a 4BT into a 1990 Miata and backed it with a Ford T19 transmission and Ford 8.8-inch rear end. If you race SCCA and you haven’t vomited yet, good on you, because this Miata raised over $10,000 for a local high school’s shop class when it was auctioned in 2016. See, even the baby Cummins used engines can go to good use.
The only problem with these crazy cheap cars is that they are getting more expensive as time marches on. With plenty of examples reaching upwards of $80,000 at auction, you may be intimidated at first. Rest assured there are plenty of examples resting comfortably around the $25k-$30k range, and we even saw one with more than 600,000 miles that was still going strong!
Diamonds and movie star lifestyle aside, the Lyken HyperSport can set pavement ablaze. It is powered by a twin-turbocharged 3.7L flat-six that produces 780 hp and 708 lb-ft of torque. The builder, W Motors, claims the Lyken HyperSport has a top speed of 245 mph. It will jump from 0 to 60 mph in a scant 2.8 seconds and will hit 125 mph in just 9.4 seconds.
Equipped as an option on the Gran Sport 455, only 400 of the GSX Stage 1 packages were sold in 1970. The package boosted the performance of the lightweight 455 engine to 360 hp. That isn’t too impressive until you hear about the GSX Stage 1’s 510 lb-ft of torque. That was the highest torque output of any American production performance car until the introduction of the Series 2 V10 Dodge Viper in 2003.