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Best Cheap Drift Cars: Top 5 Models for Thrilling Drifts

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Looking for the best cheap drift cars? Check out our top 5 picks for affordable cars that offer an exhilarating drift experience without breaking the bank!

Drifting is a popular motorsport that involves intentionally oversteering a car, causing the rear wheels to lose traction and slide sideways. The objective is to keep the car in a controlled slide through a series of turns, while maintaining speed and angle. Drifting requires skill, practice, and a suitable car that can provide the necessary power, balance, and handling.

If you’re looking to get into drifting without breaking the bank, there are plenty of affordable options available. In this article, we’ll explore the top 5 best cheap drift cars that offer excellent value for money and a thrilling drift experience.

What Makes a Good Drift Car?

Before we dive into the list of cars, let’s first understand what makes a good drift car. While any car can be drifted, certain features and characteristics make some cars better suited for the sport than others. Here are some key factors to consider when choosing a drift car:

Rear-Wheel Drive (RWD)

Drifting requires the rear wheels to lose traction and slide, which is why RWD cars are preferred over front-wheel drive (FWD) or all-wheel drive (AWD) cars. RWD cars are more balanced and predictable when it comes to throttle and steering inputs, allowing for smoother and more controlled drifts.

Manual Transmission

A manual transmission gives the driver more control over the car’s speed and gears, making it easier to initiate and maintain a drift. Automatic transmissions are not suitable for drifting as they lack the necessary precision and responsiveness.

Lightweight and Balanced

A good drift car should be relatively lightweight and have a balanced weight distribution between the front and rear axles. This helps to improve the car’s agility, responsiveness, and stability during drifts.

Aftermarket Support

Drifting involves a lot of modifications to the car, such as suspension, brakes, engine tuning, and exterior modifications. Therefore, a good drift car should have a strong aftermarket support system, with plenty of available parts and accessories to improve its performance and aesthetics.

Top 5 Best Cheap Drift Cars

Without further ado, here are the top 5 best cheap drift cars that offer great value for money and an exhilarating drifting experience.

1. Nissan 240SX (S13/S14)

The Nissan 240SX, also known as the Silvia, is a popular drift car choice due to its RWD layout, lightweight design, and responsive handling. The S13 and S14 models, produced from 1989 to 1998, are particularly popular among drift enthusiasts. However, they can be difficult to find in good condition these days. The main advantage of the 240SX is its affordability, with prices ranging from $2,000 to $10,000 depending on the condition and modifications.

2. Mazda RX-7 (FC/FD)

The Mazda RX-7 is a classic Japanese sports car that is renowned for its rotary engine and exceptional handling. The FC and FD models, produced from 1985 to 2002, are popular among drifters due to their lightweight design, RWD layout, and excellent weight distribution. The main drawback of the RX-7 is its maintenance and repair costs, especially for the rotary engine. However, with prices ranging from $5,000 to $20,000, the RX-7 is still an affordable option for drifters.

3. BMW E36/E46

The BMW E36 and E46 are popular choices among drift enthusiasts due to their RWD layout, balanced weight distribution, and responsive handling. The E36, produced from 1990 to 2000, is a more affordable option, with prices ranging from $2,000 to $8,000. The E46, produced from 1998 to 2006, is a slightly more expensive option, with prices ranging from $5,000 to $15,000. Both models are known for their high-quality build and excellent aftermarket support.

4. Ford Mustang (Fox Body)

The Ford Mustang, particularly the Fox Body models produced from 1979 to 1993, is a popular choice for drifting due to its affordable price, lightweight design, and potent V8 engine. The Fox Body Mustangs are also easy to modify and have a wide range of available aftermarket parts. However, they can be challenging to handle for novice drifters due to their powerful engines and twitchy rear ends. Prices for the Fox Body Mustangs range from $2,000 to $10,000.

5. Lexus IS300

The Lexus IS300 is a luxury sports sedan that has become popular among drifters due to its RWD layout, balanced weight distribution, and reliable engine. The IS300 is also affordable compared to other luxury sports cars, with prices ranging from $3,000 to $10,000. However, the IS300’s heavy weight can make it challenging to initiate and maintain drifts, and its aftermarket support is not as extensive as some other models.

How to Modify Your Drift Car

Modifying your drift car is an essential aspect of drifting, as it can improve the car’s performance, handling, and durability. Here are some common modifications that can be made to a drift car:


Upgrading the suspension is crucial for drift cars, as it improves handling, stability, and tire contact. Common suspension modifications include coilovers, sway bars, strut braces, and adjustable control arms.

Engine Tuning

Increasing the engine’s power and torque output is essential for drift cars, as it allows for faster and more controlled drifts. Common engine modifications include intake, exhaust, headers, cams, and engine management systems.


Upgrading the brakes is crucial for drift cars, as it improves stopping power and reduces brake fade. Common brake modifications include bigger rotors, calipers, pads, and brake lines.

Exterior Modifications

Modifying the car’s exterior can improve its aerodynamics and aesthetics, as well as reduce weight. Common exterior modifications include body kits, wings, spoilers, and lightweight panels.

Tips for Modifying Your Drift Car on a Budget

Modifying your drift car can be expensive, but there are ways to do it on a budget. Here are some tips:

  • Prioritize performance over aesthetics
  • Buy used parts from reputable sources
  • Do the work yourself if possible
  • Focus on the most critical modifications first
  • Research and compare prices before buying parts

By following these tips and being smart with your modifications, you can create a competitive drift car without breaking the bank.

Tips for Drifting on a Budget

Drifting can be an expensive hobby, but there are ways to enjoy it without breaking the bank. Here are some tips for drifting on a budget:

Buy a Used Car

Instead of buying a brand new car, consider purchasing a used one that is already modified for drifting. This can save you a lot of money on modifications and aftermarket parts. Look for cars that have a strong following in the drifting community, such as the Nissan 240SX or Mazda RX-7.

Find Affordable Drift Events

Attending drift events can be expensive, especially if you have to travel long distances and pay for entry fees. Look for local events that are more affordable and offer a chance to practice your skills. You can also volunteer to help out at events in exchange for free or discounted entry.

Maintain Your Car on a Budget

Regular maintenance is crucial for keeping your drift car in top shape, but it doesn’t have to be costly. Learn how to do basic maintenance tasks yourself, such as oil changes and tire rotations. Buy parts and accessories online or from local junkyards to save money. Join online forums and communities to get advice and support from other drifters.


In conclusion, drifting is a thrilling and exciting motorsport that requires skill, practice, and the right car. If you’re on a budget, there are plenty of affordable options available that can provide a great drift experience. The top 5 best cheap drift cars we’ve listed offer a combination of power, balance, and handling that make them ideal for drifting.

Remember, a good drift car should be rear-wheel drive, lightweight, and have a strong aftermarket support system. It’s also important to maintain your car regularly and attend affordable drift events to improve your skills. We hope this article has been informative and helpful in your search for the best cheap drift cars. Keep practicing and exploring the world of drifting to become a skilled and confident drifter.

Thank you for reading, and don’t forget to check out Ratingperson for more reviews and articles on the latest trends in motorsports, movies, restaurants, and more!

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