Most European performance cars are on the pricey side, but there are actually some bargains out there that even we can afford.

Jaguar XKR
Waking up each morning can be tough for some of us. What can make it just a bit more enjoyable is walking out of your home, perhaps into your garage or carport, and seeing your car. Is your current car a quick but practical SUV? Perhaps it’s a four-door sports sedan. Quite possibly though it may be something less than what you’d prefer. That’s what today is all about here on HotCars. European cars feel amazing and give you an experience that other countries of origin seem to struggle to match at times.

I’m going to take you through 10 European cars that are outstanding performance bargains. Each one of these can have for less than $10,000! That’s pretty cheap today in a world of $90,000 base Porsches, and $64,000 Alfa Romeo 4Cs. If you’re a fan of old-school cars well I’ve got that covered for you too. If you’d prefer a smaller, sportier, city car, you’ll see those too! Let’s go!

9Audi B6 S4

via MOMENTcar

The B6 and B7 S4 is a dapper and dashing sports sedan. The engine is a flat-plane crank V8 that came out years before Ford was given all sorts of undeserved credit for putting one in their Mustang.

That means this thing sounds like an aroused banshee when you’re being especially brutal with it. Look for one with the timing chain tensioners already replaced and it’ll impress you every day.

8Porsche Boxster S

Via Car & Driver

The Porsche Boxster S is perhaps the best bang for the buck here and it very well may appreciate in value over the next few years. The flat-six is super capable, and the suspension in the S model is well-tuned for the enthusiast driver. The best part about the Boxster S is that they’re reliable and fairly easy to work on as well.

7Mini Cooper S Coupe


I’ve owned 3 MINI Coopers, and they’re a blast. The Coupe is a very special little car that will get you far more attention than you’d believe just looking at it. In addition, you’ll get all the excellent power from the 1.6 supercharged engine in a car that has a lower center of gravity and better handling than the normal car.

RELATED: The Real Story Behind Mini Cooper

6Jaguar XKR

via Top Speed

Want some luxury and some power? The Jaguar XK8 is for you. The supercharged V8 under the hood packs 400 horsepower and the interior is a lovely place to be. There’s not much more to want in a GT car. They’re closely related to the Aston Martin DB7 from the same time period.

5Volvo C30 R-Design

The 5 cylinder devil
Via Wheelsage

The answer to the Mini Cooper from Volvo was the C30 R-Design. In my opinion, it’s far more rare, far more unique, and more reliable. The turbocharged 5-cylinder engine is very cool and the rest of the drivetrain is very stout. Better yet, this thing has a huge aftermarket.


BMW Z4 V10 Engine Swap
via Manhart Performance

The Z4 can be had in many engine variations and if you’re completely wild you can do what this person did and drop the V10 from the E60 M5 under the bonnet and see how long it takes you to stuff it into a tree. Really though, the Z4 is a super capable, super reliable, and super comfortable little car with tons of sporty prowess and a cheap entry price.

RELATED: BMW Z4 Gets Monstrous S85 V10 Engine Swap

3Alfa Romeo Spyder Veloce

Via Pinterest

Perhaps one of the prettiest cars on this list, the Alfa Romeo Spyder Veloce is a nearly modern roadster that can be had in amazing shape for well under our $10,000 budget. While some of the earlier cars have some electrical problems, the later ones like this 1991 example are a stylish way to get around town.


mg mgb

For those that want a classic convertible from the British Isles, the MG MGB is about as classic as it gets. They’re notoriously easy to work on and unlike many other cars from the area and time, they don’t have major wiring issues and rust. Look for one with an excellent body because the mechanicals can be dealt with easily.

1Fiat 500 Abarth


Fiat is so outlandish that they sell the 500 Abarth without a muffler. It’s comically full of personality and is the perfect method of transportation for someone living in a city that benefits from an easy to park, easy to maintain hot hatch that screams at everyone everywhere it goes. I’d own one if I could fit in it.

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