December 7, 2022

How briskly are you able to go for a grand? We’ve discovered what we predict is the perfect ten candidates right here, which covers a mixture of energy, efficiency and elegance for below a grand – simply don’t blame us in the event that they go actually quick as soon as after which explode. You pay your cash, you make your selection…Right here’s our greatest 10 quick vehicles for below £1,000.

Saab 9-3 Aero
Quantity certainly one of our greatest 10 quick vehicles for below £1,000 is in fact from Saab. If you’d like brutal ponies on a budget, you’ve bought to faucet up the Swedish horsepower mafia. There are few higher methods to succeed in ludicrous speeds for below a grand than the 9-3 Aero – plus it’s a extremely cool automotive, cleverly designed, properly put collectively… so why are they so low cost?

Effectively, a part of it is perhaps the truth that Saab as an organization doesn’t exist any extra, so individuals are nervous that they received’t be capable to get it serviced or discover elements when it breaks. (This isn’t the case, there’s oodles of specialists.)

Now, the one we actually wish to suggest to you is the 9-3 V6 Turbo Aero, which has a mighty 276bhp and makes superior whooshing noises – however realistically, you’re unlikely to search out one for below a grand. (For those who do, seize it with each arms!)

Nevertheless, the two.0-litre turbo 9-3 Aero is a rattling good automotive, available for peanuts, and offers you an keen 210bhp in inventory type. An inexpensive-and-easy remap from somebody like NoobTune will get you as much as 250bhp, after which a downpipe and sport cat will get you to the identical energy degree because the V6. Simple-peasy, job achieved. And it ought to be fairly dependable too!

High 3 mods: remap, downpipe/sport cat, FMIC

BMW 328i
The E46 era of BMW’s 3 Collection is a correctly scorching ticket proper now. It hails from an period that predates electrical energy steering and inert dealing with; it’s analogue in an old-school method whereas additionally nonetheless being fairly trendy. They’re constructed robust too – so long as you could find one which’s not rusting away within the arches or riddled with sprint lights, try to be on to a winner.

We have been tempted to place the 330i on this record because it’s such a superb automotive, however to be sincere when you purchase a 330i for below a grand it’s going to be shite. However the 328i? That reveals a number of promise – it’s bought near 200bhp from its creamy-smooth straight-six, BMW offered oodles of them so you’ll be able to decide and select your spec relying on whether or not you wish to be OAP-stealthy or pseudo-M3-flashy, and the grown-up inside will make you are feeling like a winner.

It’ll do 149mph, it’s bought a great deal of toys, and when you’re fortunate it shouldn’t break too extravagantly. Flip off the traction management and go and discover some roundabouts!

High 3 mods: BC Racing coilovers, Mishimoto consumption, Borla exhaust

Mazda RX-8
Yeah, we all know what you’re pondering. Shopping for an inexpensive Mazda RX-8 is a one-way ticket to the poorhouse, proper? However not essentially. You see, individuals are scared of those vehicles as a result of they’re suspicious of rotary engines, however rotaries are literally quite simple – and when you take care of them (i.e. hold obsessively checking there’s sufficient oil in there) they’ll run fortunately for simply so long as a piston engine.

Clearly the form of RX-8 you’re more likely to discover for below a grand is sort of more likely to have a screwed engine already, given how individuals are inclined to neglect them, however the vital factor is that some received’t – they’ll simply have been priced at market worth. If it runs proper, and also you cross your fingers actually exhausting (or higher but, give it an oil change and run a compression take a look at), bob’s your uncle.


The upper-powered six-port motor provides you 231bhp proper out of the field, and when you plug in a COBB Accessport – which is form of like a remap with out the remap – you’ll have a simple 10% energy achieve. Strip out the inside to enhance that power-to-weight ratio, and also you’ll have a correctly fast automotive.

High 3 mods: COBB Accessport, Eibach ARBs, Cusco strut brace

best fast cars under 1000 £1k

Fiat Coupé 20v Turbo
Right here’s one to take with a pinch of salt. Why? Effectively, fanatics of the Coupe will let you know that it’s brilliantly dependable and cheap-ish to run; we all know of a fella who’s put over 200,000 miles on his and usually takes it hillclimbing. Nevertheless, we’ve owned a few these ourselves and, with the perfect will on this planet, they made higher ornaments than they did modes of transport.

Nonetheless, when you purchase a great one, you’re in for a hell of a experience. The 16v Turbo model is sensible (sure, consider the hype, that’s the identical engine because the Lancia Delta Integrale), however the five-cylinder 20v Turbo is even higher – it’s makes a beautiful noise and places out simply shy of 220bhp. There’s an LSD as customary, an excellent all-independent suspension setup with good thick anti-roll bars that makes it deal with like an absolute champ, and when you purchase a post-1998 one you get a 6-speed gearbox.

The physique is beautiful, its scallops and slashes styled by Chris Bangle (the fella who did all of the flame-surfacing BMWs), whereas the frankly magnificent inside was achieved by Pininfarina. For those who purchase a great Coupe, you’ll have a jolly good time. Mint ones are £6k+, however barely much less good ones are sometimes sub-£1k. Definitely worth the threat, we reckon.

High 3 mods: remap, Powerflow exhaust, Okay&N induction

best fast cars under 1000 £1k

Renaultsport Clio 172
The 172 is in an attention-grabbing place proper now. Again when it was new within the late-Nineties, it was roundly praised for being the perfect FWD automotive that cash might purchase, and the following scorching Clios – the 182, 197 and so forth – have continued the pattern. Because of this, there are a couple of speculators (or, y’know, chancers) who’re promoting Renaultsport Clio 172s for foolish cash, on the grounds that it’s a collectible. They’ve seen the best way 205 GTI values are skyrocketing and so they’re eyeing this up as the subsequent large factor. However the funds workaround for us right here is the phrase ‘monitor automotive’.

Yep, the 172 flew off the forecourts and hundreds have been offered – and never all of them have been pampered and cherished. Loads of them have been stripped out, fitted with bucket seats and rollcages, and mercilessly punished on monitor. And these are the 172s that you simply usually see popping up in your favorite on-line public sale web site for below £1,000.

Sure, they’re a bit tough across the edges, however you’re not searching for a concours present automotive at this worth are you? The important thing info are that there’s a superbly revvy 2.0-litre 16v motor in there, a fabulously poised chassis, and the potential to go sooner than you ever thought attainable in a rattly little Clio.


High 3 mods: 182 exhaust manifold, coilovers, Goodridge braided strains

best fast cars under 1000 £1k

Volvo C70 T5
Driving a scorching Volvo is a bit like courting wayward twins in a low-budget Nineties sitcom: you spend half your time doing smart, grown-up issues, and the opposite half haring round in a directionless style with a figurative Exocet missile in your hind quarters.

The primary-gen C70 was a saucy proposition when it launched in 1998, as Volvo have been largely identified for giant boxy estates on the time – right here was a slinky coupe and caddish convertible with large energy and opulent appointments, styled curvaceously and out to impress. Now, we’re going to counsel you avoid the convertible, as a result of if the pronounced scuttle shake doesn’t annoy you adequate, the horrible visibility will.

No, go for the coupe, and ensure you get the T5. This was offered between 1998-2002 and had the two.3-litre T5 motor placing out 237bhp, which actually ain’t dangerous in any respect. The C70 was based mostly on the 850 platform, so there’s a little bit of BTCC DNA in there, and the chassis was developed by TWR, which makes it even racier. And being a Volvo, they’re just about bulletproof. All it’s essential to see over 300bhp is a remap, 3” downpipe and uprated exhaust. Comfortable days.

High 3 mods: remap, 3” downpipe, Jetex exhaust

best fast cars under 1000 £1k

SEAT Leon Cupra 20VT
It is a correct wolf in sheep’s clothes, notably if you could find one in a grandad-spec burgundy or darkish blue – the one clues to your efficiency potential would be the Cupra badges and multispoke wheels. Values of the extra highly effective Cupra R are steadily climbing, however the lesser 180bhp-spec Cupra 20VT nonetheless usually pops up in MOTed and usable type for about £500, which means that you simply’ve bought loads of funds left over for mods.

For those who luck out and discover a BAM engine from a TT in your native scrappie (and have the talents to swap it your self), that’s 225bhp proper there. In any other case, tuning choices for the K03S 1.8T are infinite; a stage 1 remap takes you to 210bhp, and respectable exhaust and induction carry issues nearer to 220bhp.

For those who discover a couple of further pennies down the again of the couch, you’ll be able to go stage 2 with a decat and uprated intercooler, and then you definitely’ll be someplace round 250-260bhp. All in a automotive that appears like an OAP popping to the backyard centre. Enjoyable!

High 3 mods: remap, RamAir induction, Milltek exhaust

best fast cars under 1000 £1k

Jaguar XJ8
You recognize what the People all the time say – ‘there’s no substitute for displacement’. Maybe with the thousand kilos that’s burning a gap in your pocket, you simply wish to purchase one thing with a sodding nice engine? Certain factor, you’ll be wanting a Jaguar.

Used Jags have all the time suffered the identical subject in the case of residuals – they’re costly to run, keep and purchase elements for, and the potential for giant payments retains sale costs low. Which is clearly excellent news when you’re simply on this for a fast hit, as a result of there’s loads of completely good Jaguars on the market promoting for bargain-basement money, prepared and ready to be abused. What we’ve bought our eye on right here is the XJ collection – particularly, the X308 era that was offered between 1997-2002.

There’s no level getting the three.2-litre model when you’re aiming for big-displacement thrills, and also you’re unlikely to search out the top-of-the-range supercharged one for below a grand, which steers you straight towards the nat-asp 4.0-litre V8 variant. It kicks out a growly 290bhp, and carries its (not inconsiderable) weight with a sure urgency. You don’t get a guide gearbox or an LSD sadly, however you do get a great deal of wooden and leather-based, which can be barely tatty at this worth level however who cares? Get your toe down and be disreputable.

See also  Top 10 Most Rapped About Car Brands

High 3 mods: sheepskin jacket, fats cigar, copy of Racing Submit

best fast cars under 1000 £1k

Vauxhall Vectra 3.2
To start with, we’ve got to apologise. We’re form of suggesting you should purchase a Vectra. Sorry about that. However there may be some logic behind this. You see, this was a massively unit-shifting mannequin, constructed to be utilitarian and reasonably priced, and it offered in big numbers; whereas the Corsa was aimed toward younger drivers who have been hooked in by the finance and insurance coverage offers, so the Vectra was aiming squarely on the fleet market.

OK, the three.2-litre model wasn’t as common with fleet managers because the diesel variants, however there’s nonetheless a great deal of them available on the market and so they promote for subsequent to nothing in any respect. Someplace round £600 appears to be the going fee for a Vectra C 3.2 GSI, which provides you 208bhp right away – a number of bhp-per-pound.

And also you’re proper, 208bhp does sound like a surprisingly small quantity for such a big displacement, however there’s stuff you are able to do about that. Exhaust, induction and remap will get you as much as about 230-240bhp; whack on some Yellow Stuff pads and Eibach springs, strip out that inside (it’s horrible anyway), and luxuriate in some cheap-as-chips horsepower.

High 3 mods: Okay&N Apollo induction, Remus exhaust, remap

best fast cars under 1000 £1k

Mercedes CLK 320
The temptation with Mercs of this form of classic is to gravitate towards the Kompressor fashions, just because superchargers are for winners. However the nat-asp CLK 320 is extra highly effective and, if in case you have a glance by way of the classifieds, you’ll spot that these first-gen fashions are beginning to dip beneath the £1,000 mark.

Certain, these vehicles aren’t with out their issues – an enthusiasm for rust being certainly one of them – however take a look at the positives: you get a nicely screwed-together and super-comfy inside, all of the toys, that iconic badge on the nostril and, most significantly, a deep-lunged 3.2-litre V6. Peak energy in inventory type is 221bhp (you get much more from the V8 fashions, however when you purchase a type of for below a grand it’ll positively explode instantly), and to be sincere it’s not essentially the most tuneable motor, however the 320 has a stunning trick up its sleeve: it’s an absolute lunatic!

No, we will’t fathom it both. 221bhp is a reasonably respectable quantity, however this isn’t the lightest automotive, and the slushbox is fairly ponderous – however regardless of all that, this factor accelerates like its bottom’s on hearth. That gearbox, in truth, is a really keen confederate as soon as it’s on the boil, wringing out the revs proper as much as the redline when you hold your foot planted. Makes an excellent noise too. So no mods required right here – if you would like a surprisingly fast automotive for below a grand you could simply soar into and be foolish with, get a CLK 320. Simply keep in mind that’ll be a bit thirsty.

High 3 mods: extra petrol, extra petrol, extra petrol

Agree with our greatest 10 quick vehicles for below £1000 or have we missed some out? Tell us!

Phrases Dan Bevis