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8 Great Cheap Rear Wheel Drive Cars: What To Know Before You Buy

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Rear-wheel drive is a lot different from front-wheel or four-wheel driving, but it can be a lot of fun. Experienced rear-wheel drivers can often do things that other vehicles can’t by taking advantage of the physics behind rear-wheel drive.

There’s one problem though: rear-wheel drive vehicles can be expensive and are often harder to find than other kinds of drive styles. 

Cheap rear-wheel drive cars make it easier to get the rear wheel car of your dreams or at least a rear-wheel-drive car you can practice in and get used to the different driving style. 

Let’s talk about some of the 8 best cheap rear-wheel drive cars, what makes them a good option, and anything else you need to know before you buy one. 

8 Cheap Rear Wheel Drive Cars

These 8 cheap rear-wheel drive are all designed for different kinds of drivers and different needs, so we’re confident that there is going to be a vehicle on this list that will work for you! 


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Mazda RX-8

This is a good option if you don’t mind a car that can be a little unreliable and might have higher maintenance costs. 

They’re some of the most affordable rear-wheel-drive cars out there, but they can also be more expensive to own if something goes wrong. 

Partially the issue is that the Wankel engine, while fun and interesting, can be more temperamental than more traditional engine styles. But the big kicker is that this vehicle pretty much needs a specialized mechanic to handle it. If they aren’t trained for Mazda, they won’t be able to work on your RX-8. 

That said, the Mazda RX-8 is relatively easy to get your hands on just shopping used car sites, and they can be priced incredibly low because of their higher maintenance costs and relatively small market. 

BMW Z3 Roadster

This is one of the last analog sports cars BMW came out with, and they’re incredibly affordable now. Similar to the Miata in most respects (and can be upgraded to be even more like a Miata if you choose to) this vehicle saves in two areas: purchase and maintenance. 

That’s huge because a lot of the most affordable to purchase rear wheel vehicles aren’t actually that affordable to own and maintain. 

If you’re looking for a vehicle that isn’t ever going to cost too much to own, looks great, and performs a lot like modern sports vehicles, the Z3 Roadster is a good option. 

Mazda MX-5 Miata

Speaking of the Miata, the MX-5 Miata is actually a really good and affordable option. 

There’s a little bit more of a range on this vehicle than some of the others we’ve discussed in this list, so you might have to wait for a listing that’s got a really great price on it, but they tend to be affordable, and some are incredibly cheap. 

In terms of maintenance costs, this model Miata isn’t too bad. They have moderate maintenance prices and are incredibly reliable. You shouldn’t need to get maintenance work done very often, and most things are going to be an easy fix for a mechanic that’s experienced with Mazda vehicles. 

Hyundai Genesis Coupe

This vehicle is one that is consistently underrated, both by the rear-wheel-drive community and by Hyundai fans. 

As a rear-wheel-drive sports car, the Genesis Coupe has a lot going for it. They’re stylish, comfortable, and offer great maneuverability and performance. Driven as a racing vehicle, a Genesis Coupe can give a Nissan Z a run for its money, and they can outshine a Z with the right driver and enough experience. 

These run between $10,000-$20,000 to buy, but they’re worth that in the long run. That’s still more affordable than your average vehicle, and a lot more affordable than your typical rear-wheel drive vehicle. 

For a cheap rear wheel sports car, the Genesis Coupe is also relatively easy to maintain. You’ll need to find a good mechanic for the Genesis, but once you have that mechanic you usually won’t pay any more in maintenance costs than you would for a different Hyundai sports car. 


Whether you’re squeezing into a tight campus parking spot or hauling ten loads of laundry back home, these best cars for college students will get you, your friends, and your stuff where you’re going.

Ford Mustang

Ford Mustangs are iconic vehicles, and they have incredible potential as a rear-wheel vehicle. You’ll probably have to look for vehicles that are a few years old and less popular with the classic car collectors to get a really cheap one, but there are a lot more years that are plenty affordable for most drivers. 

The biggest thing you need to know if you want to get a Ford Mustang is that they can have good years and bad ones. A good year is a great value, won’t need a ton of maintenance, and can be an utter joy to drive. 

The bad years are often more expensive in maintenance costs, but they can still be a lot of fun. Plus, some of the bad years are only bad years because of their looks. They’re more affordable when it comes to maintenance. 

BMW 2 Series

If you don’t mind a vehicle that’s a little on the smaller size, these little coupes are a great option for you. They’re affordable, easy to care for, responsive, and most of all, these vehicles are Fast. 

Equipped with a turbo and a 2-liter engine, the 2 series is a great option for a wide variety of drivers. Its maneuverability and control are second to none, and its prices are reasonable for even highly limited budgets.

Chrysler 300

The Chrysler 300 is a little different from the other rear-wheel-drive cars on this list, and not just because it’s a Chrysler. 

This is a full-size sedan, something that’s getting a lot rarer when it comes to rear-wheel-drive vehicles. That means that this is one vehicle you can take passengers in, or even load up the kids for a drive. 

It’s more practical than a lot of the coupes we’ve been talking about, but that’s not the only thing that matters in a great rear-wheel drive car, is it? 

These vehicles are also powerful, with V6 engines, and a lot of horsepower under the hood. 

However, while this is an affordable vehicle for what you’re getting and you can get older models on the cheap, it’s still one of the most expensive cars on this list. 

2000-2002 Pontiac Firebird

For the last vehicle on this list, we wanted to include one that’s really only affordable for a couple of years. The Pontiac Firebird is one of the most affordable rear-wheel-drive cars out there, and it’s also one of the most underrated Pontiac vehicles. 

That’s important because you won’t necessarily be able to get a cheap rear-wheel drive at a better price and still get anything like the performance and power of a Firebird. 

The one downside to Pontiac Firebirds is that they’re a little rare thanks to their funny looks. They never really got popular, so finding one can be a bit harder than finding the other vehicles on this list.


So you’re in the market for a used vehicle?  We’ve gone ahead and prepped some essential questions to ask when buying a used car.

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