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10 Japanese Cars Under $20,000 That Have Endless Tuning Possibilities

For most gearheads, working on a car project is one of the most rewarding experiences. There is something very satisfying about buying an old car and adding the aesthetic and performance tweaks needed to allow it to compete with new cars.


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However, implementing such a project can quickly become expensive, which is why it is important to find a reasonable price JDMCar project to start with so you have a lot of modifications. If you have $20,000 to work with, this is a great place to start as there are a lot of great Japanese used cars In this price range that makes great projects. Let’s explore ten of them.

10 Nissan Z Series – $15,000

In the late 1960s, Toyota received widespread praise when it built the 2,000 GT, in large part for its sheer beauty. Nissan, then passing by “Datsun”, could not sit back and watch its competition received all the glory, so it developed the 240Z.

Like the 2000GT, the Datsun 240Z was instantly hailed as one of Japan’s most beautiful cars. However, since its price was much lower than the 2000GT and European sports cars, it was a huge success and launched the now popular Nissan Z series. Most Nissan Z models cost less than $20,000 and have plenty of aftermarket support.

9 Honda S2000 – $19,000

Honda was well on its way to getting ahead in the ’90s. The decade started on the right foot when Honda unveiled the iconic NSX and ended similarly when it introduced the S2000.

The S2000 was a huge hit, thanks to its beauty, affordability, and engine masterpiece – the F20C’s high-revving, naturally aspirated, four-cylinder engine with just under 250 hp. If you are looking for an affordable roadster project, the S2000 is it.

8 2013 Toyota GT86 / Subaru BRZ – $16,000

About a decade ago, Toyota and Subaru joined forces and decided to create a new entry-level sports car to serve as a profitable cow for both companies. The result was the Toyota GT86 and its brother – Subaru BRZ.

Both cars have been criticized for their weakness, but we think buyers got a great deal considering their low price. Those who need more power can take advantage of the variety of aftermarket parts available for both vehicles.

7 Mazda MX-5 at $7000

When it comes to Mazda sports cars, it doesn’t get any better than the legendary MX-5 Miata. The Miata debuted in the late ’80s with one winning formula – lightweight front-wheel drive, mid-drive and rear-wheel drive at an affordable price.

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The Miata has been a huge success since then and is currently the best-selling two-seater sports car of all time. With so many used Miatas, prices are very low for such a good sports car, and spare parts are readily available.

6 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution – $15,000

Mitsubishi built many cars, but none of them were as innovative as the Lancer Evolution. The Lancer Evo was the result of Mitsubishi’s extensive experience in the rally world, and it brought some great rally technology to the road cars.

The Lancer Evo has millions of fans around the world thanks to its highly adjustable four-cylinder turbocharged engines and all-wheel drive systems.

5 Toyota Land Cruiser 100 class – $14,000

Toyota was among the first automakers to take advantage of this The growing demand for SUVs When it built the Land Cruiser in 1951. The Land Cruiser was so successful that Toyota is still producing it.

If you want a Land Cruiser under $20,000, you’ll have to settle for the 100-Class, which was in production from 1999 to 2007. There are plenty of modifications you can buy to turn your Land Cruiser into an off-road beast, including roof racks, Body lift and suspension kits, off-road tires, among others.

4 Lexus LS XF30 – $18,000

Lexus aims to be the Japanese equivalent of major European luxury car manufacturers such as BMW and Mercedes-Benz. The LS – Lexus’ flagship model – shows that the automaker is not far from its goal. The LS has been in production since 1989 and is still very popular.

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The XF30 generation, which was in production in the 2000s, was praised for its ultra-luxurious cabin, which included design elements inspired by top luxury hotels like The Ritz-Carlton and Japan Airlines’ first-class seating.

3 2005-2012 Honda Civic C – $17,000

The Civic is Honda’s pride and happiness, having been among the best-selling cars in the world since its introduction. Civic makes a great project car because it’s cheap and has parts readily available in the market.

The best Civic you can get in the $20,000 range is the eighth-generation Si. The 2005-2012 Civic Si is a great place to start as it already has a 2.0-liter VTEC engine that makes 197 horsepower and comes with a six-speed manual gearbox with a limited-slip helical differential.

2 Mazda RX-7 FC – $12,000

The Mazda RX-7 is an icon, thanks in large part to the release of the third generation – FD. FD’s beauty and powerful rotary engine have made it so popular, and that’s why It could cost over $40,000 in auctions today.

If FD is too expensive for you, you can settle for FC. FC may not be as good looking as FD, but it contains many of the elements that made FD so popular.

1 2005 Subaru Impreza WRX STI $18,000

Like the Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution mentioned above, the Subaru Impreza WRX STI was developed to give gear heads a taste of what it felt like to drive a high-speed rally car on public roads – all while still being a spacious, comfortable and practical everyday driver.

The modern WRX STI, which dropped the Impreza name in 2014, is still expensive. Models built in the mid-2000s are still affordable, and they still have adequate aftermarket support.

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