Cheap JDM Cars: Here Is Our Top 11

You should purchase autos from the Japanese Domestic Market to get the best deal (JDM). JDM (Japanese Domestic Market) vehicles are undoubtedly some of the most aesthetically beautiful and high-performing cars available anywhere in the world.

The most thrilling aspect? They are also among the least expensive choices. What do you suggest if someone is looking for a new car that won’t break the bank but makes them feel excited?

11 Cheap JDM Cars

1.     Nissan 350Z

The Nissan 350Z is suitable for drifting and racing if you’re interested in participating in such sports. It boasts a 3.5-liter V6 engine, which gives it enough power and torque to tackle curves and maintain a reasonable speed with other vehicles.

This is one of its distinguishing qualities. You can alter the suspension’s feel to make it more consistent with your driving style. Since the rest can be changed, this is feasible.

2.     2nd Gen Mitsubishi Eclipse GSX

You can get started in the sport of drifting with the second-generation Mitsubishi Eclipse GSX at a cost that won’t break the bank.

It is an excellent option for beginning racers seeking an all-around car because it is reliable, affordable, and has an excellent power-to-weight ratio. Finding replacement parts should be fine because the second-generation Eclipse was produced from 1995 to 1999. All you have to do is look for one with a roll cage, and you’ll be ready to go.

You can also find these cars in drift circles all over the country.

3.     Honda/Acura Integra (3rd Gen)

The coveted cheap JDM vehicle is this one. This is the best drift car there is if you’re seeking one. Additionally, it is incredibly dependable, which is great because you can’t afford to fix it if it breaks or even attempt to do it yourself.

3rd Gen Honda Acura exterior shown.

This vehicle is ideal for novice drifters with little money to invest in their first drift car. The main drawback is that because so many people have crashed them in the past, finding one in decent shape is frequently challenging.

4.     Mazda RX-8

If you’re looking for a cheap but exciting car, the Mazda RX-8 is your best option. This is the vehicle for you if you’re seeking an adrenaline boost when driving.

The RX-8 boasts all the features you’d want in a sports vehicle, including an aggressive front end, a streamlined body, and lots of power.

Additionally, you won’t have to be concerned about your tires slipping out from beneath you as you drive around turns. This JDM classic is devoid of everything but a manual transmission, but that makes it more enjoyable to drive.

5.     Nissan 300ZX Z32

The Nissan 300ZX is a living legend in the drifting community. Its spaceship-like shape contributes to its sturdiness, power, and affordability.

It’s understandable why this high-performance car has grown to be among the most well-liked drifting vehicles ever produced. We strongly advise beginning with this car if you want to get into drifting without breaking the bank.

6.     1st Gen Mitsubishi 3000GT/GTO

The Mitsubishi 3000GT/GTO is a JDM automotive classic from the first generation. It is renowned for its affordable price, strong performance, and pleasantly surprising handling.

The car’s V6 engine has a maximum power output of 300 horsepower, which is more than enough to make it an enjoyable vehicle. You can have a lot of fun with this car without spending a lot of money on improvements because its standard tires are also excellent for drifting.

7.     1st Generation Mazda MX-5 Miata

The Mazda MX-5 is one of your finest options if you’re shopping for a car and want to practice drifting. This vehicle can turn in tiny places without losing control due to its little weight and low center of gravity.

1st generation Mazda MX-5 Miata top view shown.

It is an excellent choice for contests because the lightweight body helps with acceleration.

8.     Toyota Supra MK3

A great way to explore the world of Japanese cars is with the Toyota Supra MK III. You may still have a lot of fun driving this car around town because these cars are renowned for their exceptional drift thrills and durability.

You won’t have to worry about spending a lot of money on one of these cars because they are also pretty affordable so you can buy one as a play or an investment.

9.     Toyota Celica (4th Gen)

A renowned example of Japanese sports car design is the Toyota Celica. Because it achieves the optimum combination between dependability and performance, it is frequently regarded as a fantastic choice for beginning drivers.

It is reasonably priced and has excellent handling, making you appear to be an experienced driver as you navigate the course. Because of the arrangement of this car’s rear-wheel drive system, drifting is more pleasurable than ever.

10.     Toyota MR2 Mk II

The MK II Toyota MR2 is a great place to start if you appreciate Japanese drift cars. This automobile is elegant and permits some insane slides thanks to its rear-wheel drive and low weight.

The car is relatively easy to work on, so if repairs or maintenance are required, you can do it yourself. The MK II Toyota MR2 has a built-in roll cage and is fun to drive! If you want to start off-roading or to drift right away, this is the reasonably priced JDM car you’ve been looking for.

11.     Toyota Crown

The Crown stands out from other contemporary Toyota models because it has an instantly recognized brand emblem; the current model’s stylized crown logo on the grille and steering wheel makes it simple to identify.

1999 Toyota Crown exterior shown.

The Toyopet Crown was the initial Toyota automobile exported to the US in 1958. The Crown isn’t as bizarre as the average Japanese domestic market car, but if you’re searching for a unique sedan, the S130 is the newest in the import window and costs approximately $10,000.

Why Are JDMs Cheap?

The Japanese automobile industry is one of the most prominent car component producers worldwide. They benefit from significant economies of scale, which lowers the price of new cars. The new vehicles require little transportation, which further reduces costs.

European automobiles are made worldwide, not just in Europe; for instance, the Audi Q5 is made in Mexico and then brought to Europe for sale. These expenses add up. Cars are frequently imported through Australia before selling in New Zealand, raising the ultimate retail price.

The new JDM vehicles, however, are barely transported at all. All of this lowers the costs considerably.

It is simple to understand why the Japanese Shaken system encourages citizens to purchase new automobiles and replace their used cars regularly. This helps explain why a used car’s mileage may appear relatively low compared to other markets.

Used Japanese automobiles are fast too expensive to acquire and maintain in Japan due to the high cost of running and licensing. The result is a glut of vehicles on the export market, which they must send to other countries with right-hand drives, including Kenya, New Zealand, Uganda, the Caribbean, and Southeast Asia.

Because of the abundance of used Japanese automobiles available for export, resale prices remain competitive and appealing to export customers globally.

What Is The Best JDM Car For The First Car?

The best JDM car for the first car is the Nissan Skyline GTS and GTS-T. Purchase a sedan or coupe GT grade Skyline if you have a limited budget but still want a Skyline. There are a few options, including the Skyline R32 GTS-T, which primarily uses the RB20DET.

Most people would assume that Skylines are expensive and that only wealthy people can afford to acquire one. Nissan produced several trims of the R32, R33, and R34 during their manufacturing years. For minors under $10,000, you can purchase an R34 car with a slightly underpowered RB20DENEO.

All Skylines have either rear-wheel drive or all-wheel drive, and with regular maintenance, they make excellent first JDM vehicles. Parts for the GT-performance R’s and appearance, both OEM and aftermarket, are widely accessible.

You can replace our body panels or engine components to transform your Skyline Sedan into a GT-R. The Skyline is the best first JDM vehicle you can purchase. A skyline never lets you down, whether you are buying it as a daily driver or project vehicle.


These cars have a storied past. They are reasonably priced, dependable, and a great starting point for exploring the world of modern automobiles with distinctive styling. And what’s most impressive about that?

Once completed, they will be easy to market or sell for a profit. If you want to have fun while still saving money, these five inexpensive JDM automobiles should be able to satisfy your needs.

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About Brock Rangel

Hi, I am Brock, and I am the lead editor/photographer for TheCarColony. I have been a mechanic for over 14 years now, and I am here to spread my car knowledge across the web!

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