Depreciation can be an absolute pain in the ass (wallet) for new car buyers but it can also be a godsend for those of us willing to wait it out and get the very same car for a much lower value, albeit second hand. Here is our list of fast cars that were initially costly to buy but can now be purchased for absurdly affordable prices. Some of them still qualify for a loan!
1. BMW E92 335i
In the BMW 3 Series line up, the 335i is always the subtle brother who takes a back seat while the M3 takes the limelight. The E92 335i comes with a, what is widely regarded as the European 2JZ, 3.0L TwinTurbo engine. BMW says that it puts out 302hp and 400Nm of torque but I highly suspect that they tuned the engine down to that figure so that the underdog doesn’t cast a shadow over the naturally aspirated 4.0L V8 M3 at the time. Launched in 2010, it cost a smidge under RM500k but you can pick one up now for as low as RM60,000 with the option to choose between coupes, convertibles and if you’re lucky, the E90 sedan variant as well.
2. Mazda RX-8
While the RX-7 lives on as a JDM icon, the RX-8 struggles. But that has got nothing to do with its potential. The RX-8 is powered by a RENESIS 1.3L 13B-Multi-Side-Port Wankel engine available in two variants; 4 port with 191hp and 6 port with 237hp. An easy way to differentiate between the two is by the transmission. The former received a 4-speed auto/5-speed manual while the more powerful latter got a 6-speed manual only. Because stick shift rules. Hunt around our used car market and you’d be able to find a decent RX-8 for between RM30,000 to RM60,000.
3.Subaru BRZ / Toyota GT86
These two, well they’re the same really, cost around RM230k off the showroom floor but can be purchased now for around RM100k. While that may not be everyone’s idea of cheap, these cars are young enough to fall within the 10-year limit to procure them with a loan. When it comes to performance, I need not go into much detail as the recipe speaks for itself. Sufficient power, extreme balance, playful rear end, livable interior. Available with either a 6-speed auto or manual, the BRZ & 86 act as a genuine tool to sharpen your driving skills. If you’re hungry for power, there are plenty of force induction kits readily available.
4. MK6 Volkswagen Golf R
270hp, 350Nm of torque, Haldex AWD system, DSG gearbox, track worthy handling, 4-doors and enough comfort to drive in Malaysia. The VW Golf has always been famous worldwide for its all rounded-ness and the R is the most extreme version of it. It is capable of catering to your 9-5 a day job needs and your weekend adrenaline rush. For the handsome price of around RM110k, it’s between this and perhaps a new Honda HRV or Civic FC. Test drive one, and it would be the quickest decision you make.
5. R53 MINI Cooper S
Supercharged. Argument over, its a win. Have you heard the supercharger whine on a an R53 Mini? It is orgasmic to the ears guys and let’s not forget its the MINI’s handling prowess that captures a driver’s soul. Chucking out 170hp and 220Nm of torque from its 1.6L engine, it’s enough to fizz about and enjoy that sublime chassis. It may not be the most practical car to purchase if you’re a family man, but it is a good toy. A RM30k toy if you play your cards right.
6. Renault Megane RS Sport 250 Cup
Any petrolhead worth his salt would recognize the Megane RS for its track worthy nature. This car was factory designed to attack the apex and slash laptimes while spending most of its time being pampered with performance products. It’s a tool for a person who enjoyed extracting the very best out of a car. 250hp and 340Nm of torque is squeezed out of the 2.0L TwinScroll Turbocharged engine onto a 6-speed manual box and good old mechanical LSD. You get 4-pot Brembo brakes as standard along with a non-intrusive ESP system. The Megane RS is yours for the taking for around RM80k.
7. MK2 Audi TTS
This is one way to get into the 2 door sports car world. The MK2 TTS, given its age, is quite the rocket ship with 268hp and 350Nm of torque on tap. It’s paired with Audi’s 6-speed S-tronic transmission and the infamous Quattro all-wheel-drive system. A discerning factor that would motivate someone to go for the Audi is the fact that it is not only fast but also has the looks to match. It’s posh but it costs around RM70k. Pretty good value for the package though you would have to look into giving it some TLC
8. Nissan 350Z
Are you someone who nods when you hear the phrase “No replacement for displacement”? Well, then this is the car for you Sir! It may be old, nearly 20 years old, but it still has some legs on it. The 3.5L V6 engine will give you a unique tone and serve up 287hp and 371Nm of torque. Given that it is a 2 door 2 seater, don’t even try and complain about impracticality, it’s a sports car. The 2nd hand market is littered with Automatic and Manual variants ranging from RM40k to RM70k. Something to think about if you’re on the fence about the 350Z is that you can throw in a pair of turbos without much of a fuss.
9. Fiesta ST
Among the 10 cars I’ve assembled in this list, this one is my favorite. The Fiesta ST is small, agile and exciting to live with. Buying one new did not make much sense because it costs close to RM150k but was a 2 door hatchback with medium level creature comforts inside. Now though you can get it for RM80k which makes more sense as a second “fun” car in your home garage. The 1.6L turbocharged engine puts out 180hp through a 6-speed manual gearbox, enough to get the 1.2tonne hatch from 0 to 100kmh in less than 7 seconds. The real reward is when you layan on some touge roads. The Fiesta ST will satisfy the craving of chucking a car into a corner and carving a line through some twisties.
10. Mazda 3 MPS
This one is a bit of a forgotten hero really. The Mazda 3 MPS boasts a meaty 265hp and 380Nm from a 2.3L Turbocharged engine, sent to the wheels through a 6-speed manual and an LSD. The body its attached to is the 5 door hatchback so practicality is there and best part is, it costs under RM80k!