10 Cheapest Drift Cars That Are Perfect For Beginners

Drifting is a motor sport in which the driver intentionally skids the car to run through the course and compete for the fastest speed. It takes a lot of practice and skill to become good at it. But the good news is that you don’t have to spend a lot of money on your first car.

If you’re a beginner and want to drift, it’s important to start with the right car.It’s best to go drifting because you’ll end up banging walls and other people’s doors. Secondhand carThere are plenty of affordable options that are easily modified for drifting. However, we’ve narrowed it down to 10 cars that are reliable, capable, and cost-effective to drift, maintain, upgrade, etc.

Related Link: Why the Corvette C06 is the perfect first drift car

10/10 BMW E36 325i ($9,000+)


This car has been a staple of the drifting community for many years because it’s powerful enough to make drifting fun, but not too dangerous. Reliable and competent. The stock engine puts out about 200hp and can be modified up to 350hp without rebuilding with stronger parts.

e36 drift adolf martinez soler
Adolf Martinez Soler/via Shutterstock

This means you can use the stock platform for years without worrying about it breaking prematurely. It also comes with a robust manual transmission that can handle abuse. And a 325i in good condition costs just $9,000.

9/10 Mazda Miata ($10,000+)

Mazda MX-5 Miata

The Mazda Miata is another great choice for beginners as it is easy to work with and has the same low but reliable power output as the BMW E36 325i. However, a popular option is his LS3 engine swap, as the stock engine doesn’t hold the most potential and probably isn’t good enough for any serious competitive event. You can buy an LS3 from GM for $9,250 and a used Miata for $10,000.

Modded Mazda Miata Drift
john bearby picture

The Mazda Miata is also a great option as it is lighter and has a tighter turning radius which makes it easier to drift in corners.

8/10 BMW E46 330i ($11,000+)

BMW E46 330i

One of the best cars for beginners is the BMW E46 330i. It’s cheap, has a lot of horsepower, and he’s easy to replace with an M3 if you need more power. It can also be exchanged with other performance engines such as 2JZ, LS3.

Yellow BMW E46 drift car
Oleksandr Holbach

If you want to be more competitive on the track, you’ll need to add a front mount intercooler (rear mount if you have the money), a new fuel pump, oil pump and an aftermarket turbocharger. Mods to make the 335i more competitive will cost between $6,000 and $15,000 and can be purchased for $11,000.

7/10 Toyota Chaser JZX100 ($12,000+)

Silver Toyota Chaser JZX100

You can also choose the Toyota Chaser JZX100 as your first drift car. It has a sturdy chassis that lasts forever and has great power right out of the box with that 1JZ-GE engine swap.

Silver Toyota Chaser over steering on track

They are cheap and easy to find in good condition. In addition, there are also many mods available. With just a few changes like a bigger turbo, intercooler, new headers and tuning, you can make this car super fast. And because it’s so reliable, it will last for years, so $12,000 It’s a bargain for more than that.

6/10 BMW E30 316i ($14,000+)

Stefano Zanin

The E30 316i is a great base for your first drift car, with rear-wheel drive, a manual transmission, and an engine bay large enough to easily accommodate another engine. You will definitely need an engine swap for your car to drift properly. Easy and popular are LS V8, 2JZ, SR20, VQ35.

BMW E30 drfiting in red
Nikola Topic

These chassis are cheap at $14,000 and can easily be swapped out for other engines like the LS3 we talked about earlier.

Related Link: Why the Mazda RX-7 is the perfect first drift car

5/10 Infiniti G35 ($15,000+)

2006 Infiniti G35 Coupe Front

At around $15,000, the Infiniti G35 is a popular choice for beginners due to its light weight (3,512 pounds) and low center of gravity.

Via: Enjuku Racing

It also has a decent amount of power (298 hp) so you can easily pick up your skills and learn how to drift without worrying about losing control.

4/10 $15,000+ Nissan 350Z

Nissan 350Z
bring the trailer

If you’re looking for an inexpensive drift car that you can drive right out of the box, the Nissan 350Z is for you. At a cost of $15,000, you’d be hard-pressed to find another car that goes from mild to wild so quickly.

Nissan 350Z drifting on the course
Source: YouTube @tjhunt_

The 350Z is an easy car to work with and can be upgraded with simple changes like angle kits and welded diffs. The car also has a huge aftermarket scene, where you can find new parts, repair shops and mods galore.

3/10 BMW E90 335i ($16,000+)

Via BMW Blog

The BMW E90 335i is another great choice for beginners looking to build a drift car. This car has a lot of potential due to its low price tag ($16,000) and has become a popular basic to professional drift car in the drift community.

BMW 3 Series E90 E92
drift reflection

It has classic BMW styling, but more power under the hood than the E36 or E46 versions. In fact, this engine can be upgraded to run over 800 horsepower by rebuilding it with stronger internal parts. But even as-is, it’s strong enough to style sideways.

2/10 Nissan Silvia S14 ($19,000)

Nissan Silvia S14 JDM
Via: Japan Car Direct

Next up is the $19,000 Nissan Silvia S14, powered by the SR20DE or SR20DET engine, making it a great choice for beginners looking to build a drift car. The latter is a turbocharged engine with about 300 to 500 horsepower, which is more than enough for a beginner drift car.

Modified Nissan Silvia S14
john bearby picture

The downside is that these engines are expensive to upgrade to reach their full potential of around 500 horsepower compared to other engines like the 1JZ that can be upgraded cheaply. So once you’ve gained a competitive edge, it may be worth replacing the engine.

RELATED LINK: Here’s why the BMW E90 3 Series is the perfect first drift car.

1/10 Nissan Silvia S15 ($22,000+)

1999 Nissan Silvia S15 Cropped
Via: Wikimedia Commons

The Nissan Silvia S15 also has an SR20DE or SR20DET engine, making it a great choice for beginners who want to build a drift car. This is newer than the Nissan Silvia S14, so I think it’s easier to find in good condition.

Modified Nissan Silvia S15 Drift
Nika Kufarashvili

The best thing about these cars is that they’re cheap ($22,000), but they’re not cheap. You can tell Nissan has put a lot of effort into making these cars perform as well as they can at their price points. , you’ll need at least a turbocharger upgrade (or even a supercharger).

Source: Nissan, Toyota, Classic, Edmonds

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