2004 Acura RSX Type S
Cost: $8637

The Acura RSX had some big shoes to fill when it replaced the Integra back in 2001. It did so with aplomb. It was luxurious and sporty, yet affordable, and the import-tuner crowd loved it. For those who really like to push a car to its limits, this 200-hp two-door was loads of fun to toss around in traffic. There was also a particularly appealing A-Spec package that included stiffer shocks and springs that lower the car an inch and upgraded multispoke alloy wheels fitted with more aggressive rubber for better grip. The A-Spec definitely had a more stable and planted feel than the regular Type-S without sacrificing much in the way of ride quality.

2002 Subaru Impreza WRX sedan
Cost: $8051

The Subaru Impreza sedan originally rolled out in 1992 for the Asia–Pacific and European markets. The rest of the world got the WRX performance variant in 1994, the same year that the regular Impreza came out in the United States. After winning a host of international autocross and rally championships with the little pocket rocket, plus widespread fame through the Gran Turismo video game series, Subaru decided to bring the WRX model to the U.S. market in 2001. Right off the boat, it blew away the press and consumers with its impressive speed combined with a freakish ability to hold the road in the most punishing conditions.The 2002 is powered by a 227-hp 2.0-liter turbocharged flat-four, capable of accelerating the ho-hum looking vehicle to 60 mph in less than 6 seconds and on to a top speed of 145 mph. The all-wheel-drive system was forgiving, the steering sharp and precise.

1996 Nissan 300ZX Turbo
Cost: $7787

This is one of the finest sports cars to ever come out of Japan, and one of the greatest Z car ever made. It packed a 3.0-liter V-6 engine with a pair of blowers that pumped out 300 ponies and hit 60 mph in the mid-5-second range. And it handled like a dream, despite a relatively heavy weight, thanks to its innovative high-capacity active-suspension system. Like most Japanese sports cars of this era, it's hard to find one that's unmolested by aftermarket modifications. But if you can find a clean one it will offer the same virtues that made these cars popular back in the day: high performance with everyday reliability.


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