While the JDM legends are still the go-to cars for car tuners and enthusiasts, these European cars deserve your attention. These cheap European cars have never-ending tuning options to get enthusiasts up to speed with the thrill. With the growing used car community, car modifiers and tuners have grown more than ever. More people are wanting to make their cars according to their taste rather than a mass-produced car developed inside a high-tech lab. After you get your beloved project car, the limit that goes is just your imagination. For the people looking for their first project car, these cheap cars can b your best buy. Let’s look at these 10 European cars under $10,000 that car tuners will love.
10. SEAT Leon Cupra 20VT
The Seat Cupra is arguably one of the weirdest European cars right now. Its love and hate relationship with its unappealing and boring looks has made all buyers a little confused. But that hasn’t kept the enthusiast to take their hands on its highly tunable 1.8-liter turbocharged engine. The turbo-four produced a good 178 hp and 173 lb-ft of torque. Many car tuners have increased the power output to churn out over 200 hp from the four-cylinder mill.
9. Vauxhall Corsa VXR
The Vauxhall Corsa D VXR is not the most anticipated car but it sure drove many people to tune them. Produced from 2006 to 2014, it came with a 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine making 189 hp and 170 lb-ft of torque. The Corsa VXR was a better car way to drive on city roads with good comfort. Most tuners opt for this Vauxhall as a cheap way to make their project car according to the taste.
8. Volkswagen Beetle
After it rolled out in 1945, it was called “people’s car” or “volks wagen”. It is called many names such as Bug Beetle, or Beetle thanks to its huge popularity. The Volkswagen Beetle was a masterpiece in innovation and design with its affordability and compact format. The Beetle was made for every kind of buyer and encouraged more people to have an easy way to travel. More than several decades, the Beetle is recognized as one of the most iconic cars of all time.
7. Porsche Boxster (986)
People who love their Porsche Boxster so much now didn’t realize that it was an answer to the Japanese carmakers who were flooding the European and American markets with their cheap cars. The Porsche Boxster 986 was an instant hit car. It was cheaper than the flagship Porsche 911, it was still powerful and was still fast, and had no compromise in terms of design. And as the Porsche was popular for their driving thrill and playfulness, the Boxster carried that with it. The 986 is adored by car tuners even to this date.
6. Volkswagen Golf GTI
The Volkswagen Golf GTI is the best front-wheel drive hot hatch you can buy right now. The VW Golf has been the golden standard for hot hatches in the market. It packs a cool modern-day design with tweaks with an awesome-looking interior. It features a turbocharged 4-cylinder engine that makes 240 hp that offers mind-blowing handling and ferocious performance. The Volkswagen Golf GTI can accelerate from 0-60 mph in 6.3 seconds with its six-speed manual. This its high tunability, the Volkswagen Golf GTI is one of the best European cars any enthusiast could get.
5. Audi S4
I don’t think people in the states are aware of this one, but the Audi S4 was the deal back in the 2000s. The S4 wagon came with a 2.7-liter twin-turbocharged V6 engine making a good 247 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque. The reason we chose this car for our list is because of Audi’s highly tunable V6 engine. It helped the car tuners to modify this beast as one hell of a machine. The S4 came with a more sporty design, driving, stiffer suspension, and strong holding brakes.
4. Mini Cooper
The Mini Cooper is one of the most popular European cars among the car tuners and the gearhead community due to its high customizability. The Mini can be tuned to shell out a hefty 228 hp with its turbo-four engine. And can accelerate from 0-60 mph in under 4.7 seconds and makes it achieves a top speed of over 145 mph. The enthusiast often chooses the Mini Cooper other than any car to fulfill their thrilling needs.
3. Volkswagen Jetta
Apart from the Volkswagen Beetle and Golf GTI, the VW Jetta is one of the most loved cars by the tuning community. Especially the fifth-generation model with its 2.5-liter inline-4 engine making 168 hp and 177 lb-ft of torque. With its great reliability and tunability, enthusiasts love the Volkswagen Jetta. The car comes with a great fun-to-drive experience and offers plenty of tuning potential.
2. BMW 3-Series (E36)
The BMW E36 is undoubtedly one of the most loved European cars of all time. With its versatility and high tunability, the BMW 3-Series is a go-green signal for many enthusiasts. The E36 replaced the popular E30 series and came with a highly potent engine and great reliability. Thanks to its endless tuning abilities, car tuners never miss the chance of making this car the best performance spec version. The 3-Series E36 offered a tunable chassis, suspension, and a reliable engine that people use to increase the overall performance.
1. Audi TT
The first-gen Audi TT takes the first spot as one of the most popular European cars that car tuners love. The Audi TT Mk1 came with a powerful set of engines that had high customization potential. The 1.8-liter turbocharged four-cylinder that made 178 hp and the 3.2-liter V6 made 250 hp. The TT was a style statement and a fashionable car loved by almost every kind people at the time. Combining its fancy design with a highly tunable engine is what made the car super popular among the car community.