The Best Budget Drift Cars For Any Skill Level

Drifting, an exhilarating motorsport that combines precision driving and controlled chaos, has captured the hearts of automotive enthusiasts around the world. The art of sliding a car through corners in a controlled manner, smoke billowing from the tires, is an awe-inspiring display of skill and mastery.

In this article, we delve into the realm of the best budget drift cars, catering to those who share the burning desire to experience the rush of drifting without incurring a financial landslide. While high-performance drift machines are often associated with big budgets and professional competitions, this article centers on embracing the art of drifting without emptying your wallet.

So buckle up as we dive into the captivating realm of the best budget-friendly drift cars, where power, style, and affordability converge to create an unforgettable driving experience.

Best Budget Drift Cars

Best budget drift cars

  • Nissan 240SX (S13/S14)
  • Mazda MX-5 Miata
  • Ford Mustang (Fox Body)
  • BMW E30 – E36
  • Nissan 350Z
  • Ford Crown Victoria
  • ford mustang 2000
  • Mazda rx8
  • lexus ls300

1. Best budget drift car: Nissan 240SX (S13/S14)

The Nissan 240SX, specifically the S13 and S14 generations, stands as a legendary figure among drift enthusiasts. Its popularity stems from a combination of factors that have made it a staple in the drifting community. The 240SX boasts a lightweight chassis that forms a solid foundation for modifications, allowing drifters to fine-tune their setups to perfection.

The influence of the 240SX on the growth of drifting cannot be understated. Its adaptable platform and rear-wheel-drive layout have provided countless aspiring drifters with an accessible entry point into the sport. This legacy resonates in the culture, where the 240SX remains a symbol of the enduring spirit of drifting.

2. Best budget drift car: Mazda MX-5 Miata

The Mazda MX-5 Miata, an icon in the realm of affordable sports cars, extends its charm to the world of drifting. Renowned for its balanced handling and nimble characteristics, the Miata effortlessly transitions into a formidable drift machine. Its rear-wheel-drive setup provides the necessary foundation for controlled slides and graceful drifts.

What sets the Miata apart is not only its affordability but also its strong aftermarket community. This community has cultivated a treasure trove of modifications that enhance the car’s drift potential while maintaining its innate agility. *This wide range of choice also makes certain mods cheaper*

Furthermore, the Miata is one of the best if not the best car to start drifting with. The car is easy to control, yet only allows a very small margin for error, forcing you to perfect your technic.

Lastly, the Miata doesn’t need to remain a beginner car and can be taken to the next level with an engine swap. Considering the Miata is very famous for engine swaps, you can find a lot of info on this topic and most likely a lot of parts to make the swap less of a headache.

3. Best budget drift car: Ford Fox body Mustang

The Ford Mustang, an American automotive legend, takes a unique spot in the world of budget drift cars, particularly in its Fox Body iteration. This iteration of the Mustang offers accessibility and potential for drifting that shouldn’t be overlooked.

“You can’t beat the classics” holds true when considering the Fox Body Mustang as a drift car. Boasting a rear-wheel-drive layout and the option of powerful V8 engines, the Fox Body Mustang exudes a raw and unfiltered power, torque, and driving experience that’s essential for any drift enthusiast.

There is truly something different about drifting with a V8.

Once again this car has great aftermarket availability due to the popularity of this car, making it easy to find parts and at a good price. This adaptability, combined with its affordability, places the Fox Body Mustang firmly on the radar of those seeking entry into the world of drifting without breaking the bank.

4. Best budget drift car: BMW E30 and E36

Enter the realm of German engineering with the BMW E30 and E36, two models that have earned their stripes as one of the best budget drift cars. These BMWs combine precision, performance, and a touch of European flair to create a thrilling drifting experience.

The BMW E30 and E36 models share a common trait that makes them appealing to drift enthusiasts, a near 50:50 weight distribution making it a predictable and easily controlled drift car around corners. This fundamental characteristic provides the canvas on which skilled drivers can paint their drifting masterpieces.

Whether you choose the sporty compactness of the E30 or the refined aesthetics of the E36, both models offer the potential for customization and tuning to suit your drifting preferences. Furthermore, they both have a strong aftermarket presence and a community of passionate enthusiasts.

While these BMWs are greatly admired for their handling prowess, their adaptability that makes them stand out even more.

5. Best budget drift car: Nissan 350Z

Enter the realm of modern performance with the Nissan 350Z, a sports car that blends sleek design and dynamic capabilities, making it a compelling choice for those seeking a budget-friendly drift car with a contemporary edge.

The Nissan 350Z’s sporty aesthetics are not just for show; they’re backed by a performance-oriented package. Underneath its stylish exterior lies a potent V6 engine that propels the car with authority. This power, coupled with the 350Z’s rear-wheel-drive layout, creates the perfect combo for drifting enthusiasts to burn some rubber.

The 350Z’s handling characteristics further enhance its drift potential. The suspension and chassis are tuned to strike a balance between precision control and dynamic playfulness. This translates to a car that responds to the driver’s inputs, allowing for controlled drifts and fluid transitions.

Furthermore, once again this car has a strong aftermarket presence and a very large community of passionate enthusiasts.

6. Best budget drift car: Ford Crown Victoria

Venturing into unconventional territory, the Ford Crown Victoria makes an intriguing addition to the realm of budget drift cars. Contrary to the typical drift car profile, this body-on-frame sedan offers unexpected potential for creative drifting endeavors.

Embrace the unique with the Crown Victoria, a car that challenges expectations with its distinctive construction. While it may not fit the mold of a typical drift machine, its rear-wheel-drive layout and availability of V8 engine options lay the foundation for a different kind of drifting experience.

The Crown Victoria’s V8 powerplants grant it a healthy dose of torque, an essential ingredient for controlled slides. Its body-on-frame design introduces an element of heft, which can be harnessed to create consistent drifts and maintain angles with finesse. This blend of power and weight management provides a canvas for drifters seeking a departure from the ordinary.

7. Best budget drift car: 2000 Ford mustang

Introducing a timeless classic with an invitation for entry-level drifters, the Ford Mustang 2000 opens the door to the world of sideways excitement. This version of the Mustang carries a legacy of performance and style, making it one of the best budget drift cars for those embarking on their drifting journey.

The Ford Mustang 2000 holds a special place in the hearts of enthusiasts, with its iconic design and heritage echoing through the years. It serves as an excellent entry point for those new to the art of drifting, offering affordability without compromising on driving experience.

Within the Mustang’s DNA lies a range of engine options, each contributing to a distinct driving experience. From V6 engines to the powerful V8 variants, the Mustang caters to a spectrum of driving preferences.

Lastly, If you are looking to buy this car, ChrisFix a very well known youtuber has already done a mustang drift project. This can give you great information on the car and the modification you might have to do.

8. Best budget drift car: Mazda RX-8

Prepare to embrace the distinctive character of the Mazda RX-8, a rotary-engine-powered contender in the world of budget drift cars. The RX-8 presents a unique set of challenges and rewards, making it an intriguing choice for those seeking an unconventional drifting experience.

Beneath the RX-8’s sleek exterior lies a rotary engine, an unconventional powerplant known for its distinct characteristics. Drifting with a rotary engine requires finesse and a nuanced understanding of its power delivery. While the rotary engine presents challenges, conquering its intricacies can be immensely rewarding, allowing drivers to craft an exceptional drifting style.

The RX-8’s rear-wheel-drive layout serves as a foundation for controlled slides, and its near 50:50 balanced weight distribution enhances its potential for precise drift maneuvers. The car’s distinct engine sound and responsiveness add an extra layer of engagement to the drifting experience, creating a symphony of performance and artistry.

9. Best budget drift car: Lexus IS300

Embark on a journey through the world of luxury sport sedans with the Lexus IS300, a unique contender in the realm of budget drift cars. Combining refinement and rear-wheel-drive dynamics, the IS300 offers a distinct canvas for those looking to infuse a touch of luxury into their drifting pursuits.

The Lexus IS300 defies convention by seamlessly blending opulence and performance. Its rear-wheel-drive layout, a hallmark of driving engagement, forms the backbone of its drifting capabilities. The marriage of this layout with the IS300’s luxurious appointments creates an experience that stands apart in the world of drift cars.

Unleash your creativity on the canvas of the IS300, a car that invites engine modifications and aftermarket enhancements. These transformations can elevate the IS300’s drifting potential, allowing you to craft a luxury-themed drift build that harmoniously marries power and sophistication.

what are the things to consider when buying a drift car?

Choosing a solid drift car involves knowing what to look for. While we’re highlighting the best budget drift cars options here, remember that there’s a wide range of choices out there. Therefore, keep these basics points in mind when hunting for your ideal drift missile:

Rear-Wheel Drive (RWD)

When it comes to mastering the art of drifting, one fundamental feature stands out: rear-wheel drive (RWD). This characteristic is the cornerstone of a good drift car, allowing the rear wheels to break traction and gracefully slide through corners. The essence of drifting lies in the dance between control and chaos, and RWD is the partner that makes this dance possible.

Truthfully, properly drifting with a front-wheel drive (FWD) car is just not possible.

Limited-Slip Differential (LSD) or Welded differential

Imagine trying to waltz without a partner – that’s the predicament a drift car faces without a limited-slip differential (LSD). This essential component ensures power is evenly distributed between the rear wheels, allowing for controlled slides and graceful drifts.

Different types of LSDs exist, each influencing the car’s drift performance. From mechanical to electronic variants, the choice of LSD can significantly impact how the car behaves during slides, making it a crucial consideration for drift enthusiasts.

The most used LSD differential for drifting is the mechanical two way clutch type. Keep in mind this can always be added after the purchase of the car as a modification. If you interested in learning more about LSD check out the following guide: Limited Slip Differential: The Secret of the famous LSD

LSD can be expensive therefore the cheap solution many people opt for is to just weld their differential. They only cost a hundred bucks or two and will provide an amazing performance for drifting. Learn all about welded differentials in the following article: Welded Differential: In The World Of Differentials

Manual Transmission

The poetry of drifting is written through the symbiotic relationship between driver and machine, and a manual transmission plays a vital role in this narrative. Manual transmissions grant drivers the authority to dictate gear changes and clutch engagement, enabling seamless transitions between power delivery and slide initiation.

While the debate between automatic and manual transmissions rages on in various driving contexts, when it comes to drifting, the manual transmission prevails.

Affordability of Parts and Modifications

Drifting isn’t just about the thrill of the slide; it’s also a journey of continuous improvement. A good drift car is one that can be modified and upgraded without causing a financial meltdown. This is where the affordability of parts and modifications steps into the spotlight.

Budget-friendly options for aftermarket components ensure that enthusiasts can gradually enhance their cars, refining handling, power delivery, and aesthetics, all while maintaining financial sanity.


The world of drifting, an artful blend of precision and controlled chaos, has captured car enthusiasts globally. This article delved into budget-friendly drift cars, catering to those craving the thrill without the financial strain.

From the legendary Nissan 240SX to the agile Mazda MX-5 Miata, each vehicle listed brings a unique fusion of performance and affordability.

These cars demonstrate that drifting isn’t exclusive to the elite; it’s an accessible realm for those who seek the rush. The article also emphasized key considerations for choosing a drift car, including rear-wheel drive, limited-slip differentials, manual transmissions, and affordability of modifications.

In essence, these budget drift cars make the captivating world of drifting attainable for all, combining skill, style, and savings.