7 min read
01 Feb

In gearhead circles, the term "donut" refers to a driving maneuver where the driver rotates the rear or front of the vehicle around the opposite set of wheels in a continuous motion, creating a circular skid-mark pattern on the road. It’s exactly that exhilarating stuff you saw Walter White do with Junior’s Camaro in Breaking Bad. How did he do it? It involves accelerating while turning the steering wheel, resulting in a circular motion with the car (wish it were that simple). 

Why did he do it? To vent his frustration, but donuting is often done for the fun of it – to celebrate life. Just keep in mind that even when done under controlled conditions, doing the donut is considered reckless driving when done in an unsafe or illegal manner. So, ready to unleash your inner drift king without breaking the bank? 

We've got you covered with a lineup of affordable used cars perfect for tearing up the pavement and leaving clouds of smoke in your wake. Admittedly, “affordable” is relative, but these rides prove you don't need to pull off epic donuts and heart-pounding drifts only in your dreams. Now, let's slide into some serious savings!" 

See also: 10 Awesome 1-Seater Cars That Belongs In Every Enthusiast's Garage 

10. 2015 Dodge Challenger Hellcat

  • Average Used Price: $45,000 to $55,000
2015 Dodge Challenger Hellcat.

Photo credit: Johannes Maximillian via Wikimedia

It’s easy to look at the price range above and think, “How is that cheap?” Well, the Hellcat version of the Dodge Challenger is not your average muscle car

In fact, the Challenger got its first Hellcat version for the 2015 model year, bringing a mighty 6.2-liter supercharged V8 engine producing over 700 horsepower and 650 lb-ft of torque. 

This is besides the fact that the Dodge Challenger is already renowned for its potential for spirited driving, thanks to a powerful engine and rear-wheel-drive layout, just the right setup for controlled spins and drifts. The car’s substantial weight and powerful rear-wheel-drive system contribute to its ability to execute spectacular donuts. 

The fact that you can expect to find them listed for around $45,000 to $55,000 on the used car market says a lot about a model that started at $60,990 in 2015. 

However, how much you’d ultimately pay for it depends on the location and the vehicle’s condition. At press time, we found one with 18,301 miles listed for sale at $37,750 in Midwest City, OK. 

9. 2016 Chevrolet Camaro SS

  • Average Used Price: $30,000 to $40,000
2016 Chevrolet Camaro SS.

Photo credit: Yahya S via Wikimedia

The Chevrolet Camaro SS belongs on this list for its powerful and agile performance potential. The 2016 Camaro SS, in particular, boasts a 455-horsepower V8 engine with cylinder deactivation for improved efficiency, as well as magnetic ride control suspension that reacts rapidly to road conditions. 

This combination of power and handling characteristics makes the 2016 Camaro SS an excellent choice for controlled spins and drifts, including donuts. Generally, you can expect to find them listed for around $30,000 to $40,000 on the used car market. 

8. 2018 Ford Mustang GT

  • Average Used Price: $25,000 to $40,000

Photo credit: MrWalkr via Wikimedia

The Ford Mustang GT, particularly the 5.0-liter V8 version, is highly praised for its donut capabilities. This is due to its rear-wheel-drive layout, potent engine performance, and responsive steering. 

The 2018 Ford Mustang GT in particular has remarkable capabilities and a reputation for being an ideal candidate for performing controlled spins and drifts. 

The car’s beautiful combination of power, agility, and handling characteristics makes it a popular choice for enthusiasts looking to engage in such driving maneuvers. Generally, you can expect to find them listed for around $25,000 to $40,000 on the used car market. 

7. 2022 Subaru BRZ

  • Average Used Price: $25,000 to $35,000
2022 Subaru BRZ.

Photo credit: Chanokchon via Wikimedia

The Subaru BRZ is a fantastic candidate for donuting because it is a rear-wheel-drive performance coupe with impressively balanced handling and agility. It certainly helps that the 2022 Subaru BRZ has been enhanced with a larger and more powerful flat-four engine. 

The BRZ features a near-equal sporty look with distinct sculpting, air ducts, and a pronounced rear haunch, contributing to its appeal as a performance-oriented vehicle. 

Additionally, it comes with steering-responsive (adaptive) headlights, standard summer high-performance tires, and a TORSEN limited-slip differential, all of which enhance its handling and control, making it suitable for controlled spins and drifts, including donuts. They typically go for around $25,000 to $35,000 in the used car market. 

See also: 11 Best-Handling Cheap Cars Under $15,000 

6. Nissan 370Z NISMO

  • Average Used Price: $18,000 to $45,000
Nissan 370Z NISMO.

Photo credit: David Villarreal Fernández via Wikimedia

The Nissan 370Z has its characteristic rear-wheel-drive layout and potent V6 engine to thank for the numerous times it's been favored for drifting and donuting, but it also has an attractive price range that ensures its enduring position as a favorable choice for experienced dare-devil drivers like Vaughn Gittin Jr or wannabe donuting kings like James Deane or expert drifters like Ken Block (God rest his soul). 

The 370Z NISMO, in particular, has a more aggressive aerodynamic design, a sport-tuned suspension, and a limited-slip differential, contributing to its suitability for controlled spins and drifts. 

Additionally, the 370Z's responsive steering and impressive power delivery further contribute to its appeal for enthusiasts interested in performing these types of maneuvers. The Nissan 370Z NISMO has been in production since 2009 as a high-performance variant of the 370Z. 

You can have a satisfying donut driving experience with the standard 370Z (without the NISMO enhancement), setting you back a paltry $8,000 to $35,000, depending on the model year and condition. By the way, the NISMO has got its first electric treatment with the Ariya SUV. 

5. 2000–2010 Chevrolet Corvette Z51

  • Average Used Price: $15,000 to $35,000
2015 Chevrolet Corvette Z51.

2015 Chevrolet Corvette Z51- Phot credit: Sicnag via Wikimedia

The Corvette, with its powerful rear-wheel-drive layout, robust V8 engine, and precise handling dynamics, is favored for doing the donuts and other controlled driving maneuvers. The car's precise steering response, low center of gravity, and well-tuned suspension don't hurt either. 

Models with the Z51 performance package, in particular, provide additional performance enhancements, such as improved cooling, braking, and handling capabilities, further contributing to its deftness at executing controlled spins and drifts. 

The Chevrolet Corvette’s Z51 performance package has been available for multiple generations. It's typically offered as an optional package for specific trim levels and is available for the C8 Corvette Stingray, introduced in the 2020 model year. 

For the purpose of this article, however, we recommend the 2000-2010 Corvettes with Z51 Performance Package, retailing around $15,000 to $35,000 currently. 

4. 2012–2016 Scion FR-S

  • Average Used Price: $11,985 to $15,990
2013 Scion FR-S.

2013 Scion FR-S - Photo credit: MercurySable99 via Wikimedia

The Scion FR-S, later rebranded as the Toyota 86, is a compact sports car with a blessed reputation for its balanced handling, rear-wheel drive layout, and relatively lightweight design. The car’s low center of gravity and responsive steering make it popular for activities like drifting and doing donuts. 

Additionally, its 2.0-liter boxer engine enhances its performance capabilities with a good power-to-weight ratio. The Scion FR-S was produced from 2012 to 2016. It was discontinued and rebranded as the Toyota 86, which has been in production since 2017. 

If you can get your hands on the last model-year FR-S, we encourage you to do so, as it was the end of an era – a technically new FR-S with the blood of the original 2012 model running full-throttle in its veins. The average used price, all factors considered, ranges from $11,000 to $15,990. 

3. 2010–2016 Hyundai Genesis Coupe

  • Average Used Price: $10,000 to $24,000
2013 Hyundai Genesis Coupe 3.8 R-Spec.

2013 Hyundai Genesis Coupe 3.8 R-Spec - Photo credit: IFCAR via Wikimedia

The Hyundai Genesis Coupe offers a suitable donuting platform with its rear-wheel-drive setup. In particular, the Genesis Coupe 3.8 R-Spec, with its powerful V6 engine and precise steering, is often favored by driving enthusiasts for such maneuvers. 

The Hyundai Genesis Coupe 3.8 R-Spec was produced from 2010 to 2016. It was a performance-oriented version of the Genesis Coupe, featuring a 3.8-liter V6 engine and various enhancements for improved driving dynamics. 

It benefits from a balanced weight distribution and responsive handling, making it well-suited for executing spectacular donuts. With an average used price of around $10,000 to $24,000, this is one of your cheapest routes to a great machine for drifting and donuting. 

2. 2011 BMW 1-series

  • Average Used Price: $6,000 to $19,000
2011 BMW 1 Series 1M Coupe.

2011 BMW 1 Series 1M Coupe - Photo credit: MrWalkr via Wikimedia

The BMW 1 Series, particularly the 1M Coupe, boasts a rear-wheel-drive architecture, powerful engine, and precise handling. The 1M Coupe features a 3.0-liter twin-turbocharged inline-6 engine that delivers strong acceleration and a high level of performance. 

Additionally, its responsive steering, agile chassis, and balanced weight distribution contribute to its suitability for doing the donuts. The BMW 1 Series 1M Coupe was produced for the 2011 model year only as a limited-production, high-performance version of the 1 Series. 

Unfortunately, the lowest recorded used value of the 2011 BMW 1 Series 1M Coupe is $25,575, with the average sale value pegged at 61,951, according to ConceptCarz. The pricing speaks volumes about a relatively young car now treated like a classic

The good news? The 1 Series still lives as an entry-level Bimmer ready to satisfy your donut cravings at a relatively cheap price. The same model year (not the 1M Coupe variant) currently sells for $6,000 to $19,000. 

1. Mazda MX-5 Miata

  • Average Used Price: $3,950 to $38,475
2005 Mazda Miata MX-5.

2005 Mazda MX-5 - Photo credit: IFCAR via Wikimedia

The Mazda MX-5 Miata is an item of worship due to its nimble handling and rear-wheel-drive layout, along with a well-tuned suspension and zesty engine. If you couldn’t get your hands on any of the cars on this list, the Miata is an affordable and trusty fallback for those looking for the perfect sports car for spirited driving

The car’s lightweight design, near-perfect weight distribution, and responsive steering contribute to its appeal for drifting and donut techniques. Enthusiasts often favor older models, particularly the first-generation NA Miata (1989-1997), for their simplicity, lightweight, and mechanical characteristics that make them easier to modify and drift. 

Additionally, the second-generation NB Miata (1998-2005) is also popular among enthusiasts for its similar attributes. For this reason, a budget as low as $4,000 and as high as $39,000 can get you a decent Miata for your donuting needs.

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