Who says V8 performance has to cost a fortune?
Many performance cars are ditching V8s for smaller and more efficient turbocharged units. Even though it may not be the most environmentally friendly option enthusiasts love the idea of having a big V8 under the hood. Unfortunately, because of downsizing, cars with V8 engines are becoming rarities, and those that do offer them usually charge a premium. If you must have a V8 you're in luck, though. These five cars offer the oversized engine and all cost less than $10,000 and have less than 100,000 miles on them.
The first V8 on our list is definitely an iconic one. The Corvette represents the V8 engine it all of its glory. The C5 generation Vette may not be the best one out there, but it is certainly cheap. We found a few coupe and convertible models from 1997 to 2001 all with less than 100,000 miles and a six-speed manual transmission (no four-speed autos here). The interior is certainly dated, but the 345-horsepower 5.7-liter V8 is still no slouch. The car could reach a top speed of 175 mph and complete the quarter mile in just 13.3 seconds. These cars cost anywhere from $40,000 to $46,000 when new, so buying one now for less than $10,000 is quite the steal.
Our next choice is the E39 BMW 540i. For less than $10,000 you can get a newer E60 5 Series, but we think that the older E39 is the more pure driving car. The E39 M5 is garnering a lot of attention now as a future collectible, but people often overlook the model right below it. The 540i came with a 4.4-liter V8 producing 282 horsepower. That may not seem like much today, but that is the same amount that the original M5 produced from its straight-six engine. What makes this 2001 example that we found even more special is that is comes with the rare six-speed manual transmission. This car may not be an M5, but with V8 smoothness and the wonderful E39 chassis you're guaranteed to fall in love with this often overlooked BMW.
Next up is another German with a penchant for depreciation. The B6 Audi S4 was built between 2003 and 2005. Even though Audi introduced the B7 S4 in 2005 it still made a few B6 models that year and kept the same 4.2-liter 340-horsepower V8. Not only did this engine sound amazing but it made more horsepower than the current 3.0-liter V6 engine in the new S4! You could find this engine in the sedan, wagon, and convertible S4, and we found a silver 2005 sedan with the faster six-speed manual transmission. One thing to watch out for on these engines is the timing chain tensioners, which are located against the fire wall, making them very tricky to change. Look for one that has already been serviced!
In the not too distant past, the telltale sign of a luxury flagship car was a buttery V8 under the hood. That is if you couldn't afford the uber-rich status of having a V12. There are many old V8 German flagships that have depreciated to under $10,000, but we thought we would choose a Japanese one that you may not remember. For just two model years, 2003 and 2004, Infiniti sold the M45 sedan. This car practically oozed cool. This is something a mafia hit man would drive. It packed a 4.5-liter V8 with 340 horsepower. In Japan this car was known as the Nissan Gloria and came with a RB25DET engine. The V8 was put in for the American market and may have made the car even cooler. Take that, Japan! We finally got the better engine for once!
The final car on this is the newest and the most practical choice. The Dodge Magnum was a short-lived model, built from 2005 to 2008. Unfortunately you won't be able to find the 6.1-liter SRT8 Magnum for less than $10,000, but you will be able to find the 5.7-liter V8 RT trim. The 5.7-liter V8 produced 340 horsepower, which is more than enough. The Magnum is a wagon, which means a huge amount of storage space for you and all of your stuff. If you are looking for V8 power with the practicality of a boring family crossover, this is your ride.