When the original BMW 1 Series arrived on the scene in 2004 it stood out from rival compact executive cars for being rear-wheel drive. The same is true of the second-generation 1 Series, known as the F20, which arrived in 2011 and is the subject of our latest CarGurus Used Car Video review.
Lexus has said it could never build a car priced under $30,000, because it wouldn’t be a Lexus, it would be a Toyota.
That’s a respectable position to take, because it gives the luxury brand at least a little separation from its plebeian cousin.
Other luxury automakers have decided against that strategy and built entry-level vehicles designed to entice younger buyers into their brands. That decision, though, cheapens the brand for more upscale buyers.
There are cars that are “nice to drive,” and there are cars that are “fun to drive.”
Plenty of options exist for the people who prefer a smooth ride, luxurious cabin, numb steering and no real connection between driver and pavement. I won’t name names here, but feel free to make assumptions.
On the other hand, some cars simply beg to be driven hard, because doing so provides an overload of sensory excitement and pure joy. Yes, many of those cost upward of $100,000, but for mere plebeians like me, driving joy can be had for $30K and under.
Keep reading for seven examples of inexpensive greatness.