So you need some wheels and you just received your stimulus check? You might not think that $1,400 is enough to get yourself a set of wheels, but that’s where you’d be wrong. In this article, I’m going to show you some of the best cars that you could and should buy with your $1,400 stimulus check!
Lexus LS400 – VIPs Only
Starting off our list is arguably one of the most reliable cars of all time: the Lexus LS400! Not only is the LS400 extremely reliable, but it’s also one of the smoothest and most comfortable cars on the road, not to mention that it’s nearing its 30th birthday! It’s considered a classic! But don’t let that fool you!
See, the Lexus LS400 development team consisted of 1,400 engineers and over 2,000 technicians, and they spent years perfecting every single inch of the LS400. During the development, Lexus blew through $1 billion! Do I need to repeat myself? That’s $1 billion! To this day, you can still see the benefits of this extensive development.
The rockstar of the LS400 is its engine, the 1UZ-FE V8. While it’s not the most powerful engine or even the most efficient, it’s just as smooth as it is reliable, meaning these barges will last over 1,000,000 miles easily! Just ask Matt Farah!
So, why are they so cheap? I don’t know! But one thing I do know is that people have done a lot with these cars, from turning them into drift missiles to stance-boy VIP builds, even to off-road builds. The Lexus LS400 does it all!
You can find them all day right around $2,000, and with a bit of bargaining, you can walk away with one of these in exchange for your stimulus check!
The LS400 doesn’t get the greatest gas mileage, though. If that’s something you’re worried about, then maybe you should consider a Honda Civic.
Honda Civic – The Ricer
Sure you might hear about the Honda Civic and think it’s boring, but they actually can be cool too. From corner-carvers to drag cars, the Civic is one of the most versatile cars out there. Slap down your stimulus check and get yourself a Civic with 2, 3, 4, or 5 doors. You really can’t go wrong with any of them. And, unlike the LS400, the Civic is offered in a manual transmission, baby! Pair that with VTEC and you’ve got yourself a recipe for success.
The Honda Civic has been around for generations, and let me tell you, Honda has perfected the recipe! They’ve produced over 20 million Civics since the first one rolled off the line in 1972! Throw on a fart can and some underglow, and roll out with Dominic Torretto’s crew to go steal some VCRs. Yeah, seriously, that movie’s kind of old now…
The thing is that the Honda Civic will beat out just about any modern car at the pump, getting over 40 miles per gallon on the highway and 36 miles per gallon in the city! Not only will it pass everyone at the pumps, but it’ll outlive so many other cars, because it’s not uncommon to see these kicking past 200,000, 250,000, or even 300,000 miles!
Want a steal? Go ahead and pick one up like the one we found with no mechanical issues and less than 200,000 miles for only $1,200 bucks! So why wouldn’t you spend your stimulus check on a Civic?
Say you want a bit more power, though, but you don’t want to sacrifice reliability. You’ve got to check out the Mitsubishi Eclipse.
Mitsubishi Eclipse – Brian O’Connor
Sure, Civics were cool back in the early 2000s, but Mitsubishi one-upped the Civic with the Eclipse, and they’re still widely loved thanks to our friend Paul Walker, also known as Brian O’Conner, who owned an amazing collection of cars. Go check out our video to see his secret stash of cars worth $2.3 million!
The Mitsubishi Eclipse comes in either a gas-sipping 4-banger or a more performance-oriented V6. The V6 had some pep to its step, not to mention a huge aftermarket community. Sure, most of those parts will take you way over your stimulus check budget, but you could throw a turbo on it and be hanging with some real heavy-hitters! 400 wheel horsepower is a common number with these potent V6s!
But, if you love working on cars, then get yourself a first-generation GS-T or GSX Eclipse, because they have the famous 4G63T motor, which is one of the best 4-cylinder engines of all time, and if you’re interested in learning about what other engines make that list go ahead and watch our video about it!
You want an Eclipse with the potent V6? The good news is they can be had for less than $1,500. Sure, the one we found was an automatic, but with less than 140,000 miles, it’s not about to leave you stranded. So, no matter which way you slice and dice it, the Mitsubishi Eclipse might be one of the best ways to spend your stimulus check.
But, if your breakfast, lunch, and dinner consist of sauerkraut and sausages, then a Volkswagen Golf might be more your speed.
Volkswagen Golf – Fore!
While your stimulus check won’t get you into a GTI, that doesn’t mean you have to look at boring versions. The Golf is one of the most popular cars in the world, and for good reason! It’s a reliable, fuel-efficient car that’s super practical, and perhaps more importantly, they’re surprisingly fun to drive.
While the styling of the Golf may be understated and a bit dull, the driving experience definitely isn’t! And because of the proper German engineering, these things are built like tanks! But, just like a tank, they tend to be a bit more pricey when it comes to repairs.
Even though your budget won’t let you step into a GTI, many of the other motors offered in these Golfs are just as tuneable, if not even more so! For less than $1,000, you can buy your way into a manual Golf with just over 100,000 miles! So why not go out and get yourself a Golf? It might just be a hole-in-one!
All joking aside, you know the feeling when a Crown Vic roars up behind you and only to turn on its red and blues? Not a good feeling. But how would you feel if I told you that you could be the one rolling around in an ex-cop car Crown Vic for less than your stimulus check?
Ford Crown Victoria – It’s The Sound Of The Police
Pretty cool, right? Just imagine the pranks you could pull on your friends! Sure, you could go out and get a standard Crown Victoria, but the one you want is the P71 Police Package. The P71 Package Crown Victoria is one of the best cars for any budget!
Let me explain, they have the powerplant from a Mustang but beefed up with bigger cams and better internals. Plus, they have suspension upgrades specially designed for police work. Most of the cars you can get for your stimulus check will have high mileage, but don’t let that fool you, because many Crown Victorias leave the police force to become taxi cabs and run another couple hundred thousand miles.
So, remember how I said it was powered by a motor from the Mustang? I forgot to mention that it’s also rear-wheel drive, which makes it a burnout machine! Or a drift monster! They even make super popular battle-car platforms ready to tackle any terrain!
We found a P71 Package Crown Vic for $1,500! What’s not to love? The one downside I see to the Crown Victoria is its gas mileage, which is poor, like 13 miles per gallon poor.
So, if you still want some domestic fun, but you still want some power, then you’ve got to check out the Pontiac Grand Prix.
Pontiac Grand Prix GT/GTP – Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing
Now, I’m not suggesting that you go out and get a base model. Oh no! We’re talking about the GT and GTP models! Both are offered with GM’s bulletproof 3.8-liter V6. One is just a bit more potent, and when I say a bit, I mean a lot. The GT comes with a fairly impressive 200 horsepower, but the GTP comes with a solid 60 horsepower more thanks to an Eaton roots-style blower. Yeah, that’s right, the GTP is supercharged! Not only that, but that 3.8-liter V6 is stout and ready for more boost! Throw on a pulley and a tune and you’ll have one hell of a sleeper!
But the Grand Prix doesn’t just make this list because of its power potential, but also because the engine just won’t quit! And for less than $1,000, you can pick up the non-supercharged GT models, but with some negotiating, I bet you could get a supercharged GTP model for the price of your stimulus check too. We found GTP models for under $2,000, which is a perfect sleeper for your stimulus.
Many of these models are still on the road today, lasting 150,000, 200,000, or even 250,000 miles, or more!
Another car that’s known for lasting that long is just about any Subaru. The one that’s going to make this list is the Forester.
Subaru Forester – The Rumble Machine
From its boxy styling to its off-road prowess and its surprising practicality, the Forester is good at a lot of things. At its core, it’s undeniably Subaru, sharing that boxer rumble with many other Subarus. Drive it on the backroads or climb it up a mountain, the Forester won’t let you down.
And I’ll let you in on a little secret: the Forester can fit a bunch of parts from the WRX or even the STI, so you can make it into a little pocket rocket. Watch it keep up with a Hellcat! With all the parts being so similar to other models, these cars are like Legos,. Many people are able to modify these to their own tastes by installing lift kits or bags.
These Foresters look amazing and perform surprisingly well too! Paired with a 5-speed manual, these cars are a ton of fun in just about any condition. Throw your stimulus check towards one of these and you can get yourself a well-sorted high-mileage example that will last you many more miles!
The miles per gallon on these cars are in the mid-20s, which isn’t all that bad, but if you want even more fuel economy, then you’ve got to look at a Honda Accord.
Honda Accord – Daily Driver Perfection
These cars will return nearly 30 miles per gallon combined! Not only that, but you know Hondas are reliable, so an Accord is never going to leave you stranded. While it might not be the most exciting car on this list, it will give you a reliable way to get from point A to point B. For 99% of people, that’s what a car’s job is.
The Accord has a spacious interior and a sizable trunk so you can haul your friends and all of their stuff around town. But, just because the Accord has all the fixings of a car that an Average Joe would drive, that doesn’t mean gearheads don’t whip them around too. The Accord has huge aftermarket communities and you can get almost any mod you want, from simple lips and cold air intakes to full-on widebody kits and twin-turbo goodness.
Because these are super reliable and great at the pump, this might just be the ideal car to buy with your $1,400 stimulus check. We found a white V6 Accord coupe that you could pick up for even less!