5 Winter Warriors Under $10k That Are Perfect for Snow
Winter is well and truly here, which means it's time to get your winter wanderlust on. Obviously that means different things to different people, from touring the powder-coated countryside, to attempting to climb up the temporary snow-mountains that inevitably form in otherwise empty parking lots.
There are some truly badass cars out there that are basically built for winter shenanigans. Every vehicle you see below is for sale on eBay -- like, right now -- and can be yours for $10,000 or less. While they might not be what you'd want to drive come July or August, they're just about perfect for surviving Snowmageddon with a smile on your face.
In general terms, the Subaru Baja is a great all-around vehicle that combines a crossover SUV with an El Camino, and adds the traction advantages of all-wheel drive to the mix. It'll hold all the supplies you need when you stock up at the grocery store, then provide limitless entertainment when everyone else cancels work because the conditions are treacherous. This one's even better, though, because the original engine failed a few years ago, at which point the wonderful owner in Wyoming upgraded virtually everything under the hood.
This one's special. If you've so much as heard of the Hilux, you likely know a few things about it, namely that it's both harder to kill than a terminator, and not meant for American shores. This one was born and raised in Japan before being imported, so it has the steering wheel on the right. If this were a year-round vehicle, that might be a nuisance, but since you're not exactly making mid-blizzard fast-food runs, it's not a problem. End result: a rare (for here) and collectible classic that's basically the Rick Astley of trucks.
Just because a car's your winter funmobile doesn't mean it has to look like a beater. The Audi 90 is kind of a forgotten star of Teutonic motoring. It's more than capable of being a great daily driver in the winter, but in the right setting -- i.e., snow- and ice-covered expanses -- it's less vintage luxury sedan and more unexpected drift toy. Finding one like this that's in excellent visual shape, has less than 100,000 miles, and a manual transmission is pretty rare... but not quite as rare as seeing someone having sideways fun in one in a slick parking lot. Make it happen.
What you're looking at is more than just a textbook example of beautiful patina on an emerging classic. The Grand Wagoneer's not going to back down just because of a snow drift. If you're wondering why it's a scant $5,800, well, it's nearly 30 years old, and it's not without its wear and tear. Per the seller, it doesn't like operating in hot temperatures... which doesn't sound like much of a problem when you're trudging through the snow.
Before you worry that the curb appeal isn't there, take a closer look at this car. The 3000 GT is a modern collectible that's going up in price, and that goes double for the high-performance, 296hp VR4 version -- you're unlikely to find a truly nice one for four figures anywhere, and if you did, you wouldn't dare subject it to salt, sand, and the most horrifying of all winter dangers: other drivers. What this car truly represents, then, is the opportunity to take one of the most memorable cars of the early 1990s into the kind of adverse conditions in which its four-wheel drive and four-wheel steering truly separated it from its contemporaries.
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