High-End ’90s Cars That Are Dirt Cheap Today

The ’90s was a dreamscape full of luxurious high-end cars. Automakers were at the top of their game, releasing beautiful rides like the Chevy Corvette ZR1. Of course, they were also charging top dollar for these track-ready vehicles. If you couldn’t afford a high-end car back then, but still dream of getting behind the wheel of one today, we have good news. A classic BMW E30 that would have cost you a year’s salary then can be found for less than $10,000 today. Keep reading to find out what other high-end rides from the ’90s can be found for surprisingly reasonable prices today!

Lexus LS400 – $5,000 Today

lexus ls400
Enigma3542002/Wikimedia Commons
Enigma3542002/Wikimedia Commons

Lexus was created in 1987 as the luxury vehicle arm of Toyota. That alone tells you how reliable and well-made they were made. One of the best ’90s models was the LS400, which also holds the title as the first model the company ever produced.

A brand new LS400 would have set you back $40,000, or $79,000 today with inflation calculated. Why spend that when you can find a used LS4000 for less than $5,000 right now, though?

Pontiac Firebird Trans-Am – $10,000 Today

Pontiac_Firebird trans-am
IFCAR/Wikimedia Commons
IFCAR/Wikimedia Commons

A more affordable, but still high-end, car from the ’90s was the Pontiac Firebird Trans-Am. This speedy-looking car started with a base price of $25,000 and is considered a collector’s item today.

Just because the vehicle is in high demand doesn’t mean it will cost you an arm and a leg. If you’re willing to put a little work underneath the hood you can find a Trans-Am for $10,000. And if you can put more than a little work in you can find them even cheaper.

Porsche 944 Turbo – $15,000 Today

porsche 944 turbo
Daniel J. Leivick/Wikimedia Commons
Daniel J. Leivick/Wikimedia Commons

This high-end ’90s vehicle is a must-buy for Porsche lovers looking for a more affordable ride. The Porsche 944 Turbo wasn’t cheap to drive off the lot in the ’90s, and now that it has achieved classic status, its price-tag is slowly starting to creep back up.

Right now, a 944 Turbo on the secondary market can be found for around $15,000 in good condition. As demand for this roadster increases, though, so too will the cost to buy.

Cadillac Allanté – $10,000

cadillac allante
Ron Galella, Ltd./Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images
Ron Galella, Ltd./Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images

The Allanté is a Cadillac with a more niche fan base than other vehicles you will see on this list. It was produced between 1987 and 1993 and was a quality sports car that never found its footing in the market.

Lost in the shuffle in the late ’80s and early ’90s, interest in the Allanté has been revived recently, making it a popular vehicle on the used market. Hunt wisely, and you can find one for less than $10,000.

Bentley Brooklands – $30,000 Today

bentley brooklands
National Motor Museum/Heritage Images/Getty Images
National Motor Museum/Heritage Images/Getty Images

The Bentley Brooklands first came out in 1992. It was produced by the luxury brand to replace the Mulsanne S and was given a hefty price tag of $156,000. Oddly enough, this made it one of the cheaper Bentley models at the time.

The original production run of the Brooklands ended in 1998. Because of how expensive it was back then, you won’t find one in good condition under $10,000 today, but you can for around $30,000.

BMW M5 – $15,000 Today

bmw m5
National Motor Museum/Heritage Images via Getty Images
National Motor Museum/Heritage Images via Getty Images

There’s nothing quite like getting behind the wheel of a BMW and hitting the freeway. The German luxury brand has long been known for its reliability and attractive looks. But few models have been as pretty as the M5 from the ’90s.

Originally released in 1985, the M5 series is still available today and will cost you $100,000 brand new. Why do that when you can get a used model for $15,000, though?

Mercedes-Benz SL500 – $12,000 Today

mercedes sl500
Jack Taylor/Getty Images
Jack Taylor/Getty Images

A brand new Mercedes-Benz SL500 would have cost you $80,000 in 1990. Today, that’s the same as $160,000. The high-end Mercedes was a part of the brand’s SL class of Grand Tourer sports cars that date all the way back to the ’50s.

As pricey as the SL500 was 30 years ago, it can be found for a surprisingly reasonable $12,000 used today. If this is the auto you’ve been lusting after since it first came out, there has never been a better time to buy one!

Ford Mustang SVT Cobra – $15,000 Today

ford mustang svt cobra prototype
Getty Images
Getty Images

Produced between 1993 and 2004, the Ford Mustang SVT Cobra was another stellar generation for the iconic muscle car. It was also a costly era. A brand new Cobra came with a hefty price tag of $60,000.

If that cost was too much for you in the ’90s but you’re getting nostalgic thinking about this beast right now, look to the secondary market. Mustang SVT Cobras in good condition can be found as cheap as $15,000 today.

Porsche Boxster – $10,000 Today

porsche boxster
National Motor Museum/Heritage Images/Getty Images
National Motor Museum/Heritage Images/Getty Images

Never in your life will you be able to buy a brand new Porsche for $10,000. That’s why the secondary market exists, where you can find a classic Boxster from the ’90s for just that price.

Originally released in 1997, the Boxster has become iconic. The first generation of the roadster still looks like it could be brand new today, so our only question is this — why buy new in the first place?

Dodge Viper GTS – $50,000 Today

GettyImages-534271954
National Motor Museum/Heritage Images/Getty Images
National Motor Museum/Heritage Images/Getty Images

A high-end Dodge Viper GTS from 1996 cost $100,000 brand new. With inflation, that is the same as $165,000 today. So even though the $50,000 used price seems like a lot, it’s actually quite reasonable for the legendary sports car.

With Dodge’s plans to revive the Viper, there is a chance that the secondary market cost could go down even further as demand decreases. If you know how to fix up a car, you can likely find a “fixer-upper” for a cheaper price as well.

Aston Martin DB7 – $40,000 Today

aston martin db7
National Motor Museum/Heritage Images/Getty Images
National Motor Museum/Heritage Images/Getty Images

You can’t tell us you were expecting the car of choice of James Bond for anything less than $40,000. The superior high-end luxury vehicle is always one of the classiest rides on the road, regardless of the year.

The bottom line is this — brand new, an Aston Martin can cost more than $300,000. If you find one of the secondary market, especially an older DB7, for $40,000, you take it.

Chevy Corvette ZR1 – $20,000 Today

corvette zr1
National Motor Museum/Heritage Images/Getty Images
National Motor Museum/Heritage Images/Getty Images

If you don’t mind driving without all the bells and whistles of modern sports cars, then we recommend looking toward the secondary market. For pure driving experience, the Corvette ZR1 from the ’90s is unbeatable.

And because it doesn’t have the new lines of the newest model, or the newest tech features that come with it, you can find one for around $20,000. That’s about one-third of its original listed price.

Mitsubishi 3000GT – $5,000 Today

Dodge stealth on display
Richard Lautens/Toronto Star via Getty Images
Richard Lautens/Toronto Star via Getty Images

Even in the ’90s, this awesome sports car was on the more affordable side. Brand new, a Mitsubishi GTO would only cost around $20,000, or around $40,000 in today’s monetary terms.

The GT was produced between 1990 and 1996 but wasn’t known as a Mitsubishi in the United States. Here it was sold as the Dodge Stealth, which was a way to help try and entice more buyers to drive one off the lot. As of 2020, you can drive one off the used lot for around $5,000.

Audi A8 – $15,000 Today

audi a8 1999
Bonn-Sequenz/ullstein bild via Getty Images
Bonn-Sequenz/ullstein bild via Getty Images

One of the most sophisticated high-end cars of the ’90s was the Audi A8. The German brand has always been known for its next-level looks, and the A8 took it to the next, next level. It wasn’t cheap though.

As the years passed, the price of the A8 fell. Instead of buying a brand new one today, take a look at the secondary market. You might be surprised just how affordable this auto now is!

Nissan 300ZX – $10,000 Today

nissan 300zx
National Motor Museum/Heritage Images/Getty Images
National Motor Museum/Heritage Images/Getty Images

Not many auto manufacturers made coolers sports cars in the ’90s than Nissan. The 300ZX was one of the brand’s most popular models and is still remembered fondly by car collectors today.

First built in 1989, the 300ZX was produced for 11 years. With so many model years available, it’s no surprise this ’90s classic doesn’t have a ridiculous price tag. A used Nissan 300ZX should only set you back around $10,000.

Lotus Esprit – $20,000 Today

lotus esprit 1989
National Motor Museum/Heritage Images/Getty Images
National Motor Museum/Heritage Images/Getty Images

While not as well known in the United States, around the world Lotus is one of the top high-end luxury vehicle manufacturers, and the Esprit is one of their most sought after models. If you were “hip” to the brand in 1990, a new Esprit would have cost you $60,000.

If you’re just discovering the brand today, you can buy one on the secondary market for $20,000. Because the vehicle is rarer in the United States, you might just need to have some patience while you search for the right deal.

Mercedes-Benz S500 – $10,000 Today

Mercedes-Benz_S500
IFCAR/Wikimedia Commons
IFCAR/Wikimedia Commons

Similar to the Mercedes-Benz SL500, the S500 is born from the same manufacturer but is still its own unique beast. A high-end car that’s as reliable as they come, it’s honestly a smarter decision to buy a Benz used instead of new.

The S500 can be found for around $10,000 in decent to good condition. If you’re willing to spend a little extra cash, you can even get one that’s basically brand new for a fraction of the price.

Nissan Skyline GT-R – $20,000 Today

nissan skyline 1998
National Motor Museum/Heritage Images/Getty Images
National Motor Museum/Heritage Images/Getty Images

This one is a little more pricey than other vehicles on this list, but for good reason. When it was first introduced more than 25 years ago, the Nissan Skyline GT-R was banned in the United States for not meeting safety standards.

Today, you can have a Skyline GT-R imported without having to worry. Because you’re importing it, however, the used classes will cost you around $20,000, which is still more affordable than its original price tag.

Acura NSX – $40,000 Today

acura nsx
John B. Carnett/Bonnier Corp. via Getty Images
John B. Carnett/Bonnier Corp. via Getty Images

With a price tag of $80,000 in the ’90s, the Acura NSX was one of the more expensive sports cars of the era. By today’s standards, it would cost $140,000. Like other autos on this list, a quick look at the used market will reveal much more affordable options.

Currently, you can find the NSX in good condition for around $40,000. With a new model on the horizon, the demand for older models might decrease, lowering the asking price, too.

BMW E30 – $10,000 Today

1990 BMW E30 Model
Bajuvar/Wikimedia Commons
Bajuvar/Wikimedia Commons

We now arrive at one of the most iconic cars of not only the ’90s, but the ’80s as well. The BMW E30 was produced for 12 years, from 1982 until 1994, and would cost around $30,000 brand new. By today’s standards, that is equal to $60,000.

As we’ve said before, why buy a new BMW, when you can find this model, in good condition, for $10,000 on the secondary market? It’s a classic look for a perfect price!