It's finally Christmas, which means everyone me included are indulging in the yearly spending spree trying to get the best and most impressive gifts we can(t) afford to show how much we care and how successful we are. Well that and stuffing our faces without guilt or regret.

But my cynicism aside lets get to the point, strolling through my local shopping centre ( looking for gifts of course) I came across a stand with 'the best xmas gift', on it a macbook for well over £2000. The student part of me went 'holy s**t' at the sight of that price tag, while the petrolhead got wondering how many awesome project cars I would rather have instead. So without further ado here are nine cars you can gift someone for the price of an expensive christmas gift.

#1 Toyota MR2

It's the perfect car and Christmas gift, it's rear-wheel drive, mid-engined and open top a supercar for pennies, that perfectly fits into our £2000 budget.

So it's the kind of car that most petrolheads would be quite pleased to add into their garage, the fact that it's a Toyota also means it's unlikely to become a financial burden like most 'fun' cars for that price.

#2 Peugeot 206GTI 180

Anyone remember playing with this little gem in Gran Turismo or Need For Speed? Well the real world version is just as much fun. What you get here is cheap as chips canvas for amateur rally,track,rally cross or almost anything else you can think of...

While most new Peugeots are about as exciting and dynamic as a tub of lard this chassis is responsible for bringing Peugeot 3 consecutive WRC World Championships from 2000 to 2002, meaning most petrol-heads would love to find one under their tree.

#3 Mazda MX-5

I doubt there is anything I can say that wasn't said before, the MX-5 is fun, reliable, great at handling and cheap to run if not a little bit underpowered, next to the MR-2 it's perhaps the best handling car for the budget.

Similarly to the above most petrolhead would love to find one of these under their 'tree' or rather on their driveway in this case. Look out for rust other than that these are solid and just need servicing to run well.

#4 Renault Clio 172

Straight up alternative to the Peugeot is the Clio 176, it's equally rapid with 2.0 litre 176 bhp engine, and very little in terms of weight. Where as the Pug was made and honed for the dirt roads of WRC the Renault sport had Renaults F1 guys tinkering with it which means it's the perfect track car candidate.

#5 Toyota Rav4 Mk1

Every petrolhead likes a little bit of off-roading, however things can go really bad if you try to have off-roading fun in your run of the mill hatchback. You are going to need something with 4-wheel drive, high suspension and some wheel articulation, how about a nice little Rav4?

#6 Mini Cooper S

When it came out it was one of the first premium subcompacts, this lead to it being on many wish lists, but not always ending up on the driveways as it's high price for relatively little practicality didn't suit everyone. As the years went by the price dropped to ultra affordable levels but the car kept most of its charm and peppy character.

#7 Suzuki Swift Sport

So the OG cheap hot-hatch even cheaper, it's lightweight, powerful-ishh, rev-happy and most of all cheap, really cheap. It's essentially the perfect canvas to go and explore your creative and technicals skills, if you fail, so what?

#8 Reliant Robin for the friend you hate

Is there someone you care about but also hate a little, and struggle to find a way to show it this Christmas season? Well worry not, cause here is the solution, a rolling prone and overall a horrendous yet classic pile of crap that is the Reliant Robin the perfect gift for that person you love to hate. Link

#9 Honda CR-X/ Del Sol

Another open top ride for which fun and handling are the main goals, if you buy the reliant for someone you hate, this is the one you buy them once you learn to love them and want to show them just how much.

It's gorgues looks, removable hard top a rev happy bullet proof engine you would struggle to find a (reasonable and grown-up) petrolhead who wouldnt get all happy and giddy if you handed them keys to one of these for Christmas or any other occasion for that matter.

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