1990 Volkswagen Golf Syncro Country

If ever there was a car that best embodied the idea of a “hot hatch,” it’s the VW Golf. Though, while the brand has been building all-wheel-drive versions pretty much since its inception, they were never quite well-equipped for anything more than light off-roading (the kind you might find on a groomed rally car track). There was one exception, however — a limited-run car that came out in 1990 called the Golf Syncro Country.

What made this particular vehicle an interesting buy is the AWD system, which — under normal conditions — sends power only to the front wheels. However, when wheel-slip was detected, it would automatically send up to 50% of the 1.8L four-cylinder engine’s power to the rear axle, making this a remarkably capable off-roading machine. It also got a lifted suspension, tube bumpers on the front and rear (including the swing-out tire mount), flared fenders, and more. It wasn’t the quickest thing on the road, but this retro hatchback is a lot of fun for anyone who can appreciate its strangeness. It’s priced at just under $22,000.

Purchase: $22,000