Driving a car can be lots of fun, and it doesn’t have to be a stratospherically priced supercar either. There are plenty great affordable cars out there with a level of performance and handling that will put a smile on your face every time you get behind the wheel.
To help you find the perfect one for your needs, we’ve selected 10 of the most fun cars to drive, from two-seater convertibles to zippy city cars and even an electric SUV.
10 cars that are the most fun to drive:
- Alfa Romeo Giulia
- BMW 3 Series
- Ford Fiesta ST
- Ford Mustang Mach-E
- Hyundai i30-N
- Mazda MX-5
- Porsche Cayman
- Tesla Model 3
- Toyota GR Yaris
- Volkswagen Up GTI
1. Alfa Romeo Guilia
The Alfa Romeo Giulia is a sporty saloon that offers a great driving experience thanks to its sharp chassis and rear-wheel-drive layout. The suspension tends to feel a bit firm around town, and the interior tech is now a bit dated, but few cars in its class are as enjoyable to drive quickly.
You can pick from either a 200hp or 280hp four-cylinder, or the mental Giulia Quadrifoglio with its 510hp twin-turbo V6.
2. BMW 3 Series
The BMW 3 Series was the original sporty saloon and continues to be the benchmark when it comes to an engaging driving experience. You don’t have to pick the top M340i or M3 models either, as even the base 184hp 320i is quick and has great handling.
Just avoid ticking too many options as it can get pricey very quickly, for most a mid-spec 245hp 330i should be a great fit.
3. Ford Fiesta ST
The Ford Fiesta is a great little hatchback that already feels sportier to drive than most other alternatives. Pick the 200hp Fiesta ST and you’ll get a well-equipped hot hatch that will keep you entertained whether you are on the school run or a Saturday morning blast.
It can feel a bit firm over bumps, but that’s a small price to pay for the great handling.
4. Ford Mustang
The Ford Mustang may not be the sharpest-handling car out there, but if there’s one thing it offers it’s a great sense of fun – good, old-fashioned, muscle-car fun.
Sensible heads would recommend the 2.3-litre four-cylinder model, but it’s hard to justify buying a car like this without going for the 5.0-litre V8 Mustang GT.
5. Hyundai i30 N
The Hyundai i30 N delivers a sublime driving experience which makes it one of the best choices in its class. Producing 276hp from its turbocharged 2.0-litre motor, it’s quick in a straight line and very capable in the corners, too.
It can also be had with a six-speed manual transmission, which is a rare treat these days. It’s not the most refined hatchback out there, but that hardly matters when driving it is this much fun.
6. Mazda MX-5
The Mazda MX-5 is a natural choice here, thanks to its rear-wheel-drive layout, manual transmission option and eager, naturally aspirated engines.
You will easily find a faster, more practical car for the money, but you’ll pay twice as much before you find something that more readily puts a smile on your face. We’d pick the 184hp 2.0-litre paired with a manual transmission for the best results.
7. Porsche Cayman
The Porsche Cayman is a superb sports car, with the kind of delicate handling balance that only a mid-engined layout can provide. Base four-cylinder models are quick but lack the amazing soundtrack of the pricier six-cylinder cars. The new 493hp GT4 RS, meanwhile, may well be the most complete sports car on sale today.
The options list can greatly inflate the base price, but even so, the Cayman remains one of the best driving cars at any price.
8. Tesla Model 3
Sheer ridiculous straight-line speed has been the claim to fame for many Tesla models, and that remains the case for the Model 3. Feeling that instant rush of power just never gets old. Beating supercars off the line is fun, but the Model 3 handles well, too.
Pick the Model 3 Performance for the best results, it comes standard with the Performance Upgrade which includes a handy Track Mode. It’s not cheap, though, and the build quality is still not quite up there with the likes of BMW and Audi.
9. Toyota GR Yaris
This fizzy little Toyota GR Yaris may look like a standard Yaris with a bodykit, but it’s so much more than that. The 1.6-litre turbocharged three-cylinder engine produces a serious 261hp, which combined with the fancy all-wheel-drive system makes it indecently quick.
It’s pretty unrefined on the motorway, and the rear seats and boot are tiny, but don’t let that distract you from ticking the options box marked ‘Circuit Pack’ which dials the action up to 11.
10. Volkswagen Up GTI
The Volkswagen Up is a small city car that feels far more grown up and refined than its diminutive proportions may at first suggest. The Up GTI gets a 113hp turbocharged engine that gives it the performance of a bigger car, too.
It will happily zip through traffic or around a winding road, feeling much like a miniature Golf GTI. It’s a lot more affordable too, just don’t try to squeeze any adults into the rear for more than a couple of miles at a time.
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