Driving can be a lot of fun, and it doesn’t have to be a stratospherically priced supercar. There are plenty of great affordable cars 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 car for your needs, we’ve selected 10 of the best cars to drive, from two-seater convertibles to feisty 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 GT
- Alfa Romeo Giulia
1. Alfa Romeo Guilia
The Alfa Romeo Giulia is a sporty sedan that offers a great driving experience thanks to its sharp chassis and rear-wheel drive layout. The suspension feels a little firm in the city and the interior technology is a little dated now, but few cars in its class are as enjoyable to drive at speed.
You can choose from a four-cylinder with 200 hp or 280 hp, or the mental Giulia Quadrifoglio with its 510 hp twin-turbo V6.
2. BMW 3 Series
The BMW 3 Series was the original sporty sedan and remains the benchmark when it comes to an engaging driving experience. You don’t have to pick the best M340i or M3 models either, as even the base 184hp 320i is fast 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 good fit.
3. Ford Fiesta ST
The Ford Fiesta is a great little hatchback that already feels sportier than most of the other alternatives. Choose the 200hp Fiesta ST and you get a well-equipped hot hatch that will keep you entertained whether you’re on a school trip or on a Saturday morning.
It can feel a little 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 minds would recommend the 2.3-liter four-cylinder model, but it’s hard to justify buying a car like this without going for the 5.0-liter V8 Mustang GT.
5. Hyundai i30 No
The Hyundai i30 N offers a superb driving experience, making it one of the best choices in its class. It produces 276 horsepower from its 2.0-litre turbo engine, is fast in a straight line and also very capable in the corners.
It can also be done with a six-speed manual transmission, which is a rare treat these days. It’s not the most refined hatchback out there, but that doesn’t matter when it’s fun to drive.
The Mazda MX-5 is a natural choice here, thanks to its rear-wheel drive layout, manual transmission option and enthusiastic naturally aspirated engines.
You’ll easily find a faster, more practical car for the money, but you’ll pay twice as much before you find something that’s easier to put a smile on your face. We would choose the 184 horsepower 2.0 liter paired with a manual transmission for the best results.
7. Porsche Cayman
The Porsche Cayman is a fantastic sports car, with the kind of delicate handling that only a mid-engine layout can provide. Base four-cylinder models are fast, but lack the great soundtrack of the more expensive six-cylinder cars. The new 493 hp GT4 RS is arguably the most complete sports car currently on sale.
The options list can drive up the base price massively, yet the Cayman remains one of the best driving cars at any price.
8. Tesla Model 3
Sheer ridiculous straight-line speed is the claim to fame for many Tesla models, and that continues to be the case for the Model 3. Feeling that instant power surge just never gets old. Beating supercars off the line is fun, but the Model 3 handles well too.
Choose the Model 3 Performance for best results, it comes standard with the Performance Upgrade which includes a handy Track Mode. It’s not cheap though, and the build quality still isn’t quite up to that of BMW and Audi.
9. Toyota GR Yaris
This bustling little Toyota GR Yaris may look like a standard Yaris with body kit, but it’s so much more than that. The turbocharged 1.6-litre three-cylinder engine produces a serious 261 hp, which, combined with the handsome four-wheel drive system, makes it indecently fast.
It’s pretty unrefined on the highway, and the backseat and boot space are small, but don’t let that distract you from checking the ‘Circuit Pack’ option box that dials the action up to 11.
10. Volkswagen Up GTI
The Volkswagen Up is a small city car that feels much more mature and refined than its small proportions suggest at first glance. The Up GTI gets a turbocharged 113 hp engine that also gives it the performance of a larger car.
It will enjoy speeding through traffic or on a winding road, just like a miniature Golf GTI. It’s also a lot more affordable, just don’t try to squeeze adults more than a few miles in the back at a time.
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