If you’re looking for a car that’s guaranteed to put a smile on your face, we’ve got 10 great suggestions
You often hear motoring journalists talk about driver’s cars, but what exactly does that mean? While there are many opinions about it, this term essentially refers to a car that is fun to drive.
Think of something that will bring a smile to your face because of the way it rides on a challenging stretch of road. That’s a driver’s car. It doesn’t have to be insanely fast, or be able to corner at crazy speeds, but it does have to be entertaining.
If you want that smile but aren’t sure which car will do it for you, check out our picks of the best driver’s cars for 2022 below.
Here’s our pick of the 10 best driver cars:
- Alfa Romeo Giulia
- Alpine A110
- BMW M3
- Ford Fiesta ST
- Jaguar F-Type
- Hyundai i30 No
- Mazda MX-5
- MINI Cooper
- Kia EV6
- Toyota Supra
1. Alfa Romeo Giulia
Engine: 2.0 liter turbo inline four
Current: 200-280 hp
0-60mph: 5.7 – 6.6 seconds
There are plenty of sporty sedans out there, but the Alfa Romeo Giulia remains one of the best if you enjoy blowing the cobwebs between meetings. It doesn’t have the best interior tech or smoothest ride around town, but if you’re in the mood, even the 200-horsepower Giulia is a hoot to drive fast. It’s also still a great family-friendly daily driver, and those looks make most alternatives look rather mundane. For those who want even more performance, the Giulia Quadrifoglio with 510 hp is really special.
2. Alpine A110
Engine: 1.8 liter turbo inline four
Current: 252-300 hp
0-60mph: 4.2 – 4.5 seconds
If you’re serious about driving, the Alpine A110 should definitely be on your shortlist. It looks sensational and feels smooth and composed both in the city and when trying to qualify for pole position on the way to the shops. (Something we don’t recommend by the way). You should keep your shopping to the absolute minimum, as the luggage space is small and the poor visibility can hinder your parking maneuvers.
3. BMW M3
Engine: 3.0-liter twin-turbo inline-six
Current: 510 hp
0-60mph: 3.5 – 3.9 seconds
The latest BMW M3 is one of the most talented sports saloons ever. It’s super fast yet offers all the refinements of a regular 3 Series. With optional (and switchable) four-wheel drive and the ability to cruise comfortably at the touch of a button, the M3 is a great all-rounder. Just wait for the estate version to arrive.
4. Ford Fiesta ST
Engine: 1.5-liter turbo inline-four
Current: 200 hp
0-60mph: 6.5 seconds
Whether you’re looking at a family hatchback or an SUV, Fords tend to offer a sportier ride than most. This is especially true of the feisty little Ford Fiesta. If your budget is tight, the little Fiesta ST is a lot of fun to drive while keeping running costs reasonable. The trim levels are also generous, although you pay for all that dynamic power with a slightly harsh ride over bumps.
5. Jaguar F-type
Engine: 2.0-litre turbo inline-four/5.0-litre supercharged V8
Current: 300hp -575hp
0-60mph: 3.7 – 5.7 seconds
The Jaguar F-Type may not be the last word in dynamic power, but it’s still great to drive, and its looks and sound (especially the V8s) will just have you driving for hell. We’d pick the mid-range 450bhp V8, it’s more than fast enough and feels solid on the road if you opt for four-wheel drive. It’s also very happy to cruise at more sedate speeds, with a ride that’s softer than most.
6. Hyundai i30 No
Engine: 2.0 liter turbo inline four
Current: 280 hp
0-60mph: 5.4 – 5.9 seconds
The battle for hot hatch supremacy has been raging for decades, and while the Hyundai i30 N may not be the last word in sophistication, it certainly makes up for it with an excellent driving experience. Not only is it one of the fastest in its class, but it also handles excellent cornering. The fact that you can also have it with a manual transmission is just the icing on the cake.
7. Mazda MX-5
Engine: 1.5 liter inline four/2.0 liter inline four
Current: 132 – 184 hp
0-60mph: 6.5 – 8.3 seconds
Yep, here it is, the evergreen driver’s car that’s on every list. The Mazda MX-5 is always a firm favorite thanks to the perfect recipe of rear-wheel drive, manual transmission, powerful naturally aspirated engine and lightweight body. It’s not the fastest, or even all that luxurious, but few cars – at any price – can give you this much driving pleasure, whether you’re hitting the shops or going down a mountain pass.
8. Mini hatch
Engine: 1.5-litre turbo-inline-three/2.0-litre turbo-inline-four
Current: 136 hp – 231 hp
0-60mph: 6.1 – 8.1 seconds
The compact Mini Hatch is a great choice if you spend most of your time in the city, but still want to have some fun behind the wheel when hitting the open road. It blasts through traffic with ease and the sportiest John Cooper Works models are also very fast. There are roomier alternatives, but few are as fun to drive, and none offer as much personalization as the Mini.
9. Kia EV6
Battery/motor: 77.4 kWh battery and single or twin electric motors: 3.0-litre twin-turbo flat-six
Current: 229 – 585 hp
0-62mph: 7.3 – 3.5 seconds
The Kia EV6 is one of the best driving electric cars this side of a Porsche Taycan. The standard model is rear-wheel drive and has 229 horsepower, but you can upgrade to the 325 horsepower four-wheel drive version with twin engine, or wait a bit and get the 585 horsepower GT model, which offers supercar performance.
10. Toyota Supra
Engine: 2.0-litre inline-four/3.0-litre in-line six
0-60mph: 5.2 – 4.3 seconds
A great looking sports car in traditional Grand Tourer mode, the Toyota Supra can come with a 2.0-litre or 3.0-litre engine, while there is also the option of a manual or automatic gearbox. We recommend the bigger engine and automatic gearbox to get the most out of the Supra’s nature, but whichever model you choose, you’ll get one of the most striking cars on the market today, while we love it so much that it drives so much that we named it our Driver’s Car of the Year in our 2019 awards.
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