10 of the Most Fun Cars to Drive

Your car isn't just about numbers and specs, it's about how it makes you feel. How you feel when you walk up to it, when you get behind the wheel and mostly, how you feel when you drive it. It doesn't need to have the biggest engine or fastest acceleration, but it should put a smile on your face, and that's what this list is all about: fun cars that remind you of the joy of driving.

Blue MiniCooper S

1. MINI Cooper S

The MINI Cooper S is hands-down one of the most fun cars to drive and has been for some time. The first BMW MINI handled like a go-kart with a low centre of gravity, small chassis and responsive steering, and while it’s grown up a bit in the past two decades, it’s still sprightly, nimble and great fun to throw around country roads. It feels balanced and stable but with enough of an edge to keep you pushing it further. It also doesn’t hurt that Minis are an integral part of one of the best British movies of all time – that’s pretty fun if you ask us.

Red Volkswagen Up

2. Volkswagen Up! GTI

Volkswagen and GTI are bywords for hot-hatch fun, but it’s a more recent thing that you’d find the word Up sandwiched in between. Never fear though, the Volkswagen Up! GTI is definitely ‘up’ to the job of carrying on the tradition. It maintains its cute-yet-stylish city car looks while getting a healthy dose of sporty styling to match the improved handling and grunt from the engine. Despite being narrow and tall, the exact opposite of sports car dimensions, it always feels perky and is surprisingly composed.

Red Hyundai i30 N

3. Hyundai i30 N

Hyundai’s i30 N is the manufacturer’s first foray into the hot-hatch arena, and though it may be late to the party, it is definitely not lagging behind the competition. Yes, it feels a little more raw, a little less refined than some of the more experienced manufacturers, but that’s a large part of why it’s one of the most fun cars to drive. It can get jittery and bumpy at times so it needs all your focus, but it rewards you by doing exactly what you ask of it. The straight-up specs aren’t as impressive as rival hot hatches when it comes to raw power, but it’s 2.0-litre turbocharged engine offers more than enough in the way of thrills. If you’re looking at the original launch models, those with the Performance Pack added have some sporty upgrades added, while the newer models from 2021 are yet sportier still.

blue mazda 2

4. Mazda 2

The Mazda 2 is a supermini that’s a pleasure to drive thanks to agile handling and good levels of grip. Adding to this are naturally-aspirated petrol engines (Mazda’s preference to the more commonplace turbocharged units) that need to be driven hard but deliver solid performance, helped by a perfectly-weighted manual gearbox. To be clear, this isn’t a sporty hot hatch but it’s still a seriously fun car to drive, simply because it feels perfectly balanced. Plus, if you’re looking for a perfect blend between fun and practicality, this could be the model for you – the Mazda 2 comes loaded with handy features and efficient mild-hybrid technology.

Red Fiat Panda

5. Fiat Panda

The Fiat Panda is a small runabout with cutesy looks and a surprising amount of practicality and space. Its fun, curvy design would feel right at home nipping through traffic and whizzing into the narrowest of parking spaces in Milan (or wherever you are). A soft suspension soaks up the bumps and City Mode lightens the steering an impressive amount, which adds up to an excitingly responsive drive. The Panda feels agile and grippy around winding roads, though you can feel its height if you push too hard through a bend. Unlike the Mazda 2, this one isn’t generous with its feature list. But if your focus is purely on finding a fun car to drive, nothing more, then the Panda’s worth a look.

White Citroen DS3

6. DS3

First the Citroen DS3 and then just the DS3 (after the DS brand was split from Citroen), the 2010-2019 model is an undeniably stylish supermini, whatever badge is on the front. It was highly customisable, just like the Mini Hatch, which has led to some pretty funky looks on the used market. The drive is as appealing as the styling, with responsive steering, agile handling and slick gear changes – plus there’s a Performance model with hot-hatch levels of acceleration. If a fun car means a fast car for you, check that one out.

Red Renault Twingo

7. Renault Twingo

Want a rear-wheel drive, rear-engined car but can’t afford to splash out on a Porsche? If you need to buzz around city streets, the Renault Twingo may just be the thing. The turbocharged engine has enough pep and torque to bring joy to your commute, especially when coupled with nimble handling. A tight turning circle makes manoeuvring simple, and it looks gorgeous too – we challenge you to look at it and not be won over. Fun isn’t always about speed-seeking thrills. It can be just as much about gliding round corners and nipping through tighter streets with ease, and the Twingo gets that.

White Fiat 500

8. Fiat 500

One of the most appealing things about the Fiat 500 is its cute, retro looks and high levels of customisation. Sprightly handling and lively engines make it fun to drive around town, though it’s not quite as at home on the open road compared to some on this list. For a sportier feel, the handling is cranked up a few notches on the sporty Abarth 595 version, not to mention an engine capable of a very impressive turn of pace. The Competizione edition also has a crackling, burbling sports exhaust to announce the car’s capabilities.

Blue Suzuki Ignis

9. Suzuki Ignis

The Suzuki Ignis is a small car that resembles a very sweet, shrunken SUV and even has the option of all-wheel drive for extra sure-footedness. Its engine feels punchy and excitable, and it’s manoeuvrable too, helped by clever steering that automatically lightens up at lower speeds and gets firmer as you go faster. Unlike some competitors, the Ignis also feels refined on motorways, and you can even spec cruise control for added comfort. It’s a left-field choice that’s well worth a look, being one of the best allrounders on this list.

Red Suzuki Swift

10. Suzuki Swift

We’ll round out our list with another fun option from the Japanese brand. The Swift had been around for a while but in 2010, Suzuki got with the supermini programme and gave it rounded, cute-but-stylish looks and a ton of customisation options. There’s clearly been a shift to a stronger focus on driving thrills too, because whichever one you choose it’ll be incredibly fun to drive. The Swift feels tightly controlled and as pacy as its moniker would suggest, with revvy engines that beg you to push them harder – and that’s without even having to stump up for the Sport version.

Grin-inducing driving thrills don’t have to cost the earth, and they can even come with low running costs, comfort and practicality. Why not check out one of our top ten in the listings and see what takes your fancy?

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