Driver Verdicts Driving enjoyment rated
Cars are meant to take us from A to B, but if they can offer a bit of fun as well, so much the better. But which cars offer the most fun, according to the people who actually drive them?
Best 5 cars for driving enjoyment
Porsche Boxster: drivers' favourite
Porsche Boxster (2004-2012)
Driver rating 99.6%
You say: I have just bought my fifth Boxster - a truly fantastic car and the only sports car that is truly usable for all purposes.
We say: This is one of the finest-handling cars on sale, full stop, regardless of cost. The optional ceramic brakes on the Boxster S we tested stopped the car from 62mph in a sensationally short 30.7m.
Honda S2000 (1999-2009)
Driver rating 99.4%
You say: Accelerating hard and fast gives the audio effects of a rocket going off! Fantastic to drive, whether in the countryside or on the motorway.
We say: The S2000 is pretty much everything a sports car should be. Like most lightweight rear-wheel drive cars, the rear end can step out while cornering, so find an S2000 fitted with optional electronic stability control, which curbs this tendency.
Mazda MX-5 (1998-2005)
Driver rating 99.0%
You say: Not super-fast, but wonderfully responsive. I often find myself going the long way round, just so I can drive for longer.
We say: A slice of motoring heaven. Choose the 1.8-litre MX-5, though: it has the power to match its chassis, whereas the 1.6 feels underpowered.
Mazda RX-8 (2003-2010)
Driver rating 98.7%
You say: I love everything about the RX-8, especially its stunning performance and handling. Driving 'Dad's Taxi' is now fun and not a chore!
We say: The RX-8 is surprisingly comfortable for a sporty coupé. Just watch its reliability - owners gave it only two stars for dependability in our survey.
Jaguar XK (2006-)
Driver rating 98.6%
You say: As long as you never need travel with more than two people, it's much easier to live with than you'd think.
We say: Few rivals can match the high-class, long-journey comfort of the XK. The XKR coupé we tested was tail-happy, though: in our obstacle avoidance manoeuvre, it proved surprisingly wayward.
Worst 5 cars for driving enjoyment
Fiat Punto: drivers' dud
Nissan Almera (2000-2007)
Driver rating 68.8%
You say: Other drivers expect me to take off into traffic and I don't because the lack of acceleration makes it unsafe to do so.
We say: The Almera doesn’t always feel reassuring to drive. When cornering on slippery surfaces, the wheels can skid, and on poor road surfaces it constantly fidgets around.
Vauxhall Corsa (1993-2000)
Driver rating 68.8%
You say: The steering is too stiff, the pedals are too close together and the engine doesn't have much guts. It's OK around town but hard work on long journeys.
We say: Even in its day it wasn't great to drive, but it is now well and truly over the hill.
Citroën Xsara (1997-2004)
Driver rating 68.4%
You say: We have a strong affection for it, but purely on financial grounds - not for style or performance.
We say: The speed-sensitive power steering system fitted to post-2000 Xsaras makes it less floaty to steer, although it's still no sharp tool.
Hyundai Getz (2000-2009)
Driver rating 67.8%
You say: The mechanics feel cheaply built and flimsy, and it's very expensive to replace parts.
We say: With a 0-60mph time of 16 seconds, the 1.1-litre Getz is one of the slowest cars we’ve ever tested.
Fiat Punto (1999-2006)
Driver rating 67.6%
You say: Although my car was fitted with a Sports package, it's very basic - there are no controls for the stereo on the steering wheel and no Bluetooth capability.
We say: The 1.2 Punto we tested in 2003 took a massive 46.2m to brake to a halt from 62mph - more modern cars have much better brakes.