Driving a car is a lot of fun, especially if you choose the proper one. To enjoy the pleasure of driving, you don’t have to spend a fortune on a supercar or a sports car. Many budget-friendly and practical cars provide excellent performance, handling, and thrill.
Whether you want a small hatchback, a convertible, a saloon, or even an SUV, a car out there will meet your requirements and make you happy every time you step behind the wheel. Here are 15 of the most exciting vehicles to drive.
1. Mazda MX-5
The Mazda MX-5 is a classic choice for driving fun. It has a simple formula: a lightweight, rear-wheel-drive, two-seater convertible with a manual transmission and a peppy, naturally aspirated engine. The Mazda MX-5 is simple to drive, agile, and responsive. It’s also trustworthy, reasonably priced, and popular among lovers.
No matter which version you choose—the fabric-roofed or the RF (retractable fastback)—and whether you go with the 1.5-liter or 2.0-liter engine, the MX-5 will make you smile a lot per mile. Just stay away from the automatic gearbox.
2. Ford Fiesta ST
Ford Fiesta ST is a different breed of popular and practical compact hatchback. Its 200-hp turbocharged 1.5-litre engine, six-speed manual gearbox, and sporty suspension make it handle well. The Fiesta ST is fast, sporty, and entertaining, but its big interior, decent luggage, and good fuel economy make it a good daily vehicle. It’s one of the best hot hatches and affordable.
3. Hyundai i30 N
The Hyundai i30 N is a new hot hatch, but it’s already competitive. It includes a six-speed manual transmission, a 2.0-litre turbocharged engine with 276 hp, and a sophisticated electronic limited-slip differential for road traction. The i30 N has launch control, rev-matching, and a great-sounding variable exhaust system. Driving the i30 N is not only fun but can also be sophisticated and comfy.
4. Tesla Model 3
The Tesla Model 3 is exciting yet unique. The electric car boasts a futuristic look, a simple interior, and a big touchscreen that controls everything. It performs well due to its rapid torque, all-wheel drive, and low center of gravity. The Model 3 handles curves well and accelerates to 60 mph (96.56 kph) in 3.1 seconds. A big cabin, wide boot, and extended range make the Model 3 practical.
If that still doesn’t make you laugh, the Model 3’s software has a feature that lets you play whoopee cushion noises for each of the main seats in the cabin. Adorable, but refreshingly unorthodox from the traditional automakers in an era of corporate correctness.
5. Porsche Cayman
The Porsche Cayman is a mid-engined, rear-wheel-drive, two-seater sports car that offers pure driving pleasure. Elegant design, luxurious, aesthetically pleasing interior, and strong, refined engines. The Cayman’s handling, balance, and input make it one of the most enjoyable vehicles to drive. The Cayman is not cheap, but it is well worth the price if you want a car that will make you feel alive.
6. Alfa Romeo Giulia
The Alfa Romeo Giulia is a sporty saloon that combines Italian style, passion, and elegance. Its striking design, high-quality and spacious interior, and range of engines, including a 510 hp twin-turbo V6 in the Quadrifoglio, make it stand out. Due to its fast steering, dynamic chassis, and rear-wheel-drive arrangement, the Giulia is fun to drive. The Giulia is a unique automobile that will make you enjoy driving again.
7. BMW 3 Series
The original and best sporty saloon is the BMW 3 Series. It offers a sleek, stylish design, a luxurious interior, and a variety of efficient engines. Due to its accurate steering, rear-wheel-drive or all-wheel-drive options, and balanced handling, the 3 Series has great driving characteristics. The 3 Series can do everything and make you smile every time you drive it.
8. Ford Mustang
The Ford Mustang is a legendary muscle car with old-school fun and charm. It has a 2.3-litre four-cylinder or 5.0-litre V8, boasting a powerful, unique look and a large, nostalgic interior. The Mustang’s strong engine, loud exhaust, and rear-wheel-drive antics make it entertaining but not sophisticated.
For the complete drophead experience, you can even get it as a Ford Mustang Convertible, which will let you enjoy that deliciously sinful V8 motor to the fullest. The Mustang makes you feel bold and grabs attention.
9. Toyota GR Yaris
The Toyota GR Yaris is a special car that was born from Toyota’s involvement in the World Rally Championship. Its rally-inspired interior, dynamic look, and 261 horsepower 1.6-litre turbocharged engine make it stand out. The GR Yaris has a six-speed manual gearbox, advanced all-wheel-drive, and a lightweight body that makes it fly on the road.
The GR Yaris was developed as part of a Toyota endeavor to compete at the highest level of rallying, and it goes to all four wheels. That explains why it has such an aggressive, bulging appearance and why driving one is such an amazing experience.
10. Volkswagen Up GTI
The Volkswagen Up GTI is a small car with a powerful punch. Its 115-hp 1.0-litre turbocharged engine, adorable and cheeky look, and basic and functional interior make it appealing. The Up GTI is light, agile, and sensitive, making it exciting to drive on twisty roads. The Up GTI will make you feel like a youngster again and adore driving.
11. BMW 320d
This fast saloon has a wonderful driving experience because of its rear-wheel-drive architecture, precision steering, and balanced handling. Even the entry-level 320i with 184 horsepower is fast and handles well, so there’s no need for the top-tier M340i or M3.
12. Mini Cooper S
This small and stylish hatchback has a lot of uniqueness and charm. Its 192 horsepower comes from a 2.0-liter turbocharged engine. Responsiveness and agility are enhanced by a sporty suspension and either a six-speed manual or automatic gearbox. A wide variety of colors, options, and accessories are available for the Cooper S, making it highly customized as well.
13. Subaru WRX
This rally-inspired saloon provides a thrilling driving experience thanks to its turbocharged 2.5-litre engine with 268 horsepower, symmetrical all-wheel drive system with exceptional traction, and crisp steering and handling. The WRX is a great all-arounder thanks to its roomy interior, big trunk, and stellar reputation for reliability.
14. Honda Civic Type R
This hot hatchback provides a thrilling driving experience thanks to its 2.0-litre turbocharged engine with 320 hp, six-speed manual transmission with rev-matching, and adaptive suspension. The Civic Type R has a dramatic and aggressive look, a sporty and spacious interior, and a big rear wing that adds downforce.
15. Audi TT
This stylish and sophisticated coupe provides a refined and pleasant driving experience. It is available in the TT RS edition with a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine with 245 hp, or a 2.5-liter turbocharged five-cylinder engine with 400 hp. In addition to its high-quality and technologically-rich cabin, the TT’s Quattro all-wheel-drive technology improves its stability and grip.
These are some of the most exciting cars to drive in 2023. They offer a variety of styles, features, and performance levels, but they all have one thing in common: they make driving fun. Whether you prefer a convertible, a hatchback, a saloon, or an SUV, there is a car for you on this list.