There is no metric that can tell if a car is fun to drive or not. The 228hp Toyota GR 86 is far more fun to drive than a Toyota Tundra with twice the power. It’s more about how a car handles and feels than how powerful or fast it is.
In this list, we will look into twenty of the most fun-to-drive cars from all eras. We will also be counting down their twenty counterparts – that are boring and totally not fun to drive.
Most Fun – Jaguar XJ
Let’s start the list with this British masterpiece of automotive engineering and art. If looks are the standard of a car being fun, this full-sized luxury sedan has already won the competition. However, it does balance form and function very well.
The beating heart of the XJ is a 470hp 5.0L 64 valve supercharged V8. This machine can do 0-60 in 4.2 seconds and is extremely fun to drive, thanks to the rear-wheel-drive configuration and a very well-balanced chassis.
Least Fun – Nissan Altima
The Altima is Nissan’s mid-size sedan with pretty impressive stats, on the paper. It comes with a 4-cylinder motor that delivers 248hp and has an “Intelligent” AWD system. The 3,300lb curb weight of the car isn’t too much either.
However, the trouble starts when you want to get some fun out of driving this car. Designed to be comfortable, the Altima has a steering wheel with no feedback of the road, a suspension too soft for performance driving, and the AWD system kicks in on its own. While that does make the car safer and more stable, but not fun to slide through the turns.
Most Fun – Toyota GR Supra
This one does not even need an introduction. Yes, it is based on the BMW Z4 but if it were not for the German-Japanese collaboration, we’d never have the Mark 5 Supra. What we have now is a car with the same inline-6 as the Supra always had.
This Gazoo Racing tuned Supra puts out 382hp, thanks to the turbocharger and intercooler strapped to the engine. The 0-60 time of 3.9 seconds rivals many supercars and it handles, well like a SUPRA.
Least Fun – Hyundai Sonata
It’s slow, does not have sharp handling, and the 8-speed transmission is smooth but not exciting. The Sonata is powered by a 1.6L turbocharged gas engine that struggles to hit 60mph in 7.5 seconds.
Other than that, the overall feel of driving this car, according to the folks at Car and Driver, is not even as exciting as the Accord or the Camry. The upcoming N Line with its 290hp engine might be fun to drive but the recent model is not at all.
Most Fun – Ford Mustang Shelby GT500
The Mustang was made to be a fun-to-drive car and it has lived up to that reputation over all the years of its production. Take any Mustang of the current era and it will not disappoint but the Shelby GT500 is where the fun happens.
This baby is powered by a 5.2L Cross-Plane V8 that produces 760 horses and rockets this thing to 60mph in 3.3 seconds. Needless to say, Ford knows how to make a car fun to drive and they have really done a very fine job designing this one.
Least Fun – Mitsubishi Mirage
The 1.2L 76hp engine in the Mirage makes it pretty sluggish and boring to drive. Don’t get confused by the name matching with the Mirage fighter jet, it is nothing as fast or exciting as that one.
However, it is still a very affordable car at a starting point of under $15,000. It also has a 36MPG combined fuel consumption, making it not only affordable to purchase but also affordable to drive every day.
Most Fun – Mazda Miata
If “Great things come in small packages” has any truth to it, the Miata, aka Mazda Roadster, is a personification of that. For starters, how many cars can you recall with the word ROADSTER in the name and a window sticker reading under $30,000?
This cute little Roadster is powered by a 181hp 4-cylinder motor that, unlike most cars with such a price tag, powers the rear wheels. The only thing not good about this car is the lack of an LSD (limited-slip differential). Other than that, this is one of the most fun-to-drive cars that don’t require you to rob a bank or sell family property.
Least Fun – Honda CR-V
The CR-V is a favorite of large families across the US. While moms love this car for driving kids to and from soccer practice, there is nothing exciting or fun about this car, in any way.
The 190hp engine that powers this family hauler might sound like a powerful engine but it struggles to move the 3,400lb non-aerodynamic vehicle with any manner of agility. Add to that the CVT and electric power steering and you have yourself a vehicle that is comfortable and easy to drive but not fun.
Most Fun – Dodge Demon
It comes with drag slicks from the factory, does a wheelie in the stock condition, has an 840hp V8, and compels you to floor the gas at every stoplight, what else do you need from a car?
This car is made for one thing and that is being fast in a straight line and it does that pretty well. The guys over at Throttle House put it against the Shelby Super Snake and it came victorious in any test there was. The only trouble, it costs $100k and is produced in limited numbers.
Least Fun – VW Passat
Volkswagen literally translates to ‘people’s car’ and the general public does not want their cars to be fun to drive. They want them to be comfortable, reliable, and affordable. The Passat is every one of those things.
However, the 174 hp engine under the hood of this car powers the front wheels and is not very good at moving the car in any fun-to-drive way. The six-speed automatic transmission in this thing is primitive and gear shifts make no particular improvement in the acceleration of the car.
Most Fun – Dodge Viper
This machine is as insane as it can get. It does not rely on a supercharger or a large turbo for power. It’s just pure good old displacement that makes this thing powerful, 8.4 liters of it to be exact.
The 625 horses are always just the push of a foot away and there’s nothing like turbo lag or parasitic losses from the supercharger. This vehicle is fun to drive to the point where it gets scary and even dangerous if you think of anything else when you are behind the wheel.
Least Fun – Toyota Prius
It is the best-selling hybrid, it is a revolutionary car, and it delivers the best MPG of any car on the American cars right now, but it is boring, vanilla, and absolutely not fun to drive.
That, however, does not mean that the Prius is not a good car, by any means. This is a great family car that never disappoints and seldom breaks down. But behind the wheel of this eco-friendly Japanese machine, you just feel 10 years older for some strange reason.
Most Fun – Porsche Boxster
While most other manufacturers try to make cars insanely powerful to make them fun to drive, Porsche has another approach. Porsches are known for precision and balance. The Boxster comes with a 3.4L 375hp engine, nothing very powerful.
What makes this car exciting is the 6-speed manual transmission and the near-perfect weight distribution. While the Demon or Mustang can accelerate fast in a straight line, this Porsche is made for sustained speeds around corners and excellent handling.
Least Fun – Toyota Camry
The dream car of every family man, the Camry is a great vehicle for peaceful and comfortable driving, but not a car that you can have fun with. Even though you can get up to a 301hp V6 in this car, it is not made to be fun to drive.
The chief reason for that is the sheer weight of this 3,500lb car. Next, the suspension is made to be comfortable and smooth and we all know comfortable suspensions are not the best for handling.
Most Fun – Porsche Panamera
If you want a car that is extremely powerful and extremely good at handling, the all-wheel-drive 620hp V8 Porsche is what you are looking for. This German marvel of automotive engineering is an example of what happens when power meets precision.
This car does 0-60 in a mere 3 seconds but that’s just the start of it. It can sustain up to 1.7 Gs on corners and handles like a dream. The 8-speed automatic transmission is also one of the world’s fastest, adding to the driving experience.
Least Fun – Honda Accord
The Accord is a very good car to have if you want to have it to get from point A to Point B uneventfully. If, however, you want some fun from your car, this is definitely not the one you are looking for.
Even though the engine produces 198hp and this car can be equipped with a 6-speed manual gearbox, the car still remains a family hauler and not a tarmac shredder by any means. With the 3,428 lbs weighing the humble 1.5L turbocharged motor down, it can only do 0-60 in 6 long seconds and the front-wheel-drive configuration can only let you have so much fun.
Most Fun – Mini Cooper S
If your definition of a fun-to-drive car includes a steering wheel that gives rich feedback, the Mini Cooper S is what you need to have. The engine in this car is a moderate 189hp supercharged motor, delivering a rather leisurely control.
What makes this car fun to drive is the suspension, handling, and the feel of the steering. Other than being an enjoyable ride, the supercharged Cooper is a pretty practical car too.
Least Fun – Toyota Corolla
This car is proof of the fact that in order for a car to be a sales success it does not need to be fun to drive. It just needs to be reliable, durable, and practical. This best-selling car of all time is all that, but not fun-to-drive at all.
The reason? Well, it was never meant to be a fun-to-drive car, period. If you want facts, the most powerful engine on this car is a 169hp motor. If you think that’s enough power, this grocery hauler weighs 3,000lbs. Still not satisfied? Well, the link between that insanely powerful motor and the FRONT wheels is a CVT. Unless you are okay with a car having no gear shift feel and non-existent acceleration, this car is anything but fun to drive.
Most Fun – BMW 135i Cabriolet
Made between 2007 and 2013, the BMW 135i is a fun-to-drive car for a number of reasons. The first one is the fact that you can roll the roof down when the weather is favorable and enjoy the ride.
Other than that, this 3,000lb car has a 302hp engine that powers the rear wheels through a 6-speed automatic transmission and a limited-slip differential. What else do you need from a car to be fun on a track? If you do want something, this 6-cylinder motor can be bumped up to 700hp with turbochargers and stronger internals.
Least Fun – Volvo S80
This Swedish mid-size luxury sedan was never meant to be a fun-to-drive car. If it were, they’d not have made it front-wheel-drive with a 240hp engine and boring looks.
Add to that the 3,800lb weight of this steel car and you have the perfect recipe for a boring car. Even though viewed as a reliable and comfortable family car, this car will just disappoint you in all the ways possible, if you want to have fun.
Most Fun – BMW 328i
On paper, there is nothing particularly special about this average German 240hp sedan. But if you want a car that has a convertible hardtop and all the bits and pieces of luxury found on the German cars, this is the one to have.
Unlike the modern cars that have electric steering, this one has a hydraulic one that gives the real-time feedback of the road that you are driving on. You also get RWD and a limited-slip differential which make this car a good drifter.
Least Fun – Scion iQ
This car does not lack power if that’s what you are thinking. It does have a small 94hp I4 gas motor but that’s enough for the small size of this car. However, where it does lack is the wheelbase.
Due to the car being so small, you cannot extract any fun out of it. Try to push it too hard into a corner and it’ll go rolling like a soccer ball. It is an economic car for city commute though.
Most Fun – Nissan Juke
Not a particularly fun-to-drive car, but the Juke is a good point of compromise between fun, practicality, and economy. The 0-60 time of seven seconds might not sound very great, but it is good for a car of this class.
If you want to take this car on twisty roads, the AWD version is the one that will give you the most fun. Even though it is a crossover with a considerably high center of gravity, the handling is excellent and it stays glued to the ground.
Least Fun – Toyota 4Runner
This, again, is a popular and pretty loved car but people don’t love cars for being fun to drive. It is made to get the job done and it does that, without any fun.
The chief reason for that is the 270hp V6 motor powering this hulk of a truck. The 278lb-ft torque sounds enough but that is only available at 4,400rpm, making this SUV sluggish at low speeds. You can still take it off-road and it will not get stuck (for the most part) but do not expect something like the Land Cruiser or G-Wagon from it.
Most Fun -Toyota GR Yaris
Even though this tiny hatch has a small 1.6-liter three-cylinder engine, Toyota GR Yaris does have all that it takes to make a car fun-to-drive.
With 261hp at the crank and a curb weight of well below 3,000lb, the GR Yaris performs quite well. The car has a well-tuned AWD system and there are three driving modes that let the driver select how much torque goes to the front and rear wheels according to the driving circumstances they are facing.
Least Fun – Jeep Compass
Looking at this SUV, you might expect it to have at least a V6 under the hood but no. It only has a tiny 2.4L I4 that struggles to produce 180hp on a good day. What else do you want to believe that there’s no fun driving a Compass?
If you do want more evidence, the 0-60 time of this 3,300lb car is 10.3 seconds and there’s nothing like nimble handling or agility associated with this thing.
Most Fun – Toyota 86
This is easily the most fun-to-drive car under the $30,000 price tag in the entire world. Based on the Subaru BRZ, the 86 has recently got a GR tune-up that gives it 228hp and 184lb-ft of torque.
The fact that the max torque is available at as low as 3000 rpm and that the engine does not rely on a turbocharger to hit those numbers, makes this car rival the ones many times its price. On top of that, you have one of the most perfectly tuned chassis of any car and a limited-slip differential, what else do you need to make a car fun to drive?
Least Fun – Nissan Versa
Want a car for family mobility in the town? Versa is a good option. However, if you want one that is fun to drive, the Versa is not an option. The I4 in this car produces a small 122hp and on top of that, it has the infamous CVT.
The fuel economy is pretty impressive at 40MPG and the car is reasonably comfortable for daily commute. If you want to get any manner of performance or need a car that is exciting, this is not that.
Most Fun – Corvette C8
The corvette has always had a soft spot in car lovers’ hearts since it debuted in 1953. The only area this car always lacked in was the weight distribution. That problem was solved by Chevy in the eighth generation by placing the engine behind the driver.
The C8 Corvette has a 6.2L V8 that produces 495hp, a perfect weight distribution, an eight-speed dual-clutch transmission, and a removable hardtop. That has made it one of the most exciting cars to be behind the wheel of.
Least Fun – Smart ForTwo
Just look at those tires! Even motorcycles have wider tires than those. What can you expect from something riding on those tiny pieces of rubber? In addition to that, this car has a little 799cc motor that produces just 89hp.
As you can see the wheelbase here is also not something you can be proud of so going fast into the turns is also not an option. Talking of speed in a straight line, this car can only do 60mph in 10.3 seconds so there’s nothing fun about the Fortwo.
Most Fun – Acura NSX
While people thought Honda could do nothing better than making Civics and Accords, they made the NSX in 1990 to prove how good they were at making cars. It rivaled the Ferraris of its time for one-third the price.
The latest NSX is no different. It has a chassis designed based on the input from F1 drivers, one of the most sophisticated hybrid drivetrains of any car, and pretty impressive performance stats. We’re talking 2.9seconds for 0-60 and a top speed of 191mph.
Least Fun – BMW 750Li
This car is quick. To be precise, 3.9 seconds 0-60 quick with a 4.4L V8 pumping out 445hp. It is also powerful – but none of that makes it fun to drive. The chief reason for that is the sheer size of this thing.
This car is 5.3 meters long and just under 2 meters wide. The inside does rival that of a private jet and it’s as comfortable as any vehicle other than Bentley or Rolls Royce can get but since it is intended to be chauffer-driven, BMW omitted the fun-to-drive part from it.
Most Fun – Nissan GT-R
If the NSX is proof of how precision and advanced engineering can make a car perform, the GT-R shows how nothing can beat raw power. It does not use any fancy electronics or hybrid motors.
Just a 3.5L V6 with two turbochargers that puts out 562hp. The result? A car that does 0-60 in 2.9 seconds and can hit 205mph. The real fun in driving this car is the crude feedback of the road that the steering and suspension bring to the driver.
Least Fun – Chevrolet Camaro
While the Japanese are making V6 cars that zip through the 60mph mark in 2.9 seconds, the Camaro and its humble 335hp V6 only manage to do that in 5.2 seconds, and that is just the start of the story.
The weight distribution is far from ideal and the handling of this car is nothing like any sporty 2-seater. Not saying that it is a bad car but the latest Camaros fail to live up to the reputation of this name.
Most Fun – Toyota Land Cruiser
If you were to go on a road trip across the world, the best vehicle you could take would be the Land Cruiser. Yes, it is not a car you’d like to push through turns or race on the road, but it is fun to drive in its own way.
When you leave the paved roads, that’s where the fun part of owning and driving a Land Cruiser actually starts. There can hardly be any place on the earth where this vehicle cannot take you.
Least Fun – BMW Z4
The Z4 is a great car in itself but since Toyota made the Supra based on it and showed the real potential it has, the Z4 has fallen out of favor. Even though it has a powerful engine, it lacks in other areas.
The most significant shortcoming of this car is the lack of chassis reinforcement. It does have the power but the body is not able to handle all that torque and the result is a car that could be fun to drive but is not.
Most Fun – Mercedes G-Class
It has the aerodynamics of a kitchen freezer and weighs as much as an apartment building but still is one of the most fun to drive cars. The first thing that makes this car great is the three locking differentials, one in each axle and one in the transfer case.
It comes with a 4.0L twin-turbocharged V8 that produces 577hp. You can accelerate this car from 0-60 in 4.4 seconds which, in itself, is a fun to do thing considering the size, weight, and shape of this thing.
Least Fun: Porsche 914
Even though most Porsche models get a lot of praise, that’s not the case with this one. The 914, designed in 1969 is the worst a Porsche can get. This vehicle shows how a car can have a mid-mounted engine, a Targa top and still not be fun.
The engine provides just 100hp and even though this car is quick in the turns, it cannot accelerate at any respectable rate in a straight line.
Most Fun – Audi A6
Luxury cars are often not fun to drive but that’s not the case with the A6. Offered with a V6 motor that pumps out 335hp, the A6 packs quite a bit of muscle. The engine powers all four wheels through a seven-speed automatic transmission.
While the respectable 4.8 seconds 0-60 time of this car makes it fun in a straight line, Audi’s Quattro AWD system makes sure that you can take it through twists and turns at any speed without having to think twice!
Least Fun – Acura ILX
Acura is supposed to be a performance cars company but the ILX is not a performance car by any means. It has a 201hp engine, which can only manage to hit 60mph in 6.2 seconds.
The car is also the only Acura model to not offer an AWD powertrain. The FWD configuration of this car and the outdated transmission mean you can totally have a comfortable ride in it, but fun is not something you can ask from this car.