Car Advice

Friday Top 5: Reasons why a car is fun to drive

Owning a car for some people is about getting from A to B… but there’s more to a car than just that. Here are five reasons why a car is fun to drive.

SOME ASPECTS OF A car are easy to define. Top speed, the 0-100 time, fuel efficiency and towing capacity are all reasonably well objective and measurable. But what about “good looking”, “modern” or the favourite, “fun to drive”? Some people may be content to just say they’ll know it when they see it, but I like to try and quantify the abstract. So, here’s a crack at defining automotive enjoyment:

  1. Responsiveness – the car has to respond instantly to command. Ever used a laggy computer? No fun at all, just frustration. If the response isn’t close to instant, there can be no fun.
  2. Challenge – this is perhaps a bit contentious, but for me and may others a large part of fun is the satsifying thrill of mastering a challenge. That is, after all, the basis of all games. Cars are the same, which is one reason manual gearboxes are still popular. 
  3. Soundtrack – the car has to sound cool, maybe not the sheer body-trembling roar of a Ferrari, but at least something you enjoy. 
  4. Cool interior – you spend most of your time around a car inside it, so you have the love the interior. Got to be pleasing to your eye. Sports cars often manage this with a cockpit design.
  5. Cool gadgets – little love-it things that never get old. That might be a little blip on downshift, the way the car picks up in third gear from low revs, a super-tight turning circle, or an amazing infotainment unit that seems to read your mind.  Whatever floats your boat.
AMG A45 and Suzuki Swift Sport
The AMG delivers its fun thanks to power, sound and ambience, and the Swift via manual involvement.

I reckon that sums it up, but with one caveat – no spoilers. Just like your partner, there can be no dealbreakers. You might love everything about a person but cannot abide their smoking, or their politics, and it’s the same with cars. It only takes a something tiny to ruin the love, like the tail light design, a notchy gearchange, a noisy airconditioner or an ugly steering wheel. Before a car can be fun to drive, it first has to not irritate.

Land Rover Defender TD5
Not a sports car, no. But it is most certainly fun to drive by any criteria, including the five above.

So that’s my top five. What’s yours?


Subscribe
Notify of
guest
8 Comments
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Monty
Monty
3 years ago

I would love the registration and insurance regulations to change so that I could drive two cars, err, not at the same time. I loved the small manual I drove recently but it is just not practical for day to day driving. It would be nice to have both. Fun? Zippy, yes, good gearshift, good handling and not too noisy inside the car.

Robert Pepper
3 years ago
Reply to  Monty

You and me both, Monty

Maggie Dee
Maggie Dee
3 years ago

Sticking to cars I have owned or driven for long periods of time. Of course they are all manual!
1) 70 Hillman Hunter; 1st car. You are never going to go real quick, 4 on the floor, toggle switches, fat tyres and no rear muffler. It taught me how to brake (because it didn’t:)
2) 76 TC Cortina wagon; Modified 4.1 cross flow, 500 Holley and extractors. I had it at 19. A 14 sec. 1/4 mile car that liked to go in a straight line. It actually taught me to go around corners:)
3) Bog stock base model 2008 Ford Fiesta. (my 1st new car) 15 grand on the road run-out special. I learned that front wheel drive can be a hoot (if there is no real power). Flat knackers everywhere and it still didn’t go fast enough to get into real trouble:)
4) 2006 Holden Rodeo 4×4, It does go offroad! Which is great because 40km of wet clay roads is as fun as you can get!!!
5) Tuned VE SS wagon. Cause wagons are cool and hills are real!
Special mentions.
76 Chrysler Regal, sink onto the seats, drop the torqueflight into drive and……CHILL!
70 Pacer. Mod 245 Hemi, 300hp and skinny tyres! Forget your bling bling chrome 22’s, stick ya fat tyres, There is nothing like horsepower and skinny tyres for real fun!

Robert Pepper
3 years ago
Reply to  Maggie Dee

Nice work, Maggie! You and I are on the same page 🙂

Andrew Riles
Andrew Riles
3 years ago

One of the criteria for me is the car ‘telling’ me what it is doing, ie communicative steering…

Have to agree on the challenge aspect too, its no fun if the car does it all for you..

Things like seating, pedals and gear lever positioning would be my no 3…..very hard to enjoy the drive if you are uncomfortable, or the pedals aren’t conducive to heel-toe downshifts, etc…..and as awesome as a Defender would be…..the seating position rules it out for me….

Predictable handling is definitely on the list….

It’s also hard to have fun driving a car if you are always fixing it, so it needs to be robust and reliable….

Robert Pepper
3 years ago
Reply to  Andrew Riles

Agreed on all that

Guest
Guest
3 years ago

Fun to drive might not even be when it’s moving. It’s what emotions it brings you. I remember vividly sitting in my RAV4 stuck in boring Sydney traffic but it was a Friday arvo, windows down and sunroof open (no doof doof music) feeling a sense of joy and happiness. If you find any car that makes you feel that, then it’s then one.

Robert Pepper
3 years ago
Reply to  Guest

Very true. Although was it the RAV4, or the music and Friday afternoon that made you happy?

Robert Pepper

Robert Pepper