As automotive enthusiasts, some of our fondest memories are spent behind the wheel.
Some of us buy cars purely as a practical gesture. We need something to get us from A to B. We need something to haul kids, or dogs, or cargo here and there and everywhere in between. Others take an interest in classics, or something weird and obscure. Some buy cars as an investment. And then, there are those who buy a car to have fun.
Of course, when it comes down to it, a fun car doesn’t just have to boil down to the driving experience. Some are fun to look at, and some are fun just because they’re weird. Maybe a car was fun because it was the first one you’ve owned, or for whatever reason, you just felt happy with it. That’s the question we put to you, TFLcar community: What is the most fun car you’ve ever owned?
Mine (so far) was a little green Mazda.
Okay, not the most glamorous first car, I’ll admit. It’s a 2012 Mazda 2 in “Spirited Green Metallic”. And on the surface, at least, the color may have been the most spirited thing about it. The Mazda 2 had a 1.5-liter inline-four engine making 100 horsepower and 98 lb-ft of torque. That’s at sea level, mind you. Up here at over 5,000 feet, it’s a heck of a lot less than that. Yes, apart from the engine and gearbox, this car does also share several parts with the Ford Fiesta. Still, though, I bought this lime green hatchback with a five-speed manual transmission, rather than the four-speed slushbox. And that made it a hoot.
There’s something fun about cheap, small cars
Up until I owned this little green Mazda, I grew up on a homegrown philosophy of bigger is better. Big trucks and SUVs are commonplace in my family, so naturally I wanted something with a big V8 and lots of power. That’s great and all, until you realize your fuel mileage isn’t breaking past 20 mpg. When you’re a college kid just starting out, that hits home pretty quickly. This car, on the other hand, gets over 30 mpg.
Thanks to its relatively low price of just over $15,000 back in 2012, I was able to pick up this one new too. That’s another thing that made this car the most fun I’ve ever owned: everything was cheap. It was cheap to buy, cheap to run, and cheap to insure. And because everything on it is small, it’s (relatively) cheap to modify. I fitted adjustable coilover suspension, drilled and slotted brake rotors, performance brake pads, an aftermarket torsion bar, new wheels and tires, and new brake lights. The total cost? Just over $1,000.
If anything, my experience with the little Mazda 2 showed me you don’t have to have a ton of horsepower to have fun. Unfortunately, my needs changed and I needed more space than the little hatchback could manage, so I traded up after two years of ownership. To this day, though, this is the most fun car I’ve owned, and the one I most regret leaving behind.
How about you guys? What were the best or most fun cars you’ve owned? Let us know in the comments! Check back to TFLcar.com for more news, views, and real-world reviews!