Caterham Seven review

Category: Sports car

Section: Costs & verdict

Caterham Seven 170 R 2021 interior dashboard
  • Caterham Seven 170 R 2021 front right cornering
  • Caterham Seven 170 R 2021 rear cornering
  • Caterham Seven 170 R 2021 interior dashboard
  • Caterham Seven 170 R 2021 interior seats
  • Caterham Seven 170 R 2021 interior dashboard
  • Caterham Seven 170 R 2021 right tracking
  • Caterham Seven 170 R 2021 rear tracking
  • Caterham Seven 170 R 2021 front right tracking
  • Caterham Seven 170 R 2021 rear right tracking
  • Caterham Seven 170 S 2021 front right tracking
  • Caterham Seven 170 S 2021 rear right tracking
  • Caterham Seven 170 R 2021 headlight detail
  • Caterham Seven 170 R 2021 rear light detail
  • Caterham Seven 170 R 2021 wheel detail
  • Caterham Seven 170 R 2021 engine
  • Caterham Seven 170 R 2021 bonnet detail
  • Caterham Seven 170 R 2021 exhaust detail
  • Caterham Seven 170 R 2021 interior detail
  • Caterham Seven 170 R 2021 interior handbrake detail
  • Caterham Seven 170 R 2021 front right cornering
  • Caterham Seven 170 R 2021 rear cornering
  • Caterham Seven 170 R 2021 interior dashboard
  • Caterham Seven 170 R 2021 interior seats
  • Caterham Seven 170 R 2021 interior dashboard
  • Caterham Seven 170 R 2021 right tracking
  • Caterham Seven 170 R 2021 rear tracking
  • Caterham Seven 170 R 2021 front right tracking
  • Caterham Seven 170 R 2021 rear right tracking
  • Caterham Seven 170 S 2021 front right tracking
  • Caterham Seven 170 S 2021 rear right tracking
  • Caterham Seven 170 R 2021 headlight detail
  • Caterham Seven 170 R 2021 rear light detail
  • Caterham Seven 170 R 2021 wheel detail
  • Caterham Seven 170 R 2021 engine
  • Caterham Seven 170 R 2021 bonnet detail
  • Caterham Seven 170 R 2021 exhaust detail
  • Caterham Seven 170 R 2021 interior detail
  • Caterham Seven 170 R 2021 interior handbrake detail

Costs & verdict

Everyday costs, plus how reliable and safe it is

If you add up the value of all the parts used to build the Caterham Seven, it seems hideously expensive. You could buy a Ford Fiesta ST for less cash than even the cheapest Seven 270, for example – and that's before you’ve forked out extra to equip it with a roof and a windscreen.

The Seven is a very different animal to a modern hot hatch, though. In fact, the Morgan 3-Wheeler is one of the only other new cars that offer a similarly raw and back to basics driving experience, and that’s a much more expensive option.

Overview

With a cramped interior, limited luggage space and archaic safety provisions, the Caterham Seven was always going to struggle when evaluated objectively against our stringent testing criteria. However, if you’re in the market for a Seven, we suspect you are prepared to live with those limitations in order to experience one of the most exhilarating and rewarding driving experiences available at any price. We also love that there is a Seven for everyone: the 170S is an unintimidating entry point to Seven ownership and the frankly bonkers 620 represents what Caterham does best. Namely, building uncompromising driver’s cars.

  • Raw, old-school driving experience
  • Slow depreciation
  • Incredible acceleration in top versions
  • Expensive
  • Extremely cramped inside
  • You really won't want to hit anything