* What Car?'s 'fun 50' * From a Fiat 500 to a Ferrari 458... * ...we've got all budgets covered...
1 Renault Mgane Cup
Target Price 22,673
Used from 17,995
Yes, the hottest Renault Mgane really is more fun than a 173k Ferrari.Its all to do with usability. The Mgane is simply more fun more of the time.
The opportunities to exploit a Ferrari 458 on the road will be few and far between, whereas the Mgane is a blast on snaking lanes as well as sweeping A-roads.
Every part you touch feels just right: from the sharp steering and slick gearchange to the reassuringly meaty brake pedal, the Mgane responds directly to your inputs.
Then theres the way the engine and suspension combine to devastating effect. The turbocharged engine provides addictive thrust, even from low revs, and unlike many other turbocharged units, it loves being revved mercilessly.
The 250 Cup sounds great, too.
Thats the straight-line stuff taken care of, but the real fun comes in corners and here the Mgane blows away its peers. Even severe provocation or a savagely bumpy road cant outwit the suspension, so the body stays flat and perfectly controlled.
Dive into a bend, feel the tyres grip, then stand on the accelerator and the traction-boosting limited-slip diff deploys the engines power to fire you out the other side. You always feel involved and in control.
Theres more to the Mganes repertoire. Its a more practical and refined car than the Mazda MX-5, yet no less thrilling on a twisty road, and although it cant quite match the steering and handling brilliance on the Evora, it has a sweeter gearchange and a far more user-friendly cabin.
The Clio also runs its big brother close, but the fact that the Mgane is quicker and can play the hooligan one moment and the long-distance cruiser the next clinches it.
That, in essence, is the Mganes secret: it combines the blistering speed and total interaction of the most entertaining cars with everyday usability. You could have this as your only car and love every minute of it. The most fun car on sale? You bet.