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CATERHAM SEVEN Convertible 2001 on
4 owner reviews for CATERHAM SEVEN Convertible 2001 on
The most fun you can have on 4-wheels
CATERHAM SEVEN 1.4 Classic 2dr (Review date: 13th January '13)
I had the 1.4 K-series Caterham 7 - yes, the smallest engine they do, 110bhp, but it was still the most fun I've ever had driving. A Caterham weighs about half what a new Fiesta does, so even the 1400cc model does 0-60 in 6 seconds. But it is the way that it corners that is the best bit. You feel totally connected to the car, the steering is telepathic and the throttle response is instant.
What many people don't realise is a secondhand Caterham is one of the cheapest cars to run. I had mine for 4 years, covered over 10,000 miles and sold it for slightly more than I paid for it! Insurance was about £250 and it did 35 mpg. I can't think of any other car which gives as good a fun/performance/price ratio.
Sure, they're noisy - you need to wear ear plugs if you value your hearing, the boot is tiny and isn't weather proof (although I still managed a 3-week camping tour round Europe with a passenger), you won't even fit in it if you're overweight and if you have feet over size 9 you'll probably hit all three pedals at once! The hood takes at least 10 minutes to put up and when you have the car is even noisier and with terrible visibility. There's no power steering, brake-assistance, anti-lock, stability control or stuff like that. If you're not careful you''ll disappear into the scenery backwards! There's no windscreen demister (you need the optional heated screen) and the indicators don't even self-cancel (although once you get used to it, the toggle switch is easy to use). Hell even the heater, and carpets are optional extras (you won't believe me if I tell you that having the body painted is too!!). If any of that bothers you, then don't buy a Caterham, go buy a boring tin box.
But if you want the purest driving experience available for not much money, then you really cannot beat it.
Flymo + Power + Crap seats = Caterham
CATERHAM SEVEN 1.8 R500 2dr (Review date: 27th September '11)
How simple can a thing be? And who knew the result would be so fast? The 0-60mph time is just 3 seconds, maybe slightly less on a good run. And it keeps accelerating to way past the 140mph mark, nearing 150mph.And if you drive it right, it corners like a house fly. Mind you, if not, you'll end up drifting and quite probably spinning. So it's brilliant then, but there is one small detail that I've noticed and not a lot of people have.
It's one of the worst cars in the world is that small detail. This may sound stupid, and think that if you want, but it's just not as fun as it could be. I've had MUCH, MUCH, MUCH more fun in normal cars. And it's not as fast as some people make out. Calling it slow would just be ridiculous, I'm not calling it slow at all, but let me put it to you this way; if anyone saw it's lap around the Top Gear Test Track by The Stig, you may have seen it thrash quite a few supercars, well either that Caterham was tweaked to be faster or The Stig must just have mastered the Caterham a lot better than all other cars on the board, but I've no idea how it beat them.
It costs around £40k to buy, but it's just not worth is, as all you're paying for is a Flymo chassis, two of the most uncomfortable seats in the world and an old Ford engine, and the result of this can't really be driven on public roads. I know the purpose of it is to just go fast, but £40k is a bit steep. I'd much rather spend £40k on...ooh I dunno, a car, maybe? Not a fast lawnmower.
Oh yeah, and I know a few people with one of these, all of which have broken down at least twice, even though there's nothing really to go wrong. Which is a bit odd, but it's the god's honest truth. Car it is, then.
CATERHAM SEVEN 1.8 R500 2dr (Review date: 14th December '10)
Just great fun!
CATERHAM SEVEN 1.6 Roadsport 2dr (Review date: 24th November '10)
This is quite simply, just a joy to drive and for no other reason than good, clean, motoring fun. It is not practical car for daily use particularly as it takes more than 10 seconds to put the roof on or take it off, and then as long as you have it in the, rather small, boot.
But if you're out for a leisurely Sunday drive with the sun out and the top down, even better than a Ferrari!