Think you need a sports car in order to have fun? Well, think again. There’s fun to be found in every section of the car market, you just need to know where to look.

Of course, fun comes in many forms. Enthusiastic drivers will say it’s all about going fast and whizzing along country lanes, while the rest of us will think fun is about enjoying your car in other ways. That could be the way your car looks, how nice it is to sit in, or how much it impresses your mates.

Below, we’ve picked out a variety of cars that deliver on all these counts, but that are very different in terms of their size, their price, and the job they do. With any luck, one of them will fit seamlessly into you lifestyle, meaning fun times could be just around the corner.
  • Mini Cooper Hatch – the small one
  • Jaguar XF – the executive saloon one
  • Ford S-Max – the people-carrier one
  • Porsche 718 Boxster S – the open-top one
  • McLaren 720S – the supercar one
Best fun cars - Mini Cooper
Best fun cars - Mini Cooper
Mini Cooper Hatch – the small one
All Minis are famed for go-kart handling, and even though the latest version has grown up a bit, with a comfier ride and quieter cruising manners, there’s still plenty of fun to be had at the wheel. With strong grip, tight body control, sharp responses and a generally balanced feel, it’s great fun to chuck around. You can have your Mini with a variety of power outputs – ranging from sizzling to scorching – but we reckon the 136PS Cooper gives you all the oomph you need to have fun, while keeping purchase prices reasonable. The car’s retro styling, cute image and impeccable quality all add to the fun, too.
  • Our pick of the range: 1.5 Cooper Hatch 5dr
  • List price: £16,810
  • CO2 emissions: 109g/km
  • Fuel economy: 60.1mpg
  • Boot space: 278 - 941 litres
Best fun cars - Jaguar XF
Best fun cars - Jaguar XF
Jaguar XF – the executive saloon one
The Jaguar XF proves that you can have a grown-up car that’s still young-at-heart. In most ways, it’s the very picture of ‘sensible’: it’s a four-door executive saloon with a prestige image, plenty of room for four people, a big boot, lots of luxury toys and entirely reasonable running costs. Yet, when you get behind the wheel, you’ll realise that it’s an absolute peach of a car to drive. There’s real fluidity and grace about the way it changes direction, and because you get plenty of sensation through the main controls, you feel really involved in the action.
  • Our pick of the range: 2.0d 180 R-Sport RWD Auto
  • List price: £37,060
  • CO2 emissions: 114g/km
  • Fuel economy: 65.7mpg
  • Boot space: 540 - 885 litres
Best fun cars - Ford S-Max
Best fun cars - Ford S-Max
Ford S-Max – the people-carrier one
Importantly, the Ford S-Max is a great seven-seat MPV: it has a flexible and clever seating arrangement, bags of passenger of space and a massive boot, and it’s chock-full of clever touches designed to make family life a little easier. However, where it distances itself from other family carry-alls is that it’s genuinely enjoyable to drive. It feels crisp and precise on the road thanks to its brisk, sharply controlled responses, and most of the engines deliver easy-to-access performance. Crucially, it combines this dynamic ability with a level of comfort and quietness that’ll spoil any family, so your brood will be having as much fun as you are.
  • Our pick of the range: 2.0 TDCI 150 Titanium
  • List price: £29,895
  • CO2 emissions: 129g/km
  • Fuel economy: 56.5mpg
  • Boot space: 285 - 2020 litres
Best fun cars - Porsche 718 Boxster
Best fun cars - Porsche 718 Boxster
Porsche 718 Boxster S – the open-top one
Anyone looking to buy a small sports car is pretty spoiled for choice, with a vast array of roadsters, coupes and hot hatches to consider. For us, though, the Porsche Boxster S is the daddy of them all when it comes to maximising the amount of fun you’ll have for the amount of money you’ll spend. Yes, there are plenty of cheaper options, but done delivers the dynamic polish of the Porsche. Indeed, there are many more expensive sports cars that could learn a thing or two from the Boxster’s spellbinding handling ability. Choose the S over the regular Boxster for its stronger performance and better noise, and you’ll have the best pound-for-pound sports car going.
  • Our pick of the range: 2.5 S
  • List price: £50,695
  • CO2 emissions: 184g/km
  • Fuel economy: 34.9mpg
  • Boot space: 275 litres
Best fun cars - McLaren 720S
Best fun cars - McLaren 720S
McLaren 720S – the supercar one
If you’re fortunate enough to be a money-no-object buyer, you have no shortage of exotic choices that’ll titillate and scintillate in equal measure. But, in our view, there’s nothing that does the job better than the McLaren 720S. Very few cars have so much advanced technology designed to make you go stupidly fast, both in a straight line and around corners. Even fewer, however, combine this technology with the McLaren’s level of sensation and feedback that makes it the most engaging, absorbing and thrilling car of its type. All that, and it’s also comfortable, practical and usable. Very expensive, too, but show us a supercar that isn’t. And besides, this one’s worth every penny.
  • Our pick of the range: 4.0 Coupe
  • List price: £208,600
  • CO2 emissions: 249g/km
  • Fuel economy: 26.4mpg
  • Boot space: 360 litres
(Figures correct at the time of publication)