The Ten Happiest Cars Ever Made

There are many cars that are fun to drive. Jalopnik readers know ten cars that are just plain fun.

Welcome back to Answers of the Day - our daily Jalopnik feature where we take the best ten responses from the previous day's Question of the Day and shine it up to show off. It's by you and for you, the Jalopnik readers. Enjoy!


What we're talking about is a car that isn't just enjoyable to drive. It's a car that encourages you to drive like a nutjob, to squeal its tires, to go a little step further. It's like a dog that's bugging you to play catch, that runs up to you at the door with a tennis ball in its mouth.

There's going to be some overlap with our list a little while back of the ten cutest cars ever made. Somehow cars that look happy act happy. The designers just knew what was up.

Are there any cars that put a huge smile on your face that we forgot about? Let us know what got left off in Kinja below.


Photo Credit: Peter Hut

10.) Porsche 356


Take the hippie spirit of a VW Bug and turn it into a genuine sports car. Not a lot of power, but a lot of spring in its step. None were happier than Janis Joplin's psychadelic-painted droptop.

Suggested By: ejp, Photo Credit: Neil Kremer

9.) Renault Avantime


It's a Euro minivan coupe, which is weird, but what makes this car fun is that it has no pillars on the sides. Drop the windows and open the panoramic sunroof and you have what is basically a two door minivan convertible. Nothing its size should put such a big smile on your face.

Suggested By: muhnkee_2 -Avantime Owner and 100% Jaloper, Photo Credit: Renault

8.) Saab 900 Turbo


You kind of expect a Swedish car to be a bit dour, but looking out of this Saab's wraparound window, you can't help but be happy. They handled and there was just something cheery about the whole experience.

Suggested By: Segador, Photo Credit: Otis Blank

7.) Ford Ka


Our American readers may not recognize Ford's littlest car, but just because we never got it Stateside doesn't mean it's not one of the happiest cars ever to wear a blue oval. GuacamoleFire explains.

You'd be hard pressed to find a cheaper car that provides so much joy driving it. For starters, this car is light, at 1,800 lbs, this was one of the lightest cars in the market, in every market it was sold. With 95hp (as sold in my country) this car had a power to weight ratio of 0.0527, compare that to the 0.07375 of the Lotus Elise Series 1 and what you have is a city car fun to drive everyday.

The handling reminds you of a kart. Despite the FF design, the feeling of the lose rear end is amazingly fun, the back of the car tend to slide in the corners but the front never loses control, it's incredible that such a little econobox can feel as a kart, as I've never driven one, I'm assuming it's the same kind of driving first seen in the original Morris Mini Cooper cars.

If you ever get a chance to drive it, you'll love it, I was sooo close to buy one back in the day, even despite it's impracticality and its looks.


Suggested By: GuacamoleFire, Photo Credit: Panoramas

6.) Dodge Neon


Sure they all fell apart in ten minutes, but Chrysler Co.'s '90s small car was a joy so long as it was in one piece. Sam G. has one and there was one thing about it that he loved.

It's also a very little thing, but my Neon's gas pedal had this thing where if you pushed the gas pedal as far as you think it should go, you could actually floor it a little more, sinking the pedal further into the car than you think you should. Every time I did this, my Neon roared with delight and my passengers got scared.


Suggested By: Sam G., Photo Credit: Raymond M.

5.) Jeep Wrangler


How can you not be happy in a car that can go anywhere?

Suggested By: sjz, Photo Credit: k1ds3ns4t10n

4.) Subaru 360


Japan has a whole class of cars that are only allowed to have tiny engines, and can only fit into tiny dimensions. They're pretty much all light, pokey little cars. We'd go for the rear-engined Subaru 360. Did you know you can stick your hand through the dashboard?


Suggested By: Jonee, Photo Credit: inove manore

3.) NA Mazda Miata


You can make their pop up headlights wink! What more do you need in a droptop sportscar?

Suggested By: TheCrudMan, Photo Credit: Ben Bunch

2.) Austin-Healey Sprite


If you take a look at its perfect little frogeye smile and imagine it's just the most zippy little sportscar you can drive, you'd be right.

Suggested By: $kaycog, Photo Credit: Brian Clift

1.) Mini


For something designed to be a commuter car, the OG Mini is almost inappropriately fun to drive. You sit up straight like you're on a stool, you can't drive for a long time before your back starts to ache, but you will want to throw it into every corner you can find, three-wheeling around every place you go.

Suggested By: Gamecat235, Photo Credit: Richard Taylor

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