• Follow us

Automotive

The 13 Most Fun-to-Drive 2019 Cars With 200 HP or Less - MotorTrend

The incredible happened when Toyota redid the Corolla Hatchback for 2019: it turned into something of a driver's car. The improvement over previous Corollas was immediately noticed during our 2019 Car of the Year tests. Even with 168 hp and 151 lb-ft on tap from its 2.0-liter I-4, our judges mostly agreed that "this is the best-driving Corolla in a long time." On our test track, "the solid and responsive chassis kept asking for more." Chalk that up to this generation's independent suspension at each corner and stiffer body structure. Even though the available six-speed manual isn't one of our favorites, it's far better than the CVT. Rumor has it a hotter GR version of the Corolla is in the pipeline, which will (hopefully) have more than 200 hp.

Mazda Miata

View 63 Photos

No surprise the perennially fun Miata makes this list. For 2019, however, it's more muscular than before: Revised internals bump power up to 181 hp and 151 lb-ft from a 2.0-liter I-4 that now spins to 7,500 rpm. "Finally, the ND Miata got the engine it's been begging for the last three years," we wrote in our review. Brilliant handling remains unchanged, other than the option of a GT-S package, which sharpens things with new shocks and suspension tuning, a front strut tower brace, and a limited-slip differential. If any car proves you can have a great time with low power, it is—and always will be—the Miata.

Audi A3

The entry-level Audi A3 features luxury appointments at an approachable price. Even without Quattro all-wheel drive, the front-drive A3 2.0T offers a premium feel and a good amount of driving fun. The engine delivers 190 hp and 221 lb-ft and will spin the tires without much effort. In our review we wrote that the way the power is delivered "might be considered part of the A3's character. The larger A4 feels more relaxed compared to the moderately sensitive brakes and throttle of the front-drive A3 2.0T." It seems that for this A3, then, entry-level doesn't mean boring to drive, especially compared to its more expensive larger siblings.

Mazda3

View 63 Photos

For 2019 the Mazda3 is all new, with our First Drive revealing, "The night-and-day difference between the old car and the new is immediately apparent after just a few miles of driving." It's a huge step forward in terms of style and substance, and, like previous generations, it "remains remarkably engaging to drive. The Mazda3's steering is direct and progressive, with a hint of lightness to it that brings the Miata to mind." The 2.5-liter I-4 makes an even 186 hp and 186 lb-ft of torque, delivered in a free-revving, "peppy" way. As before, the Mazda3 can be had in sedan or hatchback form, but only the latter is available with a six-speed manual.

Volvo XC40

We could argue that fun begins as you walk toward a car, before you ever get inside. In that sense, the Volvo XC40 is entertaining just sitting still. It's a great-looking crossover, with a creased, angled body and an optional contrast-tone roof. Once you're driving, the XC40 still provides fun. It was one of our 2019 SUV of the Year finalists, and we praised its suspension for "deliver[ing] a spirited ride and steering without being darty." In basic spec, the 2.0-liter turbocharged I-4 makes 187 hp and 221 lb-ft. That's not a lot, but it's enough to back up the fun styling.

Mercedes-Benz A 220

View 63 Photos

The least expensive Mercedes-Benz is anything but cheap. New to North America for 2019, the A-Class looks like a shrunken version of the brand's more expensive models, but it still pushes the envelope for technology and features. A 188-hp 2.0-liter turbocharged I-4 powers the entry-level A 220, and our First Drive found it "has plenty of pep for everyday driving," as well as a nice sound. In terms of fun, the all-wheel-drive version we sampled "impressed us with surprisingly sporty handling for a non-performance car. On winding back roads, the car had plenty of grip and a suspension that kept body roll well under control." If that isn't enough for you, don't worry—AMG variants are coming soon, though you can expect output to be north of 200 hp.

Mini Hardtop/Convertible S

We're devoting this section to the 189-hp, 207-lb-ft Hartop and Convertible S models, but really, any of Mini's vehicles (apart from the John Cooper Works variants) are eligible for this list. The 2.0-liter turbocharged I-4 in the S can be had in every Mini body style, but it's not really necessary—the standard 1.5-liter turbocharged I-3 (yes, inline-three) with 134 hp and 162 lb-ft still lets the cars' fun, tossable handling shine. In our review of the current-gen Convertible, we said that "whichever you choose, the Mini has not lost its signature go-kart handling. Cornering is gleeful and the turning radius is ridiculously small." Minis aren't as mini as they once were, but they stay true to their fun-to-drive ethos no matter which engine is under the hood.

Subaru BRZ

View 63 Photos

Subaru's BRZ is built specifically for fun, but it just barely makes it onto this list. Its 2.0-liter flat-four makes 200 hp and 151 lb-ft, the very maximum to qualify—but only with an automatic transmission. Opting for the six-speed manual bumps power up to 205. So is the automatic BRZ still any good? "Toss a few corners the BRZ auto's way, and you'll find that the car still handles beautifully," we said in our First Test. "Feel like drifting? Just turn off traction control and it's ready. Want more violent shifts? Put the transmission in Sport mode." It's still a fun car even without a third pedal, and although we'll always prefer the manual, the automatic BRZ is good enough for this list.

Chevrolet Bolt

We won't pretend that the Chevrolet Bolt is a sports car or even a driver's car. But it is electric, and with that comes the addicting response of instant torque whenever you put your foot down. What's more, one-pedal driving with regenerative braking presents its own fun appeal—it makes a driver rethink everything they know. In an update on our long-term Bolt, our tester said of one-pedal driving, "I also enjoy the challenge of it. Getting my timing just right so I don't have to modulate the regen but let it slow me down exactly as much as needed is rewarding in its own little way. I also like to use it when I'm driving quickly. Because I'd be modulating the brake pedal the same way I am the regenerative braking, I can use it to slow precisely as much as needed for a corner while also extending my range." Such a new, unique involvement adds a degree of fun no gas-powered car can provide.

Read More



Leave A Comment

More News

All Motor Trend Stories RSS

Hot Wheels Legends Tour Takes Philly 2019-06-21 19:47:53We took a trip across the country to Philadelphia for the latest stop on this year’s Hot Wheels Legends Tour. For those unfamiliar, the Legends

1997 Toyota Supra Turbo Heads Fast and Furious 2019-06-21 16:34:12Thanks in part to the Fast and Furious franchise, demand for the fourth-generation A80 Toyota Supra has been strong for decades. But the launch o

We’ll Miss You, Davey G. Johnson 2019-06-21 15:00:06It is with deepest sadness that we report the passing of Davey G. Johnson, our friend and colleague who went missing Wednesday, June 5. After an exhau

It’s the First Day of Summer! Here are 2019-06-21 14:00:03Editor’s note: This article was originally published in May 2019. It has recently been updated with new information. Today is the summer solstic

A Faster Ford GT is on the Way 2019-06-21 13:26:30A more track-focused Ford GT is coming, according to an image shared on Instagram. Posted by Multimatic, the teaser shows only a shadowy silhouette of

We Drive the 1944 Buick M18 Hellcat Tank 2019-06-21 11:00:00Seek, Strike, Destroy! The post We Drive the 1944 Buick M18 Hellcat Tank Destroyer appeared first on MotorTrend.

2020 Porsche 911 Carrera: Why I’d Buy It 2019-06-21 04:00:47“What car should I buy?” It’s a question consumers ask themselves every day, but what would international bureau chief Angus MacKenz

What Disturbed’s David Draiman Likes (and Doesn’t Like) 2019-06-21 04:00:45Quick Stats: David Draiman, lead singer, Disturbed Daily Driver: 2018 Tesla Model X (David’s rating: 8 on a scale of 1 to 10) Other cars: See be

This Electric Chevrolet Camaro EL1 is the Coolest 2019-06-21 04:00:41Napolean Motorsports' Electric 2019 Camaro EL1 Drift Car ran it's first official Formula Drift lap at Orlando Speedworld in Florida on April 25, 20

2019 Alfa Romeo Giulia: Why I’d Buy It 2019-06-21 04:00:12“What car should I buy?” It’s a question consumers ask themselves every day, but what would executive editor Mark Rechtin drive? Kee

What Car Should I Buy? MotorTrend Editors Pick 2019-06-14 09:30:36In today’s SUV-saturated market, cars—that is, sedans, hatchbacks, and coupes—are increasingly rare. Even so, that doesn’t sto

Hot Wheels ID Is the Classic Toy Reimagined 2019-06-14 09:00:26I can’t remember how I got it, but I can vividly recall my very first Hot Wheels. It was a red double-headed dragon on four chrome wheels. I rem

WIRED

Nuro’s Pizza Robot Will Bring You a Domino’s 2019-06-17 20:24:20It’s about half the size of a sedan, and for now it needs a chase car with a babysitter. For now.

Audi Recall, Shifting Alliances, and More Car News 2019-06-16 09:00:00Audi issued a voluntary recall of its E-Tron SUV; self-driving tech startup Aurora broke up with VW and joined up with Fiat Chrysler.

New York City Flexes Again, Extending Cap on 2019-06-15 07:00:00Officials want to extend the city's limit on the number of for-hire vehicles, and may consider a congestion charge.

Lamborghini Huracán EVO Sees the Future, Makes You 2019-06-15 07:00:00The super smart supercar predicts what you'll do next—and helps you make it happen.

The Strange Mating Rituals of Self-Driving Car Companies 2019-06-12 19:34:27Aurora hooked up with Chrysler on Monday, ditched VW on Tuesday, and doubled down with Hyundai on Wednesday.

Your Cadillac Can Now Drive Itself More Places 2019-06-11 09:00:00Cadillac's Super Cruise will shut itself off when the car reaches a tricky spot where a driver needs to pay attention.

Aurora's Latest Deal Will Be a Heavy-Duty Test 2019-06-10 18:20:53Startup Aurora is putting its self-driving technology into commercial vehicles from Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, expanding its long list of partnerships

Audi Recalls Some E-Tron SUVs Over a Battery 2019-06-10 17:32:41The E-Tron competes against Tesla's Model X, as well as Jaguar's I-Pace and the forthcoming Mercedes-Benz EQC.

Porsche's 911 Goes Hybrid With Vonnen's Shadow Drive 2019-06-10 07:00:00The aftermarket system adds an electric motor—and a whole lot of power—to the venerable sports car.

Electric Buses, Quiet Tires, and More Car News 2019-06-09 09:00:00Why haven't electric buses caught on? And how does Mattel shrink car designs to make Hot Wheels?

Lyft's Lawsuit Against San Francisco Is Bigger Than 2019-06-07 18:28:35Lyft's bike-share company, Motivate, had an exclusive contract with the city for its docked bike program. But if San Francisco allows a dockless bike

Why Electric Buses Haven't Taken Over the World—Yet 2019-06-07 09:48:28Here’s what stands between you and a cleaner commute.

Automotive news - from

Renesas names CFO Hidetoshi Shibata CEO New! 2019-06-25 12:50:00Semiconductor specialist Renesas Electronics said Hidetoshi Shibata had been named representative director, president and CEO, from 1 July, following

FCA launches in-car commerce platform New! 2019-06-25 10:19:00FCA in the US is launching Uconnect Market, a new platform that allows car occupants to make on demand reservations and to purchase products and servi

Mitsubishi to sell stake in Chinese engine JV New! 2019-06-25 09:11:00Mitsubishi Motors plans to sell its 15% stake in Harbin Dongan Auto Engine Company, its engine joint venture plant based in the Chinese city of Harbin

Toyota hybrid sales reach new UK milestones New! 2019-06-25 08:12:00Toyota (GB) said UK sales of its hybrid cars had reached 300,000 units or 400,000, counting in the Lexus models.

Nissan chief wants alliance 'inequality' addressed New! 2019-06-25 07:57:00Nissan Motor has hinted the 20-year alliance with Renault could end if issues of inequality are not addressed.

Continental launches improved vehicle surroundings radar 2019-06-25 06:27:00Continental has launched a new short-range radar which provides more precise detection of vehicle surroundings.

SMMT stresses need for Brexit trade deal with 2019-06-25 06:23:00The UK automotive trade association SMMT says that getting a departure deal with the EU must be the next UK prime minister's first job as it warned o

Daimler moves on with resuming Egyptian Mercedes car 2019-06-24 12:46:00Daimler has moved on its plans - first announced in January - to resume Mercedes-Benz car assembly in Egypt.

From assembly line to VW supervisory board 2019-06-24 10:06:00A former Daimler assembly line worker has been appointed to the Volkswagen supervisory board.

Could FCA-Renault merger talks resume? 2019-06-24 09:56:00Some industry observers are speculating a board shake-up at Nissan may bring the shelved FCA proposal to merge with Renault back to the negotiating ta

Gestamp prepared for tie-ups - executive chairman 2019-06-24 08:28:00Gestamp says it is "prepared" for consolidation in the industry, but maintains it will continue its focus on implementing 4.0 techniques embracing d

Smaller SUVs continue to soar in Europe 2019-06-24 08:08:00Small and compact SUVs were the only segments to post double-digit growth in Europe in May 2019 while VW Group and PSA drove the growth in those

High Gear Media Network Feed

Modern De Tomaso teased ahead of 2019 Goodwood 2019-06-24 13:00:00Dormant Italian performance marque De Tomaso is set for revival, 60 years after the brand's founding by Alejandro de Tomaso. The revival will take pl

First drive review: 2020 Mercedes-Benz GLS-Class luxury SUV 2019-06-24 11:45:00When the Union Pacific and Central Pacific railroads charged toward Promontory, Utah, in 1869 to hammer the golden spike that would open up North Amer

Audi SQ8 TDI, Mini JCW GP, 850-horsepower Ford 2019-06-24 11:00:00Audi has just launched the new Q8 but there are sportier S and RS versions in the pipeline, the first of which has been revealed. Unfortunately, it pa

Karma Revero GT gets P-51 Mustang-inspired livery for 2019-06-24 10:00:00A pair of 2020 Karma Revero GT sedans received special P-51 Mustang-inspired liveries for this year's Goldrush Rally, which kicked off on Saturday in

Aussie team readies 850-horsepower Ford Mustang 2019-06-24 08:45:00Ford last week confirmed the 2020 Mustang Shelby GT500 will pack 760 horsepower when it arrives at dealerships in the fall. However, an Australian out

Jaguar will reportedly follow electric XJ with gas-powered 2019-06-24 08:00:00Jaguar is set to launch an electric XJ for the next generation of the large, luxury sedan. However, it won't be a dedicated EV as previously thought.

New Mini John Cooper Works GP hits the 2019-06-24 07:00:00Mini is working on a new generation of its high-performance John Cooper Works GP, which the automaker will launch next year. It's based on the Hardto

2019 Audi SQ8 revealed with diesel V-8 2019-06-24 06:00:00Audi has a new flagship SUV on sale for 2019, and it's called the Q8. The Q8 is a coupe-like SUV similar in size to the Q7. It's Audi's answer to t

Hamilton leads Mercedes one-two finish at 2019 Formula 2019-06-24 02:30:00Mercedes-AMG notched up yet another one-two finish in the 2019 Formula One World Championship on Sunday at Circuit Paul Ricard, home of the French Gra

Drako GTE: A new 1,000-horsepower electric supercar hopeful 2019-06-23 08:00:00If Tesla can do it, Drako Motors may do it, too. The Silicon Valley-based EV startup provided the first glimpse of its upcoming supercar called the Dr

Porsche 911 Speedster tows matching camper 2019-06-23 02:00:00They say cars are meant to be driven, and that's exactly what Volker Schiersch has done with his 1989 Porsche 911 Speedster. The brand highlighted Sc

Collector discovers his Porsche 356 was brand's first 2019-06-22 08:00:00Cameron Healey, one of many Porsche 356 fans across the globe, stumbled upon a rather lovely example in 2009. The car, converted to a Spyder and paint

The Truth About Cars

BMW Vision M Next Concept Revealed, E-Mobility Schedule New! 2019-06-25 16:30:06As part of BMW’s big #NEXTGen event, the Vision M Next concept shows what the future of “The Ultimate Driving Machine” will look lik

BMW M2 Competition to Replace M240iR Customer Racecar New! 2019-06-25 15:36:39BMW has announced a successor to the popular M235i and M240i Racing models in the form of the M2 Competition. While the first cars are slated for deli

Camaro Rumored to be Put Out to Pasture New! 2019-06-25 14:21:45A report surfaced today from Muscle Cars and Trucks, suggesting that the Camaro will not live on to see a seventh generation. Having been sold continu

Nissan Reforms Pass, Saikawa Reappointed as CEO New! 2019-06-25 13:47:03Nissan’s planned corporate governance reforms were teetering on the brink of disaster after alliance partner Renault indicated it might abstain

Mini John Cooper Works GP Boasts Impressive Nürburgring New! 2019-06-25 12:53:26In conjunction with the 24 Hours of Nürburgring this past weekend, Mini presented a lightly-disguised John Cooper Works GP well before its schedu

2019 Buick Envision Review – Is That a New! 2019-06-25 12:00:26Around these digital pages, Buick gets a bad rap. Some have negative connotations of Buick as an old person’s car (disclaimer, my paternal grand

The Comparison Test We’ve All Been Waiting For: New! 2019-06-25 10:58:10You needn’t be an automotive writer to know that when a key is tossed in your direction, you catch it. If it’s the key to a winter-ga

Rare Rides: A Vintage Zagato-bodied Ferrari 330 From New! 2019-06-25 09:51:19Italian design house Zagato was featured here recently, when Rare Rides took a look at a reworked Ferrari 348 from 1990. Opinions were mixed, but most

QOTD: Is Too Much Not Enough? New! 2019-06-25 08:32:18America’s truck wars are in full swing, with torque ratings going though the ceiling and the level of manufacturer braggadocio reaching a fever

BMW Being Sued Over Perceived Failure to Build 2019-06-24 17:10:30Like most brands focused on smaller vehicles, Mini is not faring particularly well in the United States and dealers have grown annoyed. Some have even

VW Says Battery Supply Problems Have Been Solved… 2019-06-24 16:01:21Following rumors that Audi’s E-Tron would have to be delayed due to issues with battery supplier LG Chem and some unforeseen “so

2019 Chevrolet Blazer RS AWD Review – Everybody’s 2019-06-24 15:00:20As I’ve been reviewing cars for this venerable publication for nearly three years, I’ve noticed how easy it is to become jaded about new c

Automotive News Breaking

GM investing $20M in Texas plant for next-gen New! 2019-06-25 12:45:01The investment adds to roughly $1.4 billion GM has invested in the facility for the next-gen SUVs since 2015, including construction of a new paint sh

Did Land Rover's new Defender break in image New! 2019-06-25 12:28:45A spy photographer may have captured the best image yet of the upcoming Land Rover Defender by training a camera lens on the instrument cluster of a t

Mitsubishi will move HQ to Nashville from Calif. New! 2019-06-25 12:15:00The automaker expects to complete its move from Cypress, Calif., to Franklin, Tenn., by the end of the year and to initially be housed in temporary of

Takata estate seeks at least $7.5M from airbag New! 2019-06-25 12:10:07Takata's bankruptcy estate is claiming that airbag inflator supplier ARC Automotive breached its contract by selling defective parts that triggered a

How BMW can fix Mini, ensure future in New! 2019-06-25 11:35:20Since 2000, when BMW took over production of Mini from MG Rover and launched the second generation, the cars have grown in size, price and complexity.

Honda, Toyota dominate top U.S.-made vehicles index New! 2019-06-25 11:09:33Amid tariff talk, the “American-Made Index” compiled by Cars.com found nine of the 15 most U.S.-sourced vehicles are manufactured by

Renault chairman ‘begs’ for trust of skeptical Nissan 2019-06-25 06:14:26Renault Chairman Jean-Dominique Senard begged skeptical Nissan shareholders to believe that he has the company’s best interests at heart, while

BMW plug-in hybrids to automatically switch into EV 2019-06-25 04:30:01Starting next year, all BMW plug-in hybrid models will come standard with a function that automatically switches to full-electric mode when the vehicl

BMW doubles down on driving with Vision M 2019-06-25 04:30:00A low-slung, two-door, 600-hp, plug-in hybrid concept that previews the brand's design and technology road map, the BMW Vision M Next is the yin to t

Saikawa wins reforms at Nissan, signals hand over 2019-06-25 02:09:19Nissan shareholders approved sweeping reforms to improve corporate governance at the automaker following last year’s arrest and ouster of former

Toyota North America names Ericksen to head product 2019-06-24 16:14:32Cooper Ericksen, 50, most recently served as head of product planning for Lexus as well as alternative fuel vehicles.

Faurecia's tentative deal with UAW calls for major 2019-06-24 16:05:18Highlights of the Faurecia agreement include significant hourly wage hikes, a $2,500 signing bonus, retroactive pay for new wages as of June 1 and no

autoevolution news

2021 Ford Bronco Coming With 2.3-liter EcoBoost Engine New! 2019-06-25 12:27:34Matthew the Car Guy came across an interesting bit of information in an auto parts store. More to the point, the Ford Bronco returns for the 2021 mode

New Mazda3 Takes on Civic, Corolla: Which Is New! 2019-06-25 12:08:35Many decades ago, American automakers focused too much on gas-guzzling cars, allowing the Japanese manufacturers to sneak in with their economy boxes.

BMW Commits to Having 25 Electrified Cars on New! 2019-06-25 11:38:14Over the past year, the majority of automakers set 2025 as the target date for the full rollout of electrified vehicles. A while back so did BMW, who

New BMW M4 Will Have AWD, Between 460 New! 2019-06-25 10:53:50The F82 BMW M4 is widely considered one of the best M cars of all time. It brought inline-6 engines back, looked the part and drifted like a champ. Ho

1974 Porsche 911 Turbo 3.0 Revived in LEGO New! 2019-06-25 10:52:55As opposed to last year, when we’ve had a wealth of great small brick cars entering the range of LEGO Speed Champions, this year it seems there

Digital Instrument Cluster Reveals Exterior Design Of 2020 New! 2019-06-25 10:06:05After Lego Technic divulged much of the exterior design of the 2020 Land Rover Defender, the off-road SUV is the subject of another revealing expos&ea

Ford to Keep Making Mustang Bullitt into 2020 New! 2019-06-25 09:55:01At the beginning of 2018, Ford managed to somehow dig up the long lost 1968 Ford Mustang that inspired generations by starring in Steve McQueen’

Skoda Debuts Scala G-Tec With 90 HP 1-Liter New! 2019-06-25 09:45:53Volkswagen Group has the largest fleet of cars powered by compressed natural gas, over a dozen of them. And today, one more has been added in the form

Firefighters Smash Windows on Car Parked in Front New! 2019-06-25 09:45:35Today’s winner of the title Douche of the Day goes to whoever parked their car in front of a fire hydrant in Lawrence, Kansas, blocking access t

Hilarious Car Wash Mishap Turns Car Wash Mobile New! 2019-06-25 09:28:38What happens when you try to fit a large Ford van through a car wash that is only meant for smaller vehicles, even though you didn’t know it? Yo

BMW Power BEV Is An Electric 5 Series New! 2019-06-25 09:28:05As opposed to the M5, the 5 Series is also available with 2.0- and 3.0-liter turbo diesels. Codenamed G30 for the sedan, the mid-size executive car is

Man Climbs Out on Roof of Moving VW New! 2019-06-25 09:09:18What was probably meant as a funny prank of some sort ended up badly for a 21-year-old man, who climbed out on the roof of a moving car, slipped, fell


Disclaimer and Notice:WorldProNews.com is not responsible of these news or any information published on this website.