Top 10 Cheap, Fun Cars

Discover the top 10 fun, cheap cars for 2008 at DriverSide.
2008 Volvo C30 T5

2008 Volvo C30 1
2008 Volvo C30

What we think
If unique style is your forte, look no further than Volvo's new C30. It's ultra-hip "floating" center console and buzzy five-cylinder turbo engine are guaranteed to spark the interest of passengers.

At a glance
MSRP: $22,950
Engine and Drivetrain: 2.5-liter I-5 turbo, 20 valve, 227 horsepower and 236 lb-ft of torque, 6-speed manual or 5-speed automatic transmission
MPG: 19 City / 28 Hwy



2008 Honda Civic Si

2008 Honda Civic Cpe 2
2008 Honda Civic Cpe

What we think
The Civic Si features a slick six-speed gearshift and a 2.0-liter VTEC engine that is an absolute aural delight when screaming towards the redline. It'll put a smile on your face over and over again.

At a glance
MSRP: $21,110
Engine and Drivetrain: 2.0-liter I-4, 16 valve, 197 horsepower and 139 lb-ft of torque, 6-speed manual transmission
MPG: 21 City / 29 Hwy

2008 MazdaSpeed3

2008 Mazda MAZDA3 3
2008 Mazda MAZDA3

What we think
If the convenience of its five-door design doesn't convince you that the MazdaSpeed3 is at least worth a test drive, the sledgehammer engine under the hood will. A walloping 280 lb-ft of torque means the Speed3 has ample power at just about any speed.

At a glance
MSRP: $22,340
Engine and Drivetrain: 2.3-liter I-4 turbo, 16 valve, 263 horsepower and 280 lb-ft of torque, 6-speed manual transmission
MPG: 18 City / 26 Hwy




2008 Chevy Cobalt SS

2008 Chevrolet Cobalt 4
2008 Chevrolet Cobalt

What we think
For a front-wheel drive car, the Cobalt is an absolute monster on the track. Its 18-inch wheels provide the torquey 2.0-liter with plenty of grip and its sport-tuned suspension makes it formidable in the corners.

At a glance
MSRP: $29,995
Engine and Drivetrain: 2.0-liter turbo, 16 valve, 260 horsepower and 260 lb-ft of torque, 5-speed manual transmission
MPG: 22 City / 30 Hwy

2008 Volkswagen Golf GTI

2008 Volkswagen GTI 5
2008 Volkswagen GTI

It may be the original hot hatch, but the 2008 GTI proves that it's still one of the best. The torque-rich turbocharged engine, competent chassis and well-finished interior all combine to make it a fantastically capable compact.

At a glance
MSRP: $22,800
Engine and Drivetrain: 2.0-liter I-4 turbo, 16 valve, 200 horsepower and 207 lb-ft of torque, 6-speed manual or 6-speed automatic transmission
MPG: 22 City / 29 Hwy




2008 Mini Cooper

2008 MINI Cooper 6
2008 MINI Cooper

What we think
Don't let the Mini Cooper's low power output dissuade you. The engine gets the car's relatively low mass up to speed without issue and returns excellent fuel economy at the same time.

At a glance
MSRP: $18,050
Engine and Drivetrain: 1.6-liter I-4, 16 valve, 118 horsepower and 114 lb-ft of torque, 6-speed manual or variable speed automatic transmission
MPG: 28 City / 37 Hwy




2008 Chevy HHR SS

2008 Chevrolet HHR 7
2008 Chevrolet HHR

What we think
The HHR SS shares the same drivetrain and underpinnings as the Cobalt SS. As a result, it provides all the thrills of the Cobalt with the practicality of a crossover.

At a glance
MSRP: $22,995
Engine and Drivetrain: 2.0-liter turbo, 16 valve, 260 horsepower and 260 lb-ft of torque, 5-speed manual transmission or 4-speed automatic
MPG: 22 City / 30 Hwy




2008 Mazda MX-5 Miata SV

2008 Mazda MX-5 Miata 8
2008 Mazda MX-5 Miata

What we think
The MX-5's nearly 20 year-old formula of pairing a rev-happy engine with rear-wheel drive still provides a thrilling drive to this day. Equip the automatic hardtop option for comfortable use in any season.

At a glance
MSRP: $20,585
Engine and Drivetrain: 2.0-liter I-4, 16 valve, 166 horsepower and 140 lb-ft of torque, 5-speed manual transmission
MPG: 22 City / 27 Hwy

2008 Mitsubishi Lancer ES

2008 Mitsubishi Lancer 9
2008 Mitsubishi Lancer

What we think
While it might not be the techno wizard that its big brother the Lancer Evolution X is, the humbler Lancer is a great compact sedan and the CVT automatic transmission comes with sporty F1-style magnesium paddle shifters.

At a glance
MSRP: $16,090
Engine and Drivetrain: 2.0-liter I-4, 16 valve, 152 horsepower and 146 lb-ft of torque, 5-speed manual or variable speed automatic transmission
MPG: 22 City / 29 Hwy

2008 Pontiac Solstice

2008 Pontiac Solstice 10
2008 Pontiac Solstice

What we think
While it might prove difficult to live with on a daily basis, those looking for a fun top-down Sunday driver will appreciate the Solstice's handling and 2.4-liter engine.

At a glance
MSRP: $22,165
Engine and Drivetrain: 2.4-liter I-4, 16 valve, 173 horsepower and 167 lb-ft of torque, 5-speed manual or 5-speed automatic transmission
MPG: 19 City / 25 Hwy


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