The implausible happened when Toyota redid a Corolla Hatchback for 2019: it incited into something of a driver’s car. The alleviation over prior Corollas was immediately beheld during a 2019 Car of a Year tests. Even with 168 hp and 151 lb-ft on daub from a 2.0-liter I-4, a judges mostly agreed that “this is a best-driving Corolla in a prolonged time.” On a exam track, “the plain and manageable framework kept seeking for more.” Chalk that adult to this generation’s eccentric cessation during any dilemma and stiffer physique structure. Even yet a accessible six-speed primer isn’t one of a favorites, it’s distant improved than a CVT. Rumor has it a hotter GR chronicle of a Corolla is in a pipeline, that will (hopefully) have some-more than 200 hp.
No warn a perennially fun Miata creates this list. For 2019, however, it’s some-more robust than before: Revised internals strike energy adult to 181 hp and 151 lb-ft from a 2.0-liter I-4 that now spins to 7,500 rpm. “Finally, a ND Miata got a engine it’s been vagrant for a final 3 years,” we wrote in a review. Brilliant doing stays unchanged, other than a choice of a GT-S package, that sharpens things with new shocks and cessation tuning, a front strut building brace, and a limited-slip differential. If any automobile proves we can have a good time with low power, it is—and always will be—the Miata.
The entry-level Audi A3 facilities oppulance appointments during an receptive price. Even yet Quattro all-wheel drive, a front-drive A3 2.0T offers a reward feel and a good volume of pushing fun. The engine delivers 190 hp and 221 lb-ft and will spin a tires yet most effort. In our examination we wrote that a approach a energy is delivered “might be deliberate partial of a A3’s character. The incomparable A4 feels some-more loose compared to a tolerably supportive brakes and stifle of a front-drive A3 2.0T.” It seems that for this A3, then, entry-level doesn’t meant tedious to drive, generally compared to a some-more costly incomparable siblings.
For 2019 a Mazda3 is all new, with our First Drive revealing, “The night-and-day disproportion between a aged automobile and a new is immediately apparent after usually a few miles of driving.” It’s a outrageous step brazen in terms of character and substance, and, like prior generations, it “remains remarkably enchanting to drive. The Mazda3’s steering is approach and progressive, with a spirit of levity to it that brings a Miata to mind.” The 2.5-liter I-4 creates an even 186 hp and 186 lb-ft of torque, delivered in a free-revving, “peppy” way. As before, a Mazda3 can be had in sedan or hatchback form, yet usually a latter is accessible with a six-speed manual.
We could disagree that fun starts as we travel toward a car, before we ever get inside. In that sense, a Volvo XC40 is interesting usually sitting still. It’s a great-looking crossover, with a creased, pointed physique and an discretionary contrast-tone roof. Once you’re driving, a XC40 still provides fun. It was one of a 2019 SUV of a Year finalists, and we praised a cessation for “deliver[ing] a energetic float and steering yet being darty.” In simple spec, a 2.0-liter turbocharged I-4 creates 187 hp and 221 lb-ft. That’s not a lot, yet it’s adequate to behind adult a fun styling.
Mercedes-Benz A 220
The slightest costly Mercedes-Benz is anything yet cheap. New to North America for 2019, a A-Class looks like a shrunken chronicle of a brand’s some-more costly models, yet it still pushes a pouch for record and features. A 188-hp 2.0-liter turbocharged I-4 powers a entry-level A 220, and our First Drive found it “has copiousness of pep for bland driving,” as good as a good sound. In terms of fun, a all-wheel-drive chronicle we sampled “impressed us with surprisingly sporty doing for a non-performance car. On circuitous behind roads, a automobile had copiousness of hold and a cessation that kept physique hurl good underneath control.” If that isn’t adequate for you, don’t worry—AMG variants are entrance soon, yet we can design outlay to be north of 200 hp.
Mini Hardtop/Convertible S
We’re devoting this territory to a 189-hp, 207-lb-ft Hartop and Convertible S models, yet really, any of Mini’s vehicles (apart from a John Cooper Works variants) are authorised for this list. The 2.0-liter turbocharged I-4 in a S can be had in each Mini physique style, yet it’s not unequivocally necessary—the customary 1.5-liter turbocharged I-3 (yes, inline-three) with 134 hp and 162 lb-ft still lets a cars’ fun, tossable doing shine. In a examination of a current-gen Convertible, we pronounced that “whichever we choose, a Mini has not mislaid a signature go-kart handling. Cornering is spirited and a branch radius is ridiculously small.” Minis aren’t as mini as they once were, yet they stay loyal to their fun-to-drive ethos no matter that engine is underneath a hood.
Subaru’s BRZ is built privately for fun, yet it usually hardly creates it onto this list. Its 2.0-liter flat-four creates 200 hp and 151 lb-ft, a really limit to qualify—but usually with an involuntary transmission. Opting for a six-speed primer bumps energy adult to 205. So is a involuntary BRZ still any good? “Toss a few corners a BRZ auto’s way, and you’ll find that a automobile still handles beautifully,” we pronounced in our First Test. “Feel like drifting? Just spin off traction control and it’s ready. Want some-more aroused shifts? Put a delivery in Sport mode.” It’s still a fun automobile even yet a third pedal, and nonetheless we’ll always cite a manual, a involuntary BRZ is good adequate for this list.
We won’t fake that a Chevrolet Bolt is a sports automobile or even a driver’s car. But it is electric, and with that comes a addicting response of present torque whenever we put your feet down. What’s more, one-pedal pushing with regenerative braking presents a possess fun appeal—it creates a motorist rethink all they know. In an refurbish on our long-term Bolt, a tester pronounced of one-pedal driving, “I also suffer a plea of it. Getting my timing usually right so we don’t have to allay a regen yet let it delayed me down accurately as most as indispensable is rewarding in a possess small way. we also like to use it when I’m pushing quickly. Because I’d be modulating a stop pedal a same approach we am a regenerative braking, we can use it to delayed precisely as most as indispensable for a dilemma while also fluctuating my range.” Such a new, singular impasse adds a grade of fun no gas-powered automobile can provide.