This is the new entry-level Caterham Seven, the 160, which has the Suzuki Jimny’s 660cc engine under the bonnet and will cost you just £17,995 – £3,000 less if you want to build your own in the garage. The beauty of it is its simplicity, says Tom Phillips in AutoExpress.
Modern cars isolate the driver from the driving experience, but in the Caterham, you’re back in control. The tiny engine needs to be worked hard, and cannot deliver the thrills of other Caterham models, but that just adds another level of engagement that very few cars can match at any price. For a Sunday B-road blast, it can’t be beat.
Of course, it’s completely useless as an everyday car. You need limbo-dancer skills even to get into the thing, driving it makes you feel that every second may well be your last, and it’s about as big as a Matchbox toy, says Chris Evans in the Daily Mail. But “I cannot overstate what a purely visceral experience it is to take to the road in this wacky racer”.
It’ll put a smile on your face. True, the smile will look a bit insane and worried – a bit like Wallace and Gromit as they career towards disaster. But you’ll love it. After an hour, you’ll feel like you’ve driven a real car for the first time in your life.
You’ll need an hour lying down in a darkened room afterwards. But you won’t be able to resist the thrill of another outing. If you’re looking to spend a little and get a lot of motoring pleasure in return, says Autocar, this charming car will not let you down.