Best used fun cars 2013
Best used fun car less than £10,000 – and category winner
Renault Clio Renaultsport 200 Cup ('09/09)
Dealer price £7500
Private price £7200
Official fuel economy 34.4mpg
CO2 emissions 195g/km
Annual road tax £260
Insurance group 30
Euro NCAP rating Pre-2009 test gave Five stars for adults, four for children
This Renaultsport Clio is the generation prior to the current one, and is one of the best sports hatchbacks ever made. It's now also a massive bargain.
It has a high-revving, naturally aspirated 2.0-litre petrol engine and a lightning-quick six-speed manual gearbox, but it's the car's sheer driver engagement that swayed the judges most of all.
We recommend going for a car with the Cup chassis. This will have lower and stiffer suspension than the standard car, plus quicker steering, all of which makes it even more immediate and thrilling to drive. The ride is pretty firm, though, so make sure you can live with it before you sign a deal.
Such performance doesn't cost a packet, though, because the Clio will return more than 30mpg, and early 2009 models with a full service history and low mileage are temptingly priced.
Inside, things have been kept simple to limit the car's weight, but the other advantages of its relatively simple engineering and Renault badge are low repair costs.
Best used fun car more than £10,000
Porsche Boxster 2.9 ('09/09)
Dealer price £19,900
Private price £18,700
Official fuel economy 30.7mpg
CO2 emissions 221g/km
Annual road tax £280
Insurance group 43
Euro NCAP rating na
If you're after the ultimate in open-top fun and are prepared to spend a bit more, the Boxster is the car to go for. It's brilliant to drive and it's great value.
For this money, our favourite is the 2009 model. This was the year the Boxster got a 252bhp 2.9-litre engine plus visual tweaks inside and out. It'll do 0-60mph in 5.9 seconds but still manages an average of 30.7mpg so running costs are manageable. Bear in mind, though, that servicing work can be costly.
The Boxster could even be called practical, since it offers lots of cabin room for two and enough luggage space for a couple of weekend bags.