There are a number of cars on the market that are fast off the mark and cost under £20,000. The Caterham Super Seven 1.4 Classic SV 2dr achieves 0 to 62mph in 6.5 seconds with a top speed of 110mph. Many won't get it at all, wondering how despite Caterham's best efforts, still looks to the uninitiated like something cobbled together in a garden shed. There are no airbags, no side impact beams, no air conditioning and no electric windows? There are no windows, period. You already know that if you want a no compromises track day weapon, there are only a handful of small British manufacturers who will do the business, chief amongst them Caterham. Caterham Super Seven isn't everybody's cup of tea So you can get a sporty hatch or you can get a car with no features or frills but it will be more fun than anything you have ever driven!
On a more sensible note the Volkswagen Polo 1.4 TSI 180 GTI can achieve 0-62mph in just 6.9 seconds and sits just under the £20,000 mark. The Volkswagen Polo GTI has a fantastic racy look which is completed with 17inch wheels and red brake callipers, inside is a racy flat bottomed steering wheel. The Volkswagen Polo GTI is not only quick but the engine is capable of delivering 47mpg on the combined cycle and emits only 139g/km co2 emissions.
The Mini Coupe 1.6 Cooper S is another racy number, again capable of 0-62mpg in 6.9 seconds. The Mini Cooper is dripping with style and itís great fun to drive. No other small car holds its value as well as the Mini. The interior has lots of head- and legroom for those in front and reasonable space for two rear passengers. The boot is small, with room for just a couple of holdalls, although the 50/50 split rear-seat back folds for more space.
The Renault Clio 2.0 16V RenaultSport delivers an extremely high level of performance for the hot hatch segment. First, second and third gear ratios have all been shortened for punchier acceleration delivered through a manual six-speed gearbox and powering the Clio from standstill to 62mph in just 6.9 seconds and on to a top speed of 141mph. Despite this, both its fuel consumption and CO2 emissions have been reduced, returning 34.4mpg in the combined cycle. The Renault Clio drives exceptionally well with light direct steering with a sporty short throw gearshift, this car is for enthusiastic drivers who are passionate about their driving.
Finally the Vauxhall Corsa 1.6T VXR rides well and thanks to the 1.6 turbo has plenty of power hitting 0.62mph in just 6.8 seconds. For such a small car, the Vauxhall Corsa VXR offers a decent amount of space, there is plenty of leg, head and shoulder room in the front, and enough space in the rear for all but the tallest passengers. There are many features available with the Vauxhall Corsa more often associated with a more expensive car. Halogen Adaptive Forward Lighting (AFL) alters the beam of the headlamp according to speed and steering input, allowing the Vauxhall Corsa VXR to see further round dark corners. Thereís also an innovative Enhanced Understeer Control (EUC) function and convenience features such as MP3 compatibility and Bluetooth phone connectivity.
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By Geraldine Ashton Green
Wed, 18 Jul 2012