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What makes a car fun to drive?

As a member of different car forums, I've read a lot of discussions on what makes a car fun to drive. When Toyota and Subaru launched their FR-S/BRZ in late Spring, early Summer 2012, the question of "fun to drive" sparked a lot of heated discussions forcing some forum administrators to ban members temporarily. The discussions seem to be split between "balance and handling" and "power and torque". Of course, there's always the debate between automatics, stick shifts, and paddle shifters.

Taking the BRZ as an example, the designers focused on balance and handling because that was the definition for "fun to drive" back in the days, and according to them, this seems to have been lost over the years to more power and more torque. In many discussions, the phrase "where's the fun when the ugly car next to you crushes you (is faster than you) on the freeway?" keeps surfacing in different forums. It seems to me that these people are treating the freeways as race tracks, and that driving faster than the car next to you is the more fun. Am I missing something here?


I guess it's because the definition of the term "fun" varies from person to person. I own the last of the Corolla XRS. Occasionally, I take it to the freeway and just drive it for roughly half an hour non stop at 70MPH (speed limit is 60MPH). Some cars would pass me at 85MPH, and it doesn't bother me. My car can't compete with them in the first place, but even if it can, I wouldn't because I don't care. I love how my car handles and how responsive it is. Driving manual transmission enhances this feeling giving me the impression that I'm in complete control.

Now I know some of you will point out that my car is not worth it, that I should've get a Civic SI or some other cars, and that I'm wasting gas and all. Some of you will even say that driving manual transmission is a thing of the past and should be replaced with paddle shifters. That's fine, that's your opinion, and I respect that because you have your own definition of "fun". So from your perspective, what makes a car fun to drive? And please, let's not start a war. Share your views and respect others' opinions.

Image: Piston Shift Knob with Satin finish from TWM Performance

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