Not all cars have to be practical. In fact, a lot of the time the most fun cars to drive are anything but. Of course, 'fun' is a relative term, and it means different things to different people. Some enjoy a casual cruise in the country, while others fiend the adrenaline surge that comes from attacking a mountain road - and then there are those who are most happy when there are no roads at all.
We've put together a short list of 10 of the most fun cars to drive, trying to be as inclusive as possible. Not all of these vehicles will be everyone's cup of tea, but there's sure to be at least one or two here that will pique your interest - and get your heart racing.
Most Fun Cars To Drive - 01 - 2013 Cadillac CTS-V Sport Wagon
There's something subversive about running down the quarter mile in just 12 seconds while behind the wheel of a station wagon. The 2013 Cadillac CTS-V Sport Wagon is the ultimate sleeper, the kind of car that one would think existed only in the tortured fantasies of soccer dads sick of sitting in traffic driving other more milquetoast people movers. Yes, the CTS-V Sport Wagon will get you and your brood from point A to point B with plenty of room for strollers and nappies, but it will also challenge the world's leading sport sedans for high performance supremacy due to its excellent chassis and its supercharged, 6.2-liter V-8 engine that produces 556 horsepower and 551 lb-ft of torque - not to mention a six-speed manual transmission.
Most Fun Cars To Drive - 02 - 2014 Jeep Wrangler
The 2014 Jeep Wrangler certainly isn't nearly as quick as the CTS-V Sport Wagon, but we know which one we'd rather be piloting once the roads disappeared and we were left to find out own way through the wilderness. The Jeep Wrangler is simply unstoppable when it comes to crawling over rocks, fording door-deep streams, or slip-sliding across a muddy landscape. With multiple four-wheel drive systems to choose from, excellent ground clearance, a rugged suspension, and convertible top, the Wrangler is a blast - regardless of whether you choose the two or four-door version.
Most Fun Cars To Drive - 03 - 2013 Mazda MX-5 Miata
The 2013 Mazda MX-5 Miata doesn't overwhelm with its horsepower - 167 ponies from a 2.0-liter four-cylinder mill - but its one of the most elegant dance partners a driver will ever encounter. The Mazda MX-5 Miata's secret is its lightweight chassis that telegraphs ever nuance of the road straight through the wheel (and the seat) making it a cinch for even novices to look like heroes through the corners. It's been said that it's more fun to drive a slow car fast than a fast car slow, and the Miata roadster is a vehicle where you can bury the throttle and still stay under the radar, both literally and figuratively, while enjoying yourself immensely.
Most Fun Cars To Drive - 04 - 2013 Dodge Charger
The 2013 Dodge Charger might not seem like that much fun compared to some of the other cars on this list, but here's how to change that. At ordering time, make sure you select either all-black or all-white paint, combined with steel wheels with no covers. Then, tick off the box for the Dodge Charger's 5.7-liter Hemi V-8, which pushes out 370 horsepower and 395 lb-ft of torque, giving you plenty of get-up-and-go to move the hefty full-size sedan off of the line. Finally, open up the J.C. Whitney catalog and order yourself a push bar for the front end of the Charger and a couple of whip antennas for the trunk, and voila: you've got a police-spec cruiser that will ensure a clear left lane for you on every highway. And what's more fun than that?
Most Fun Cars To Drive - 05 - 2013 Ford SVT Raptor
The 2013 Ford SVT Raptor is another vehicle that offers fun where angels fear to tread, but unlike the Wrangler's trail-focused personality, this full-size pickup is a desert rat. More specifically, a dune-jumping, 411 horsepower desert rat that rips across the sand like it's competing for a Baja trophy. There are few four-wheel drive vehicles that can take the kind of at-speed pounding that the Ford SVT Raptor's suspension system has been designed to absorb, which makes the truck a unique member of the off-road community. Throw in ultra-aggressive looks, and it's clear that there's a lot of fun to be had in this high-end hauler.
Most Fun Cars To Drive - 06 - 2014 Ford Mustang GT
The 2014 Ford Mustang GT is the last model of the current generation of the car, as it is slated to be replaced next year by a more technologically-advanced Mustang. This is exactly why the Ford Mustang GT made our list of the most fun cars to drive, because the current coupe has something that the future Ford won't - a solid rear axle. If you're into burnouts and smoke shows (and who isn't, really?), then its hard to beat a solid rear axle car like the Ford Mustang GT. Lighting up the rear rubber is never easier than when you've got a live setup to handle eight-cylinder output like that found under the hood of the Mustang GT, where a 5.0-liter mill happily produces 420 horses and 390 lb-ft of twist.
Most Fun Cars To Drive - 07 - 2014 Subaru BRZ
The 2014 Subaru BRZ was designed from the start to provide the kind of balanced handling that is all too rare in the affordable sports car segment. The rear-wheel drive Subaru BRZ leverages its 200 horsepower, 2.0-liter horizontally-opposed 'boxer' four-cylinder engine, and a low-mass, low-center-of-gravity design, to create a thrill machine that won't break the bank. Of course, having stock tires lifted from the Toyota Prius - with low-rolling resistance that make it easy to break the car sideways through the corners - certainly adds drama to the BRZ's repertoire, and smiles on the faces of those driving it at 9/10ths.
Most Fun Cars To Drive - 08 - 2014 Porsche Cayman S
For anyone who's outgrown what the BRZ has to offer, don't worry - the 2014 Porsche Cayman S is waiting in the wings to satisfy your craving for a pure performance machine. The Porsche Cayman S' mid-engine layout ensures that the car doesn't so much as turn into a corner but rather pivots precisely toward its apex. Regardless of throttle application, the Porsche is so stable that even the application of 325 horsepower and 273 lb-ft of torque from its 3.4-liter six-cylinder engine (also a boxer design) can't upset it while maneuvering at high speeds. A six-speed manual transmission is standard with the Cayman S, but a seven-speed dual-clutch automated manual transmission is also on-hand to provide incredibly quick gear changes.
Most Fun Cars To Drive - 09 - 2014 Land Rover Range Rover Supercharged
The 2014 Land Rover Range Rover Supercharged does what very few $100,000+ vehicles can do: drive anywhere it wants while coddling you in the lap of luxury. The Land Rover Range Rover Supercharged's top-shelf four-wheel drive system offers a number of driver-configurable modes that take into account the terrain you are traveling over, and it also features a height-adjustable air suspension system that provides ground clearance when you need it most. Ever felt like dashing through four feet of snow without spilling your tea, or hitting 60-mph in under five seconds in one of the most enormous vehicles on the market? The 510 horsepower, supercharged V-8 Land Rover has you covered.
Most Fun Cars To Drive - 10 - 2014 SRT Viper
The 2014 SRT Viper is fun, taken to a different level. Not necessarily a 'higher' level, although one could argue that its on-track performance places it on a pedestal compared to other sports cars. What we are referring to specifically is the very direct nature of the beast. The SRT Viper will obey each and every one of your commands without a second thought, which leads to a margin of error that is very, very thin when attempting to corral 640 horsepower and 600 lb-ft of torque from an 8.4-liter V-10. Absolute mastery of the car's six-speed manual transmission and exceptional skill are required to squeeze every drop of fun out of this potent snake.