Most Fun Cars for Dads

fun cars for dads gr corolla

Most Fun Cars for Dads

Since becoming a father back in December of 2023, a lot has changed. I think about many things differently than before. One of those things is cars. See, I’m not yet in a spot where I can have designated cars for different things, so I need to choose wisely on my next purchase, which is only about 2 years away. The criteria for my list of fun cars for dads goes as follows:

Reliable – This cannot leave me stranded with a crying 9-month-old… No way

Roomy – We have an SUV, so we don’t need that, but I also can’t get a two-seater 

Realistic – Affordability is relative, but in this case, I’m going to say a price of $45k and under (I can just hear all the comments now about my take on “affordable”)

Riotous – I needed another “R” word… With that, I’m sick of white, heavy, V6 sedans… The goal is to hit the lock button on the key fob, look back and say, “man… I’m glad I did this.”


So, in my research, I’ve found some options that I’d like to share (in no particular order).

Honda Civic Type R

The 10th Honda Civic Type R has been pretty polarizing on styling, but you can’t deny that it is a special car. It looks like nothing else on the road, but at its core, it’s a good ol’ civic. Under the hood is a 2.0-liter turbocharged engine producing 315 horsepower, giving it quite a bit of punch. Its finely tuned chassis and sporty handling make every drive enjoyable. This car will have you putting your hand up the moment your wife says, “we need to run to the store.”

Meanwhile, the spacious hatchback body allows for easy loading of a car seat or two. The Civic Type R’s reliability and practicality are signature Honda traits, making it a dependable companion for years to come. Oh, and if you wait a bit, the pricing on the 11th generation (2023-2024) might come down a tad (or at least I sure hope so).

honda civic type r

Honda Civic Si

The Honda Civic Si is the more subdued sibling of the Type R but still delivers a solid driving experience. Its 1.5-liter turbocharged engine produces 200ish horsepower, and the six-speed manual transmission keeps it engaging. Known for its balance of sportiness and everyday usability, the Civic Si has the pep to keep the parents (and kids) entertained while offering a roomy interior with excellent fuel economy (like, almost 40 mpg excellent). The Civic Si’s affordability and reliability make it a sensible option for dads seeking a sporty yet practical ride. As of this blog, you can snag one for under $30k used, making it one of the most affordable on this list.

honda civic si

Toyota GR Corolla

In the search for the most fun cars for dads, I was highly impressed when I came across this one. The GR Corolla should not exist, but it does. It is proof that there are car makers that still care about fun and practicality, transforming the mundane into something amazing. Powered by a 1.6-liter three-cylinder turbo, 300 horsepower engine, it’s engineered for spirited driving. The all-wheel-drive system provides excellent traction and control, even in challenging conditions. This is the car you take to the store when the kids need hot chocolate supplies on a snow day. Sadly, dealer markup is running rampant on this one right now in 2024. Give it some time and let this one settle down before grabbing a used one and you just might have yourself a good deal.

fun cars for dads gr corolla

Volkswagen GTI

The Volkswagen GTI is an iconic hot hatch known for its combination of practicality, sportiness, and German character. You’re probably thinking, “woah, I thought you said reliable–this ain’t that!” First off, calm down, I’m in charge here. Second, all jokes aside, these cars are immensely reliable IF you take care of them. The current (2024) GTI is powered by a 2.0-liter turbocharged engine producing 240 or so horsepower. As far as the interior goes, it’s lovely. Room enough for car seats and weekend getaway gear all the same. The GTI’s engaging handling delivers an exhilarating drive. This car remains a favorite among dads seeking a balanced, enjoyable daily driver.

fun cars for dads volkswagen gti

Kia Stinger GT

The Kia Stinger GT is a surprising car from Kia. Frankly, I’m not a fan of their quality, usually. However I drove one of these back in 2022 and was shocked at how much fun and how much usability was there. Its twin-turbocharged 3.3-liter V6 engine delivers a potent 368 horsepower, offering ample power for most anything. The fastback design provides generous cargo space and backseat legroom, ideal for fitting a car seat and some Starbucks orders. The Stinger comes well-equipped with tech features and advanced safety systems, making it a nice place to spend time if you’ve got the fam in there on a road trip. This car brings a lot to the table and if you’re skeptical about Kia/Hyundai, at least give this one a shot. You’ll be pleasantly surprised.

fun cars for dads kia stinger gt

So, What Now?

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