At 1,973 pounds, Mitsubishi makes the lightest car for sale in the USA. It also has just 74 horsepower. It has gotten flack for being so cheap that it cuts corners, but that's to be expected. In the right hands, it can be a ton of fun.
The Honda Fit is always a great choice. It has a great chassis and just enough power to be fun when you need to be, but it's not overpowering. Just make sure to get the manual.
How we wish we got the Seven 160 in the US. It has a three cylinder Suzuki engine with just 80 horsepower, which gets the lightweight Caterham to 60 in what seems like a leisurely 6.5 seconds... at least for a car that has a variant that can do it in 2.9.
The VW Golf has a fantastic chassis. Pair that with the TDI powertrain, and you have a winner that's frugal, fun, and quick enough.
The 328d is also available as a sedan, but spring for the wagon. It's all-wheel drive, has a mountain of torque, and tons of room for all your stuff. It's great for your bad weather fun time.
The 500 Twin-Air is another car we can't get in America, but the buzzy little two cylinder engine has been lauded the world over. It just sounds like it'd be a little fun machine.
You can get an Impreza with a manual gearbox, meaning you have a flat-four engine (like a Porsche!), all-wheel drive, and gears you select yourself. And it's composed when you start going fast.
Chevy's Spark has just 98 horsepower and 94 pound feet of torque. That means you need to wring its neck every time you want to go fast. And it responds. It's a little sweetheart.
The little 1.0 liter three-cylinder EcoBoost in the Fiesta 1.0 is a revelation. It feels like a mini straight-six out of a race car. Pair it with the manual gearbox and you have a car that is a ton of fun at any speed.
The Mazda2 is the rare car that you can run to redline in nearly every gear and not be close to breaking a speed limit. The compliant chassis also means it's competent and fun in the corners. No wonder it's a base for Spec B racing.