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Best for handling

Our survey crowns Britain's best handling car, rated for steering feel and chassis balance.

Category: Handling

One of the most prestigious categories in Driver Power has to be the handling chart. The way a car can tackle a twisty road, navigate a sharp corner or even deal with an emergency lane change at motorway speeds is assessed and rated here.

The key to a good score is a well-engineered chassis, accurately set up suspension and the correct wheel and tyre choice. The model at the top of this chart places its dynamic abilities at the very top of its priority list.

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Mazda’s MX-5 has the classic roadster chassis set up, with its engine at the front, driving the rear wheels. Perfectly damped suspension allows the Japanese two-seater to respond perfectly to steering inputs, with just enough body roll to let the driver know how much cornering force is being exerted and just enough grip to make the Mazda a real joy on almost any road.

Proving the success of Mazda’s commitment to driving dynamics, the company’s RX-8 coupe makes it into second place. With the benefit of near-perfect chassis balance and superb responses the rotary engined model is ticking all the right boxes for driving fans.

It’s another fail for Vauxhall’s old shape Corsa at the bottom of the handling chart, with excessive bodyroll and tendency to understeer sealing its fate.

What you said: "Brilliant - the handling is superb, and stands up to comparison with much more exotic models" - Mazda MX-5 1.8 Owner

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"This vehicle is the best handling vehicle I have ever owned, what it lacks in outright power for a sportscar it more than compensates for with sublime handling." - Mazda RX-8 driver.

1

MAZDAMX-5/RC MKIII96.39%

2

MAZDARX-895.32%

3

MINIONE/COOPER/COOPER S NEW94.70%

4

SKODAYETI93.52%

5

JAGUARXF93.16%

6

VOLKSWAGENSCIROCCO93.14%

7

AUDITT/ROADSTER NEW92.53%

8

MINIONE/COOPER/COOPER S OLD91.69%

9

BMW3-SERIES MKIV91.68%

10

SEATLEON MKII89.94%

11

BMW1-SERIES89.90%

12

MAZDA6 NEW89.89%

13

VOLKSWAGENGOLF MKVI89.47%

14

FORDFOCUS OLD89.16%

15

FORDFIESTA MKVI89.13%

16

VauxhallINSIGNIA89.10%

17

BMW3-SERIES MKIII89.04%

18

FORDS-MAX88.84%

19

HYUNDAICOUPE88.79%

20

NISSANQASHQAI88.49%

21

VAUXHALLASTRA MKVI88.40%

22

SKODASUPERB NEW88.21%

23

MERCEDESC-CLASS MKIII88.16%

24

SKODAOCTAVIA NEW88.14%

25

ALFA ROMEO15688.12%

26

RENAULTMEGANE MKIII88.11%

27

MAZDA2 NEW87.84%

28

BMW5-SERIES MKV87.73%

29

SEATIBIZA MKIV87.64%

30

MERCEDESE-CLASS MKIV87.62%

31

ALFA ROMEO15987.62%

32

FORDMONDEO MKIV87.42%

33

JAGUARX-TYPE86.97%

34

RENAULTLAGUNA MKIII86.67%

35

VOLKSWAGENGOLF MKV86.61%

36

HYUNDAII30 (clean)85.96%

37

SEATALTEA85.94%

38

RENAULTCLIO MKIII85.91%

39

KIACEE'D85.66%

40

MERCEDESE-CLASS MKIII85.53%

41

JAGUARS-TYPE85.49%

42

HONDACIVIC MKVIII85.44%

43

AUDIA385.00%

44

FORDC-MAX OLD85.00%

45

AUDIA584.55%

46

AUDIA4 MKIV84.53%

47

ROVER7584.37%

48

MAZDA6 OLD84.27%

49

HONDAJAZZ NEW84.09%

50

VOLVOV5084.00%
 

51

FORDFIESTA MKV83.97%

52

NISSANMICRA MKIII83.61%

53

FORDFOCUS 1998-200483.60%

54

LEXUSIS NEW83.51%

55

VAUXHALLCORSA NEW83.42%

56

LAND ROVERFREELANDER NEW83.41%

57

AUDIA4 MKIII83.11%

58

FORDMONDEO MKIII82.91%

59

NISSANNOTE82.83%

60

HONDACIVIC MKVII82.73%

61

MERCEDESC-CLASS MKII82.53%

62

SKODAFABIA NEW82.39%

63

HONDAACCORD MKVII82.35%

64

VAUXHALLZAFIRA NEW82.07%

65

VOLVOS4081.96%

66

VOLKSWAGENTOURAN81.29%

67

AUDIA6 MKIII81.10%

68

HONDACR-V MKIII80.97%

69

FORDKA OLD80.74%

70

MERCEDESA-CLASS NEW80.40%

71

HONDAJAZZ OLD80.25%

72

SAAB9-5 OLD80.00%

73

PEUGEOT20779.75%

74

VAUXHALLASTRA MKV79.60%

75

RENAULTMEGANE MKII79.53%

76

FIATPANDA79.49%

77

VOLKSWAGENPASSAT OLD79.13%

78

CITROENC4 OLD79.08%

79

TOYOTAAURIS78.80%

80

TOYOTACOROLLA78.69%

81

SAAB 9-377.87%

82

RENAULTCLIO MKII77.83%

83

VOLKSWAGENPASSAT 2000-200577.37%

84

RENAULTSCENIC/GRAND SCENIC MKII77.25%

85

VOLVOS6077.24%

86

VAUXHALLMERIVA OLD77.00%

87

TOYOTAYARIS NEW76.94%

88

TOYOTAAVENSIS OLD76.81%

89

PEUGEOT30776.43%

90

FIAT50076.25%

91

FIATBRAVO76.25%

92

CITROENC4 PICASSO76.15%

93

CITROENC5 NEW76.00%

94

VAUXHALLVECTRA MKIII75.75%

95

LAND ROVERFREELANDER OLD75.69%

96

FIATPUNTO75.48%

97

FIATGRANDE PUNTO75.22%

98

CITROENXSARA PICASSO75.16%

99

VOLKSWAGENPOLO MKIV73.89%

100

VAUXHALLCORSA OLD73.80%
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