Best cars & vans

Caterham 7 160

Buy it whole, or build it yourself, the Caterham 7 160 is the entry point into the Caterham range

Caterham 160

Price: £17,495*Engine: 0.6-litre three-cylinder turboPower: 80bhpTorque: 107Nm0-62mph: 6.5 secondsTop speed: 100mph*In kit form

If you needed proof that less can be more, then look no further than the Caterham 7 160. Inspired by its Fifties Lotus 7 predecessor, this back to basics two-seater has been designed to deliver maximum thrills on shoestring budget.

Underpinning the Caterham’s low cost approach is its pint-sized Suzuki three-cylinder engine that pumps out just 80bhp and 107Nm. Yet thanks to the 7’s featherlight 490kg kerbweight the 0-62mph sprint takes a lively 6.5 seconds.

Caterham 7 160 review

It feels as fast as the figures suggest, too. Once the 660cc unit’s turbocharger is spinning, the Caterham surges forward with every prod of the throttle, while the five-speed gearbox provides a quick and precise shift. The blare from the exhaust and distinctive chatter from the turbo’s wastegate only add to the drama.

As with every 7, the 160 delivers an almost telepathic connection between the road and driver. Feedback floods through the tiny steering wheel and the Caterham can be placed with pinpoint accuracy through a series of corners.

And while the super skinny tyres provide a remarkable amount of grip, when the Caterham does start to slide it’s at relatively low speed, inspiring confidence and allowing you to access its engaging dynamics anywhere and anytime.

Build it yourself and the 7 will set you back just £17,495, plus it’ll cost no more to run than a city car. In terms of delivering big thrills and small bills, nothing comes close to matching the remarkable Caterham.

Best cheap fast cars 2018

  1. 1. Ford Fiesta ST
  2. 2. Caterham 7 160
  3. 3. Mazda MX-5
  4. 4. Volkswagen up! GTI
  5. 5. Hyundai i30N
  6. 6. Honda Civic Type R
  7. 7. MINI Cooper S
  8. 8. Toyota GT 86
  9. 9. Suzuki Swift Sport
  10. 10. Fiat 124 Spider

Recommended

New Caterham Seven 420 CUP 2022 review
Caterham Seven 420 CUP - front tracking
Caterham 7

New Caterham Seven 420 CUP 2022 review

One of Caterham’s most extreme road-legal cars ever is, unsurprisingly, one of its most thrilling.
25 May 2022
Caterham Seven review
Caterham 170R - front tracking
Caterham 7

Caterham Seven review

The Caterham Seven delivers classic British sports car thrills and blistering pace, if you can live with the stripped back design
19 Dec 2021
Caterham 170R vs Mazda MX-5: 2022 group test review
Caterham 170R vs Mazda MX-5
Mazda MX-5

Caterham 170R vs Mazda MX-5: 2022 group test review

We try the Caterham 170R and Mazda MX-5 in the midst of winter to see which is the best lightweight sports car
18 Dec 2021
Caterham Seven 170 revealed as the lightest production Seven yet
Caterham 170
Caterham 7

Caterham Seven 170 revealed as the lightest production Seven yet

Starting from £22,990, the Seven 170 weighs in at just 440kg, making it the lightest Caterham on sale
23 Sep 2021

Most Popular

EU demands speed limiters on all new cars from next week: know the rules and how they work
speed limiters
News

EU demands speed limiters on all new cars from next week: know the rules and how they work

Car industry body calls for UK government to adopt the new measures, but we’ll probably get them anyway…
29 Jun 2022
New MG 4 electric hatch arrives with 280 miles of range
New MG 4 2023
News

New MG 4 electric hatch arrives with 280 miles of range

The all-electric MG 4 hatchback rivals the Volkswagen ID.3 and introduces MG’s new MSP electric platform
28 Jun 2022
New 2022 Hyundai Ioniq 6 enters as sleek all-electric saloon
Hyundai Ioniq 6 - front
News

New 2022 Hyundai Ioniq 6 enters as sleek all-electric saloon

The Hyundai Ioniq 6 is the follow-up to the game-changing Ioniq 5 and packages the same EV technology into a streamlined shape
28 Jun 2022