Caterham Seven K Series
Classic looks and modern tech are an enticing mix in a sports car, and the Caterham Seven Classic has them both.
Years: 1991-2013Price new: £13,180Engine: 1.4-litre 4cyl, 105bhp
Classic looks and modern tech are an enticing mix in a sports car, and the Caterham Seven Classic has them both. The original Seven’s design stretches all the way back to 1957, but under the bonnet is the same fuel-injected, 16-valve engine found in the Rover 200.
In combination with the car’s 500kg kerbweight, the 105bhp 1.4-litre Rover K Series helps the Seven sprint from 0-62mph in 6.5 seconds and on to 110mph. But there’s even more fun to be had at lower speeds thanks to the car’s balance. There’s not much grip, but the detailed feel through the wheel gives the confidence to adjust your line with the accelerator, and you really have to rev it to extract the maximum due to the small capacity.
Cocooned in the tight cockpit, you’ll soon realise ergonomics have never been Caterham’s strong point, but with a heater and a heated windscreen, there’s enough to keep you comfortable until you find that perfect road.
Click the links below for the other 1,400cc cars that have made our list.
In this review
- 1IntroductionAuto Express celebrates 1,400 issues by driving our favourite 1,400cc cars from the last 25 years
- 2Reliant Scimitar SSTReliant may have been most famous for its three-wheelers, but it has also dabbled in sports cars.
- 3Caterham Seven K Series - currently readingClassic looks and modern tech are an enticing mix in a sports car, and the Caterham Seven Classic has them both.
- 4Volkswagen Polo BlueMotionEco-focused superminis are common now, but even in the late noughties that wasn’t the case
- 5Mercedes A140It’s easy to forget how influential the original A-Class was. Mercedes’ first people carrier was tall, but had a short wheelbase.
- 6Audi A2
- 7Volkswagen Golf GTE
- 8Vauxhall Nova 1.4SR Boxy styling and blistered wheelarches inspired a generation of car fans in the eighties, and the Vauxhall Nova SR was the aspirational warm hatch for young drivers who wanted thrills without the bills.
- 9Fiat Panda 100HPThe Fiat Group has used 1.4 power several times in its history
- 10Abarth 595C
- 11Rover 214When planning this road test we knew there was one car that had to be here: the Rover 214.