The Six Cars That Are the Most Fun to Drive in 2012

If you’re shopping for a new vehicle, you’ll probably be bombarded with all of the catchphrases du jour. Like “fuel economy.” “Advanced technology.” “Improved safety features.” “Eco-friendly.”

This is all well and good, but these terms don’t address the most basic question about car ownership: is it fun to drive?

Thankfully, there are some vehicles which have not completely sterilized the driving experience. Here are a half dozen of these cars that you’ll see on new car lots for 2012.

Toyota Yaris SE – Toyota made some changes to the 2012 model of this compact car. The electric steering has been quickened, the suspension has been stiffened, and the tires, wheels, and disc brakes have all been upsized. The result is a frisky, playful car that actually makes you look forward to driving it. Plus, the car insurance rates aren’t bad either.

Infiniti M35h Hybrid – Are you tired of sacrificing muscle when a hybrid engine shifts from gasoline to electric power? Then strap yourself into the M35h, which doesn’t feel any different when you’re conserving fuel from when you’re burning it. Plus, it has enough trappings of a luxury vehicle to make you forget that you’re sitting in a hybrid.

Honda Civic – The newly-designed 2012 version is not your father’s Civic. The clean lines and sporty exterior provide a lot more swagger for this year’s edition of Honda’s popular coupe. Who knows — before long, people may be buying the Civic for its fashion more than its function.

Buick Verano – Handsome offerings like the Verano are one reason why Buick’s sales are experiencing a resurgence. The little brother of the Regal sports a platform based on the popular Chevy Cruze, as well as an impressive 2.4-liter 4-cylinder engine. And it also boasts loads of luxury accents, such as a premium sound system and leather seats.

Chevrolet Sonic – Who says you can’t buy a compact car with style and attitude? There’s nothing dull about the Sonic hatchback’s bright rear spoiler, hefty bumpers, and nose-down stance. Throw in a bold hood/fascia design and fancy “day-glo” rims, and you’ve got yourself a truly pimpin’ (compact) ride.

Hyundai Veloster – Walking from one side of the Veloster to the other may cause you to do a double take. That’s because the driver’s side has a single door, while the passenger side contains a pair of doors. When you add a split-glass rear hatchback to the mix, you’ll discover a “coupe” that may just rewrite the definition of the term.

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