Best red cars

Fancy a bold red car to liven up your driveway? Say goodbye to drab white, silver and black cars with the best models available in red

James Wilson
Mar 24, 2022

Red is the colour of love and anger, and it has links to some of the most desirable performance cars in the world (we are looking at you, Ferrari). At the same time, it can also bring memories of Postman Pat and the less desirable scarlet-coloured vehicles on our roads, so red cars can be all things to all people.

Handily, you can find a huge range of cars available in a red hue. There are economical and affordable city cars, such as the Seat Mii and Fiat 500, practical family cars like the Audi A4, Ford Focus and Citroen Grand C4 SpaceTourer and also sporty performance cars like the Audi TT, Mazda MX-5 and Peugeot 208 GTI.

Below we have picked eight of the very best red cars from a wide variety of car types, including both practical and fun options. Regardless of the make and model, all of the cars listed look fantastic in red. Don’t go thinking all reds are the same, though, as there is quite the choice.

Some red cars come in a ‘solid’ red (which is like a tomato red) but there are also metallic reds that tend to shine more when the light hits them. Common shades of red paint include tomato red, cherry red, burgundy red and even blood red. Regardless of hue, all the models listed below can be scooped up for somewhere between £8,000 and £40,000 (roughly £150 to £500 per month when financed on PCP finance) for models up to seven years old.

Red cars for sale

1. Citroen Grand C4 SpaceTourer

Best red car with space for seven

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Some red cars are destined to cruise the Italian riviera, some red cars are destined to cruise the local swimming pool car park ready to pick up the kids. The Citroen Grand C4 SpaceTourer is very much the latter. It is a big, spacious people carrier that is perfect for families. All models come with seven seats spread over three rows. The front and middle seats will happily cater for adults but the rearmost ones are best suited to children if you are planning a particularly long journey, though adults can fit in comfortably for shorter trips.

Red models are readily available and can look quite stylish. This is partly thanks to the large windows and silver accent that runs from the top of the bonnet, up and over the doors and right to the boot, contrasting with the paintwork. The latter isn’t included on all models, so if it's something you would like, be sure to check the cars you are considering. Additionally, the silver and black alloy wheels available on trims such as Feel and Shine add even more visual panache.


2. Mazda CX-5

Best red car that is practical and fun to drive

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Mazda does red rather well. In fact, it is one of its signature colours - in 'Soul Red' form - so regardless of whether you are looking for a CX-5 SUV or an MX-5 sports car you’ll have plenty of red models to choose from. Colour isn’t the only feature that is shared across the Mazda range; great handling around corners is a Mazda trademark, too. The CX-5 is one of the best driving mid-size SUVs around, scoring higher than rivals such as the Volkswagen Tiguan and Nissan X-Trail.

The CX-5 is also a practical car, and thanks to its spacious cabin and large boot it will serve those with kids, dogs or both very well. The boot measures in at 506 litres, which is large, but not as large as that in the Tiguan. Thanks to the boot being nice and square and the boot floor being flat, though, it is easy to fit bulky items in. Another selling point for the CX-5 is that it is generally well equipped with some models coming with an electric boot and heated steering wheel, along with a host of other luxuries.


3. Honda Civic Type R

Best red car for fast driving

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Honda’s most hardcore performance models are badged as ‘Type R’. Importantly the ‘R’ is always red and the Civic version is also available in a bold red shade. The latest generation Honda Civic Type R is widely regarded as one of the best hot hatches of all time. This means you get all the benefits of a regular hatchback - such as relatively low running costs, a reasonably large boot and easy boot access - plus all the fun of a performance car.

Underneath the extreme styling and striking red paint (other colours are available, but not many) there is a four-cylinder turbocharged petrol engine that produces a substantial 316hp, though the Civic lacks four-wheel-drive, which is often fitted to cars with this amount of power - such as the VW Golf R - to give them greater grip when accelerating.

Such power makes for rapid acceleration, though as the Civic is only two-wheel-drive, it can be easy to spin the front wheels if you drive the car hard in rain or slippery conditions, but Honda made sure to fit the Civic Type R with large brakes, grippy tyres and firm suspension to make it drive like a sports car. As an overall package, it is not for the faint-hearted, but it sure is fast and fun.


4. Nissan Juke

Best red car for head-turning styling

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Nissan offers not one but two different shades of red with its popular Juke. One is best described as a tomato red (officially called Flame Red) and the other a metallic red with a hint of burgundy (officially called Magnetic Red). Although these hues help the Juke to look more striking, it is the bold shape of the car that draws the most attention. The large circular spotlights, sloping roofline and hidden rear door handles create something of a Marmite car that people either love or hate.

Nissan released a new generation Juke in 2019 - and you'll be pleased to hear that you can still get it in red. While the updated model is undoubtedly an improvement, the previous version is still a great value crossover, so do consider this if you have less to spend and you don't mind having a slightly less practical model. As for engines, petrol and diesel models are available, with the small turbocharged petrol engines offering decent fuel economy and punch, while the diesel options work better for those who do lots of long journeys.


5. Vauxhall Crossland X

Best red car for a high driving position and low running costs

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For those on the hunt for a practical, efficient and red crossover, the Vauxhall Crossland X is a fine option. There were some fairly significant visual updates to the Crossland at the start of 2021 and at the same time the ‘X’ was removed from the name. So, if you like the look of this model, it's worth considering both Crossland X and Crossland models, depending on your budget and the age of car you're after.

Regardless of age, all models are well equipped. There is also a great selection of punchy petrol and diesel engines - the 1.2-litre turbocharged petrol units are particular highlights, as they blend performance and economy very well.

The red on offer is a solid red which when combined with the black cladding around the bottom of each Crossland X creates something of a striking contrast. The driving experience, meanwhile, has been engineered for comfort rather than sportiness, so the Crossland suits those with a relaxed driving style best. This is on-brand with the practical cabin design, which is remarkably airy thanks to the large windscreen and tall cabin.


6. Mini Convertible

Best red car for wind-in-your-hair driving

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Red Minis have been popular for decades – helped in part by the original Italian Job movie, where drivers in red, white and blue Minis famously stole millions of pounds' worth of gold. Modern-day Minis are much more reliable than those original cars, not to mention safer, faster and can be equipped with high-tech features such as Apple CarPlay, cruise control and heated seats. The convertible models are also a lot more watertight than older versions and offer even more fun when on the move.

Convertible models come with a fabric roof that electronically folds into a little pile at the rear of the car. Adults will struggle for space in the back on long journeys - especially with the roof up) but if you need a convertible to be practical, you are better looking at larger and more expensive cars such as the Mercedes E-Class Cabriolet.

The Mini Convertible is available with plenty of trim levels and models to choose from. Cooper variants with the 1.5-litre petrol engine offer bags of fun for the low running costs. If you are drawn to performance cars, meanwhile, then the more powerful 2.0-litre engine found in Cooper S can make for rapid acceleration in such a small car.


7. Jaguar F-Pace

Best red car for SUV looks and a sporty drive

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It doesn’t matter how you slice it, regardless of colour the Jaguar F-Pace is one good-looking SUV. The broad front grille, the large alloy wheels and the sporty styling come together into a package that both offers a high seating position and is fun to drive. Jaguar’s engineers made sure the handling of the F-Pace matches its sporty looks, making this an enjoyable car to drive around town and on faster roads. This is impressive because sometimes tall SUVs can feel like they wallow around corners compared with lower cars.

If you like the idea of a sporty-looking F-Pace then R-Sport models - which are available with optional 22-inch alloy wheels, some of the largest you can find on any car - are just the ticket. The SVR model looks more aggressive and offers incredible acceleration thanks to its huge 5.0-litre petrol engine, though this uses fuel like there is no tomorrow so has sky-high running costs. If you’d rather have a more subtle-looking F-Pace, then an elegant Portfolio specification model is our recommendation.


8. Volkswagen Up

Best red car for low running costs

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The Up is a stylish but affordable city car, which is available in basic low-powered form through to more luxurious models and the sporty Up GTI model. Those after a cheap-to-run fun small car will love the Up GTI, which has a tiny 1.0-litre petrol engine thrumming away under the bonnet which produces just enough power to make whizzing along backroads an absolute blast - even if you're not going that fast. Plus, the Up GTI is relatively lightweight which helps keep fuel consumption nice and low.

Most models come with a manual gearbox and a good smattering of equipment and you have a choice between three or five doors. Inside there are plenty of red accents (it is VW tradition to use red trim to signify sporty GTI models), such as red stitching on the steering wheel, flashes of red on the gear knob and a red pattern on the seat fabric. The biggest issue with the Up GTI is finding a model, as it is quite rare.


*Representative PCP finance - Ford Fiesta:

48 monthly payments of £192
Deposit: £0
Mileage limit: 8,000 per year
Optional final payment to buy car: £2,923
Total amount payable to buy car: £11,926
Total cost of credit: £2,426
Amount borrowed: £9,500
APR: 9.9%

BuyaCar is a credit broker, not a lender. Our rates start from 6.9% APR. The rate you are offered will depend on your individual circumstances.


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