Bang for your buck, performance for your pound, dash for your cash, wallop for your wad… whatever you want to call it, I think we can agree that this is not a high-brow concept.
Indeed, and at its heart, it is a number arrived at extremely easily for more than 40 years now, since the widespread availability of that diminutive giant of the computer age, the pocket calculator. Price divided by power.
And yet there is a certain simple honesty in the number that results. So simple, in fact, that we wondered why, as far as any of us can remember, no one has ever tried to pull out a few examples of cars that, by this charmingly crude method at least, offer a particular kind of value for money.
One horsepower. How much would you be prepared to pay for a single bhp? Perhaps more than you’d think. Down in the bargain basement of cheapo petrol-powered push-along mowers, you might pay as little as £50 for a unit of power equivalent to an ability to lift 75kg a distance of one metre in a second – which is one measurement of a single metric horsepower – but in our automotive world, you’ll have no such chance.
Cars need doors, windows, furniture, gearboxes, differentials, equipment, space and many other items not identified as traditional requirements for lawn mowers, so, in the event, it’s remarkable just how close to this mark some cars actually come.
So what follows are some examples in different categories of cars and their rating in pure bang-for-your-buck terms. The list is not and was never intended to be exhaustive, but more a collection of cars that we like or find interesting or perform notably well or badly on this scale. You may well find others you regard as worthy of note or inclusion and, if so, we look forward to hearing about them from you.