What you expect of the 160 will determine what you think of it. If you believe you’re buying a cut-price modern Seven, hot-wired to go sideways and hot-rodded with a Japanese-flavoured hit of the usual Caterham potency, you’ll walk away from the 160’s imaginative concoction of disparate elements utterly mystified as to its appeal.

But if you’re hoping to spend a little on a lot, on purchasing a singular experience of motoring pleasure rather than a ballistic end result, the 160 will return your investment tenfold with an easy-going and appropriate charm all of its own.

It's fun but the entry-level Seven just smacks a little of compromise

So stark is its position as a starter car or first step into the Seven spirit that it’s hard to imagine any current Caterham owner regressing into it – yet for the uninitiated it will seem like a revelation.

Its somewhat rudimentary flair leaves it short of classic status, but the 160 is an invigorating car and not a little special.

Those seeking outright speed and precision, however, should look to the likes of the Ford-powered Caterham Sevens.

Advertisement
Advertisement

Find an Autocar car review

Explore the Caterham range

Find an Autocar car review

Explore the Caterham range