Is McLaren’s Most Affordable Supercar a Good Daily Driver?

While no one would jump as far as saying a McLaren is an affordable car, there is one model that has decreased in price down into a price range that’s more attainable as a dream car. The McLaren MP4-12C might seem like the entry-level model for drivers looking to get behind the wheel of a McLaren, but you won’t be disappointed by the car in any aspect. Of course, you can tell by looking at it that the MP4-12C is an astonishing car, but you may be surprised to learn just how great of a daily driver it can be.

A volcano orange mclaren mp4-12c
McLaren MP4-12C | View Pictures, Universal Images Group, Getty Images

Is the McLaren MP4-12C a good daily driver?

The McLaren MP4-12C was the first production vehicle completely manufactured by McLaren themselves, and they couldn’t have done a better job. Because they are older models, you can only find them in used condition, so the prices can range drastically from more attainable to more expensive. In heavily driven but still drivable condition, it isn’t impossible to find them for as low as $80,000, but you can also expect to see many between that price and much higher.

Like most supercars, the McLaren MP4-12C comes with the option to choose between several drive modes. In the standard comfort mode, the MP4-12C is smooth and comfortable, which makes sitting in traffic or longer trips enjoyable. Switching the controls over for full performance and you’ll be blown away by the driving experience.

A volcanic orange mclaren mp4-12c
A McLaren MP4-12C | Chris Ratcliffe, Bloomberg, Getty Images

Practicality, pricing, and fuel consumption

Financially, choosing the McLaren MP4-12C doesn’t seem like a reasonable option for a daily driver. According to Edmunds, it doesn’t offer particularly impressive fuel economy, with an average fuel consumption of about 18mpg — though that can vary greatly depending on driving style and traffic.

Maintenance on the MP4-12C isn’t as outrageous as some other vehicles, like just about any Bugatti, but it might still be an intimidating idea for some drivers new to the idea of daily driving an exotic car. If you’re more familiar with daily driving an exotic car, however, the McLaren MP4-12C is one of the most practical and comfortable options I’ve tried yet.

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Space and storage in the MP4-12C

One thing that I found particularly exciting about the McLaren MP4-12C was the amount of space the car has to offer, without appearing to be a large or spacious car. Next to the Lotus Evora, the MP4-12C didn’t appear to be an above-average-sized supercar but sitting down into either seat, you won’t feel cramped or claustrophobic.

Even more impressively, the McLaren MP4-12C is a genuine grocery getter. We were able to fit an entire shopping cart worth of groceries. This included a 40-pound bag of dog food and enough food for a small bbq. I anticipated a cramped drive home, but instead, all of the cart’s contents managed to fit comfortably and safely into the frunk.

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While you obviously wouldn’t be making weekend runs to the local home renovation store and bringing home anything too large in the McLaren MP4-12C, there is still plenty of space for what most people do on an average day, even if you’re trying to fit in oversized gym bags and groceries.

The cost of maintaining and repairing a McLaren prevents most people from choosing them as a daily drive, but with MP4-12C coming down to a more reasonable price, it isn’t a completely outlandish option, and