Joe Tralongo – 2010 VW GOLF TDI
Bring on the oil burners! The Golf TDI diesel gives me near-hybrid fuel economy (EPA estimate 30 city/42 highway) but in a package that is ultimately more fun to drive. A choice of six-speed manual or DSG automatic transmissions, GTI like front seats and enough options to make the interior of this Golf almost Audi-like are all the reasons I need to buy one. I chose to ignore the silly cost-benefit ratio BS, because I don’t buy my cars based solely on their projected return on my investment; I have a stock portfolio for that. I buy a car because it’s fun yet frugal, and will last long after the payments are done. The Golf TDI meets all my criteria.
Nick Kurczewski – Dodge Challenger R/T
What is the only thing more shocking than a bright orange, chrome-wheeled Dodge Challenger R/T with racing stripes? Hearing your boyfriend say it’s the perfect car if you were shopping for a new set of wheels. My better-half is a classy character, with a fine sense of fashion and good manners. Imagine a smart little Audi TT coupe, or perky BMW 1-Series, and you’ve got him pegged. But even he was smitten by the over-the-top character and fun-loving nature of the Challenger R/T. After nearly five years spent in Paris, France, this is exactly what I missed about American cars. And after nearly 10 years together, I’m thrilled my boyfriend agrees!
Casey Williams – Cadillac CTS Sport Wagon
I’ve been a fan of Cadillacs since I fell in love with Elvis and a certain gold ’69 DeVille. Those cars were for kings, and you knew what they were coming and going. Based on the cool Cadillac CTS, the Sport Wagon extends the rear to two pillars of light-tubed tailfin. The bold grille that extends from bumper bottom to hood is dramatic, but the rear lights out-shine Harley Earl’s ’59 Caddy. The fact that it has enough cargo space to hold a fully assembled mountain bike and a 304-HP 3.6-litre V6 connected to all-wheel-drive, make it a car that I could drive forever. From kids to clubs, it makes fast tracks.
Joe LaMuraglia – 2010 Subaru Outback
Choosing a car “for me” is always the most difficult of this annual list. There are so many amazing choices and I like so many vehicles on the road today. While I quickly fall in love with some of the luxury cars I am privileged to drive (case in point: the Jaguar XKR I just spend a week with had me at first growl), when it comes down to what I would spend my limited money on, I’d end up choosing a more practical vehicle. This year’s pick is the 2010 Subaru Outback. It is bigger, more fuel efficient and more capable than the last generation Subaru wagons. I was particularly impressed with how easily it transitions from on-road normalcy to a Japanese billy goat when taken off road. I don’t find the exterior particularly attractive but then again, the interior is great looking and that is what I’ll be looking at as I drive. Black, manual transmission, heated cloth seats and sunroof please.
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