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What to buy
I haven’t been able to get press cars recently, so I decided to write about, “What to buy”, which is a rundown of the cars and trucks that I like in every vehicle class that matters. Hopefully press cars will start re-appearing soon.
Battery Electric Vehicles (BEVs)
Porsche Taycan – the Porsche of BEVs. The Taycan is much heavier than a 911, yet somehow this four-door/four-seat low slung sedan manages to feel like a 911 with electric power. I don’t understand how Porsche did it, but they did. Unfortunately, just average range and a problematic charging infrastructure mean that you’ll use this around town (and be very happy) but take your Escalade on road trips.
BMW iX – the same limitations that apply to the Taycan also apply to the iX SUV. However, the iX will be a much better kid carrier than the Porsche, and it would always be my choice for runs to the grocery store or Costco. Its looks will put some customers off though.
Tesla Model Y – the best looking BEV you can buy seems to also get cheaper by the day. The interior isn’t as nice as Porsche’s (or BMW’s or Audi’s or Cadillac’s) but who cares when you get access to the national Tesla Supercharger Network. OMG what a game changer that has turned out to be.
Porsche 911 – celebrating its 60th birthday this year, the 911 is the lion of the jungle in this category. Of course there are other good sports cars, but the rear-engine German original still rules this roost. I’m biased of course, having bought a new one two years ago after a, no joke, 48 year wait. I still love it.
Chevrolet Corvette – celebrating its 70th birthday this year—amazing that it predated the 911 by exactly 10 years—the Corvette is America’s sports car, and it’s been great for decades. The current iteration is mid-engine, which I don’t like because the Corvette has always been front engine/rear wheel drive, but enthusiasts are buying them like crazy, so I guess that’s ok.
Ford Mustang – as I type this, the Dodge Challenger and Chevrolet Camaro are approaching the end of their lives, but the Mustang has been extended for at least five years. With a V8 option. Thank you Ford!
Toyota RAV4 – weird styling combined with Toyota quality equals big sales? I guess so, but since most RAV4 buyers like the styling, what do I know. It’s the class sales leader.
Ford Bronco Sport – it’s been called an Escape with an OtterBox, but I still like it. And the new seventies colors combined with the white roof and wheels (also very seventies) only make me like it better. Buy this instead of the RAV4.
Volkswagen ID4 – VW’s BEV compact crossover is proving to be cute and popular (that combination always worked in high school didn’t it?). All of the BEV caveats noted above apply to the ID4.
Toyota Highlander – unimpeachable quality, three rows of seats, a nice interior, affordability, and decent fuel economy are the pillars that support robust sales of this terrific family hauler. So what if it’s boring to drive.
Chevrolet Tahoe – it’s a lot bigger than the Highlander, and the independent rear suspension (enabling a lower rear floor) and longer wheelbase (providing more second- and third-row legroom) that accompany the latest generation are big pluses. These SUVs are hard to beat if you’ve got kids.
Volkswagen Atlas – I was leaning toward awarding the third spot on this list to the popular Hyundai Palisade/Kia Telluride twins, but unnerving rumors about powertrain quality problems mean that the Atlas gets the nod. For 2024 VW has improved the quality of the Atlas’ interior materials—a negative in the gen 1 Atlas—and upped the ownership experience. The tech may be a little too “touchcreen-y”, but this is a family vehicle I could own.
Full size luxury SUVs
BMW X7 – much more than just a 20% bigger X5, the X7 brings luxury touches that seem to have been borrowed from BMW subsidiary Rolls Royce to the premium SUV game. It’s not an “ultimate driving machine” by any means, but it’s a great way to take your daughter to soccer practice.
Range Rover – the latest generation of the world’s favorite luxury SUV has an even more lux interior, the best BMW V8 and transmission money can buy, and an intoxicatingly beautiful exterior design. It costs a lot more than the last one did, but OMG what an SUV.
Lexus LX 600 – how can a mildly re-worked LX 570 with a Toyota Tundra engine and transmission make this list? Because it has a luxurious interior, will never break down, and will hold its value more than any of its competitors. Want to drive the heck out of it for ten years and then sell it? No problem, people will line up outside of your home wanting to buy it.