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2013 Chevrolet Camaro SS (General Motors)
2013 Chevrolet Camaro SS (General Motors)

Best of the Lot

Should I go for the automotive Viagra? Add to ...

I currently own a 2004 Honda Accord, which I use for business appointments, and it's turned out to be the best thing I have ever bought. Reliable, comfortable for driving around the city all day and economical, too. Although it's mechanically perfect with 210,000 km, I'm planning to update. My choices are: a new Accord, a two-year-old Mercedes Certified C300 from the U.S. (about $27,000), or a new Camaro with the base V-6 and manual tranny. Pretty broad range of choices, I know. Do I stay with Honda, treat myself like a senator, or get some automotive Viagra? – Aaron in Vancouver

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Cato: Viagra? Aaron, your query seems torn from the tabloids. Sample headline: How I lost 55 pounds: Fear of dementia. No dementia here and my experience with Viagra is – wait for it – the automotive kind. Highly recommended.

But Aaron, don’t take half a blue pill. I mean, forget about a V-6 Camaro – 323 horsepower? Are you kidding? Man up and get at least the 426-horsepower Camaro SS ($38,350 for the coupe). It’s time for 6.2 litres of libido-lifting V-8. No, no. Hold on. I want you to go all hairy-chested, Aaron: get a Camaro with the menacing supercharged V-8. It barks out a savage growl when you fire up its 580 horses. Very manly.

Vaughan: I hate to admit I’m in the same demographic as Cato and his greybeard buddies, but back in the day when I had my new 5.0 V-8 Mustang convertible I was totally into such toys. But way back then it maxed out at 225 hp. If Aaron goes from his boring old Accord –160 hp for the four-cylinder – to Cato’s 580-something Camaro, he’s going to drive right off the Lions Gate Bridge – with a big smile on his face.

Cato: He’ll get happy in a hurry, too. Chevy says the supercharged Camaro does 0-97 km/h in four seconds. Top speed: 294 km/h. As I’ve said before, a car like this is perfect for on-the-cusp geezers looking for renewed vitality.

Vaughan: Such as yourself?

Cato: Look, Mr. Vaughan, you recovering muscle car maniac, Aaron has asked us to compare a Camaro – the car he clearly covets – to an Accord or a used Merc. The obvious answer is Camaro.

Yes, the latest Accord is a delightful automobile – not at all tedious for what it is. Aaron should at least consider the full-dressed coupe with navigation system, six-speed manual and a smooth 278-hp V-6. Price: $35,445, and it surely will last until Aaron needs a hip replacement or longer.

Vaughan: Okay let’s talk at that used Mercedes – er, I mean Certified Pre-Owned. Why bother looking at the used stuff when the Germans are slugging it out in price wars? There’s a big battle going on for the bragging rights for World’s Number One luxury brand. Did I mention they’re Germans?

Worldwide, BMW is No. 1, Audi No. 2, Mercedes No. 3. In Canada, well, BMW and Merc are neck-and-neck for No. 1, but Audi is coming up the inside and making big gains. My point is, these auto companies are slashing prices in places we’ve not seen before. They’re matching each other’s discounts, too.

Aaron, my advice is to shop for a new Merc if it’s a Merc that you want. Get all the extras being offered from a salesperson who’ll shine your shoes if it looks like you’ll sign on the dotted line.

2013 BMW 335i coupe
 

Cato: Here’s an example of what Vaughan’s talking about, Aaron. BMW Canada has slapped a $4,000 factory discount on a $53,400 335i coupe with rear-wheel-drive. You should be able to squeeze at least a couple grand more out of the dealer, too. That gets you a lovely 3-Series coupe for less than 50 large.

And automotive Viagra? The engine is a silky 300-hp, turbocharged inline-six and the transmission is a manual – one of the best six-speed gearboxes anywhere. All your Left Coast friends love Bimmers, Aaron.

Vaughan: Aaron and Cato are both delusional if they think a retro muscle car will take a day off their perceived or actual ages. In the meantime, Aaron says the 2004 Accord “turned out to be the best thing I have ever bought.” The fantasies are over, Aaron – go get yourself a new Accord.

Shop around and don’t let them sell you seat protectors or whatever options they’re flogging this week. Call us in 10 years when you need another one. And stop watching those Viagra ads.

2013 Honda Accord Coupe
 

Cato: In your heart, Vaughan, I truly, honestly believe that you sympathize with Aaron. You still have your old Porsche, don’t you? Set Aaron free. Don’t tell him to get the Accord – even the coupe with a V-6 that’s gutsier than your old ’Stang V-8.

Aaron, get the Camaro. Ten years from now. it will be too late to care about automotive Viagra.

Jeremy Cato and Michael Vaughan are co-hosts of Car/Business, which airs Thursdays at 8:30 p.m. on Business News Network and Saturdays at 11:30 a.m. on CTV.

HOW THEY COMPARE



2013 Chevrolet Camaro 1SS coupe2013 Honda Accord EX-L NAVI V-6 coupe2013 BMW 335i coupe (M6)

Wheelbase (mm)

285227252760

Length (mm)

483648054620

Width (mm)

191818501782

Height (mm)

137714361375

Engine

6.2-litre V-83.5-litre V-63.0-litre six-cylinder, turbocharged

Output (horsepower/torque)

426/420 lb-ft278/251 lb-ft300/300 lb-ft

Drive system

Rear-wheel driveFront-wheel driveRear-wheel drive

Transmission

Six-speed manualSix-speed manualSix-speed manual

Curb Weight (kg)

175515521591

Fuel economy (litres/100 km)

13.4 city/8.3 highway11.5 city/7.1 highway10.9 city/7.1 highway

Base price (MSRP)

$38,350$35,445$53,400

Source: car manufacturers

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