After a rapturous experience with a V8-powered Ford Mustang over the holidays, my family and I are looking for a second car that’s more fun to drive. My 2013 Subaru Outback 3.6R is a great family hauler for my wife, son and two dogs, and is still running fine. But, as my sister-in-law told me, “You love to drive and you’re good at it.” So this car is about scratching that itch while I’m young enough to enjoy it.
I can afford to go European, but I don’t care about brand names as long as it puts a silly grin on my face when I’m behind the wheel. I’m willing to go electric and my garage could easily be upgraded for a charger. If we’re talking about EVs though, Tesla’s build quality is a turn-off, among other things.
- It’s a blast to drive in the city and on the highway.
- It can fit my long legs and six-foot-two frame.
- It has a decent back seat for my growing son.
- I have long-term relationships with my cars so it needs to be reliable.
If you’re in my shoes, what would you choose? – Mike
Petrina Gentile: Looking for a fun car to drive before it’s too late – good for you, Mike. Let’s jump right in and give Mike some electric and then gas-powered options to consider. Tesla is out of the question. How about a Genesis GV60?
Mark Richardson: I was thinking Genesis G70 until Mike mentioned needing a decent back seat. The GV60 is officially a crossover, but who knows any more? Every automaker is trying to label their cars as SUVs because those are what sell better.
Gentile: I think of it as a small crossover – it is stylish, fun to drive, comfortable and there’s space in the rear for Mike’s growing son. Plus, it is all electric.
Richardson: If he pays an extra $8,000 for the Performance edition, which brings it to $79,000 before taxes, then he gets a very powerful 320-kilowatt electric motor that really is a blast. I recorded less than four seconds, each way, in test runs to 100 kilometres an hour. That’s quick.
Gentile: Yes, it’s fast. And Mike’s a performance guy, so he’d like those numbers. But there are other options. How about an electric Ford Mustang Mach-E? That’s also fun to drive.
Richardson: The Mach-E is one of the most enjoyable electric cars because, while Ford calls it an SUV – what was I just saying? – it’s really a sports car. It doesn’t have good winter range, but Mike’s car will be a second vehicle so that’s probably not an issue.
Gentile: It’s an exhilarating drive behind the wheel with excellent acceleration. And if he goes with the larger extended-range battery, he’ll get up to 502 kilometres of range.
Richardson: He will in the summer if he feathers that acceleration. The Mach-E doesn’t have a heat pump for the battery though, so the range cuts back drastically in the winter.
Gentile: It will, but he has a gas-powered Subaru for long drives. It’s worth a test drive because he liked the Mustang V8, so he’ll probably like the driving dynamics of the electric Mach-E. Should we give Mike a gas-powered option to scratch his itch?
Richardson: I think we should ask Mike why he isn’t just buying a V8 Mustang like the car he drove. If it was rapturous for him, then surely he’s considering it, and he only wants to know from us if there’s a better choice. The Mustang ticks all his boxes, for sure.
Gentile: Except for the fact his son can’t fit in the rear seats.
Richardson: The Mustang rear seats aren’t that snug. They were made larger for this latest generation of the model. It would be a squeeze if Mike wants his son to sit behind him, with the driver’s seat pushed well back.
Gentile: They’re still too tight, and let’s face it, the rear seats are useless for adults. So let’s move on. How about a Porsche Macan T? That always puts a smile on my face.
Richardson: The Macan is a lovely car. Expensive, but beautifully put together. Some of that money is paying for the Porsche badge, of course, but all these vehicles are hovering around the $70,000 range, before taxes.
Gentile: You have to pay a premium for the Porsche nameplate, though Mike says he can afford to go European. And I think he’d love it – it has great styling and it feels like a sports car behind the wheel.
Richardson: The Macan is Porsche’s best-selling vehicle in Canada, and for good reason. The T is probably the best value, but if he wants to spend more, he can get greater horsepower with the S or GTS. I don’t think he’ll need that extra power to enjoy the drive.
Gentile: The GTS has a 434-horsepower, 2.9-litre twin-turbo V6 that’ll launch it to 100 kilometres an hour in 4.5 seconds, while the T has a 261-horsepower four-cylinder engine. It takes 6.2 seconds to reach that speed. Neither model will disappoint.
Richardson: Except the GTS costs $20,000 more. If he takes it lapping on a race course, spectators will soon see if that extra cost was justified for Mike. Whenever I hear a driver claim they’re good at driving, I think it’s probably time for a professional instructor to give a second opinion.
Gentile: Be nice. I think the Porsche T will satisfy his every desire. And if he wants electric, go for the Genesis GV60.
What car should you buy? Write to Mark and Petrina at firstname.lastname@example.org and use ‘What car’ as part of your subject line. Emails with different subject lines may not be answered.
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