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car review

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.

My must-haves:

  1. It’s a blast to drive in the city and on the highway.
  2. It can fit my long legs and six-foot-two frame.
  3. It has a decent back seat for my growing son.
  4. 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

The 2023 Genesis GV60.Mark Richardson/The Globe and Mail

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.

2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E.Jeremy Au Yeung/The Globe and Mail

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.

The 2023 Porsche Macan T has a four-cylinder turbo engine that makes 261 horsepower.Jeremy Sinek /The Globe and Mail

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 and use ‘What car’ as part of your subject line. Emails with different subject lines may not be answered.

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