Wednesday, July 10, 2013
I could drive one of those...
As you may have figured out by now, cars occupy a lot of my thoughts. And not just the cars that I have owned, or do own, but cars I might own. Anyone can dream of a new Ferrari or a vintage Aston Martin, but what about practical real cars?
At any given time I have a few cars in mind that could join my current fleet if one of those fails, the families' needs change (this happened recently), or my wife and I just want something else. Here are a few cars I like in the affordable range...
2005-2008 Acura TSX
I prefer the first generation TSX. Starting with the 2009 Acura went all samurai in their design language and I just don't like the heavy front end and needless overstyling. The first generation's styling is clean and simple.
Full disclosure: my daughter and her husband have a TSX. I find excuses to drive it when we visit.
2002- 2009 Toyota 4Runner
A few years ago on a business trip to Houston I wound up in a rental 4Runner for a few days. That truck amazed me. I don't know that I have driven a vehicle better screwed together and solid this side of an older Mercedes. The standard 4.0 liter six cylinder was more than adequate and it was easy to drive around town. Looking more closely I was surprised to learn that the Japan-built Toyota weighed in at only a little over 4,000 pounds, fairly lightweight for a vehicle as large and as solid.
The 4Runner's styling is attractive, tall and sleek. The interior is just simple truck, with lots of space and big dials and knobs for everything. The exterior features a smooth and industrial look with a few graceful curves that serve to make it seem trimmer in width than the truck really is. And of course the optional rear spoiler is cool. I'll take a later production (2007-10) Sport Model in red... Sport gets you a fake hood scoop!
A few other cars from my ongoing interior monologue include the BMW 335i sedan, MazdaSpeed3 hatchbacks, either of the Ford Bullit Mustang models, and the Fiat 500 Abarth.
What cars catch your eye?