When we looked at which vehicles we would buy right now – which seems to be a question that nearly everyone who knows what we do asks each of us – we thought that it would be best to pick one vehicle in three different classes. These were to be vehicles that we would be willing to pay for and that we could use on a daily basis. Mind you, this doesn’t mean that each of these vehicles would be my only vehicle but this short list has three vehicles that I regard as being the best at doing what they do and fitting the best into my life.
Every day “normal” daily driver
There are so many cars that I have driven and loved that it is hard for me to pick just one car currently in showrooms that I would buy for daily driver duties but for my money – the 2013 Ford Mustang Boss 302 would be my first choice for a daily driver. During my 18 years of legal driving, I have relied on a high performance, 2-door coupe as a daily driver so for my small family, the Boss 302 would fit my needs. Ive been fortunate enough to have a Boss as a test car and I know that even with the smallish interior of the 2013 Mustang, the mighty Boss fits my needs and my family.
Why the Boss? Well, in my opinion, the 2013 Ford Mustang Boss 302 is the ultimate illustration of the American muscle car with a touch of track tuning efforts making this car a total blast to drive without killing the Boss’s ability to serve as a daily driver. The Boss has a starting price of $42,995 so it is one of the more expensive fixed roof models in the Mustang lineup but the items that separate the Boss 302 from the Mustang GT are well worth the added cost. First of all, the 302 cubic inch V8 under the hood offers 24 more horsepower in the Boss 302 than in the Mustang GT and that power is transferred to the wheels via a 6-speed manual transmission fitted with a short throw shifter and a high performance clutch. Add to those items that unique track tuned Boss suspension, the lightweight Boss wheels, high performance Brembo brakes and Pirelli PZero high performance rubber and you have what Ford has called the best handling Mustang ever. When you factor in the beautifully loud Boss 302 exhaust and you have a car that satisfies the senses in almost every way. This is a car that can very comfortably be driven day in and day out without any problem while the high performance components and the Recaro race bucket seats make the Boss 302 just as comfortable on a road course or drag strip as it is on Detroit’s I75 or Woodward Avenue.
In my opinion, the 2013 Boss 302 is the ultimate modern American muscle car (excluding the likes of the Shelby GT500 and the Camaro ZL1 with their $60k price tags) with a comfortable interior setting and a perfect combination of daily drivability and track readiness. Those who are fortunate enough to have a Boss 302 as a daily driver have one of the most entertaining DDs out there.
High Efficiency Model
While I am not a “green car guy” and I would rather foot the gasoline bill for a 15mpg Ram 1500 than drive a far less power/more efficient vehicle, I can appreciate the desire by many to drive a highly efficient vehicle. This segment is booming right now with everything from mild hybrids to full on electric vehicles but for my money, I would chose the current alternative power vehicle – the Chevrolet Volt.
The Chevy Volt is the only reasonably priced car on the market today that offers real electric-only driving without any concern of range anxiety thanks to the gasoline range extending engine. There are lots of pure electric vehicles on the market today but none of them would be able to handle my regular 100+ mile commute in all of the Detroit weather conditions but thanks to the range extending gasoline engine – it really doesn’t make any difference when the battery in the Volt is out of juice. If I don’t have time to charge it fully, it doesn’t matter. If I run into more driving than I expected and my daily driving range climbs into the 150 mile range, it doesn’t matter. The Volt has every situation covered while still being able to offer me pure electric driving around beautiful Milford.
The $40,000 price tag of the Chevy Volt raises some eyebrows but in my opinion, the Volt is the best of both worlds with pure electric driving of an EV and the endless range of a “normal” vehicle powered by an internal combustion engine. On top of that, the Volt is subject to the $7,500 tax credit (effectively lowering the price of the car) while the ability to drive around town without using a drop of gas cuts down on money spent at the pump. Add to those capabilities the roomy, high tech interior and the sharp looking exterior of the Volt and I don’t believe there to be a better high efficiency vehicle on the market today for the money.
A utility vehicle can include a great many trucks, vans and SUVs but for my money, the 2013 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8 is truly the ultimate utility vehicle available in the US today. With 470 horsepower and 465 lb-ft of torque, the Grand Cherokee SRT8 will dash from 0 to 60 miles per hour in the mid 4 second range with stock quarter mile times in the low 13 second range – figures that will allow the high performance Jeep to keep up with many of the sports cars on the market today including my beloved Boss 302. The SRT Jeep also handles well enough to stay with the best sports cars available in the US today so this is far more than just a straight line performer and having had the pleasure of logging a thousand miles on the 2013 Grand Cherokee SRT8 – I can attest that this is easily one of the most exciting vehicles on the road today. Also, when you consider the fact that the Grand Cherokee SRT8 offers REAL room for four adults, a ton of rear cargo space, the ability to go anywhere with Jeep’s advanced all wheel drive system and a towing capacity of 5,000 pounds – the SRT Jeep will do more than any other high performance vehicle on the market.
The Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8’s only downside is the price of $60,000 but when you look at the performance capabilities, the towing and hauling capabilities, the ample amount of passenger space and the luxury level, fully loaded interior – the Grand Cherokee SRT8 packs enough content to justify every cent of the price. This is a true sport utility vehicle that emphasizes the “sport” while still providing the towing, hauling and passenger capacities that you would expect out of a utility vehicle.
In the long run, if I had to pick one vehicle to buy today, the 2013 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8 would be my first choice as this is a vehicle that can pull a horse trailer, tear up the drag strip and safely get the family through a snowy storm on Christmas Eve. Whether it is raining, snowing or sunny; whether you are on ice covered roads, hot asphalt or deep muddy off road paths – the Grand Cherokee SRT8 is an unstoppable force that is a ton of fun year round. The fuel economy isn’t great but for sports car capabilities, large SUV interior space and hardcore truck abilities like hauling, towing and fording the worst roadways possible all in one package – this is truly a vehicle that can do it all…all of the time.
Click the writer's names below for a look at the cars that some other TorqueNews writers would buy:
Aaron Turpen - A Volkswagen, a Ram and a Toyota Hybrid
John Goreham - A Lexus, an Acura and a Honda Hybrid