One thing we know for sure about most of you is, like us, you love automobiles. From the classics, to the vintage trailblazers and even the fuel-efficient grocery grabbers, you guys love hearing about anything auto. And that’s what leads us here. Whether you’re dreaming of luxury or just want to figure out what your first ride should be, we consider it our humble mission to offer our direction.
Crossover: Audi Q7
There’s no real pretending, here; the Audi Q7 was meant to compete with Volvo’s XC90 sportwagon, and far as we’re concerned, it really gives it a run for its money. The Q7 is super nimble, with 500 pounds being cut from its predecessor, and features a 3.0-liter supercharged V6 that tops out at over 333 horsepower and does 0-60 mph in just 5.7 seconds. The Q7 clocks in at under 5,000 lbs, and MSRP is anywhere from $49,900 for the standard 2.0 model, or a little over $60k for the 3.0 monster. No matter which seat you end up in, the fact remains the same: If you’re trying to travel in style, while keeping an eye on safety, comfort, and efficiency, the Audi Q7 is for you.
Sports Car: Chevrolet Corvette Z06
There were more than a hundred cars we could’ve picked for our recommended sports car, but the Chevrolet Corvette Z06 wins because it seamlessly combines racecar heritage with daily comfort, drivability, and sheer badass-ness. Its 6.2-liter supercharged motor puts down 650 fear-inducing horsepower and 650 lb.-ft. of torque, which gives the Z06 enough chutzpah to crack a sub-three-second 0-60 mph (2.95 seconds, to be exact). All of that is stuffed into a hydroformed aluminum frame, covered with as much carbon fiber and composite possible, and molded into a package that looks equally appropriate at the race track and the company lot.
If all that sounds like fancy marketing verbiage, all you need to do is look at the hands-on reviews. Car and Driver gave the Z06 a 5-star rating and their coveted Editor’s Choice, and Motor Trend consistently ranks the Z06 as one of the best sports cars of all time.
Luxury Sedan: BMW M5
You can’t talk luxury automobiles without mentioning BMW, and the 2018 M5 is everything we’ve ever wanted (and then some) in a luxury sedan. This four-door, 4,200-pound grocery getter packs a twin-turbo 4.4-liter V8 and does 0-60 in and astounding 3.2 seconds. For those not keeping score at home, that’s a split second slower than the McLaren 720S. The edition with BMW’s “M Driver Package” tops out at 189 miles per hour (The standard M5 will get to just under 160), and the car features BMW’s M-specific all-wheel-drive system that allows the driver to change the car from rear wheel drive to all wheel drive.
Basically, it’s a four-door racecar, but with all the pomp and style expected from the BMW brand. Its $100,000 price tag might sting a little bit for some, but like most things in life, ya get what ya pay for.
Truck: GMC Sierra 2500HD
In Car and Driver’s review of GMC Sierra 2500HD, they open with, “The Sierra 2500HD shares its chassis with the Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD, but it wears Prada instead of work boots.” Frankly, we can think of no better way to put it. It comes standard with a Vortec 6-liter V8 that lays down 360 hp and 380 lb.-ft. of torque, but can also be equipped with Duramax 6.6-liter V8 turbo-diesel that comes stock with 445 hp and puts down an astonishing 910 lb.-ft. of torque. No, that wasn’t a typo.
Like most pickup trucks these days, the Sierra 2500HD comes with a bare bones edition that starts at $34,800, but some of the cooler options include built-in WiFi, a touch-screen “infotainment center,” heated seats, an external engine cooler, mirror defrosters and all the other bells and whistles.
Electric: Volvo XC60 T8
The electric revolution is happening here and now, and we’d be remiss not to include at least one in this roundup. Of the electric cars on the market, the Volvo XC60 T8 is the one we prefer most, for a few reasons. The first being that it’s not fully electric, which means this hybrid pumps out a whopping 400 hp and 472 lb.-ft. of torque between its electric and supercharged and turbocharged 2-liter motors. It’s zippy when you need it to be, but also benefits from a luxurious interior and beautiful exterior lines, thanks to a complete redesign from Volvo this past year.
Zippy motor and excellent handling aside, make no mistake, the XC60 T8 was engineered for luxurious comfort and style, and that’s exactly what Volvo delivers. The thing can haul some ass, but it’ll make sure you get to wherever you’re going in the kind of way only Volvo is known for.
Oh, and since it’s technically a plug-in car, it qualifies for a federal rebate that’ll make its $57,695 base MSRP a little easier to swallow.
Affordable Sedan: 2018 Honda Accord
Of course, if it’s affordability and value you’re after, there’s no way around the legendary Honda Accord. In fact, Car and Driver has ranked this car number one on its “10 Best Cars” list 21 consecutive years in a row.
First and foremost, its base MSRP is only $23,570, and includes a ton of standard features, like push button start, a multi-angle rearview camera, Honda Sensing, 17-inch alloy wheels, Bluetooth HandsFreeLink Audio, dual-zone automatic climate control, LED headlights, and a turbocharged 1.5-liter 4 cylinder motor that puts out almost 200 horses. Yes, standard.
For a couple extra bucks, you can step up to the sport model, which can include Honda’s turbocharged 2-liter VTEC motor (252hp), a seamless 10-speed automatic transmission, an upgraded stereo system, 19-inch alloy wheels, Apple CarPlay/Android Auto Integration, 12-way power driver seat, and much more.
Love it or hate it, the Honda Accord is the top dog for affordable sedans.
2018 Ford Expedition
If you want a truck but pickups aren’t really your thing, our nod for best full-sized SUV goes to the 2018 Ford Expedition. This truck has won a ton of love and respect from the industry’s top auto blogs and magazines, and it’s easy to see why. Ford wholly intended on firing serious shots at the Suburban and Tahoe crowd, and for all intents and purposes, the comparisons aren’t even close.
The standard model comes with Ford’s EcoBoost 3.5-liter twin-turbo V6, which puts out 375hp and 470 lb.-ft. of torque. Not bad at all—especially for a base model. Of course, if you feel like kicking it up a notch, there’s the “Platinum Expedition,” which weighs in at 400hp and 480 lb.-ft. of torque. The expeditions come with RWD standard, but are also available in four wheel drive (high gears only) as well as with their FX4 drivetrain, which includes low gears, too.
The interior is spacious, beautiful, can seat eight, and as you can imagine, includes a bunch of cargo space (approximately 121.5 cubic feet). Even so, this tank-on-wheels gets pretty good gas mileage, all things considered, with EPA MPG estimates around 17 city and 24 highway. Not too shabby, pig.