Most Practical Performance Car of the Year|
2005 Modern Racer Car Crazy Awards
This one is for the car fanatic who longs for the open road but also has the burden of a wife and 2.5 kids tagging along. Don't you just wish that Miata could seat five and carry more than just one grocery bag? Well, nowadays even the traditional family sedan is leaning towards a sporty disposition--a trend which we wholeheartedly approve of. With midsize sedans packing the power of a Porsche Boxster, and small wagons with the luggage space of an Escalade, the only people who need roadsters and SUVs "just because," are those with self-confidence issues.
2nd Runner-Up :
Volvo V50 T5
The reason we choose the V50 wagon over the sleeker S40 sedan is because the sedan is a proper compact with a sloping rear roofline that cramps up the rear quarters for basketball players. The wagon on the other hand does not suffer from such problems, with tons of headroom front and rear, and space at the back for a couple of kegs. Available in AWD or FWD, with a 220 hp engine. It also looks like nothing else on the road, and is a far cry from the torque-steering bricks of Volvo's old days. And oh yes--it's a Volvo. What kind of wife does not approve of a Volvo?
1st Runner-Up :
Mazda 6 s 5-door
The Mazda 6 sedan was the first midsize family sedan to bring BMW driving dynamics into the mainstream. It also helped that the car was the prettiest among the current crop of family haulers. Now the range has been extended to include a wagon and, our favorite, a 5-door liftback. Boasting the looks of a sporty coupe and more grocery space than the sedan, the 5-door is unique to this segment, encompassing old-school Saab looks with old-school Mazda reliability. That V6 engine could use 20 more horses to keep up with the Accord, but it does its job well enough.
Think of the legendary WRX from Subaru. Now multiply it some, and you get the Legacy. For the first time in its history, Subaru is actually offering a performance midsizer. Japan has been getting turbo Legacies for years, but only now has one come to the States. All-wheel-drive, 250 hp turbo-4 boxer engine, choice of a manual or tiptronic gearbox, Japanese reliability, German craftsmanship, Swedish safety and an available wagon version to boot. And the price is still lower than the cheapest of Bimmers. Things can't get better than this in the world of the family man.
Subaru Legacy 2.5 GT
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