As a driver, you probably wish everyone drove a little older. Meaning, if everyone drove like a mature, experienced driver, the roads would probably be quite a bit friendlier, safer, and more efficient. Stress levels would be down, travel times would get quicker, and less accidents would occur. However, that’s not what we’re referring to when we say drive your age, because the perfect world of driving doesn’t exist.
What’s a good car for you at this point in life? Are you a retiree, a recent college grad, or a blossoming driver on your way to road-going freedom? With so many choices out there, how do you know what to choose? If you want reliability, there are cars for that. Sporty performance with good gas mileage in return, there are even choices for that. For our second installment we’re going to focus on the 30-45-age bracket; those who might be on their first or second kid, easing into their 40s and have their financials in order, or just those who want to experience something new. Take a look, because the automobile provides multiple facets of wonderful life experiences and these are some of the ways you can get by enjoying them.
We’re not implying that you should go ahead and get the Family Truckster. We are saying, however, that wagons take great car platforms and make them more utility friendly than a traditional sedan. The best of both worlds! Wagons like the Audi A6, BMW 3 Series, Subaru Outback, Volvo XC60, and even the Mini Cooper Clubman are awesome alternatives to either an SUV or a standard wagon.
The length you’ll gain on the exterior is negligible to the utility and uniqueness you’ll gain on the inside. Driving a wagon can be funky, foreign, and friendly, but they’re seriously perfect for smaller families that don’t need an SUV with all the added room. Wagons are ripe with utility and if you ever need more, there are countless accessories that you can affix to a wagon for even more wonderment.
At this age you should have gotten past that primordial ooze in your brain that dictates the way of thinking (or lack thereof, especially if you’re a male) about driving incredibly fast and dangerous in a car with a moderate amount of horsepower. Once you’ve reached your current age of enlightenment and safe driving habits, reward yourself with a car that offers balance, speed (reserved for the racetrack, of course), and the most fun you can have in an automobile.
Some of our favorite sporty cars are BMW’s M cars like the M3, M5, and new M2. Those might be a bit over your price range, which is why Chevy Camaros and Ford Mustangs also offer great thrills for almost half the price. If you’re looking for something economical too, the Scion FR-S or Subaru BRZ is a great alternative to high horsepower thrills. All in all, the balance and precision of a car with a sporty nature will forever leave you wondering how you dealt with a normal car all these years.
One of life’s little and overwhelmingly enjoyable pleasures is learning how to drive a car with a manual transmission. Maybe the thought of it scares you a bit as you have to fully control every aspect of the car with your feet and hands in perfect harmony. But don’t fret; a manual is what makes motoring fun for someone new to it. It makes driving almost as if it’s a new experience all over again, instead of the same monotonous A to B travel you might be used to.
Some of the best manual transmission cars are from Volkswagen, Mini, Ford, and Subaru. They’re on the smaller side, have tuned suspensions that offer great feedback, and manual transmissions that can cope with your first few months of minor mistakes—stalling and grinding gears included. Get yourself a manual transmission, even if it’s just for weekend romps, because after long we all might be getting driven around with autopilot—regardless of whether we like it or not.
Have you ever wanted to know how a car works, how to change your oil, or how to swap that old creaky suspension with something a bit more modern? If so, now is the time to get into something you can work on in your spare time. There’s a certain peace and calm associated with wrenching on a car that needs a bit of TLC. Who knows, learning the ins and outs of an automobile might even one day make you the hero of the day.
It doesn’t have to be a junkyard dog, but if you can find something that’s in need of some lovin’, the possibilities are endless. Find an older truck that offers a lot of room in the engine bay for working, and otherwise simplistic engineering that doesn’t require a degree at MIT to debug software. Or maybe an older Civic is up your alley as the small motors are usually reliable and you can add aftermarket parts cheaper than you would be able to with higher end cars; all while still getting down the basics of cars 101.
Not too be confused with getting a sporty car (though the two can be interconnected), a coupe is sexiness wrapped in a neat, tidy, and swoopy package that’s a bit unconventional, a bit small, and not as family friendly as almost every other available car. With all that being said, damn are they nice to look at and drive in. Coupes allow automotive designers to fully express their inner child in ways that bring out the sexiness of sheet metal.
A Porsche 911 has to be one of the sexiest coupes ever made, and it also combines the extreme capability of a sports car ripe with potential. More affordable options are the Hyundai Genesis Coupe, the Cadillac ATS Coupe, and the Subaru BRZ/Scion FR-S. They ooze personality; spark creativity; deliver pleasurable driving; and make you look back at it once you pull it into a parking space. Few cars on the road can do that, but coupes are in the overwhelming majority to do so.
Not your typical used car salesman. Our team is here to provide honest and transparent advice about car buying and selling.