With the exception of last weekend (when Mother Nature decided the first day of winter should be celebrated in flip flops and T-shirts), this year’s holiday season has been a pretty ordinary one: Malls have been packed, colorful lights strung all over, and kids have been hard at work clearing landing strips for a certain jolly old man and his team of reindeer from the North Pole (before the heat melted all the snow, that is).
Just a few weeks ago, we talked about all the cars we couldn’t wait to see in 2014. But what about the cars we can get right now? While 2014’s cars certainly seem amazing, there are many, many cars already out that we’d love to find in our driveways. After much deliberation, we came up with a list of the 10 cars we’d like Santa to put on his sleigh and leave in Harvard Square for us.
10. In at number 10 is a car that embodies the best of many worlds: the Mercedes-Benz E-Class. The E-Class appeals to our practical side (something we often ignore when dreaming up wish lists). Although the E-Class makes an excellent daily driver, it also delivers on the performance side of things. While the base E250 BlueTEC offers 195 hp with a 0–60 time of 7.9 seconds, the top-of-the-line E63 AMG boasts over 550 hp and rockets to 60 in 3.6 seconds. With seating for 5, a spacious trunk for groceries and the ability to satisfy our lead feet, the E-Class is the dream of the most sensible CarGurus.
9. While the more practical among us have eyes set on the E-Class, others want a fun car that will never have to be replaced (seriously, never): the Volvo P1800. In production from 1961–73, the P1800 came about when Volvo decided it wanted to add a sports car to its lineup. While its performance numbers may not be impressive by today’s standards (the 1961 version boasts 100 hp and a top speed of 120 mph), the car overcomes that by being one of the most-fun-to-drive cars out there. In addition to the fun factor, the P1800 also holds the world record for most miles driven, with famous owner Irv Gordon racking up over three million miles on his 1966. Three million miles of pure driving excitement? Yes, please!
8. Moving up our list we come to a car that we expect a lot from this year: the Cadillac CTS. Put into production for the 2003 model year, the CTS has developed into an industry giant and is a major competitor in a segment traditionally ruled by BMW and Mercedes-Benz. Since its inception, the CTS has battled its way up the luxury ladder and is now widely considered to be a serious rival to the German luxury kings. Toting 420 hp, a reputation for being the best luxury driver’s car and claiming the title of 2014 Motor Trend Car of the Year, we’re a little worried that, if Santa does bring us the CTS, he might recant at the last minute and keep it for himself.
7. The CTS could well be the best overall car on the market today, but what will satisfy the desires of the CarGurus who desire no shred of practicality? Easy: a Porsche 911 Carrera 4S. Taking all the good things about a 911 and adding an all-wheel-drive system that pushes 400 hp to all four tires, the 911 Carrera 4S has no trouble staying glued to the pavement while shredding it. You won’t fit 5 people or many groceries, but its 183-mph top speed and superb handling abilities are enough for us not to care about any of that.
6. Some CarGurus want practicality, others want fun. Our next pick is the most fun practical car on our holiday wish list (if you own a ski lodge at the top of a mountain in New Hampshire, that is): the Mercedes-Benz G-Class. Originally designed as a military vehicle, the G-Class found its way into civilian clothes in 1979 and has thrived ever since. While there are plenty of cars that can haul almost anything almost anywhere, the G-Class is notable for the speed and comfort in which it delivers goods and people. We’d prefer it if Santa sprang for the G63 AMG—its $135,000 price tag wouldn’t be an issue with him picking up the tab. For that kind of money, Santa will be getting us one of the most capable SUVs the world has ever seen—one that can utilize its 536 hp to get us to 62 in just 5.6 seconds. Not bad for a car that weighs just shy of three tons.
5. In the fifth spot is a car that has done nothing but grab headlines since it came out: the Tesla Model S. The brainchild of billionaire Elon Musk, the Model S has been widely lauded since its introduction, winning praise from gearheads, environmentalists and the safety-minded. With a 310kW motor churning out an astounding 443 lb-ft of torque, the Model S is no slouch when it comes to performance. Add to that the car’s highly advanced infotainment system and seating for 7, and it seems like the Tesla couldn’t be any better. Wrong. In addition to all of this, the car also received Consumer Reports‘ highest score ever and is considered by some to be the safest car ever made.
4. Our next pick is the SUV equivalent of the Cadillac CTS, an awesome car that is revitalizing a troubled brand: the Jeep Grand Cherokee. Long famous for its impressive off-road prowess, the Grand Cherokee was updated for this model year, and oh man is it good. While Chrysler (Jeep’s parent company) was going through some tough times, engineers were hard at work refreshing the Grand Cherokee. What they came up with was nothing short of a smashing success. Armed with an array of trims from the fuel-sipping diesel version to the maxed-out SRT, the Grand Cherokee has something for everyone, as long as everyone wants an extremely capable off-roader that can go just about anywhere without so much as breaking a sweat.
3. Our next pick comes about 46 years late, but hey, better late than never: It’s the 1967 Chevrolet Camaro. Sure, it’s big, impractical and can get about as far as the next subway stop before needing a fill-up, but that doesn’t stop us from wanting it—not in the slightest. Add the SS or Z/28 packages and we’re talking about a nearly 50-year-old car pushing 400 hp. What we love about the ’67 Camaro is its insane prowess and minimalistic nature. Chevy’s recipe for creating this beast was power, power and more power. No fancy computer systems, just raw power to the rear wheels translating to a huge grin on drivers’ faces every time a light turns green. As much as we love technology (most of our other picks feature sophisticated computer and all-wheel-drive systems), there is still something to be said for the simple joy of pure muscle.
2. Beating out the Camaro is a poster child of car technology: the Subaru Impreza WRX STi. The car that earned Subaru its rabid cult following, the Impreza WRX STi is nothing short of a computer with wheels. A computer that gets from 0 to 60 in 4.5 seconds, that is. Fitted with a 305-hp turbocharged boxer engine, the Impreza WRX STi utilizes Subaru’s excellent Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive to give the car blistering, uncompromising performance in all weather conditions. We’d absolutely love it if Santa threw in a ski/snowboard rack, too, so we could have an excuse to take this bad boy up north and put it through its paces in its natural environment.
1. What is the car we’d most like Santa to leave on Massachusetts Avenue for us? It may surprise you, but it’s the Ford F-150 SVT Raptor. While it may not be the best vehicle for Cambridge roads, the Raptor’s 6.2-liter V8 makes it easy to get out of the city and to the backroads in a hurry, which is where the truck really shines. Off the main road, the Raptor is capable of nearing 100 mph in conditions similar to what drivers experience in Mexico’s Baja 1000. One of the most insane vehicles ever to come out of Dearborn, Ford designed the Raptor with only one thing in mind: performance. While we may be a long way from Baja California, the dream of taking one of the greatest trucks this world has ever seen and letting it loose in the desert is simply too much for us to overcome. Is that too much to ask for, Santa?
What cars are on your holiday wish list?
Used Mercedes-Benz E-Class
Used Volvo P1800
Used Cadillac CTS
Used Porsche 911
Used Mercedes-Benz G-Class
Used Tesla Model S
Used Jeep Grand Cherokee
Used Chevrolet Camaro
Used Subaru Impreza WRX STi
Used Ford F-150