Once again, some used car picks for your consideration, this time from 2016.
Infiniti Q60 Coupe
I include this model or one big reason: styling.
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, of course, but many of Infiniti’s models seem to look like mechanical weightlifters on steroids and there are some, shall we say, unique cars coming from Infiniti (and Lexus!) with their contorted front ends, exaggerated body lines, and oversized wheels and tires.
It’s almost as though designers have run out of ideas and have decided to bombard us with larger-than-life, in-your-face rolling juggernauts.
Thankfully, the Q60 Coupe is one of the more subdued models coming from Infiniti.
Market-wise, it replaced the G37, which I always considered to be one of the better looking coupes on the market. It’s also a quick one, with a twin-turbocharged V6 engine developing a purported 400 horsepower.
As usual, Infiniti is running hard right out of the gate – the 2016 Q60 is actually a 2017 model.
Runner-up: QX60 Hybrid, if only because it’s the most sensible model in this company’s lineup and demonstrated that Infiniti is determined to hang in there with hybrid technology.
I remember the original model when it debuted in 2005 – it was a tidy little SUV with lots of potential, but outclassed when put up against the likes of the Honda CR-V or Toyota RAV4. That’s no longer the case and this edition of the Tucson doesn’t have to take a back seat to anything.
It’s truly remarkable what Hyundai accomplished in just over 10 years, and what appeals to me about the Tucson is that this company has obviously paid attention to the market and learned its lessons well. For example, the base version comes with air conditioning, rear-view camera and heated seats. This last feature gets huge brownie points from me. Many manufacturers make you pay extra for heated front seats and getting them as standard on a budget-priced model is nothing to sneeze at.
Giving buyers maximum bang for their buck is something Hyundai continues to do well.
Runner-up: Elantra, which is good looking, comfortable and well equipped. I also like the fact that Hyundai offered a manual gearbox with this model and stood pat with a conventional six-speed automatic.
This particular offering from Subaru married ruggedness and utility with a civilized driving experience suited to ‘urban adventurers.’
One of the things about Subaru products that many people overlook is their phenomenal off-road ability. If you don’t mind getting a little dirty, most Subarus will hang in with many full-fledged off-road vehicles. This is thanks to a relatively light weight, a low centre of gravity and a torquey flat horizontally-opposed engine configuration.
The Crosstrek, while not primarily an off-roader, will surprise you when things get gnarly.
I also appreciate the fact that this model was offered as a hybrid variant and, with its low-emission engine technology, is about as clean as these things get.
Runner-up: Legacy, mainly because it’s such a quietly elegant-looking sedan. It doesn’t sell in the same kind of volume as, say, a Camry or Accord but, with all-wheel drive and that nicely co-ordinated sheet metal, it’s on my top 10 list.
Jaguar F-Type Coupe
This is a stunningly beautiful automobile offered with a lively supercharged V6 engine with two power choices. Combine either one with an available six-speed manual transmission and you have a traditional sports car driving experience housed in a thoroughly up-to-date automobile.
To me, Jaguar has always been about sports car performance and handling, with a dash of luxury thrown in to sweeten things up. You can certainly play racer in the F-type, but you won’t suffer for lack of creature comforts while you’re at it.
In terms of performance, even the base 340-horsepower version will blast you from a standing start to freeway speed in just over five seconds, and is has a purported top speed of over 260 km/h.
Love the panoramic roof feature.
Runner up: The F-type convertible, though only by a whisker. Everything about the coupe applies to the convertible, but with the added bonus of an al fresco driving experience available in 12 seconds after the press of a button.
Ted Laturnus writes for Troy Media’s Driver Seat Associate website. An automotive journalist since 1976, he has been named Canadian Automotive Journalist of the Year twice and is past-president of the Automotive Journalists Association of Canada (AJAC).