7 Veteran Auto Writers Name the New Car They’d Buy Right Now
From a Honda Civic to a McLaren 720, this is your guide to buying fresh off the lot
We could argue all day on whether or not one should buy a new car.
While a fresh-off-the-lot whip might break you upfront, it could wind up saving you in the long run. It could also be a money pit deemed obsolete three years from now. To make sure you land on the right side of that spectrum, you need to do your homework, and lots of it.
Here to help you get started: seven veteran auto journalists, who we recently tapped for their thoughts on the new-to-market rides they’d consider buying. They each gave us one practical option (i.e., if they were footing the bill) as well as the new car they’d invest in if money was no object.
These people get paid to drive cars and impartially review them, so rest assured that you’re not getting some kind of used-car-lot runaround.
So take notes and start imagining that new-car smell.
Jeff Glucker, Hooniverse
On his dime: Volvo V90
“Because wagons are rad as hell, and the Volvo V90 looks damn fine. It’s also comfortable, well composed on the road, and not obscenely priced.”
If money were no object: Toss-up between the following: Range Rover SVAutobiography Dynamic and a Porsche Sport Turismo S E-Hybrid
“Range Rover because it’s one of the best luxury barges around, and the SVA Dynamic takes that to top-tier heights. And a blacked-out Range Rover will be cool forever. And the Porsche Sport Turismo is one of the dopest wagons … ever. The S E-Hybrid version makes 680hp. It’s not a sleeper because it’s still a Porsche, but no one expects that much juice from a wagon. I love it, even if it’s nearly $200k”.
Nikhil Dhanani, The Drive
On his dime: BMW M2 Competition (6-speed)
“Overall, I think the M2 is the best new ‘daily-able’ sports car you can buy for under $60,000, which is why it’s the one new car I’d buy. It’s the perfect amount of power, it’s the perfect size for a city and it’s surprisingly practical. It takes hints from BMW’s golden age and adds modern elements and tech to it. It’s what the M3/M4 should have been.”
If money were no object: Singer 911
“Since money is no object, I went all out. A Singer 911 is the perfect combination of analog, modern tech and craftsmanship money can buy. It takes one of the most iconic silhouettes of all time, an air-cooled 964, and modernizes it to hold up against today’s supercars. Aesthetically speaking, the fact that Singer left the overall 964 image alone and subtly added their modern cues (e.g., LED lighting) makes it the best of both worlds. Its 390hp, high-revving flat-six is exactly what I would want in a sports car. To add on, the craftsmanship and handwork that goes into a Singer (4,000 man hours) is found in no other vehicle. The attention to detail is unreal, making me appreciate it in a whole other aspect. It’s a piece of art. Singer took one of my favorite cars of all time and made it even better, which is why it’d be my #1 new car pick.”
Atif Kazmi, Por Homme
On his dime: Porsche GT3 Touring
“It’s understated, powerful and one of the remaining true thorobreds on the market. Its value will hold well, so it feels more like an investment than it does a ‘buy.’”
If money were no object: McLaren 720S
“Numbers don’t lie. It demolishes the competition in terms of performance and does it in exhilarating fashion. The styling is tremendous, commands a presence and is the modern-day supercar that wins on the track and off. Only problem is McLaren’s having a hard time retaining value and so you’d have to really incentivize me to buy this car brand new when I know it’ll continue to become more attainable.”
Basem Wasef, Automobile Magazine
On his dime: BMW M2 Competition
“I’m not a big proponent of new cars – depreciation sucks! – but if forced, I’d pick up a BMW M2 Competition. It’s not too big, not too precious, packs loads of performance and can be had with a manual gearbox. The last honest Bimmer, in my humble opinion.”
If money were no object: Singer Vehicle Design DLS
“I’d order the $1.8 million Singer Vehicle Design DLS (Dynamics Lightweight Study) in a heartbeat. This Singer has been kissed with F1 technology by Williams, with absolutely captivating craftsmanship and totally bonkers performance. I’m loath to say that money can buy happiness, but I think Singer’s DLS singlehandedly disproves the old aphorism.”
Daniel Bentley, Fortune
On his dime: Mazda MX-5
“I’m going to assume a budget of $30,000, and for that I’m getting the Mazda MX-5. The 2019 refresh is the best Miata yet: high-revving engine, 181hp, six-speed gearbox, limited slip diff and leather seats (no longer have to choose between the two). I would be buying one myself if I didn’t already own another MX-5.”
If money were no object: Aston Martin DB11
“As fun as a Lamborghini Aventador or McLaren 720S is to drive, if I’m buying a car for myself it’s going to be a little more restrained in styling. The DB11 is easily the most beautiful car being manufactured today. Every line and proportion is spot on. It’s not perfect: the ZF 8-speed automatic transmission isn’t the most exciting way to shift. But as a total driving experience it’s wonderful. I want to arrive everywhere in that car.”
Mara Balagtas, CNTraveler
On her dime: Mazda3
“Mazda is positioning themselves in a premium market, and for the price, it is certainly bang for your buck. It’s also incredibly sleek and well designed, and that shows in everything from interior to exterior. The takeaway from the new Mazda 3 is you can get AWD in the sedan, but I would definitely opt for the FWD hot hatch in manual for the sake of rowing the gears, because that’s the type of sacrifice I’m willing to make.”
If money were no object: Ferrari 488 Pista
“Definitely. Pista directly translated means ‘Track’ and this car shows no mercy on the circuit. It’s essentially a street-legal race car. It’s 710hp of Italian thoroughbred with lineage coming from its predecessors and race cars used in Ferrari Challenge and WEC. It also has the highest transfer of racing technology to a production car in Ferrari history. So if you’re track rat like I am, this car is for you.”
Will Kaufman, Edmunds.com
On his dime: Honda Civic Si Sedan
“I’m actually in the market right now, and I’ve got my eye on the Honda Civic Si sedan. I can already hear the rising clamor of a thousand cries of ‘forced-induction ruined it’ or ‘GTI, bro,’ but if it’s my money on the table, I’m driving away in an Si. It’s a properly engaging, not-so-little car, with a solid shifting experience and a reasonably sized back seat and trunk. It’s both easy to have fun in and easy to live with. It’s also less than $25k, and all it really needs is a louder exhaust and better speakers.”
If money were no object: Audi RS3
“This one is really torturing me; I’ve driven so much astonishing high-dollar performance and/or luxury metal recently. But if I’m not spending my own money, I’d get the Audi RS3. That spunky sedan is the last of its kind in more ways than one. The five-cylinder engine is a bundle of raw automotive charisma, and other than the likewise-doomed TT RS, this is its last gasp. We’ll probably never see another performance straight-five on the road again, let alone one that sounds like this. The RS3 is a raucous little rocket that just eggs you on, begging you to misbehave. I’m sure there will be another RS3, but it won’t be this RS3.”