Trying them all on for size at Heels and Wheels 2017.
Last month I had the opportunity to join a group of women automotive media for a ladies only event, Heels and Wheels. This event is great because we got the opportunity to experience 14 new cars and SUVs without a bunch of male journalists dominating the sports cars under the misdirected idea that women don’t love sports cars, too.
I would love to own any one of these cars. Some are cars I would actually buy and some are ones I would never buy…unless I win the lottery and can pay someone else to drive my kids around. But, they were incredible, opening my eyes to the world of luxury performance cars.
But we love each car for what it does well and what it means to our lives, so I took most of them out for a spin. Here’s a run down of my day and all the difficult choices I had to make.
First difficult choice: Jaguar F-Type versus Chrysler Pacifica minivan
2017 Jaguar F-Type SVR Coupe
My favorite car was the Jaguar F-Type. This is the fastest Jaguar F-Type they’ve created and it can go 0-60 MPH in 3 seconds with a top speed of 200 mph. Just imagine how fast you could drive across Texas with a 5.0L Supercharged V8 Engine and 8-Speed QuickShift Transmission. It was such an unbelievably fun ride.
Sadly, I cannot buy this car for a few reasons, the main one being it only seats 2 people. Unless I could find someone else to drive two of my kids, it’s not an option, so no F-Type for me. The other reason is the cost is slightly out of my price range at $152,645 (hello, lotto ticket!).
Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid
I’ve driven a minivan for the last 11 years and although I’m tired of it and ready to move on, the Chrysler Pacific Hybrid is so impressive it almost makes me want to buy another minivan. Almost. I worry that I will be unable to pick up hot guys if I’m driving around in a minivan. Obviously in a Jag this would be much easier.
But this minivan has a lot going on. It is always in the most efficient mode possible, and the brakes create usable power with regenerative braking. Unlike the conventional gas version there is no stow and go in the second row because that’s where the battery is stored. It’s a plug in hybrid, so the first 3o miles are driven on pure electric mode and then the gas engine kicks in.
Also, the battery has a 10 year warranty, so all those questions about how much will it cost to replace it kind of don’t matter; by the time the battery warranty runs out you probably will have gotten rid of it anyway; unless you’re like me and you keep your minivan longer than you should.
The Pacifica Hybrid has loads of smart technology. One of the apps tells you where nearby charging stations are and the two built in screens in the back have apps and games. My favorite app for the kids is the ‘Are We There Yet’ app. It connects to the navigation system so they can check and see for themselves and find out how much longer the drive is. Anything that makes my kids nag me less is a win in my book.
This minivan costs $44,995 fully loaded, but there are incentives and rebates for buying a hybrid the price could come out much lower.
Next up: Sexy Sports car versus capable SUV
2018 Lexus LC 500
The next car I would love to buy is the 2018 Lexus LC 500, another fast car. It can go 0-60 MPH in 4.4 seconds. While some people (men) think women do not care how fast a car can go, I can assure you this is not true. When merging onto the highway between two tractor trailers; power and confidence matter, especially when you need it.
The LC500 is fast and good looking. This is hands down one of the best looking cars I have ever seen inside and out. The roof line was inspired by a Japanese sword and inside there’s not a single detail that was overlooked. The price starts at $92,000 and this also comes in a hybrid edition. Smart AND beautiful.
2017 Mazda CX-5 Grand Touring AWD
The 2017 Mazda CX-5 Grand Touring AWD costs between $24,000 and $34,000. This mid-sized SUV has been redesigned inside and out. Now it features a Bose 10 Speaker surround system, blind spot monitoring, lane departure warning, heated seats, a power lift gate, and the cabin is quieter. It’s also more fuel efficient; the all wheel drive model gets 25 MPG. One thoughtful thing that made this car a real contender is that the rear passenger doors open 80 degrees, which makes getting kids in and out much easier.
You mean I have to choose? Ultimate luxury versus ultimate hybrid MPG
Aston Martin DB11
Last but not least I sure wouldn’t mind driving around every day in a beautiful hand built Aston Martin DB11. The most powerful DB production model ever, the 2017 Aston Martin DB11 carries a price tag of $230,345. The color grabbed me immediately; it’s called Frosted Glass Blue and there are shards of glass in paint to create the look. And here’s a fun fact about the Aston Martin DB11: The leather is all hand stitched and there is one seamstress dedicated to doing the entire interior!
Kia Niro Hybrid
The Kia Niro hybrid starts out at just $23,780 and gets 47 MPG. There are multiple things I liked in addition to the mileage and the price. It doesn’t look like a hybrid, it can seat 5 people, has heated and cooling seats in the front and it has plenty of cargo room for a family of four.
What would you do? Would you buy a dream car or a practical car?