A year on the executive express
Luxuriate in Gover’s top 2012 prestige picks
mention the all-electric Smart car built by Benz and the Active E from BMW that runs on the mechanical package for the coming i3 city car.
It’s been a lot to sample and a lot to digest, especially putting it into context and bringing it back to the Carsguide mantra — real cars, on real roads, for real people — when the pricetags are out of the reach of most ordinary Australians.
But there are people who can afford these cars and a lot more who like to read about them.
Here are my five (plus one) favourites from 2012. A new 911 doesn’t come along every day, or even every decade, which makes the new car a landmark. But it’s the way it drives and features such as the extra cabin space and kidcarrying capacity that make it memorable. The 911 has always been a terrific driver’s car but this one also makes a commendable commuter. The trickle-down of the new 911 technology has already hit the Boxster and the coming Cayman coupe, the latter a relative bargain with so much 911 stuff for a lot less money. Yes, the new Porsches are expensive but there are times when it’s worth it. A Jaguar for $68,000? That’s pretty good. The now AngloIndian brand has sharpened its prices this year but it’s the addition of a four-cylinder petrol engine — shared with the EcoBoost Falcon — that makes the latest package in the XF so attractive. The turbo engine has more than enough go for the job and, on a drive day in Britain, I even found it ticks the boxes in Jaguar’s flagship XJ limousine.