Sometimes when selecting vehicles we have to consider the preferences of our family members. In Dylan’s case, this means conforming to the tastes of his dog Chucho, a good boy who isn’t a fan of Dylan’s 2015 GTI.
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Here’s the screenplay:
My dog Chucho, a 32lb Frenchie, is too big to fit under an airplane seat and too cute for the cargo hold. I travel from Seattle to Scottsdale every other month and Chucho doesn’t approve my 2015 GTI at higher speeds. The kind of high speed that makes a radar detector a must-have. He also doesn’t like being cramped in the middle of the back seat with bins, coolers and the like. I have to find a better cruiser for long road trips.
– Minimum NVH
– More space than VW GTI
– Enough HPs to pass 18 wheelers on single-lane highways through Nevada.
– No turd to drive
– No SUVs
Nice seats for rides over 10 hours would be nice too.
Since Chucho is a very good boy I can spend up to $60,000
Budget: up to $60,000
Daily driver: Kind of
Place: Seattle, WA
want to: Low noise, comfort, a little power
Do not want: Slightly too small or an SUV
Expert 1: Tom McParland – Dogs love cars, this is a fact
On the one hand, as the owner of a 2015 GTI, I’m a little disappointed in Chucho’s take on your current ride, but I certainly can’t fault the dog for wanting a little more space and comfort.
If Chucho – and you – need something with a healthy amount of horsepower, a smooth ride and a decent payload for long journeys, the obvious choice is a luxury car designed for the Autobahn. You need a Mercedes-Benz E-class wagon. Sure, the mighty E63 would be a lot of fun, but that doesn’t happen if you want a quality copy. Unless of course, you’re going with something quite a bit older than your VW.
However, the regular E450 packs a lot of punch with its 362 horsepower twin-turbo V6. We tested the E400 wagon in 2018 before it got a minor engine upgrade and found it to be near perfect. The long roof structure allows you to put all your cargo in the hatch and Chucho can relax in the back seat like a bigshot being driven.
Here’s a 2019 example near you at just under $30,000 right in your budget zone.
Expert 2: Owen Bellwood – Not all wagons are created equal
Chucho sounds like a dog with impeccable taste, so only the best will suffice! And while Mercedes might be the go-to for a fast, comfortable car with room for your precious dog, there are a few other options.
So, Chucho and Dylan, let me draw your attention to Volvo and its amazing lineup of spacious estate cars. Across the range you’ll find more space than you can shake a stick at, a solid build quality that cuts out noise and vibration, and something that is definitely not an SUV. And if you want a car with enough grunt to steam past an 18-wheeler, then? Volvo has an answer for youat.
Dylan, let me introduce you to your new ride, the Volvo V60 Polestar. specifically, this Rebel Blue copy that has only traveled 16,000 miles – so it’s basically brand new! Inside, there is a plush black interior with plenty of room for Chucho. Under the hood is a two-litre four-cylinder engine that produces 345 horsepower at 5,250 rpm, so you should be fine on those narrow Nevada back roads. Moreover, in this version it also distinguishes itself from the mass of everyday SUVs and trucks that you encounter on the highways, which is always nice.
Expert 3: Jose Rodriguez Jr. – Zoomies in a Sportback
Dylan, I think an approved dog Subaru might be the ticket, but you and Chucho earn something with some spice for when you get the zoomies. We need something more practical than a Grand Tourer coupe and a little more lively than the average car. So I recommend the 2022 Audi S5 Sportback†
Not only will the Audi S5 keep you in the VAG family, but it will also provide a more premium experience for your best boy. While the S5 Sportback won’t be as roomy as a wagon, it will give you more cargo space than a sedan without having to buy an SUV. And you get a new car while staying roughly within budget, because it begins for $55,300.
You can always go for something cheaper, like a 2022 Audi A5 Sportback, which will save you over 10k. The A5 Sportback may even suit you and Chucho better because it rides softer, but you can always control the S5 with a lighter touch. And it’s not like the S5 is as brutal as the RS 5anyway.
I wanted to pitch you an EV because electric cars have quieter rides and a lot of overtaking power for single-lane highways. But your 1,500-mile road trips will require many stops. If that doesn’t sound bad, there’s always the Audi e-Tron†
Expert 4: Adam Ismail – The Supercharged Wagon
See Dylan, Owen is a smart man. You should probably listen to him. As I read your criteria, I kept muttering “Polestar, Polestar, POLESTAR” with increasing intensity until the Italian market below my apartment kindly asked me to stop chasing its customers away.
However, the thing about WCSYB is that you should suggest another car – there can be no consensus! Our servers are actually designed to self-destruct in such an event. So my alternative for you and Chucho is the Jaguar XF Sportbrake, and my reasoning is simple. It’s 1) a car, 2) fast and 3) supercharged. Our old friend Kristen Lee described his 3-litre V6 as “fierce† The opposite of Chucho, a certified Very Good Boy.
car dealer reveals two Sportbrakes in your area, courtesy of Vroom, both with less than 40,000 miles and no accidents, well within your budget. One of them, pictured above, happens to be a hip one example first edition, black with a red interior. Personally, I’d still have the Polestar blue, although Volvo wagons are the wagons most often seen on the road, and I only see XF Sportbrakes during allergy season when I fall asleep in a clear Benadryl-infused haze. I vaguely remember smiling when I opened my eyes one random morning last week, so maybe that had something to do with it.
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