Any one of these cars will seriously outdo the ugly Christmas sweater gift.
Those holiday car sales commercials with the big red car bows on them have us wondering, "Do people actually give cars as Christmas presents?" We guess the answer is yes, considering the fact that we've heard of such instances (though we've never seen the automotive gift giving in person).
For the lucky people who happen to be the recipients of such generosity, we say more power to ya. Of course, there are those who are truly worthy (military personnel, firefighters, police officers and any mother of twins), and in those cases, the gift of a brand new car isn't outlandish. So, with the holiday car deals going on right now, allow us to suggest our recommendations for the best gift cars in each segment, so you don't have to do any research whatsoever (we're that good).
Hatchback: Volkswagen Golf GTI
No other hot hatch delivers this much driving enjoyment for the price. The sweet turbo four, the slick 6-speed manual transmission and those retro plaid seats will bring a smile to anyone's face. The fact that it's also wildly practical is the truly surprising part. And just because it's Christmas doesn't mean you have to choose red.
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Coupe: Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG Coupe
You get supercar speed in a luxurious coupe that's also a great daily driver, along with scintillating handling and some of the sexiest lines in the business. How's 0-60 in 3.8 seconds from the 4.0-liter V8 twin turbo engine that spits out a serious 503 horses? Merry Christmas, indeed.
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Sedan: Ford Fusion Sport
Ford takes its excellent family sedan and makes a sleeper out of it. The Fusion Sport not only gets the new refreshed exterior and rotary shift knob, it gets 325 horses and snow throwing all-wheel drive.
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Sports Car: 718 Porsche Cayman S
Goodbye flat-six engine, welcome turbocharged flat four with 350 angry horsepower and a 0-60 time of 3.9 seconds. Believe it or not, it's better than it's ever been, and the 718 Cayman S with its perfectly placed mid engine, is a better buy than the venerable 911.
Convertible: Mazda MX-5 Miata RF
The Mazda Miata is easily the best convertible for the money thanks to its unflappable chassis, perfect steering and shifting, and incredible racing heritage. Now, it comes with a retractable targa-style hardtop that makes it four-seasons friendly and stunning to behold.
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Wagon: Mercedes-Benz E400 4Matic Wagon
We've always thought wagons were hot, but the new E400 bests pretty much all the rest thanks to S-Class like interior appointments, 4Matic all-wheel drive, more room than some crossovers, and a nifty rear-facing third-row seat for the naughty children. 329 hp and 354 lb-ft of torque from the twin turbo V6 makes it very anti-wagon, indeed.
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Minivan: Chrysler Pacifica
To gift someone with a minivan might seem like a curse, unless it's the new Pacifica. Chrysler went back to the drawing board to redefine the segment it created, and the result is spectacular. The Pentastar V6 moves it with authority (and a surprising snarl, too), and the interior with Stow 'N' Go seating and superb comfort and tech makes it the family chariot that also happens to be pretty handsome to look at.
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Crossover: Mazda CX-9
It's easily our favorite crossover of the year, and pretty much because it does what most other three-row crossovers can do but also happens to drive like a sports car. The beautiful new sheet metal, the opulent interior and the punchy high-pressure turbocharged four-cylinder are all fantastic, but it's the superb chassis and steering that make our hearts go pitter-patter. The lucky recipient of the CX-9 this holiday season will be happy to have it all.
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SUV: Dodge Durango
Our time in the Durango made us true believers in its utility, good looks and power. Even in V6 (non HEMI) form, it's got plenty of thrust, and every one of its seven passengers will get room and comfort this holiday season. We just hope Dodge never stops building it. That's our wish this season, since we know we're not getting a Durango of our own.
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Truck: Nissan Titan XD
The Titan XD is, well, a Titan. Cummins Diesel power gives it 310 hp and 555 lb-ft of torque for whatever task is required of it--putting it smack dab between light and heavy duty for some serious pickup truck firepower. It also happens to be one of the best looking pickup trucks we've seen in a long time.
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Hybrid/Electric: BMW 330e iPerformance
We didn't think we'd love it, but we do. 25 miles of all-electric range, brilliant adaptive abilities when run through navigation (it ingeniously selects the right powertrain depending on your drive), and legendary 3-Series sporty handling and acceleration make it an all-arounder that we can get behind. Plus, it looks like no plug-in hybrid we've ever seen.
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