2015 Holiday Gift Guide: Randy Stern
This space is never intentionally left blank.
It serves as a space showing how much GLBT people love the automobile. In our readership area (the Twin Cities and across the Upper Midwest) we rely on them to get us where we need to be. We drive to work, to visit the one we’re dating, to see our families and friends, and to get away from the drama of everyday life.
As consumers, we are always interested in which automobiles would suit us best. Rather, what we should look for when we shop for one. Which vehicles fit us best? How much should we expect to spend on one?
Since this issue is the Holiday Gift Guide, perhaps the gift of a new vehicle is in order. But, which one should you consider putting under your tree? Maybe under the tree outside of the house…
“IT’S [FILL IN YOUR FAVORITE HOLIDAY] TIME IN THE CITY”: If you live near Loring Park or in Lowertown, chances are that you live in a place where parking is a premium. This calls for a vehicle that has plenty of room for at least that special someone in your life, your friends or pets, and enough space for shopping trips. This calls for a hatchback that will do well zipping around town and is comfortable for those trips to see your parents. I found that the Nissan Versa Note signs the right tune for city dwellers. It is small, peppy, efficient, and has the best rear seat room in its class. And, it’s a hatchback! That says it all! (2016 Nissan Versa Note SV – from $16,330)
WHEN YOU HAVE THE BEST LIGHT DISPLAY ON THE BLOCK: You’ve had this house for a long time. Whether your neighbors like it or not, you put on quite a show of lights every year. The tree is perfectly trimmed, which does not help your neighbors, the neighborhood association and, maybe, your other half. The question is simple: how did you get the new tree home? If it did not go inside the cargo hold of your crossover, it rode on the roof. Sounds like a Subaru Outback would be the right call. It does everything you want it to do, and it’s great in the winter, too! (2016 Subaru Outback 2.5i Premium – $30,885)
YOUR NAME IS PROBABLY BOB CRATCHIT…OR BETTY CRATCHIT: The Holidays could be the hardest time in several industries. You could be pulling crazy hours doing retail work. There could be some end-of-the-year project that must be done, or else. There’s no vacation time available and you’re cutting close to see the family. What would you drive? How about something exciting that will do well in the winter? The Ford Edge Sport has a turbocharged EcoBoost V6 that puts the fun back in a crossover. It is also big enough to haul the year’s presents to every one of your relatives. It’s a tough holiday season…play hard! (2015 Ford Edge Sport – $45,490)
THE BONUS CHECK ARRIVED…AND IT’S AWESOME! You earned it through hard work, collaboration, and being the change agent from left field. What would you get to reward yourself? Big bonuses translate into big down payments…so, it means something equal to the reward. That Volvo XC60 looked pretty good the last time you saw it. It is safe, secure, advanced, and fun to drive. And, it’s a Volvo! Well, there’s more with a solid cabin, all-wheel drive, and turbocharged power. Most of all, it’s a Volvo! (2016 Volvo XC60 T5 AWD Platinum – $49,480)
FORGET THE BIG BOW…GIVE ME THE WORKS! You are a mover and shaker. You made every move to ensure success in your work, the enterprise, and your home. You also gave to the community with your time and money. How do you show success and humility at the same time? How about a Porsche Macan S? The badge speaks of your place in the world. Moreover, it is a vehicle that can get through winter with a mighty turbocharged V6 engine and all of the goodies you expect from Porsche. It is a reward for success…congratulations! (2015 Porsche Macan S – $63,005)
NOW, WHAT ABOUT “MR. RIDE REVIEW?” You see, I’m the toughest one to shop for. When it comes to cars, I drive so many of them every year to scrutinize each one trying to find the conclusion of how to live with one. But…if you insist…there has been one that made my heart weak and my soul stirred. It is the Lexus RC F. This vehicle was never reviewed for this magazine, but I would have loved to have told you how this car was the best one I ever drove in my life. It still is…even after a turn in a Porsche, a McLaren, and a Lamborghini. That’s all that matters really… (2015 Lexus RC F – $73,604)