Vehicles that Appeal to the Feminine Side
The Car Family
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With over 60 percent of new cars being purchased by women and females influencing the decision of 85 percent of all vehicles sold it is disappointing that the manufacturers have so few women designers and engineers because there are only a handful of vehicles that are truly female friendly. And, by that I mean they have a touch of style, an interior that is functional and easy to operate, an engine that does what it is told without untowardly jerking and sudden bursts of unexpected acceleration, plenty of cargo space and places to store odds and ends, comfortable seats, and a trunk lid that is easy to lift. Now don’t get me wrong. I’m not against some sporty cars or those that shout look at me, but in the main I’ll take reliability over flash, but why not have a little of both
So with those criteria in mind, which are the best cars, I have tested for the distaff side?
I love the Audi 4,6, and 8. The interiors are the best and they are relaxing to drive and live with under a variety of conditions, including inclement weather. The Audi A4 is a pleasure to drive and gets exceptional fuel mileage and the Audi A8 is a living room on wheels. The new S4 convertible is fast, has true sports car handling, and its top is simple to lower. If you have the wherewithal the Audi dealership is worth a visit. My grade is a 9 and a ten for the Audi cabriolet S4 with its 340 horsepower and handsome exterior. My favorite.
Subaru has some safe and very comfortable all wheel vehicles, too. I found the Tribeca SUV’s interior wonderful and the handling above average. The less expensive Forester is also well mannered and even sportier with the turbocharged engine. If you haven’t tried one of these you missed a real treat. My grade is an 8.
Lexus has a GS hybrid that is fairly expensive, but is quite fast and has a tidy exterior and interior. I like the youthful look of this sedan, but the hybrid seldom gets better than 25 mpg and so I would recommend the regular GS model and still enjoy luxury and performance. The flip side of the marque is the IS 250. Small, nimble, and fun to drive this Lexus is a nice alternative to the Accord, Camry, and Altima. Order your interior carefully and you can build one smart sedan. If you want more power get the larger engine, but unless you are a serious threat to your insurance rates the base model has plenty of spunk. Of course, my favorite is the Lexus RX in any form. It has a magnificent interior, is easy to park, and makes you feel good. Excellent resale and the ability to be order with a great rear view camera to aid in backing up make the purchase of this Lexus a good investment. My grade is a 9 for the RX and IS 250 and an 8 for the others.
Toyota’s Solara is nice looking, gets 26 plus miles to the gallon, and has room for five adults despite being a coupe. The trunk is large and useful, but the interior could be spruced up. I would like a bit more chassis refinement, but for most the soft ride and relaxed handling make it an enjoyable ride. What makes this such a female friendly ride is the way it does everything admirably and looks good doing it. Of course, as all coupes, the long doors make it difficult for short-armed people to reach the handle to close them. My grade is a 7.
Chevrolet’s Impala isn’t a bad ride, but the exterior and interior are bland. However, you get a lot for your money and it is extremely accommodating with plenty of storage and being inexpensive to own and insure. The Impala can be ordered with a variety of options, but the base model was fine with me. It didn’t draw unwanted attention and housed my collection of personal and family belongings in an unobtrusive fashion. This car may not be exciting, but it provides good usability. My grade a 6.
Cadillac’s CTS isn’t as roomy as I like, but the sharp edged design, keen handling, and a pleasingly integrated interior make it a joy to drive. Stick with the base model and you are going to have an American made sporty ride that rivals much more expensive competitors. If you like a little more glamour and wait the new model CTS is due soon making the possibility of some great deals on the 2007 possible. Check out the interior options because they are quite elaborate and, with the right designer touch, elegant. My grade a 7 and if you like a car that handles make that an 8.
Hyundai Azera is a fairly large sedan that has a great looking interior, comfy ride, and room for five. It is priced very right even when loaded with every option. If you were blindfolded and riding in the Azera you would think Toyota Avalon or Mercedes E Class. It is just one of the many Hyundai vehicles that are making this a fast rising car company. I quite liked the Azera, but the gas mileage wasn’t as good as I like. If you are into minivans, the twin sister Kia Sedona and the Hyundai Entourage are two winners. They are the best minivans for the price and are highly usable and fun to drive with their potent engines and abundance of safety features. They are safer than the large SUVs with lower roll over rates and a lower center of gravity. My grade is an 8.
Devil may care for your hair. A touch of rebellion in your soul. Tired of hitting the glass ceiling and/or the monotony of dishes, ironing, and housework. Ready to shake the cobwebs out of those monitored blurred eyes. Ladies just step this way and enter into the dreamish realm of the Mercedes CLK convertible. Available with three different engine options, this is a great ride to stimulate those creative juices and to just feel good about life. The interior treatment is ultra conservative, the sound system doesn’t earn its place in the dash of something this nice, and the pricing is, well, if you have to ask. Given my druthers, I would buy the AMGized 6.3 liter model and have one sassy ride thanks to 475 at your command, madam, horsepower. Life is good. My grade is a 9.
Volkswagen’s Passat is the best wagon, especially with the 2.0 engine. It has a very low rear hatch liftover, an interior that is much better than the price would indicate, and handles and rides quite elegantly. Although not as handy as a minivan, it is much safer and easier to live with than a large SUV. My grade is a 7.
Ford’s Fusion is the best new Ford in a decade. There are acres of options, but stick with the basics and use it as a workhorse with just enough bling to make it fun. I like the Mercury Milan better, but it costs more. Ford has finally made an interior that has a little sizzle and the engine is peppier than you would suspect in a sedan in this price range. I much prefer it to the Toyota Camry and Honda Accord and I think that working women who give it a chance will, too. As for the new Mustang, even with its good looks and fair pricing the large blind spots and insurance rates limit its attractive. My grade is an 8 and if you like more opulence go for the Lincoln Zephyr.
Although I don’t recommend large SUVs, the smaller ones are handy. I have not tested the Honda CR-V yet, but the Toyota RAV 4 is excellent. Except for the spare tire hanging off the rear hatch that makes opening and closing the door a chore on hills, it has a terrific ride and engine. The turning radius could be reduced for easier parking and that spare tire does hinder backing up visibility, but the RAV is so light on its feet it makes you feel like dancing all the way to the mall. My grade is a 9.
Suzuki has two new products that caught my eye at their recent introduction. The reasonably priced XL7 SUV with its third row seating, excellent warranty and nice road manners was female friendly, but it felt too much like a General Motors retread in many regards. I would give it a 6 despite the sharp looking interior, $24,200 base price and 19 mpg fuel economy. The smaller and handier SX4. This all wheel drive compact stationwagonish Suzuki is perfect for the younger lady looking for a bit more style than the Honda Fit, Nissan Versa, or Toyota’s Yaris. It is priced nearly the same, but is snappy looking and gets great fuel mileage at over 25 mpg with the five speed manual transmission. The SX4 is an eight and with more power would be a nine.
There you have it. A look at the most intriguing models that I found to be female friendly in terms of ride, handling, room, and uniqueness. They are all fun to drive and I have bested each of them for at least a week doing daily chores, commuting, and shopping. I won’t mind owning any of them. However, one fact is starting to emerge. The manufactures are starting to look at providing female friendly vehicles. For a list of all vehicle websites go to http://www.reacheverychild.com and click on business.