Ask most 11-year old boys about good cars and bad cars, and the answers seem simple. "The Nissan 350Z is good, smart fortwos suck, big trucks can be fun, and most every convertible works for me." Si? Then cometh the days where your own hard-earned money is involved. After that, friends and family are involved. Dare I say it, days will come when comfort is a priority. 

Options in our automotive market are super-abounding. Niche vehicles take up residence at just about every dealership. Hyundai will soon build a 300+ horsepower rear-wheel drive coupe. Mercedes-Benz offers tall front-wheel drive hatchbacks. Get what you want; when you want it; where you please; at the dollar figure you demand. 

But sacrifices must be made. To learn more, ask The Good Car Guy. Here... for you. See plenty of other answers from The Good Car Guy under the Questions label.


ARE SUVs GOOD CARS? Inherently, a sport-utility vehicle isn't even a car. Definitions abound, but traditionally, an SUV was tall and off-road capable. SUVs worked with a two-box design, hatchback style, and could manage to tow or haul something of consequence. Traditionally, an SUV was based on a truck platform. 

Indeed, these things are no longer true. However, for a vehicle to manage SUV status, most of the criteria would have to be met. The criterion most often forsaken these days is the foundational truck elements and/or the aforementioned off-road capability. The demand for SUVs to be more like the cars we drove in when we were younger has helped create car-based SUVs and tall wagons that have come to be called crossovers or crossover-utility vehicles. Combining the best elements of historical SUVs with the practical elements of a car makes for something like the Buick Enclave or Toyota Highlander, good vehicles both.

Now, to the question: are SUVs good cars? Viewed specifically in the following categories without economic or dynamic context, an SUV is indeed 'good': family hauling, heavy towing, visibility, all-weather usefulness, and reconfigurability. For families whose needs cover the gamut from multiple children through to RV towing and the altering of uses on a daily basis in a variety of seasons, most minivans can't even cope. 

On the other hand, apart from combined towing and transporting lifestyles, in terms of usefulness, the typical non-all-wheel drive SUV is easily viewable as a conceptual failure. A minivan can do just about everything else better including family hauling, stuff toting, visibility, and reconfigurability. However, a minivan does so with less style and greater negative stigma. 

Finally, when seen in the light of our current economic situation - especially the price of oil - many SUVs will begin to reek of conspicuous consumption. Already I see lifelong Honda Accord drivers switching to Honda Civics and I don't doubt the likelihood that former Chevrolet Suburban-driving friends in my old land of Texas are at least considering the upcoming Chevrolet Traverse. Careful; though: sometimes the 'concept' and theory don't translate well into practice and you'll find yourself driving an all-wheel drive V6-powered Dodge Journey and suffering from a tall-wagon/crossover that achieves 15mpg in the city, just 1mpg better than a 4x4 Suburban.

WHAT IS AUDI'S MOST DESIRABLE CAR? Talk about delving into the absolute depths of my subjective capability. Well, words such as  'Audi' & 'desirable' fit together as well as 'strawberry' & 'shortcake' or 'Ferrari' & 'red'. Audi builds vehicles like the relatively inexpensive A3 and the not-relatively-at-all R8. In between are three sedans, a couple wagons, two visually stunning coupes and a couple of crossover/SUV/CUV/SAVs. 

Audi makes use of engine configurations as varied as an inline-four cylinder to the W12, with V10s and V8s and V6s in between. This being one of Volkswagen's luxury divisions, it's not surprising to see turbochargers and diesels aplenty. 

Although the easy answers include the R8 supercar and RS6 Avant superwagen, I'll go with the Audi TT coupe. My reasons are numerous. Few cars strike me so violently upon every drive-by. The hardtop TT maintains the lines that shocked us all when the first-generation debuted; lines that no droptop is able to carry with the... er, top dropped. TTs are plenty sporty, if not the class of the field in terms of driving dynamics, and while not managing to autobahn with the likes of the R8 or Porsche 911, do manage to compete with more a more mainstream pricing scheme. 

Though the Quattro and V6 combo sounds perfect, the 2.0L turbocharged TT sends power to the front wheels and provides good balance and a not-surprisingly Volkswagen GTI-like driving experience. The reasons for naming it as so desirable are the same as those in its Good 12 declaration.

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