Buyers' Guide: Sports cars with space for the family
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Richard* is a successful entrepreneur and father who has spent the past few years behind the wheel of a sensible SUV — but he longs for something with more style and performance.
He’s worked hard and has always made sensible decisions. But now he has some extra cash, Richard has decided it’s time he splashed out on a sportier car.
We’ve picked a couple of interesting cars that could inject a bit of fun back into Richard’s life, while providing the practicality of a family sedan. If you’re in the market for something unique with a bit of kick, these V6 turbo rear-wheel-drive sedans may just tick a few of your boxes, too.
The interesting Italian
First up, we’re going to have a look at the Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio, which has seemingly come out of nowhere. It’s based on the new “Giorgio” platform, which is shared by the newer models in Alfa’s line-up.
Powered by a V6 engine derived from the V8 in the Ferrari 488, the Giulia has 375kW of power and 600Nm of torque. The 90-degree V6 engine has the same bore and stroke as the 488, along with a turbo manifold designed to suit two fewer cylinders. It also features a fancy torque vectoring differential to deliver power to the rear wheels.
With an exhilarating 0-100km/h in just 3.9s, it seems Alfa Romeo has stirred up the competition in efforts to reclaim its former glory. It’s exhilarating to drive but perhaps more suited for the track than New Zealand roads. That said, with its striking looks and bold design, the Giulia is a head-turner that will give you all the attention you would expect from a Ferrari, but for much less cash.
The South Korean surprise
The Koreans have been busy over the past eight years, producing the Kia Stinger, which is seen as their new halo car. The five-door sport back is their flagship performance vehicle, which has broken the mould for the Korean company.
The Stinger is Kia’s first modern-era vehicle built with a rear-wheel-drive platform. It’s also the first to be powered by a twin-turbo charged V6 engine, which enables the Stinger to accelerate from 0-100km/h in less than 5s.
The Stinger has five drive mode settings: Smart, Eco, Comfort, Sport and Custom. These settings adjust a raft of elements in the vehicle such as engine responsiveness, transmission changes, steering effort and suspension stiffness.
The Stinger also packs an impressive 3.3 litre engine which produces 272kW at 6000rpm — plenty of juice to jet you up Dunedin’s steep Baldwin St with the kids.
A sports car is great, but a vehicle that boasts reasonable practicality, as well as good looks and performance, is a huge advantage. Vehicles with this se-tup make for a sensational driving experience. While they’re not dedicated to being practical, they offer fun, excitement and space for the whole family, so if you’re in the same position as Richard, they could fit the bill for you.
* Not his real name