Looks are important when it comes to finding my perfect car. But my ideal car is more than just adorable. It’s easy to parallel park, great in snow, perfect for city and highway driving, energy efficient, and able to carry a bike. So what’s the perfect car for me?
I asked product specialists at the New England International Auto Show to find a car that fit my criteria. Here are some of the ones we reviewed. For the purpose of this feature, price was not an object. All prices in this gallery include optional features, except where noted.
Pictured: Your cars producer Julie Balise in a Scion iQ.
2013 Kia Soul
The Soul received a five-star rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration for side-crash safety. It has heated front seats, Bluetooth wireless technology, and room for five passengers. This car gets 23 city miles per gallon and 28 highway miles per gallon.
2013 Chevrolet Sonic
This five-door hatchback has a fuel-efficient turbocharged engine and 10 airbags. It has a Stabilitrak stability control system with traction control. The rear seats fold down, creating more room for cargo. The Sonic gets 29 city miles per gallon and 40 highway miles per gallon.
2013 Scion xD
The least expensive car I visited is shorter and smaller than most other Scion models – with the exception of the iQ – making it easier to park. It has six airbags and six speakers. The xD is front-wheel drive and gets 27 city miles per gallon and 33 highway miles per gallon.
2013 Acura ILX Tech Hybrid
My first hybrid, the ILX gets 39 city miles per gallon and 38 highway miles per gallon. It received a five-star overall safety rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The car has heated front seats, Acura Navigation System with voice recognition, and a backup camera.
2013 BMW 650i xDrive Gran Coupe
My most expensive “perfect’’ car, the 650i, includes an array of standard features like rain-sensing windshield wipers, park distance control, a rear-view camera, LED foglights, and 20-way power seats.
2013 Mercedes-Benz GLK 350 4MATIC
Price (manufacturer’s suggested retail price): $37,090
This SUV has an ECO Start/Stop system that shuts off the engine when you stop and starts it right up when you take your foot off the brake, resulting in up to 15 percent better fuel economy. It has three levels of heated front seats. The GLK 350 gets 19 city miles per gallon and 24 highway miles per gallon.
2013 Volkswagen Passat SEL Premium
Standard features in this Passat include power, heatable exterior mirrors, leather-trimmed sport seats, rearview camera, and more. It gets 23 combined miles per gallon. For better efficiency, I was directed toward the Passat TDI, which has a diesel engine that gets about 30 city miles per gallon and 40 highway miles per gallon.
2013 Fiat 500 Lounge
Price (manufacturer’s suggested retail price): $23,200
Standard equipment in the 500 Lounge includes 15-inch aluminum alloy wheels, fog lamps, SiriusXM Satellite Radio, and bright exterior accents. I enjoyed the vintage feel of the car’s dashboard. The 500 Lounge gets 31 city miles per gallon and 40 highway miles per gallon.
2013 Fusion SE Hybrid
The 2013 Fusion is available in three different engines: gas, hybrid, or plug-in hybrid. I went with the regular hybrid, which gets 47 city and highway miles per gallon. This car has heated seats, a rear-view camera, and connection to MyFord Touch.
2013 Mazda3 I Gran Touring
The Mazda3 has a voice-activated navigation system and adaptive front-lighting system. It delivers 28 city miles per gallon and 39 highway miles per gallon. It has heated seats, rain-sensing windshield wipers, and a blind-spot monitoring system that warns you if someone is in your blind sport.
2013 Volvo C30 T5
This front-wheel drive vehicle has a 5-speed automatic transmission, rain sensor, 17-inch SPIDER alloy wheels, a moonroof, and power driver seat with memory. It gets 21 city miles per gallon and 20 highway miles per gallon.
I was delighted by many of the interior features in the 2013 Mercedes-Benz GLK 350 4MATIC. It’s luxurious, safe, and has more than enough room to carry any cargo I could come up with.