Our Two Cents: Best modern vehicles to complement a classic
Welcome to Our Two Cents, a biweekly feature in which the team here at Hagerty Media answers the questions you haven’t considered yet. Our collective knowledge base of new cars of the last few decades is pretty deep. It’s a nice contrast to all of our experiences with classic vehicles. The dichotomy made me wonder: What would be the perfect pairing of old and new for a person’s two-car garage?
Sure, some of us have property with space for more rides, while others can only dream of a garage to accomodate both transportation and hobby. But many of us do have two-car capacity, so let’s indulge in this hypothetical: What new vehicle balances out your classic?
Put yourself in the shoes of a homeowner with a two-car garage. Just like our last installment, I am hoping our answers will continue to inform, enrich, and possibly even enlighten you. So here we go:
Full-size sweet spot: Ram 1500 (fifth-generation)
The Ram 1500 tows a box trailer and has ample room for five adults. They also don’t require people to buy every option to get the wanted features like CarPlay and heated seats. Mine is a 2019 and even has cloth seats. I bought it at the start of the COVID-crazy when dealers were empty and paid $42K, which I think was a steal. The $52K sticker, however, isn’t that bad considering all you get. I prefer the Rams because they drive small—the truck doesn’t feel like the big lumbering ape that it is. Once you experience the convenience of a full-size pickup, it’s hard to imagine living without one. —Larry Webster, editor-in-chief
A triumph for VW: 2018 Volkswagen Tiguan
I suppose that, since I’ve already put my money where my mouth is, this is any easy answer for me: The current all-weather alternative to my fun summer ride, my 1967 Triumph Spitfire Mk3, is a 2018 Volkswagen Tiguan. Sure, the Spitfire is a ball to drive in warm weather with the top down (as long as there’s no rain in the forecast—the wiper motor went out loooong ago), but a huge majority of the miles I drive are in my trusty Tiguan.
Why a Tiguan? Because I live in northern Michigan, which puts more emphasis on a vehicle that is not only good in snow but also has heated seats. Besides, when your “fun car” is a small roadster with practically zero storage space, you’ve got to go with some form of SUV as your daily. Now, if I could afford ANYTHING as my daily driver, I’d go for something even bigger and more luxurious, but since my finances don’t align with my dreams, I’m happy to have the Tiguan. —Jeff Peek, senior editor
The ultimate couple: BMW i3 (to go with your classic BMW)
Until very recently, this was my L.A. two car solution. A city car (BMW i3) and a GT (BMW E24 6 Series) that I can take on car-show duty. —Mike Perlman, podcast manager
Fleet-sweet love story: 2006–16 Chevrolet Impala
Earlier this summer, I said goodbye to the most reliable vehicle I’ve ever owned. I bought my used 2012 Chevrolet Impala used with 11K on the odometer and put over 150K miles on the big silver sedan in eight years. Aside from two sets of new brakes and routine oil changes, the Impala never asked for anything from its owner. Instead, it plodded along, unwavering, through four years of Arizona sun, four years of Michigan snow, and every pothole between. Luggage, parts, and furniture—it could haul it all with a giant back seat and cavernous trunk. The Chevy outlasted multiple girlfriends and more than a few fun-to-drive cars that took temporary refuge in my driveways.
Toward the end of its tenure, my dad would say, “that car doesn’t owe you anything.” He was right. It was a dependable daily driver and the perfect foil to any unpredictable enthusiast vehicle. – Cameron Neveu, managing editor, motorsports
Ya can’t touch my van, man: Honda Odyssey
I love minivans and I’m not ashamed to be seen driving one. There, I said it. We all want a fun car or classic to enjoy, trust me on that. But what’s wrong with also enjoying a nice power-sliding door? We have four kids plus our foster children, so our two-car solution has to include a large vehicle. Ever try to squeeze over a seat to try to buckle a kid into the third row of an SUV? It’s not a pretty sight. Our second car needs to be a van, and I actually like it that way. It’s fairly often I take out the seats and use our Odyssey as a “truck” to haul around big stuff. I thought it was ridiculous when ours came with 15 cup holders (not kidding) … until we went on a trip and they were somehow all occupied.
Sure, I tried to make ours feel “cool” by adding an infotainment system, K&N air filter, and some aftermarket, blacked-out rims. But in the end, let’s be honest … I’m just a guy that’s proud to drive a minivan. —Matt Fink, branded content writer
Swede speed, room for all: Volvo V60 Polestar
My BMW Z3 roadster has no roof, minimal storage, and seating for two. I wanted something more practical for long road trips, as well as something that would be good fun year-round—even in the snow. I also wanted it to be safe. Thus, the 2016 Volvo V60 Polestar. It’s a 345-hp, all-wheel-drive wagon with manually adjustable dampers (for when I take it to the track), automatic transmission, and the most comfortable seats I’ve ever experienced in a car. I’ve only had it for a few months but I am very much in love. It’s basically invisible on the road, given that it looks like an ordinary black station wagon. But for those that recognize the 20-inch wheels and the little roof spoiler? They know. The straight-six just sings, too. —Eric Weiner, executive editor
Weathertight functionality: Full-size vans
I see a lot of truck owners who spent good money to make their truck bad at truck stuff because of the desire for secure and weathertight storage. Vans rule, and when it comes time to move my classic cars or motorcycles, there is nothing quite like a van. I can keep gear, parts, or entire projects hidden from prying eyes and weather with ease, and with the 400-hp, 6.6-liter gasser V-8 and long wheelbase, towing is dream. I drive old cars for the look; I drive modern vans for the function. —Kyle Smith, editor
All juiced up and ready to go: Ford F-150 Lightning
I get to drive one electric vehicle after another, awaiting the model that ticks enough boxes to make me forget my range anxiety. One finally did: The new Ford Lightning. No, I can’t afford one unless tomorrow night’s lottery tickets pay off, but the price really isn’t out of line for ICE full-sized pickups. I love the looks inside and out, and the performance, in straight lines and in turns, is downright eye-opening. The range is enough for normal daily driving, and it tows enough to make it useful.
No, I’m still not over range anxiety, and never will be, but I have petroleum vehicles for that. And I see the Lightning as a perfect complement to them. – Steven Cole Smith, special projects editor
“Professional Grade” home ownership: GMC Sierra
I thought about doubling down on something fun to drive—with a warranty—in addition to a classic … But I just looked in my garage at the table, snowblower, and piles of other “stuff” that will need hauling in the coming weeks. It’s got to be a truck, doesn’t it? A GMC Sierra with the 5.3-liter V-8, some heated seats, and wheels with plenty of sidewall would be sublime up in northern Michigan. I’d love the 6.2-liter eight, but the reality is that I’m rarely going to overwork the 5.3, which comes in more affordable trims.
Homeownership has opened my eyes to a lot of realities—how quickly $1000 can disappear on a random Tuesday, what a boon anytime hauling capability is to a nascent DIY-er, and more. —Nathan Petroelje, associate editor
You belong to the city: Chevy Spark (LS manual)
There are too many truck-related answers, so I’m not going there. (But I kinda really want to.) Fact is, I could do 70 percent of my annual car enthusiast/homeowner tasks with a hatchback and a blue tarp. Urban congestion makes driving a modern full-size truck downright challenging, plus there are no fun roads for me in a 25+ mile radius of my Texan life of traffic and urban sprawl. Sports cars can’t stand potholes. Modern trucks are scary in older parking garages, with handling that’s more of a nautical affair. So yeah, I’ll enjoy the 70 percent of my tasks in a Chevrolet Spark hatchback, and borrow/rent a truck when needed.
Since I still have a mortgage and classic car restoration bills aplenty, I’m going with zero options: no automatic transmission, crank windows, but a big ‘ol screen for my phone to talk to the audio system. Driving a powerful vehicle at 6/10ths is absolutely boring, but that’s how you keep yourself (and others) safe in the big city. Compare that to a Spark in dark grey with a five-speed manual? I’ll be hustling at 9/10ths, big grin on my face, and nobody will be the wiser. —Sajeev Mehta, senior editor
So what did we miss in our proposed two-car solutions? What would you put in the garage instead? Sock it to us—we can take it.
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