Whenever we’re not testing new cars or covering the latest auto shows, the team here at AutoGuide.com is stuck commuting in their ho-hum daily drivers, just like normal people! But that doesn’t mean the staff is sad to be in their daily drivers; they actually like driving their own cars. Here’s why:
Dan Ilika, Road Test Editor:
Dan describes his Kia Forte5 as an appliance, but a reliable and well-priced one. He seems to be the only one on our team struggling to say the ‘L’ word when describing his daily driver, but you can tell by the way he talks about his Korean compact hatchback that he has some real affection for the little guy.
Jodi Lai, Managing Editor:
I love the fact that my steering wheel has no buttons. My 2008 Volkswagen Rabbit has a simple steering wheel, and I love the fact that not one single button can be found on it. It only has one purpose, which is to steer; not change the volume, activate cruise control, find a radio station or make a call. The material is also getting patchy in some places, with little bits fading where I hold the steering wheel the most. I find this comforting because it’s not perfect, but it feels like home.
Also, have a little disco ball hanging from my rear view mirror that’s pretty sweet.
Jonathan Yarkony, Editor in Chief:
For me it’s not a little something, it’s the very essence of the car. It’s a manual station wagon. I am an automotive enthusiast cliché. I love clichés. I love being a cliché. Oh, and did I mention it’s a wagon? With a manual transmission?
Sami Haj-Assaad, Features Editor:
My daily driver, a 2013 Scion FR-S, has a lot to love. Sure it’s a little slow by sports cars standards, and the paint on it is flimsier than whatever Google’s social media platform is these days, but it’s a blast to drive every single time. It’s my palate cleanser. I can get out of a 400-hp test car and back in my Toyobaru and still feel things in it that I just don’t feel in modern cars. Specifically, I love the steering of this thing. It’s well weighted and provides excellent feedback for an electric power-assisted setup.
Oh, and I also love that both windows are automatic up/down, and you can operate them while the car is off like, say, when you park and turn the car off, but then realize you didn’t close the window all the way.
Craig Cole, Associate Editor:
My daily driver is a rattle-trap 2002 Ford Focus ZX3. My favorite thing about this old beater is its simplicity. I hit the lock button and *gasp* the doors lock, there’s zero ambiguity. When I push a radio preset button and it changes the station, I stick the key into the ignition and twist it to start the engine; shutdown is the opposite. Everything is so clear-cut and simple with this car, I love it! With modern infotainment systems, you sometimes don’t know what does what, ditto for secondary controls. With my old Focus this is not an issue. Oh, and I also love that it’s a five-speed…
Stephen Elmer, News Editor:
There’s never enough space for me to cram all my junk in most cars. Unless I’m in my Honda Fit. Up front there are two cupholders, a double glove box and two small cupholder-lookalike storage cubbies that I absolutely crave when I don’t have them. Whether it’s my wallet, phone or loose change, the amount of at-hand storage in the 2010 Fit is second to none. With so much interior storage and clever use of space, the pint-sized Fit feels like a much larger car than it really is, especially with the Magic Seats.
For a guy who is constantly hauling a Sea-Doo, a snowmobile or a drum kit, having all that space goes a long way. Who needs a truck, any way?
Jason Siu, News Editor:
Despite what others might say, there’s plenty to love about the Mercedes-Benz CLA45 AMG as a daily driver. It’s the perfect balance between luxury and sportiness, while having good enough space in the back seats to comfortably seat four. But having grown up in the age of modifying Honda Civics and being completely infatuated with turbocharged four-cylinder engines, it’s the powerplant I love the most in the CLA 45 AMG. Like the rest of the car, it’s a nice balance between performance and fuel economy and who doesn’t like having the world’s most powerful four-cylinder engine at their disposal? What’s even better is that last year, Mercedes and AMG announced that the CLA45 would get a nice boost in performance to 375 horsepower from 355, and now the German automaker is stepping it up even more, pushing that figure to 400. If there’s something that I would love even more is having 400 hp under the hood rather than “just” 355.
Sebastien Bell, News Editor at VWVortex
I drive around in a 2001 New Beetle, so naturally my favorite thing about it is the OEM flower vase. When I’m not preoccupied by botany, though, my favorite part is definitely the airy cabin. With the sunroof, the big windshield, the enormous side windows, and a large rear window the car is like a greenhouse. Perfect for growing flowers in my OEM flower vase.