Sporty Granny!


Right now, I am driving a Passat, which I love, but it is time for a change. I think I need a small SUV to give a little height to the driver’s seat. Let me add that I am over 70, only 5’1″, and a widow. Although I have 15 grandchildren, I do not want a “granny” car. Something zippy and sporty would be nice.

I want fuel economy, good all-around vision, some bells and whistles. I mostly drive around a very busy city area with frequent trips two to four hour trips. Who knows how many cars I will get to buy after this one.

I’d like to stay under $25,000. What do you suggest?

~ Pat
Rockville, Md.


I love your driving spirit! There are a number of great choices in your price range.

The 2013 Ford Escape, completely redesigned this year, is right-sized, comfy, and has great drive quality. It rides a little higher than some of the smaller SUVs, which may bother you.

We love the 2012 VW Tiguan for its great Euro styling, soft-touch interior elements, and sold engine. Since you’re already a VW gal, you know what we’re talking about.

The 2012 Toyota RAV4 is youthful, safe, reliable and most of all, fun. It comes in several versions: a gas-sipping 4-cylinder, a speedy V6, and this fall, an all-electric plug-in model with about a 100-mile range per charge. I like the Toyota RAV4 because, like you, I’m vertically challenged, and the RAV4 is lower to the ground, making it easier to get in and out, and to load the cargo bay.

Another crossover/small SUV VroomGirls likes is the 2012 Mazda CX-5. Its handling is sharp, the engine is quick, and it’s very well-built. Unfortunately, it’s not the most stylish of the bunch, but it’s fun to drive. As Mazda’s tagline says, Zoom Zoom.

We also love the 2012 VW Tiguan for its great Euro styling, soft-touch interior elements, and sold engine.

And though it’s not an SUV, the 2012 Toyota Prius V is practical and large enough to haul at least some of your brood. It’s a bit more pricey than your stated limit, but if you consider the fuel savings, it’s probably a wash, and possibly a better choice financially.

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