Dad things. Love ‘em or hate ‘em, if you must. But while that belly and/or chunky shoes might look good now, it might not be in the not-too-distant future. But if you got yourself one of these dad cars, we can pretty much guarantee it’ll last longer than any fashion trend… or at least, for the next 10 years until its COE runs out.
Anyway, if you need your car to be practical while also being decently quick (in some cases they’re blinding), these are the rides to look for. In no particular order, here we go.
Range Rover Velar 3.0 Si6 HSE R-Dynamic: $387,999
Land Rover’s design boss Gerry McGovern calls the Velar “a new type of Range Rover for a new type of customer”. We take this to mean the sort of buyer that wants an SUV but doesn’t necessarily want an SUV, or at least not one that conforms to the breed’s archetypes. That is to say a slab-sided profile and one that drives like a lorry.
A good thing, then, that the Velar drives less like an SUV and more like an elevated station wagon. It’s also a good thing the Velar is quick — equipped as it with a 3-litre supercharged V6 engine that produces 380bhp that will get it from 0 to 100km/h in 5.7 seconds.
Load space isn’t the best for an SUV of its size, with 673 litres available with the second row of seats up, and 1,731 litres with them down. But that’s the price to pay for its sleek, sports car-esque profile. In addition to that, the Velar has concealed door handles that retract flush when not in use and copper coloured accents on the bodywork, so even if it isn’t the most practical in its class, it certainly is in contention for most beautiful.
Porsche Panamera Turbo Sport Turismo: $733,288 (excluding COE)
A little over 30 years ago, Porsche tried to bring a station wagon to life with the 928-based H50 concept. The concept, along with the 928 itself, would suffer an ignominious, stillborn fate, thrown into the “things we really want you to forget we made” crate alongside the 914 and 924.
But Porsche tried again, with the Sport Turismo concept in 2012, and public reaction was far, far more positive. The production car made its debut late last year and by golly, does it look sensational, with its blocky rump and sculpted flanks.
Unfortunately, as with the Velar, space in the Panamera Sport Turismo’s cargo bay is fairly small for a car in its size class, with a maximum of 1,390 litres (with the rear seats down, with them up it’s 520 litres). But who cares when you have supercar performance? Its 4-litre V8 makes a thumping 550bhp and will let the Panamera Sport Turismo scream on to a top speed of 304km/h.
Audi RS4 Avant: $TBC
These days, Audi is best known for making the R8, a car that is now inextricably associated with Tony Stark (AKA Iron Man) from the Avengers movie franchise. But petrolheads will tell you the German carmaker is best known for making exceptionally quick station wagons, beginning with the RS2 Avant in 1994.
Since then, the RS2 has gone on to spawn five more compact super wagons (yes, we know the full-sized RS6 Avant exists too) culminating in this: the fourth-generation RS4 Avant. 450bhp from its 2.9-litre twin-turbo V6 is the promise and while there are some who will lament the loss of the rolling thunder engine note of the 4.2-litre V8 that preceded it, this current model will match it for power, despite it having a lower displacement and missing a pair of cylinders. Ah, the magic of turbocharging.
Anyway, unlike some others on our list here, which cut a few practicality corners in search of edgier styling, the RS4 Avant is essentially a regular ol’ Audi wagon with a monstrous engine shoved up its nose. And who doesn’t love a seemingly dull-looking thing that will smoke bona fide sports cars?
Ferrari GTC4 Lusso: $1,285,000 (excluding COE)
Here are two words you never thought you’d hear in the same sentence: “Kanye” and “Good Taste”. We kid, we kid (but not really). Anyway, what we were trying to say is the GTC4 Lusso is a practical Ferrari.
Well, for a given value of practical, anyway. It’s got a pair of relatively roomy seats in the rear, a huge loading aperture afforded by its hatchback and a boot that has 450 litres of space (800 litres with the 40:20:40 split-folding rear seats down).
It’s not amazing, but everyone knows the reason you buy the GTC4 Lusso isn’t because of its practicality, but needed to throw the significant other a bone, so you can say: “yes, it’s a Ferrari, but it’s a practical one”.
And also because you wanted to enjoy the banshee wail of its 690bhp, 6.3-litre V12 engine. If you asked us, it’s mostly for this; practicality be damned.