June 22, 2004


Kelley Blue Book editors pick “Cars of Summer”

Irvine, California – The editors at Kelley Blue Book, have chosen the best cars for some of summer’s top activities.

Best Car for a Coastal Drive: Nissan 350Z Roadster
Best Car for Country Road Drive: Subaru WRX STi
Best Car for Going to the Beach, River or Lake: Honda Element
Best Car to “Park” in Under the Stars: Audi A4 Cabriolet
“THE” Car to Be Seen In: BMW 645 Ci
Best Car for Cruising the Boulevard with Friends: Scion tC
Best Car for “The Graduate”: Mazda3
Best Car for Off Road Fun in the Sun: Jeep Wrangler SE
Best Car for Camping/Hiking: Subaru Forester
Best Car for Towing Recreational Equipment: Ford F-150

Editor’s Comments on Each Vehicle

Best Car for a Coastal Drive:
Nissan 350Z Roadster
For a warm summer’s drive up (or down) the coast, the 350Z incorporates the best of both worlds, a fun to drive roadster that combines classic with contemporary styling and sports car handling.

Best Car for Country Road Drive:
Subaru WRX STi
Its power and agile ability to handle a winding country road make the Subaru WRX STi a driver’s dream. The under $35,000 price tag makes it attainable to a wider range of drivers. For the true enthusiast, there’s almost nothing as exciting as a brisk drive in a WRX STi, twisting your way through a country road.

Best Car for Going to the Beach, River or Lake:
Honda Element
Not too many other vehicles allow the owner to change out of their sandy clothing, then practically hose out the interior to remove sand and dirt. Plus, the wide open doors and flat bed seats make it a uniquely versatile utility workhorse.

Best Car to “Park” in Under the Stars:
Audi A4 Cabriolet
Imagine yourself parked high on a hill, gazing at the lights of the city below with a comfortable and stylish interior surrounding you and your favorite person. The stellar combination of luxury, road handling and an easy-to-drop convertible top, make this a great car to “Park” under any star.

“THE” Car to Be Seen In:
BMW 645 Ci
If you could pick any car you wanted to drive into the valet of your favorite restaurant this summer, the BMW 645 Ci would make one heck of a stylish valet entrance and probably get parked right up front. In the 645 Ci, BMW brings together sport-engineered performance and exquisite luxury amenities.

Best Car for Cruising The Boulevard with Friends:
Scion tC
It’s got to be new and it’s got to be cool to get a reaction when you’re cruising to your favorite hangout. Even with its standard powerful engine and 17″ sporty spoke wheels, the tC is sure to get plenty of attention while cruising down the boulevard this summer.

Best Car for “The Graduate”:
Mazda3
The stylish Mazda3 offers more variety than its competitors, allowing each owner to customize the vehicle to their liking. Options like MP3 player and navigation make it a hit in almost every demographic.

Best Car for Off Road Fun in the Sun: Jeep Wrangler SE:
The unique yet almost unchanged design of the Jeep Wrangler has made it an off-road hit on both sun-bathed and snow-covered roads. The SE model’s small 4-cylinder engine sits back close to the Wrangler’s firewall, helping it attain better front-to-rear balance, a benefit that comes in handy when encountering precarious off-road situations.

Best Car for Camping/Hiking: Subaru Forester
Getting to the trail head with all your gear requires a safe vehicle with great gas mileage and versatile all around utility. With its five-star crash rating, fuel economy and room for almost everything, Forester provides function and all-wheel drive handling, which makes it a natural for most camping and hiking jaunts.

Best Car for Towing The Boat/Recreational Equipment: Ford F-150
Ford’s new F-150 has rugged good looks on the outside along with a luxurious, feature-rich interior that can accommodate plenty of people, toys and gear. As for towing capacity; the F-150 is king in the half-ton arena due to its top-rated optional 9,900 lb towing capability.

Criteria for the Cars of Summer include models currently available or available by August 2004 and not exceed an MSRP of U.S.$75,000.

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