2010 Corvette Grand Sport
Chevrolet Corvette – In the world of luxury sports cars, you can’t get much more affordable than the 2010 Chevrolet Corvette, with starting prices from about $49,000. Along with that pricetag comes a 430-horsepower V-8 engine and handling that’s on par with many higher-priced exotic sports cars. The Corvette, available in coupe and convertible, features lots of standard safety equipment, including dual-stage front airbags, run-flat tires, all-speed traction control and four-wheel disc anti-lock brakes, but some reviewers say that rearward visibility is hampered. High-performance models include Z06 and ZR1. TCC editors gave the 2010 Chevrolet Corvette an overall 8.8 rating (out of 10).
BMW Z4 – Although it costs nearly as much as the class-leading 2010 Porsche Boxster, the 2010 BMW Z4 luxury sports roadster (with 2010 starting prices between $46,000 and nearly $52,000) has strong and smooth powertrain options, rides and handles exceptionally well and has a standard retractable hardtop. Some reviewers have said the BMW Z4 has the makings of one of the all-time great roadsters. Bottom line for TCC editors: an overall 8 (out of 10) rating.
Lexus SC – As a super-luxury convertible, the 2010 Lexus SC, which may be cross-shopped with Mercedes-Benz SL and SLK (both available as drop-top models) and Porsche Boxster, is the only one of these three that appears on the InsWeb’s list of most expensive cars to insure. With a 2010 starting MSRP of $68,405, the Lexus SC isn’t as performance oriented as some rivals, has a cramped back seat and limited cargo space. Essentially, it’s a grand boulevard cruiser – one that Consumer Guide gave a “Top Recommendation” designation for 2010. In a review, TCC editors rated the 2010 Lexus SC 7.6 (out of 10).
2009 Jaguar XF
Jaguar XF – With two powerful engines (V-8 or supercharged V-8), well-balanced handling and an interior filled with high-tech features, the 2010 Jaguar XF is a large luxury sedan that makes no bones about its sporty intentions. It’s definitely not a luxury cruiser, although families may forego smooth ride for the XF’s blend of stunning performance and aggressive good looks. With starting prices from just over $51,000 to $79,000, this Jaguar is for the well-heeled who can afford higher insurance premiums. TCC rated the 2010 Jaguar XF 9 (out of 10).
Cadillac STS – In the luxury large sedan category, the 2010 Cadillac STS fits the bill of a family car for certain customers. It’s big and it’s a Caddy, offering impressive handling and braking for a car of its size. V-6 and V-8 engines are available, rear-wheel drive is standard and all-wheel drive is optional. In a review, TCC gave the 2010 Cadillac STS an overall rating of 7.6 (out of 10).
Dodge Challenger – Considered a muscle car – hence, it’s not surprising it appears on the most-expensive-to-insure list, the 2010 Dodge Challenger is available in SE, R/T and high-performance SRT8 trim (with HEMI V-8 engine). Inside, the Challenger seats up to five and offers plenty of cargo room, so it could be a performance-oriented family car choice for some consumers. Competition includes the Ford Mustang (number 12 on InsWeb’s list of most-expensive 2010 cars to insure) and the Chevrolet Camaro (number 24). The Car Connection editors rated the 2010 Dodge Challenger as 8 (out of 10).
For the top 10 of InsWeb’s least expensive 2010 cars to insure, check out yesterday’s FCG column.