A dozen long-stemmed roses? Pass. Silly, sugary conversation hearts? Double pass. To me, nothing would be sweeter this Valentine’s Day than a new car. OK, so that’s probably not happening, but a gal can dream, right?
If, like me, you’re jonesing to be surprised with a new set of wheels, sometimes it’s best to savor the fantasy. So here’s our list for the Top 10 cars we’d love to be surprised with this year:
Acura NSX (Starting at $156,000)
Pretty and pricey, this 2-seat, mid-engine, hybrid-powered sports car is the luxury brand’s super fast, super powerful and super expensive Acura NSX — the most expensive Acura ever. With 573 horsepower, all-wheel drive and the ability to hit 60 miles per hour in 3.1 seconds, it has all of the power and speed of fancier rides like the Ferrari 488, but costs less. For the love in your life? Get this beaut in Curva Red. Each Acura NSX is painted by hand — a process that takes about 20 hours. The length of time for us to fall in love with it? About three seconds.
Audi Q7 (Starting at $49,900)
Rugged yet refined. This is the ideal SUV for the rough-around-the edges love in your life. The Audi Q7 is the automaker’s flagship SUV and its largest crossover, able to haul up to seven passengers nestled in three rows. This is the second generation Q7, and it’s been hailed as lighter and more streamlined, with such stand-out technology as its Virtual Cockpit with realistic Google Maps navigation. Your significant other will love how it beautifully merges luxury with must-have, ease-of-use features like hands-free tailgate and split-folding rear seatbacks. Hey, it’s those simple, gorgeous things that give us the feels.
Bentley Bentayga (Starting at $195,000)
There are SUVs, and then there are Bentley SUVs. As the carmaker’s first-ever sport utility vehicle, the Bentayga is a thing of quiet, dignified splendor — starting with the Mulliner 22-inch Paragon wheels and LED welcome lamps beaming the signature Bentley wings onto the ground. It seats four, and the two individual rear seats adjust in 18 (18!) different ways, with massage and ventilation functions. Your sweetie will love the sumptuous color schemes — with Piano Black Stain in the front cabin and Burr Walnut veneer in the back. Perhaps the most Valentine-y touch? The Mulliner bottle cooler and chiller, fully integrated into the rear console. The cooling compartment features two handcrafted Cumbria Crystal champagne flutes and an illuminated bottle chilling ring. Cheers to luxury like this.
Chevy Colorado ZR2 (Starting at $40,995)
For some folks, fancy dinners and fuss is for the birds. They wanna take their love off the grid — the more rugged the terrain, the better. That’s pretty much what the Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 was designed for.
It packs a punch, with engine choices of standard 3.6L V6 and available 2.8L turbo-diesel, plus the capacity to tow up to 7,700 pounds. This is one handsome, bold truck — it’s wider than the Colorado, and boasts 17-in wheels wrapped in beefy 31-in tires for a "look-at-me" stance (helped also by the fact that the ZR2 is wider and taller than a standard Colorado). For those who are drawn to the dark side, the Midnight and Dusk Editions offer smoldering, blacked out features like black wheels and Black Chevrolet bowties.
This is an off-roader’s dream, but those who want to stay connected will love having 4G LTE Wi-Fi and Chevrolet MyLink with an 8-in diagonal color display. Love, illuminated.
Ford Mustang (Starting at $25,585)
You can’t talk about love without talking about Mustangs. Surprising your partner with a 2018 Ford Mustang Coupe or Convertible means you get it. The originality. The lore. This beautiful creature remains true to the original machine that leaped into the hearts of millions over 50 years ago. It’s sexy, fast, affordable and a ball to drive. This sleek, modern muscle car comes in three trim levels — base, the V8-powered GT with the legendary 5.0-liter V8, and the fiery, be-still-my-heart Shelby GT350 anchored with 526 hp. One of the coolest new features? Five drive modes — Normal, Snow/Wet, Sport, Track or Drag Mode (which is new this year) — let you dial in the dynamics you want. Dynamics in a dynamite car? Surprise us, please.
Jeep Wrangler Rubicon (Starting at $36,995)
It’s too early for a Valentine’s date to see "Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom," but you can watch Jeff Goldblum taking the wheel of a 2018 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon in one of the most buzzed-about Super Bowl commercials of the year. Even with a toothy T-Rex thundering behind it, Jeeps are just sexy. Especially when painted in Firecracker Red. It has 285 hp, rakishly rugged 33-inch tires and easily accessible switches for engaging 4×4 capabilities — making it the ideal ride for hitting the mountains on a last-minute getaway (sans dinosaurs, of course).
Lexus LS (Starting at $75,000)
"Mmmm … one Lexus LS in Matador Red Mica, please." That’s how we envision ourselves answering when asked, "What would you love to have this year, my sweet?" Built on the platform of the high-performance LC coupe, the new LS 500 features the car maker’s first-ever twin-turbocharged engine paired with the first-ever 10-speed automatic transmission in its class. Style-wise, it’s a thing of perfect, perfect beauty, thanks to Takumi craftsmanship (takumi translates to "artisan" in Japanese), distinctive art wood trim, ambient lighting and designed-by-hand Kiriko cut glass. Oh, and that edgy, hypnotic grille. According to Lexus.com, it’s "made up of more than 5,000 individual surfaces, all arranged by hand, and 5,000 individual facets, each precisely calibrated to catch and reflect light." It definitely captured our hearts, one speck of brilliance at a time.
Lincoln Navigator (Starting at $72,055)
Stately, distinctive and brimming with class, the Lincoln Navigator is the perfect gift for a loved one craving a lot of power and a lot of comfort. It’s twin-turbocharged 3.5-liter engine can produce 450 hp, and its 10-speed transmission means drivers are in for a smooth and controlled ride (perfect for carpooling, or escaping for a late-night celebratory dinner). Also, the Navigator has shaved some weight: The vehicle’s lighter, all-aluminum-alloy body allows for the features that enhance comfort (and quietness) to shine through — stuff like approach detection, which feels like a high-tech concierge service. When your key fob is within a detectable range, auto-folding side mirrors project a Lincoln logo welcome mat on the ground below the doors, door handle areas illuminate and the front and rear running lamps illuminate in a timed sequence. Red carpet touches make for a very happy Valentine.
Mercedes-Benz E-Class Coupe (Starting at $58,900)
Mercedes-Benz always slays in the classy category. The E-Class Coupe is no exception. In our fantasy world, we’d choose Cardinal Red Metallic to set our hearts ablaze. With its 329-hp bi-turbo V6, it’s superbly dynamic — and it has the features that make all the difference in a luxury vehicle: Welcoming seat belts, seats that cradle your body in warmth or coolness (or relax you with a massage), in-cabin air that can be infused with aromatherapy oils (for creating that perfect date night) and 64 colors of ambient lighting. For punching up the best tunes (or directions for the best nightcap in town), its 12.3-in screen unites navigation, entertainment and numerous comfort settings with an intuitive touchpad on the console. Benz bliss.
Nissan Leaf (Starting at $29,900)
You love your significant other, and you love the environment. Show your hubs, wifey, GF or BF just how much with the gift of a Nissan Leaf. As the most popular electric car in the world, it’s got all the bells and whistles to make your love go weak in the knees. We’re talking about cutting-edge tech like e-Pedal (which lets you accelerate and brake with only one pedal), Automatic Emergency Braking and available ProPILOT Assist. Its sharp lines, multidimensional blue grille and roomy interior will make anyone feel better about going electric. Oh, and snagging scores of tax credits and other incentives make the Leaf a much, much better present than some frilly, flowery car.
Boxes of chocolates, fragrant bouquets and sipping bubbly will always have their place on Valentine’s Day. But one of these cars — with a big red bow, of course — makes the day so much sweeter.