Well, it’s that time of your life. You know the time when you just turned 40 years old. Your family is in full swing and maybe your children are off to college or just about to finish up high school. Your job is okay, but nothing excites you much anymore and life is just plain dull.
Like most people, when the mid-life crisis stage sets in the only thing that every man needs is to have a fast car that makes him feel excited and young again. The question now becomes what car to buy?
The obvious choice is a Ferrari, a Lamborghini, or an Aston Martin. Nothing says youth like a DB9 or a 458 Italia. Let’s be honest with ourselves though, not many people can afford a car like that, especially with a family. We need to find something for under $100,000 that is fast, looks good, and isn’t on two wheels.
These are the top five mid-life crisis cars on the market today in the United States. Check them out after the jump.
5) BMW M-Series Cars
It’s hard to just choose one of the M division BMW machines. The M5 is the best choice for the family father who wants to take the family to the mall, but still wants that massive amount of power available. For a brief period the M3 would have been a good choice as well, but BMW dropped the sedan variant, leaving the M3 in coupe form only. The M5 offers up a 500 horsepower V8 and a top speed of 155 miles per hour. The M3 has a 4.0-liter V8 with 414 horsepower and a 0-60 time of 4.1 seconds. The M5 is a little more expensive, but it can be used on a daily basis, while the M3 is more of a weekend vehicle, so in a way, you get more for your money with the high-performance 5-Series sedan. Your choice though; the amazingly good M3 or the family rocket ship, the M5.
4) Chevrolet Corvette
We once referred to the ’Vette’ as "America’s favorite plastic sports car", but the Corvette is a top seller among middle aged men. It’s not as cool as it used to be, but that won’t stop buyers from flocking to them. The old school V8s that live under the hoods of these machines are loud, mean, and fast. There are many different models to choose from. There’s the coupe, convertible, Grand Sport, Z06, and the ZR1. That really has to be the most trim levels of any sports car. The coupe is good, the convertible isn’t though. With 430 horsepower these two models are quick, but aren’t the best in the corners. The Grand Sport is basically some added decals and other trim bits and the Z06 is so hard on the road that your children will wind up with bad backs, if they can fit in the back seats. If it were up to us, we would buy the amazingly good ZR1, but that is over our set $100k limit, so it’s going to have to be the base coupe.
3) Dodge Challenger SRT-8
This is the first car on our list in which we specify the trim level, but we feel it’s needed with the Challenger. The V6 model isn’t good enough and the V6 Mustang is far better. The R/T is good, but the 6.1-liter V8 Hemi in the SRT-8 is stunning. When you turn the key the motor rumbles to life, shaking the a car tad and giving you a real manly sensation. This car is, frankly, awful in the corners, but pull up next to a teenager in a Neon SRT-4 at a stoplight and the power that you will feel when you stomp on the throttle is brilliant. Not to mention you will blow that Neon out of the water and nothing makes you feel happier than destroying a punk kid at a drag race. If you really want one, wait a little bit till the 2011 models are released, as the new SRT-8 might get a 6.4-liter Hemi V8.
2) Porsche 911
The quintessential German sports car has always been the 911. Sure, the engine is in the wrong place and it doesn’t look all that great. Let’s not forget that all the models look the same and nobody will be able to tell if you bought the Turbo or the 4S. Yet, all that doesn’t matter. The 911 is fast, handles well, and will make you look good again. There aren’t many models to choose from to keep the budget below our set minimum, so it’ll have to be the Carrera or the Carrera S. The Carrera comes with a 345 horsepower motor and can hit 180 miles per hour. Step it up to the S model and you can get 385 horsepower. Either choice is good, as you get a lot for your money.
1) Ford Mustang
Is it better than the Porsche? No. It’s not even better than the M-Series BMW models, but the Mustang has mass appeal and a good price tag that people will flock to. The V6 Mustang offers 305 horsepower and over 30 miles per gallon, while the GT gives you the 5.0-liter V8 with 412 horsepower. Those aren’t the two we would have though. If we were buying a car to ease the pain of being 40 years old, we would buy the GT500. A 5.4-liter V8 lives under the hood of the Shelby Mustang and a noise that can turn the heads of passers-by will come out of the exhaust. With a price tag of $48,645, this car is a real bargain for the smart dad. Plus, nothing says cool like go faster stripes.
There you have it, the top-five cars for mid-life crisis adults. If it were up to us we would have the GT500 Mustang or the M3 BMW, but it all depends on your personal tastes. Some might want the old school look and power of the Corvette, while others will love the European style of the 911. It all depends on what vehicle you choose to spend your middle years with and how much money you have saved up in that rainy day fund.