With the kids graduated from college and moving on in life, it’s time to dump the old family car for a shiny new ride. Consider it reward for a job well done. Here are 11 models in as many categories that are practical and playful and pack particular appeal for those of a certain age.
1. Small Car–Buick Verano
Starting price: $24,625
Fuel-economy rating (EPA city/highway combined): 24-25 mpg
Boomers who want to downsize their rides, but without lowering their vehicular expectations, would find this plusher and softer-riding version of the Chevrolet Cruze
to be an amenable companion. Though it’s a bit short of rear legroom it comes with one of the quietest and most comfortable cabins among small cars at any price, and offers a full slate of top-shelf features that include a heated steering wheel. Chevy’s 2.4-liter 180-horsepower four-cylinder engine comes standard with a livelier 2.0-liter 250-horsepower turbo-four optional that delivers quick V6-like acceleration.