Without punishing your wallet too badly that is.
Having kids normally means ditching the two-seat sports car for something more practical. But that doesn't have to be a bad thing. Here's a list of the top five cars that will make you the coolest dad on the block. Luxury German cars were excluded for being just too obvious. Plus, all of the cars we picked offer an even bigger cool factor and better value, and each one is a perfectly practical family car that is still lots of fun. Also, all but one can be had for less than the price of a fully loaded Honda Odyssey minivan ($45,775). Damn, we really sold this list, huh?
We start with the cheapest option on the list. The 2017 Subaru WRX will be available starting at $26,695. The WRX has always been talked about as a fun option for a guy with kids, but the 2017 comes with improvements that make it better than ever. With standard features like automatic headlights and windshield wipers and Subaru's Starlink infotainment system, the new WRX is much more upscale than any previous version. Safety is important to dads, and you can get safety features like blind spot monitoring and cross traffic alert. You can even get Subaru's EyeSight (if you get the CVT) which includes collision avoidance technology. The WRX is now a great car to have fun in while remaining safe.
The next car on our list is a hatchback, but it is far from boring. The Volkswagen Golf R may come with a small, 2.0-liter turbocharged engine, but that little four-cylinder makes 292 horsepower. With AWD and a quick-shifting DGS gearbox, the Golf R can hit 60 mph in just 4.5 seconds and run through the quarter mile in 13.1 seconds. The upcoming Focus RS might be a little quicker than that, but the Focus RS is a little too "silly" for your average dad. The Golf R can blend in with everyone's boring Buick and Honda in the school drop zone and then launch control away in a turbocharged burst of adrenaline. While we always say that manuals are great, the DSG is more practical for your average dad and is still tons of fun to drive.
Our next choice is the Alfa Romeo Giulia. Unfortunately, we still don't know how much this Italian beauty will cost, but we do know what will power it. The base Giulia will come with a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder with 276 horsepower. This engine can be mated to a six-speed manual or eight-speed automatic transmission. Truly cool dads will opt for the stick shift. This 3 Series fighter seems like a boring choice, but we think that its Italian quirkiness will make it an interesting pick. Other dads will rush up wondering what your new car is. Unlike a BMW, which everyone knows, Alfa Romeo is a bit of a wildcard in the US. All the other dads will love it when you drive by in this Italian stunner.
It may seem weird to have a Lincoln on this list, but the new MKZ is totally awesome. For $42,075, you can get an MKZ with a 3.0-liter twin-turbocharged V6 with 400 horsepower and 400 lb-ft of torque. This is almost as much power as a BMW M3. No one, including your wife, will suspect that you bought a 400-horsepower hot rod. When you're purchasing a car for the family, if you tell your spouse that you want something German with a V8 and lots of horsepower you will likely be told to stop being ridiculous and get something boring and practical. Now, all you have to do is say that you are buying a Lincoln and be done with it. That is until people catch on to how fast your car is.
The last car on our list is just too good not to include. The Chevy SS is the most expensive car here at $46,575. However, it does have the most powerful engine, a 6.2-liter V8 with 415 horsepower. We just finished saying that the Lincoln is a great way to sneakily convince your spouse to let you have a 400-horsepower beast. The SS may not be so subtle, but it is still a practical car for your family. It's very large with a spacious trunk. Sure the SS isn't cheap, but it is much larger than a 3 Series or Cadillac ATS and costs about the same. It's also basically a four-door Corvette! The SS may not be cheap or economical, but it is by far the coolest car for a cool dad.