Monday, July 8, 2013

Grand Rapids Michigan Summer Cars 2013 | Top 5

Prepare for Anything

Grand Rapids' weather is nothing short of a mystery. Over the course of an afternoon, you could be grilling burgers at a cookout, then before you know it, you are hiding in your basement waiting for a storm to pass. But during the summer, the weather seems to be a little more consistent. People emerge from hibernation and join the land of outdoor living with their shades on. The beaches on lake Michigan begin to fill with towels and tanning. People forget about the 8 feet of snow a few short months ago, and start to believe that summer will last forever.

Whether you're headed to Jersey Junction for ice cream, Marie Catrib's for lunch, downtown to watch the Grand Rapids Griffins win the Calder Cup, hanging out at the B.O.B., or to the Amway Grand Plaza for a night, these vehicles will help you enjoy the GR summer in style!

For your convenience, we took a poll from our experts to put together the "Top 5 Best Grand Rapids Summer Cars" for 2013, according to Betten Imports (vehicles will be determined from Mercedes-Benz, Volkswagen, and Volvo). As you scroll, you'll see how our rankings came out based on overall style, luxury, performance, responsiveness, and summer fun.

We also made up some categories, such as cruiseability, attentiongrabbedness, makeeveryoneelseinGRlookslowability, and beachbumedness. Alright, let's get to the good stuff.

The Results

#5 Volkswagen Beetle

Available in both convertible and hard-top, this is easily the most iconic vehicle on our list. Volkswagen has continued to keep a stylish design even with a car who's look hasn't changed much since 1949. It is always fun to drive, and always seems to be part of the latest trends. 

Quick Facts:
- Beetle Starting at $19,995*
- 22 mpg city / 32 mpg highway (28/41 diesel model)
- 170 hp
- 0-60 in 8.0 seconds
- 177 lbs/ft torque

The Beetle is an exciting car to take to anywhere. Hop in, buckle up, and put the top down for an exciting cruise. Take it downtown to ArtPrize, to the beach in Holland, or for a spin around the neighborhood. You won't be disappointed.

"Our summers are short and we need to enjoy every minute of it. The Beetle Convertible is fun to drive, sporty as well as safe. It comes in three different engines to suit all driving habits and of course a classic that everyone of all ages smile at when you are driving by. An affordable, summer must-have!"

More about the Beetle from Volkswagen.

#4 Mercedes-Benz E-Class
Sporty handling and a luxurious ride is what defines the newly re-designed Mercedes-Benz E-Class. It comes in 3 different designs: E350 Sedan, E400 Hybrid Sedan, and the E550 4MATIC Sedan.

This vehicle has an extremely quiet, refreshing cabin, along with trend-setting technology featuring bluetooth, HD radio receiver, 6 disc CD/DVD changer, rear-seat entertainment system, and more. Accelerating around turns, this car sticks to the ground like a magnet. This E-Class is the perfect mix of classy, sporty, and sophisticated. Perfect for your trip to Mangimo!, Electric Cheetah, the Green Well, or any other local favorite.

Quick Facts:
- E350 Starting at $51,900*
- 21 mpg city / 30 mpg highway
- 302 hp
- 0-60 in 6.5 seconds
- 273 lbs/ft torque

If you really want your E-Class to stand out, you can always add the illuminated 3-pointed star to the front grille. A definite eye-catcher anywhere in Michigan. Or the United States, for that matter.

More about the E-Class from Mercedes-Benz.

#3 Volkswagen GTI

Volkswagen describes it perfectly, "Body of a Volkswagen, heart of a sports car. This is one hot hatch." Get behind the wheel of one of these, and an instant smile grows on your face. You begin to wonder how fast, how much it can take, and how long you can take your test drive before the dealership starts to wonder where you are. 

The thing that sets this car apart from the rest is how much fun it is to drive. Especially in the summer, you'll be looking for excuses to go out and drive it. Yes, even to the neighbor's house. It makes for the perfect road trip car with plenty of space for passengers and luggage in this hot hatch. 

Quick Facts:
- GTI Starting at $24,200
- 21 mpg city / 31 mpg highway
- 200 hp
- 0-60 in 6.8 seconds
- 207 lbs/ft torque 

The interior of the GTI is just as stylish as the exterior, featuring plaid seats, stick shift on select models, and sport mode capabilities. It is also one of the safest vehicles, being an IIHS Top Safety Pick for 2013. Strap a roof rack to this hatch and transport your bike anywhere for some summer cycling!

Any trip to a Grand Rapids local favorite will be a memorable one. You'll be visiting San ChezHopCatFrederick Meijer Gardens, or wherever else you choose to joy-ride in style.

More about the GTI from Volkswagen.

#2 Volvo S60
The Volvo S60 was the dark horse in our results. Without being as flashy as some of our other picks, it comes through with features, safety, stability, luxury, and overall comfort. Wonderful in the summer, and keeps you safe over the inevitable potholes on the Grand Rapids roads. 
The Volvo S60 is quite possibly the most award winning vehicle we can find:
- IIHS Top Rating in New Small Overlap Frontal Crash Test
- USAA Preferred Best Value Midsize Luxury Sedan
- 5-Star Crash Test Rating
- IIHS Top Safety Pick: Midsize cars
- International Car of the Year
- Ward's 10 Best Interiors Award
- Vincentric's 2011 Best Value in America
- Automobile Magazine All-Star Award
- Ward's 10 Best Engines
- Click here to see the full list

This Volvo features a sport mode for the adventurous types, along with pedestrian detection technology, so it knows when it is going to hit something or someone. Just sitting in this vehicle makes you realize how solid of a car it is. It's heavy and responsive all at the same time.

When driving, you can hardly hear any outside noise. The agility and the responsiveness of the wheel makes you feel like you can handle any turn at any speed. This vehicle is another testament to safety and quality that Volvo is so well-known for. You can't go wrong in an S60.
Quick Facts: 
- T5 Starting at $31,900*
- 21 mpg city / 30 mpg highway
- 250 hp
- 0-60 in 6.4 seconds
- 266 lbs/ft torque

Check out the exciting new Polestar edition of the Volvo S60 on
More about the S60 from Volvo.

#1 Mercedes-Benz SLS-Class AMG

This was the obvious choice for the top spot, make sure to put it on your wish list. Perfect for any season, the Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG is sure to impress anyone who lays eyes on it. Driving this, you'll experience a smooth and quiet ride while enjoying the many built-in luxuries.

With its racing background, rear-wheel drive, and powerful V8 engine, this super sports car is hand-crafted down to every last detail.

Quick Facts: 
- SLS Starting at $199,500*
- 13 mpg city / 19 mpg highway
- 583 hp
- 0-60 in 3.6 seconds
- 479 lbs/ft torque

Caution: This car is a head-turner anywhere you go. Be prepared to handle heavy amounts of staring, whistling, and winking.
Also, your friends will make you drive everywhere. Even though you'll only have room for one passenger at a time, we're positive you wont mind making multiple trips bringing them back and forth. Our suggestion is to only have one friend, although that would be hard having a car this cool.

Where can you find one? We're glad you asked. There is one remaining at Betten Imports, showing off its beauty to everyone who walks in the door. Get it for yourself as a treat, for a friend or relative, or as a gift for your friends at GR AutoBlog.

More about the SLS-Class from Mercedes-Benz.

Sources: Survey, VolkswagenMercedes-BenzVolvo

In conclusion, whether you're cruising down 28th street or picking up speed on 196, we've got the right cars for you to enjoy Grand Rapids to the fullest. Head downtown to enjoy local favorites, and make sure to show off your car. You can be stylish, practical, and enjoy the sunlight as you make your journey to the beach or that road trip you've been putting off.

Honorable Mention:
Volvo C70
Volkswagen Jetta
Mercedes Benz CLS-Class
Volkswagen Golf
Mercedes-Benz C-Class

We hope you enjoyed our top 5 Summer Cars in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Let us know your questions, opinions and other comments by commenting on our blog. Remember, there were a lot of other candidates for the top 5 positions, but we chose the best from Mercedes-Benz, Volkswagen, and Volvo based on our expert's opinions.

For more information on any of these vehicles, visit Betten Imports

(616) 301-2100
Betten Imports
5901 28th Street SE
Grand Rapids, MI 49546

More from GR AutoBlog:
Volvo Creates Self-Parking Car
Volkswagen Passat Sets New Guiness World Record
Car of the Month June: 2013 Volkswagen Beetle Convertible Clean Diesel TDI
2013 Volkswagen Golf R at Betten Imports
Betten Imports Introduces New Volkswagen Service Xpress
VW Beetle Fender Edition, TDI Versions Coming this Fall


  1. The AMG is something special. Hard to look past the E Class as well. Great list and thanks for sharing!

  2. These are great cars. Wish there was a Jag on the list but it is composed of other respectable cars. Thanks for sharing.

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