It’s (comparatively) easy to design a car for one purpose, rather than for many. I’d assume, at any rate, not having the first clue of what goes in to engineering a car. But it sounds right, so I’ll go with it. What I mean is that engineering a car for going fast in a straight line is easier than engineering a car for going fast around corners and in a straight line, which is easier than engineering a car that does the former but that can also go rock-crawling on Sunday.

Furthermore, it’s much more practical to own one car that does many things, rather than many cars which only do specialized things. That’s why fast station wagons (CTS-V Wagon, M5 Touring, RS6, E63 Estate, etc) are so brilliant: they do three things—speed, luxury, and space—with aplomb. The same goes for a pick-up. Some can carry more than 50 bales of hay (I had to unload one of those recently, I don’t know if I was more tired or impressed) while towing 5000lbs of trailer, off-road, with four American asses inside.

Even the most German of engineers will have a difficult time creating a car that does everything. Some attributes are mutually incompatible: you can’t have something that you can take off-roading, but still take around a track at a decent pace (Porsche Cayenne Turbo, Range Rover Supercharged) without making it prohibitively expensive to buy, and without depleting your local gas station’s supply. The greatest car then, will be a jack-of-all-trades, but a master of none.

What I’m thinking of is a last generation BMW 530xd Touring. It’s luxurious, big enough for five and their luggage, fast, yet frugal, and with the X-Drive, you can get yourself out of the majority of sticky situations you’d encounter. Best of all, prices on these have been going down because of the introduction of the F10 5 series.

That’s just my choice, though, and I’m sure you guys will have your two cents. Comment away.