Q: I have just sold my 1979 MGB, which I enjoyed driving but didn't find very practical. We live in New England where three seasons are wonderful for convertibles and one season is terrible for driving anything. I'm hoping to buy a convertible that has all-wheel-drive.—Michael F. Epstein, Brownsville, Vt.
A: Apparently car manufacturers have a hard time combining the practicality of all-wheel-drive with the whimsy of a convertible, as there are few all-wheel-drive ragtops on the market today.
The Audi TT roadster will probably come closest to replicating the open-air fun of your old MGB while providing modern-day safety and reliability.
Q: I have been driving a '93 Buick Estate Roadmaster Wagon since '96. The car runs fine and has only 160,000 miles. Now I'm thinking of buying either a one- to three-year-old Chevy Traverse, Buick Enclave or a Ford Flex with all-wheel-drive. I need the storage space that each vehicle provides and want a quiet vehicle, as conversation is more difficult due to hearing issues. A rearview camera would be a benefit too. Any thoughts on the vehicles mentioned?—D. Reiter, Seattle
A: Of the vehicles you mention, the Ford Flex has the most carlike ride and is a bit more relaxing to drive on long trips.
However, the three are close enough that you would need to test-drive them to know which best suits your taste. Other three-row crossover candidates worth considering: the Infiniti JX35, Dodge Durango and Honda Pilot.
Q: I love my 2009 Mini Cooper. It is zippy, handles like a dream and gets great gas mileage. However, every winter the low-tire sensor drives me nuts. Whenever there is a significant temperature change (basically all winter long in Northern California) the sensor blasts me in red on the instrument panel. If I ever really had a low tire, I'd probably ignore it since the car cries wolf all winter long.—Mary Glum, Carmichael, Calif.
A: Some manufacturers' tire-pressure monitoring systems start sending warnings after relatively small losses of pressure, which can be annoying. Still, the closer your tire pressure is to the optimal level, the longer your tires will last and the safer you will be. Try checking your pressure every few days and topping off as needed. This may seem like a chore, but will be less disruptive than the sudden dashboard warnings.
Q: I have owned two BMWs and was considering a new X3. However, I understand new BMWs come only with run-flat tires, no spare and no place to keep one in the car. I would be leery of getting a blowout 300 miles from home driving back from Vermont on a Sunday night and making a complicated ordeal out of a simple flat tire. I prefer to handle things myself and not be dependent on BMW for locating a replacement tire and getting back on the road. Does BMW have any plans to offer customers who don't want run-flats a choice?—Ed Benavage, Boyertown, Pa.
A: I don't like run-flats either, because they are expensive and really don't work that well. But BMW is known for its "We know what's best for you" attitude toward customers. It took away oil dipsticks form its engines in part because it deemed drivers couldn't handle the responsibility of maintaining the proper oil level. So it certainly doesn't want BMW owners to change tires on the side of the road. The company has said it is committed to run-flat technology, so if you switched to standard tires you would have to sacrifice trunk space for a spare.—Email email@example.com