The singer-actress finds the G-class SUV with a bow on top in the garage

By Mike Fleeman
Updated September 21, 2007 04:30 PM
Credit: Proya Productions

Hilary Duff‘s expectations were low when her hockey player boyfriend, Mike Comrie, called recently to say he’d picked out an early 20th birthday present for her and that “I hope you like them.”

“Okay, it’s shoes or something,” Duff recalled thinking as she went to her sister’s house, where Comrie had said he left the present in the garage. “I opened the garage, and I was just like shocked, just standing there.”

Before her, with a big red bow on top, was a Mercedes-Benz G-class SUV (retail price: more than $100,000).

Duff, whose birthday is next week, told PEOPLE at the Chanel and P.S. Arts Party at Chanel in Beverly Hills on Thursday that she had unwittingly put the idea for a new car in his head. Comrie, who plays for the New York Islanders, didn’t know what to get her: then one day he heard her talking about her transportation needs.

“I was planning on getting a big car and I drive a big car anyway, and I was just like, ‘You know maybe I like the G-Wagen,’ and then I was like, ‘No, maybe I like the [Porsche] Cayenne,’ ” says Duff, whose manager steered her away from the Porsche, reminding her that she was a “terrible driver” and “didn’t need that kind of power.”

“I’ve driven it tons,” Duff said of her birthday present. “When I called him I was like, ‘You’re crazy! It’s perfect!’ ”

So will the next present fit on her wedding finger?

“The rock?!” Duff said. “No, stop it!”

• Reporting by JENNY SUNDEL

Who’s turning 40? Which celebs are high school dropouts? What’s hot and definitely not in fall fashion? Check out PEOPLE’s new digital magazine now!