Judging - Round 1, part 1.
Diebolsheim, may 25th, 2018.
The sun is shining through the window of the half timbered house Fernand and Christine Müller bought 15 years ago with
inheritance money hard work money. It’s 9 in the morning. People are somehow still talking about Johnny Hallyday’s death on the radio. Despacito is somehow still airing, too.
But right now, Fernand and Christine are browsing forums. Trying to get advice, not to go in their car hunt without any basis whatsoever. Which brand is the brand to go to in 2018?
Unfortunately for them, the internet in 2018 is what it is. All of their search results ended up in delving into threads that died after too many salts had been spilled by brand elitists. No, mine is better than yours because OF COURSE IT IS. THREE HUNDRED THOUSANDS KM WITHOUT CHANGING THE CLUTCH, MISTER! Nevermind the fact that I’m one lucky son of a bitch because 40% of people reported gearbox problems but WHATEVER, MINE WORKED THEREFORE I AM RIGHT.
To be fair, Fernand and Christine delighted themselves from the salt. It was really heartwarming to see people so passionate about subjects that mattered. After a dozen of forum threads, they both were convinced that each and every single brand was equally shit and WAS going to get them stranded and to break down, so… might as well try them all out, right?
The first configurator they opened was Harada’s.
Harada KandeX M @asami
F: Hmmm… Let’s see what they have…
C: It’s odd, most of their lineup kinda looks like that german brand, y’know… FaerGrüber?
F: Most of their lineup looks like literally half the cars on the market right now, with that hexagonal grille and horizontal headlights…
C: Oh… Right. At least we’ll blend in!
F: Sure… Oh. There’s something! The KandeX M. … Yeah, similar size than our good ole Mesaia… Blah blah… diesel, unfortunately nope… Oh! Petrol… What?!
C: Hold on. 2.4L liter turbo with… 170hp only?
F: What kind of… how did…
C: Damn honey, I think they… took an USDM N/A base engine and turbo’d it… to the same power.
F: … How is… I mean it’s a weird choice buf it that means we’re getting low end torque and no FUCKING GOVERNMENTAL PENALTY
C: Oh yeah FUCK THE GOVERNMENT.
F: MACRON REGARDE TA ROLEX C’EST L’HEURE DE LA REVOLTE.
C: OUAIS PUTAIN! … Hem. Cars.
F: Cars, yeah…
Both browse through the options list for a while…
C: I mean it looks decent so far, you can pair your phone and everything but… I think we need to get accustomed to modern car appliances before we can judge that.
F: Sure. Let’s look at other stuff.
And other stuff they looked for.
It was Christine’s time on the computer this time. she instantly chedked out the Nohda website.
F: Why… are you looking at this? They’re literally just weeb Merciels.
C: We can’t afford a Merciel. And FUCK BUYING FRENCH STUFF THIS YEAR.
F: YEAH, FUCK TAXES. Herm. Soooo… Yeah, a good old japanese brand lineup. Hatchbacks, and… Oh, minivans?
C: Yeah! The Assent. Basically a Merciel Vixen but uh, Yamete Kudasai.
F: Same stuff but cheaper… Let’s see… Damn yeah, there is a huge difference in cargo size, about twice as much as the Harada!
C: Good thing I looked for minivans, right? :3 And it has nice equipment, too! Cloth seats, but they look comfy!
F: Yeah, all of this is great! Can we see the engines?
C: Uh hold on… … Oh. disappoint.jpg
F: What? Oh yeah, shit. 109hp to move all of this?
C: I mean… y-yeah, I guess if we’re trying to save fuel we’re gonna have to~
F: Look hon, the Harada had a barely worse fuel economy and 60 more horsepower. Don’t know about you but I’m NOT risking overtaking on the EDF road with a car that does 0-100km/h in as much as a diesel Polo 6N…
C: Hey don’t criticize my first car! It was Deutsche Post yellow and had TWIN TONE LEATHER SEATS!
F: Okay, my turn.
Jihne Tiane Cu+ @yangx2
Fernand took a shot of schnapps before checking out the Honghu Automotive Association website
F: You know what, wildcard time! Just for the laugh I’m gonna check a chinese brand!
C: Hehe, yeah! We did think that every single brand was as shit as the other, right? Might as well meme it, you’re right! Let’s see what the worst of capitalism AND the worst of communism has to offer!
LOL honey there’s a luxury brand!
C: HUEHUEAHEUHU CLICK THIS ONE CLICK THIS ONE!
F: FUCK YEAH I’ll CLICK THIS ONE!
And he clicks this one.
F: …W… What year is it again?
C: 2018, I… think.
F: And… how much time you think has passed… since the first chinese car that actually looks like I can’t afford it reached the amrket?
C: … This shit is fucking gorgeous… I can’t even admit it but holy fuck this is beautiful.
F: How much of a dickhead have I been for not checking that before… FUCK IT lets go all the way.
and this, Fernand started speccing a Jihne Tiane model. Trim, color, everything. The result, of course, is the picture above but who am I to tell you the obvious except a tipsy car reviewer?
F: I can’t fucking believe it.
C: You managed to spec that bitch with LEATHER SEATS and it still fits the budget.
F: And looks even more like I can’t afford it.
C: I mean… What engine you got?
F: The 2.2L 160… A bit underpowered for the displacement but gets 5L/100 flat…
C: … You know what honey? Screw what our neighbour’s think. I wanna check it out.
F: I do
wanna check it out.
They mark the Jihne Tiane on their list of cars to see IRL and get on with their search.
Fernand’s search led him to a beautiful wagon from a brand that sounds like you’re saying wanker in spanish.
F: Damn that’s pretty!
C: Less surprising than the Tiane but still, damn! Look at the lower chrome trim, that’s super tasteful!
F: A little bit of sport and that’s it. Oh the REAR!
C: I want it I want iiiiit!
F: Hold on, just speccing an engine… Aw. Yeah, there’s the problem.
F: Look at this. There’s a magnificent N/A 5 cylinder, that everybody praises, like literally everybody. Gorgeous sound, great linearity, and to be fair… I kinda looked into it a few months prior because it sounded gorgeous.
C: And… why didn’t youJ?
F: There’s like a 3500€ penalty on it. In fact I’ve read a bunch on this and it turns out that Pajaro pulled a 1970s USA and all the engine they have that have no penalty are apathic 4 cylinders that have a turbo that does nothing…
C: that sounds… yeah you know what, the 1970s USA parallel is pretty spot on…
F: We look somewhere else?
C: We look somewhere else.
And they looked somewhere else. Which you could probably tell by the fact that I made them both say that they were looking somewhere else. And in fact, if you didn’t notice that, you’re probably getting binned a lot for not reading the rules aren’t you.
C: There, I got something.
the Harimau website was open, with an already fully specced New Style minivan that fitted all of their budget requirements
F: Another minivan! It… looks japanese.
C: You mean the overdesigned front end, Civic style?
F: Yeah I meant exactly that. I really like the chrome touches though.
C: Theyre pretty neat… What do you think of the options?
F: Let me see… Yeah it looks alright! 8 speakers, Android Auto… man I’ve seen this in a bunch of cars, what is it exactly?
C: Apparently it’s something that lets you pair your phone and it can basically mirror some of your apps on the center screen. Like your music player, Waze…
F: YOU MEAN. Hold on. You mean I won’t have to stick the lid of my phonecase into the CD player to get Waze?
F: Fucking AWESOME! Lemme check the rest! What’s the engine? 2.2L 160 like the Tiane, great… But, oh. Man.
C: sheepish grin I know…
F: I think that’s the worse fuel consumption I’ve seen so far… Not to mention it’s probably gonna get worse in real life driving.
Christine and Fernand high fived each other as Fernand made it to the computer.
F: Man is that isn’t one helluva german way to handle car names… You can literally tell nothing from what it is by reading it unless you know their codes.
C: The car is pretty, though.
F: It is. Looks very aerodynamic, very distinctive, still blends in… Looking good so far!
C: Ooh those leather seats fit the budget!
F: So does that audio upgrade! Android Auto sounds very neat, lemme tell you.
C: What’s the engine again? … Ew, what.
F: Yeah, I know, it’s yet another turbo 2.4L with incredibly low power, probably an USDM engine again…
C: Man, those emission laws really got manufacturers fucked up, right?
F: Right… I mean, if it works, it works, but if we can find cars with smaller engines that still fit the bill and don’t break the bank because the mechanic has to go full “honey I shrinked the 10mm socket” to change our oil…
C: Yeah, let’s look further… Not to mention this one doesn’t have incredible fuel economy to back it up, anything above 5 makes me cringe…
Aight bois, Christine’s turn.
C: Hey don’t look at me like that, I’m just a buyer, not the designer.
F: Why does it look like a 90s Alfa Romeo
C:… i don’t know… but it~
F: Why does it have shit fuel economy…
C: Hey, it’s got great perfs! Best acceleration we’ve seen so far!
F: Yeah but… still. And the sound system looks cheap even by the description…
C: I mean I thought we were looking fo~
F: Why are the blinkers are from the sixties…
C: Okay, okay! Take the keyboard, find something else!
Anhultz Mimas Stationcar @Elizipeazie
F: See? That’s
a nice looking car!
C: … How much time did those guys spent on designing those lights…
F: Who cares? Price is all that matters! And this one fits right in!
C: Okay big boy, tell me what you got for our budget.
F: Android Auto, of course, an upgraded interior with matching tissue on the door panels, 8 speakers… Yeah it’s actually looking pretty good so far, and it’s pretty sippy too!
C: Lemme see? oh yeah, it’s Harada levels of sippy! 140hp, though… Is that enough?
F: It looks… just
enough, given the perfs. You know, I think we should keep that one aside.
C: Yeah, just… We have lots of wagons to see, so if one fits the bill better…
F: Yeah, we’ll see…
One rotation later:
C: Hey! Is that a mk5 VW Golf?
F: No it’s a Kuma PA… I know, at first glance, it kinda…
Fernand then switched to rear view
C: Hey! Is that a SAAB?
F: Gott verdammi honey, it’s still the same car.
C: Oh, right… Damn, less than 4m, this is hella small!
F: Super small. I know. But I figured, if we’re looking for economy cars…
C: Yeah… I know, eventually we’re probably gonna need to…
F: And you know, it’s kind of a minivan so it still has the practicality of a wagon… Even the same cargo space!
C: Yeah, if we can make our suitcases stand up in the trunk…
F: Yeah… But hey. The results are there. Best fuel economy so far, 4.5L/100!
C: Yeah that is
pretty good… Options list looks reasonable, too. And the engine not farfetched.
F: And it has almost the same acceleration as that Alfa thingy. :3
C: Yeah, okay, I GOT IT. No looking at weird cars anymore.
F: I’m putting that one on the dealership list.
Second finalist chosen. The couple carries on, with Christine at the keyboard.
F: reluctantly huffs
C: Honey, we’re looking for a brand new car in 2018. How long do you think we can escape SUVs?
F: Well apparently not so long… You know what, I cave in. Let’s see what this unnecessary high beast has to offer.
C: It’s pretty good so far. It has… a reasonable fuel economy, I mean, at least for its size…
F: It’s got a lot of power but honestly I think it needs it all…180hp and we’re still within the regular performance territory…
C: I don’t even have to go low on the options list… Heh, look, for that price I can even have a DCT!
F: Oh man, how much are we gonna save up by getting a real gearbox?
C: Let me check! … … Oh. Oh.
F: No manual available?!
C: Are you KIDDING ME?!
F: IS THAT WHERE THIS WORLD IS HEADED?!
C: WHO THE HELL SELLS A CAR IN EUROPE WITHOUT A MANUAL?!
F: Oh I bet this is a conspiracy. People are trying to turn our children into ASSISTED LITTLE SHITS!
C: WE WON’T CAVE IN! We’re in FRANCE, for god’s sake! We have our CULTURE! and our culture is MANUAL GEARBOXES! We’re not gonna cave in to that AMERICAN STERILIZED BULLSHIT!
F: WELL SAID! That’s why I love you, honey! Let’s get some McDonald’s and watch NCIS to take a break!
C: Great idea!
And a lunch break later:
SBA Rosales R150 Ciel @z2bbgr
F: Aaaaaah that was some good ole French McDonald’s SIGNATURE™ menu. They even said it was meat from French breeders.
C: Yeah… Man French food really is a thing, am I right?
F: Sure thing honey! Except what the hell is…
C: … Hey you liked the Kuma, so…
F: Yeah but this is a hatch… B segment on top of that, like my coworker’s Fiesta is~
C: Fuck your youngster ass coworker. This gets SUB 4 liter fuel economy.
F: … Okay that does say something.
C: Yeah it does… But now you’re talking about it yeah… our vacation in Italy’s gonna be tough… 410L of cargo…
F: We’re fitting nothing in this.
C: and the performance is kinda… meh. Yeah, you’re right. This would be a great car if Manon got her driving license but…
F: Yeah, we’re gonna get her one, used, in 10 years.
C: got it.
F: My turn, cutie.
F: Look at that honey, THOSE are some numbers!
C: Oh crap, pin me to the wall and call me La Joconde, 3.7L/100km!
F: Man this is amazing, I don’t think we’re gonna find that anywhere else!
plot twist: they didn’t, this is is literally the best fuel eco of all the 50 entries, y’all can go back home now.
C: Yeah, for sure! But… Oh wait, I think I know how they did it. Look at the wheels!
F: What?.. Oh yeah. They’re so tiny! What’s the tire size? 175?!
C: Damn! … Also I did research… checks smartphone Ah there it is! Yeah we’re looking at a purposely made eco car… There’s some extra cladding who makes it hard for mechanics to work on, chassis is made out of fancy materials… Yeah, the tires, too… Those are some shit compounds, you put anything else on it and the fuel eco reaches 4L territory according to owners…
F: The standard equipment looks like it’s really not much too… probably to save weight… I could option up but then I can’t stay within budget!
C: Screw that. Lemme look somewhere else.
Cavallera Shinai Familiale @ramthecowy uwu
F: Damn sugar, you always go for the lookers don’t you?
C: I just love the way it looks!
F: Yeah… Stylish and distinctive, yet discreet… I love that white too! I mean I really love that white. Tell you what, whatever car we choose, I want it to be white, alright?
C: … Deal… But damn this girl is expensive…
F: Lemme see? … Oh man. You’re right.
C: I’m always right. I’m the woman in the relationship. But yeah… No upgrade possible in either interior or audio, we’re stuck with the black plasic base shit…
F: And we’re barely within budget… What are we paying for, brand image?!
C: Yeah, I guess style has a price after all…
F: disappointed noises
C: Go on, take the keyboard…
Nonus Clairvoyant SB Union @MAX_POWER
F: WHAT DO THESE PILLS DO?!
F: … Why are we like this?
C: Because we’re marginals, and we love eachother, and literally every single normal relationship we tried to have with any other person failed, so we’re stuck with each other for eternity.
F: I love you. We should have kids sometimes.
C: We have kids. … BUUUUUUT to stay on subject, yeah, it looks pretty, safe from the weird rear door handle…
F: Apparently it’s one of those weird oversized turbo engines with very little power… looks like we were right about this stuff being a new trend.
C: Yeah but those leather seats fit the budget!
F: Oh, good point! … Still, I wonder why it’s heavy. I mean, it’s heavier than the goddam Shromet SUV we’ve seen before.
C: Yeah I’ve seen that, I’m already looking that up.
After a few seconds, Christine got her answer.
C: … Yeah okay. I think I figured out. Owners complain about fenders rusting off… this bitch is made out of untreated steel.
F: … Abort?
C Abort. Gimme that.
F: Is that a BMW?
C: I… No, it’s a Baiern… Pretty close though, you’re right.
F: Lemme see, what did you spec?
C: Leather seats, and the highest audio option! We’re still within budget!
F: Highest audio? Oh damn you’re right! Hermann&Gordon 8 speaker + subwoofer and equalizer system! … Oh.
C: What? What did I miss?
F: Well it’s … kinda old. Doesn’t have anything phone related except vague bluetooth pairing…
C: … Oh my, you’re right. Lemme correct that… tryna find some other audio options…
a few tweaks later.
C: … Yeah okay, you’re right, looks like that car needs an update.
F: Not only this but the engines need tweaking too. They’re compliant but god damn it they drink a lot compared to other cars!
C: Come one, take this keyboard, I’ll pass.
C: Oh! Right off the bat, great fuel economy!
F: Yeah! Engine is a bit on the downsized side, 1.7L, 140hp… still reasonable, though! I’m glad it’s not a 1L because I swear, that damn Ford Ecoboost…
C: Calm down… Take another shot, you’re salty…
F: My, you’re right… takes another shot of Schnapps
This really calms my mind down…
C: I know, I’ve been feeding you this for years…
C NOTHING! Let’s see the specs!
F: Well… sip
I got you average seats and a shit sound system and… Oh wait lemme upgrade this… Nevermind, we’re off budget except with the shit infotainment stuff.
C: Damn… Maybe try another engine?
F: The others are either diesels or non compliant… Oh wait. Even the one I chose, there’s a disclaimer. Coming out next year.
F: Okay take this keyboard, I think I’m done here.
C: Gotcha. Last one today though, it’s pretty late.
C: … so I~
F: PLASTIC BUMPERSSSSSSSSSSSS
C: I know. But~
F: SHITTY ALLOY WHEEEEEEELLS
C: You know what? I get that you’re mad because you want a manly looking car. But would you just putt your big hairy balls aside for one second and look at the numbers?!
F: SHARONMOBILE… … Wait. God. I never thought I’d say this but you’re right. This is impresive. How does this gets better fuel economy than some heavy ass sedans?
C: So far the only ones that got better are that hatch, that sedan who was purposely build, and that 3.6M small minivan.
F: Yeah okay. I’ll admit it, it’s impressive… But I bet it has no~
C: 152hp out of a 1.8L Turbo engine.
F: … Okay but let me guess: It~
C: Upgraded leather with settable lumbars and hardness, 8 speaker stereo with Android Auto.
F: … but~
C: One thousand euros below budget.
F: … You won. Let’s get this on the list. But can we at least ask the salesman about a trim that doesn’t have shitty plastic bumpers?
C: We sure can… If that makes you happy. … yawns You know what, it’s pretty late, I think we should eat and keep on going tomorrow.
F: yawns the same Best. Decision. Maker. Ever. That’s why I love you.
THAT HAS BEEN A LONG ASS RIDE.
Guess what guys, it’s 2:15AM, my bottle of Jägermeister is half finished and I just did the math, a three parter first round sounds reasonable.
I don’t think you realzed.
Man am I grateful that so many people had interest in this round, but boy is it a lot of work.
I can’t possibly satisfy all of you but I’ll do my best.
Parts 2 and 3 coming on tomorrow. Both tomorrow if everything goes well. Part 3 sunday if everything goes wrong.
I already chose my 6 finalists so that’s gonna be easy though… coming on sunday for sure.
Cheers guys, please lemme pass tf out now.