With her top 10 picked out, Sarah then went to the website of a local automotive magazine by the name “DriveYYC”, directing her attention to a new budget car shootout article. She searched up her 10 vehicles, took a lot at them herself, and forwarded each review to her parents. Each vehicle in the article was compared to one another.
The first tab opened was the 2ND…
“The Kasai 2ND is an attractive spin on the Japanese kei car, accommodating such design language for the Canadian market. The safety features delivered by the All-Sense system makes the 2ND a rather easy-to-drive vehicle. The car is fitted with a premium sound system equipped with navigation, making it significantly more comfortable than its competition. Its power leather seats are a nice addition for its price. Gas mileage is very good, with a combined 52.6 miles to the gallon. Price is in the higher numbers, coming in at around $15 496, and rumour has it that its service costs are a bit high compared to its rivals. Consumer reliability scores are lower than average with complaints about the All-sense system throwing occasional errors on the dashboard, while safety scores find themselves right in the average as well. Acceleration is a bit sluggish but still reasonable, clocking in at around a tested 9.1 seconds, root of cause potentially being its outdated 5 speed automatic transmission.”
Given its lower-than average reliability and higher service costs, Sarah’s parents weren’t too fond of it.
“It’s cute, those costs aren’t cute at all.” - Mother
The Valkyrie was next to read about.
“Evgenis’ Valkyrie is a strong contender in its segment, consisting of a spacious interior and certain amenities which make it more practical than most of its rivals. Its fuel economy is class-competitive, clocking in at a combined 41.2 mpg. Acceleration off the line is peppy, its 7.4 second 0-60 time makes it significantly faster off the line compared to its competition. Although not the most comfortable vehicle, the Valkyrie still comes in as a solid contender with a price of $15 128; lower than its Japanese rival. Reliability is reported to be better than the 2ND as well, yet comes off average compared to the rest of the vehicles in its class. Despite its flaws in some sectors, the Valkyrie manages to pull strong.”
“It’s a cheaper one for sure, but it stands out well. And wow, this thing is practical! Sarah can haul a lot of club supplies with this one.” - Father
Sarah opened the tab to the Vireo.
“The Vireo is unique in its internals, powered by a bizarre inline-6 plant producing 138 hp in the higher range. Although not being the most practical being a 3-door hatchback, it maintains some form of practicality despite having only 4 seats as well. Fuel economy is lower than the Valkyrie, yet still competitive among its counterparts at a combined 40.1 mpg. The Vireo costs more than the Valkyrie, yet comes in at $15 479, making it barely cheaper than the 2ND. Running costs are rumoured to be significantly lower than most of its competitors, and consumer reliability tests place the Vireo in the higher percentile. Crash test scores are best-in-class, earning various distinctions within the institutes it was tested in. 0-60 time is a bit slower than average, clocking in at around 8.8 seconds, yet the rest of the Vireo holds up well against its fierce competition.
“2 doors, but it’s very safe apparently. I’ve heard things about it being cheap to run, our wallets just might be safe. It’s also apparently very reliable too! Interesting.” - Mother and Father
The Halfaxa was the next entry in the list.
“The Levenbrech Halfaxa is a rather stunning sports coupe. Its fuel economy is surprising for its looks, clocking in at a competitive 40.6 miles to the gallon. Interior is well-equipped and comfortable, with leather seats and a navigation system. The inline-5 makes 200 horsepower, propelling the Halfaxa forward to 60 in a solid 7 seconds. It is however, not as practical as the other competitors as expected. Cargo volume was significantly lower. The Halfaxa is in the higher percentile in terms of price, clocking in at $15 499, just shy of our $15 500 budget. Service costs are also rumoured to be quite high and reliability, below average. Its rear wheel drive platform and oversteer-tuned handling makes it unsuitable for Calgary winters, leaving it out of the equation for rookie drivers wishing to obtain a sportier car.”
“Rear wheel drive? Perhaps not the safest choice for our daughter the winter season.” - Mother and Father
The Sancho would be next…
“Daito’s Sancho is the Japanese manufacturer’s iteration of the kei car to fit the Canadian market, just in line with the 2ND’s intentions. The Daito proves easy to handle compared to its competition due to its small form factor and great visibility. The tall greenhouse and premium interior options keep the Daito as subjectively, the most comfortable in its class, despite its rather harsh ride. Its 143 hp figues from a 1.6 litre inline-4 are promising, however 0-60 time is rather slow, inching just a couple decimals below the 10-second mark. Due to this, merging onto Glenmore was a worrying experience, foot 60% on the throttle to get it moving as quickly as the cars in front of it. Ignoring its drawbacks in acceleration, the Sancho is a solid contender, with great safety scores, wonderful fuel economy, and a size small enough to allow it to park anywhere on 17th avenue with little to no hassle. Hydraulic power steering is a rather questionable choice in 2015, but such surprisingly does not dilute its driving feel too much. Consumer reliability scores put it lower than average, however, running costs are tested to be adequate but less than the 2ND and some other competitors. Price is on the higher side, at $15 356.”
“It’s kind of slow, but it’s apparently comfortable. That’s a plus for me.”
The Conte Teide Pasion was the next tab among the list of 10.
“The Pasion is a rather cute crossover, radicalizing the already-popular blob shape. It is cheaper than its Japanese counterparts, coming in at around $14 973 with rather low tested running costs. The 7-speed dual-clutch helps it maintain an exceptional 49.7 miles to the gallon, further assisted by its turbocharged 4 cylinder powerplant making 127 horses. Safety scores are lower than its competitors while its tested reliability is at most, average. The smaller form factor allows the Pasion to maneuver well within traffic, driving well through downtown Calgary. 0-60 time is reasonable for its horsepower, coming in at around 8.6 seconds, such is not too cumbersome to work with. It is perhaps not as comfortable as some of its competitors, due to material choices within its interior. The Pasion is a great car, but just barely and very very slightly, lacks that competitive edge.”
“Agh, the interior’s not that good compared to the rest? That wouldn’t work well on a cold winter day.” - Mother
Next was the BAM Enios.
“The Enios’ fuel economy is class-leading coming in at around 54 miles to the gallon, but its power is definitely not. Its engine is gutless, making 94 horses compared to the typical 150 in the North American market. A 0-60 time of 11.6 seconds makes it a struggle to get to highway speeds. Material choices in the interior make the vehicle quite comfortable, it scores rather typical in safety, while its reliability is decent at the best. Coming in at $14 900, the Enios is less expensive than some of its competitors, yet all in all, is not worth it due to its severe lack in power, making it quite a frustration to drive on the highway.”
“11.6 seconds? I’m pretty sure my mother’s Grand Marquis accelerates faster than that.” - Father
Sarah opened the Solo Skipper tab.
“If the Enios was considered slow, the Skipper is even slower. A 12.1 second 0-60 time makes it even more frustrating to get up to speed on the highways, and even pulling out of yield lanes onto hills in suburbs. All the rest of the vehicle’s facets are rather average compared to its competition, except for its exceptional practicality. The Skipper is inexpensive compared to the rest of the competition, running costs as well. The Skipper, despite pulling decent economical numbers for a sedan, finds its fuel economy lacking compared to its competition, coming in at around 33.8 miles to the gallon. All aside, being as slow as it is, such car is a hassle to get going, and is therefore, not suited too well.”
“12.1 seconds? I’m more than sure my mother’s Grand Marquis accelerates faster than that.” - Father
The Gemny LT was brought up next. The review was rather concise.
“A smaller 4-cylinder engine making 93 horses is just not enough for the Canadian market. Its 14.6 s 0-60 time is not only absurdly slow, but almost dangerous for Canadian roads, especially when merging into traffic, barely chugging through the uphill sections on Macleod, and dealing with weave zones on the Trans-Canada’s smaller cloverleaf interchanges. Its gas mileage is way below its competition, coming in at a mere 29.3 miles to the gallon. Everything else about it was pretty average, scoring typical in user reliability, and lower in safety. The limited-slip differential shoots costs up in not only its listed price of $15 308, but its service costs as well. The Gemny’s power plant is gutless, making it pretty dangerous to drive. We would give this one a swift pass”
“14.6 seconds? I’m DEFINITELY sure my mother’s Grand Marquis accelerates faster than that. How the hell are you supposed to climb up that big hill on Macleod?” - Father
The dm3 1300LX was next in the lineup.
“Like the Enios and Skipper, the 1300LX is slow, clocking in with a 0-60 time of 11 seconds. It’s cheaper than most, coming in at $14 742 whilst its service costs are rather low. User reliability tests have placed it slightly below average. Infotainment options are well-thought out, however, the 1300LX underperforms in various other aspects. Body roll is higher than its competition, making it slightly less comfortable, while fuel economy is down compared to its competition. Being a 3-door, the 1300LX was not the most practical either, with rear passengers feeling a bit cramped.”
“It’s slow, and underperforms. Hmm. I’ll pass.” - Mother
With her choices concrete, Sarah and her parents picked 3 vehicles to test drive.
The sheet of paper read “Valkyrie, Vireo, Sancho”.
@Cheeseman, @Chickenbiscuit and @MasterDoggo move on into the finals woohoo.