Hi! Yes, I’m alive, and yes, I’m working on reviews. Ryan and I have already selected a winner. But I will try to push out the next round by today. Sorry for the wait.
No fancy formatting this time because I am tired.
Julius woke up in his bed, but not in a position he usually slept in. He hurriedly patted himself down and felt around under his covers, quickly looking around his room and under his bed. It felt as if Ron was smacking his head with a spanner, because those two measly beers he drank last night were really getting him now. Last time he passed out from being drunk, he woke up spooning Ron, and was so traumatized that he kicked his British ass out of the room and wouldn’t talk to him for three whole days and three whole nights, questioning the state of his sexuality when he was drunk. But this time, there was thankfully nobody else in bed with him.
He checked his phone: 10:05 AM. Awfully early for a hangover, as he would normally wake up at around midday or even the afternoon other times.
After a very painful ice-cold shower and a nearly minute-long piss, he stumbled back to his room and changed into a new set of clothes. He walked back into the living room, which was still a royal mess from last night’s gaming session.
“What the hell happened?” Julius barked, rubbing his temples intensely.
“Maaaate my FUCKIN’ HEAD HURTS!” Ron barked from his bedroom, shortly before it was flung open. The skinny redhead looked even more ruined and hungover than Julius. Despite being a lightweight, he could really take on a few bottles without getting seriously drunk, especially compared to Julius. Ron fell onto the same couch as Julius, albeit on the opposite end. “Hey. Have we got any food?”
“I’m too damn lazy to see. Go check yourself,” Julius responded. “But I don’t remember having much myself.”
As Ron got up to head towards the kitchen, the doorbell suddenly rang. “Hell’s that?” Ron mumbled as he walked to the front door and swung it open. Lasse stood before the doorway, holding a giant, flat white box branded with some store’s name on the top.
“I brought breakfast!” Lasse announced, smiling. “You guys like pastries?”
Kaufmann Kleinbus 2.5
A few minutes later, after everyone except for Lasse grew a little less cranky, hungover, and hungry, they proceeded reviewing more cars, starting from where they had left off yesterday.
“This one is a personal favorite of mine,” Lasse smiled. He turned his laptop around to show to the half-conscious Ron, Julius, and Sven. “Nothing beats a classic campervan like this. It’s got funky lime green paint, it’s 4WD - or well, AWD - and there’s plenty of space inside for us or for supplies. Ron, you know, girls really like guys with cool cars, so let’s get this!”
“These vans…” Julius chuckled. “Slow pieces of shit. But damn near unkillable, and for what it is, it’s surprisingly safe! And it’s got those timeless looks.”
“This is to good to be true,” Ron pointed out. “Did you even check the listing price bruv? I don’t want us all to get shafted over an overbudget vehicle.”
“Why yes, it should be in our budget!” Lasse chuckled at the silly question. “Or else I wouldn’t have brought it up. Look. See?” He refreshed the listing, but his heart froze as he saw the price update and all four figures flicker to a new, much higher value.
This one slipped through the cracks. Binned for being over the maximum cost.
“Here’s another off-roader,” Julius proposed, showing his phone to the group. He took a bite out of a puffy brotchen, savoring the taste spreading through his sinuses and palate as he chewed slowly. He had pulled up a listing of a small, boxy SUV, with a similar body style and size to the Virtus Tura 4x4 from earlier. “Nice and compact. Very compact, in fact. I wonder if this will fit us all?”
“With this fat bastard ‘ere?” Ron chuckled in between sips of his tea. “Fat chance. What’s the wheelbase on this thing anyways?”
“Not only Sven,” Ron pointed out, “but Lasse here obviously will have a hard time squeezing in as well. With dimensions that compact, we’ll have absolutely rubbish legroom. Sounds like it’ll be a hassle to put up with in these lengthy drives, and Sven’s going to be absolutely pissed if we coop him up in a tin box this small.”
“These aren’t too comfortable anyways,” Lasse added. “It’s way under our budget, but I don’t think it’s worth it still… for just a few hundred more dollars we can get way better cars that aren’t compromised in comfort.”
Good trim reliability and very cheap. However, comfort is very low and a small wheelbase means they will have a hard time fitting everything inside.
Hakaru Astura 1.8 S 16v
“These aren’t particularly exciting to look at,” Julius shrugged. “These have always looked nice for what they are, however. The design has aged well. It’s simple and gets the job done. I don’t like Japanese cars all that much… but this one is alright.”
“Surely you can’t be serious?” Ronald scoffed. Guffawed, even. “I can’t tell you how many absolute chavs I’ve run into in downtown London who drive these. Bastards scrape the road so much I can feel the streets get lower every time I drive behind one. It’s a bloody miracle we’ve ran across this unmolested one!”
“Have you guys sat in one, though?” Lasse asked. “These Japanese compacts are very weak on interior space.”
“They’re really not,” Ron contested. “I think the problem is that you’re so goddamned tall, and that our other big-boned lad over here weighs, oh, I don’t know… FOURTEEN DAMN STONE!”
Lasse sighed and reclined deeper into the couch. “We’re a team, Ron. We must make a decision as a team. What won’t work for one of us won’t work for us all. We can’t be selfish and choose what’s good for some of us without considering what’s good for the rest of us.”
“Don’t shove your communist drivel onto us!” shouted Julius. “But, I get your point. This is a good car. But it’s not the one for us.”
Low roll angle harms comfort. Subpar brakes. The car is also very small for them. It’s a very good looking car, but not worth it for their money.
Einhoff 2700LX Estate
“Can’t go wrong with a German sedan or wagon in my eyes,” Julius proposed. “We know a thing or two about building solid cars. Here’s one I found, an Einhoff 2700LX Estate. Clean, understated looks and solidly built. What can go wrong?”
“Mate, what the actual hell are those mirrors?” Ron scoffed. “An absolute pile of rubbish, that’s what they are! I can barely see shite out of them, might as well just crank your entire bloody head around to not send those bikers next to you to Tour de Hospital.”
“It’s very close to the top of our budget,” Lasse said. “Just $28 under. It’d better be worth it, but I don’t remember these vehicles as anything to write home about. It’s not a very comfortable car despite its larger 2.87m wheelbase.”
“Oi, Lasse,” Ron remarked as he stuffed his face with numerous types of pastries from the store Lasse stopped at earlier. “Cheers for the snacks. Anyways, the car. For this very high price, there’s definitely a lot of other cars that excel where this car falls short. Let us resume our research for a car.”
Suffers from low comfort. However, it has good safety and cheap service costs. It’s a decent car overall, but for being just $28 under the max budget, it’s not worth it.
Ryuji Chariot 4WD
Ron snatched a glazed crepe from the box full of pastries and took a huge bite as he scrolled through the carwow app. He happened upon a bright red and black two-tone Japanese wagon, which was very proud of the fact that it was four wheel drive, evidenced by the decals on the side. “How does a Ryuji Chariot 4WD sound?”
“I’ve had the opportunity to get behind the wheel of one of these,” Lasse added. “They’re not the easiest vehicles to drive at all. The engines are very finicky and the brakes lose their effectiveness if the car is loaded up. The 4WD is decently capable, so it could be handy in a pinch. In addition, these are very small vehicles. I doubt some of us will be able to fit inside comfortably.”
Julius, Ron, and Lasse slowly looked at each other. Yep, they all knew what - or who - they were talking about in this case. They slowly cranked their heads to Sven, and back to each other and nodded in silence.
Drivability is lower than average, and the engine isn’t as reliable as the rest of the playing field. Combined with a significant amount of utility brake fade and a small car, it’s unfortunately not worth getting.
“Christ almighty,” Ron cursed, shivering as he found another potential vehicle. “This lorry… van thing gives me chills. A decrepit utility vehicle from the 90s like this will surely make us a magnet for the rozzers. I’m convinced this used to be a damn meth shop!”
“These Deer and Hunt vans are very spacious on the inside, but on the outside as well,” said Lasse. “Even in larger cities around here they have some trouble getting around small alleyways; if this year’s route goes through any small towns, we won’t be having a good time at all.”
“Interesting, there’s no official fuel consumption numbers published for this van,” Julius said. “It must be over the maximum weight required to report them. But I imagine it’s very thirsty.”
“And being a work vehicle, I don’t imagine it’s all too comfortable,” added Lasse.
A large, spacious van that is moderately priced. However, it suffers from its bad brakes and subpar fuel economy. Comfort is also low. For the price, they can find better vehicles.
“Another very tiny mini-SUV thing,” Lasse said. “Very, very clean styling. Not too showy or outlandish. I like it.”
“Well, I’ll take a shot in the dark about this one,” Ron said. “Our very generously-framed Norse here won’t fit inside, and Mr. Swedish Shaq over here is going to bang his head on the roof. Nor will it have enough boot space for our junk.”
“Yes, but despite being cramped on the inside they’re unusually comfortable,” said Lasse. “They have very nice interiors for such a small SUV type of car, which is very weird. It’s not a bad package overall, but we should probably move on.”
Very good and drivability for the price. However, being a smaller vehicle it is a bit cramped inside. And for a car this size, having a premium interior is a bit of an oddity; they decide to skip out on it for a larger but just as well-rounded vehicle.
Cabrera Boreas Turbo
Ron scoffed. “Wow. Red trim line, so sporty. Ooh, a turbo. It’s adorable, back then someone slaps a spinny boy on mum’s wagon and everyone goes absolutely mad. And five years later it gets outrun by some slack cunt’s minivan. Overall… eh, it’s not terrible.”
“Turbocharged estate from the 90s?” Julius scratched his head. “I have a feeling we’ll be seeing these a lot.”
“They’re right on the engine needing care,” Lasse said as he read through the ad. “These can be finicky when stuff goes wrong, and I don’t think any of us will be able to repair the turbo if - or rather, when - some major component of it fails. I’ve also heard the brakes are a bit fadey.”
“Well, let’s move on then.”
Low engine reliability and drivability brake fade is enough for them to not consider the vehicle any more.
Wagons were proving to be among the more common bodystyles encountered by the four college students in varying states of pain. This next vehicle was only one year younger than the previous listing they crossed off the list, but looked much older with its pronounced straight lines and hard edges. Of course, Lasse was instantly drawn to the alluring vehicle from across the Atlantic, with its bold double headlight styling and wood paneling.
“Oh there he goes,” Ron chuckled. “Soon as I saw this one I knew Lasse would drop his knickers. It’s quite a good looking vehicle, I must admit.”
“It’s… really small for an American vehicle,” Julius pointed out.
“Well, they only had those absolute fuckin’ massive barges in the 60s and 70s,” said Ron. “Maybe this will still be too snug of a fit for some of us.”
As much as Lasse was in love with this funky wagon, he could still see the writing on the wall through his infatuation with American cars. He sighed. “It’s really not a bad car… but not the best.”
An interesting point, the Neptune has one of the lowest environmental resistance values out of all entries. It’s really not a badly engineered entry at all, everything is decent. The trim reliability is solid as well. However, the four decide that they can find better-performing cars for the same price. The Neptune is just that; it’s ok.
Walt 319 WB
“Now this is one I’m well-acquainted with,” Ron chuckled. “I’ve had the pleasure of riding shotgun in one of these for a quarter of an hour. By the end of the trip, my arse was liquefied. This rides like it’s actively trying to murder you and shake your head loose.”
“Well, it looks fairly roomy inside since it’s a bigger vehicle,” Lasse said. “But I’ll take your word for it. It’s probably not worth it for its harsh ride. It’s not too bad looking, nor does anything else in particular look bad, though the plastic trim on the bumpers is a bit odd.”
Although the car has better interior room than some of the smaller wagons from before, the ride is very uncomfortable thanks to the very stiff sway bars. They ultimately decide it’s not something they want to endure for thousands of kilometers and move on.
Couraguex Wallaby Trek
“Now this one is a really weird vehicle,” Lasse said. “It’s a minivan, but with a body like this you would expect it to be a body-on-frame work van. These do offer great interior room and storage options, however. What do we think?”
“I still see a lot of these around. They’re long lasting and hold up well over time. It’s not a bad choice at all… but it has awkward front lights,” Julius said.
“It’s also not cheap at all,” Ron pointed out. “It has some decent offerings. But is it really, really worth it? Maybe we can find something else that’s comparable and not so close to 2000 quid.”
Good trim reliability, economical for its size, and alright comfort. It’s spacious on the inside which is a plus. However, it is close to the budget and there are other comparable options available for much cheaper, so unfortunately the Couraguex Wallaby Trek has to be left behind. Styling also is not a strong point.
Hachidori Murabito Sport
“A fuckin’ lorry? Now that’s something you really don’t see everyday,” Ron commented. “Our good Swedish American car simp would have a grand old time with this one, wouldn’t he?”
Lasse nodded in approval. “It’s like that truck in Back to the Future, I like it! I’ve heard some of these came with turbos… very interesting for the time, but the naturally-aspirated versions are far more reliable.”
“It’s a crew cab, but the rear seats look cramped and uncomfortable,” Julius said. “It does have plenty of cargo space in the bed, obviously. But overall, it’s also a bit long.”
“This ain’t it, lads,” Ron concluded. “It’s a capable lorry indeed, but it compromises on comfort too much. And that turbocharger will undoubtedly be a hassle later. Moving on!”
Okay, turbo pickup? That’s a little weird but it’s been done before, namely by Toyota in the 80s with the turbo Hilux. Here, the engine is very unreliable and the truck overall is also very uncomfortable. Although it would undoubtedly be a very cool and unique vehicle, they decide not to pursue it in the end.
Zihatzu Knave Turnier
“I reckon, Lassie boy, those are some of the finest damn pastries my palates have ever been graced by,” Ron moaned as he stretched, reminiscing over the tartiness of the stuffed crepes and the crunchiness of the toasted flatbread. Hand-rolled and lovingly baked to perfection, they had exquisite texture and that perfect homemade taste that you just simply couldn’t get anymore. “I’m definitely paying a visit to this fine establishment later.”
“You guys got the donuts pretty quickly,” Lasse chuckled. “I guess the cream filled ones are a fan favorite. I’ll be sure to grab more of those the next time around!”
“Scheisse, is that really all of them?” complained Julius, sighing sharply. He opened the paper box and folded away the sticky parchment paper, stained and translucent in some places. A very distinct bakery aroma wafted throughout the living room, drowning out the stank of the dank aging walls and carpet. Finally, under the last sheet of paper was one last cream filled pastry, shimmering under light from the overcast German sky as four pairs of eyes settled on it in an instant.
“Blimey…” Ron muttered.
Julius could feel Sven’s breath, stenched with alcohol from last night, on his goosebump-ridden neck. Mein gott, he thought to himself. He ultimately decided it wasn’t worth breaking his ribs over and backed down. In a burst of indescribable speed, Lasse of all people snatched up the donut and took off. Ron roared something with an accent so thick that Julius couldn’t even tell if it was still English.
“LASSE.” Sven got up and moved towards the kitchen, effectively cornering the lanky Swede. “I thank you for your generosity. Hand over the donut. Now.”
“You greasy gremlin,” Ron snarled in a Cockney accent, “I think you’ve had one of those too many! Let Lasse have it, the poor lad looks like he’s just come outta Guantanamo Bay. Stop being a wise lad.”
In a burst of brilliance, Lasse quickly glanced at Ron and wound his arm back, preparing to yeet the last intact specimen to the eager redhead. Sven saw this coming from a mile away, and in one swift yet seemingly effortless move, launched the donut out of Lasse’s hands in the blink of an eye. It flew up, bounced off the ceiling, and landed right in the sink full of unwashed dishes. Specifically, it landed in a plate that still had some bits of mashed potato and meatball on it.
Ron was pissed. Before he could even finish screaming “YOU FUCKING DONUT,” Sven had already reached into the sink, extracted the half-soggy donut, and bitten a third of it clean off with a smug grin. Lasse gagged instinctively.
“Fuck me…” Ron muttered. “Cheers, eh Sven? Bastard! Uhh… uhh, let’s move on shall we?”
Lasse, a broken man, shuffled back to the couch and sat down without saying a word.
“Next up then, a Zihatu Knave Turnier. Well, uhh… the 80s is definitely strong with this one,” commented Julius. “For a Japanese car, the body looks very European-inspired.”
“It’s strong in the looks department, there’s no question about that,” Lasse agreed. “But as one of many vehicles I’ve had the opportunity to ride in in my life, it didn’t particularly stand out to me in any way. The ride is uncomfortable, and these engines have grown increasingly problematic over time.”
Suffers from low comfort and engine reliability issues.
RCM Yukonite Scout
“This thing still has a 4 speed manual in the late 90s?” Julius blinked in surprise. “Very unusual choice for the time, but I imagine it gets the job done.”
“It’s interesting. You wouldn’t expect trucks or SUVs like these to be popular where I’m from, but they’re slowly gaining traction,” Lasse explained. “They’re generally very dependable vehicles, and the looks have also aged pretty well. For a body on frame SUV, fuel economy is not bad I guess, but definitely on the lower side compared to what we’ve seen before.”
“You know what?” Ron said. “The only thing I see here is some cheap clapped-out rustbucket that has no reason being here in Europe. These are based off actual lorries, are they not? It’s bound to be on the more… spartan side of interior affairs, I reckon. And good god, look at that price too!”
“Eh, it’s unfortunate,” Lasse shrugged. “I mean I really don’t see a problem with this vehicle considering the budget is 2000 Euros; we’re bound to get uncomfortable vehicles anyways. But you’re right… somehow we’ve found better for less.”
A very well-engineered vehicle that does unexpectedly well in some stats, such as fuel economy. It is very reliable with its manual transmission, but comfort is also of concern. Although a larger vehicle, being just $40 under budget means that this is too much for them. Similar or better-performing cars can be had at a lower price, and it arguably may be just too much utility for them to use.
Faimont Passau 3.0
“I’m not liking this one bit so far. For one, I’m looking this up and this thing makes only 150 kilowatts from a 3 liter turbocharged engine. It just seems like rubbish. Hell, my dad’s estate is a 3 liter normally aspirated, and it would still smoke the living hell out of this.”
“Vhat the hell? Who still uses kilowatts today?” Julius snapped. “Speak in regular units!”
“It is a bit on the low end for a turbo at 200hp,” Lasse agreed. “It doesn’t stop there, though. As we’ve seen far too much in these cars, the suspension is unusually stiff for a family car, and comfort is a weak point. The engine is also more fragile than Julius’s frail ego. And it’s quite an expensive car, at just 6 Euros under our budget. Not good, not good.”
Engine is unreliable, uncomfortable suspension (low roll angle), and for being $6 underbudget it’s simply not worth it.
Recanna CR18 Basismodell
“Oh, I’m very familiar with these,” Julius recalled. “This thing has a pretty quirky fascia, but in my opinion it’s really gotten better over time.”
“Astounding. For once, Lasse isn’t our resident auto expert who’s seemingly gotten behind the wheel of every damn car ever made,” Ron joked. “I see these still puttering along every day.”
“As can be expected of German engineering!”
“Oh, piss off, don’t get on your high horse now.”
“Turbocharged engine, huh? Very good fuel economy, and it won’t be very expensive overall to buy and run this thing,” Lasse discussed. “It’s a very tempting choice… but is it worth the risk of having a turbocharger?”
“Well… they’re solid when they work. It’s not bad at all for a turbo engine, really,” Julius said.
“Of course it’s reliable if it works! This isn’t some bitchy Italian disaster waiting to blow up in our faces. But I still fear what will happen if it fails on us during the trip.” Ron paused and took some sips from his water bottle. “Plus… don’t online car communities circlejerk over these for having sporty rides?”
“Well… ugh. Yes. The suspension is a little on the stiffer side. It’s for spirited driving! Not every car needs to waft around the road like those garish American luxury sedans,” Julius argued. “It’s tolerable.”
“Remember, this journey is going to take us over 3000 kilometers to do, back to back,” Lasse reminded. “We’ve got to take everything into consideration.”
“Personally, the stiffer ride isn’t too much of an issue,” Julius said. “Hell. I would buy this myself! But for peace of mind… I guess you do have a point. Damn.”
From here on out, the competition truly gets stiff and the decisions only get harder and harder. Recanna offers an incredibly tempting package with low fuel consumption and cheap running costs for a turbo car. The looks are executed very well, and the car looks properly contemporary and unique. However, with the slight reliability penalty from a turbo and with comfort being just a tiny bit lower than they’d like, the gang has to regretfully leave the CR18 out of further consideration.
Kiran Jidosha Wagon
“Ach! Vhat the hell is that?” Julius flinched in surprise as he pulled up a new listing on his phone. A pair of round, bulbous headlights stared right back at him through the screen. “I don’t even know what to say.”
“Ah a Jidosha estate. If I recall correctly, this fascia type was exclusive to the European market. It’s still very polarizing to this day,” Lasse said. “Personally, I think it’s cute.”
“Are you mad?” Ron scoffed. “This is absolutely vile. I won’t be caught dead in something that looks like this!”
“They’re decent cars. Not too shabby at all, they’ve held up well over time. Not on the same level of bulletproof as the Rencana CR, but it’s definitely up there.”
“Well… it’s a bit banged up. There’s some scratches on the side panels that look pretty deep. The paint’s been scraped there, and there’s also dents all over this thing, bloody hell!”
“I’ve heard, however, that the brakes do start losing their effectiveness if you really start loading stuff down, and even in sustained regular use.”
“And let me guess,” Julius said. “It handles like a touring car.”
“Actually, not really, the ride is decent for what it is. But comfort is a bit on the lower side as well, and it’s also a tiny bit more expensive than the CR. Eh… probably not.”
Overall, it’s really not a bad vehicle and looks pretty good as well. Unfortunately, it barely loses in select stats like comfort and reliability to some other contestants.
Kurokama SC1.9A Wagon
Lasse smiled upon viewing the next vehicle. “You can always rely on the Japanese to make solid, good-looking commuters. Look at this! It’s in quite good shape compared to the last one!”
“Such advanced looks for its time,” Julius nodded in agreement. “It looks like it could’ve easily been made ten years later and nobody would bat an eye. I’m usually not a fan of Japanese cars, but this one has a bit of German DNA in it… rear wheel drive and independent suspension? It’s a perfect recipe for fun. It also looks like the kind of vehicle a British car company would badge-engineer just so they can have one non-shitty vehicle in their lineup that doesn’t break down every time the driver says ‘bloody’ or ‘cock.’"
“I… yeah. Our cars were rubbish back then,” agreed Ron.
“However, despite being a naturally-aspirated engine, for some reason its reliability is pretty low,” Lasse pointed out. “Hell, it’s lower even than some turbocharged engines. And… yes. The suspension is a little hard.” Lasse sighed and crossed his arms, thinking intently. “Not too expensive too… but apart from looks, this vehicle also isn’t too extraordinary.”
“It’s a good vehicle, there’s no debate about that. But it’s not the one we need right now.”
This was a very tough choice to make. The SC1.9A is a very good looking car, but stat wise it doesn’t particularly excel anywhere. The engine reliability is also a bit low. It’s undoubtedly a very well-engineered vehicle for the price. But it’s just not quite there in some areas, particularly comfort, especially considering some cheaper vehicles do better in this regard.
Legion Wimbrel 1.8 GX
“Legion really knew what they were doing with these nifty little Wimbrels,” Lasse said. “Seriously impressive vehicles considering the state of most other American cars in this time period. Extremely reliable cars in general, and the engines are decent as well. It’s got that American styling with a bit of a European twist. Very understated but still stylish for a commuter sedan.”
“Do you really get excited over the most mundane shite as long as it’s American?” Ron asked, genuinely seeming interested instead of being mocking. Okay, maybe he was a little of both.
“Well… it’s not like that entirely. There’s more to it than just that.”
“Seriously, guys, look at this! It’s probably one of my favorite vehicles thus far. It’s just a simple, honest commuter estate with no BS. No British build quality or electronics to be found.”
“How does it stack against other stuff we’ve looked at so far??” Julius asked.
“Well, it’s really decent all around of course. It doesn’t really excel anywhere in particular although it is nigh unkillable. Really not too bad for the price, but it’s a bit more on the expensive side, and maybe it does its job a little too well as a standard, cheap family car… comfort is just okay. But will just ‘okay’ be good enough for us?”
“Ugh… I hate having to make decisions like this,” Julius sighed. “Well. It’s surprisingly decent across the board, this much we know. The price is pretty good, yes. But will this give us the best value in the end?”
“Eh…. at this price point, maybe it is still a teeeensy bit expensive for what it is.”
Another very solid car. Extremely high trim reliability is a plus. We can’t find anything wrong with this car at all, and it’s a very difficult choice to make. After lots of consideration, the four of them regretfully decide to leave the Wimbrel 1.8 GX behind and do not opt to take it for a test drive.
- @Elizipeazie | Anhultz Dione IX B
- @ACoolCrab | Olsson 2195 Uppsjö Turbo AWD
- @HybridTronny | Cailloux VX Safari 2.0
- @vouge | Forea HRC-4 SE
- @phale | Adenine Ambience
- @On3CherryShake | Rolland Strike 1.6WX
- @abg7 | GEC GW2 1.6 Estate 4AT
- @Aaron.W | Tanaka Caprea XG
Coming out eventually.
How much was I over?
I’m going to guess I used the old calculator.
EDIT: Oop yup it was I’m a solid $236 over lol
What??? I’m in the finals??? Granted, I skipped the previous round, but I feel relieved and elated to be in contention for the overall win once more.
I knew the headlights looked bad, I should have tried harder to make them look more real.
Thought i missed something
Any news on the final results?
As he said, we already picked a winner he is writing the final version of the results atm i guess pls keep in mind we wanna do it with a lot of roleplay and stuff, so we need a bit of time to make it cool and fun to read. The timezone is the main problem for us. But its out soon stay tuned
whEerrE ArEEE the FinALLS11!?ß!
I already know there will be a winner, based on what little evidence has been shown, but regardless of what it is, I can hold my head high knowing that I performed quite well by the standards of this round.
Round 2 - Finals
“So we’ve managed to narrow it down to eight cars,” Lasse declared. “I’ve called and texted each of the owners, and we’ve got test drives lined up for them all. I’ve got the usual inspection checklists and stuff down. Are we all ready?”
“Hold up,” Julius said, cautious. “Did you even tell us what these cars are? I don’t remember us even agreeing on any cars we found during our two meetings.”
“I found and chose some in my spare time. Sven even sent me a few suggestions, some of which are in here. Plus, one of the sellers happens to be my cousin. Valentin. He’s selling his Anhultz Dione, so we’re checking that out first.”
Anhultz Dione IX B
“What an absolute pile of rubbish,” Ron exclaimed excitedly. “This is exactly what we need! Ay, tell Valentin I said cheers.”
“Good thing he put this up for sale right around the time you told me about your plans to join ASSBLASTER,” Lasse nodded. “This is a good, solid car. Back in the day, you’d see these things everywhere on the road. And they’re still kicking. These things are almost indestructible. Well… it’s got a carburetor, so that’s bound to kick the bucket quite often. But at least it’s easy to fix! Wait… you know how to drive manual, right?”
“Lasse, do you take me for an ignoramus? An absolute dolt? Mum didn’t raise me as no pansy.” Ron scoffed, depressing the Dione’s heavy clutch as he turned the key. “Of course I know manual!”
“Leave it to Ron to know his way around knobs,” snickered Julius. After the starter heaved and churned for a couple of seconds, the carbureted four-cylinder fired up without much trouble. They let the engine warm up for a bit, then started driving off down the narrow brick streets.
“I’ve ridden in this many times,” said Lasse. “These are very comfortable cars, and last decently long even considering their age.” Indeed, the Dione dealt with the somewhat bumpy roads relatively well, and the ride was compliant. “And have you seen how damn tall Valentin is? He fits in just fine even for a regular family car like this. So it’s no problem for us.”
“Is it thirsty on petrol?” Ron inquired as they cruised through town.
“For this old shitbox? It’s decent,” Lasse shrugged. “10.6 liters. But really not all that bad once you consider how old this is compared to every other car we’ve looked at! Plus, it’s just under $1800. It’s a compelling offer if I say so myself. Plus, doesn’t it just look so cool?”
“I would’ve dropped my fuckin knickers if I saw this thing rolling by,” Ron agreed. “But fuck me, this manual’s a total a pain in the arse. The clutch is wearing me out just to press it!”
After the test drive, they returned the car back to Valentin’s apartment. The four of them hopped back into Lasse’s extra-cramped hatchback and set off to the next destination.
Tanaka Caprea XG
“Ain’t she a beaut, lads?” Ron looked in on awe at the glistening dark red crossover as Lasse unknowingly pulled into a cafe’s employee-only parking space. “This is a rare sight in Germany, but they’re everywhere in England. In fact, I nearly got jumped by a buncha blokes in one back in Birmingham. Cunts.”
“I’ll never understand your fascination with the most damn mundane cars ever,” hissed Julius. “You wouldn’t blink twice if it was some rare Italian rally car. But oh! Some random Japanese shitbox pops up and you start creaming your trousers!”
“I swear this was that one car they used for gay ads?” Lasse asked. “No… couldn’t be. Well, all of these things look the same anyways.”
The four of them received the keys from the driver, a friendly middle-aged woman with colorful dyed hair, and they set off on a test drive.
“It’s decently comfortable, isn’t it?” Lasse reclined back in the padded cloth seats and rubbed his shoulders around to get a feel for them. He glanced to his right, and saw even Sven could fit inside without much struggle at all.
“We can bet on this Tanaka for sure,” Ron added. “These things are bulletproof. They’re built fantastically well.”
“Okay… it’s fine,” Julius conceded. “It’s not bad. It’s just decent. But did you see how much that devilish old hag was charging us for this?! Nein! I refuse!”
“Well, to be fair…” Lasse said, “the actual running costs of this thing will be pretty low, I’m sure. The fuel economy for a car of this size is more than acceptable.”
After they bickered some more and nearly rear-ended a Kaufmann Kleinbus due to the somewhat-fady rear brakes, they returned the immaculately-kept Tanaka Caprea to the eccentric woman.
Olsson 2195 Uppsjö Turbo AWD
“Where the bloody hell even are we?” Ron spat in confusion. “Germany has deserts???”
“So you’re telling me,” Julius asked for clarification, “that this has a 2 liter turbocharged engine… and it only makes one-hundred and forty fucking horsepower?? Is this another one of this ‘tuned for economy’ bullshittery?”
“It’s the 80s, of course these made terrible power,” Lasse said. “Plus, how can you say that to this? Isn’t it beautiful? These were among the first truly aerodynamic Olssons, and they could still make it look this good with this blob of a body. And it’s all-wheel drive; this thing is super advanced compared to what we’ve seen before.”
“Indeed, the Swedes know how to make a fine car.” Ron flung the door open and sat down in the driver’s seat, and shuffled around inside to get a feel for the leather-trimmed seats and interior. “Are you sure we can afford this? This seems far too posh for us.”
“It’s worth considering. These are absolute tanks, after all,” Lasse argued. “I was riding with my friends in one of these once, and he rolled the car three times down a steep hill. It was totaled but we didn’t have so much as a single scrape!”
After Lasse’s anecdote out of the thousands he seemed to have for every car in existence, they embarked on their test drive of the Olsson 2195.
“Actually… despite this having an interior that’s just as nice,” Ron said, “I actually don’t think it’s as comfortable as that Dione we just drove.”
“Admittedly, the engine here might be a bit of a problem down the line, being a turbo and all,” Lasse added.
“Okay, I’m surprised how cheap this one is… compared to other Olssons,” Julius said. “For having the turbo and the all-wheel drive, AND the manual, this is supposed to be like, what? Thirty something thousand damn Euro for this old Swedish wagon?”
“Correct, it’s admittedly very popular with a certain demographic on the internet,” Lasse nodded.
“It’s cheap for an Olsson at just under $2000,” Julius continued. “But at the same time, this puts us right under the maximum budget.”
More arguing ensues, and none of them are really able to reach a unanimous consensus. They agree to put it on hold, and after returning the car to the seller with a prominent beard, they haul ass to their next scheduled appointment.
Rolland Strike 1.6WX
“Remind me, Ron,” Julius said. “I thought you said ASSBLASTER was all about cool cars.”
“Of course, lad!”
“So why the hell is there another CROSSOVER! And to make matters worse, it’s American. Have you heard horror stories of the interior of these literally falling apart as you drive them? Have you seen that one video of the guy slapping his dashboard on his redneck truck and the thing fucking shatters instantly?”
“Rolland’s actually had a very good track record with build quality,” Lasse said.
The four of them hopped inside, and Julius was very quickly disproven. The interior held up very well over time; sure, some of the plastics were faded and there was some other miscellaneous minor wear, but nothing rattled to the touch and the dash didn’t explode when someone looked at it funny. While it wasn’t as fancy as other interiors, it made up for it in build quality and having slightly more up-to-date components.
During the test drive, they couldn’t find much to complain about either. “These are also pretty good in terms of reliability,” Lasse said. “Not the best, but still very good and very very good for old American cars. Running costs are a bit on the higher side though, at just under 1900 Euros, but not prohibitively expensive like the Tanaka.”
“It’s a nice, sleek design as well,” Julius said. It doesn’t look nearly as tough as the Tanaka since there’s not as much plastic cladding, but I like this just as much. It’s not trying to be anything it isn’t. I just hope insurance doesn’t fuck us with this red paint.”
“Riddle me this,” Ron asked. “Why the bloody hell does the speedometer go all the way up to 300 kmh? Is some mad rat bastard really going to take this thing that fast? When would we ever need that? And Sven,” Ron shouted as he turned around and raised his volume, “Could you stop poisoning the goddamn car and roll down the goddamn bloody windows when you fucking flatulate! Do you know how well these cloth seats absorb smell? I don’t want to spend all three thousand kilometers smelling your fucking ARSehole up my nose!”
GEC GW2 1.6 Estate 4AT
“Vhat ze fuck is this?!” Julius shrieked. As they pulled into the supermarket parking lot, they saw a rather unremarkable white estate that was parked rather ungracefully across four different parking spaces at once. “Who thought it was a good idea to test drive this?!”
“Zip yer fanny,” Ron snapped. “It’s got a face only a mum could love, but it’s a fine car.”
Lasse parked the car and the four of them got out to meet the owner. After going over the specifics for the test drive, Ron got the keys and the four of them piled inside, with Ron being the driver, Julius riding shotgun, and Lasse and Sven in the back, as always.
“Right. Let’s go,” Ron declared. His left foot reached for the clutch but only met the bare, carpeted floor. In confusion, he reached for the shifter, only to find that it moved along a jagged, right-angled track with five positions. His face contorted from one of confusion to one of shock. “AUTOMATIC?!”
They set off for one lap around the parking lot, then took the GW2 Estate out onto the streets for some actual driving. “These have very, very good fuel economy,” Lasse informed. “I did the math, and total running costs are in the low 1700s. This is easily one of the best cars we’ve been in so far.”
“It’s just alright in here,” Julius shrugged. “Nothing to really write home about in terms of comfort.”
After a few minutes, the gang in the GW2 came upon a stoplight as they were cruising along just outside the city limits. For the first time in a while, they found themselves coming to a stop. Or rather, attempting to come to a stop; the GW2’s brakes, as they found out, weren’t too effective at doing their job. It was either that, or the tires could not provide enough braking force to stop the car quickly. As a result, the braking distance was a bit longer than average, and the white estate came to a stop just centimeters before the solid white line.
The light flashed green, having previously shone red for an unknown amount of time. “Floor it,” Julius ordered. Ron mashed his foot against the gas pedal, and despite the four cylinder engine under the hood going sicko mode and transmitting some harsh noises into the cabin, the GW2 accelerated at a leisurely pace. Hell, the front tires had barely managed to chirp for an instant when Ron stomped on the throttle.
“Why the hell is it so slow?!” Julius leaned over towards Ron’s side, making sure he was fully depressing the pedal. “Is it in limp mode? Full throttle you pussy.”
“I mean, what were you expecting?” Lasse shrugged.
“Oh, fuck off!” Ron shouted. “It’s only slow because we’ve got two fat slimy bastards in here!”
Cailloux VX Safari 2.0
“This has to be one of the most boring, inoffensive-looking cars I’ve ever laid my eyes on,” Julius groaned. “It’s peak 2000s, nothing really to write home about. Hell, almost forgettable. But it looks good. I’m fine with this.”
“And it’s got a really funky color, too. Also, for a 2000s French car, this is as good as it gets. The engine… yes, is weak, but it’s understressed, and as a result it’ll run without problems for a very, very long time. The car as a whole is pretty dependable too.”
Key in ignition. Turn. Starter chirps, engine fires right up. Brake. Shift from park into drive. Release parking brake. Drive away. Ron appreciated the automatic like the one in the GEC GW2; it significantly made the driving a lot easier, but otherwise the Cailloux drove just as well as the Olsson, Tanaka, and GEC. It was also slightly more livable than the three aforementioned cars; even though the interior wasn’t fancy, it was still well-built and held up over time.
“Hmm. I can’t really find anything to complain about in here,” Julius said. “I’ll dare say it’s even… pretty damn good. What do you think, Sven?”
“Car is fine.”
“It’s easy to drive and it’s got good fuel consumption,” Lasse said. “So running costs aren’t bad. You know, I wouldn’t mind owning one of these myself.”
“Right. Well, Lasse, how much was this anyways? The car itself.”
“It’s… heh, it’s one Euro under the max budget. With everything combined.”
“E- excuse me?”
“No! Wait. Sorry, it’s actually… one and a half Euros underbudget.”
“Like that makes it any better, du hurensohn!”
“How many damn crossovers are we getting today?” Julius looked at the champagne-colored vehicle in disappointment, sighing and crossing his arms. “You know… you know what they say about these? How SUVs all look the same nowadays? I see what they mean now. I can’t tell this sheisse apart from the GEC or the Tanaka… from a distance they all literally look the same! I mean… it’s decent looks wise, but it’s so damn boring. If I didn’t know any better and you legitimately told me that all of these cars are rebadges of each other, I would believe you!”
“Do you know how reliable these are? My great uncle had one of these in a very 2000s light silver-ish color,” Lasse said. “He’d lost his keys one day and could never find them again. That poor Ambience was snowed on, rained on, hailed on, and even shat on by god knows how many birds for sixteen years. It just sat and sat, I don’t even think he drained the fluids properly. No cover, nothing. When he finally found his keys under the washing machine, he tried to start his car just for the hell of it. I was there; I helped him put in fresh gas after whatever was left had surely vaporized by then. The first time we cranked the ignition, it started after five seconds. No hiccups. The madman even drove it to the shop on its bald, crusting tires. He still drives that car to this very day.”
“Whatever. Let’s just see how it drives.”
Test drive time. The four of them are lively, but they aren’t talking about the car. In fact, there really isn’t much to talk about; the Ambience drove just like any other car from the era. Maybe it was a welcome change to actually have a normal driving experience, unlike the Olsson or the Anhultz. At the same time, it was also about as entertaining as watching a tree grow.
“There’s nothing really wrong with this, I guess,” Julius admitted.
“And it’s only 1740ish Euros!” Lasse added. “It’s a very good deal that I was pretty lucky to find, especially considering how this one is in pretty good condition. Well… actually, there’s one interesting point to make note of.”
“And that is?”
“The valvetrain for the Ambience’s engine is… pretty damn quirky. Direct acting overhead camshaft.”
“What? Isn’t that kinda uncommon nowadays? Hell, isn’t that used in bikes too?”
“Yeah, a regular overhead cam valvetrain with rockers is a lot more common. I’m not sure if as many people will know how to service these, if that’s even something to be concerned about. But in the grander scheme of things, it’s no dealbreaker. It’s a really good car and it’s fairly cheap too.”
Forea HRC-4 SE
“You know what?” Ron stopped just as he was about to enter their final used car lined up for the day, a silver Forea HRC-4 SE. “Lasse. Tell me, do I look like ol’ nan going for her weekly excursion to Tesco or bingo?”
“…what?” Lasse blinked in confusion.
“We’ve seen at least thirty other cars during our research. Now how is it that we have approximately ZERO fucking cool ones? Did you give up and just search up some crossovers to get it over with?”
“From one to the next, huh?” Julius chuckled. “At least this one has some subtle differences compared to the rest, like the thicker C pillar and the vertical tail lights. But hey, compared to the others we’ve seen so far, this and the Caprea are probably my most favorite among the crossovers so far in terms of design.”
“The engines in these aren’t bad at all, but offer decent power as well. Not quite as powerful as the Olsson with 140ish, but it’s more than enough. It’s got a proper dual overhead cam engine, so not quite as reliable as the Ambience’s but it’s still got more oomph. A bonus is that we don’t have to put up with the added hassle of the turbocharger, and even without one this HRC-4 still comes really close to the Olsson in terms of fuel consumption. 6.4 liters versus 6.3, I mean it’s basically the same at that point! I think that alone makes this strongly worth considering.”
Indeed, the first chance he had, Ron floored it out of the intersection. 10.3 seconds to 100kmh, just as fast as the turbocharged Olsson; at least, according to Ron’s ability with a manual. “Picks up speed fairly fast, doesn’t it?”
“Aren’t you supposed to say ‘innit?’” Julius asked. Corrected, even.
“It’s decently comfortable back here,” Lasse commented. “Not the best. Not the worst. I reckon it sits perfectly halfway between everything else we’ve driven so far.”
“Honestly?” Julius continued. “There’s nothing remarkable about this car at all. I mean… yeah, it’s kinda on the cheap side. But there is far cheaper stuff we’ve also looked at that’s also better than this. How in the hell are we going to choose between those three wagons and four basically identical crossovers?”
After countless hours of bitching and not really getting anywhere, the four of them somehow manage to finalize and freeze their decision. The Forea HRC-4 SE doesn’t really shine in one particular area, but it does manage to iron out the kinks of every other finalist here at a reasonable price. It’s also among one of the best-looking entries so far. As the best all-rounder, Julius, Ron, Lasse, and Sven decide it’s the perfect vehicle for them to spend three thousand excruciating kilometers together.
Congratulations @vouge !! No lie, having to choose between all of these vehicles was tough for Ryan and I. Writing about them was even harder. Thank you so much to everyone for participating! I hope you found this round of CSR enjoyable!
I did until I had to start writing reviews
And deservedly so - it proved to be the best all-rounder of the bunch.
As for my entry… Hindsight shows I would have been better off giving it more grunt and braking power, but based on what I’ve seen, it would still have had its work cut out taking on the top five. Regardless, I am ready to host the next round if no other finalists are able to do so.
Congrats to the finalists and everybody who entered it. This was one very interesting challenge and very well written as well, it was intense until the very end. Also big thanks for @Tzuyu_main and @Ryan93 for hosting the challenge. I can host and gladly will, just give me time to come up with something.
Well done. If I’m not mistaken, this is your first win since the infamous CSR 115 - and in less controversial circumstances to boot. Here’s hoping that the next CSR is at least as good as this one, if not better.