well for one. im glad i’m doing this one. i have learned to not put SO much effort on the 1st stage of reviews. plus. it’s hard to top it off again if i do that on the 2nd stage of reviews
just wanted to tell you guys
all my excuses why i haven’t posted anything again yet.
i am currently jobless and lately for some reason i got a whole barrage of work interviews, and then one or 2 family events. aaaaaaand then i got sick. plus… i quite burned myself out writing just the 1st stage (130% certain that i will never do such long and intricate 1st round ever again in any competition that i’ll hold). so i actually haven’t even started writing the reviews for the 2nd round yet.
but, as i have done, i am gonna make the promise that it i will at least, start publishing it within the next 7 days.
Rogi ordered to Kievan to stop about 200m away from the Dragotec dealership. Rogi climbs out of the car and grabbed a small toy gun from his bag. He looked like he was loading something into it. Rogi then aimed it towards the sky and pulled the trigger. BANG it made a somewhat loud explosion akin to a gunshot, but not as loud, and sounds more like something that popped loudly rather that exploded. And it spews out quite a bit of smoke after.
i’m talking about these things
Kie: that is NOT a gun right?
Rog: this? No. it’s just a prank toy gun. It’s just to give the signal?
Rog: you’ll see. Now we just have to wait for a few minutes.
a few minutes later a car comes towards them and yes, it is the Dragotec Gladius, and it stops right beside them.
a few seconds later, Jacob steps out of the car
Jac: I’m leaving it on. I’ll be waiting in my car over there
Jacob proceeds to walk towards his car on the corner of a nearby parking lot
- Rog: right…… let’s start this already
Kievan still baffled over what exactly happening, and if he is a victim in their plan, or is he just a side character. He certainly wishes the latter though. It’s the least worse of the 2 possibilities
Rog: hey, don’t space out. We’re reviewing this car, not that.
Kie: Snapped out huh? Oh. Right. steps out of the onara and into the Gladius
The car drive is exceptionally enjoyable. It is fun, yet easy, the steering’s responsive and direct, yet controllable, the decently sized turbo didn’t give as much trouble as both of them expected. It spools quick, with a quick hit on the power, it makes the car squiggles out of the corners under full throttle despite the decently sized tire width. But, rather than scary, it’s fun, because it’s predictable, and when it does happen, even an amateur could handle it with very little practice.
After a few hard runs, the brake system seems to deteriorate a bit, at first, the ABS system occasionally functions a bit subpar, slow to respond, and sometimes locking the wheel even when the brake pressure applied from the pedal is constant.
The seats and interior is about on par, with the other cars in this market, that is not a sports car. So the seats are comfortable and the ride is relatively silent for it’s price. But it does have quite a firm suspension setup, it does make the car handle better, but it also makes it harsher for when the car is not being pushed. It is a compromise they have to decide, and we can say with certain, they pick quite optimally with minimal compromise for both use cases.
The engine is quite silent, as to you prefer it silent or easily heard is a personal matter. And aftermarket mufflers are always an option for ones that chose the latter. But what we hear from the engine is may be slightly concerning for those who doesn’t understand anything about cars. it’s giving out an audible clicking noise. It’s not loud by any means, but you can easily hear it if you try to notice it.
The massive, or should we say small, downside to the car is it’s usable luggage space. Despite only being a 2 seater it doesn’t have a lot of room for extra stuff. And the fact it’s a 2 seater alone means you can’t have
lackeys friends inside
- Kie: I must say…… I was not expecting that kind of experience…… it is simply, sublime.
- Rog: and I also have to say. It’s a lot more comfortable than I expected. Is this all the charm of a Japanese sports car? Or did the manufacturer just hit all the right spots for me?
- Kie: I dunno. Probably a mix of both?
- Rog: well it’s time to move on to the next car. We have quite a few we have to see today. Come on now. Don’t slack yet
- Kie: (oh fuck, he’s back into that mode again in a flash. How does he do that and what’s triggering it?) uhh yessir.
they give the keys and the car back to Jacob and went on their way.
They did the same thing. Stopped few hundred meters off the dealer, Rogi sounds his ‘signal’ again. And a few minutes later, a Crista comes towards them. And after looking around, Kievan notice that Jacob’s car is in a nearby parking space again
Kie: (how the fuck did he arrive before us? I know our car is slow and all that, but we have quite a headstart)
Rog: you spacing out again. Come on. Just start this
Kie: huh? Ah yes, I mean no, I mean………. I’ll get in
The car control is great. It is pretty easy to drive, but at the same time it is not as fun. This is probably from the bar being set high by our first car of the day, so this feels quite pale in comparison. When it fact, it’s probably more than enough fun and control for a lot of people. Plus this one claims to have a significantly better fuel consumption, albeit at the cost of power, a lot of power. Because that last one had OODLES of it. the throttle control is also pretty good
This car doesn’t have an ABS System and only a classic simple hydraulic power steering. That said, it is still the norm for this class of cars, this car isn’t lacking, it’s the Gladius that is just packed to the brim. But the brake setup seems to be optimal enough, it’s good in normal braking, and it doesn’t easily lock up the front wheels. But the rear wheels are a bit easier to lock. You have to take note of that fact. But we experienced a lot less brake fade on this car.
Surprisingly enough, the interior comfort and the ride harshness is about on par as the Gladius. Albeit this has slightly less space for your foot, courtesy of the extra 2 seats behind you. But it also makes it the easier car to tolerate for everyday commute. If you consider this level of comfort ‘compromised’ at all. Which we don’t feel so, it is still very comfortable.
The engine is a much smaller i4, with a moderately sized turbo paired to it. making the turbo lag quite significant. Despite the lower power, you do have to take note of the turbo spool time, while it won’t make the car squiggle as much because it doesn’t have that much power, but it has enough to be able to make you spin when you’re not cautious enough
For practicality, it has 4 full sized seats inside, though it is still a 2 door coupe. But is has quite a big trunk space so it is in the end, the car that’s easier to drive as a daily commuter car, while being a bit cheaper, and consume less fuel compared to the Gladius.
Kie: any more comments?
Rog: hmmm not really, just it’s the more sensible car to get if you do like to bring a few friends around occasionally. Or when you want it to be cheaper in the long run, assuming you don’t modify too much. Enough of that. NEXT!
Kie: you don’t actually have to scream it out you know…… it’s not like I’m rebelling against you or something.
Rog: I said….
Kie: okay okay. I heard what you said. Let’s move on.
the ritual. again
- Jac: not sure why you guys wanted this car. But here you go
- Rog: thank you, and it’s our job
- Kie: okay let’s get in now
- Rog: huh, assertive for once, for today at least.
- Kie: ………
It’s light, it turns, it brakes…. Almost. But it’s planted. It’s firm. It’s……. pure fun. Rev the hell out of the engine. Feel the car shaking more and more as the needle on your speedometer slowly going up, and the needle on your tachometer approach the red bars indicating you should shift up soon. But you keep the pedal glued to the floor, letting the engine breathe as much air as it possible can and exhaling it at an even faster rate. Finally you reach the rev limiter and the machine pulls back by itself, so you quickly let up the throttle only to disengage the clutch, and use one of the metal lever next to your hand to physically move the gears that is located just beside your feet only separated by thin metals, and after all that happened in a split second, the next second you found yourself doing the same thing, over and over, until you have to let go of the throttle pedal, and start the process of turning movement into heat that then is let go into the air, turn the circular lever that you have been holding tight onto this whole time, while fighting the urge to bury your feet into the floor while bringing along the throttle pedal with it. and when the time is ripe, you quickly repeat the motions plowing the throttle pedal and row through the all the gears the car has to offer.
It is that sensation. No. it’s THOSE sensation. No single thing is ever mundane in this vehicle. This is a car of quintessential pure driving enjoyment and disregarding everything else. And it has done it exquisitely. But, it is not perfect by any means. The front brakes are a bit lackluster, they can’t lock the front brakes no matter what. And the engine output, although it’s not too low remembering the weight of the whole car, it will leave you wanting for more, as soon as you get comfortable with the car. The seats are hard. The suspension is firm, the tires are just thin enough to lose traction if you’re not careful, it only has 2 seats. The gearing is short, and close, making the engine constantly drone.
But, what it does have, is either really overbuilt or are just plain designed to take abuse left and right. And there is barely anything to go wrong. If any. The aesthetics of the exterior is subjective to the person looking. But you can’t deny the charm this car has. It’s imperfect. But no car is ever so. In fact I might be scared or be bored by a perfect car.
But, you can’t deny the fact. It is a vehicle of pure enjoyment, and not sensibilities. You simply can’t use this as a commuter. Unless you are one of those people who will put up with A LOT just to get what you want that may not be worth the pain for most. and most likely, you are not one of those people.
Kie: I want one
Kie: I WANT ONE
Rog: NO glares now give the car back and get back in our car
Kie: but i…
Kie: gulps okaaay…… but
Rog: what now?
Kie: I changed my mind. I think that car deserves a special mention.
Rog: ……… we’ll talk about it.
Toy gun goes bang. The roadster complete with Jacob driving it with the top down wearing a sunglasses comes to us after about 10 minutes
Rog: what took you so long this time?
Jac: the roof was a bit trickier to fold down than I expected. Easy once you learn how to though. But that took my time. Here’s the key
The sound. THE SOUND. Just what the hell? This is just about unacceptable for a ‘normal’ car. Way too loud than it needs to be. Because it came straight piped from the factory. And yet they’re poaching it to be a daily drivable car…… are they aiming to make all they customers slowly going deaf? Yes it’s fun for when you’re pushing the car, It’s satisfying. But how often do you really push the car? 10% of the time? 20%? The rest of the time it’s just way too loud. It’s fun to drive, but it’s not the easiest to control, although it is by no means hard to drive either. But with it being a convertible, you definitely can feel the extra heft of the car around the corner. And ‘only’ 128hp doesn’t help much either. It doesn’t drag it down much. But you’re gonna be wanting for more power soon. As soon as you get the muffler sorted out.
Fortunately though, when the top is up, which is pretty heavy, everything is muffled really well when you’re enclosed. The suspension is still about as firm as any of the competitor so far, but with it being heavier, it feels smoother on the road, and also a relatively good quality audio system does help with the sound problems too. It’s weird. It’s like they realize their exhaust note is gonna make the driver go deaf, but instead of fixing it, they decided to dampen it inside the cockpit. Which won’t make the driver go deaf anymore…… only everyone else around it.
The engine is nothing lacking, but also nothing impressive. A 2L i4 making 128hp. but it’s a massively undersquared engine. Again. Like it’s just a pepped up economy engine. But it already has forged bottom end parts. We don’t see this engine making much more. Not much room to grow. It can’t handle much more revs to make power higher up. And even with a turbo we can see it might be limited by the maximum torque level some of the parts can handle. None of those combination is a good combination for a sports car engine. The downside of an undersquared engine.
And practicality wise…. Well it’s as practical as a roadster can get, really. It has even less luggage space than the less car, courtesy of the space taken by the roof’s folding space. It has only 2 seats. Or course. So this car really only caters to a rather specific market niche. a youngster’s car that wants something fun and are willing to compromise on practicality a bit, and are still living alone, or at least, not married yet. They will need to sort that muffler part soon though. We’re not even sure how that even passes the inspection or whatever they have here in japan.
- Kie: Meh?
- Rog: …… meh
hands back the key and went on their way
Isami Reaver S45 GR
BANG and POOF shows the car.
Now THIS…… is just weird looks wise. It totally feels like they tried to make it futuristic, yet everyone just half assed the aesthetic design of this car. But, if that haven’t bothered you enough and you can brush it aside. The driving experience is up there, almost as good and fun as the Gladius. Just slightly less. But we’ve learned that what this car is. It’s quintessentially “slightly less” than the best.
Now the engine. Is what we see the Chisana’s engine would probably end up being in a few years time. Just an economy engine pushed too far. They claimed this is a RACING BRED ENGINE FOR THE ROAD. We see quite a few problems with that already. Road engines are not as concerned with weight. This engine, despite what they were saying, just seemed like a pepped up economy engine through and through. And when we tried to push it. it totally feels like it has something to give. In both ways. It feels like it can puts out a bit more. And at the same time, even as is, it also feels like something inside it is about to give at any time. revving the engine up isn’t a fun exhilarating experience. It’s a scary one.
Again, same ‘philosophy’ with the comfort of the car. Suspension’s firm and seat cushioning is minimal. And also somehow, they managed to make the luggage space even smaller than the roadster, while being a bigger car, and having the same seat count.
Sadly this is a car we definitely have to let go. There is just simply a ‘better’ option for every aspect of the car.
Kie: I don’t think we will be missing this car either would we?
Rog: no. at least I don’t see either of us feeling that way.
Kie: not even an honorable mention?
Rog: well, what novel approach does this car has that appealed to you that is also different than any of the car we’ve tested so far?
Kie: there’s………… ummmmmm……. Uhhhhhh……… I got nothing.
Rog: exactly…. Now. Let’s move on
- Kie: yes. This is one car I have been looking forward to.
Bang goes the gun, vroom goes the car.
With AWD, and massive tires, and small body, sorry but I can’t put it any more gentle. You have to be an absolute massive idiot to ever lose control of the car. Even on snow. It is fun, and it is unbelievably controllable and planted. Though we can see the costs will be costly, fast. But only partly because of the tire’s sheer width, and more because of you can push it so easily, that no matter what, you will always have the temptation to push it hard. Again. And again. And before you know it. you got your tires bald. And you have speeding tickets. And you get your license pulled
Rog: wait wait wait. That’s just you. And that’s just your personal experience
Kie: I mean. When you got in a good car. You will know it. and it’s just a pure shame if you don’t enjoy it properly.
Rog: but not until you get your license taken. That’s just you being nonsensical.
Kie: …… anyway continuing on.
The engine is putting out a more than acceptable 137hp, from a rather big 2.3L inline 4 engine. Although we don’t see or hear any major flaws with the engineering of the engine. It is still made out of alumunium both the block and head. And we have heard way too many problems with alumunium based designs. Let’s just hope it won’t have massive problems in the future, or at least, not the engine breaking ones.
And comfort. Daring. Oh so daring. They put in 2 of “above of it’s class” seats and everything else. The radio is about normal. But at this price point, even all the features inside is already excessive. And the suspension is actually rather soft. Maybe even a little bit too soft. But being an AWD, we’re gonna give it benefit of the doubt, that’s on purpose so it could do some off road traverse. Although we’re not sure on that.
Practicality wise. Lots and lots of space, everything that you need is available, and some of what you want is also available…… we only wished it has 4 seats instead of 2 though. With it’s price being significantly below the competitor’s, I think that extra 2 seats could be more than justified for the extra cost.
Kie: definitely going in.
Rog: hold on a minute. We still have 2 hatchbacks to go
Kie: oh yeah. PUT THEM ALL IN!
Rog: …… shut up and return the car. We’ll see about that
Kie: ……… yessir
they key was returned and they got back in the onara
It’s small. It’s cheap. It’s practical. It’s light. It’s economical. It’s reasonably fun. But it’s really basic and not comfortable. It’s a bargain bin class car in japan, that got a turbo and pepped up. That’s it. we really can’t say much about it…. because there is really not much to write about. And not in a bad way. More in a good way, probably. There’s nothing to break except for the turbo engine, and even that seems relatively solidly built.
This is the car for people that is just choked in life and are just living paycheck to paycheck and need a car that reliably gets them everywhere for cheap. But have just enough to be able to afford something to cheer themselves up now and then. Though they have to watch out since the safety rating of the car is just about passable. Then again, if they are looking for something this cheap, we don’t think that is much of a problem for them.
Kie: I dunno about this one getting in. but this will at least be in the honorable mention, just purely to the price and the quality you’re getting at that price.
Rog: hmmmm I think I have to fully agree on that for once.
Kie: okay then. NEXT!
- Kie: OHOHOHOhohohohohoh yeeeees. I’M READY FOR THA BOOOOOOST
Biggest engine in the class. 3.4L i6 with a turbo making a blown up figure of 260hp. pushing it though a 5 speed gearbox and only 185mm wide tires and only 1 seats, okay there’s 2 faux rear seats. But they’re practically unusable and will never get used anyway so let’s disregard that. And to our surprise, it’s not as bad as we thought. The car is still reasonably controllable as long as you don’t mash the throttle mid corner. And the fun. It’s a different kind of fun. It’s the fun of power. And not American muscle instant power. It’s one where you mash the throttle and wait, and not know where the power will come on. It’s the anxiety of not knowing when you will get the power, and at what position you’re at will the power surge kicks. and the necessity to correct your car position if the power makes you go out of line. Although, it is an inline 6 with just a single turbo, to the power surge is actually not that big, but with just 185mm tires, it’s just enough to make the wheel spin, but not too big to make your car go out of control once it kicks in.
This is just a car you have when you want to go fast with low initial cost. not as a daily. Because this car will need a lot of care, and money. This is a second car. Or a third. It’s a car you buy just because. and it just happens that they just sold it at this price. I don’t think the people that are looking at this car are constrained by budget.
Ibisu Covetta LS
BANG and VROOM. The usual.
This is an obedient workhorse in a sheep clothing. It looks like a microvan. It has 4 seats and 4 doors. The looks of it is muted and restrained, unlike what a normal sports car looks like. Does it look good or not, it’s subjective, but we think it doesn’t look bad driving this is probably as good as the Gladius. But where the gladius is more fun, this is more controllable, but doesn’t kill the fun factor at all. It’s just a different kind of fun. In line with what seems to be the target market of this car.
The Engine helps quite a bit at that. OHC 3L V6. It’s relatively big, so it doesn’t need to be pushed hard to make a more than decent amount of power. And with that, it’s also very torque-y. so it has the capability to lug around all 4 people with their luggage comfortably, probably even when going out of town. An excellent fit for the car remembering the purpose of this car. Although fitting a pretty big engine in such a small body might result in some complications when it comes to service although the engine is really simple save for the fuel injection system, but everyone is using that. And the fuel economy of the car is not exactly great either.
The comfort of the car is not the best. Especially when hauling full loads. It would not be what we consider comfortable. But it is at least, acceptable. Empty, the suspension is a bit firm, helping the capabilities of the car, but when full it is slightly too soft, but at this price point, that’s probably the best compromise to cater to both purposes of the car.
Being a 4 seater with 4 doors, and a hatchback body, or if you want to call it, a microvan body. It can haul both good amount of luggage and 4 people, or with the folding down seats, even more luggage. There is no question about it’s practicality. It is the most practical and daily drivable car out of all the car we have seen here.
The market is caters to. Well. It’s really broad. By making their car more than just a sports car and more usable ‘normal’ car, they opened up their target market by a lot. When you’re a young man picking a car, but daddy won’t approve a sports car. This is a great compromise. When you’re a socially active person that likes to carry friends everywhere but also want to have some fun in your car. Again GREAT middle ground. It’s not the best option for people looking that are looking just practicality and family friendliness. It’s a great option for those people that are looking for those things, and then some.
Kie: well…. I honestly wasn’t expecting to be so damn impressed by this little guy. It’s a REALLY strong contender.
Rog: and of all things, you also forgot to mention the price.
Kie: oh… right. Well it’s a big lower than average, but not THAT MUCH lower
Rog: well whatever.
gives the key back and Jacob goes off into the distance
Rog: Well let’s re-review and go over all the cars once more
Kie: okay. Gladius? Wait no. that’s a stupid question. That’s going in for sure. The Crista?
Rog: I feel like whatever it did and has to offer, the Covetta LS just did it better, except for looks. Probably
Kie: the Scarfell then? That name still feels weird to me.
Rog: it’s completely not what we were looking for, which is a daily drivable sports car. But it’s also amazing in another way that we did not expect. Amateur race car. Could you drive it daily? Ehhh probably, and there are people who will do that, but they are putting up with a lot of stuff that most people would rather not put up with on a daily basis.
Kie: so honorable mention it is.
Rog: yeah. Acceptable.
Kie: next. Neko Chisana?
Rog: it’s even only in this list because it was the only roadster. Wasn’t that what you said?
Kie: kinda. So?
Rog: personally I find the car lackluster.
Kie: ehh…… how much car do we wanna put up in the magazine?
Rog: probably only 2 or 3 according to their category, and maybe another 2 or 3 honorable mentions
Kie: okay, let’s say, 2 finalists and 3 honorable mentions?
Rog: I’d say the other way around.
Kie: okay then I’d say there’s not enough space for the chisana. Next. The Isami Reaver.
Rog: same thing. Not a bad car at all, but lacking compared to the other car it’s competing against.
Kie: the J85…… I’d say. It lived up to my expectation. But not more. But even that is great.
Rog: yes, that car is good. I have no qualms putting it in the finalist
Kie: okay then. The Darade?
Rog: Honorable mention. It’s a solid car with a great value. But only for people strapped in cash.
Kie: that’s quick. The Interceptor…… yeah no, we only test drove that for giggles. And the Covetta is in the list right?
Rog: yes. I can agree on that.
In case you haven’t figured it out yet. I never intended for this to have a “winner”. As it caters more than a single category. All the cars that made it into the magazine are the “Winners”. And those that made it into the ‘honorable mentions’ are, well you could consider it “Runner Ups”.
- Dragotec Gladius - Article Spot/Finalist
- Mitsushita Crista - Dropped
- Vernum Scarfell – Honorable Mention
- Neko Chisana - Dropped
- Isami Reaver S45 GR - Dropped
- J85 SI - Article Spot/Finalist
- Chaihatsu Darade – Honorable Mention
- Interceptor Turbolicious - Dropped
- Ibishu Covetta LS – Article Spot/Finalist
Rog: so. I’m only gonna go back to the inn to grab my stuff and then I’ll be traveling on my own until we have to get back. You fine with that?
Kie: EH?! This is very sudden……. But I guess I can survive somehow……… what are you doing and where are you going?
Rog: glares at Kie I have some business to take care of. You don’t need to know.
Kie: flinches u-uh o-okay……. You have your ticket plane back right? We’ll meet back at the airport?
Rog: yes. We will do that. Now. Let’s go back to the inn
Kie: yeah. Right. Let’s do that……
You absolute monster, so much text. Incredible effort and great storytelling man.
What a way to wrap up the first round! It was definitely worth the wait, and all that effort you put into the story for this one really paid off.
this is where your habit of assuming and stating seemingly obvious things are just wrong.
i have NOT wrapped this up yet. i’m just putting it on hold after i finish my CSR round
here we go. after SO MANY procrastination. and RL stuff (probably only 20% of it), and getting distracted by a new game… i finally finished it. BOI
DMA J85 Si
i should probably also credit those who gave me the pictures for most the ads. but i already forgot who gave them to me. teehee
just give me a shoutout if you feel like you’re that person