Boxy looking pickup trucks…
I myself would go for the vette.
- The car that lived forever
- The americamobile
- The Uber
Blandmobile because it will probably be the most pleasant and effortless. Hindustan is a dinosaur and Checker is half tank, half dinosaur. None are particularly interesting.
The rear-engined Skoda 110
The front wheel drive, 2-stroke Wartburg 353
Or the more conventional front engine, rear wheel drive Moskvich Elite/AZLK 408
Oops I accidentally said that the Moskvich is FWD… It’s actually RWD, sorry for the mistake
I can’t believe nobody’s done this yet in this thread. I’ve tried to capture the state of play as of the end of 2020/start of 2021.
NOTE: pick your preferred transmission of the ones available for that model
Hyundai gets 2 mentions because they’re cool like that. Ford does not because the Fiesta ST isn’t anywhere near the same performance as the rest.
I’ve attempted to keep within a certain “performance and budget” bracket, hence the exclusion of the Ford Focus RS (discontinued), the Mercedes AMG45 (another price bracket up) and other similar much more expensive offerings. 2021 means there’s an updated model that started hitting showrooms this year or will only start arriving from next year. I’ve included the Yaris because despite being in an entirely different size class (seg B instead of seg C) it looks to be in a similar performance and price bracket and is also a really hot prospect if I didn’t have an actual mandatory need for a C seg due to luggage and passenger space I would have slammed in a preorder when it was selling in Australia for a 15000AUD discount before you could say heel-toe downshift).
- 2021 VW Golf GTi Clubsport
- 2021 Honda Civic Type R
- 2020 Renault Megane RS Cup 300
- 2021 Ford Focus ST
- 2021 Toyota GR Yaris
- 2020 Seat Leon Cupra R
- 2021 Mini JCW GP
- 2020 Peugeot 308 GTi
- 2020 BMW 135i xDrive
- 2020 Hyundai i30N
- 2020 Hyundai Veloster N
EDIT: Fuck I forgot the Subaru WRX STi, in case anybody wanted in on that. If you did leave a comment!
Focus ST with the 6 speed manual for me, please. Oh, and the petrol version, of course. Don’t know why the diesel ST even exists.
It’s a toss up between the I30N, the Civic, and the Megane. If I wanted something for the track, I’d take the Megane, if I wanted something for the “family” I’d take the Civic, but I think the i30 just takes them both, partly due to the great looks of course. With the new BMW 1 series being front wheel drive, I wouldn’t pick it at all, it would be last on my list, that and the Mini.
Hence the specific pick of the xDrive, which has the ability to send up to 50% of power to rear wheels, but yes, it does mostly drive like a FWD car. Previous iterations indeed were RWD but those are now last-gen…
The thing I have with the current Renault is that weird 4 wheel steering which seems to, if anything, make the steering less direct and engaging. If they’d simply not bothered with it I suspect quite a few reviewers would have been won over. Also while a Type R needs an extra intercooler and possibly a change of wheels if you want to really wring it out on the track, nothing in this price range is faster (the Trophy-R is stripped out, has lots of carbon, and costs an extra 40-50% on top).
I would take the Civic, no question - it offers the sharpest driving experience in my opinion.
I’m pretty sure that the 308 GTI is no longer available and hasn’t been for some time. Also, wouldn’t the Audi S3 and the Merc AMG A35 fit?
The choice for me is pretty simple. That cool and totally unique little monster that the GR Yaris is. It has some rally homologation vibe, and I like that. If not that, then it’s split between the Megane, the Focus and the i30. The first for looking good outside and inside, the second for just being very good despite absolutely ugly interior, and the last for being another example of “Koreans doing it right”.
My budgeting has a big caveat: I’m Australian and anything over the Luxury Car Threshold attracts a hefty tax, so prices from over the mid to high 60k range rapidly escalate. Several of what Australians would consider “upmarket Euro brands” here i.e. Mercedes, BMW, Audi also tend to put a lot of features on the options list so nobody in their right mind would leave the dealership without at least a few extras. As a result, the models you mention happen to fall right on the threshold of the LCT and so in the trim and features relevant to this comparison, they’re a good 15-30 grand more expensive than even the new Civic, stamp duty or not. So I left them off, but do let me know if they’re comparatively cheaper overseas.
As for the Pug 308, my reading led me to believe the GTi was still on sale, but it certainly did get pulled from the Australian market this year (after a total of 185 sales, compared to around 1000 FK8 Type Rs and around 3000 i30Ns to date).
Once this poll has gone on long enough I’ll post my own reasoning just to add a little more to the argument. I’m pleased to see a big spread though!
Taking the JCW Mini purely because the Cooper is a familiar platform for me to drive.
Sacrilegious Automatic, if it is an option please. Might not be, though heh.
slushbox is the only option on the JCW Mini, because, and this is not a joke, Mini doesn’t have any other gearbox capable of withstanding the current JCW’s torque.
If what the reviewers are saying is true though, it’s actually far harder to drive than the others because it tramlines and torque-steers like crazy.
I love the Yaris since it’s bonafide awesome but I actually think I’d buy the Veloster N in 6 speed manual. I used to hate on the Veloster but the N variant has made me wish I could change my vote, hahaha!!!
Alright here’s my (very limited) breakdown (with my very biased scoring out of 10 at the end lol):
|Golf||Comfortable, competent, more powerful||Doesn’t handle as sharply as the name claims||Good all-round but “Clubsport?” or just a “warmer GTi”||8|
|Civic||Face-melting handling, boooooost, magical ride, best interior space, best seats||UI is godawful, “controversial” looks, boring exhaust, may overheat if tracked hard||The most exciting FF since a DC2 Integra Type R. If you want to nut at all times while driving get this car||10|
|Megane||Dynamically stupendous chassis, great engine, peppy sound||Naff AWS lets the steering feel down||If only it didn’t have the weird steering it might have stolen more awards from the Civic||9|
|Focus||Feels good slow feels better fast, nice dynamic enhancing tech, decent value||Some tech works better than others (weird brake feel), small boot, bit of a chonk||A solid buy, the new gen brings a good fight against its equivalents||8|
|Yaris||Built bespoke for rally focus, stupid specific output, featherweight despite AWD||Hilariously impractical B-seg for premium C-seg price||The most exciting prospect for many a niche enthusiast. Normies wouldn’t understand||10|
|Leon||Limited brand awareness means it punches well above its weight in bang for buck, somehow civilised||Antiquated steering position, numb steering, naff interior, shitty ergonomics||For the discerning enthusiast who wants something more than a Golf but not quite as much as a Civic||9|
|JCW||Ridiculous power to weight ratio, heaps of grip if you can find it||Handles like a nervous train wreck, that transmission||The goodness is hidden under all the bad compromises. Ogres are like onions, cars shouldn’t be||7|
|308||Surprisingly wild and rorty, but also mature and serious, magical engine for a 1.6L||Just Peugeot ergonomics, just Peugeot infotainment, French feeling gearbox||For the grown-up enthusiast, if you’re a Lilliputian contortionist with Trump-sized fingers||7|
|135i||It’s kinda AWD? At least it’s not styled like an M4, actually fast, better interior room than previous||No more i6, no more FR, the kidney grille is coming for you, it’s hefty, not exciting to drive||If you insist on the Bavarian badge I guess. Switching from FR to mostly FF is telling about its clientele||6|
|i30||Characterful handling, fruity exhaust, fully customiseable driving modes, driver-focused ergonomics, bargain prices||“Character” often means “suboptimal”, hidden optional costs, surprisingly inefficient, horrible plastics||A very attractive budget prospect to all but the most particular and the already-betrothed. No wonder it sells like hotcakes||8|
|Veloster||The i30’s quirky cousin, tighter handling, all of the other pros of the i30||The handling got better, the steering feel got worse, insert your Veloster hate here||Finally after almost a decade of wistful thinking the Veloster earns its red stripes with some proper cool cred||9|
No I don’t have as much knowledge about most of these cars, but it’s more or less what I think about those I know something about (it’s a terrible sentence). I especially agree with a full 10 for the Yaris
Oh, and reading about BMW’s downsides I recalled - have you seen the 128ti? IMO it’s much cooler than the M135i. A bit less powerful, but lighter due to being FWD only. More like a classic hot hatch.
I’ll be honest with you I get very lost very quickly in the reams of BMW models and trim levels. If somebody could draw a coherent mindmap of the lineup as it stands now I’d give them some serious internet points.
I would be on the Mini in a heartbeat if it had a Manual and those arches were body coloured and not the stupid plastic (imo, bad choice in general with BMW going plastic arches on all Minis except the Countryman).
Sadly, that is not the case, so I’ll have to take either the FK8 Type-R or i30N, but I put my vote down as the i30N to not be a sheep with the Civic.