2005 Family Car Challenge [COMPLETE]

2005 Family Car Challenge

Eleanor DeRosier is looking for a car to buy for her family. Her husband has a good job and she works part time as a substitute teacher, so money is neither tight nor plentiful. Their old car, a 1995 Ford Taurus, worked well for them but is beginning to struggle with reliability as it ages.
Eleanor is shopping for the car as her husband has his own for work. She wants something safe and comfortable, with good fuel economy and reliability. It has to be able to get her, her husband, and all three of their children to sports meetings and back, as well as the occasional family road trip vacation. As such, good cargo space is a plus. They’ve moved to the suburbs so the car can be on the bigger size; the old Taurus doesn’t take up much of the driveway. She’s not interested in luxury cars at all; they’re too unreliable and expensive for her.

Click me! Rules & Requirements
  • Submissions should be sent to me in a DM thread called “FCC - [your forum username]”. Your car’s Model and engine’s Family names should be “FCC - [your forum username]”. Trim and Variant are free to be named as you like.
  • Trim and Variant year should be 2005. Model and Family may be older.
  • Cars must be fully road legal in the US. That means no race parts or semi-slick tires. Catalytic converters are mandatory, as is Unleaded Regular or Premium fuel, E10, or E85.
  • Cars must have one rear view mirror on each side of the car, one (or more) headlight on each front corner of the car, one taillight on each rear corner, one brake light on each rear corner, and indicators on all four corners (forward and rear facing). One center high-mounted brake light on the rear is mandatory.
  • Plates must be unscaled US-size plates on the front and rear of the car.
  • If you do an interior, it must be left-hand drive and feature a center-high mounted rearview mirror.
  • Safety must be Basic 00s or better (Standard 90s is acceptable). Safety score must be 25 or greater.
  • Engine noise must be 50 or below.
  • Fuel cost will factor into price. Your car’s fuel economy and chosen fuel will be used to calculate an added price to SVC. For nerds: 15,000 miles (rounded down from OHPI statistics) will be the assumed average distance driven per year. Cost of driving is: (15,000/[fuel economy])*fuel price (1 for Unleaded Regular, 1.25 for Unleaded Premium, 1.1 for E10, and 2.0 for E85 due to fuel availability being lower). As such, if your car gets 25 mpg running Unleaded Regular, it’s 600 AMD to drive it annually. If that same car was running Unleaded Premium, that jumps to 750.
  • Techpool - You have 35 techpool points in total. You may not have more than 5 in a given area, with one exception; you may put one category of your choice to 7.
**Key Elements**
  • Comfort - Comfort is Eleanor’s main concern. She will be doing a lot of driving in this car, whether it’s errands, road trips, school trips, or personal use. It isn’t fun to have a bumpy ride for something like that.
  • Safety - Eleanor’s children will be riding in this car. If they are at risk, she simply will not buy the car, and extra safety features are appreciated.
  • Practicality and Cargo Space - Eleanor needs to seat her whole family of five, and would prefer to do it comfortably. The trunk or cargo area should be big enough for road trip luggage, and nobody should be sitting with a backpack on their lap if they don’t want to.
  • Reliability - Eleanor doesn’t want her car to break down on a long road trip, causing stress and ruining the vacation.
  • Body Style - Eleanor is interested in sedans and wagons primarily. However, a well-made MPV/Minivan vehicle would go over well. Seating 5 is a minimum, and extra seats are a plus, if they don’t compromise other priorities.
**Secondary Concerns**
  • Drivability - The car can’t be frustrating to get from A to B, or it will make Eleanor’s life miserable.
  • Fuel Economy - In addition to running prices, better fuel economy means better range, which means fewer stops on road trips.
  • Cost - Ultimately being middle class, Eleanor is concerned about purchase price, service costs, and fuel economy.
  • Environmental Resistance - Just like their old Taurus, Eleanor would like to keep her car for ten years. That’s difficult to do if America’s harsh road salts cause serious problems in that time.
  • Sportiness - Eleanor couldn’t care less about how it “feels” to drive.
  • Styling - The ideal family car doesn’t draw too much attention, but is still nice to look at. Eleanor doesn’t want a car in crazy colors.
  • Fuel Type - Eleanor isn’t concerned too much about emissions; that being said, she doesn’t want to have to drive far to get gas, so she’d prefer something with Unleaded Regular and not E85 or Premium.
  • Prestige - Being a very practical woman, Eleanor isn’t swayed by the big V8 or the newest and greatest in technology.
  • Body Style - Eleanor isn’t interested in SUVs, crossovers, coupes, or hatchbacks.
Process and Judging
  • Rules deliberation will persist until 1/18. After that, rules will be finalized and entries will open on the same day. Entries will close 2/1 at 11:59 PM EST. Reviews will be posted within 48 hours of entries closing.
  • Cars will be judged compared to one another. As such, there isn’t a strict price limit… but remember that Eleanor isn’t likely to spend her life savings on this thing.
  • I try to be fair and kind when writing reviews. That being said, you will still be told how and why your car lost (if you don’t win). If you want me to be gentle, just say something in your submission PM, and the post will be gentler.
  • Styling will be a factor, but only really as far as Eleanor would care… which is making something not monumentally garish or ugly. Inspirations will be included below.

The listed inspiration is purely visual. Please do not take any of these as engineering recommendations.


  • Removed eyebleed.
  • Specified body type desirability.
  • Specified seat count desirability.
  • Added Techpool rules.

What’s Eleanor’s opinion on minivans? Is 7-seater vehicle considered unnecessarily big?

Has to be a family sedan? Or just anything family happy so like a minivan or crossover?

For @Hilbert and @mart1n2005 : I didn’t specify a body style… would prefer not to have crossovers given the period, but I’ll update the rules to allow MPV/Minivan or Sedan. That being said, 7 seats could be a bonus; take the family and a friend or a dog instead. All that will be added shortly.
Note: also added techpool rules.

Does Eleanor prefer manual or automatics?

Eleanor prefers whatever is comfortable and reliable. She’s a little older so there’s no hard preference for either.

What about a wagon/estate, for those who wanted a sedan but need more practicality without resorting to a minivan/MPV or even an SUV?

So with the question on styling, how much leeway are we getting for fighting the game engine? For example, what if the edges of the fixture are visible when we use the modular headlights cutouts?

Already mentioned in the new rules!
@nightwave If it looks good, it looks good, if it doesn’t, it doesn’t. The styling isn’t super essential for this challenge, so if you keep it reserved but refined, you’ll do well.

Any tech pool limitations?

Detailed in the rules and requirements:

Techpool - You have 35 techpool points in total. You may not have more than 5 in a given area, with one exception; you may put one category of your choice to 7.

Rules are locked in and submissions are open!

2005 Globus Bravura

The third-generation Bravura isn’t an exciting car, even in the LT trim with a V6. The facelift didn’t change that at all. It isn’t meant to be. Already the base LS model is cheap, reliable and easy to drive under every condition.
The LX is not much more expensive, but offers great comfort in a car of it’s size and price range. Do you want to be seen in a modest car rollin’ down the road or next to a fancy one, broken down and waiting for assistance?

But we do at least have fancy colors, that’s better than nothing, isn’t it? And even metallic paint is included in the competetive LX price.

Globus. Buy clever, regret never!


I am having trouble uploading images, but I have something ready. Will try restarting my browser.

Eleanor’s local Canmo sales representative recommends the new 2005 Canmo Kestral SE V6 5 door. At it’s heart is a 3.2L V6 making 247hp powering the front wheels. 60mph arrives in 6.9 seconds, and it gets 22.6mpg, and the hatch makes it very practical. All for $45,100.


2005 IKIGAI MP25

Shown here in Granite Metallic

IKIGAI is FMC’s brand of balance and purpose. IKIGAI vehicles are economical, practical, safe, and reliable, as well as being fun to drive.

The MP25 is a 6 passenger MPV, this one being FWD and equipped with a 2.6L DOHC V6. Easy to own and maintain, easy to pack up with people and or cargo.

IKIGAI - Find the balance within!


That’s a nice job how you integrated the taillights. They’re usually difficult to blend in with the body shapes, but you found a way.
I am still waiting for you to cooperate with Vento who makes brilliant engineering but ugly designs.


The best trick I know to get wrapped tail lights like that is to 3d them at an angle and then drop them at that 2d angle. You can’t move them further but if you get it right and leave it alone, they will wrap around without distortion.


I tried the same trick multiple times on my test mules, and it worked a treat. A more detailed description can be found here.


I use this method with general fiddling - sometimes flipping it vertically or horizontally may allow it to fit the lines better (if you flip horizontally you may have to change up the turn signal and reverse lenses.