Mediocre Car Challenge

Ahem, its a 4.2L V8 not a 5.0l. I’m guessing you looked at the engine family capacity and not the variant capacity. But I do know the point gets deducted regardless of engine size that is.

Hah, forgot to check the name when I first cloned it. Oops.

Really appreciate the detailed feedback!

whoopsie daisy i accidentally made it way too shit


Yep. As far as I’m aware, '92 was the last year where western markets saw them conmonly as GM products would switch over to the 4L60e the following year, and as far as I know they’d be completely gone by the end of the 90s.

In CW3, I judged stat by stat. This worked well, because there was plenty of stuff to write about. Interesting choices were made, cars had tradeoffs. Here, however, this is not the case. The cars are intentionally bland. So, instead, I will be reviewing cars one by one.

In addition, well… Styling is really, really hard to judge. In all honesty, it’s a game of margins, of small differences… Most of the time. These cars are bland, boring, dull, forgettable background characters. I could walk past the vast majority of these and not even think twice. Most of you have absolutely nailed the brief. With that in mind…


Two cars here lost a lot of points for having high stats. They were anything but mediocre. So, without further ado…

The Kasivah Serenity GLX, by @Madrias . I mean… You had to know this was coming, right? Your inline six didn’t lose you realism points… But it did give you a bunch of extra comfort. As did using a premium interior with a premium CD player. And multilink suspension. And… Point is, this is a premium car. It’s expensive too, with all those goodies, but it was your comfort that really sunk you. The median was 31. The 4th quintiles was 35.9 - not a massive spread. This car, meanwhile, has 52.6 comfort. That is premium territory. That is a really, really nice car - not mediocre. You lose 34.1 points just for comfort. This sort of thing is why I chose to use the quintiles rather than the maximum and minimum. That is, of course, the highest single-stat penalty (despite drivability being worth twice as much).

From there, with that large a penalty, it almost doesn’t matter… But let’s check anyway, shall we? And hey, another stat is extremely high - safety! I know it’s your lore. I know it’s what you do… But AHS Steel and +5 Advanced 00s safety? That is anything but mediocre. Again, you are incredibly far from the rest of the pack. You lose 22.8 points for your massive, massive safety. Cost is similarly high - but fortunately, there’s other expensive cars, so you only lose 7.5. Meanwhile, all that equipment is heavy, putting you just a little below the pack in drivability. It doesn’t matter that you are the median in reliability, just a little off the median in economy and in the pack in SVC, picking up solid points there. You still leave the stats portion with a total of -39.7.

Then, we come to the subjective portion. You already have +20 from realism… But come on, you had to know this wasn’t going well. Starting at the front, it’s an anachronism. Cars of the era were still somewhat blobbish… But this is all angles and geometry. It sticks out. The rear exhibits a similar lack of blobbishness, but it looks more congruous with the era… If we ignore the elephant in the room. You have a blue and chrome pinstripe across the side of the car, which extends to the rear. You also have wheel covers. What part of any of that is bland? How is this mediocre? This is a legitimately good car, which means it’s not bland or mediocre. I am giving it a styling score of zero, because it contains a deliberate effort to stand out. That pinstripe and those wheel covers will never and can never be bland.

Final score: -19.7 Points.
TLDR: Aliens.

The Seongu Gran Kando 1.2 GLX7 by @AndiD . Another car with a couple of absolutely fantastic stats… Largely due to one crucial decision. The Gran Kando is the smallest, lightest minivan of the lot. That means that it is nice and nimble, so drivability goes up (not helped by +4 gearbox quality) giving -17.7 points. It also means you don’t need to expend a lot of energy accelerating it, so fuel economy goes massively down (not helped by a fuel sipping i3) giving (coincidentally) a clean -20. These are the third and fifth highest penalties. The size also puts you towards the back in comfort and safety, while the i3 keeps service costs low and reliability high - the highest reliability of any entrant. It exits the stats portion at -37.0.

So, the subjective portion, shall we? You got 20 points for realism. I deducted a point for those vents, and another point for your lights feeling a bit more modern, but… Besides that? You nailed the brief. It’s a boring, forgettable car. What can I say?

Final score: 31.0 points.
TLDR: Too small for its own good.


My apologies for the delay in judging. I had issues with medications. Now, without further ado…


The last round saw cars with too-high stats. This round, however, sees cars that had too-low stats...

@S_U_C_C_U_L_E_N_T - Hinode Rusa Arjuna

This isn’t really a minivan, is it? I mean, I feel I have to start with the styling perspective. Let’s be honest with ourselves here, come on. Minivans look like vans, or large wagons. This, to me, feels like an SUV. Yes, yes, it’s marked as a People Mover in-game, but let’s be honest with ourselves here. So, it gets docked a full 15 visual points for not feeling like a minivan. Also, it has a wing over the trunk. Wings are inherently cool, or they were to little kiddy Crypt at least, so another 3 points off.

Then we get to the engineering. I didn’t dock you for realism, but there was one choice you made that really hurt you: Ladder Chassis. Also the matching solid coil suspension, in a way. The key “benefit” of ladder chassis here is being cheap. The key “cost” is being unsafe. Your car received -7.9 points for price, and -12.8 points for safety. By simply swapping over to Monocoque, you end up just a little below the 1st quintile on price and safety - certainly not ideal, but much better.

Elsewhere, you tend to hover around the first quintile, mostly. Your drivability is 0.1 above the quintile, your comfort is 1.5 below and SVC is just a little under. Reliability and economy are the two areas you are in the good side of stats, with the top reliability out of all entries (partially due to ladder chassis) and actually getting 3.8 points from economy. You made a budget SUV, but budget is inherently advantageous and has a lot of tradeoffs.

Final score: 27.8 points.
TLDR: Too cheap, not a minivan.

@SheikhMansour - Fykselot Living Boat

So, what could outdo the Hinode for price? The Fykselot. It’s an entire 1500 cheaper, giving a massive -18.6 to score from price. How is it so cheap? Ladder chassis again, but also a pushrod V6 with -1 quality, a slushbox and no traction control. Again, none of this except the slushbox saw realism points docked… But it saw you lose out on other stats a lot. Fitting the name, it’s an absolute boat with the lowest drivability of the bunch, getting -9.4 points there. Safety isn’t quite as dire as the Hinode somehow with only -4.5 points… But it is your economy that sees you suffer most besides the bargain basement price. The negative family quality and pushrod engine give awful thermal efficiency; from there, your -10.4 is mostly a formality.

Styling is, uh… On the borderline. To me, it looks almost ugly. I suspect that it would pass from mediocre to outright ugly on the front fascia if I studied it enough. But, I’m in a good mood so you get the full 50. You won’t be the last.

Final score: 39.7 points.
TLDR: Actually a minivan, but even cheaper (and thirsty too).



From too-low stats back to too-high stats. These two cars are really grouped together mostly by virtue of “being the last two cars before a massive jump in final score” but they do both have similar issues.

@Edsel - Bazard Dakar (2005) Clone

This is powered by the “I don’t know how to name engines I’mma just call this Minivan I4 or something Clone Clone”. Not even making that up. It’s the attack of the clones! Here’s the issue though: This car gives the Kasivah a run for its money. With double wishbones all around, variable power steering and traction control, it would be the top in terms of drivability and comfort if not for the Kasivah - giving -12.7 and -8.0 points respectively. It is also towards the expensive end, anthough it only sits at the quintile. Advanced safety also sees you at the quintile. Reliability suffers too, giving -9.2 points. Economy being towards the middle saves it a bit (although not because of your odd VVL curve). Really, it’s the realism points holding you down here.

Then, we come to styling, and we see a rather common issue. When I look at this car from the side, I cannot see any side markers. It’s bland, yes, but there is no markers as far as I can see. Well, at least as far as the design room is concerned. See, on this car, a small portion of the front indicators is visible from side-on depending on focal length and field of view. I’m letting you off with just -1.

Total score: 33.0 Points
TLDR: Good at stuff, and not too realistic.

@TheYugo45GV - Leclerc 42X AWD

Let’s start with styling, shall we? The Hinode got -3 for having a spoiler, this has a spoiler, so you get -3 too. Otherwise, it’s bland, boring, generic and dull.

Now, engineering. Congrats, you got the median comfort! Honestly kinda impressive, given that you are the reason why the Bazard is the 1st quartile for cost, being more expensive than it. Your price is a death of a thousand cuts, really. A V8 could have been doable without blowing the budget. Treated panels and a galvanised chassis could have been doable. DOHC-4V, AWD, an LSD, Vented Brakes, an Offroad Skidtray, Advanced Safety, Traction Control… Yes, all of these things taken individually could have been doable without killing the budget but not all at once. Of course, largely because of the Kasivah and Bazard existing, it only ends up taking -3.8 points on price. Service costs meanwhile… Yikes. Decently above even the expensive Bazard, taking -12.5 points. It also hurt your economy (although not as bad as the Fykselot), slapping you with -6.3 points. Your 4th-quartile drivability and solid reliability (7.5 points) can’t save you from all the consequences of loading your not-a-Subaru with all the equipment you could.

Final score: 49.6 points.
TLDR: Less is more.


A Step Up

These next two cars are here by virtue of their score, simple as that. There’s a 10-point difference from the higher of the two and the next car.

@HelloHi - Warbler Salton

Statler Salton: Oh, look at that one!
Waldorf Warbler: What about it? It’s a boring minivan! Oh-ho-ho!
S: It’s so boring, it doesn’t even have any standout features! But look at the scores it gets?
W: What about them? All I see is the new Muppets cast - Mostly zeroes!
S&W: Oh-ho-ho!
S: It’s not even good in the land of the mediocre!

Yep. The Warbler is at one of the quartiles in four different stats - drivability, reliability, economy and service costs. It’s at the worse of the two quintiles for each, too. For comfort, it’s low too but still gets 6.9 points (nice). Safety and price are on the good side too, gaining 6.7 and 2.9 there. Unlike the previously-judged cars, this car does not really have any massive outlier stats dragging it down, which makes it the first car to post a positive sum of stats - and one of only three to post no negative scores.

On styling, this runs into the lack of side markers again… But with front markers mounted on the inside of the headlights, you don’t even get to rely on those. -2 points. Otherwise, bland and boring - good job!

Final Score: 83.5 points.
TLDR: A solid entry, but spends too much time at the quintiles.

@shibusu - Ilaris Ilis SLX

The Ilaris, like the Warbler, spends a lot of time near the edges. 3.5 points from safety, 3.6 from service cost, 7.5 from price… It even manages to get 17.1 from drivability, and 8.2 from economy. It’s just a shame you got caught in one of the game’s biggest black boxes - reliability. I have no idea why. Your car seems perfectly fine, all told. Maybe it’s just using no quality anywhere. Whatever the case, you have the lowest reliability of them all, getting smacked with a -11.7 point penalty. That’s what holds you back.

It’s a shame, because this is honestly my favourite-as-mediocre entry. It’s just so, so very much a blob. This is blob styling, condensed down to its purest, blobbiest, boringest form. The full 50 points, and a gold star of commendation for excellence in blob.

Final score: 87.0 Points
TLDR: Let down by one singular stat, hate to see it.




@Happyhungryhippo - Globus Traveller LS

Congrats. You had the median fuel economy. Price is on the lower quintile, while other stats are generally close to one of the quintiles but still positive. Like the Warbler, you are still rather milquetoast, with no especially significant stats except your economy. SVC gives you 6.2 points. All others only give about 4 (including drivability, which is worth double). This is a decent achievement, of course… just not a winning one. Kudos for being the second car to have no negative scores.

As for styling, well… I was a little unsure here. It feels ever so slightly too modern, with its somewhat complex rear lights and with indicators mounted to the mirrors. You lose 1 point there, same as the Seongu.


@Ludvig - Fowler Multiply 152GE 16V

Besides being pink - an element I deliberately excluded, and will talk about in a little post-mortem piece - this car is perfectly bland stylistically. It feels exactly like the “late 90s car sold in 2005” it purports to be, in a realistic and sensible manner. Full points there.

This car actually gets negative points in two categories, but not by much. It gets -3.8 in economy, and -0.05 in SVC - basically zero. Otherwise, many of your stats give good points, with 10.5 from drivability, 8.8 from comfort and 9.5 from Safety. Being so close to the median boosts you up above the Globus despite being too fuel efficient and just a smidge cheap to service. Man that feels weird to say.

Final score: 107.9 points.
TLDR: Second through no fault of your own.


Let’s start with the bad of this car, shall we? It has no side markers, two points off. I could also not identify rear indicators, and your taillights do not seem to contain enough lights for red rear indicators (which some others had), so… 4 points lost there. Your reliability is also at the quintile, and you only scored 2.2 points from comfort and 4.1 points from economy.

So, how did you win? Well, astute readers may notice that only three stats have had their median announced. This is not an accident. No, this car was the median for the rest. It has perfectly average drivability, perfectly average safety and perfectly average service costs - all for a perfectly average price. This is the jack of all trades, and the master of none. This is a car that lands in the middle of all the roads. This is the least interesting car in the world. You won. You are officially the most boring car maker. Congratulations, and I’m sorry.

Oops, forgot to add here. Winner is @LS_Swapped_Rx-7 with the Mercer Columbus SE 3.4



Congratulations on being the Most Mediocre - as well as king of dumpster fires! A truly rare and well done minivan.
I’m so glad for second place as well, almost won, woo! (Wait a minute…)
Anyway thanks @AMuteCrypt for pulling off this not-mediocre challenge, a moderate amount of laughs were had.


I will forever commemorate this award. And I get to have fourth place. I get to be mediocre for the challenge too!


Thanks to @AMuteCrypt for hosting this challenge

It was definitely one of the challenges in the history of automation, and I am honored that I made one of the cars of all time



I have to wonder whether or not I would’ve gotten different results had interiors been explicitly judged. Of the 13 entries, 9 had some form of interior. This ranged from “literally just seats” to “almost a full interior”… But none really ticked all the boxes for me. See, I have a few specific rules to consider an interior “done”:

  • Chassis must be completely concealed and not visible from any angle inside the cabin - including under the seats/footwell. @AndiD and @Happyhungryhippo were both closest to this, but the wheel wells of the chassis were still visible from within the car.
  • Seats should all have belts. Hippo failed this too - no belts in the middle row - while Andi’s middle row had decided to mirror itself to have 4 belts for 3 seats (would’ve ignored, but funny to mention).
  • Door cards both need to extend the entire length of the cabin. Lots of people had door cards but failed to extend them to the rear row, leaving the panels exposed and even the underside of the door cards visible at times too.

There was plenty of great details in some of these interiors, like roof-mounted lamps, nice 2005-accurate centre consoles and such… But those core elements weren’t met on any entry. So, y’all did nice interiors but would have all lost decent points if I had been judging interiors. It is what it is.


I’ll be honest, this was one of the hardest challenges to judge. I only expected a couple of people to actually properly ace the styling. I expected some people to default to interesting cars. I expected some people to put in basically zero effort, creating cars that were unrealistically bland. Instead, what I got was 9 legal cars that absolutely hit the brief and 2 legal cars that missed it, with the illegal entries being 50/50. The level of detail for this challenge is commendable - a lot of you even modelled the rails for sliding doors! All these cars were bland, boring, dull… So what am I to do? Strip 10-20 points for simple errors of missing side markers? Or have a 4-point difference between the top and bottom of those who hit the brief? I picked the latter, as the former sounded decidedly unfair.

As for paint… I did mention I’d get back to this, didn’t I? Two of you submitted pink cars - a faint metallic pink, but pink nonetheless. On the market, there’s a small group of dominant colours - silver, black, white, grey, blue and red. You might see green, brown and orange. Pink, well, pink is pretty dang rare - and there’s going to be plenty of young girls who really want the pink one, just like there’s plenty of young girls who support the pink one in F1. So, why didn’t I penalise it? Two main reasons. One, it feels like a sensible enough colour for the car - it’s not some eyesearing hot pink, it’s a normal metallic. Secondly, well… Again, it just doesn’t feel fun or fair to penalise like that. In a dealership, there would be a variety of paints and it just feels like splitting hairs.

Finally… Would I run this again? In all honesty, probably not. The objective judging was fun, but the aesthetic judging was difficult. It’s a hard challenge to run.