After doing her own research online, Karen invited her youngest daughter Emily, a bit of a gearhead herself, along for a car shopping marathon. Conveniently, almost all the dealerships in town have pooled together in Automationland, a huge, shopping mall like complex by the motorway. Below are her research notes, updated throughout the day by Emily on her aPad.
“Did you read my email?”
“Yeah, that’s a lot of cars. Do you really wanna look at all 15 of them?”
“Some of them seem to have issues I’m not too keen on. Let’s check them out first, to se if what the Internet says is true”
@kalan - LVAP Hothatch Monsterrex 2013 1.6 L:
No ESP, late spooling turbo, relatively hard to drive. Terrible fuel economy. Body panels are fiber glass, making it expensive. Lowest reliabilty. Looks decent, except whatever is going on below the tail lights.
Skipped due to: no ESP, terrible fuel economy
@FidleDo - Auclair Glacier:
Surprise 4WD offroad capability. Glacial acceleration. Safest in class, can stand up to landyachts. Heavy, comfortable, interior feels a bit cheap. Looks a bit melty, especially around the very inset front wheels.
Skipped due to: too slow
@DuceTheTruth100 - AXXUS A1 City:
Looks fast, mesmerizing green. By far the slowest car, and consumes a lot of fuel. Apparently because the engine is strangled by a pencil thin exhaust, also making it very quiet. Spacious, reliable, rust proof and among the cheapest. Otherwise pretty average.
Skipped due to: too slow, fuel economy
@BannedByAndroid - Nishiki Spark 1.6 Premium:
900£ over budget. Well equipped, comfortable, but leans excessively. Quite economical despite sport-tuned engine. Quick, high top speed and service costs. Apparently very popular and prestigious, but not not worth the extra €.
Skipped due to: over budget
@z2bbgr - Meguminshi Magna:
Built with “alumium space frame” which for some reason is illegal in the EU now. Stressed engine. Low weight gives insane fuel economy 3,5l/100km. Stiff springs, narrow, the least comfortable, but easy to drive.
Skipped due to: semi space frame chassis
“The Internet was right on those. Looks like the other Japanese brands are right next to here. They’re supposed to be good, let’s ask for some test drives”
@Hilbert - Hayaku SJ2 XR 1.5:
Cheap, cute and practical. Also quite cheap to run. Not particularly comfortable or inspiring to drive, and has a below average rating for safety and rustproofing.
@mart1n2005 - Matsuma Mussa SR:
Second safest in class, bit weak front brakes. Quite reliable, cheap to run. Variable steering, easy to park. Roomy, slightly above average comfort. Nicely crafted design, very appealing front end, rear a bit bland in comparison.
@Lanson - IKIGAI Hawk 1.6:
Very safe, quite reliable. Big engine, quick, bit thirsty, quite sporty. Easy to drive. Roomy, not that comfortable. Looks low, wide and fresh, the headlights are a bit squinty
“I’m hungry now, I skipped breakfast. They have one of those raw fish cafes you like here”
“It’s called sushi, mom-”
“Yeah yeah. I’m paying, let’s go”
30 minutes later
“That was actually good for mall sushi. Back to the French quarter now?”
“Yeah, but let’s stop by the Archanan and Spanish or Filipino or wherever dealership along the way, there’s a map on the wall here”
@RN99 - deGuzman Malaga EcoDrive:
Has a turbo engine, but a good one, still gives below average fuel consumption and drivabilty. Otherwise a solid slightly above average car and very reliable. Looks both muscular and elegant, with some rough details.
@AndiD - Mara Xenia 1.6 LX:
Cheapest here, and tops reliability charts. It’s kind of a coupe, quite elegant, with some retro? bumpers. Roomy front, tight back seat. Cheap to run. Otherwise an average experience, good value, it’s like a smaller Octavia.
@lztd15 - AW 215:
Cheap, very comfortable, good mileage but highish service costs. Above average safety rating, below average reliability. Friendly, swoopy modern looks, rear is a bit bare.
@Bbestdu28 - BMA Promenade:
Great fuel economy, rust proof aluminium panels, quick. Hard suspension makes it quite sporty, but also very uncomfortable. Mediocre safety. Otherwise about average. Looks quite similar to the AW, but with a very striking rear end.
@Ananas - Cordelia Take5:
Very comfortable and easy to drive, good safety rating. Very expensive to service, and the third worst mileage. Great looking, tiny, the dark color with accents works very well (and hides the humongous grille)
@Karhgath - Régal Lion 2.0L LE:
Comfortable, and quite sporty. Crazy inline six engine, economical, smooth, powerful. Interior just okay but very basic infotainment. Exceptional reliability rating. Overall above average, including service costs. A striking and modern look, not sure about the Picasso painting rear end.
@Kobacrashi - Reduit W3-S:
A competent but not outstanding all-rounder. Above average safety, unfortunately the same goes for service costs. Chonky organic, well sorted design, except the tail lights.
“This was fun! It’s been all day. So many good cars to choose from.”
“We could go to the Swanson dealership next?”
“No, only weirdos like your dad drive those”
“That’s not nice…”
“Sorry. Let’s just go home. I’ve prepped a pizza and some wine for us. Then we can sort through the notes and think it through.”
“So you want to make like, a ranked shortlist?”
“Just in case there are super long waiting lists, or the salesperson is an asshole”
“That sounds both rational and irrational at the same time…”
“Let’s see now, you can write up the deGuzman and AW as fourth and fifth.”
“And for the top 3?”
“The Cordelia is a lovely little thing, but a bit expensive to own. Put that one as my third choice. If Fate lands me here, I’m not complaining”
“Let me guess, that leaves the Matsuma and Régal?”
“I could tell when we were out there. I’d definitely take the Régal, but the Matsuma is just the kinda car I think you were looking for”
“No surprise, the way you drive. I really liked the Lion, it was so fun and comfortable, like an OMW, but without the stupid rear wheel drive. It’s a bit of an oddball though?”
“Yeah, it’s like no other car, with that transverse inline six. I had a look under the hood, and it fits somehow. It is pretty tight though, which explains why the service costs are higher. It’s also a single cam, which is a bit old-school, but it looks like a car from the future.”
“What’s wrong with single? Nevermind, all I need to know is it’s supposed to be extra reliable.”
“I can almost hear uncle Herbert telling you you bought a silly car that shouldn’t even exist…”
“A Lion doesn’t concern himself with the opinions of a sheep!”
“Quoting TV shows now…?”
“See, I’m not like a regular mom, I’m a cool mom!”
“Oh. My. God. I’ll drink to that. But the Matsuma?”
“It’s lovely too, it looks even better! All-in-all, I think I prefer it over the Régal. It’s easier to drive like a sensible person, and the interior and stereo felt like high quality, but not overloaded with fancy features. It’s cheap to own, and supposed to be very safe. Not that I plan to find out…”
1st Matsuma Mussa SR @mart1n2005
2nd Régal Lion 2.0L LE @karhgath
3rd Cordelia Take5 @Ananas
4th deGuzman Malaga EcoDrive @RN99
5th AW215 @lztd15
A fight to the line. Had to let the characters take over. Got a bit wordy to procrastinate the conclusion.