Not owning a car at the moment meat I had to rent quite a few cars for a couple of days or a week at the time, these are some brief impressions:
Peugeot 208 PureTech 72 - 72hp, 3cyl french eco box - and I liked it. It was not bad even on the Autobahn. I even ended up liking the strange interior layout and tiny steering wheel at the end. All around positive experience.
Renault Clio 1.2 16V - not as much fun to drive as the Peugeot, but still a nice hatchback overall. Hated the navigation unity though and rear visability wasn't to my liking. Nice seats ...
Nissan Micra K14 1.0 - what a nice car ... untill it broke down 2 days into my week of renting with and unfixable fault in the electronics. Before that I liked it - apart from the navigation unit which was prob the worst I have had recently ...
To replace the broken Micra they gave me a Fiat 500. A downgrade, but it was take this or wait a day for another car. So I got a Fiat 500 Diesel. And I loved it. You can say stockholm syndrome all you want - I liked the 500 for what it is. It was my first time even being in one and I can see why these little things sell like bread. For what they are, they are quite perfect. Little funky town runarounds. Stepping into it after the Micra, it was a lot less comfy in the 500 ... but ok. If I was in the market for a city car, this would be hard to ignore.
Vw Touran - so I had 4 people to transport with luggage for a week and needed something bigger. And what I got was a fully loaded Touran with toys like DSC and ACC. I did not check, but I think it was the 1.4 petrol. The ACC is really something I adored and combined with the DSC Gearbox a real joy to drive on the autobahn with. The car did not miss a beat and I really enjoyed driving it despite being (essentially) a smal van.
Citro-*cough* sorry "DS Automobiles" DS3 with some diesel engine:
It's honestly hard to tell how much I like this car due to a number of external factors. It's my first time out of the country. I have no idea what I am doing driving in Europe. And the jaw-dropping mountain roads of Verdon would make a Corolla entertaining.
But I've now done more practical driving on highways and in the city, and I feel I have a better opinion. The diesel motor isn't bad. it's satisfying to downshift into second and feel a surge of power, and it has no trouble accelerating onto the highway and making high speed passes. Definitely "enough" power in a car I thought would feel underpowered to my American senses. There are still a few quirks that take some getting used to. It sounds awful. Like it has a serious rod knock or something. Not great for windows-down cruising. The car launches very hard when the clutch bites, using the throttle is usually overkill. And I am amazed that itdoes not have a clutch switch on the ignition. You can imagine how I discovered this....
The transmission, however, is only a 5 speed, and this seems to hold the engine back a bit. With the diesels limited rev range it really feels like the gap between gears is too large. I feel like second gear is deliberately low, which feels good on the downshift and while accelerating from a standstill, but shifting into third it is way to easy to kill your momentum. In general the engine has a pretty narrow power band and rewards you for staying in it, which would be way easier with another gear. The throw is also quite long but I am most likely just used to driving a sports car.
The ride is balanced very well, avoids being too stiff while still feeling pretty good in quick s-bends. Steering is far too light for my tastes at low speeds, but it stiffens up nicely on the highway. I wish it could be reconfigured in some way, maybe it can and I can't find it.
Overall I can't fault the car as a rental, I like the way it looks, it's small and easy to maneuver, not boring to drive and has enough power to keep up without trying too hard. A sportier trimline of this is the exact type of thing I would want to own if I lived in Europe. Luckily, I don't, so I can keep enjoying my 20 mpg sports car Speaking of which, fuel economy is on another level. I've driven about 350 km, a lot of which was spirited driving on low speed, curvy roads, and am still over half a tank. Unfortunately there's no readout so I will have to report back on exact numbers after I fill up.
March, a certain Mediterranean island: a diesel Cascada
Fairly decent for an Opel, but still feels cheap and Opelish. Was fast enough to keep up with these in the mountains:
...but then they were filming...
Wouldn't buy, but okay for some cheap sunny cruising.
April, US Pacific Ranges and coastline: a Camaro RS
A good step up from the previous model that I drove in 2014, especially for the gearbox. Makes for a nice drivetrain now, though the Sixt app did claim it'd be an SS while I was taking the historic SF streetcar on my way to pick it up but then I wasn't paying for an SS so that's fine. Makes quite a racket beyond 5k
OR/CA border... California didn't bother to plough, and Oregon stopped at the border
Seeking asylum between Canadians
Would consider if I lived in a place with bigger roads.
May, a certain Mediterranean island: yet another 595
...you know what it looks like, otherwise go back to one of the other 595s I've posted here... wasn't me with the black streaks on the front left wheel arch
quite a dirty car after a week but then it already is pretty dirty from the factory, aurally
Had some friends on the island overlapping who rented bikes, much fun was had showing them around as it was their first time in the Tramuntana mountains
Still the same opinion on the 595 - would never daily, but it's buckets of fun for a week of hooning around.
Can definitely recommend the bike rental place if anyone's interested in making the trip and lusting for two wheels.
a ShittyCarReview tm of Hyundai Kona Electric 64kWh.
Today I had little test drive of the Kona ev, as I have thought about buying one for to be used as work vehicle, and I had the car for about 2 hours.
first impressions of the Kona EV Style:
seating position was in perfect height to get in and out of the car (for me and my mom who was with me on the test drive),
for me the wheel seems too far away
interior felt cramped (comparing to both of my current cars),
Radar cruise is a feature I desire on my current cars, it brakes gently when it detects cars in front of it, and when coming to stop it brakes until 6 km/h, and then gets offline, which I was not expecting (maybe I am looking into the radar cruise being like ones on really expensive cars).
The flappy paddles are the “engine brake” or regen for the battery pack and shows the amount of km’s renegerated using it on the dashboard. And like someone form some YT video said, keeping the left one pulled will stop the car, but I had couple times when I forgot the setting on max and I was surprised when I disengaged cruise.
EDIT 1. Forgot about the HUD, its small and just over the dash so its kinda acward placing to look at it, but shows allowed speed, if there is car in the blind spots, if there is car in the radar cruise area, and speed. Its a tad too much info on the screen that small.
As it was top range (pun eh) one the infotainment had android auto and best sound system, which sounded really thin with no base (probably someone messed with the controls), other than that the touchscreen felt like it was lagging (slightly more when using android auto).
Car had 250km range when we got it at 3/4 charge on the battery, and after the drive on motorway (80km/h to 100km/h) for 80km, the range was 150km. I also forgot to reset the trip computer, so it shoved 23,3 kWh and 8300km driven, but I managed to shuffle through the dashboard views to show current consumption of 16,7 kWh while driving 100km/h (on studdless winters).
Trunk looked small, but the whole car is smaller than its Kia counterpart, and at 361 L it is about the same as my previous car DS3, but I could manage with it on my work.
As for charging the car, well my current apartment complex has denied charging of electric cars using the plugs meant for preheating, so my only current option would be using the free chargers from 2 different supermarket chains, or even paying for the DC fast charging near my home. And I would have to top up the car every say after work so extra 30 mins to 1 hour of commuting back would be the downside.
I might get one, but currently it has 8 month waiting line and there might be other cars coming.
Will have to see in the near future.
So earlier this month my company car went from a 2012 Jeep Patriot to a 2019 Volkswagen Golf Alltrack. Base model but not what you'd think in a base model. I'm posting now before it gets wrapped with the company colors and name.
This week was my first road trip in it. I drove 430mi today which now puts it in the 1100mi range so this is probably time to give an "expert" review.
2019 VW Golf Alltrack S 1.8TSI 6-Speed DSG. What do you get in an S trim Alltrack? Heated seats, leatherette seats (which in mine is a creamy bright tan), carplay/android auto, blind spot awareness, front assist which as far as I can tell just warns you if someone is too close in front. I haven't tested if it brakes for you and I'm not inclined to try. I imagine it does but I chickened out letting cruise control accelerate up behind somebody on the highway so I guess I did try...
Ride is a little harder than the Patriot but more controlling where bumps in the road don't make the rear end step out sideways from the front. Steering is nice and tight, not as much as a GTI but its good enough and not too twitchy for long distance driving. Currently I have steering feel in normal mode sport mode is too much for normal driving. Acceleration is good and the engine/trans combo leaves enough torque available for lane changes and speeding up to pass without the need to drop a gear. Turbo will kick in if you press a little harder then whats really needed but it seems to want to hang in gears better which is welcomed. Something I also noticed is, I've got a decent hill while leaving out of the "back" of my neighborhood, if you're driving up, you hang in a gear so that you're not down at 1,000RPM bogging the engine which is a nice touch. Pulling away from a stop light causes you to feel the clutches engaging 1st gear. Kind of weird but I've gotten used to it. There's still enough low end power that it doesn't feel like you're holding people back. I've had to reprogram how I accelerate because once the clutches engage, you feel more power so, I've had to learn to not push the throttle down so far to achieve the same desired effect. I've heard you're not supposed to "creep" in traffic where your foot is on the brake but just lightly enough that the car pulls you along. A torque converter transmission is totally ok with this as you slip against that to balance low speed driving like in traffic. I've read that you really shouldn't do this as the car is trying to maintain the speed and the clutches are engaged. Due to this information, I've just been learning to create more of a gap so that I can creep without brake or throttle which hopefully is fine. All that said, gear change is nice and smooth otherwise. Road noise is similar, a bit more quiet though the frequency I think a touch lower in tonal resonance so less white noise and more pink noise than the Patriot.
I'm really enjoying this so far. After my 6.5-7hr drive, I had no tailbone pain, and little to no stiffness everywhere else (huh huh). Maybe this is because it's a new car but I've never been able to drive this long without being in some sort of annoying stiffness or lower back pain. This does have lumbar support so that's most likely why things were good.
I averaged 30.7 MPG with an average speed of 64mph. Most of the way I was sitting at 75MPH but was slowed down due to road construction all through Wisconsin and part of Minnesota. It's that time of year folks!
Trunk space is slightly narrower than the Patriot but the Alltrack is deeper (giggity). I'd say its a wash for trunk space especially for the miniscule amount of junk I drive with compared to other people in this field. I think this was probably a better option than the 1.4L and 8-speed auto. Only time will tell for reliability... So far, 1,000+ miles and no check engine lights. I hope I have a legit VAG product.
P.S. Are Alltracks supposed to have silver mirror caps on an otherwise white car?