Our "own" car reviews

lip

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 2, 2005
Messages
3,297
Location
Switzerland
Car(s)
Audi S6 V10 wagon
Yeah its just Audi being Audi with the ridiculous options. A brand new A6 Avant (with all the equipment you really use as standard) with the 3l v6 starts at 64k€ here. Which is still far too much money if you ask me.
It really is crazy. For example on my curtesy car those wheels, the S-line package and the metallic paint together are already 14'000 SFR... according to the Audi-dude in total this car has over 45'000 SFR on options. :ROFLMAO:
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NooDle

Ik ben niet alleen lekker met kaas!
Joined
Jul 20, 2005
Messages
10,325
Location
Belgium
Car(s)
Kia EV6 "Mullet"
I has a Skoda Octavia Combi lead in car until my new one arrives (which should be in precisely 304 days from now, damn the semiconductor shortage).

It’s grey. It’s dsg and shifts far too often and far too quickly. It has a 1.0 tsi engine with some horsepower. It doesn’t really move unless you rev it. Boot is nice and big though. But pretty soft and boring to drive, even compared to the Golf. It’s also pretty good on fuel, giving me a projected range of 800 kms on one tank.

Will post more once I’ve done more than 15 minutes in it.
 

NooDle

Ik ben niet alleen lekker met kaas!
Joined
Jul 20, 2005
Messages
10,325
Location
Belgium
Car(s)
Kia EV6 "Mullet"
So the Octavia will be affectionately known as the Ugly Duckling. It isn’t the best looking one (since it has the split headlights) and it’s pretty much the boringest colour there is (yes that IS a word) : metallic silver.

So it’s a boring version of an already quite boring car in a boring colour. Is it dreadful? No, not at all. It’s perfectly fine, albeit not very exciting.

It has the 1.0 turbo petrol engine with 115 (?) horsepower, which is fine in itself. My problem is with the DSG gearbox which has 2 modes, both of which are a bit too extreme. In regular D mode it goes to ‘let’s save every ounce of petrol mode’ which means it shifts at 2000 rpm which is far too soon. It’s in 5th gear doing 50 kph for Gods sake! It’s practically idling at 1100 rpms and when you do floor it you get that second of dithering and then deciding to go to 2nd for 0,5 seconds and then deciding on 3rd.

S/sport mode is quite the opposite, it lets you rev to 3000 before changing up, which is better, but it holds on to gears for far too long. Also it’s quite jerky (I guess the throttle response is faster in this mode to make it feel more ‘spordy’)but it doesn’t quite work. The result is inadvertent wheelspin in first, and jerky starts, making you look like you’ve just started driving and you’ve no clutch control. Also this mode means a LOT more fuel consumption obviously.

So good engine, bad gearbox. And yes I know I’m spoilt by the Golf with 1 gear and smoothness all around

Interior is fine albeit a bit rattly. Despite being a bigger car than the Golf it does feel a bit more flimsy. Doors and boot have a metallic clang instead of a reassuring thud. Maybe just perception.

Boot is spacious bur does have a weird rollup parcel shelf thing / a net thing that’s too complicated for me. Since I need the boot for bicycles mostly I’ve removed all that jazz and put it neatly in the bottom compartment (where it thankfully doesn’t rattle).

All in all, not much to complain about, but also nothing that really sets your heart on fire either …

Pics will follow as soon as I can be bothered, which may not be at all. Who wants to see a boring/ugly but ultimately practical car with a boring colour?
 

rickhamilton620

has a fetish for terrible cars
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Yoe, PA
Car(s)
2012 Kia Forte EX
Got the Kia in the shop right now to get some things fixed up since i'm keeping it for the long haul and I've been handed the keys to this guy:

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It's a Malibu Maxx LS V6 of unknown vintage and honestly after a weekend of driving it, it made me realize that this was literally the American take on the Vauxhall Signum that was based on the same Epsilon platform. - re-watched clarkson's review and gotta say, like the Signum, the Maxx is great for people in the back, absolutely meh for people up front.

Because Americans were deathly allergic to hatchbacks in 2004 (and now merely just mildly uncomfortable with them) Chevy's marketing boffins had the idea to market this as a "extended sedan" but come on, weird vestigial decklid aside, this is a hatch and, at least by appearances will do the hatchy things well:

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I fit both a target run and cardboard that was going to the recycling center back here and it fit well. One oddity I had was with the logic behind the hatch release button inside the car - I couldn't get it to work when i stopped at Target but then when I parked it down the street to try it it worked. I thought i figured it out only to be surprised when it worked later. I've had no trouble since then so *shrug*

Working our way further up to the rear seat and this is where the magic of the Malibu Maxx is:
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Back here is a sliding and reclining rear seat with seemingly acres of legroom. Also like the Signum, you could get a DVD player back here with RCA hookups for game consoles. This guy seats 5 even with the DVD player because it was built into the rear of the center console. The entry level LS spec car I was given access to lacks this feature.

But what it does have are two individual non opening sunroofs:

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Honestly this is baffling and lends further credence that this car was developed with a "back seat first" mindset because nope....the front seat doesn't have a sunroof at all.

Speaking of the front seats, let's talk about life up front:

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The door trims are a sea of gray vinyl wrapped plastic with a splash of cloth. the entire dash is a slab of dull, uninspired, cheap looking gray soft touch plastic.:

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I forgot that silver trim was the "piano black" of the 2000's:

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GM called this vintage Malibu "the most driver adjustable car in it's class" with the presence of a standard power height adjuster on the driver's seat, power adjustable pedals, and a telescoping steering wheel. Honestly I'm not exactly a outlier when it comes to dimensions so I fit fine - the power pedals were a cool party trick.

I will say that I was pleasantly surprised with how decently screwed together this ultra high mileage (200+k) example was. Aside from a center console lid who's latch had left the chat probably a decade ago, the rest of the interior was free of things falling off or broken. Don't get me wrong, there's enough cheap ill fitting shit in here to render moot any of GM's "premium midsize" intentions: for every nice feeling woven headliner, there's things like door tweeters that, at first glance, look like capped manual mirror controls but nope..they're speakers. But for 200k miles, again. It's held up.

Moving our way forward of the firewall, how does this oddball hatchback drive? Well given how backseat focused this thing is, the driving stuff is predictably pretty meh and straightforward.

Power - It's easily the fastest yet slowest car I've ever driven. I'll try to explain...it's a V6 model so that means a 3.5L OHV V6 with 201 horsepower. A J35 or VQ35DE this is not - is it creamy refined even for a pushrod engine? Yes. But between the 4 speed auto and the lazy throttle calibration I had to floor it to get onto the highway - I wasn't able to squeeze my way into the flow of highway traffic not once but twice. Around town it's fine, if a bit slow to take off until you get accustomed to the throttle tuning.

Steering - duller than dishwater, zero feel due to one of the earlier applications of EPS. Easy to park and turn. This is meh steering, you're not going to get joy from it.

Ride - very isolating. It doesn't float like a buick nor does it lean overly much in turns but it doesn't jar your teeth out over bumps. Better than my car on the same routes by a country mile.

Braking - She goes and stops.

So yeah, the Malibu Maxx. It's a practical hatchback but sparks no emotional joy for the driver. If you were picked up in one for a Uber though, you'd be fine, plenty of room for your shit and your luggage for the run to/from the airport. Plus you'll get to enjoy the stars at night unlike the driver.

EDIT: I completely forgot the radio! In a (i assume) cost saving move, the trip computer functions are NOT in the instrument cluster or even in a separate pod in the dashboard or in a overhead console. No it's in the radio:

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As you can see though, it's near impossible to see during the day.

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Honestly I don't like this - there's eyes off the road time with having the display in the radio. That and between trip computer functions, outside temp, radio station names/song titles/artist names (GM was big on adopting the Radio Data System standard) it's a cluttered display at times.
 

lip

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 2, 2005
Messages
3,297
Location
Switzerland
Car(s)
Audi S6 V10 wagon
"Quote"
VjpmRMx.jpg


If a garage would hand me a courtesy car in such a status I would call the comercial police. :LOL:
Anyway, excellent write-up, I very like such a detailed report. (y) - Let's hope your current wheels keep on trucking for a long while after this refresher.
 

Perc

Very Odd Looking Vehicular Object
Joined
Mar 31, 2008
Messages
6,442
Location
Finland
Car(s)
Passat Alltrack
My first and last GM vehicle had just shy of 200.000km on it when I sold it and it felt very, very solid. It had bone-headed design choices like a plastichrome shifter surround that blinded me by reflecting the sun and street lights, but it was well screwed together and the chassis and drivetrain was still in flawless shape when I sold it.

I'm not saying "last" because I wouldn't have another one, but they stopped selling the damn things here. Opel is Stellantis now.
 

Perc

Very Odd Looking Vehicular Object
Joined
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6,442
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Finland
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Passat Alltrack
So I just put some 500km behind the wheel of a Toyota ProAce.

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What’s a ProAce? It’s a van. It’s the successor to the HiAce, which for the longest time was the default choice if you wanted a durable workhorse. For good reason, too. However, the only places where it was the default choice was in Norway and Finland. Nobody else in Europe bought them in any meaningful numbers. This is why one of the largest car makers in the world decided it didn’t make sense to develop a new one to replace it. Instead, they bought one from PSA. Or American LeylStellantis, as they're known nowadays.

I have a bad habit of reading comments under car ads on Facebook and every time there’s a ProAce ad there’s a middle-aged man in the comments saying that it’s ”Citroën junk”. It’s also Peugeot, Opel and Vauxhall junk, but it seems like Toyota fans find ”Citroën” to be the most derogatory sounding of the Stellantis brands. The HiAce drivers really want their outdated junk back.

So, the car then. The base model is a fleet spec product that probably doesn’t come with anything that isn’t mandated by law. This is not that. It’s the one the business owner buys to drive home at the end of the day. It has an 180hp engine mated to an 8 speed auto, keyless entry and start, satnav, bluetooth, dual zone climate control, parking radar and camera, automatic xenon lights, blind spot monitoring, auto folding mirrors, chrome bits on the exterior, and probably some other things I forget. There are also cup holders on top of the dash, one on each side. These are really great for holding a big travel mug. It also has windows in the split rear doors, AND rear wipers. I've no idea why, because the only thing you see when looking in the mirror is the center headrest and the pillar between the rear windows. As in any van you need to learn to use the door mirrors.

So, it turns out it’s rather good at covering distances. Unlike base models (any make and model) that run out of puff on the freeway, this has no problems doing battle in the left lane for a couple hours straight without ever feeling stressed. Steering is a two-handed affair if there’s a crosswind, and that’s just as well because the right side armrest certainly isn’t anywhere near where your elbow is, so one of the more comfortable things you can do with your right arm is to keep it stretched out holding the wheel. Other than that, the drivers seat is surprisingly comfortable, even for longer distances.

It’s also very good at urban driving. The 8 speed blends the gears together very nicely and because there are so many of them, you're always humming along at around 1500rpm with plenty of torque on tap. This is how van driving should be. It’s a proper auto with a torque converter so unlike a certain Volkswagen in my avatar, takeoff is smooth every time. It obviously has start/stop because everything has, but it’s the best kind where the alternator acts as a starter and kicks the engine into life quickly and smoothly instead of relying on the starter motor every time. You can tell they put some effort into the start/stop system instead of just doing the bare minimum to pass regulations. I don’t want to know how much a replacement alternator is, though.

There’s a lot going on behind the steering wheel - flappy paddles which probably are more for towing and less for spordy driving. The paddles are even on the column instead of behind the wheel, which means it’s easy to grab second even if you’re turning in an intersection, because the paddle stays where it is. The cruise control is on a pod at 8 o’clock. Then there are the two normal stalks that go up and down and twist etc. The only things the driver can see are the tips of the two gearchange paddles. Everything else is covered by the steering wheel spokes so you have to learn to do it by feel. This is alright for the cruise control, but it’s annoying when you can’t see if the light switch is in Auto or Off.

What this particular example doesn’t have is adaptive cruise control. Yes I know I keep going on and on about this but it’s just such a no-brainer when you’ve gotten used to it. Long distance driving in Finland is usually done on 1+1 highways with passing opportunities few and far between, and even if the speed limit is 100km/h you’re usually stuck behind a truck, a caravan or a Nissan Qashqai. Not having to fiddle with the cruise control all the time takes a lot of frustration away.
 

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public

Captain Slow Charging
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Atomic toaster
The window for returning the Ioniq will be open from Sep/Oct on, so obviously I've been looking for some "what next" options for EV leases. I'll have done my annual 25k by that time, and after that you're just doing new car payments for a not new car. That said, the market situation has of course changed in this time: I planned to get a similar car, but they went out of production; fuel now costs one euro more per liter so a lot more people are doing the ICE-EV change if they have any sense; delivery times are anything from six months to over a year; the importer/lease site doesn't list any EVs except used Konas; etc etc. So, what's left for me except for the e-2008 that might arrive by New Year's (with a 15k km yearly cap?

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The Nissan Leaf. It's been on the market forever as well, people buy them and seem to enjoy them. A Nissan dealer offers 10k/yr for 289/mo, but that can be doubled for not much money as 20k will cost you 333e/mo. It's gonna be the 40kWh N-Connecta for that money, in fridge white, with two sets of tires, a set of floormats and the required cables. So, pretty decent money for a commuter.

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Today I visited the nearest dealer and took a 59kWh model (the one Leaf they had) for a test-drive.

There's nothing to like about the Leaf except the funky wheels and the center armrest. I'm sorry. After getting used to the Ioniq the Leaf feels significantly second best. Like most people I've talked to, I wasn't able to get a comfortable driving position in it. It feels more vague on the open road. The engineering premise seems to have been to make it feel like an MPV with the packaging emphasis on making the dash top as big as possible with no other positives. The rear seat sucks. The trunk is big, but getting anything out from there means digging deep from the trunk bottom as it's nowhere close to the load lip, without an adjustable fake floor on anything. The infotainment feels old and the average consumption figures need to be dug out from a sub-menu and they don't really update instantly, while the Hyundai always has them easily visible in the dash display and they respond to driving immediately. I've also gotten used to the Hyundai/Kia flappy paddles for regen, while the Leaf just has the one-pedal setup.

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I'm adamant the Leaf is favored by people who:

- haven't really driven new cars that much recently
- have only really driven new Nissans recently
- haven't driven any other EV
- have tried other options but are too cheap to get anything else

While trading down to a Leaf would save me a grand per year in payments, I don't think I'm cheap enough for one. I guess I just have to keep my eye out for deals and keep driving the Ioniq. At some point there will be used ones available from the same scheme as mine is, so it would even make sense to get one of those for a cheaper payment.
 

Perc

Very Odd Looking Vehicular Object
Joined
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I'm adamant the Leaf is favored by people who:

- haven't really driven new cars that much recently
- have only really driven new Nissans recently

Sounds like Qashqai owners.
 

GRtak

Forum Addict
Joined
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Michigan USA
Get the Firebird! 🤣
 

93Flareside

Döner Kebab enthusiast
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German Wine Country
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2006 Mercedes E200 Kombi
The window for returning the Ioniq will be open from Sep/Oct on, so obviously I've been looking for some "what next" options for EV leases. I'll have done my annual 25k by that time, and after that you're just doing new car payments for a not new car. That said, the market situation has of course changed in this time: I planned to get a similar car, but they went out of production; fuel now costs one euro more per liter so a lot more people are doing the ICE-EV change if they have any sense; delivery times are anything from six months to over a year; the importer/lease site doesn't list any EVs except used Konas; etc etc. So, what's left for me except for the e-2008 that might arrive by New Year's (with a 15k km yearly cap?

ZZVwyOo.jpg


The Nissan Leaf. It's been on the market forever as well, people buy them and seem to enjoy them. A Nissan dealer offers 10k/yr for 289/mo, but that can be doubled for not much money as 20k will cost you 333e/mo. It's gonna be the 40kWh N-Connecta for that money, in fridge white, with two sets of tires, a set of floormats and the required cables. So, pretty decent money for a commuter.

vZrzipO.jpg


SZFDFqC.jpg


Today I visited the nearest dealer and took a 59kWh model (the one Leaf they had) for a test-drive.

There's nothing to like about the Leaf except the funky wheels and the center armrest. I'm sorry. After getting used to the Ioniq the Leaf feels significantly second best. Like most people I've talked to, I wasn't able to get a comfortable driving position in it. It feels more vague on the open road. The engineering premise seems to have been to make it feel like an MPV with the packaging emphasis on making the dash top as big as possible with no other positives. The rear seat sucks. The trunk is big, but getting anything out from there means digging deep from the trunk bottom as it's nowhere close to the load lip, without an adjustable fake floor on anything. The infotainment feels old and the average consumption figures need to be dug out from a sub-menu and they don't really update instantly, while the Hyundai always has them easily visible in the dash display and they respond to driving immediately. I've also gotten used to the Hyundai/Kia flappy paddles for regen, while the Leaf just has the one-pedal setup.

6AGVwVC.jpg


ZU7P16c.jpg


73x5Rwf.jpg


I'm adamant the Leaf is favored by people who:

- haven't really driven new cars that much recently
- have only really driven new Nissans recently
- haven't driven any other EV
- have tried other options but are too cheap to get anything else

While trading down to a Leaf would save me a grand per year in payments, I don't think I'm cheap enough for one. I guess I just have to keep my eye out for deals and keep driving the Ioniq. At some point there will be used ones available from the same scheme as mine is, so it would even make sense to get one of those for a cheaper payment.

If you got one, you'd have to be subscribed to r/nissandrivers :D
 

leviathan

Snores like a puppy
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Frankfurt
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Tesla Model 3
IMG_1752 (1).jpg IMG_1746 (1).jpg IMG_1743 (1).jpg

"How do design a car using nothing but another car and the Photoshop scaling tool".

A friend has picked up his 5-day-old (from production date) made-in-Berlin Tesla Model Y Performance. So of course we had to park them next to each other.

I also got a decent test drive out of it. This won't be a full review since it was only about a half hour and then some more looking around the car and whatnot before he had to peel off, but here's some thoughs in no particular order.
  • Not surprisingly, it feels just like a 3, just a bit higher. The interior is a bit… “deeper”, I think, is the best way to describe it.
  • Feels heavier, which is both good and bad. It is a bit slower on paper, and you can actually feel it between these two. But the weight allows it to be surprisingly comfortable for wearing 21” wheels. Suspension feels _a lot_ more sorted than my M3P.
  • It’s quieter and smoother, but the drive inverters are _a lot_ louder at full power inside the car. Maybe you can hear them more because there’s much less wind and tire noise.
  • Seats have been improved. Same basic shape, but a couple more stitches to improve the comfort and prevent a common crease.
  • Rear seats are a completely different world compared to the 3. Soooo much more leg- and headroom. If you have rear passengers ever, this almost makes the “upgrade” a no-brainer.
  • Trunk is similarly sized, but infinitely more accessible.
  • You can hear the e-scooter rattling in the trunk under acceleration, in the 3 the seats dampen it away :D
  • The trunk lid is dummy thick, and opens reeeeeally high. The carbon spoiler _will_ hit the roof of a parking garage at some point, it’s completely unpreventable. By the time it opens wide enough to actually access the trunk and the button to stop it, it’s already at over 2m height and has hit the roof in any European downtown garage with their stupidly low roofs.
Overall, I can totally see why for some people the Y is the right choice. It's very roomy inside and decently comfortable, much better suited to transporting more than one passenger on the regular - the rear bench is not just better, as said above, it's in a different league vs the Model 3. The trunk is infinitely more practical, and with the bigger frunk as well it's overall a more useful vehicle for moving stuff. This easily compensates for slightly lesser efficiency and higher costs (not so much in purchase, but lower efficiency, more expensive tires, etc) for a lot of use cases. And apparently lots of people prefer the higher seating position and the easy "stepping in and out", which it definitely offers.

But for me, this confirmed that as good as it may be, I don't want one, and am more happy with the "smaller" older brother. Whose lease will be running out not very long into the future... so I might just have ordered another one :)
 

NooDle

Ik ben niet alleen lekker met kaas!
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I kinda get why people are turned away from electric cars in general after they have tried a Leaf and nothing else.
it's just an overwhelming feeling of "meh" and nothing that really stands out. This may be fine for a regular Nissan owner but most people are turned away by this.
As for the model Y, I can only agree, it would probably be my choice aswell if I had been given the option. Still unsure about the exterior styling, but having a model 3 with the same range/power and a roomier interior, and a boot with a hatch (and not a silly weird opening) would suit me just fine.
 

93Flareside

Döner Kebab enthusiast
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I kinda get why people are turned away from electric cars in general after they have tried a Leaf and nothing else.
it's just an overwhelming feeling of "meh" and nothing that really stands out. This may be fine for a regular Nissan owner but most people are turned away by this.
As for the model Y, I can only agree, it would probably be my choice aswell if I had been given the option. Still unsure about the exterior styling, but having a model 3 with the same range/power and a roomier interior, and a boot with a hatch (and not a silly weird opening) would suit me just fine.

The typical Nissan driver in the US normally exceeds the speed limits by quite a bit and has a missing or misaligned bumpers and dented body panels. So if the leaf can survive a few bumps and go fast, the typical Nissan driver should be fine. :)
 

gaasc

Desperately looking for a title
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I kinda get why people are turned away from electric cars in general after they have tried a Leaf and nothing else.
it's just an overwhelming feeling of "meh" and nothing that really stands out.

Yup, this is what happened to me. Anyone who wants to loan me a car that can make EV's interesting as cars and not just as tech is more than welcome to do so.
 

public

Captain Slow Charging
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I'll be waiting for my Peugeot e-2008 for many months still, as it was estimated to be delivered around New Year's and delays mean it'll probably be built around February 2023 or later. When I signed up for the order the dealer didn't have any demo cars except the petrol hybrid version which I elected not to try out other than for size, and they still haven't gotten any. So, the nearest thing to what I'll be getting is either the Citroën ë-C4 I drove a year ago or this secondhand French import e-208 GT Line the dealer had just gotten.

If that sounds weird, the nearest Peugeot dealer is just a branch of a used-car dealer chain that also represents Peugeot and Mitsubishi here, meaning you can order new cars but cotomer sevis is spotty at best, especially since they've sold all available cars to make buck. (That reminds me I forgot to see how bad the paint is on an AWD Alfa 159 wagon they have)

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Anyway, the Pug. The only 208s I had driven so far had been manual ICE versions, and I'm happy to say this feels a lot better. It's certainly heavier, with a stiffer ride, but the steering feels very natural even here. On the twisty bit where I sometimes try used cars, on the snaking asphalt, the quick and well weighted steering felt fun, especially for a FWD EV. I put the car in Sport mode with the selector in B, which gives it more pronounced regen to imitate engine braking in corners, and that suited it very well.

I can easily say the handling comfortably beats my Ioniq, for instance, even if you couldn't really tell you were in a sporty French hatch. They're supposed to feel loony, light, flimsy and organic, and the 208 is more like a personal spaceship, especially with the funky 3D gauges in this higher-spec version. It could have more power, but the upcoming facelift will bump power output from 100kW to 115, or from 136 to 156. It's very likeable. I'm not sure how much the GT Line trim here helped, the powertrain/battery size is the same in all e-208s but there can be some suspension tuning differences compared to an Active Pack or Allure Pack version, which also have smaller wheels.

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The UI isn't stellar. Despite there being piano key buttons in the dash, everything from A/C to EV stuff is buried in some menu in the center touchscreen display, nothing is intuitive until you learn the tricks, and it kind of feels like you have to take a lot of quirks into account so you can use the car's features. The cruise control stalk is hidden behind the steering wheel and impossible to see if you're already started driving. The range prediction resets to showing max WLTP range at startup with a full battery, meaning it always says 300 no matter what the weather has been like recently or how you've been driving the car, and then drops faster than you'd expect.

In comparison, driving the Ioniq you have the current trip's average consumption in the center of the dash if you so wish (Peugeot brings a temporary modal layer to show some stats when you press the tip of the right stalk), the battery percentage is viewable in the center display by pressing one button and it stays visible if you so wish, and the range prediction is very reliable. And then there's the entire business of the Peugeot gauge cluster being mounted above the steering wheel so for some drivers the wheel obscures them, but my measurements meant this wasn't a problem.

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I expect the e-2008 to feel largely similar, with interior assembly quality and features mainly the same, but with a floatier crossover feeling and more cabin space. It'll be quieter than the Ioniq or Niro, as the e-208 was very quiet and well insulated inside. I will probably not trust the range prediction much, but it'll be our family wagon anyway which only does long trips a couple times per year, and regional runs otherwise.
 
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DanRoM

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The cruise control stalk is hidden behind the steering wheel and impossible to see if you're already started driving.
Yeah, that's the same in the 5008, so a standard feature of Peugeot. I've resorted to inspect the stalk standing in the open door, and now I know how to use it.
 

public

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Atomic toaster
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I got to sample the long-awaited Dacia Spring today, finally! Originally, I waited for these to become available in Finland, then for one to appear at a dealer, then for me to have spare time to try it and then for the dealer to actually charge the battery (the last time I visited them, the car had 3% SOC due to a failed wallbox).

I had booked my Hyundai's winter tire change at their service department, so I had a spare half hour to spend. The salesman remembered me from the earlier visit and just threw me the keys. Yeah, physical keys that go in the ignition. That actually proved problematic because the procedure in an EV confused me so much I didn't simultaneously press the brake pedal, which meant the car remained in ACC mode instead of drive - and I just lurched out of the parking spot instead of actually getting going. The salesman explained what the problem was and noted I needed to look out for an "OK" idiot light in the gauge cluster to note if I was actually in drive mode. It sounds dumb and it was, but apparently the same thing happened to @Lastsoul when he drove a Spring...

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The Spring, cheaply built inside out, feels like a share car or something you move from one place to another at work. Yet, I like it a lot. It drives well, rides especially well and the steering isn't completely dead. It feels flimsy as heck, but I've missed that. It's even fun to drive on the backroads, but you have to note the power deficit that's very prominent.

This thing has a 45-hp electric motor and a 27kWh battery pack. It sprints decently well to 50km/h to keep up with traffic, and with instant torque it does that with gusto, but after that it just doesn't accelerate that much at all. You can get it to 80, to 100, but it is pronouncedly slow to reach highway speeds. We're talking 20 seconds or something.
In fact, it feels like a carbed car that gets too much fuel with full throttle, as burying the throttle just does nothing extra. After a while you get used to it, but traditionally you can beat on French or French-adjacent hatches that are slow unless driven everywhere with the pedal in the carpet. That's not the case here as only light throttle will really get you anywhere.

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The rear seat is really cramped and only fit for kids. A big, bulky child seat will probably mean the front passenger seat needs to be far forward. This particular car had faux leather seats which made it look like everything in there was plastic, rubber or vinyl.

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Trunk is okay, probably fits a decent amount of shopping.

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The gauges are one of the nicer things about the car, and the center display will show consumption info. I didn't reset the trip meter so I could only tell someone had used 22kWh/100km on average to do the previous 180km. Steering column is not adjustable, but the driving position is acceptable for my torso. No cruise control, just a speed limiter (who uses them?)

If the Dacia importer sold or leased these, via the official chains, for attractive prices, I'd happily look into getting one. It's enough car for the nihilist, commuting me, and halving the summertime 180-200km range would still get me to work in the winter. Of course that means counting on available charging and I bet this isn't as energy efficient with the heater on full blast as I'd want it to, meaning getting to work 75km away would probably cut it a bit close when the weather would be the worst possible. I still like a really, really cheap appliance car, and one of these for 12000 eur or so with the French subsidies, with factory warranty, would be great if leased for a couple years.

And that's just not possible here. Not only do these cost north of 20k here, up to 24k, they are only available as grey imports, meaning I'd have to service! this!!! in Estonia!!!!!! if I wanted the factory warranty to remain valid (presumably that requires adhering to factory recommended service intervals at official dealers, and the Finnish Dacia importer hasn't introduced a service programme for the Spring, it seems). Eventually these will be cheap used cars and in case the tech is still doing fine, they'll make an okay used buy. But the attraction of a cheap barebones new car is that it is new... and when it no longer is, it's far less enticing.
 
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NooDle

Ik ben niet alleen lekker met kaas!
Joined
Jul 20, 2005
Messages
10,325
Location
Belgium
Car(s)
Kia EV6 "Mullet"
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Got a loaner Mini Countryman while my car is having some body work done.
First time for me in a looooong time that I get to test a new BMW product, so here goes

Interior : I like it, even the big round dial in the middle is unobtrusive.
The whole iDrive system is still bollocks though, because now you still have a button that goes 11 different ways (feels like I'm playing bop-it : twist it, pull it, press it, etc) you ALSO have a touchscreen. Which is more confusing because sometimes you have to press the screen and sometimes you have to use the knob. Weird.
This one is almost fully loaded with sunroof (which I actually used!) cruise control (boo no adaptive function), heated seats, etc.
Space wise, it's OK. A bit like a higher version of my eGolf, neat thing is you can slide the rear seats forward (to create more boot space) or backwards (to create more legroom). Funny that not more cars have this?
Seats are very hip grabby (if thats a word). I may have gotten fatter but I haven't been so snug inside a car for a long time.

Exterior

I thought I'd hate it but in the metal it does look a bit meaner and less cutesy than a "normal" Mini.
I didn't really see the point of this car but it is a LOT bigger on the inside than a regular Mini, as in, there is actual space for living humans with legs on the rear seats...

It did have the Union jack style rear light clusters, which mrs NooDle adores.
Sure it has tiny wheels and silly stripes, but I kinda like it overall. The weird grey paint helps too.

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Engine

This one was the Cooper version with the autobox so it's kind of midfield (the "one" being the bargain base model and the "Cooper S" being the hot one). It isn't super quick and I have to readjust to revving an engine to get it going (spoilt by EV driving) and also the f'ing start/stop system that always stalls the engine just as the light turns green and you need to get a move on.
I was never wanting for more power though, it's perfectly adequate. If you put the switch to Sport mode it revs to 7,500 and produces some nice meaty exhaust sounds aswell.

Chassis

Not had a chance to try this to the limit but it does ride a LOT harder than my Kia, which feels like a boat in comparison.
It does turn like a housefly, those tiny wheels doing their job to keep the car planted. At no point does the car feel underpowered or underchassisd, this may be different with the sportier Cooper S version.


Overall quite good, the only downside I see is the price. It's good, a bit better than the equivalent Golf / Focus / Astra, but I dunno if I would pay the premium to drive a BMW/Mini.
 
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