A Review of Reviews, before I got into Drivetribe!
I decided to do something I don't normally do in public. (no, it's not what you think)
It started for me around 10 years ago. I was looking for a new car for my wife. We finally were in a position to look at brand new vehicles! No more scanning the web, papers, or those little flyers that are in the vestibules at grocery stores. I asked her what she was really akin to. She wanted a small SUV. I knew she always liked the quirky little vehicles that others didn't really find all that useful, but it was for her, and I had my truck and motorcycle. So I was going to stay impartial. At that time there weren't that many small SUVs (Crossovers now). So I gathered what I found on the internet, only pictures mind you, and placed them on my laptop. She looked at each one and picked out the 2009 Suzuki SX4. I then took to the review section on a few websites to see what was what. Overall they were pretty good, from what I remember. WRONG!
I'm not sure if the reviewers were partial to or had a soft spot in their heart for the car but it was a constant nightmare. I didn't get to drive it that much (which was a good thing). I won't go into the details to save you from complete boredom, but I will say it was in the shop quite a bit! After that, I knew I had to find something else for her. So it was back to the pictures and start the process all over again. The next three cars were chosen the same way. I figured that reviews were the best way to find out what I couldn't get from a test drive. The 2012 Nissan Juke was next. I hear the moaning from across the pond at that choice. Believe me, I thought it looked odd at first also. The reviews were all quite visceral about the appearance, but she liked it and I was willing to make her happy. I tell you it was a pleasant surprise when I got to drive it for the first time! In sport mode and manual shift, it would carve up the backroads here in SC like nobody's business. It was one of the most fun vehicles I ever had the pleasure to drive!
When the time came for the next vehicle, I was thinking of something a little more sporty. I still thought of a hatchback, and in my mind was looking for two doors. The pickens were pretty slim. I then saw the 2015 Hyundai Veloster Turbo! She liked it and so I went to take a test drive. It was incredible! The handling was just phenomenal! Like it was on rails. When I got home I started to look at the reviews and was a little disappointed. More often than not it kept focusing on the lack of rear legroom, headroom, and things that mattered little to me. It didn't give as much info on the drive itself either. Focusing on the quirky three-door setup, and how your kids couldn't get in the back very easily. We have no children!
It was then I said to myself, self I said, these people who claim to be here in the pages and on the websites, are, for the most part, full of shit! Where's the passion, of the driving experience or lack thereof? Where are the multiple points of view so that more than one group might consider a purchase? What happened to the viewers' eyesight? I see the most God awful rectangular boxes that receive praise for innovative design! It was depressing! So this time I was going to do it right. I picked the 2018 Toyota C-HR XLE. I read the reviews (all of which were uncomplimentary) but went to drive it for myself. I got a great salesperson who let me take it on side streets, on the freeways, and in heavy traffic. it was a winner! This time I got a three- year lease, as the car was a little more expensive than I usually look to spend.
Yes, it is a mid-size Crossover, but when you start to get a little older you find that trying to contort into a sportscar isn't as easy as it once was. The yearning is still there to own one but the body doesn't comply. So it finally brings me to the 2021 C-HR Nightshade Edition. It has everything a couple with no kids could want in a vehicle. It has a hatchback with room for your groceries. It has four doors (the rear door handles are tucked away nicely) as not to draw attention to them. The appearance is that of a sports car, with the handling to go along with it.
When in Sport mode it springs to life by changing the shift points and stiffening the suspension. If you care to you can manually shift it to create a whole new fun zone! I was talking with a service person and asked why they didn't put a Turbo in it. His answer was simple and straight forward. This engine has been tested to millions of miles, a Turbo would add more parts and create a higher risk of failure. I thought that was pretty honest of him! I finally found a car that is reliable, sporty, and I think really good looking! Is it for everybody? No, but it is a lot better than what you will get from a so-called review.
My advice is to use the reviews only as a reference. I didn't go into more of a review on the 2021 C-HR as that is for another time. I have just now realized I have rambled on a bit, as I do when it comes to anything mechanical, but I do hope you will retain something from this. Have fun and happy hunting on your next vehicle!