Ok, First things first, this is going to be a LONG review of the car so far. IF you want, scroll down and look at the pics. I have had the absolute pleasure of putting ~500 miles on our car in the last 24 hours.
*DISCLAIMER: This review is from a consumer who will NOT be racing the car and most of my opinions will pertain to this as a Daily Driver and not a track car. Take what I say with a grain of salt as I may come off as overly enthusiastic.*
The car in question is a M/T, Ultimate package!!!!!!!!!
I will try and separate this review into groups as best I can, addressing things like mpg, handling, steering, acceleration, features, etc.
Be prepared for tons of pictures...... NO 56k.. wait, does anyone even HAVE 56k anymore... lol
As some of you may have read, as of Thursday afternoon, it was looking grim that I would be able to pick our car up on Friday. I got a call at 8:45am on Friday morning (thank god I took the day off) from the sales manager saying our car had just arrived.. (Our = the wife and I) I was stoked. It was a little later than I wanted to leave (as Denver = 7 hour drive) but we were ready to go in about an hour...
The drive up was pretty crappy, other than the beautiful scenery. We got stuck in a butt load of traffic, which put a damper on the mood.
Fast forward to around 6:30pm, we made it to the dealer. Everyone there was talking about the car and how people were coming in, wanting to test drive it but they wouldn't let em (since I already bought it) We were in and out of the dealer in less than 40 minutes, which I thought was lightning fast since they had to go over the trade and sign some other paperwork.
As soon as we got in the car, we were in love.. The feel of everything was just so 'new' and 'techy'...
I hadn't driven a M/T in a while but the VTurbo's transmission made it very easy for me..
Before I get into the stuff you guys actually care about, take into consideration the following:
- 90% of the miles on the car thus far are mostly mild highway miles.
- On the highway, the cruise control was set quite high (81mph @ 3krpm)
- The A/C was on medium the entire way home
- I have done about 5 3rd gear pulls
- I have done a couple from a dead stop
As I think this is what a lot of people are concerned about, I will address this first.
First of all, lets have some background information of my previous cars. I had a 01 Turbo Tiburon for about 4 years and a 05 SRT-4 for about three years so I have some cars to compare to.
I think the steering is VERY good in a comparative sense and overall. The on-center 'play' is almost non-existent. The load on the steering is quite heavy in my opinion and the 'feel' is very good. The driver/road feel seems quite good. Granted I haven't driven much higher end vehicles or cars really known for their steering but I am thoroughly impressed with the steering responsiveness, the load on the steering (not sloppy AT ALL) and the confidence I have when I make adjustments that the car will respond exactly as I intend it to.
I haven't taken it around many corners in the city or meant for say 25mph limit and taking them @ 40+ but in what I have experienced thus far, the steering in this car is what I would consider something to enjoy about the car and not to nag on.
Keep in mind, I am basing this review on what I and probably 80+% of you will use it for (Spirited Daily Driving) and for the more track oriented user, the steering may not be as 'spot on' as you like. I can't compare to something like the mini, miatas, etc.
Ok, this one gets me a little emotional.. lol.. I was supposed to have my springs on Friday and low and behold, I believe they were STOLEN from my door step while we were gone yesterday.. The tracking number shows that they were delivered and there is no sign that they were ever here.. Already started a claim with Fed EX.. bastards..
Back to the suspension talk. I am VERY PLEASED with the stock suspension but I can see what some people are talking about with the back end confidence lacking at higher speeds after hitting a decent bump/s... It did feel a little squirrely but not to the point where I was like "OH ****" or anywhere close.
The suspension is definitely on the stiffer side, which I really enjoyed but not to the point of being scared to hit that little uneven pavement to where you pucker up your butthole and pray. (like my Sportlines on the SRT-4) The car feels really smooth and planted, especially at speed (on the highway) You can really feel the road but in a good way.
Driving through the city today (ABQ does NOT have the best roads in America) I never felt uncomfortable but always felt 'one' with the road. I took a couple of higher speed maneuvers and lane changes with less than expected body roll and always felt planted to the ground.
Again, I haven't taken this on any mountain roads or real 'fun' roads yet but I will check back in when I have something to report on this front (Unfortunately, I will HOPEFULLY have the NGM springs by then and it wont be a stock suspension review)
We were supposed to go up Pikes Peak on the way back last night but it was WAYYYY to late with all the delays and we skipped it. It was also very rainy up there and to dark so I wouldn't have been able to give a proper review.
I won't spend to much time on tech as it is pretty much the same as the NA V but I have to say this car is AWESOME when it comes to tech.. Ok, maybe I just haven't had any 'techy' stuff in the past and it isn't THAT cool but I absolutely LOVE IT!!
The different 'trip' options are neat (Even though I don't think the Instant MPG is worth even watching)
The 7" Screen is where the car gets badass. The NAV settings to go 3D and adjust your angle to see the 'horizon', the ease of typing in a address is awesome, connecting to your phone is a cakewalk, XM = win..
The whole proxy key fob thing is just cool in and of itself and takes some getting used to. I still am not used to the idea.. Not having to put a key in the ignition to start it and using a button to start/stop the engine feels soooo.. 'techy'.. haha.
The heated seats also work nicely.. Even though using them in 80+ degree heat is not recommended..
O!!! the power lumber.. AWESOME!! Gives great support!! Little button you push forward/backward on the side of the seat and enjoy!!
The 'seat pump' to lower/raise the drivers seat works very well. I have mine lowered all the way down and it feels like you are driving on the ground, very neat feeling.
There are a lot of other tech things in the car that I have no even started to figure out yet but I will report on that later.
Again, maybe I have just had a bunch of 'meh' interiors in the past but this car is AWESOME in this department.
The look and feel for a car in this segment seems to be above average to great.
The leather looks very well put together and of quite good quality. It feels very nice also and soft, not slippery/sticky like some leather.. I don't know how to explain it but I really like the leather surfaces.
The leather shifter boot, steering wheel cover and shift knob cover feel very 'high end'.
That brings me to the steering wheel. I love the placement of the controls on the steering wheel. I used the volume/seek/cruise on/off accel/decel cruise a lot last night and it was very easy to do without even looking at, after I knew where everything was. The size and design of the steering wheel has a nice 'tuner' feel and definitely doesn't seem 'cookie cutter'.
Onto the shifter.. I love the way this shifter works. The shifting in this car is very precise, probably the best M/T shifter I have felt yet. There is not really ANY 'slop' in the shifter when you are in gear. Even when you are out of gear the shifter has a good amount of resistance (which I think is good) so it isn't all 'wobbly and cheap feeling' I don't know if anyone gets what I just said but some of you might...
The pedal feel of the clutch is VERY good in my opinion. I actually would say it is a little 'heavier' than most stock clutches that I am used to anyway. It is a GOOD type of heavy though, not the '4puc push clutch in a DSM heavy' but not really light and 'springy' which I don't like at all.
The GO pedal feel is not bad. Doesn't seem to have much travel though. Not really a bad thing or good thing, just different than I am used to.
The headliner for this car is the only thing I consider to be a little boring. I am not a fan of the boring, bland tan headliner and thought it would have been nicer to have something kinda like the non-Ultimate models have or match the color of the interior 'greys' a little to flow better and give it s more 'all around thought out feel'... Now I am just getting picky though..
Well, you all have seen it.. I think it looks even BETTER in person though, specially the Vitamin C. I absolutely LOVE this color choice. The car doesn't look as 'bass mouth' in person, in my opinion...
The headlights and tail lights are very nice!!
The fit and finsh of everything put together is GREAT (right now anyway)
My only 'gripe' is the rear reflectors serving pretty much no practical purpose and being so big.. If they were aux. brake lights or 'parking lights or w/e you call them' then it would be much cooler.
This is where I am going to be hard on the car.. I think for all the techy features, the LED accents on the headlights, the projector lens this car deserved 200$ extra in this department..
The crappy old school interior yellowy bulbs are disgusting when you have all this really nice EL glowing goodness and bright blue backlighting on all the controls. Even the bulb housing and on/off switches on the MAP lights seem like a last minute 'o ****, this car needs map lights doesn't it'.. Could have been designed a little differently and used LEDs and been a 'WOW, they really thought this car through'...
The halogen bulbs in the headlights and fog lights, contrasting with the LED accents is enough to make me want to just drive in the dark with a high power LED flash light.. The front LED accents are all 'look at me, im badass' then you turn the 1960s halogens on and the LEDS just want to jump off the car.
The tail lights on the other hand, beautiful.. The way the 'strips' slope into one 'point' looks awesome.
The turn signals on the mirrors is also a nice touch..
Sorry Hyundai but if you would have bumped up the price tag 200-300$ and had LED lighting on the interior (and license plate lights) and went with Xenon headlamps, this would have been near a TEN..
For what this car is and has been advertised as, I think it should score highly in the 'speed' department.
Coming from a background with a 260+hp SRT-4 and a custom Turbo Tiburon with a t3/t4 50trim running 10-12 lbs, I think this car is pretty nice in the speed department.
for a 201hp, 2900+lb car this thing is GREAT.
(When I have been in this car, it has been loaded with ~400lb of humans with ~50+ lb of other stuff)
I have done a few highway pulls and a few pulls from a rolling stop and it is quite quick. I haven't had any noticeable issues with torque steer or wheel hop (I haven't WOT from a dead stop yet or even a <5mph roll) Before you know it, you are at a speed where your license can be revoked. The car pulls so smoothly and feels so smooth at speed, you don't even realize you are going 70 in a 40 ... I mean 42 in a 40.. yeah...
This car will definitely not have trouble getting out of its own way, even in stock form.
To compare it to my Tiburon and SRT-4 now is a little different story..
It is hard to compare the cars as they are from a different era, modification level and built to do different things.
The biggish turbo on the ~2600lb ~220-230hp Tiburon went from 'O, its a quiet day in the neighborhood' to ' hoooooooly crap, when the boost kicked in' If you were to test the cars side by side though in a numbers game, I think they would be relatively close, while the VTurbo would handle its power in a much more............ 'civilized manner' The Tiburon obviously was quicker, as it was lighter, had more power and was built to kick you in the arse.. I STILL would take the cvilized manner the VTurbo handles itself over my Tiburon with 10k$+ into it, any day..
Comparing it to the SRT-4 is a bit better comparison but obviously the SRT-4 still wins out in the speed department. The SRT-4 was BUILT to be a tuner car, before I laid a hand on it. The power kicked 'harder' than it does in the V which made it seem faster. The SRT-4 was also a little lighter than the V stock, had more power, a bigger motor and again was built more as a tuner car and not a fun, quick, techy econobox. The V's power comes on quite well and almost instantly, all the way through redline.
To me, I see some complaints coming from the fact that the way the power comes on feels like it is a higher powered N/A car and a bit less of a turbo car.
I personally love how you can FEEL that is it boosted, yet it handles the power in a much more civilized manner than most, due mainly to little to NO lag..
Not super impressed with the sounds of the car.. Although you do hear the exhaust a LITTLE bit, it is only that a LITTLE bit.. Not much of a decel note at ALL, not much of a note at all under acceleration.. from the exhaust anyway..
Hardly even a recognizable woosh from the BPV when you shift, even at high boost..
The turbo does sound quite nice spooling up though when you get on the car.. Not super loud but you can definitely hear it..
A few mods and the sound SHOULD hopefully make it up to an 8 or better..
I will re-itterate this here as I did above.
The car has mainly been HIGHWAY driven.
I had the speedo set most of the time to 80mph @ 6k rpm.
The roads in the mountain region where I live are VERY up and down.
The A/C was on medium the ENTIRE time.
The car was loaded up with ~400lb of humans and about ~50lb of other stuff..
On the highway (according to the trip-o-meter) we averaged about 34mpg.
Through todays more 'speedy' adventures and testing the car out more thoroughly through the city, I was looking at about 31.7mpg.
I will test it out a bit better going from empty tank to FULL and then another test.
I am impressed, considering the car is not broken in yet and there was quite a bit of weight in the car (also Ultimate package) I am happy
Speedo Inaccuracy.. or not?
Ok, I saw this all over the NA V areas about how the speedo was innaccurate by 2%+ and such so I decided to do a little 'test' or something like that...
When I was cruising, I decided to have the wife DL a GPS app and use a GPS app on my phone..
I set the cruise to 60mph, 70mph and 80mph..... we both powered up our super badass android phones with our FREEEEEEEEEEEEE GPS apps.. My phone was using '8 out of 9 satellites' and hers was using '8 out of 10'..
@ 60mph, the results were......... drumroll please.. Mine varied between 59-61, hers varied from 60-61..
@ 70mph.. Mine 69-70.. Hers 69-70.
@ 80mph.. Mine 78-80.. Hers 79-81....
I would say that is pretty darn accurate, considering the needle itself depending on how 'straight' on you are looking at it could be 1-2mph off..
I'm sure I have more to say but this is enough for now.. I am even MORE IMPRESSED with this car than I could have imagined. I still need to drive it more to totally get used to it, set up my Blue link and figure some other things out.. Will report back again. Here are some pictures..
I took pictures of the stock wheels and how the inserts come off (VERY EASY)
I am actually kinda sad I had the new wheels here waiting.. The stock wheels are SOOO SEXY.. The wheel color is a nicer grey and the chrome is not super shiny ugly, it is a 'dark' chrome and I really like it..
I also took pics of the BPV (Which is the same size as the 10-12 Gcoupe and the SRT-4) new BOV here we come!!!
Bumper is VERY easy to move also..
Got the new wheels on today also.. Love them but will miss the stockers
here are TONS of pics.. not in any certain order...
Wheel weight according to MY bathroom scale = 25.4lbs a piece.. exactly 5lbs heavier than my new wheels.. Not TOO bad for stock 18" wheels.
yes.. the bastard dealers put SIX holes in the front plate space Even though I don't need a plate in NM (in the front) and I asked them not to >:O