A Racer’s Perspective IV: Compact Cars

I’ll be honest, I wish there were more cars in this category.  There are seven cars in this class, I will make sure to at least mention each of them.

^This is two of the seven cars (Karin Dilettantes).  Yup.  I mentioned them both.

This is the Benefactor Pando.  God it is ugly.  Part of the “I’m not a hipster” dlc, this is basically a smart car, which makes you a hipster.  I openly admit that THIS version of the car is so ugly it makes me angry to drive, but I did want to see exactly what kind of options there were in terms of style.  Note the stickerbombed fenders (an option I wish was on more cars in the game).  I also have a loaded roofrack, which adds weight and increases drag (but magically does nothing in terms of performance, so go for it).  I also made sure to include the WRC inspired headlamps, which is crazy, because I have never seen anyone stickerbomb their headlights…

In terms of performance, this car has crazy acceleration.  It might be the fastest car in the class, might be.  In stock form.  I hesitate immediately, as I feel as if around a lot of tracks, there are better cars to choose from.  Here’s the thing, yes, the acceleration is exceptional, and the overall speed is very very good, and the cornering is VERY good (especially in tight squeezes and alleys).  This car, however, is very very short.  That being the case, there is very little warning when the car is about to spin.  Going over a corner too quickly, or cornering hard in bumpy conditions means you run the risk of spinning.  While this car is quick, it is DEFINITELY difficult to maintain in tricky situations.  Get ready for snap oversteer.  IF you can handle the car (which amounts to keeping control of the rear wheels), then this car is definitely quick.

Meet Mini Me (Weeny Issi).  This car is basically a Mini Cooper (the one created by BMW).  I have driven several of these cars (my grandmother of all people owns a Mini Cooper S) and they are fun cars, have great handling, and great acceleration, as does the Weeny Issi.  There’s not a whole lot else to say about it, in terms of style, it is straight forward and is pretty enough in its own right.  It also comes in convertible, which can be a good OR bad thing.

Here is the thing with convertibles: you can see a lot better in first person mode when looking backwards.  The bad part is, you are susceptible to getting your head blown off.  I chose the convertible Issi specifically for visibility purposes.  An alternative is the hardtop Dinka Blista which has identical performance in stock form as the Weeny Issi.  Just because their performance is the same in terms of numbers does not mean that the cars act similar when you drive them hard.  The Issi suffers from similar snap oversteer characteristics as the Pando (although it isn’t quite as bad, it will still catch you if you aren’t paying attention).  Both cars yield the highest top speeds in the class and have excellent handling in stock form (and are not as twitchy as the Pando).  This car cannot be bought, you have to jack one, but they are around if you see one, just take it and store it in your garage.

Keeping up in terms of top speed you will find the Bollokan Prairie.  It is funny to me that this car is in the game and is as quick as it is.  Obviously modeled after the Hundai Tiburon, it doesn’t look like much, and looks like it shouldn’t go fast.  Years ago, there was a Tiburon that became fairly famous for being a street racing sleeper (makes me wonder if it was the motivation behind this car in the game).  The sleeper came out of hiding because the car became known by so many street racers that the guys that built the car had to drive hundreds of miles to find a fresh sucker (according to Sport Compact Car magazine).  Watch it do a burnout at 1:38 (the driver put the front wheels in reverse and the rear wheels in drive…chassis flex anyone?).

It does have good top speed, but you might find yourself struggling if there are a lot of braking and cornering zones.

Lastly, I come to perhaps my favorite car, the Declasse Rhapsody.  The car’s style is based on the classic AMC Pacer, aka, “The Mirthmobile” of Wayne’s World.

If you are not familiar with SNL Spinoffs, Wayne’s World was really the movie that lifted Mike Meyers from TV to movie stardom.  Let us deconstruct the name for a moment.  Declasse Rhapsody.  Perhaps the most iconic scene of the Wayne’s World series is the epic Bohemian Rhapsody lip-sinc deal, which obviously inspired the name of the GTA version of the car.

The car’s performance isn’t the “best” in terms of numbers, at least in stock form, but I love driving this car.  First off, YES I have a giant blower on the front.  Yes, it is totally unnecessary.  Yes, I love it.  It DOES handle very well for the class, and it does not make me feel like I might crash every time I go over the curb (like the Pando does).  Furthermore, it is rear wheel drive, so it has the characteristics that I like from a car, despite being in a class laden with front wheel drivers.

So yes, this is my favorite car, and I would argue fully tuned that this is the fasted car in the class when compared to other fully tuned vehicles.  I make that claim, but know that it is VERY close to the Issi and Panto.  It seems to be very much easy to control, and handles exceptionally well.  And it has flames on the side.  Flames automatically increase horsepower (come on, that is just how internal combustion engines work).  I hope this was helpful!  There will be more to come, and as always, I am open to discussion/investigation if anyone has a differing opinion!

*Disclaimer: these are my opinions. While I love racing in GTA, the in game physics are simply not what I would call a driving simulator. Having said that, I believe the physics for a game are very good, which means strategy and knowledge are both crucial to winning races. Furthermore, many of the cars have different strengths/weaknesses and the driver is always a determining factor in winning races. These are my opinions, and I am open to discussion and alternative perspectives on these matters.*

Live fast, die young.

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