And it was excellent. I had 2 separate cars on two separate occasions, a manual Fiesta I took to Nürburg and an auto Toyota CH-R I rented in Belgium.

Here’s what I learned.

I don’t think it’s an ugly car. But it writes checks the power train can’t cash

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I posted about the Fiesta when I got it, about how I didn’t love it. It was a bit too modern and a bit too bossy for me. This all changed when I got in the CH-R, an awful hateful car that takes every issue and makes it ten times worse.

The CH-R is a small-ish edgy, SUV. Far more premium than the plucky a Fiesta economy hatch. Except, it’s not. It’s worse, it’s slower, it’s painful to operate. It’s a depressing hybrid in a different skin.

The brakes are grabby and impossible to use consistently or smoothly. The EV mode turns on and off at will. Coupled with the fact that creep doesn’t always work means you can actually forget if the car is on. Everything is mixed signals, inconsistency. The infotainment is confusing and awful, so is the radar cruise control. Even in eco mode it wants to brake hard way before you arrive at the car in front.

The CVT is unnatural and jarring though maybe better after some getting used to. The idea that the car uses the engines best power range constantly is sort of appealing, even if the sound is not.

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By comparison the Fiesta was a dream.

And the final point is this: CH-R topped out at a limited k184km/hr. The Fiesta went to 210 and wasn’t done pulling.

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