Friday, December 29, 2017

From GLA to GLS: what gives?


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The Mercedes GLA may be a good deal on paper but can it shake the image that the CLA seems to be tarnished by?

Standard GLA250’s turbocharged four-cylinder is good for 208hp while the top of the GLA45 AMG’s 375hp is wicked fast. Pick of the range is simple and the most logical choice, even though we do enjoy how fast the AMG form is, we’d have to say the GLA250 is the only way to go. It’s the more affordable of the two and the running costs are actually quite good. It’s hard to fault it too because there’s decent turn of pace around town and on the highway, plus you can option it with all-wheel-drive if needed.

On the road the GLA does feel more composed than you’d think. There’s plenty of grip with the 4-matic all-wheel-drive system and steering feedback is pleasantly good. The AMG form has a lowered suspension and its setup is more aimed towards agility. However, you’ll be surprised that there is a fair balance between body control and ride comfort; at least the GLA lives up to the Mercedes badge with very minimal wind and road noise to complain of.

There is plenty of space for the front passengers and rear passengers. Headroom and legroom are both decent. The boot space is decent too but nothing to brag about. The infotainment system is too fiddly to operate while on the move, and there are far too many menus to look through for simple functions. Plus we aren’t huge fans of the screen that sort of just pops out the dash instead of raising and lowering into the dash like in the Audi Q3.

Bluetooth audio streaming, 14-way power driver’s seat with memory, power lift gate and eco start/stop system all come as standard. You’ll have to pay extra for navigation system, bi-xenon headlamps and 4-matic all-wheel-drive. Both options that are great but all depends if you really have to have them. Our tester car came pretty decked out and also came with a pretty decked out price tag as well.

The GLA price tag is enticing but you’ll have to walk away with a very sparsely equipped GLA. Even if it does offer decent kit at a decent price, you’ll have to overlook the Q3 which does have a bit more kit standard and of course the more dynamically appealing X1. Getting the GLA to a desired level of kit means you’ll be paying more for it and it becomes even harder to justify especially when there are so many indirect rivals that are larger roomier and has more standard kit too.

Mercedes reliability record is spotty even though Mercedes does enjoy high customer satisfaction scores. The interior materials do feel up to Mercedes par, but the overall reliability of the electronics should be something to look at long term wise. But at least Mercedes doesn’t short change on the safety with collision prevention assist plus, driver attention assist, and adaptive braking technology. Seven airbags are standard; and an alarm system with engine immobilizer is fitted to keep theft at bay.

The GLA is one of those crossovers you’ll either love or loathe. We like the low starting price and the overall badge appeal that comes along with owning a Mercedes, however you will feel short changed with the GLA just like the CLA. Its indirect options are much better and that raises the question is it really worth it? If you have to have a Mercedes yes; otherwise there are better indirect rivals that cost similar money and offer way more.

Likes: AMG form is wicked fast. It’s a practical hatchback on stilts with a low starting price.  Low running cost.

Dislikes: Low price goes bye-bye when options are added. Infotainment system is fiddly to operate and there are too many distracting menus.

Devon’s choice: GLA 250 4-matic all-wheel-drive. If your heart is set on having a GLA this form is the best way to go. You’ll want to keep the options list light with just one or two options added on. Both are a bit pricey but are worth adding; 4-matic all-wheel-drive for the added traction in sticky situations and Bi-xenon headlamps for the added luxury car appeal.

Performance: Standard form is good but AMG form is wicked fast. ****

Ride & handling: Both are surprisingly good. ****

Refinement: Up to Mercedes standards. ****

Buying & owning: Some versions can get expensive but holds value well. **

Quality & reliability: Quality is good but reliability record is spotty. ***

Safety & Security: Comes with all the gear needed for avoidance and in event of accident. ****

Behind the wheel: Comfortable front seats; infotainment system too fiddly. ***

Space & Practicality: Decent space for five; boot space nothing to brag about. ***

Equipment: Decent kit but options are expensive. ***

GLA 45AMG offers blistering performance thanks a turbocharged four-cylinder pumping out 375hp. The only downside to the AMG variant is the high asking price and the overly firm suspension that borders on the unforgiving side.

Thursday, December 28, 2017

We set a new pace with Jaguar (Updated with diesel engine)


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Jaguar has finally taken a page from Porsche with a crossover, a mighty fine crossover at that. But it doesn’t come without its flaws and those flaws definitely can’t go unnoticed.

There are four engines to choose from. We only managed to test one of them, but we are going to go through all four engine options first. Standard 25t AWD uses a new 2-liter turbocharged four-cylinder pumping out 247hp. 20d AWD gets our favorite 2-liter turbo-diesel pumping out 180hp. 35t AWD (our tester car) comes equipped with a 3-liter supercharged six-cylinder producing 340hp while top of the range S AWD uses the same 3-liter supercharged six-cylinder pumping out 380hp. The only vehicle we’ve managed test drive the diesel in is the XF and that had mixed opinions. We loved the 35t AWD in the XE and well those opinions hadn’t changed much when applied to the F-pace.

The engine provides strong pull from a standstill and is actually quite easy to drive around town. We love the raised driving position and despite having a higher center of gravity compared to the XE sedan, the F-pace handles just as well. Our tester car came equipped with an air-suspension which allowed us to slip it into comfort mode. This made the driving experience impeccable. Dare we say it’s better than an Mercedes S-class? Steering feedback is where it should be and the ride comfort can range anywhere from firm to extremely comfortable. Road and wind noise won’t be much of an issue as the F-pace irons out both well.

The infotainment system has been a huge headache for us. It’s not that the interface is hard to use, it’s the quality of it. Several times it would freeze up and sometimes wouldn’t respond at all. The gear selector didn’t rise up from the console until moments after the vehicle has been activated and the auto high beams are overly sensitive. They often confused lightly shaded areas as a need to have headlights on at the highest setting. We were greeted by a few angry drivers who of course were blinded by our headlights. The engine check light activated as well and the rear parking sensors completely failed on us. Prior to returning the F-pace the car completely stalled on us while we were on a busy street. The Jaguar Dealer sent a tow-truck quickly and told us that someone used the wrong grade fuel this is why the engine shut off. We didn’t stop for fuel during our test of the car so we’re guessing it was the fault of the dealer.

Our tester car came kitted with power-folding mirrors, full-LED headlights; navigation system and dual-zone climate control. The optional extra bits included steering wheel memory, Meridian premium sound system and a full air suspension. You’ll have to pay extra for the kit that you’ll most likely want with the F-pace which pushes the price up considerably. The F-pace we had was mildly kitted and seemed priced within reason. We would most likely choose the diesel engine as it has low running costs and seems quite flexible thanks to the high torque at low revs. Sadly we didn’t get the chance to test that one.

The F-pace really does feel different from the Land Rover Disco Sport. It certainly is more entertaining to drive than the BMW X3, sadly we had so many electric issues with our tester car and of course the engine completely stalled on us when we were taking it back to the dealership. It seems as if Jaguar is taking steps in the right direction but the quality we feel needs to improve. Otherwise this is one of the best luxury crossovers you can buy. It’s stylish and easy to live with. It is a great crossover that’s hard to hate.

Likes: It’s fun to drive and very practical. Jaguar did a fantastic job with the styling and on-road dynamics are superb.

Dislikes: It suffered from electrical issues.

Our pick: Sadly since we only could test one of the four engines. We’d say stick with the cheaper turbo four-cylinder (25t) for those who want the F-pace at a decent price. Our tester car came in at over $60k but the amount of standard kit matched the asking price. We just wish that it didn’t stall on our test drive of it. The turbo-diesel option (20d) is the way to go if you plan to do tons of highway driving and want to have the most appealing running costs.

Update: We finally got our hands on an F-pace Diesel. We still stand by our statement of choosing the diesel of the petrol engine options. It seems to be the better deal overall. We know that most people will say if you can afford a Jag why on earth would you ever need a fuel saving diesel engine? Well, the diesel engine fits the character of the F-pace as a highway commuter car. It doesn't feel overly powerful and yet it still remains posh and refined. We loved how smooth the engine revved and it didn't feel like it was out of puff around town or on the highway. The only time it feels sluggish is when you run out of steam but that rarely happened with us. We are still trying to figure out when we are going to be able to test drive the new 2-liter turbo engine that Jag/Land Rover developed. 

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Chrysler has a new MPV


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The almighty SUV took the place of both the wagon and the minivan. But there are buyers out there who really do need a proper MPV, and for those few buyers you can still choose from a small number of offerings. One of them being the Chrysler Pacifica, it used to be a crossover itself; now it has loads of tricks up sleeve. The question is, is it really worth it?

The sole 3.6 engine does a good enough job of surrying the Pacifica along around town and on the highway. You may feel as if the 3.6 often gets lost in the nine-speed auto gearbox which is the only transmission choice you can have with it. We loathe the way it felt in the smaller Renegade and even the new Compass. It often feels as if the transmission doesn't really know what to do next, due to all the gears and it often does feel lost. It's not a bad translation here in the Pacifica, but there are keen rivals from Kia and Honda that have this all sorted out. While most buyers won't be taking their Pacifica through tight corners and bends, we do however appreciate that it doesn't feel like a chore to drive. Handling is taut and the overall feel of the chassis is where it should be. Steering feedback is good but not great, after all this is an MPV and most buyers (like we've stated earlier) won't be driving how we are driving.

Where it matters the most is around town which it does a good job of not feeling like a big lug, even though it is. We do however recommend opting for blind spot monitoring system and surround view camera system as the front hood is angled in such a way that makes it hard to judge whether you have the clearance or not in tight parking spaces. There isn't much wind or road noise to complain of, but you'll have to step up from the base trim to get active noise cancellation. You'll want this as it will keep all passengers on board happy. What will make them even happier is the on-board entertainment system that is optional kit on all but the top of the range. Again, it all depends upon whether or not you really need it and are willing to pay the premium for it. At least you can get a vacuum cleaner for those days when the kids get a little too excited about watching SpongeBob and spill popcorn all over the floor. Minivans do live a pretty rough life, but it's the little things that do make you smile. The second and third row seats fold completely flat into the floor, giving you a cargo van when needed. The boot space is decent with the third row in place, but you'll want to fold that down to really exploit the full potential of the boot space. When the seats are in place you've got enough room for five people, even adults won't find much to complain about in the third row. They may not want to sit back there for long but at least you can always put the kids back there if push comes to shove.

The U-connect infotainment screen does take some getting used to, but it's not as fussy as the one found in the Honda Odyssey. What we hate though is every automaker is switching to the overly complicated gear selector. While in defense of the Pacifica, this gear selector is not hard to use. It is fussy operate and there is so delay in shifting between gears. Sometimes the best way to go is a traditional gear selector. The view out is good thanks to large windows and plenty of parking aids.

The LX trim comes with a rear view parking camera, six-speaker sound system and 17-inch alloy wheels. Touring trim adds automatic high beam headlights, keyless entry on all doors and power sliding doors. Touring Plus adds power boot opening and three-zone climate control. Touring L trim gets remote vehicle start; blind spot monitoring system and Rear Park assist system. Touring L Plus trim adds a 13-speaker audio system, 7-inch information display, power front passenger seat with Stow 'n Go assist and heated steering wheel. You'll have to step all the way up to the top of the range Limited Trim to get 18-inch alloy wheels, panoramic sunroof, HID headlights, navigation system and power-folding exterior mirrors.

You'll have to really want an MPV to overlook the vast number of crossovers that are just as roomy and easier to live with. However, there are buyers who really do need a vehicle that can live up to the hustle of family life. The Chrysler Pacifica is a great choice, but it's not the best choice as reliability ratings should be considered as well as the fact that Kia, Honda and Toyota all offer a much more compelling MPVs. When it comes to MPVs however, we still say the Honda Odyssey is the best of the bunch even if you do have to pay bit more for it. You're walking away with something that's much better than Chrysler can ever muster up and that's a shame because Chrysler/Dodge invented the segment.

Likes: It seats up to seven people. Stow 'n Go Seats are easy to use and increases boot space when seats are folded down; one of the more stylish of the MPVs.

Dislikes: It can get expensive the higher up the range you travel (especially the hybrids). Chrysler's reliability record is iffy along with overall build quality.

Monday, December 25, 2017

We test drive the Rogue Sport

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If you heard the name Rogue Sport you’d immediately think it were a turbo version of the Rogue. However, it’s more of a little brother to the Rogue. Competing with crossovers like the Honda HR-V and Mitsubishi Outlander Sport. Does the Rogue Sport offering a compelling reason to sway buyers away from some of the class best?

The sport tagline seems to be just added to spice the name up because the Rogue Sport really isn’t ‘sporty’ in the nearest form. The 2-liter four-cylinder is the sole engine for this vehicle and it only pumps out 141hp. The running costs are very low on this vehicle which should appeal to those who want a crossover but don’t want to break the bank. We just wish that Nissan offered the turbo engine from the Juke in the top of the range trim for those who may want the extra flexibility and well to be honest give the Rogue Sport a reason to call it a Rogue Sport. The engine isn’t bad at all, when you are driving at relaxed speeds and around town there’s plenty of pep in acceleration. It does feel a little sluggish on faster paced roads but it’s class average in horsepower figures and well if you want more power you’ll either have to get the Juke or step up to the more expensive Rogue.

Driving the Rogue Sport is sort of like every other compact crossover. It doesn’t feel as sharp to drive as the Mazda CX-3 and it certainly isn’t as agile either. It is very comfortable as a daily commuter car and we really love the crossover seating position. Visibility outward and around is good and the overall driving experience is more on the blah side, it does feel livelier than the Rogue but that’s mainly because of the size difference. It’s dinky dimensions makes squeezing around tight urban streets a breeze, however nothing beats the conventional hatchback. The driver’ seat and front passenger seats are very comfortable and offer decent support, while those in the second row will find both legroom and headroom is decent as well. The boot is about class average as well, it’s not the best but it does the job good enough.

Standard S trim gets rearview monitor, advanced drive-assist display and Bluetooth for your mobile device. You’ll have to step up to the SV trim to get 17-inch alloy wheels, push button ignition switch, power outside mirrors with LED turn signals and electrically operated driver’s seat with lumbar support. Top of the range SV trim gets 19-inch alloy wheels, navigation system, leather seats and Around View camera with moving object detection. All-wheel-drive is optional on all trims.

The Nissan Rogue Sport isn’t sporty but it does offer a very compelling package. It offers decent kit for the money and is very stylish, we just wish that Nissan induced more fun into the driving experience and also added the turbo engine from the Juke to standout more from the herd. It’s a great crossover with low running costs and should satisfy those who want a crossover but don’t want to break the bank.

Likes: A crossover that’s easy to park and live with in tight urban areas. Plus it has low running costs and decent standard kit; stylish inside out with a decent sized boot.

Dislikes: It’s not sporty and the engine feels anemic.

Devon’s Pick: The SV trim offers the best value for the money here. You can skip the all-wheel-drive as it’s not needed here, unless you just have to have the extra traction.

 If we could change anything: The Rogue Sport is already a decent crossover worthy of being shortlisted, however we wish that we could replace the engine in the SL with the 1.6 turbo from the Juke. Nissan would dominate the small crossover segment as it would be the only option for a turbo engine at a low price point. We know that the Juke exists but why not add an option for those who don’t like the way the Juke looks but still wants a fun to drive crossover that’s flexible and lives up to the ‘Rogue Sport’ name.

Sunday, December 24, 2017

Pathological gets to drive a Porsche for the day


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The Boxster is no more and the 718 Boxster is its replacement. Does this mean radical change? Well it does come with a turbocharged four-cylinder engine that has many purists crying foul. It may be the most controversial Porsche yet.

The 718 comes with two engine options. The Boxster comes with a  2-liter turbocharged four-cylinder that pumps out 300hp while the top of the range Boxster S comes with a 2.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder pumping out 350hp. We were only able to test drive the Boxster trim and well we found it to be fantastic. It may not have that rev happy six-cylinder of the old Boxster, but the turbo four really does sound good under heavy acceleration. You can choose between a slick seven-speed manual gearbox or a seven-speed auto gearbox. Our tester car came with the auto gearbox and it is one fine transmission if we say so ourselves. Steering feedback is communicative and the overall driving experience is one we will never forget. We had the opportunity to drive it with the top down and well that just increased our liking to this vehicle, the open air driving experience is contagious and it really does hold its own well. The only problem with the 718 Boxster is that everyone everywhere wants to look at you and even at the gas station when we had to fill up, we were asked which Porsche is it and what engine is under the bonnet? This certianly isn't the vehicle for anyone who is shy when it comes to attention.

We could only drive the Porsche Boxster on the expressway and within the limits of the speed limit. We did get the chance to toss it into some corners and bends and the Boxster really did stick to each bend like glue. It's almost as if the car is riding on rails. Top up or down, wind noise isn't an issue at all and well road noise isn't really much to complain of.

The 718 Roadster only seats two people and well both passengers won't be short changed on space, even with the top up the space is generous. The seats offer plenty of support and adjust ability while the infotainment system is easy to use. We do highly suggest getting used to the various menus as it does get distracting while on the go. But why would anyone want to busy themselves with the infotainment when the real joy is behind the steering wheel? The boot is in the front and the rear and there's plenty of space for a few bags. This isn't a car for those who are looking for hot hatch space, it's a vehicle for those who want to drive and feel the road beneath them. Visibiity is outstanding for a roadster and we have nothing to complain of.

The 718 Boxster we had came equipped with 20-inch alloys, Bi-xenon headlights, Bose audio system, Lane Change Assist and navigation system. While on top of those optional features that were ticked you also get a sport exhaust system, leather package and vehicle launch system. Porsche is very notorious for making features that should be standard optional and charge and arm and leg for them. Our tester car had nearly $22k worth of added features which pushed the price into the sticker shock category, you really do get what you pay for here.

The 718 Boxster seems like a very formidable replacement for the Boxster itself. Steering is very communicative and the turbo engine is very smooth and responsive, we really did enjoy our time with the Boxster and wished that we didn't have to return it.

Likes: The chassis, steering and handling is fantastic! The turbo engine sings in your ears while you're greeted with a top-notch interior.

Dislikes: This isn't a vehicle for someone shy of attention. You won't see a mildly equipped Porsche on the dealer lots.

Thursday, December 21, 2017

K900 (Kia 900?)


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The appeal of luxury cars all fall in the badge. Certainly buyers choosing a Rolls Royce couldn’t give two fucks about running costs. However, what if you want it all but your wallet says ‘no’. You can certainly have win-win success with the Kia K900.

Even the V6 Premium trim comes with loads of luxury features for the money. The real question however is should you spend your hard earned money on one? We’re here to help.

The standard 3.8 six-cylinder is smooth and offers tons of punch and flexibility while the 5-liter eight-cylinder takes things to a whole new level. It certainly is a firecracker of an engine with no shortage of power, and certainly is a class rarity considering that most of its supposed ‘keen’ rivals are switching to turbo six-cylinder engines. Pick of the range is the 3.8 as it fits the price tag nicely. If you were considering something like a BMW 5-series but the version that you are seeking costs $70k or more, the K900 has more space and more refinement than the 5-series and the only reason to really ignore the K900 is the Kia Badge.

Driving the K900 is simply a real treat. It may not be as driver focused as we’d like, but it doesn’t try to be something that it isn’t. The interior feels posh with very little wind and road noise to complain of. The suspension offers the comfort and agility that makes it feel easy to drive around town and is quick on its toes on the highway. The 3.8 is enough but for those who feel luxury also accounts for size of engine, the 5-liter is an excellent choice none the less. We certainly enjoyed driving the K900 around town and certainly felt more rewarded knowing we what we are driving is far cheaper than some Audi, BMW and Mercedes.

The interior of the K900 lives up to the price tag and can actually be seen as classier than the top German three automakers. What we love the most is the attention to detail. The plastics used are soft to the touch and feel long lasting. The infotainment screen is decently easy to navigate through, although we always recommend getting used to using it first before even attempting to navigate through it while on the go. (Remember always keep both eyes on the road.)

The front seats offer plenty of comfort and adjustability while those in the rear seat will be treated to oodles of leg and headroom. The boot space is generous in space too; even though we certainly wish it were a hatchback like the Audi A7 to increase practicality.


The V6 Premium is the entry-level trim and makes the most sense financially. You get 9.2-inch touch screen infotainment screen, ventilated leather front seats, auto-folding wing mirrors and HID headlights which are fully automatic. V6 Luxury adds Nappa leather seating surfaces, and real wood console trim. Top of the range V8 Luxury adds a 12.3 inch instrument cluster, surround view monitoring system and LED headlights with dynamic bending light. We’ve stated previously that the 3.8 is provides enough in terms of flexibility and decent running costs. You can step up to the 5-liter if you want all the bells and whistles. It may be steep for a Kia but if value for the money is something you’re seeking, this is one of the best options out there.

The K900 is the complete opposite of what a Kia should be. It’s the most expensive of the range and offers the most refined engine options. You’ll certainly want to consider the resale value which isn’t strong and certainly you’ll want to remember that despite having the nice interior and high standard kit list, it’s still a Kia. Badge snobbery is real and if that’s the only reason you’d consider Audi, BMW and Mercedes over anything else. We’d certainly call you daft because there are options out there that may not have the badge appeal but certainly provide compelling reasons to consider them.

Likes: The standard kit is high, the interior is classy and the price tag is within reason and logic.

Dislikes: Residuals are more on the questionable side. It has to deal with badge snobbery.

Our pick: We’d stick with the V6 Premium and not pay a penny more. The V6 Luxury does add nicer leather seats but that leaves us questioning if we should just jump all the way up to the V8 Luxury. This is why we say stick to your laurels and pick the cheapest of the range, unless you are willing to put your money where your mouth is and get the V8.

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Our favorites (Part one)

Wagon:



Volvo V60

Some may argue that the V60 is just a hatchback as the cargo space is too small compared to the BMW 3-series Touring and it doesn't really have much in terms of rear seat legroom. What we do love about the V60 is how much wagon  you get for your money. Volvo tends to be quite generous when it comes to standard kit and the V60 doesn't disappoint at all. Plus there's a version for everybody. The entry-level Dynamic offers plenty of flexibility, low running costs and decent purchase price. R-Design gets sportier looking styling and a more potent 306hp turbo engine. Top of the range Polestar gets a thumping 362hp turbo engine and of course is the only real high-performance wagon you can option for currently. (We're looking at you BMW.)

Hatchback



VW GTI

The king of the hot hatches continues to be that. It may not have the hooligan appeal that the Focus ST does but for someone looking for hot hatch turn of pace in a classier more refined package, you won't be disappointed with this one. For 2018, Volkswagen has given the GTI a facelift with new LED headlights and restyled infotainment screen. The 2-liter turbo has been pumped up to 220hp and also new snazzy looking alloys are also fitted standard.

Sedan

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Kia Optima

When it comes to mid-sized sedans, we think that the Kia Optima is one of the better choices out there. You can choose between three engine options; 2.4 four-cylinder, 1.6-turbo and 2-liter turbo. The 2.4 is the pick of the range as it makes the most sense financially. We do like that Kia offers the 1.6-turbo but it just doesn't really offer much of a benefit in running costs over the 2.4. The top of the range 2-liter turbo doesn't feel as potent as the horsepower figures suggests, but for most buyers looking for a competent mid-sized sedan that's roomy and offers tons of value for the money. Look no further.

Coupe



BMW 2-series

You'd think that opting for the cheapest BMW coupe of the range would be a total penalty box, but it is the complete opposite. You can get the 2-series with two amazing engines (2-liter turbo four 248hp, 3-liter turbo six-cylinder 320hp) and a slick shifting six-speed manual; if you can't drive stick-shift then you can choose a eight-speed automatic which is just as good. The M-tuned version of the 2-series is quite literally the best M car from BMW in a long time. Just because it sits at the entry-level spot in BMW's coupe range doesn't mean that it's a penalty box and of course it can get quite expensive as well.

SUV



Land Rover Discovery

We fell in love with the Discovery when we had it as a rental. It's very comfortable to drive, has plenty of flexibility from both engines and won't disappoint with it's legendary off-road abilities. We'd choose the diesel engine which makes the most sense financially, especially considering that most buyers will do tons of highway driving with their Disco. You can also carry seven-people aboard and opt for uniquely trimmed versions. Land Rover isn't famed for its reliability, but it's very hard to fault it for what it really does bring to the table; in our

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Homophobia makes no sense (Part two)




 “All men can marry women, and all women can marry men. Therefore there is no inequality.”

The inequality lies in your straw man. It is perfectly okay for a man to marry a woman and vice versa, but yet someone whom is gay can’t marry the person they are attracted to? Do you not see the inequality here?! Are you stupid! It’s understandable to have a limit on the number of people you can marry and also having a limit on the age in which individuals are allowed to marry. However, it makes no sense to try and ban same-sex marriage because you don’t agree with it. You have no place in telling two adults in a consensual relationship that they can’t get married. Therefore your argument here is invalid.

“If we legalize gay marriage, what’s next? Pedophilia? Man-dog sex?”

We have legalized gay marriage and yet it still makes absolutely no sense to bring up pedophilia and bestiality. Bestiality will never be considered norm because it is illegal! Animals are not humans and cannot give consent. Any person under the age of 18 is considered a minor, and having sex with a minor is considered statutory rape and you will go to jail! Both of these will not be the norm so stop using them to justify taking the rights away from the LBGT Community.

“There are more important things to worry about than gay rights.”

I agree, which is why it should’ve never been an issue from day one! How would you feel if you were told you couldn’t marry the person you loved because it offended people? You would do all that you could to fight the oppression and marry that person; now put yourself in the shoes of someone whom is gay. It literally is the same thing, you are telling two adults that are in a loving relationship that they can’t share their lives together and have the same rights/benefits that every other married couple have. It’s pretty stupid if you think about it. Interracial couples suffered the same fate but we redefined marriage and we did the same with same-sex marriage, please get off your high horse and seriously get over yourself.

“Gay rights should be put up to a public vote.”

No it should not! You cannot walk into someone’s bedroom and tell two adults that they can’t have sex or sleep in the same bed. You cannot dictate someone’s life, especially if they aren’t harming other people. It’s one thing to make laws that say ‘don’t kill anyone’, ‘you can’t rape people’. These laws were placed for a reason! Society cannot function if people have to constantly worry about walking down the street and being attacked or killed by other people. Secondly, I really don’t see why you’d want to dictate someone’s life. You are attracted to the opposite sex that’s fine and others are attracted to the same-sex and that’s also fine. But what isn’t fine is your need to bully and discriminate against those who don’t share your interests!

“Calling me a bigot just makes you a bigot too.”

Bigot: a person who is intolerant toward those holding different opinions.

Now that we have that out of the way, it is not bigot to call out someone for being a bigot. You cannot call me a bigot because you are the one being intolerant of someone else’s life. You want to deprive people of their basic human rights and yes you will be called out on it. You can have your opinion and you can wear it for the rest of your life, but don’t you dare try to enforce that opinion onto other people. Two consenting adults in a loving relationship whether they are two men or two women should be able to have the same rights as everyone else. Please remember, that gay people don’t want to make other people gay. Homophobes want to make other people homophobic. Who has the real agenda here?

Homophobia makes no sense! (Part one)



 “Marriage should be between a man and a woman, because it has always been this way.”

Marriage ‘should’ be between two adults who love each other. It shouldn’t matter if they are two men or two women. Marriage is a manmade concept and not created by god. Secondly, there have been gay marriages prior to the spread of Christianity. It was more of a taboo topic and people were killed because of it, especially around the time Christians began enforcing their beliefs onto other people. Some can say this was one of the many reasons the Roman Empire fell. It may have been the norm then but it surely isn’t the new norm now, the LGBT Community has the right to marry so get over it.


“Homosexuality is a choice.”

It is certainly not a choice! Please stop with this lie about everyone being born heterosexual. You are born with your sexual orientation and it has been proven scientifically, you don’t choose the gender you are attracted to. It’s becoming really sad that homophobic assholes are trying so hard to invalidate someone’s life because it doesn’t fit within the guidelines of their religion. It would make more sense if you were to attack rapist, murderers and pedophiles that are actually harmful to society. Two consenting adults in a loving relationship not harming anyone shouldn’t be on your list of attack, just saying.


“Homosexuality is condemned in the Bible.”

We have this wonderful thing called freedom of and freedom from religion. You can have your religion, practice it day and night. You can wear it on your sleeve and scream it from the rooftops. It becomes a problem when you try to enforce it onto other people. The government realized that it can’t ban gay marriage because it was pandering to an ideology that it should’ve never been supporting in the first place. It’s understandable that your little world is being shaken and the government isn’t putting your religion on a pedestal, but can we please get over these same stupid arguments!


“Homosexuality is wrong because it is unnatural.”

There are at least 450 species in the animal world that have been recorded having same-sex partners. It also has been proven that you don’t choose what gender you are attracted to, with that said it is perfectly natural to be gay. Just because your religious text says it’s not doesn’t validate anything in your argument. It just makes you look even more stupid.


“Gay marriage is wrong because homosexuals do not procreate.”

Again, you are using the bible to justify your argument and even so that isn’t a good one either. There are couples who are heterosexual that can’t produce children. What if an elderly couple were to marry? You are shaming more than just the LGBT Community in this argument. You are shaming anyone who can’t produce children. Everyone may not want children either! What is so wrong about two adults being in a loving relationship? What is so wrong with that?


Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Pathological goes to Rio with Kia


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The Kia Rio for a while carried the image of being a budget car nothing more. Those who needed a cheap means of getting around considered the Rio because of it's ultra-low base price. Now times have changed however, and the Kia Rio is far from the cheap car that it used to be. It's still affordable and offers much new technology for such a low asking price. Has Kia finally stepped up their game? Or is it a case of all style no substance?

Performance: The Kia Rio only comes with one engine and that's a 1.6-liter four-cylinder producing 138hp. There's plenty of pace for city and highway driving, and fuel economy is really good as well. The engine is paired with either a six-speed manual gearbox or a six speed automatic gearbox. Picking between the two depends on your tastes.

Ride & Handling: The Kia Rio ride often feels firm and never settled over bumps and potholes. If you get the top of the range trim with the low profile tires, the ride comfort will suffer a bit more. Handling is okay, it's not as sporty as a Fiesta but it does offer a secure feeling. The only downside is the steering can often feel numb at times.

Refinement: Wind noise is well suppressed but very little else. Engine noise is often joined by tire noise slapping on the road. The gearshift is a bit notchy too. On long journeys this can make things a bit tiresome unless you turn the radio up a bit to drain out the noise.

Behind the wheel: This car is very easy to get comfortable in because the driving position is adjustable and should suit everyone. The seats are flat and firm. The controls are simple and well placed. The big problem however is the small rear window and thick pillars, which restrict rear visibility.

Space & Practicality: The Rio offers an impressive amount of space for four adults. There's plenty of headroom and legroom to go round. The boot offers plenty of space for its size and the rear seats fold 60/40 for added versatility.

Equipment: The base trim level misses out on power windows and power door locks. But you do get air-con and a CD-player standard. You'll have to step up to the EX trim to get power door locks, windows and Bluetooth connectivity. SX trim adds 17-inch alloy wheels, power folding exterior mirrors, auto headlights with LED day time running lamps and a sports tuned suspension.

Buying & Owning: The Kia Rio is one of the most affordable cars on the market. However, the value factor slowly disappears when you climb up the trim levels. The base trim loses out on features that should be standard, while the top of the range seems rather overpriced for what it is. Running costs should be low thanks to good fuel economy, while resale unknown.

Quality & Reliability: The Kia Rio overall interior quality feels good. The quality of the materials used feel sturdy and long lasting. A huge step forward for the brand. Reliability has been average for the Kia brand.

Safety & Security: All Rios come equipped with front and side curtain airbags. Anti-lock brakes and electronic stability control are standard as well. It should also be as thief-proof as other contemporary Kias.

The Kia Rio has really stepped up its game since it was first released in the U.S. No longer is it the car you'd choose because it’s the cheapest to buy. The new generation of the Rio is stylish, practical and even offers good fuel economy. However, the only disappointing factors are the kit level for the base trim and the disappointing driving experience compared to the Ford Fiesta. If you can ignore these few little faults, you'll find that the Rio is a great car with good value for the money.

Devon's Pick: SX trim may be the most expensive of the Rio range. It's the only version of the Rio that offers the most attractive features such as those LED daytime running lamps and flashy alloy wheels. It's worth spending the extra but it loses the value for money factors.

Likes: Good fuel economy, stylish exterior looks, practical and offers good value for the money.

Dislikes: Not as comfortable or fun to drive as a Ford Fiesta, the base trim is very disappointing.

Saturday, December 9, 2017

Top pick: Mazda CX-9


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You’d be pretty daft to think that Mazda isn’t capable of making a great seven-seat crossover. The proof is in the CX-9 which in our opinion is one of the best options out there if you need seven-seats but don’t want to lose driving entertainment. It’s our top pick after all.

The 2.5 turbo four-cylinder pumps out 250hp and a diesel-like 310lb-ft torque. You can use regular fuel on this engine but the output will drop to 227hp and well a 23hp loss in power is not worth saving few nickels and dimes. We highly recommend using premium fuel to get the fuel 250hp from that four-cylinder engine. The best part of the CX-9 is the fact that despite it not having much horsepower it doesn’t feel sluggish to drive; it’s actually the complete opposite. The high torque at low revs gives the CX-9 so much pull that driving around town is smoother than you’d think and when it comes to passing on the highway, the four-cylinder manages to cope with the heavy weight of the CX-9 with surprising amounts of flexibility. Steering feedback is amazing and the chassis manages to be comfortable and agile. Road noise is present but it is far from annoying or a deal breaker, you can easily drain it out with the radio, wind noise wont’ be much of an issue either thanks to good interior insulation.

The front seats offer superb comfort and the driving position is spot on good. The second row is good in space as well while the third row is surprisingly comfortable with plenty of comfort features to help it feel less claustrophobic. The CX-9 may not have the same amount of cargo space as a Chevy Suburban with both two rows of seats folded down but to say that the CX-9 isn’t roomy enough ultimately means that you’ll have to pick either a Chevy Suburban or Ford Expedition EL.

The dashboard is first class in refinement and the fact that all the controls and dials are within reach of the driver’s hand and are easy to use. The infotainment system is actually quite easy to navigate through with all the menus logically laid out, even though we still bash them for being too distracting while on the go. The Bluetooth connectivity is so seamless to use and isn’t as fussy as the Nissan Maxima we had as a tester.

Our tester car was the Grand Touring trim which came with LED headlights, 20-inch alloy wheels, optional all-wheel-drive system and a Bose premium audio system. Also included in our CX-9 was navigation system, lane departure warning, distance pacing cruise control and blind spot monitoring system (this feature came in handy as we nearly cut-off a few people who rode in our blind spot during a brief drive on the highway).

There are few crossovers that really do tickle our fancy and make us wish we had a need for seven-seats. The CX-9 is one of those crossovers. It really does live up to the ‘zoom-zoom’ with the way it feels on the road and how comfortable and easy it is to live with despite it being a large seven-seat crossover. The only other crossover that doesn’t feel as daunting to drive is the Mercedes GLE and well not everyone wants to pay the premium for one, thus the CX-9 literally is the best of the best and is our top pick.

Likes: The turbo four-cylinder is smooth and offers plenty of flexibility, while running costs is within reason. It can fit up to seven people and doesn’t feel daunting to drive.

Dislikes: Don’t use regular fuel!

Our pick: Most people will be happiest with the Sport or Touring trim. We highly suggest going right for the Grand Touring Trim. It comes with so much kit standard and the asking price is actually quite reasonable. It may be a tad too pricey for some but what you get in return is well justified.

Friday, December 8, 2017

Comparison: Outlander Sport vs Rogue Sport

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Mitsubishi Outlander Sport vs Nissan Rogue
(Note: The Nissan Rogue Sport we were able to get our hands on had a starting price of $23,999* and the Mitsubishi Outlander Sport we could find to evenly price match with was $23,249*. Later in the review we will explain why we had to enclose this note.)

We decided to do a new vs old review. The Mitsubishi Outlander Sport has been on sale for some time now and has been given moderate updates here and there but the engines are both tested tried and true. Nissan has been in this segment for a while as well with their European Qashqai which wasn’t sold here until now. They’ve renamed it Rogue Sport in hopes to lure in buyers who want a crossover but in a smaller more urban friendly size. We definitely had to do a comparison test, old vs new.

Performance: The Nissan Rogue Sport comes with a 2-liter four-cylinder which pumps out 141hp. When we first reviewed the Rogue Sport it was front-wheel-drive and we thought it was perfectly fine in that configuration. However, the version we have now is all-wheel-drive and the traction is there. It does provide plenty of confidence on slippery surfaces but the problem is the engine feels anemic and with the extra weight of the all-wheel-drive it really doesn’t help. The Rogue Sport is fine around town and can keep up with faster paced traffic, our only gripe is that we wish that the turbo engine from the Juke was offered here. It would make the Rogue Sport more enticing and also help the Rogue Sport live up to the ‘sport’ in its name.

The Outlander Sport does come with two engine choices. The standard 2-liter four-cylinder pumping out 148hp was the version we were looking for but the examples (the dealers) had would’ve pushed the Outlander Sport price way below that of the Rogue Sport and made the comparison a little unfair. We opted for the 2.4 instead and well it still feels like an unfair comparison considering the 27hp difference between the two of them. The engine however is more flexible than the Rogue Sport and while the running costs are too much higher, we still appreciate the added power to match with the weight of the all-wheel-drive system.

Winner: The Outlander Sport won this not because it had the most horsepower but the engine doesn’t feel as anemic as the in the Rogue Sport. We tested the Outlander Sport with the 2-liter engine and all-wheel-drive and even in that configuration it didn’t feel as sluggish as the Rogue Sport.

On the road: The Rogue Sport does feel lighter than the Outlander Sport, this helps make the Rogue Sport easier to drive around tight urban streets. We love how the steering isn’t overly but does enough to provide feedback where it matters. You can chug the Rogue Sport around and it handles pretty good considering the higher center of gravity and the fact that despite the lack of horsepower it is much more fun to drive the Rogue Sport fast than the Outlander Sport. We managed to do the same run with the Outlander Sport and while it is the more powerful vehicle here, the steering isn’t where it should be and the handling is not as composed. We know that most people won’t be chugging these crossovers into bends and corners like hatchbacks but it is nice to have a decent handling crossover and the Rogue Sport definitely trumps in that aspect. Both have low wind and road noise and both are easy to live with in general. It was a little hard to come to decision and just called a tie here.

Behind the wheel: Where the Outlander Sport fails is the driving position. It feels like you have to have long arms because the seat doesn’t offer upright seating comfort that the Rogue Sport does. The dashboard layout is simple and easy to navigate through thanks to the large touch screen infotainment system. It isn’t as crisp as the one in the Rogue Sport but we do appreciate the fact that it is a lot easier to navigate through. Space in the rear seat is tied between both. We appreciate the visibility being good in both but the Rogue Sport easily takes the win for this one.

Equipment: The Rogue Sport came fitted with all-wheel-drive, automatic headlights, keyless entry with push button start and multi-zone climate control. 17-inch alloy wheels, rear-view parking camera and integrated roof rails also came standard.

The Outlander Sport came fitted with Xenon-headlamps, premium sound system by Rockford-Fosgate, auto-dimming interior rear-view mirror and leather seats. All-wheel-drive was fitted as well as dual-zone climate control and a rear-view parking camera.

Winner: The Rogue Sport and Outlander Sport both lack the active safety features that should be standard but the Outlander Sport wins hands down on the value for the money factor.

These are two different approaches to crossovers. The Rogue Sport is the more modern option compared to the Outlander Sport which feels like its age. We loved how the Outlander Sport had the more flexible engine and was the more comfortable to drive around town, but the Rogue Sport was way more enjoyable to drive in the city but felt out of its depth on faster paced roads. Picking between the two of them merely comes down to what you desire the most, the newest and more modernized or the value for the money. We love the Rogue Sport but you can get so many of the Outlander Sports at dirt cheap prices.

Winner: The decision to pick a winner really did fall on deaf ears as both loved the Rogue Sport the most and most arguments were in favor of the on-road dynamics of the Rogue Sport and the fact that it is a better overall package. The only argument that could be presented with the Outlander Sport is better reliability, lower prices and higher standard kit. We eventually came to the conclusion that the Rogue Sport will fit everyone. It has a lot going for it in terms of low-running costs and the easiest to live with. We just wish that Nissan made the Rogue Sport live up to the ‘sport’ in its name.

Nissan Rogue Sport

Likes: The easiest crossover to live with and has very low running costs. Exterior styling and interior styling are attractive with a boot that’s generous in space.

Dislikes: The engine feels anemic and not everyone will be convinced to pay near $35,000 for a compact crossover with barely any active safety features and a sluggish engine.

Mitsubishi Outlander Sport

Likes: It has the strongest engine between the two of them. It also came with the most standard features for a dirt cheap price.
Dislikes: It doesn’t feel as refined as the Rogue Sport. Residual values will be weak.

Engines:

Nissan Rogue
2-liter four-cylinder 141hp (AWD)

Mitsubishi Outlander Sport
2.4-liter four-cylinder 168hp (AWD)

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Pathological tries to find a Spark with a Chevy


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Even developing a cheap car is an expensive business. So if companies want to make any money out of one they need to share the costs. This explains why Chevy used the Opel/Vauxhall platform for its smallest Spark. But is buying one a false economy?

The standard 1.2 four-cylinder pumps out 98hp. It may not seem like much but it does offer decent flexibility around town but on the highway you'll really want to pick and choose your overtaking. You'll feel like you're constantly flogging the accelerator pedal even though you aren't. Which does put a slight damper on the running costs because while most four-cylinder engines thrive on the higher rpms, the tiny engines like this one are best suited with a manual gearbox which really does utilize the little horsepower and torque the engine has to offer. Sadly we didn't get a manual gearbox with our top of the range 2LT trim but at least it didn't feel cheap inside like we thought it would, the previous Spark was more of a hipster feeling car while this one feels more Euro Chic.

Driving around town the Spark is actually quite fun to drive. It's easy to squeeze in and out of tight parking spaces and very easy to dart around at low speeds. The steering feels light and decent on feedback, it just when you get on faster paced roads everything seems to just fall apart. It doesn't hold its own as well as it should and well the ride comfort maybe comfortable, but it feels like you've driven a long distance just from the abundance of engine noise and wind noise that sneaks into the cabin. We know the price tag of the vehicle, but a Ford Fiesta seems more refined and isn't much more expensive.

The interior does feel like it is built to a price and well some materials feel cheap and nasty. Build quality seems good from what we've been able to see. The front seats offer decent comfort and support, while those in the back will have decent space. You won't be able to fit three abreast as this car is strictly a four-seat vehicle only. The boot space isn't anything to complain of since this is a small car but the Ford Fiesta and even a Fiat 500 feels more versatile.

Our tester car came equipped with leatherette seating surfaces, keyless entry with keyless start and a rear park assist. You also get a seven-inch infotainment display, bluetooth for your mobile device, 15-inch alloy wheels and integrated fog lights.

We understand that not everyone can afford most of the mainstream sedans and hatchbacks, and the Chevy Spark certainly is one vehicle that should be on your lists of considerations. We didn't say short list this because well the Ford Fiesta is far more fun to drive and the Mitsubishi Mirage beats the Spark in the value for the money factor. The Spark certainly is better to drive than a Mirage and we surely would choose one of the a Mirage any day, it's just the simple fact that if you don't get the cheapest one. You minus well get a Sonic or even a Nissa Versa Note. It's good value for the money but there are too many indirect rivals to choose from for similar cash.

Likes: Low running costs. Easy to drive around town and live with as a daily commuter car.

Dislikes: Outside the city limits everything goes downhill. It can get expensive as you climb the range.

Our pick: Stick with the 1LT. It comes with all the standard kit most care about and also has standard alloy wheels without having to pay the price premium of the 2LT. The Activ version has a slightly raised driving position but no all-wheel-drive option is also worth considering if you want a crossover poser but it's quite dearly priced.

Christian thinks Atheists are funny (stupid)



Atheists are fighting against something they don't believe exists. It's like writing blogs against Caspar the Friendly Ghost or Bilbo Baggins. Why would you bother?

Okay, so we’re playing the ‘put all atheists in one box’ game? Well, Christians might sound like this. ‘We don’t have to prove to you god exists. You have to prove to us that god doesn’t exist.’ (Now that we’ve got that out of the way) I personally don’t know of any atheists that are going out of their way to speak against god. However, we will defend our lack of belief when we feel that we are being attacked which is (majority of the time) Christians wanting to force their beliefs down other people’s throats. I do have a problem with it and I will call you out on your bullshit, because sometimes it has to be done.

Atheists spend more time writing on Christian blogs than they do on their own. Why fuel a nonexistent fire?

That is not true! Well I’m a bad example of this.

You Christians love to play the victim card. I’ll admit I do go onto Christian Websites and respond; but that’s because 99.9% of the time the websites I go onto are in full fledge attack mode against atheists. We have no morals, our lives are meaningless and we are savage wild animals looking to attack poor innocent Christians. Again, the only people fueling the fire are you Christians because (we) atheists don’t want to participate in your cult of a religion.

Show us actual evidence your god exists and we will surely change our minds. (And I don’t mean show me the bible or the look around you fallacy.)

Atheists love to act intellectual until you catch them doing something illogically and then they scream profanities cause that's really intellectual.

Really, atheists love to sound intellectual? This is coming from someone who thinks there are talking snakes. A burning bush spoke to Moses. A man was swallowed by a whale and lived in its stomach for three days. Noah and his family repopulated the earth. People just pop into existence from dirt and bones. The world is only 6,000 years old and was created in only six days. A magical boat carried two of every species on the planet. Yes! You are so right, that sounds so much more intellectual than anything us atheists have to say.

Atheists have the word theist in their name. Every time they say who they are they call attention to God.

The term atheism originated from the Greek ἄθεος (atheos), meaning "without god(s)", used as a pejorative term applied to those thought to reject the gods worshiped by the larger society.

The term was actually thrown at people who refused to participate in a religion that is all based on blind faith. You can’t see god. You can’t see heaven and there is actually no proof of almost all of the claims in the bible. It’s almost like the bible and religion were manmade concepts used for control.

Atheists condemn all that's wrong with Christianity and yet cannot produce one work of art, literature or sacrificial deed done in the name of atheism. Even they realize it's not worth dying for.

Stephen Hawking, Alan Turing, Rosalind Franklin (to name a few) might have something different to say about that.

Christianity has a very violent and downright awful history. You cannot ignore it because even your holy text goes into detail about the things that people have done in the name of your god. No ideology is worth killing or dying for.

Atheists only believe in what their senses tell them unless its Darwin telling them things that happened billions of years ago, then they have more faith than a Catholic at First Communion.

I can say, ‘Christianity is all based on blind faith. Its followers are prone to getting mad when they’re whole belief system is questioned.’

Do you know why we have more faith in Darwin? Well, I wouldn’t use the word ‘faith’, but Darwin has provided proof that could be tested scientifically. Your bible does have some historical locations but that’s it. I still have yet to see a talking snake and we have yet to see traces of penguins and polar bears making the long journey from Antarctica to the Middle East to get on a magic boat.

Atheists believe in science unless the scientists believe in God, then they denounce the scientist and call him a moron.

The moment someone becomes an atheists, you Christians immediately condemn him to hell and label him a Devil Worshipper.

Secondly, most scientists who actually go into research to discover if god does exist always comeback an atheist.

We atheists don’t discredit any scientists that believe in god. It’s actually quite the opposite, we want to know if a god does exist and we constantly ask the question. Where is the proof? We can’t believe something based off blind faith, that’s not how it works. We have to have actual empirical data to suggest that this deity really does exist. Maybe god can just I don’t know reveal himself to the world and end this debate? It’s like god is playing both sides of the debate, or maybe he’s too embarrassed because what we think he is and what he actually is two differ notions.

Maybe he really just doesn’t exist at all!

Atheists believe in their fellow man, unless their fellow man believes in God, then they denounce their fellow man and call him a moron.

I don’t know any atheists that go out of their way to call Christians or any religious person a moron. Secondly, your religion is moronic because it’s all blind faith. You can’t see god. You can’t touch god and you can’t talk to him because he’s not real!

However, if this is what you believe and you find comfort in it. I’m totally fine with that. I won’t judge you or call you a moron. However, it becomes a problem when you try to enforce your religion onto me. I may not believe what you believe and that’s fine. We have a difference in opinion in one shape or another. No one gives a flying fuck about your religion.

I actually denounce anyone who thinks that it’s okay to judge others who aren’t harming anyone.

Atheists believe in the great free-thinkers of the past like Andrew Flew unless they change their mind and become theists then they denounce them and call them morons.

I wouldn’t say we denounce them, to be honest we don’t denounce anyone who believes in god. Atheists respect those who believe and only want to respect in return. It’s when religious people think that we need to believe what they do and get mad when we don’t want to.

You’re obsessed with name calling. I don’t know many atheists that go out of their way to call people morons and denounce them. I know plenty of Christians that do this.

Atheists don't believe in morons unless they are atheists and then they embrace them and call them intellectuals.

I know a lot of Christians that only associate with Christians. They all gather every Sunday and worship their deity. While other people choose to just be individuals and free-thinkers, those are the real morons? No! I wouldn’t dare call anyone who worships a deity that refuses to reveal himself, judges others and wants you to murder innocent people. I would never!

(Look-back) Mini Roadster was the odd Mazda Miata Fighter


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If you wanted a two-seat roadster but didn't want to pay much money. Your only option would be the Mazda MX-5 Miata. It's not a bad option but what if you wanted something a little different from the MX-5. Well your prays have been answered! Mini has a new Roadster which can go toe to toe with the MX-5 in both fun to drive and affordable price, but is it a winning argument?

Performance: There are a familar range of 1.6-liter engines that all Minis offer. The Standard Mini Roadster uses a 1.6-liter non-turbo four-cylinder with 122hp. Cooper S trim uses a turbocharged form with 181hp, while the top of the range JCW gets pumped up to 208hp. Pick of the range is simple and yet the best form of a Mini you can buy the Cooper S. It's quite flexible and simply the most fun to drive and the more sensible choice of the range. The base trim feels a little underpowered while the top of the range is excellent but rather priced a little steeply.

On the road: The Mini Roadster has a rather firm ride, it's not nearly as firm as the Mazda MX-5. At highway speeds the ride surprisingly feels settled, even at low speeds the firm ride is forgiving. The Mini feels sharp and balanced through bends and corners with well weighted steering that has sharp response. With the roof down ther'es a lot of wind buffeting in the cabin. Road and engine noise can be heard at highway speeds. The exhaust emits an appealing pop and bangs.

Behind the wheel: Finding a driving position that suits you best won't be hard to find. The dashboard is a differ story however. It's funky retro design looks good but functionality is poor. Many of the controls feel fiddly to operate and confusing in layout. Rear visibility is very limited with the roof up. It's not as bad in the Mini Coupe. Compared with most two-seat roadsters, the Mini Roadster is very practical. The boot offers a decent size with a pass through for skis.

Equipment: All the roadsters come with the basic specs which includes alloy wheels, air-con and parking sensors. A part-electric roof is also standard as well. For those who wants to customize their Mini to their tastes, there are plenty of customizations to choose from.

Buying & Owning: The Mini Roadster costs about the same as the Mazda MX-5. The Mini Roadster is more fuel-efficient and offers better storage and resale value. The news gets even better when you pick the Mini Cooper S over the Mazda. Not only do you get a more powerful engine, but it's cheaper and more still more efficient.

Quality & Safety: Cabin materials are very iffy in quality. Some areas look down right cheap. Mini does well in reliability and customer satisfaction, but still we question Minis long term reliability. Mini comes with stability control and anti-lock brakes to keep you safe. The brakes are sophisticated and there's plenty of airbags to keep you safe in the event of a crash.

The Mini Roadster is very pratical and sensible option compared to the Mazda MX-5. It's quite fun to drive and offers much value for the money if you stick with the Cooper and Cooper S forms. Howver, the Mini Roadster suffers from a stingy equipment level and isn't as fun to drive as the Coupe form. If you are looking for a two-seat roadster that's practical and affordable the Mini Roadster should be on your list.

Devon's Pick: Mini Roadster Cooper S is the sweet spot of the range. It's not as expensive as the JCW but is just as fast and is more fuel efficient than the JCW.

Likes: Go-kart handling. Surprisingly comfortable despite firm suspension. Very practicla for a roadster also.

Dislike: Dashboard controls are fiddly to operate. Options can send the price soaring. Not as sharp to drive as the Mini Coupe.

Devon M

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

What not to say to a 'godly wife' (apparently)


In its most general sense, a fair use is any copying of copyrighted material done for a limited and “transformative” purpose, such as to comment upon, criticize, or parody a copyrighted work. Such uses can be done without permission from the copyright owner.

I am responding to an article on how to talk to a 'godly wife'. Solving your problems yourself? There's no such thing! You need 'god' in every decision you make because they aren't yours to make they are 'god's'.

“You should have asked for help.”
A woman wants a husband who will care for her and watch over her. She wants a protector and to feel taken care of. Because of this, it’s nice when our husband notices we might need help with something and jumps in for the support.
[What you’re implying is that women are weak and constantly need a man to step in to help out? That’s what I’m getting from this statement.]
Sometimes a wife might need help reaching for that bowl above the refrigerator or picking up the cheerios on the floor. This is a great opportunity to jump in and serve your wife.
[If you can’t reach something too high up ask for your husband for help, or just use a stepstool and grab it yourself. It’s not hard! I mean you’re making women out to be just completely and utterly useless in everything they do.]
If you don’t jump in and maybe your wife seems frustrated or mentions she would have like helped, refrain from commenting she should have asked for it. A comment like that will leave her feeling alone and uncared for.
[This is bullshit! You won’t know if anyone needs help unless they reach out and ask for it. Example, my partner maybe in the living room watching TV and I’ll be in the kitchen and I spill something. It would be highly unfair if I’m cleaning up the spill and expect my partner to automatically know I need help and should run to my aid. If I need help I’ll reach out for it, this is why you communicate with each other! Open your mouth and say how you feel!]

“We just don’t agree so let’s not talk about it.”
Sometimes the logic is; if I know we won’t agree on the topic or see eye to eye, let’s not talk about it. But not talking about it doesn’t make the difference go away. If anything, it creates a gap that will only grow with time.
[There are lots of things my partner and I don’t agree on. We, however come to a middle ground on various issues that we do encounter in our relationship. He doesn’t agree with somethings I think is sensible and vice versa. But we don’t avoid it, we address it when needed. So yes this I agree with, communication is important.]
I’ve watched this happen when it comes to politics, family, and even the Bible. Don’t be afraid to talk to your wife regarding a sensitive issue just because you don’t think you’ll agree. Take the opportunity to really listen to each other and grow closer through the differences.
[I agree with everything you’ve said here except the bible. You just had to toss the fucking bible in!]

“Why are you doing it that way?”
When we’re working on something we care about or pour a lot of time into, we look to our husband for encouragement and validation.
[You could quite literally take that comment in so many directions. I will apply this to my partner and I. He may have noticed that I’m doing a task inefficiently and wants to suggest an easier way of doing so. I would greatly appreciate that tip rather than jumping down his throat and yelling at him. The whole point of a relationship is that it’s all teamwork. We help build each other up and we help each other when one of us is down, and to get mad over a suggestion is just petty.]

“Looks the same to me.”
Your wife gets a new haircut, works out to lose a few pounds, or tries out a new makeup look. She wants to know you notice and might ask “how do I look” or “can you tell I made a change?” If so, never say anything close to “you look the same to me.”
[My partner and I generally don’t have this issue; if I buy a new shirt he will notice right away or if I get my haircut he will notice right away. It is mainly due to him being a very observant and I am the total opposite. I’ll notice larger changes, example he’s working out more and he also changes up his hairstyle. Little things like new shirt or new shoes I won’t notice right away because I’m not very observant and he doesn’t get mad over it. He will tell me flat out ‘hey look at my new shirt’.]
Your wife wants you to notice her, in both the small and significant ways. Make a comment about how you like the new look or appreciate the hard work she’s put into the new effort.
[We all want to be noticed in large and small ways but this is just ridiculous!]

“What did you do all day?”
This is a big no, no! Some women stay home to take care of the kiddos while the husband goes to work, or perhaps works from home. I beg you to please never come home and ask your wife what she’s been doing all day. Maybe the house isn’t perfect or dinner is a bit late, but I promise you that any woman staying home to care for the family, whether that be with kids or a stay-at-home job, is not bored or sitting around the house all day.
[Men stay at home with their kids too! I give major props to any stay at home parent because it’s hard. My partner and I both work full-time jobs and we are both off on the same days. When it comes to cooking we take turns, and when it comes to cleaning we both pitch in to help keep our house clean. I understand some men out there or women work full-time jobs and want to come home and relax, but you do have to realize your partner has a full-time job of raising the kids, cleaning the house and cooking supper. Anyone will want that little break time or to feel appreciated even if the house isn’t in 100% order. He or she may have been running errands all day. I agree with this one, except the ‘woman’ part because there are stay at home dads in the world.]

“What did you say?”
If your wife is sharing something with you, please don’t tune her out as you look at your phone or daydream about the upcoming game (or whatever it is men daydream about!). The last thing your wife wants to hear after she has said something is, “what did you say?” This can be incredibly discouraging and deflating.
[This isn’t just a ‘woman’ thing here! Men want to be heard and want to know that their partner is listening to them wholeheartedly. My partner is like this as well, he gets very sensitive if he feels someone isn’t listening to him when he speaks. I give him my full undivided attention when he talks and when I talk he does the same. Stop trying to make men look like just complete assholes because it depends upon the person. There are women who do the same exact thing you are accusing men of doing, it’s not about gender here it’s all about the person.]

“I don’t know.”
Your wife is looking for her keys or asking what you’d like for dinner, just to name a few examples. She’s turning to you for some insight or help. When you say “I don’t know” and keep doing what you’re doing, you leave your wife feeling alone.
[It highly depends upon the situation, and no one has all the answers for everything. Example, if I ask my partner something and he has no clue how to answer, I’d rather him be honest with me and say I don’t know rather than pull shit out of his ass. I understand you want the insight from your partner but you have to also realize not everyone is perfect and not everyone will know the answer to your particular issue. Secondly, you can ask for help like I’ve said in the beginning. Also, many people aren’t picky eaters, so when you ask ‘hey what do you want for dinner?’ it’s not to be annoying but some just don’t really care what you pick; or if they have a suggestion they’ll make one. I always end up picking the food we eat for dinner because my partner doesn’t really care majority of the time unless he really has a taste for something and he will cook it himself for the two of us.]
Instead, jump in and ask how you can help, offer to look with her, or make some suggestions.
[The food suggestion you can brainstorm on together, it’s not that hard and it works all the time.]

 “I’ll do it later.”
She asks for some help with the house, or for you to run to the grocery store. You respond with “I’ll do it later” but forget or do it a few days later. Here’s the deal: if you do say it, be the person who does it within a reasonable time that doesn’t leave your wife stressed. Only then, having a track record of getting things done, may you use this phrase. If your history is spotty, it’s time to amp up your timeliness!
[It’s not just a ‘man’ thing, women are also guilty of this as well. It all depends upon the person like I’ve been saying throughout this article. You have a lot of women who are procrastinators or just simply forgetful. This isn’t a bad thing but at the same time it does get annoying. You ask for help with a chore and you want your partner to follow through with it. It’s not something to get stressed out about. Work with your partner, try to motivate them to want to do certain chores. It’s not all about ‘you do this’ and ‘you do that’ it’s about working as a team to help each other out.]

“I don’t remember saying that” or “You’re remembering that wrong.”
When remembering some details, both people are going to feel confident in their memory. Be careful how you handle this conversation or it could quickly turn into a fight.
If you feel confident in your memory, try something different like “they way I remember it is…” and approach it from a neutral perspective. Saying something like “you’re remembering it wrong” can feel like an attack and put your wife on the defense.
[My memory is awful when it comes to small details and my partner his memory is sharp. He will remember things that I’ve said to him that I won’t right away. We don’t get into fights about it because there’s no need to break into a fight over it. We may disagree on things said to each other, or if he doesn’t fully remember the situation he’ll try to brainstorm with me until it jogs his memory. Yes I agree, you do want to pick and choose your battles but some people just naturally have bad memory. I wouldn’t ever say that and I don’t know anyone who would say that either.]

“It’s up to you.”
You’re trying to come up with a plan or figure out where to eat and your wife asks for your opinion. You then respond, “it’s up to you.” This can be a frustrating remark to hear and make your wife feel alone or bossy.
[My partner has said this to me several times and he really does just go with the flow. He really isn’t a picky eater, and if he wants something he’ll make the suggestion or prepare it himself for the both of us. I don’t feel alone or bossy, I just know that he wants me to pick something that makes me happy. It’s nothing wrong with that, often times he will make suggestions and I’ll go along with whatever he says.]
Engage in conversation with her to find a solution that works for both of you!
[You’re supposed to do this regardless! You are a couple and you work through things by talking it out!]
Disclaimer: I gathered these in a poll conducted with godly wives. To my wonderful husband, you’ve only said one or two of these [wink, wink]!
[What the fuck is a ‘godly wife’? You just had to throw religion in there right? Why solve our problems like normal people when we can incorporate ‘god’ into them and become ‘children’ because ‘children’ are the ones who can’t really make decisions on their own and that’s what ‘god’ wants of you and your relationship right? Run to him for everything like children!]

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Let's talk about Islam


Allah3.svg


"Kill the unbelievers wherever you find them." Koran 2:191

Murder anyone who isn’t a believer in Allah. This presents a huge problem because not everyone has even heard of Allah or the religion of Islam. Does this mean that people who aren’t believers should die? There are roughly 4,200 religions in the world, how do you know that your religion is the right one; also how can you say your holy text doesn’t promote violence? It’s clearly saying kill those who don’t believe!!

"Make war on the infidels living in your neighborhood." Koran 9:123

Infidels: a person who does not believe in religion or who adheres to a religion other than one's own.

Religion does teach you to spread the word of the holy text to everyone, but this is taking that to another level. You can’t go around making war and promoting violence against anyone whom doesn’t want to follow your religion; also calling someone an ‘infidel’ because they don’t want to adhere to your religion isn’t showing any kind of love, tolerance and peace. It’s quite opposite to be exact.

"When opportunity arises, kill the infidels wherever you catch them." Koran 9:5

This is completely fucked up on so many levels. First, you have to seek out people in your neighborhood who aren’t practicing the religion of Islam and wage war against them. Then when the opportunity arises you should kidnap them and kill them? You have to be literally fucking insane to think that this is a socially acceptable thing to do! Secondly, opportunity arises to kill someone how? What the fuck does that even mean!

"The Jews and the Christians are perverts fight them."... Koran 9:30

Doesn’t this sound so familiar? Christians calling all people in the LGBT Community ‘perverts’ and now Islam Extremist calling all Christians and Jews ‘perverts’. I don’t think any of you understand what the definition of a pervert is.

Pervert is a person whose sexual habits are not considered acceptable.

Two consenting adults having consensual sex aren’t ‘perverted’. However, an adult trying to have sex with a child would be considered perverted. Rapists are perverted as well, are there examples of these in all groups? Yes, but to label everyone ‘perverted’ is just plain dumb. You can disagree with someone’s ideology but insulting them like this isn’t making matters any better.

"Maim and crucify the infidels if they criticize Islam" Koran 5:33

You can’t say anything bad about Islam or else you will be injured to the point your wounds will never heal properly, or you will be killed. Kind of like throwing rocks from a glass house isn’t it? You can call Jews and Christians ‘perverted’ but if they say anything bad about your religion it becomes such a severe problem that results in irreversible injuries and/or death. This is truly a religion of peace.

"Punish the unbelievers with garments of fire, hooked iron rods, boiling water melt their skin and bellies." Koran 22:19

I find it quite disturbing that some people think that Islam is a religion of peace. So far all I’ve been told is that I must seek non-Islamic followers and bash their heads in and/or kill them if they say anything bad about my ideology or don’t want to follow it. Such a peaceful way to promote your ideology: if I don’t agree with it. Don’t want to follow it. I will be brutally attacked and possibly killed. Almost like religion is based off someone’s personal opinion rather than the opinion of an actual god.

"The unbelievers are stupid urge the Muslims to fight them." Koran 8:65

Non-believers and non-followers of Islam must be sought out like wild animals. War must be waged against them; they must be brutally attacked and/or killed. What the fuck is peaceful about any of this? I’m not entirely sure which is more stupid, the author of the holy text or the individuals who think that it’s okay to do exactly what the text says.

"Muslims must not take the infidels as friends." Koran 3:28

Religious arrogance, you don’t befriend anyone who isn’t following your religion or ‘infidels’. Actually I don’t see how you’d befriend anyone who isn’t following your religion when you have to wage war against them, brutally attack them and/or kill them. Last time I checked people don’t befriend people who want to force their religion down their throats and throw violent threats at them. That’s more like an enemy than a friend.

"Terrorize and behead those who believe in scriptures other than the Qur'an." Koran 8:12

Terrorize, wage war, attack and murder. These are not acts of peace. They are acts of violence.

"Muslims must muster all weapons to terrorize the infidels." Koran 8:60

These scriptures are clear proof that Islam isn’t a religion of peace. There is nothing peaceful about terrorizing people and brutally attacking them for not adapting your ideology. Islamophobia is a dangerous path and yes I understand, but the point I am trying to make here is simple. If your ideology tells you that it is okay to harm other people for not sharing your point of view, you seriously need to consider a new one. It is not okay in any way shape or form to harm others for having a different view point, especially if their view point doesn’t involve harming other people.

Religion can be used as a weapon and that weapon can be very dangerous. It's not okay to threaten someone or wage violence against someone in the name of your religion. It's one thing if someone is harming other people and you take a stand against them; however it becomes a huge problem when you instead wage violence against those who don't believe what you believe; that's a communist way of thinking and that should never be socially acceptable.