Welcome to Tsukuba, home territory of the Mazda MX-5 and/or the most used track in the whole of GT5. But this is not the time for racing Mazda MX-5s…
…except one of the cars we’re testing is one. Oh.
This is a three way comparo between the three slowest Touring Cars that were introduced into the GT5 Car Pack 1 DLC – the Honda CR-Z Touring Car, Mazda Roadster Touring Car and Toyota Prius Touring Car. If you remember, all of these cars won an award in my 2011 awards show, so they’re all obviously very excellent. They are also all incredibly similar ways, and so this should be a very close test.
However, we’re gonna throw an extra spanner in the works that should get these things to work just a little bit harder.
This is the Honda Gathers Drider Civic Race Car ’98, which was introduced into GT4 as a car designed to be a lightweight, light-powered FF car that provided a good drive. Unfortunately, in the hands of the AI, against cars of similar caliber, it was a disaster in GT4. This thing never saw the end of the 6th place finish in the hands of AI, pretty much anywhere. But it is, theoretically very similar to this terrifying trio, and so therefore it shall be added into this equation to make this a Fantastic Four.
So then, the stage is set. But which of these 4 is best?
There’s only one way to find out…
Judging by the stats, details and previous experiences of these four, we can see some pros and cons of them.
– Great handling
– 2nd most powerful
– 2nd lightest and lightest FF
– Looks superb
– Battery runs out very quickly
– Sounds like someone farting
– Sounds like the end of the world
– Still looks alright today
– Least powerful
– Not as light as CR-Z
– Bad reputation
– Sounds like a CT230R
– Looks very good even without the roof
– Most powerful, lightest AND FR
– Not an NC like I would expect
– Not the best handling
– It’s an NA: therefore the Cars in General forum is all over it
– Technically the oldest body
– 5-speed tranny
– CVT, torque is always there and no shifting necessary
– Looks hilarious
– Sounds like…nothing I can really think of
– Only car over 1000kg, least powerful Premium
– It’s a Prius
– Not great handling
– No ability off the line
So then, doesn’t look like there’s a true winner here yet. Let’s take them around Tsukuba individually then to find out who is the winner. 3 laps each, best lap is the one that counts, best lap of them all wins. Let’s GOOOOOOOO
Let’s begin with the CR-Z.
This managed a 1:01.9, which I think it just managed on its last lap. The handling did not seem as great as I remember it though on Tsukuba. It certainly felt more than fast enough though. The battery didn’t wear out here thankfully, there are more than enough braking zones to facilitate this thing’s battery around here.
Next came the old Gathers Drider Civic Race Car.
This was decidedly less fast and lived up to its reputation of being pretty slow, sadly. The time this ended up doing was a 1:03.4, 1.5 seconds down on the CR-Z. This thing certainly felt fast though, and took corners very well. I guess there is just simply a problem with actual acceleration and the speed it gets around corners. The AI of GT4 was right: sadly, this is a bit of a dud. Still, look out for it in spec series or maybe even a series using these three cars in addition – with a little modifying up, of course!
Next came the Roadster. The stats did rather seem to be stacked in this thing’s favor…
…and it really showed. On its home ground, this managed a 1:01.2, 7 tenths up on the CR-Z. This thing definitely handled a lot better than I remember and better than the CR-Z – probably because of the track – but to be fair, the lighter weight and FR help this thing a good deal. It certainly looks like this will be the fastest at this rate…
And this is all that could stop it. I’m not overly hopeful.
With 1 lap to go, the Prius was sitting at 1:01.5, still 3 tenths behind the Roadster. However, it gave it everything for its last lap, being able to pull off a 1:01.1 with its last go to deny the Roadster by 1 tenth. Thing is though…how could the heaviest, more than likely worst to drive, and something barely more powerful than the Civic…beat it?
The answer is simple: its transmission. The CVT, when it gets to full swing makes all the difference in the end. The benefit of constant torque, effectively infinite top speed and no shifting seems to help this thing in between the twisty bits a lot. And that’s good, because that’s where you spend most of your time on tracks. Of course, getting off the line is an issue because you can’t rev it and there you have no torque, and it does indeed have some problems getting around corners, but the technology it still has here gives it the edge in the end.
I also went out and tested the four cars on SSRX for Speed Test times. This is what happened.
1. Roadster – 4.939
2. CR-Z – 5.189
3. Civic – 5.823
4. Prius – 6.018
1. Roadster – 12.338
2. CR-Z – 12.374
3. Prius – 12.753
4. Civic – 14.855
1. Roadster – 13.648
2. CR-Z – 13.765
3. Prius – 14.483
4. Civic – 14.541
1. Roadster – 34.490
2. Prius – 34.894
3. CR-Z – 35.019
4. Civic – 36.629
1. Roadster – 153.4mph
2. Prius – 150.2mph
3. Civic – 148.6mph
4. CR-Z – 147.7mph
1. Roadster – 0.82G
2. Prius – 0.65G
3. CR-Z – 0.64G
4. Civic – 0.62G
Now, I know that looks like a foregone conclusion and would imply the Roadster is easily the best. But if you look closer, you’ll see that actually, this pairing are pretty close. Yes, the Civic is obviously way out in some cases but then it beats a couple of cars in some cases as well. And with tuning up, that gets to a higher level anyway.
The Roadster obviously has the benefit of leading both stats and having FR, therefore utterly destroying the 0-60 times. 0-100 though was far closer – the 5-speed might have come into play here, with having longer ratios and everything. The 1/4 mile was much the same, but as you can see, 1st and 2nd as well as 3rd and 4th are all pretty close, which is a relief.
The Prius overtakes the CR-Z by the end of the mile, although I can’t imagine the CR-Z having already run out of battery by this point…maybe so, I dunno.
In Max Speed the Roadster obviously wins by virtue of its power, whereas the Prius has enough torque to keep it going. The CR-Z was out of battery for much of the straight, which cost it a lot of power and speed. Indeed, these 4 did seem to be pretty close among all these tables. I’d love to get an online lobby together with all of you lot with a big comparison between these 4 to see how it would go there. I’d certainly hope you’d take such an opportunity to do so.
The truth is though, all 4 of these cars are all great.
The CR-Z looks great and on some courses can really handle. I guess the idea of varying surfaces on tarmac hurt it on Tsukuba, but I’ve gotten it to handle better in the past. I’d be keen to see an MR model with 560hp – it’s already got the weight.
The Roadster is a very fast car in general, and sounds great, handles well, and just does a lot of things in general. I say this despite not being a regular visitor of the Cars in General forum too, which is quite unbelievable. I see it as a ‘Japanese Giulia TZ2’ candidate for sure.
The Civic might not be that fast, but it has soul to cover up the slowness. The sound is remarkable – if you don’t mind getting your ears scratched anyway – and it’s still a nice drive. I’d certainly pick one up – if you don’t find one, just get a Civic RM!
The Prius is just brilliant. Hilarious looks, including a comical set of wheel covers, it keeps its CVT, it looks like a NASCAR inside, and it is the fastest on a track by the looks of things. It’s not without faults for sure, but I’d call it a great car any day of the week.
So that concludes this comparo between these 4 cars. I would love to see a series involving these four – just modify the Civic up, perhaps downgrade the Roadster slightly with the acceleration, turn the CR-Z up a little, and you have a great 4-way series. Someone take the idea up, now!