The Right Way to Ride-Share

Things to ask yourself the next time you get into a stranger's car
by Teo Ken-Hin
Useful Consumer AdviceFebruary 12, 2019
So you don’t want to own a car, but that does not mean that you should not be choosy about what private hire car you get into. After all, why simply arrive when you could arrive… in style? We rate the usual suspects.

Toyota Sienta

1.5 litre CVT
0-100kmh : 12.8 secs

The Toyota Sienta looks like a box fish and is probably as aero dynamic as one ( i.e. actually good). Probably gets good mileage, but that is not your concern. You care about the passenger seats, and in that respect, it is a nice place, with lots of space in the back, good seats and a composed ride. Expected for a car NOT designed with the driver in mind.

Just get over the looks. You don’t actually own it. Relax.

Cancel rating : 3/10
(Acceptable, don’t cancel.)

Mitsubishi Attrage

1.2 litre CVT
0-100kmh : 13.3 secs

There is no way to say this, other than to say that this car is a charmless, cheap pile of shit with no redeeming qualities. It’s ugly with ungainly proportions, seemingly designed for people with tall headgear. It’s slow as hell and as cheap and nasty inside as a Sheng Siong plastic bag. Will probably collapse into a ball upon impact, too.

Attrages are invariably driven by lost-looking old uncles who have no clue where they fuck they are, desperately swiping their phones while stopping cluelessly amidst moving traffic.

Attrage = Attracts Rage.

AVOID. Think about your children.

Cancel rating : 20/10
(CANSSSEL until your phone screen breaks.)

Honda Vezel

1.5 litre CVT
129 bhp
0-100kmh: 11.6 sec

Ah, Honda, once the brand of boy racers. Once upon a time, the Honda badge meant something, with high revving, thrilling engines and visceral handling. The Honda Vezel, on the other hand, is as sexy as having coffee with your insurance agent while reviewing your premiums. Necessary, does the job, but feels like premature death.

Overall, OK, if you don’t even care for anything that this review is offering you in way of advice.

It’s a car. It will get you there.

Cancel rating : 5/10
(Whatever, okay lah.)

Toyota CH-R

1.2 litre Turbo CVT
116 bhp
0-100kmh: 10.9 sec

The “Beng Chia” of our times, but the tacky boy racer image is not backed up with any defensible performance creds – despite a “Turbo” badge writ large on the back. Stock ones actually look good, but the body-kitted ones look ridiculous, possibly styled by the blind and are frankly embarrassing. The swoopy roofline means a claustrophobic passenger experience at the back and no proper-sized windows to look out of. Avoid getting into one into one if possible. And where the fuck is that rear door handle again? It feels awkward just opening that rear door.

All mouth, no trousers. What will THEY think!

Cancel rating : 7/10
(Cancel if possible.)

Toyota Prius

1.8 litre Petrol-electric hybrid e-CVT
0-100kmh: 10.8 sec

Step into the future with Gwyneth Paltrow and all those other Hollywood celebs who choose Prius. The Prius is the eco-weenie’s choice despite having the biggest engine and most tarmac-shredding performance here. Has a comfortable cabin full of silly futuristic plastic shapes, but is not a bad place to travel in at the back. And when you say the magic words – “Uncle, can faster can?” – Uncle can and will deliver you to T3 faster that you can say “Toyota Hybrid Synergy drive”.

Cancel rating : 1/10
(Fetch me please!)

Honda Stream (6-seater)

Engine/Transmission: 1.8 litre/ 5 speed automatic
Acceleration : Can’t find it anywhere. Probably not fast.

There is something about the Honda Stream that makes it feel like the sort of car an older sex offender would drive. Maybe because it looks fairly common and non-descript, maybe the monospace body looks like it can hide a multitude of sins. It just feels like the wheels of choice for someone who does not want to be noticed! It is decent as transport, but you’ve been warned! Let the police know where you intend to be at the end of your journey before you get in.

Cancel rating : 8/10
(Yes, cancel unless urgent!)

Toyota Alphard (7 seater)

Engine/Transmission: 2.5 litre/ CVT
Acceleration : 11.3 sec

The Toyota Alphard is such an icon of business class luxury on the road, that all sorts of middle-class-to-rich people own one, even those with fancy supercars in their stable at home. Comfortable and a bit tacky with lashings of plastic wood, plush captain’s chairs and adjustable mood lighting, the Alphard is so floaty and desensitizing to drive, that you often see one on the right-most lane, mowing cars out of the way, driven by a tiny old man who is possibly unaware of what he’s actually doing. If you get assigned one, get in!

Cancel rating : 1/10
(Business class on the road for you, sir!)

9-year-old Nissan Latio

Engine/Transmission: Who knows?
Acceleration : Who cares?

When we get assigned by the app to something as woeful and sorry as this, our hearts feel cheated, dead inside. Synthetic leather upholstery worn to a shine, gutless performance from little maintenance, and the overwhelming smell of carpet cleaner used to spruce up the interior. But at least you don’t have to talk to the driver because you can’t hear him over the din of the worn wheel bearings that make the inside of the car sound like a plane taking off in perpetuity.

Cancel rating : 10/10
(A solid cancel.)

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