Product Promotion Network

Car and Motorbike Reviews

Car and Motorbike Reviews

Toyota C-HR Koba AWD 2017 review: family test

Everyone had something to say about this car. From the moment I picked it up, to the moment I dropped it off a week later, I got comments from just about everyone who saw it – family, friends, neighbours, my physio, even the garbage men who saw us shooting this video and just had to come over and ask what it was… this car is a talking point. And that’s because it’s different.

The C-HR[1] launched in early 2017 into the small SUV market[2], going up against cars like the Mazda CX-3[3] and the Honda HR-V[4]. From a company known for its basic but solid vehicles, everyone sat up and took notice. But how does this seriously sporty car perform for a family?

I drove the Koba, which is the top of the range, and here are five things I loved over the week with my family of four, and five things I thought could do with some improvement.

1. The Look

People literally stopped me in the street to ask “what is that?” They were intrigued. It’s sportier than any regular SUV[5] on the road, and almost looks like a rally car, which in an SUV is an interesting concept.

It’s also really cool. You actually do feel a bit like you are driving a rally car when you’re inside. The colour combinations (I drove the charcoal, but there is a bright yellow version that’ll get your heart racing) with the shiny black roof is of particular note.

I mean, who or what is this car trying to be?

People literally stopped me in the street to ask “what is that?”. (image credit: Dean McCartney) The C-HR is sportier than any regular SUV on the road. (image credit: Dean McCartney)

This is the kind of car that you get when you’re in between life stages. You might already have a baby, or have one on the way, or have very young children. You know you should be thinking about an SUV but you can’t quite bring yourself to plunge headfirst into a traditional ‘family’ looking vehicle, but a hatch is too small.

Fair enough. This car is for those people who have one toe in the family car category, and the rest of the foot firmly out of the family car category. There’s no reason to give it all up just because you have kids, you don’t need a boring car.

This car looks anything but boring.

2. The Zippiness

It’s a small engine, yes. A 1.2-litre turbo[6].

But it’s fun to drive – zippy, swifty, it gets you from A to B without any trouble at all. Handles well on corners. Is fast to take off or take over.

And when you’re driving a family around in suburbia, or you do a lot of city driving, the engine does its job superbly. The seats are comfortable, in the Koba they are leather accented and also heated. (image credit: Dean McCartney)

3. The Interior Space

When I first saw it, I was a bit concerned that my four-year old and six-year old would be squished, or wouldn’t find it comfortable.

But climb inside, because the interior is surprisingly spacious. There’s enough legroom in the front, and enough space in the back for a whole family of four to fit comfortably. Even a third child in the back would be fine.

There’s no extra space like a Kluger[7], granted, but when you don’t need it, you don’t miss it. This is a small SUV and there is definitely enough room for the four us to fit without feeling like we’re in a too-tight jar.

4. The Fuel Consumption

Another big tick from the family car reviewer.

If the fuel is cheap, everyone’s happy, right? And a small 1.2L engine uses less fuel than a bigger one. Toyota claims a 6.5L/100km on the combined cycle[8], and on the last two Cars Guide tests, we got 7.7L and 7.9 L respectively.

That’s certainly on the cheaper end of good.

5. The Safety

The C-HR has seven airbags, including side curtain airbags for the back passengers. There are two ISOFIX points[9] in the back, plus three top tether points.

It comes with Auto Emergency Brakes[10], which means the car will stop for you if you happen to be distracted (though it doesn’t work if you’re travelling under 20km/h, so watch yourself in slow traffic). Plus it comes with a bunch of other things – blind spot monitoring[11], a reverse parking camera[12], and front and rear parking sensors, active cruise control[13], and a lane departure system[14] that will take over the steering if it can sense you’re drifting. Now for the five things I thought could do with a bit more thinking on Toyota’s part[15].

1.

The Look

Yes, I know that’s also in the positives, but I think the looks are appealing to a particular kind of customer, and that customer may not be everyone. It almost feels a little bit like a remote control car. Not real.

A bit Batman-y. The looks aren’t for everyone. (image credit: Dean McCartney) If it’s to your taste, great, and it certainly grew on me over the week – I loved that it was different.

But it won’t be everyone’s car of choice. If it’s not, go for the charcoal over the bright colours and wind the look down. The interiors too, were a bit OTT.

Brown panels over the black in front and on the back doors aren’t my thing.

2. The Back Rear Panels

Now, while there is enough space in the back, the way the car is designed and it’s sporty edge brings up the side panels at the rear to a point, which results in a triangular panel, right near the heads of the back passengers, where a bigger window would normally be. This brings a sense of darkness in the back seat.

While that’s cosy and certainly good if you want your kids to go to sleep, it takes away that sense of airiness, that sense of lightness. The back is not small, but those panels make it feel less spacious than it is. They also provide some visibility problems – I found myself craning my neck out more than once to make sure there were no cars coming.

It’s not poor visibility as such, but it’s not as good as it could be. So as long as you’re willing to sacrifice that for a sporty looking vehicle, you’ll be fine.

3. The Cabin Storage

I’m all about practicality.

Come on, I’m a mum. This means I needs places – note the plural – to stash my keys, sunnies, wallet and phone. But they are missing in this car.

There are two cupholders in the front and a bottle holder in each door, plus pockets behind the front seats. Oh, and a tiny shelf in the front for your phone. And that’s it.

There are two cupholders in the front and a bottle holder in each door. (image credit: Dean McCartney) I found myself chucking all my stuff in the cupholders – everything from the girls’ hair elastics to my keys and sunnies, which meant that the cupholders didn’t actually function as cupholders. More storage would be ideal.

4.

The Rear Air Vents

This wasn’t a huge problem, because the car is small, so the air does travel to the back quite well, but it’s just something Toyota could have done better than the competition. Most of the other small SUVs don’t have rear air vents either, and this could have been one easy way to one-up them in their already established market foothold, but they didn’t. I’m voting yes to rear air vents because my children get hot in their car seats.

5.

The Good News

The good new is, there was no number five. I couldn’t think of another thing I was so unhappy with that I had to write about it. It also means the good outweighs the bad if you’re a fan of pros and cons lists (clearly I am).

For a more detailed review, click here[16].

References

  1. ^ The C-HR (www.carsguide.com.au)
  2. ^ small SUV market (www.carsguide.com.au)
  3. ^ Mazda CX-3 (www.carsguide.com.au)
  4. ^ Honda HR-V (www.carsguide.com.au)
  5. ^ regular SUV (www.carsguide.com.au)
  6. ^ 1.2-litre turbo (www.carsguide.com.au)
  7. ^ Kluger (www.carsguide.com.au)
  8. ^ 6.5L/100km on the combined cycle (www.carsguide.com.au)
  9. ^ ISOFIX points (www.carsguide.com.au)
  10. ^ Auto Emergency Brakes (www.carsguide.com.au)
  11. ^ blind spot monitoring (www.carsguide.com.au)
  12. ^ reverse parking camera (www.carsguide.com.au)
  13. ^ active cruise control (www.carsguide.com.au)
  14. ^ lane departure system (www.carsguide.com.au)
  15. ^ Toyota’s part (www.carsguide.com.au)
  16. ^ click here (www.carsguide.com.au)

2018 Hyundai Kona Highlander Review

Car Reviews[1]Isaac Bober 2017-11-022017 Hyundai Kona

In a nutshell: The Kona Highlander sits at the top of the family tree boasting a lusty turbocharged engine, all-wheel drive and suspension and steering tuned in Australia.

2018 Hyundai Kona Highlander Pricing £36,000+ORC Warranty 5 years, unlimited kilometres Safety Not tested yet Engine 1.6-litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol Power 130kW at 5500rpm Torque 265Nm from 1500-4500rpm Transmission seven-speed DCT Drive on-demand all-wheel drive Dimensions 4165mm (L); 1800mm (W); 1550-1565mm (H); 2600mm (WB) Ground Clearance 170mm Angles 17-degrees (A); 29-degrees (D); 16-degrees (RO) Turning Circle 10.6m Boot Space 361L/1143L Spare Temporary space saver Weight 1414kg Fuel Tank 50 litres Thirst 6.7L/100km THE COMPACT SUV segment is hotting up and Hyundai’s new Kona arrives as the vehicle most potential buyers are interested in in the brand’s history.

Indeed, more than 40,000 visitors to Hyundai’s website asked to be kept informed about the wee thing.
[embedded content]
Now, we all know those interested in the thing won’t all translate across to buyers, but it’s a good indicator of just how far Hyundai has come in such a short period of time.

The vehicle we’re testing is the top-spec Kona Highlander with 1.6-litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine and all-wheel drive. Hyundai is expecting early interest will be in this model before settling into a wider purchasing mix. But, so you know, supply will be initially limited to around 1000 vehicles per month and, after our launch drive impression and our recent week-long test, we expect Hyundai to sell every single vehicle it can lay its hands on.

What is the Hyundai Kona Highlander?

The Kona is Hyundai’s new compact SUV and completes its SUV line-up.

Like the Subaru Impreza and XV, the Kona shares its platform with the i30, a vehicle which you’ll all know we’re very fond of, although it’s a little shorter, taller, obviously, and offers more boot space and all-wheel drive. Despite this being the top-spec model, it misses out on certain things the equivalent i30 Premium models get (because they weren’t made available for the Kona), like rear air vents (in the Kona you only get under-seat vents) and a panoramic glass roof as well as a full-size spare. More than this, the quality of the plastics in the cabin isn’t on the same level as the i30 Premium variants but this, I think, has been done to create a rough-and-tumble, hard wearing feel rather than any sort of penny pinching.

Indeed, Hyundai claims the Kona has been designed blend the look of the i30 from halfway up with rugged, armour-inspired cladding at the bottom… think of it like a mullet (the hairstyle) it’s party and business combined, if you get my meaning. The Kona Highlander we’re testing lists from £36,000+ORC; you can also get a two-wheel drive Kona Highlander with a 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol from £33,000+ORC. The engine and all-wheel drive alone are worth the extra £3k ask over the 2WD variant.

If you look at the compact SUV segment, sales are dominated by two-wheel drive variants, which baffles me but, moving on, so it’s clever that Hyundai offers all variants with both engines and ‘drive’ set-ups. Our test car sits at the practical end of the segment along with the vehicle I believe to be the best in the segment, which is the Subaru XV and I say that because if you’re going to have a compact SUV it might as well be one with decent clearance and all-wheel drive rather than just be a slightly higher riding hatchback. Now, the Kona falls short of the XV’s 220mm ground clearance and permanent all-wheel drive with its 170mm and on-demand system, but it fights back with a bigger boot, similar looks, a longer warranty, an AWD system that can be locked to distribute drive 50:50 in slippery conditions and below certain speeds, hill descent control and a complete active safety suite as well as a suspension and steering set-up tuned for Australia; the XV also had Aussie input into its ride and handling.

Beyond the XV, the obvious rivals are the Mazda CX-3, the Nissan Qashqai, a new one of which is launching here this month, the new VW T-Roc, Peugeot 3008, and Honda HR-V to name just a few. Pricing is line-ball against its competitors.

What’s the interior like?

Hyundai is fast becoming known for the quality of its interiors, both in terms of their simple, practical designs through to the materials used. That said, the Kona, even in Highlander spec, doesn’t feel quite as premium as the equivalent i30 and the handbrake feels cheap in the hands.

In other areas of the cabin the hard, scratchy plastics make more sense and seem to have been used because of the rough and tumble nature of the vehicle.
[embedded content]
The Kona follows the design path of the i30 but there are key differences separating the two, like the shape of the side air vents; the Kona gets circular vents while the i30 gets a trapezoidal shaped vent and, on the Konda, the centre air vents are oval and not on the i30.

The i30 gets a lidded storage bin at the base of the centre stack while the Kona doesn’t; it just has a cubby hole. The Kona also gets a conventional handbrake while the i30 gets an electric handbrake; this means you get slightly less storage space in the Kona but there’s still more than enough room for takeaway coffee cups (two cup holders) or 500ml water bottles and a narrower centre console thanks to the handbrake. 2017 Hyundai Kona

Like the i30, the Kona gets a tablet-esque infotainment screen that juts out from the top of the dashboard. It’s well positioned and can be both used and seen easily by the driver on the fly. There was some debate after our launch drive about the lack of native sat-nav; Hyundai’s clearly aiming the Kona at a younger demographic that is used to using its phone, but Hyundai is monitoring feedback and will potentially make an updated Kona available with both native sat-nav and smartphone connectivity.

I did ask, at the launch, about whether installing native sat-nav was a simple plug and play sort of upgrade but was told it wasn’t, that the whole infotainment unit needed to be swapped out. Moving on. 2017 Hyundai Kona Review by Practical Motoring

The Kona Highlander’s front seats are the same as those in the i30 and are both comfortable and shaped to suit a variety of driver shapes and sizes. They’re powered seats for the driver and there’s good movement forwards and backwards and more of a tilt of the seat base than an actual seat raise. There’s good adjustment on the steering wheel too.

Vision right around from the driver’s seat is good, so too is the amount of storage. There’s a standard reversing camera with dynamic guidelines and a good field of view; the close-up performance of the camera is good but it blows out in low light. 2017 Hyundai Kona Review by Practical Motoring

The Kona Highlander gets a head-up display screen which can be stowed in the dash; I used it a couple of times and it works well with the speed displayed right where you want it in a way that doesn’t distract. But, it’s more a novelty than an essential in the Kona. Climb into the back and there’s decent head, shoulder and legroom for someone my height; I set the front seat to suit me and then climbed in behind the front seat and had a good inch or more of knee room and wriggle room under the front seat for my feet.

If you get out your tape measure, you’ll see front seat legroom measures 1054mm and rear seat legroom is 880mm. 2017 Hyundai Kona Review by Practical Motoring The rear seat has a 60:40 split-fold feature and there are ISOFIX mounts for the two outboard seats.

Thanks to a high hip point and light doors, climbing in and out of the back seat is easy and kids shouldn’t have a problem clambering into the back of the thing; mine certainly didn’t. There’s no rear air vent, regardless of the variant you choose, but there is ducting under the front seats that blows warm or cold air into the back and relative to the force of the fan speed in the front. Besides leaning in and grabbing the toggle on the top of the rear seat shoulders, there’s no way of dropping the rear seats from the boot.

But, it’s not a huge boot and so reaching in won’t be too much of a stretch for taller owners. 2017 Hyundai Kona The boot floor can be set at two heights and hides a space saver spare only; there’s no full-size spare available, unlike the i30 and Hyundai Australia says it’s unlikely a full-size spare will be made available at all, although it is something that, again, it will monitor and communicate with head office about.

How do you feel about the lack of a full-size spare in the Kona? Given that this will live 95% of the time in towns and cities, is it really that big a deal? The boot shape is nice and square and, as I’ve noted before the standard supply net for keeping groceries or bags from sliding around the boot is a nice feature that every car maker should provide.

The fit and finish in the boot space is good and carpet used should stand up well to family use; although if you’re going to be stuffing bikes into the back, or transporting the family pooch, you might want to consider some sort of rubber matting and cut it to fit; Clark Rubber usually has thin gauge matting that you can cut and fit to the back of your vehicle – be warned the smell while it acclimatises can be strong, especially in warmer weather. But, the smell is easier to deal with than vacuuming dog hair out of automotive carpet… might be a story in that.

What’s it like to drive?

The Kona Highlander we’re testing gets on-demand all-wheel drive which can be manually locked to send drive 50:50 front to rear but this only works up to 30km/h and will then disengage. The idea is that locking drive front and rear will help with traction on slippery surfaces like ice, mud or wet grass.

Once the system has disengaged the car’s computer will take over and determine when and how much torque to send to the back wheels. This means, the Kona all-wheel drive is predominantly running in front-drive only sending drive the rear when the system detects slip. In normal driving conditions, you’ll never notice it cut in or out and, that’s because it probably isn’t.

There’s decent grip on offer via the front end even on wet roads; I intentionally provoked the car on a slippery dirt road and the system worked well cutting in before the front end scrabbled and understeered. And then I drove it across a deep washout intentionally getting into a cross axle situation where diagonally opposite wheels were light for traction… there was a moment’s hesitation as the wheels went light and turned slightly and then you could feel the drive at both ends of the vehicle with neither of the light wheels spinning uselessly. 2017 Hyundai Kona Review by Practical Motoring

The Kona isn’t an off-roader but knowing that it’s capable of handling ruts like the one I drove across would give me confidence to take it down a rough track. On this dirt road, there’s a section of wicked moguls that will see a vehicle rock violently from side to side… I walked the Kona up this hill carefully and it did it easily.

So, if you’re looking for a compact SUV that can go further than a dirt car park then the Kona should be on your list. What about on the bitumen? Our Kona Highlander, as mentioned earlier, gets a 1.6-litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol which is mated to a seven-speed DCT (dual-clutch transmission) and is the same engine and transmission as the i30 SR.

This package makes 130kW and 265Nm of torque and this makes for a zippy on-road package. Like its i30 SR sibling, the Kona Highlander AWD gets a multi-link rear end and was tuned for ride, handling and steering in Australia. According to Hyundai, its local chassis development team tested “three sets of front and two sets of rear springs, 13 different front and 23 different rear shock absorbers for the all-wheel-drive variants and 13 front and 29 rear shock absorber combinations for the front-wheel-drive cars.

Two different stabiliser bars were also tested before the final combinations were decided”. 2017 Hyundai Kona Review by Practical Motoring Across my test loop which is the same road that Hyundai Australia uses for its local tuning, the Kona felt very good.

This loop, as I’ve explained before, is a great loop for pulling a chassis apart and allows you to explore both high and low-speed body control, transmission and braking. Hyundai reckons there’s more inherent sportiness tuned into this variant than in the i30 SR and they might well be right, but I don’t think the tune feels as versatile as it does in the i30 at different speeds. My seat of the pants impression is that this is a suspension set-up that’s incredible at walking pace or higher speeds and good enough at around-town speeds.

Mid-corner bumps are dealt with well and there’s very little body roll, the steering feels meaty and direct in its action with good on-centre feel. The throttle response is immediate in all but Eco mode where you’ve got to give it more of a shove to motivate the thing, but that’s the nature of this kind of fuel-saving driving mode. To be honest, most people will never use any other mode except for Normal… there are no steering mounted paddles and that’s a good thing because paddles on a compact SUV like the Kona is like a certain pair of dangly bits on a bull.

Useless. 2017 Hyundai Kona Review by Practical Motoring That’s not to suggest the Kona isn’t fun to drive because it is.

Indeed, after a week with the thing, I’d suggest that this and the Subaru XV are level pegging at the top of the all-paw compact SUV segment in terms of driving thrills and ability. There’s a depth and maturity, and quietness, to the Kona’s handling that you don’t get in some of its much-lauded competitors, like the CX-3. We haven’t touched on the transmission… and while some people read the words DCT and curl up into a ball, they shouldn’t.

The Hyundai unit is built in-house and while like other dual-clutch transmissions can be a bit lurchy at low speeds (think about what you’d be like crawling along in a manual car and then cut the DCT some slack), it’s excellent when the speed increases, holding the gear when you want it to, dropping down gears quickly and running to top gear quickly too when you’re on the highway and cruising. The transmission responds well to the throttle and you can manually control it via the stick shifter if you so choose.

What about safety features?

The Kona doesn’t carry either an ANCAP or Euro NCAP rating yet as it’s so new, but offers six airbags as standard, reversing camera and rear parking sensors (the Highlander adds front parking sensors). In addition, Hyundai offers its Smart Sense active safety system as standard on Elite and Highlander variants and as a cost-option on entry-level Active, it includes: autonomous emergency braking covering pedestrians between 8-64km/h and cars up to 160km/h, blind spot monitoring which operates above 30km/h, rear cross traffic alert, lane keeping assist which operates on two levels, one reactive and one proactive, both work above 60km/h only.

There’s also driver attention warning and high beam assist.

So, what do we think of the Kona Highlander?

The Kona Highlander AWD sits alongside the Subaru XV at the top of the compact SUV segment when it comes to rough road capable SUVs. Its ride and handling, comfort and NVH mark it out as a front runner. And its five-year warranty and capped price servicing are icing on the cake.

Sure, the looks won’t suit everyone, but trust me when I say that it looks much better in the metal than it does in pictures; and those slim-look headlights are actually pretty cool. 2017 Hyundai Kona Review by Practical Motoring

Editor’s Rating

What’s the interior like?What’s it like to drive?What about safety features?Practical Motoring Says: Hyundai might have arrived late to the compact SUV party with the Kona but you wouldn’t know it. With the i30 as the base, the Korean car maker has produced a segment front-runner that’ll suit young urban dwellers as well as those living in regional areas.


Newsletter Signup

You Might Also Like

2017 Land Rover Discovery Sport TD4 150 SE Review by Practical Motoring 86.67%[2]

2017 Land Rover Discovery Sport TD4 150 SE Review

Isaac Bober

Isaac Bober

Isaac Bober was born in the shadow of Mount Panorama in Bathurst and, so, it was inevitable he’d fall into work as a motoring writer.

He began his motoring career in 2000 reviewing commercial vehicles, before becoming editor of Caravan & Motorhome magazine.

He then moved to MOTOR Magazine before going freelance and contributing to Overlander 4WD, 4×4 Australia, TopGear Australia, Men’s Health, Men’s Fitness, The Australian, CARSguide, and many more.

References

  1. ^ View all posts in Car Reviews (practicalmotoring.com.au)
  2. ^ 86.67% (practicalmotoring.com.au)

Spinoff reviews New Zealand #47: Our first ever horror festival

We review the entire country and culture of New Zealand, one thing at a time. Today, Alex Casey reviews Halloween night at Horrorfest NZ. Say what you will about Freddy Krueger, but the man is very well-situated to point out a toilet at a crowded event.

Our gazes followed his long, sharpened knife finger all the way to the window above the loo, frosted for modesty. “Over theeeerrrre” he hissed in a vague American accent, punctuated perfectly with a loud toilet flush. ‘Twas Hallows Eve at Hell’s Horror Fest NZ, a celebration of all things splatter and spooky. Nearby, a man began strumming an acoustic guitar, arguably the most frightening scene of all. Taking place in the ASB Showgrounds, the event is part haunted maze, part drive-in movie, mostly all a terrifying shambles.

Taking place in the wake of costumed-to-the-eyeballs pop culture extravaganza Armageddon, Horror Fest doesn’t look like much when you first arrive. There’s some free Demon Energy up for grabs, a shonky Jigsaw cackling on a trike and an Annabelle doll shrieking with laughter and occasionally telling people where to park. This nun bloke was the scariest, especially when channelling the spirit of John Key via this ponytail stroke caught on camera.

the moment i realised i had made a huge mistake

After a security briefing (no punching the actors, no running, the safeword is ‘pumpkin’) we were let loose into the maze with a small group of boys hyped-up on complimentary Demon. The maze has been built into that big silver shed towards the end of the Showgrounds, maybe best known for equally bone-chilling bargain bin makeup sales, and felt very lengthy. This ain’t no MOTAT mirror maze, put it that way.

We hung back as the boys ran ahead, my partner frozen and mewing in fear as his eyes adjusted to the dark. I don’t want to spoil too much about what happened next, but the maze was incredibly fun and genuinely quite terrifying.

Freddy got papped Here are some of my cool maze tips.

  1. Max out on frights by hanging back a tiny bit and let the people in front of you charge ahead, so all the scares don’t get spoiled.
  2. There is clambering and kneeling and shimmying required to get through things at times, accessibility options feel limited.
  3. Keep eyes in the back of your head as well – you never know when a ghost be ghosting.
  4. Prepare for there to be touching, prepare to be bear-hugged by Jigsaw and dragged into some kind of haunted cupboard shrieking “go on without me”.
  5. Take your time and look around.

    Yes, there are screeds of halls lined with foil curtains that feel like a futuristic car wash, but there’s some impressive detail along the way. Take a peep into the toilet early on, for example.

After the maze, we were left loitering around, making small talk with a zombie wench with an inexplicable French accent. The film playing at the drive-in was Nightmare on Elm Street (1984, they aren’t animals) and scheduled to start at 8.30pm.

This didn’t come remotely close to happening. About an hour later, people were still lining up and ordering pizza – one tiny truck serving what must have been a couple hundred hungry Halloweeners. We ate all the gum in the car trying to pass the time despite laxative warnings.

Even the organiser’s SM© Laptop was about to throw in the towel.

Tfw battery about to run out With hundreds of people getting restless in their cars – now completely boxed-in for the drive-in viewing experience – things started to get pretty Mad Max real quick. The radio frequencies weren’t working for some, an intermission very deep into the film apologetically begged everyone to promptly leave their cars and grab their incredibly late (snack size, not included in the ticket price) pizzas.

People were yelling, honking their horns and flashing their lights. About two minutes later, the movie started again sans sound and sans half the audience. Look, it was opening night of a pretty ambitious event and I don’t doubt that things will be ironed out for the rest of the week (Horror Fest runs till Saturday night).

But for £100 per car (any more than 2 passengers must pay £30 extra) I’d honestly be expecting Leatherface to give me a free manicure and a glass of champagne at the very least. Alas, here are some tips for surviving the drive-in cinema if you are heading along later this week.

  1. Maybe think about bringing your own dinner, but get snacks at the very least. Bring more than you think you are capable of eating – cars, just like airports and movie theatres, open up secret stomachs you never knew you had.
  2. Watching a movie in a car is cool, but the novelty wears off fast.

    Bring pillows and blankets to make the car seat comfier or prepare to wriggle a lot.

  3. Beware of the ghouls that sneak between cars and boo at your window (could have done with more of this).
  4. Check your radio beforehand, there are a few different frequency options for the movie sound and it pays to know what you are dealing with.
  5. Make sure you don’t have too early of a start the next day, less because of nightmares and more because the movie may finish five years later than you had anticipated.

Verdict: Horror Fest is fine for the die-hard horror fans who also have a lot of patience, but I can’t help but think they should bust open the maze as a separate, cheaper attraction for those of us too chicken/lazy to drive out to Spookers. Good or bad: The maze was good, the movie would have been good if it started on time, the food situation was scary bad (and not in a good way).


The Society section is sponsored by AUT. As a contemporary university we’re focused on providing exceptional learning experiences, developing impactful research and forging strong industry partnerships. Start your university journey[1] with us today.

The Spinoff Longform Fund is dedicated to facilitating investigative journalism.

Our focus is on supporting in-depth reporting on important New Zealand stories.

Your donation will help us sustain this most resource-intensive form of journalism, ensuring that the most complex and important stories still get told.

References

  1. ^ Start your university journey (www.aut.ac.nz)