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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
It's the Mexico - Cuernavaca highway. Toluca is harder to drive, but trying to drive fast there would be something like suicide. This one is uphill most of the way, so it's challenging AND a test of the car's overall performance.

The best car I've ever driven there is the MazdaSpeed3, followed closely by my dad's 2005 325i. The Speed was faster, but the 325i was more planted. I could easily get to 140 km/h on the uphill twisties on the Speed; the 325 could get to 120, or so. But it's not the overall speed, it's the feel of the car on those twisties. My C30 could beat the MS3 on raw speed, but it felt AWFUL on those curves, the roll was so intense I really didn't push it at all.

So, we are on vacations right now in Taxco (somewhere along the Mexico - Acapulco route), and we decided to take the little Fiat, since the town's streets are so narrow - it'd be a perfect fit. In more ways than one. The car looks as if it was born here, and it was meant to be driven in this place. It just fits. Anyway...

This is the first time in my life I've actually given a car the full throttle treatment and have figured out there's no more power left in the car. 100 kms/h uphill, and that's it. No more. Poor little car, it was giving it all. It's a great city car, I thought - but it's completely out of its element here. I even felt bad about it.

And then, the twisties came. WTFOMG - the car came completely alive. So, it was doing 100 / 110 kms/H. SO WHAT? It's a dream come true, compared to the C30. There was just enough road feel, enough grip, not too much roll... an absolutely confident car. I'd never have thought it was my little Fiat. Even my old Cooper S never felt this way before. Just perfect.

Uphill ended, and we began going downhill. From 3,100 meters to 1,250 meters (yeah, that also KILLS the little engine's output). 170 kms/h, constant speed. COMPLETELY STABLE. Rock solid. How can a 2,300 lb car feel so planted at that speed? I don't know. It felt better than my old Clio Sport RS at that speed. To me, this was nothing short of amazing.

We reached a one-lane road, and it was back to sane speeds. Cruising at 90-100 kms/h, turned off the Sport mode. The steering was light, the drive was relaxed. We opened the sunroof and enjoyed the scenery.

200 kms later, we arrived at our destination completely relaxed and happy. The little car managed the little streets like a scooter.

I honestly, *honestly* never thought this car was SO good.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
I've completed the trip. 500 kms with my family on board.

The car is a gem. It does need more power, though. Around here there are tons of cars this size - Kas, Optras, Corsas, and Versas and Fits, to name a few.

Again, the car is in its element around twisties, but when the road goes uphill, things go downhill fast. For our return trip, we drove from an altitude of 1,000 meters to 3,100 meters. That was painful. There was a point when I was driving in 5th (with a 6th sp auto tranny) at 110 kms/h... and speed started to drop. Went to 4th... kept dropping. At 90-something, went to third and could barely get to 100 kms/h again. A couple of trucks passed us by. Not good.

This car is tremendously good. It'd be perfect with, say, 30 more HP.
 
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