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FIRE CANNOT KILL A DRAGON: Major Revelations Thread (Spoilers for ASOIAF & GOT)
So far we have it CONFIRMED that:
- Stannis will burn Shireen alive in The Winds of Winter
- Bran Stark will sit on the Iron Throne at the end of ASOIAF
- Hodor's death will still involve the phrase "Hold the door!" but that it will take on a different meaning and play out with slight differences
- George R. R. Martin informed D&D of the plans he had for the end of ASOIAF in 2013, while season 4 was being written and filmed
- GRRM has confirmed that his meetings with D&D "didn't get around to the minor characters", who could have big differences to their stories in the books
- Photograph of Jon bowing to Cersei was a fake set-up by D&D after photo of Jon and Dany was leaked posted on Reddit by a crew member.
- Night King getting an undead Viserion was D&D's idea (from around season 3/4, "when the dragons were small"). Doesn't sound like it's a future book plan.
CHAPTER BY CHAPTER (slowly updating)
- CHAPTER 0: "FINDING WESTEROS" - Not much in here in terms of major revelations. It's just about how James Hibberd came to work for Entertainment Weekly and how he came to write about Game of Thrones for them. He was given a random assignment way back when that resulted in him just becoming the go-to guy for the show.
- CHAPTER 1: "A DREAM OF DRAGONS" - Nothing in here that we don't know already. GRRM started out as a TV writer but became annoyed with execs wanting to censor and cut down his work. Started writing books instead, eventually wrote ASOIAF. Was approached by Hollywood, said no. Was approached by D&D, said yes when he realised they understood his book and worked out who Jon Snow's mother really was. They initially pitched to Showtime and DirecTV but were eventually picked up by HBO. There's a great line from Gina Ballian (former vice-president of HBO): "Just double-double-double checking. We're killing the main character and there's dragons?"
- CHAPTER 2: "CASTING TALES" - Casting Tyrion was tricky, Peter Dinklage initially said no but changed his mind when he read the pilot (Peter also knew Benioff's wife). Various quotes from NCW, Jason Momoa, Sibel Kikelli, Jack Gleeson, Maisie Williams, Sophie Turner, Kit Harington, among others. Rory McCann was apparently homeless before landing the role of The Hound. Bryan Cogman was accidentally left in charge of casting Ros and forgot to ask an actress (who didn't get the role) to remove her clothes for the audition.
- CHAPTER 3: "YOU GUYS HAVE A MASSIVE PROBLEM" - Northern Ireland offered tax breaks so HBO moved production to Belfast. Doune Castle (Stirling, Scotland) stood in for Winterfell in the pilot. KL scenes (Jaime & Cersei, Jon Arryn's funeral) were cut from original pilot script; Rickon was going to be cut from the show entirely but was kept in. Most of these quotes have been published in Entertainment Weekly. The story of the disastrous first pilot that will never see the light of day (with Catelyn & Dany played by two different actors). D&D did "a lot of soul searching" and eventually re-shot the pilot. HBO ordered 10 episodes for the first season.
- CHAPTER 4: "MY BOOK COME TO LIFE" - First experiences on set. Apparently the dead stag in the pilot was real and smelled so bad that cast & crew were vomiting everywhere. Features that little anecdote about GRRM's least favourite scene being the hunting party in 1x6. Battles were initially written but had to be cut because of the budget; other scenes were lost to the weather. They lost so many scenes that the episodes came up short and they had to write new ones. GRRM says the first scene he watched was Arya's "That's not me" to Ned.
- CHAPTER 5: "ENTER THE DRAGON" - Emilia is cast as Dany. Is helped through season one by Jason Momoa and Iain Glen, who are more experienced. GRRM and D&D disagreed on how Dany & Drogo's wedding night should have gone - GRRM says they "made it worse, not better". Apparently Jason Momoa played a prank on Benioff by handing him his "modesty sock" after wearing it during nude scenes. Viserys' "golden crown" was done in one take.
- CHAPTER 6: "LEARNING TO DIE" - Ned's death was inspired by Gandalf's fake-death in LOTR. Martin says he loved the peril of Gandalf dying and wanted to maintain that in his books. Lots of quotes from cast & crew about the scene. Apparently the infamous George Bush head was just picked out at random because they needed to fill the spikes. Emilia was worried about the nudity in the dragons' first scene but leant into the fear.
- CHAPTER 7: "NEW BLOOD" - Season 2 is commissioned after good ratings. Liam Cunnnigham gets the role of Davos after initially going for Ser Jorah in season 1. Quotes from Kris Hijvyu, Gwendoline, Rose Leslie, Carice, etc. about their first experiences on set. Carice jokes that, ironically for The Red Woman, she was always cold. A few words about brothel scenes with Esme Bianco, Aiden Gillen, Indira Varma. Diana Rigg apparently complained that, during her visits to LF's brothel, there weren't enough sex toys lying about the place.
- CHAPTER 8: "THE BATTLE OF THE BATTLE OF BLACKWATER" - Has already been published in Entertainment Weekly and we've likely already read it. Lots of production trouble, there was a change of director, HBO weren't keen on some aspects but went ahead with it. Neil Marshall put loads of ideas back in that they'd been forced to take out.
- CHAPTER 9: "FIRE & ICE" - Some quotes from EW! articles about Emilia's serious health issues. D&D decided to try and make the show when reading Dany's sacking of Astapor. Nathalie Emmanuel already loved GOT before playing Missandei. Quotes from Jacob Anderson on playing Grey Worm. Sounds like Kit loved Rose at first sight - she offered him a ginger biscuit during costuming. Iceland locals found it funny to see Americans & Brits struggling in the snow. Kit apparently broke his ankle trying to climb into his house while drunk. Kristofer Hijvu climbed the fake "Wall" from 3x6 in one take while everyone else struggled to get off the floor. Olly was going to be cut, but D&D kept him in.
- CHAPTER 10: "THIS IS GOING TO BE GOOD" - Quotes from Gwen about filming with NCW. They had an awkward interaction when they first met that only Gwen remembers. They honestly sound just like Jaime & Brienne did in season 2/3. Quotes from Gwen, NCW, and Bryan Cogman about "Kissed by Fire" and the famous monologue from Jaime.
- CHAPTER 11: "THE RED WEDDING" - Quotes from GRRM about writing the scene in the books and about the differences to Robb's plot (chiefly Talisa). It took a week to film the whole scene. Michelle Fairley and Richard Madden knew it was coming before they got the scripts. The Red Wedding was the last thing George wrote for A Storm of Swords - says he built up the scene, skipped over it, finished the book, and then came back to it.
- CHAPTER 12: "MUMMER'S FARCE" - D&D played pranks on Maisie, Sophie, Kit, Alfie, Rose Leslie, and loads of other cast members. Highlights include a fake script that they sent to Alife in Ibiza that featured Bran stabbing Theon - Alfie was apparently so relaxed and in "vacation mode" that he just accepted it and arrived for filming without saying a word. They had to tell him the script was fake.
- CHAPTER 13: "GO IN SCREAMING" - Alfie & Iwan became really good friends during the torture sequences. Rory McCann was having trouble with playing The Hound until Benioff told him that "Less is more" - apparently Rory was distant from the cast and a bit of a loner until the final couple of seasons, he preferred to just be left alone. A few quotes about the Brienne and Hound fight in 4x10.
- CHAPTER 14: "THE PURPLE WEDDING" - Some quotes from Lena Headey about Cersei's connection with Joffrey and how it affected her character. Esme Bianco "uncomfortable" with the sceptre scene. A couple of quotes about the Small Council scene in 3x10. Jack Gleeson quit acting because he just didn't fancy doing it for a living; GRRM hopes he didn't cause that decision.
- CHAPTER 15: "TRIALS AND TRIBULATIONS" - Quotes about Tyrion's story in season 4. Funny little anecdote about the cat who played Ser Pounce - a little rascal who didn't behave. Peter Dinklage says he was on jury duty just before season 4 and he used that case as inspiration. An unnamed "famous actor" refused to move his yacht when they were filming The Mountain vs. The Viper. More general quotes about Tyrion's plotline in season 4.
- CHAPTER 16: "THE BIGGEST SHOW IN THE WORLD" - Lots of quotes from the various stars of the show talking about they handled fame. Fans once broke into a hotel in Spain to find the cast members while they were shooting in Meereen for season 5. D&D stopped reading online criticism around season 4. D&D knew about leaks for seasons 5, 7 & 8 - photo of Jon killing Dany was leaked by a crew member. CONFIRMED: D&D staged fake scenes where Jon bowed to Cersei.
- CHAPTER 17: "THE FORKS IN THE ROAD" - BIG CHAPTER. Widely publicised quotes about Martin's thoughts on the changes between book and show in the early days. CONFIRMED: Stannis will burn Shireen, Bran will sit on the Iron Throne, Hodor will "hold the door". Quentin Martell was cut so the show would "stay focused". D&D believed that staying faithful to the books would mean big characters would be absent for several episodes at a time. GRRM said he was making good progress but the show going past him "knocked the wind out of his sails". Quotes about Lady Stoneheart's omission. Direwolves became harder and harder to film. GRRM (and other cast members) praise the costuming, set design, and D&D's dedication as showrunners.
- CHAPTER 18: "A DETOUR TO DORNE" - Sending Jaime to Dorne was Bryan Cogman's idea. D&D knew they couldn't leave Dorne out but didn't want to do "a spin-off within the show". Originally had four Sand Snakes (Tyene, Obara, Nymeria + Sarella), decided on three. Jaime & Bronn fighting the Sand Snakes in the daytime was because of a location problem - couldn't shoot there at night. Cogman says Dorne was "a lesson in how much you can expand a TV show".
- CHAPTER 19: "RUNNING ON FAITH" - Quotes from Mark Mylod about joining GOT and being wowed by John Pryce (High Sparrow) and Diana Rigg. Ian McElhinney says he was disappointed to be killed off and regrets reading the books because he wanted more from Ser Barristan that he never got, but was happy to go out fighting. Shireen actress' screams while being burned were real and captured in the moment. Hardhome massacre was originally going to take place on a beach; became a small village later on. White Walkers were going to speak originally but audio was cut from pilot and they stayed silent until the end.
- CHAPTER 20: "SHAME SHAME SHAME" - Quotes on Cersei's walk of shame. Nothing we haven't heard before really. Lots of talk about body doubles, a weird sidebar about whether men in Westeros were circumcised or not. Nothing too juicy.
- CHAPTER 21: "ROMANCE DIES" - Big chapter on the wedding scene with Ramsay and Sansa and the reaction to it. GRRM says the LF in the books wouldn't give Sansa away, Bryan Cogman says the show version of LF would give her away. Jeyne Poole was written out in season 1 so the writers decided to give the scene to someone the audience were invested in. Original version just had Ramsay putting his arm around Sansa and then the door closing, but Cogman suggested the final version. Cast& crew were stunned by the reaction - Cogman understands the anger but defends their decision to frame the scene how they did. Cogman says that the outrage at least started an important conversation about how women are treated on screen (interestingly, no real discussion about the Jaime/Cersei scene in 4x3).
- CHAPTER 22: "PLAYING DEAD" - Chapter on Jon Snow's death. Kit was told halfway through filming season 5 (so about October 2014) that he would be coming back. He was told to lie to everybody (and they really do mean everybody). David Nutter lied to Barack Obama about whether Jon was really dead or not. Kit was told to give a massive farewell speech even though he knew he wasn't leaving. Says he felt bad about lying, especially when Sophie Turner wrote him a huge thank you letter. Carice Van Houten says fans started warming to Melisandre as soon as she brought Jon back from the dead.
- CHAPTER 23: "THE PACK SURVIVES" - Some quotes about Arya's time in Braavos, training blind; interesting line about Maisie wanting to preserve Arya's humanity while she lost her identity. Mark Mylod would re-do the chase sequence with the Waif again, says he "never got the right energy" with it. Then some quotes about Bran's journey: Hodor will "hold the door" in the books but a little more figuratively. Some quotes about The Hound's return; "Brother Ray" was originally going to be played by Ray Winstone but Bryan Cogman suggested Ian McShane. Then some quotes on 6x10 - Johnathan Pryce had no idea he was going to die until the table-read. Cersei's torture of Septa Unella was meant to be worse but they had to tone it down.
- CHAPTER 24: "THE MAGNIFICENT BASTARDS" - Studio wanted 12 days of filming, D&D settled on 25. They wanted to make sure that "one shot" take of Jon fighting was done in just one take instead of editing it a bunch of times. Did lots of research, hired military specialists. There were plans to do a shot where Wun-Wun saved Jon's life by blasting through a pile of bodies but they didn't have the time - so they did the "Jon being crushed" scene, which worked out better. Cogman addresses criticism that Kit "didn't change" after Jon came back, but says his acting was far more subtle than people give it credit for. Ramsay & dogs scene was supposed to be more gruesome.
- CHAPTER 25: "ALL SHOWS MUST DIE" - Original plan (as late as season 4) was seven seasons: "Seven kingdoms, seven books, seven seasons". Idea that D&D would rush off is dismissed. Lots of anxiety about the show running for too long. Cast were being offered lucrative opportunities by other studios/Hollywood and it was getting harder (and more expensive) to keep them around. D&D decided to shorten season 7 & 8 in 2015; HBO asked for more but D&D had everything mapped out as "A sixth season, and then thirteen hours".
- CHAPTER 26: "SHIPPING OUT" - BIG chapter on season 7. Fewer episodes meant smaller salaries and bigger special effects. Original plan was actually less action and more dialogue, but once they started writing they realised they had lots of conflicts coming together. Liam Cunningham says D&D "tried to annoy him" with the Davos/Melisandre crush angle. Grey Worm "has the pillar, not the stones". Pilou suggested making Euron "like a rockstar" for season 7 and keeping the "two good hands" line. Yara & Ellaria making out was supposed to be Theon & Ellaria, but they changed it. Some quotes on boat battle, Olenna's death, and Loot Train attack. D&D, Kit & NCW say that speeding up the story was a deliberate decision because there was "urgency inside the story". Idea to go beyond the Wall came during the writing for seasons 3/4 (D&D say "the dragons were small" when they came up with the idea) - they needed to get the White Walkers into Westeros without introducing new elements. CONFIRMED: Night King getting an undead Viserion was D&D's idea, doesn't sound like it's a future book plan. Kit & Alan Taylor (director) admit that creating a realist fantasy like GOT and then messing with that realism can draw deserved criticism.
- CHAPTER 27: "A HOMECOMING OF SORTS" - Maisie & Sophie struggled to adapt to being colleagues again rather than just friends. Sophie & Bryan Cogman both admit that the Arya/Sansa conflict was "difficult to get right" and that it "didn't feel natural". Bran's time-travelling abilities were incomplete, a la Luke's training in Empire Strikes Back. "Chaos is a ladder" monologue was written during season 1, but cut twice, before finally appearing in 3x6. Conleth Hill says they tried to get Varys & LF together again but LF had to die before Varys reached Winterfell in season 8.
- CHAPTER 28: "WALKS AND TALKS" - Isaac thought the script was a joke, that D&D had played another prank by sending everyone a script with them on the throne at the end. Lots of the actors had to "go for long walks" after reading the scripts. Conleth Hill said he took Varys' death personally at first but came round to it in the end. Sounds like Maisie had read a couple of scenes but not the full thing, didn't know about NK death.
- CHAPTER 29: "THE LONGEST NIGHT" - D&D had always imagined two battles in the final season: one where the living face the dead, and one where the living turn on each other. Plan was to have Jorah, Jon and Tormund going north at the end, but Jorah's end was changed over time. Original plan was to have lots of characters fighting to reach and kill the NK in separate sequences of their own, so that it could have been anyone getting there first, but that was scrapped. Arya was best candidate because she wasn't a "hack and slash" kind of fighter. Ice spiders were on the table but it became impossible to visualise them and make it work. Some defence of the lighting but nothing we've not heard before. Carolyn Strauss says it would have been impossible to film 10 episodes, so they cut to 6 - some cast members "may have mutinied" if season 8 hadn't been the last.
- CHAPTER 30: "THE THINGS WE LOVE DESTROY US" - Lots we've read before. Emilia cried and struggled to deal with what was going to happen. Lots of quotes about how Dany always showed signs of tyranny. Lots of quotes about how she's good and bad but just happened to lose against herself. Quotes about Jon & Tyrion being in denial, quotes about Nathalie's final scene. Lots of quotes we've read before from Comic Con panels and interviews and such.
- CHAPTER 31: "MANY PARTINGS" - Quotes about Brienne's knighting scene and then Jaime going south to be with Cersei. Quotes we read before about Lena wanting bigger scenes but knowing that going out quietly with Jaime was right for her. Lots more quotes from lots more actors about their various endings and finales. A few quotes about Bran being king; Maisie preparing for the sex/Gendry scene. A defence by Bryan Cogman of not making Jon king; basically saying that it's not Game of Thrones to have a secret king lying in wait, that Jon's heritage played a huge part in the war against the NK and the final battle for the throne.
- CHAPTER 32: "AND NOW THE WATCH HAS ENDED" - Final chapter about the San Diego Comic Con panel and other bits from 2019. D&D say they would have done a few things differently but nothing they'd want to discuss publicly. GRRM says that people should stop fighting over the ending, and which ending is "best". GRRM says he wants GOT's legacy to be shown in the form of adult fantasy becoming a huge deal on TV. --------------------------------------------------END OF BOOK------------------------------------------------------------------
A breakdown of 2020 luxury compact crossovers in North America
Having recently test-driven a number of luxury crossovers, eccentricgalaxy's breakdown of saloons/hatchbacks to buy inspired me to post my pros and cons of each vehicle here as well for everyone's benefit.
DISCLAIMER: I didn't look at price tags, safety ratings, fuel economy, or warranty/maintenance as these are not important factors to my group, plus I didn't get to test every vehicle in a comparable trim. I also ignored American brands and didn't get a chance to drive Acura, Infiniti, LR, or Jaguar, though I doubt I'm missing much.
TL;DR - My top three picks? GLA250, XC40, and X1; CX-30 is a very honourable runner-up.Last place: Audi Q3
Speaking as a longtime Audi fan, this car is an absolute disgrace to Ingolstadt. I was so offended by it that I went straight to VW afterwards to test drive the Tiguan Highline - and liked it better.
+ Apparently it has the best cargo space among its class but the interior feel is small because of the sloped roof
+ I honestly can't think of one other positive about this car
— What the hell kind of shit plastics are they using in Audis nowadays?
— Seriously, how did Audi go from best-in-class interior to worst-in-class?
— Insufficient power, harsh transmission, just a terrible engine overall which is surprising considering how good VAG's 2.0T can be.
9th Place: Mercedes-Benz GLB250
Your #1 pick if cargo space is your #1 priority, but not even Top 3 if you value anything else.
+ Great outward visibility
+ Available third-row seating
— Shares a platform with the GLC but feels as small as the GLA
— Has none of the GLA's inspired driving feel, though it IS competent enough
8th Place: VW Tiguan Highline
I know the Tiguan is not luxury but after driving this car, I wondered why anyone would get anything else if they didn't care about branding or driving dynamics. This is a contender for 1st place in its own class for sure.
+ VERY family-focused, almost as good as a CR-V in this regard
+ Feels bigger than even a Q5 or GLC and has available third-row seating
+ Build quality and materials felt really top notch - dare I say better than the Q3?
— Did they badly nerf the engine for this second-gen? Yes. Does APR exist, though? Also yes.
— I really, really wish they brought over the "short" wheelbase Tiguan to the NA market. All we get is the LWB, which I personally find too big. I'm sure the handling would improve, too.
7th Place: MINI Countryman S
The Countryman S is the one you spend a night with while its cousin, the X1, is the one you marry. (Kill the Q3.) You may be glad that you don't have to deal with the MINI's baggage (or lack thereof, literally) but you'll never forget how it, er, performs.
+ Drives exactly as well as the X1 but throws in a throaty exhaust note and funner revs
+ There's something about the shifter column that makes it feel like a real shifter (even if it is automatic), especially in the age where we're shifting back to steering column shifters cough Mercedes cough
+ It actually feels decently spacious as a passenger and has great headroom and outward visibility
— How are there no shift paddles on a Countryman S?? It should be standard on every trim
— Perhaps redundant to say, but the cargo capacity is truly horrendous. Not baby-friendly at all, which for my purposes is unfortunately an important factor
6th Place: Mazda CX-5
Everyone says that the CX-5 is a bona fide German competitor - it is, but it also isn't. But it's undoubtedly at the top of its own class.
+ The CX-5 one-punch KOs all the other non-luxury crossovers daring to step up when it comes to spirited driving
+ Mazda makes no attempt to deafen the roar of the engine, which I'm marking as a "pro" because you wouldn't buy this car if you wanted an appliance
— Terrible seats that actively discourage spirited driving. What the hell, Mazda?
— Old infotainment, but 2021 version has the updated one
— Pick the Tiguan if anything else is a priority over driving dynamics
— When I was in automatic Sport mode, the transmission was really panicky in 2nd and 3rd gear - it was pretty concerning
5th place: Lexus NX300
Toyota does luxury better than anyone else don't @ me. Lexus was also the only dealership where I was the only buyer under 40 there.
+ Leather so thicc and supple (plus pillow-soft suspension) it's no wonder elderly drivers constantly fall asleep behind the wheel
+ More assistive driving tech than I cared for
+ The perfect car for people who want to travel in spite of having to drive
— The only AWD crossover to feel like a FWD under heavy throttle, which is a really bad sign
— Surprisingly middling cargo space considering its exterior size
— Some parts are too evidently from the Toyota parts bin
4th place: Mazda CX-30
The salesperson convinced me to test drive this alongside the CX-5 and I gotta say that I was blown away by how good the CX-30 is. Forget the CX-5, THIS is the true German competitor!
+ Feels more German than a Q3, with a nice, weighty steering and a premium interior design/build quality that definitely punches above its weight.
+ Modern infotainment system is pretty good and easy to adapt to
+ Could use a big more power but it's plenty fun around town
— Probably too small if you're looking for a compact and not a subcompact crossover
— Similar to other Mazdas, the leather and plastics feel cheap
3rd place: BMW X1
For the record, I drive an F48 X1 so I didn't bother testing the facelifted 2020 version. I admit that I never liked it much when I first got it - I had picked it up as an amazing deal on a lease takeover without test driving it first. But with more context in hand now, I can confidently say that the X1 is an excellent choice, even if it could learn a few things in terms of being fun and cool.
+ Weighty, tactile steering - BMW's the best
+ It's not a ZF but the Aisin transmission is still very good, with lightning-quick yet buttery smooth up/down shifts
+ The base trim barstool seats are trash (like the CX-5's) but the upgraded ones bolster you like a proper driver's seat
+ Cargo space is my favourite part of this car - there's lots of it and even more underneath the trunk
— The exterior looks more forgettable than an extra on the set of an indie film
— Efficient power delivery somehow doesn't translate into "fun" power - sort of like Kawhi?
— iDrive infotainment is decent but the GPS can be maddening; the worst part is that it doesn't tell you whether your destination is on the right or left!
— I find this to be a plus but it could be a minus for many: the suspension is VERY stiff, even in comfort mode
2nd place: Volvo XC-40
The XC-40 is a looker that's also a doer. A homerun effort by Volvo.
+ I never, ever would've expected any 4-cyl crossover, let alone one from nanny-like Volvo, to have audible turbo blow-off valves. The engine feels much quicker than any of the other cars I drove, too
+ The boxy shape is handsome af and also provides for great cargo/interior space, plus you get subtle functionality perks
+ Really solid build quality with good materials - on par with BMW and Mercedes IMO
— Navigation system is really slow and clunky, plus I don't like that they got rid of almost all physical buttons and make you use the touchscreen
— Rear passenger access is VERY tight - good luck getting a car seat in and out of it multiple times a day
— As with all Volvos (and Lexus), I hate that the car actively fights you and thinks that it knows better than you when it comes to abnormal driving, like keeping your car in a lower gear at high RPMs or hitting the "apex" of a curve by crossing a lane when the road is empty
1st place: Mercedes-Benz GLA250
I always hated the previous gen GLA - it looked like a frog on wheels. The new gen isn't sexy like the Volvo but it's good looking enough to be seen in. And honestly, once you sit inside behind the wheel, all doubts about this car will quickly fade away.
+ Perhaps it's unfair to compare a brand new car to competitors that have been on the market for a couple years, but the GLA truly shines above all else and is no worse than top 3 in any category: driving, cargo space, infotainment (the wrap-around screens! And the AI-based "hey Mercedes" functionality!) comfort, build quality...you name it.
+ A very, very spacious feel given its compact exterior, with thoughtful functionality for all passengers including the rear (e.g. hidden compartments, USB charging, adjustable seats) that makes me think they poached a few Volvo engineers
— It drives really well and can be positively compared to the X1, but it's still not quite there; the transmission lags slightly on upshifts under hard acceleration and it doesn't handle as razor sharp as the Bimmer
— A shifter on the steering column?? I may be having kids but I don't want no damn minivan! (But I grudgingly admit that it does open up space in the centre console...)