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Mario Kart DS/Kart Stats

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Each character starts out with two karts with similar, but still slightly different statistics. The karts are rated in the following categories:

How fast a kart can reach its top speed. A kart with higher acceleration will recover from being hit by an item faster.
A kart's maximum speed. Higher speeds are usually associated with less acceleration and handling.
How sharply a kart steers. Karts with higher handling rely on their turning ability rather than their drifting ability to steer through turns, leading to a lower drift stat.
How heavy a kart is. This stat is also affected by what character is driving the kart. Lightweights have high acceleration, low top speeds, and have the best off-road ability, but can suffer from being attacked or throttled by heavier characters. Heavyweights are recommended to be the fastest racers, but have terrible acceleration and terrible driving off-road. Middleweights are average in all their abilities. The heavier a kart is, the slower it drives off road. Being heavy has no use in Wi-Fi play, because you cannot bump players.
How hard a kart turns during a powerslide. Having a higher drift rating increases the tightness of the turns a kart can drift through, but decreases its ability to turbo boost on straightaways, a technique also known as "snaking." The higher your drift, the less your miniboosts last, and the less drift you have, the longer they last. This is why R.O.B-BLS, the kart, with low acceleration and low drift, has the third longest mini turbo in the game, only outclassed by the Standard RB and the R.O.B-LGS.
High item stats give karts a higher chance of getting powerful items, as well as making items such as stars and Bullet Bills affect the player longer. How many mushrooms a player gets in time trial mode depends on his/her kart's item stat.