Latest Test Drive

September 2017

  • Elantra’s Power Options Expand Appeal

    THE latest Hyundai Elantra is made available with two power options – turobocharged and normally aspirated - to expand its appeal. Being the mid-range models, its reach with the younger set clearly allows Hyundai to provide a more exciting alternative in the Elantra Sport Turbo.

    Continue Reading »


  • July 2017

  • Continental Blends Sporty and Premium Performance in PremiumContact 6

    REACTION to tyre performance probably gets more critical as you go up the premium ladder in the automotive world. Those who drive premium cars would value the ride performance above all else from the tyre while expecting it to provide other related qualities in equally fine doses.

    Continue Reading »


  • June 2017

  • Latest Honda Accord Maintains Sporty Executive Appeal

    THE Honda Accord has firmly established itself here as one of the popular options for executive motoring among the Asian brands over the years. This is also reflected in the US market especially with the current generation (ninth) model, which has been the top selling car there in the last few years, with the Toyota Camry second best.

    Continue Reading »


  • Innova Continues Positive Performance in Fresh Perspective

    TOYOTA has given the latest Innova a fresh perspective with a sharper body profile that belies its deep roots. This subscribes to its current approach of giving its range of vehicles less of a conservative profile but a more forward, and in some cases even bold, front.

    Continue Reading »


  • May 2017

    Discovering Sun Moon Lake with New Panamera

    MENTION the popular tourist spot, Sun Moon Lake, in Nantou County, Taiwan and the last thing you would think of is a fast drive around it in Porsche Panameras. That was our reaction when we received the invitation to experience a drive impression of the latest Panamera. Were we supposed to enjoy a scenic drive around the lake? That would be ironic for a performance car.

    Continue Reading »


  • Toyota Sienta Checks All Right Spots for Family Motoring

    TOYOTA has moved clearly from a conservative stance to a bolder one in body styling for its newer range of passenger vehicles. An example is the latest Camry that has taken on racy, angular lines in front that one would not have expected of this Toyota executive sedan, say ten years ago.

    Continue Reading »


  • March 2017

  • Audi Driving Experience with R8 plus

    AUDI conducts a regular driving experience at its Audi Sport centre near Ingolstadt, Germany for new car owners as well as interested parties such as the motoring media. We had our taste of this Audi Driving Experience at the highest level with the R8 V10 plus Coupé, which represents its ultimate sports car.

    Continue Reading »


  • Hyundai Ioniq: Hybrid Motoring for a Song

    HYUNDAI is taking the hybrid challenge to Toyota with the Ioniq by offering such a fuel efficient car at a lower price. Although the Ioniq Hybrid would have enjoyed tax incentives under the EEV (Energy Efficient Vehicle) category, commanding a price below RM115,000 makes it a very attractive proposition. Hyundai-Sime Darby Motors is so confident of the good price advantage that the Ioniq is made available as a locally assembled model.

    Continue Reading »


  • February 2017

  • Latest Kia Sorento Cuts it on Diesel Power

    THE Kia Sorento has always been petrol powered under Naza Kia’s stewardship until the latest model. This has to do with the progressive availability of higher refined diesel fuel that new diesel engines would perform best running on. To gauge the response to this change of power, Naza Kia brought in a low specification model as an alternative option to the higher-spec 2.4-litre petrol models.

    Continue Reading »


  • Honda Civic 1.5 Turbo: Enjoying the Affordable Dream

    THE latest Honda Civic, now in its 10th generation, highlights the move to turbo power for the normal model range. It might have taken the Japanese automotive industry a bit more time to come on stream with such a move but then again, it’s never too late to hop onto this power trend wagon.

    Continue Reading »


  • January 2017

  • Twisty Drive in Portugal with new Audi A5 & S5

    HOT on the heels of the new Audi A4 came the Audi A5 and punchier S5. The current trend is to develop the two-door coupé version independent of the supposedly base model to stand it out as an individual car instead of being an extended entity. Moreover, these sportier looking cars are also endowed with the more powerful engines in the range.

    Continue Reading »


  • December 2016

  • Perodua Bezza: Sedan Alternative of Choice

    IT WAS a matter of time before Perodua was going to introduce a sedan model to try for a bigger slice of the market. More Malaysian car owners somehow prefer the sedan more than the hatchback even though Perodua held its own since it started in 1996 with its range of hatchbacks to even outsell its closest rival Proton in recent years.

    Continue Reading »


  • Chevrolet Introduces ‘Friendlier’ Colorado

    THE pickup has grown from a mere workhorse to become a more ‘civilised’ vehicle that now easily doubles for work and family motoring. This dual function for the pickup has seen development focused on making the vehicle more comfortable in ride for all on board as well as being endowed with more features to make it more family savvy.

    Continue Reading »


  • November 2016

  • Renault Fluence An Affordable Mid-Range Sedan

    THE Renault Fluence has been in the Malaysian market since mid-2014 and in that time close to 300 cars were moved, most of the purchases favouring the higher-spec Dynamique variant. At about RM10,000 more at RM119,888 (on the road without insurance) it makes sense to go for a Dynamique Fluence that has leather seat upholstery, standard daytime running lights and LED (light emitting diode) rear combination lamps.

    Continue Reading »


  • Second-Gen Persona Scores on Ride Comfort

    THE Proton Persona has entered its second generation phase and not a minute too soon. Waning sales required an upgrade to refresh interest and the latest Persona won’t disappoint on that score. It has assumed a completely new look that is definitely mainstream in body design, which is good on one hand and not so good on another.

    Continue Reading »


  • October 2016

  • Lamborghini Huracán: The Buriram Experience

    IT’S not often that we get an invitation to drive a Lamborghini unless we happen to be a potential customer, which we are in no financial situation to be. We had that pleasure earlier in the year to drive the Huracán LP 580-2 rear-wheel drive at a race circuit in Kaohsiung in Taiwan.

    Continue Reading »


  • September 2016

  • BMW X1: Just as good in Front-wheel drive

    BMW might have gone front-wheel drive (FWD) since 2014 but some would still raise their eyebrows on being told of such a model from this German carmaker. Perhaps it is because BMW has established its image as a strong rear-driven car that few could perceive it doing the same with a front-driven one.

    Continue Reading »


  • Strong and clean diesel power with Mazda6 SKYACTIV-D

    THE progressive availability of Euro5 diesel is beginning to see the introduction of more advanced diesel cars and vehicles. Mazda is among the few who see this as an opportunity to introduce its advanced diesel range to cater to the growing confidence and acceptance of such cars.

    Continue Reading »


  • August 2016

  • Roughing out Brisbane outback with BFGoodrich

    THE growing demand for pick-ups and SUVs (sport utility vehicles) in Malaysia reflects the trend in many world markets and this is not lost on BFGoodrich, an American tyre maker. This means the demand for tyres suitable for such vehicles would grow in tandem and there is an opportunity waiting to be tapped.

    Continue Reading »


  • July 2016

  • Roomier SUV Option in Hyundai Tucson

    THE growing range of SUVs (sport utility vehicles) in the market gives the prospective buyer plenty to choose from. Brand loyalty plays a big role here although the younger customer is more inclined to vehicle looks and equipment that might befit his or her lifestyle. This is where the latest Hyundai Tucson is likely to score in the Malaysian market.

    Continue Reading »


  • April 2016

  • Lamborghini Huracán Stays Exciting with Rear-wheel drive

    LAMBORGHINI might have been pretty low key compared to its more flamboyant Italian rival in Ferrari but after coming under Audi in the Volkswagen Group more than 15 years ago, it has re-established itself as an exclusive player to contend with. Since Ferruccio Lamborghini founded the company in 1963, it had been on a roller-coaster ride and went through a few changes of ownership.

    Continue Reading »


  • Renault Captur: Breezy Lifestyle Option with 1.2 Turbo Power

    TAPPING on the Crossover or SUV (sport utility vehicle) trend sweeping the market appeared to have paid dividends for Renault franchise holder TC Euro Cars. The company is already into its second batch of imported Captur (pronounced as Capture) as this compact Crossover has found favour with a growing pool of prospective Renault customers.

    Continue Reading »


  • March 2016

  • Mercedes-Benz GLE 250d & CLA45 AMG: Contrasting Experiences

    TO CELEBRATE Mercedes-Benz 130 Years of Innovation at Cycle & Carriage Bintang Berhad’s Georgetown Autohaus, Mercedes-Benz Malaysia provided the media a variety of vehicles to drive between KL and Penang over two days. We had the opportunity to do the KL-Penang leg in the newly launched GLE 250d and the return leg in the CLA45 4Matic, and it was a world of contrast in experience.

    Continue Reading »


  • February 2016

  • Renault Clio GT Line: An Engaging Drive

    IT’S been a while since we drove a Renault and the Kangoo was the last model that came to mind. Our memory of this French make – from the early days of the Renault 10, 12, 16 and 17 (1970s) to the more recent Kangoo, Megane and Espace (2000s) – had always been on the comfortable ride that appears to be a hallmark of cars from that country.

    Continue Reading »


  • January 2016

  • Latest 3 Series Continues Strong Dynamic Pace

    THE BMW 3 Series goes through a fairly long model span, thus facelifts keep its appeal fresh and updated technically to hold firmly against rivals, especially from its German counterparts. In the Malaysian scenario, it may only see one serious rival in the three-point star but in major markets like Europe, China and the US, its rival base is wider.

    Continue Reading »


  • Nissan X-Trail 2.5L: Standing Well Against Peers

    The SUV (sport utility vehicle) or Crossover sector is now an increasingly hotly contested one (even exclusive brands are making them) and the one with the looks and features is likely to gain good market share. With the new X-Trail, Nissan has made tremendous grounds in these two areas to be fully worthy of consideration by many in the market for such vehicles.

    Continue Reading »


    • December 2015

    • Latest Audi A4 Sets New Benchmark

      THE Audi A4 is no pushover when it comes to technology, performance, perception, styling and design. This is fully continued in the latest model – the ninth in the series - that is due on Malaysian roads in the first quarter of 2016. Audi calls its latest ‘baby’ the winning four with its ‘fascinating’ synthesis of technology and aesthetics. Technically, that numeral for this model series goes back only four generations to 1995. The earlier four generations went by the name of A80 that was first introduced in 1972.

      Continue Reading »


    • BMW Goes X-tra Mile in Premium All-Wheel Drive Motoring

      BMW hasn’t looked back since it introduced the All-Wheel Drive (AWD) variant in just about all of its model range. The global demand is so good that the AWD range accounts for about a third of BMW sales today. BMW obviously has got it right to command that kind of appeal.

      Continue Reading »


    • November

    • Ford Renews Focus with EcoBoost Power

      THE Ford Focus enters its fourth generation cycle, carrying the best-seller torch for the brand with a new look and efficient turbo power. Yes, the latest Focus now looks fully a part of the new Ford family with the characteristic trapezoidal grille and EcoBoost power.

      Continue Reading »


    • BMW X1 Second Generation Joins Front Drive Momentum

      THE front-wheel drive momentum is picking up speed at BMW; at least for the smaller range of cars. Hot on the heels of the 2 Series Active Tourer and Gran Tourer, BMW has added the second generation X1 SAV (Sports Activity Vehicle) to its new front-wheel drive family.

      Continue Reading »


    • October

    • Jaguar XE Continues British ‘Cat’ Revival

      JAGUAR has had quite a colourful journey since it first appeared as the SS Jaguar in late 1935. It was after the Second World War that Jaguar established its niche as a maker of sports cars with a series of successful models; XK120 (1948-1954), XK140 (1954-1957), XK150 (1957-61) and E-Type (1961-1975). There were also the sporty sedan models such as the MK VII and IX, Mks I and II, and the XJ6.

      Continue Reading »


    • BMW 2 Series Gran Tourer: The Family Option

      THE BMW 2 Series Gran Tourer is the natural progression from the 2 Series Active Tourer and its coming was only a matter of time. The need for a bigger MPV (multi-purpose vehicle) lies in its original design; to serve as a flexible family transporter, this time to pander the needs of a bigger family.

      Continue Reading »


    • September

    • Honda Civic 1.8S: Mid-range Executive Motoring Well Up to Mark

      HONDA Malaysia is not sitting pretty as the rivals in the market step up in their respective model offerings through attractive pricing and updated versions to pander to the whims of prospective buyers. Late last year, the ninth-generation Civic was introduced in an updated form with a better level of equipment and new body aesthetics to stamp its presence more vividly.

      Continue Reading »


    • Porsche Cayman GT4 Opens New Sporty Purist Options

      THE Porsche 911 GT3 once held the status for serious sporty driving on the road, with dynamic qualities that often blur the lines between a road and race car, but that has changed recently with the new Cayman GT4. Seen as the entry level to Porsche’s GT Classification range (that is, GT with a number), the Cayman GT4 is said to open new sporty driving purist options to come.

      Continue Reading »


    • BMW 2 Series Active Tourer for Trendy Motoring

      THE changing tastes among passenger vehicle buyers can’t be ignored if a carmaker is to stay relevant and be fully competitive. There is an increasing demand for comfortable family vehicles that goes beyond cars and stationwagons (or estates), and this comes well catered to in MPVs (multipurpose vehicles).

      Continue Reading »


    • July

    • Isuzu MU-X: Comfortable SUV with good mileage

      THE Isuzu MU-X is not a completely new SUV (sport utility vehicle) being the second-generation model, following the MU-7, which was not sold here. The MU-7 was introduced in Thailand in 2005 to replace the Trooper, the production of which had stopped for some years at that time.

      Continue Reading »


    • MINI Cooper S three-door: Powerful Drive Down Memory Lane

      THE MINI Cooper S three-door sure brought back some good memories; while driving it through our regular ‘test’ mill, we couldn’t help relate the go-kart experience to the MINI 1000 that we had some fun driving with back in the late 60s and early 70s. The power might have been a world of difference between the ...

      Continue Reading »


    • Porsche 911 Targa: Sporty Lifestyle

      PURISTS might have lamented the good old days of Porsche when only those who how to drive them can claim full and rewarding ownership. While it is good to be recognised as a car builder who makes exclusive and demanding sporty cars, Porsche also recognises the fact it could expand its customer base tremendously by making its range of cars easier to drive.

      Continue Reading »


    • Honda HR-V is Hip and Peppy

      YOUNGER car owners are making up a good share of the customers eyeing new models being introduced and they are more inclined to try something new and fresh, rather than stick with standard fare. SUVs and Crossovers have come to be fashion statements among them and many automotive makers are certainly right on this current pulse.

      Continue Reading »


    • Rolls-Royce on Record Roll for Fifth Year

      ROLLS-Royce capped a fifth record year of vehicle delivery in 2014 with 4063 cars, breaking the 4000-level for the first time and making it the highest sales ever in its 111-year history. This represented a 12 per cent increase over the sales made in 2013, when it had celebrated a record delivery then of 3600 cars.

      Continue Reading »


    • 2015

    • Nissan Serena S-Hybrid Goes Local

      GOOD fuel mileage passenger vehicles may lose their lustre when petrol prices go down or stay at affordable levels. This is when other attributes of the vehicle come to the fore. For the latest Nissan Serena S-Hybrid facelift model, it is a comfortable and well-equipped MPV (multipurpose vehicle) for eight people at an attractive price that becomes its strongest draw.

      Continue Reading »


    • Peugeot 408 Turbo: Great Value for Money Offer

      YEAR-END offers sometimes see great value-for-money packages that are hard to resist and the attractive offer by Nasim Sdn Bhd for its Peugeot 408 Turbo is definitely one of them. At RM98,000, or some RM30,000 cheaper than its standard price, the Peugeot 408 Turbo has to be seriously considered for what it can offer in driving fun and functionality.

      Continue Reading »


    • MINI Cooper S: 5-door Enhancer

      MINI has introduced a five-door model in September that should enhance its appeal for those who are looking at a more conventional option besides the Clubman and Countryman. This was launched as the second body variant of the new generation MINI and this five-door model was made available in the Malaysian market a couple ...

      Continue Reading »


    • VESPA Primavera 150 3V ie.

      AFTER five days, four nights and 852 kilometres of travelling around Selangor, Federal Territory and Perak, I had to sadly return the little Primavera to Naza Premira Sdn Bhd, Piaggio's Malaysian homebase in Petaling Jaya.

      Continue Reading »


    • Porsche Macan: Smaller and Exciting Sporty SUV

      PORSCHE has obviously felt the need to reach out to more potential customers with its SUV (sport utility vehicle) and the newly introduced Macan clearly reflected this. This is the compact model to complement the bigger Porsche Cayenne, which has its retinue of loyal customers.

      Continue Reading »


    • Honda City Continues Youthful Dynamics

      THE Honda City is now into its fourth generation. It seemed like only yesterday that we were the owner of the first-generation City, which started out here as a 1.3-litre model before the 1.5-litre variant was brought in about six months down the road. It has remained a 1.5-litre model ever since.

      Continue Reading »


    • BMW X4 & 4 Series Grand Coupé: More Option for the Picking

      VARIETY is the spice of life and this applies equally in the premium car sector. BMW is certainly subscribing to that by extending its model options down the line to reach out to more loyal customers who want greater choices to suit their motoring pleasure. If at all possible, the German carmaker would want to have a model in ...

      Continue Reading »


    • Latest Tiguan Gets Twin-Charge Power

      THE latest Volkswagen Tiguan was recently introduced here with a 1.4-litre TSI twin-charge engine to take over from the 2.0-litre turbo that was made available earlier in the previous model. Volkswagen Malaysia obviously wanted to attract more buyers to consider its Tiguan SUV, which was previously at a premium ...

      Continue Reading »


    • Isuzu D-Max 3.0 V-Cross: When Bigger is Better

      THE bigger engine displacement option is sometimes the better alternative when you need the added power and torque for your mode of transportation. You need a ‘friendly’ price levy environment as well to make it an affordable choice and this is applicable in Sabah and Sarawak.

      Continue Reading »


    • Honda Jazz: Raising Bar To Affordable Lifestyle Motoring

      THE Honda Jazz is now into its third generation model and it is seen as raising the bar for cars in its segment: lifestyle motoring in a subcompact form and as a petite but sporty looking hatchback rather than an MPV. The model designation is clearly blurred in this new age but the Jazz finds among its admirers the younger set ...

      Continue Reading »


    • BMW M3 & M4: Setting New Spirited Benchmarks

      THE BMW Group has come to be the top premium carmaker in the world last year, achieving almost two million vehicles in sales. A key reason for its higher acceptance in the major markets has to do with its wider range of exciting cars. BMW has also clearly demonstrated its ability to provide what customers want and to move with the times

      Continue Reading »


    • Honda Accord 2.0 VTi-L: Nimble Yet Comfortable

      IT HAD been nine months since the latest ninth-generation Honda Accord was introduced here and it appears to have the stamina to maintain its strong appeal in the market. Honda Malaysia recently invited us for an impression drive and we decided on the Accord 2.0 VTi-L, which is usually the more popular of the two models, the other being the 2.4-litre.

      Continue Reading »


    • Mercedes-Benz CLA 200: Sporty four-door Coupé Extends Appeal

      CAPITALISING on a successful model concept by extending its appeal to reach out to more buyers seems to be the current trend among some carmakers. The Mercedes-Benz CLS was introduced in 2003 to pander to those who wanted a sporty looking four-door coupé without losing the driving comfort of the E-Class (W211) that it was based on. It came to be a niche model that had its share of ...

      Continue Reading »


    • New Nissan Teana: Bigger and More Dynamic

      THE Nissan Teana has returned as a new model to slug it out in an increasingly competitive market. When it was introduced as a locally assembled model in 2010, its main rivals were the Toyota Camry and Honda Accord. Since then, the D-segment market has progressively seen new faces that are available at very ...

      Continue Reading »


    • Peugeot 3008 SUV Rejuvenated

      IT HAS been four years since the Peugeot 3008 ruled the French roost in the SUV market here, making it the top seller from that country. With more than 2000 units sold to its name since its entry in mid-2010, the 3008 had appealed to those who wanted the French version of SUV motoring.

      Continue Reading »


    • Ford EcoSport: Compact SUV for Casual Motoring

      FORD may be onto a good thing here in the Malaysian market when it brings in the new EcoSport soon to cater to those who want a compact SUV (sport utility vehicle). Firstly, it has no direct rivals in the price range it is expected to be in, which is from RM95,000 to RM115,000, depending on models as hinted during the KL International Motor Show 2013 late last year.

      Continue Reading »


    • Mitsubishi Goes PHEV for 4WD models

      MITSUBISHI has already demonstrated its ability to produce electric vehicles for the urban environment with the i-MiEV (Mitsubishi Innovative Electric Vehicle), and is making the car more attractive by reducing price gradually in key markets. The next step was to develop an electric vehicle for inter-city driving and the result is the PHEV (plug-in hybrid electric vehicle).

      Continue Reading »


    • Mitsubishi Attrage SE: Good value motoring

      HOT on the heels of the Mitsubishi Mirage came the Attrage, the sedan alternative that scores well with its own body styling. Yes, the Attrage has raised eyebrows regarding its ability to perform, given that it shares the same power base as the Mirage. Those old enough to recall the early days of the Datsun 120Y Automatic might share these sentiments.

      Continue Reading »


    • Mazda BT-50 6-speed Manual: Strictly for the Young

      THE latest Mazda BT-50 signals a departure from its earlier link to the Ford Ranger when there was a shared development process. This comes mainly in the body design although the engine appears to be similar to that in the current Ranger. Likewise, the model options available in the 2.2-litre and 3.2-litre are the same.

      Continue Reading »


    • Hyundai i40 Tourer: Lifestyle Alternative

      TOURERS belong to a niche market. They offer lifestyle motoring for those who like to sit low, with good and flexible interior room, and decent power to move quick enough without burning much fuel. Back in the old days (read that as the 70s and 80s), tourers were more commonly known as stationwagons in the local market. Then, such vehicles were widely used as commercial vehicles to transport goods while a few were bought for private motoring.

      Continue Reading »


    • Hyundai Tucson Facelift: Smoother and More Fuel Efficient

      THE Hyundai Tucson has had a relatively good run since it was introduced to the Malaysian market in 2010. As of late last year, more than 6000 units of the Tucson, which is imported from South Korea, were sold.

      Continue Reading »


    • Kia Optima Facelift: The Korean Experience

      THE current Kia Optima has enjoyed success well beyond expectations following its launch in 2010. More than 800,000 cars were sold globally as it was an attractive alternative for many in the market for a C-segment car. As it enters its mid-life span, Kia is fully determined to ride on the positive sentiments by endowing the Optima with more than a cursory facelift. And what better way to ...

      Continue Reading »


    • Toyota Vios: Raising Comfort Level in a Spirited Way

      THE latest generation Toyota Vios has come a long way since the first model was introduced here more than 10 years ago. Although it continues to serve as the entry level Toyota model for the Malaysian market, it has been improved in the area of comfort to measure well up to expectations.

      Continue Reading »


    • Nissan Serena S-Hybrid: Comfortable and Economical

      FUEL efficient motoring has become the norm right across the model range, more so with the bigger displacement engine segment, with which even the premium class owners would appreciate the fuel savings gained. Hybrids have set the standard along with fuel-efficient diesel models. We see more of the former as our less refined diesel fuel is not suitable for the modern-day diesel-powered cars.

      Continue Reading »


    • 2014

    • Kia Cerato Koup Gets Turbo Power

      THE new Kia Cerato continues with the same three variants that it was made available with for the previous model although the Malaysian market is likely to see only two: the Cerato sedan that was launched earlier in 2013 and the Cerato Koup that made a year-end entry. The five-door hatchback model is the third variant.

      Continue Reading »


    • Peugeot 2008: Crossover motoring in a smaller package

      PEUGEOT has obviously enjoyed good success with the 3008 Crossover that shares the same platform as the 308 hatchback, enough to extend that formula to the smaller 208 model as well. Building different models from a common floorpan is the way to go these days as it saves on development costs and time.

      Continue Reading »


    • New Nissan Grand Livina: Fresh Face Family Fun

      THE Nissan Grand Livina has fulfilled the local need for practical and economical family motoring for quite a few years without asking for too high a price. Its strong sales numbers over the years clearly attest to its popularity. Available in 1.6 and 1.8-litre model variants, there was good demand for both, with the smaller displacement (and more affordable) model taking a bigger share of the pie at more than 60 per cent.

      Continue Reading »


    • New Mazda3 Preview: Driver-centric Dynamics

      THE third generation Mazda3 to be launched in Japan from November and progressively in other countries is the third SkyActiv model after the Mazda6 and CX-5. With each SkyActiv model, Mazda also introduced new developments that it hopes will enhance the car’s appeal further.

      Continue Reading »


    • Ford Fiesta S: Comfortable Sporty Compact

      THE Ford Fiesta has found a strong niche in the market, in particular among young buyers, looking for attractive alternatives in the compact hatchback sector. Since it was launched here, Sime Darby’s AutoConnesXion has enjoyed a steady stream of buyers, making the Fiesta its best-selling Ford model averaging more than 100 units a month.

      Continue Reading »


    • Third Generation BMW X5: The Boss Gets More Comfortable

      THE BMW X5 SAV (Sports Activity Vehicle) may win sales based on its dynamic outlook but the area of comfort is also not overlooked, as the recently launched third-generation X5 is any indicator. There is now a greater distinction between performance and comfortable driving, going by the options that are available with the latest ‘Boss’ from BMW.

      Continue Reading »


    • New Mercedes-Benz E-Class: Quiet and Quick

      THE latest Mercedes-Benz E-Class has apparently been well received here in its Avantgarde design, especially with its attractive prices ranging from RM366,888.00 to RM405,888.00Perhaps, having gone bigger in engine displacement (from 1.8-litre to 2.0-litre) might have a small part to play in that. This is the new BlueEFFICIENCY range, with the E 200 rated at 135kW (184bhp) ...

      Continue Reading »


    • Subaru XV: Smooth Crossover

      SUBARU is perhaps the most underrated car brand from Japan, not for the lack of driving fun or technology, but for its lack of presence, especially in Malaysia. The Subaru name rang a bell or two when it was involved in the World Rally Championship (WRC) with its Impreza WRX cars, enjoying relatively good success.

      Continue Reading »


    • New Range Rover Sport: Equally at home on highways and offroad

      THE launch of the Range Rover in the late 70s laid the groundwork for comfortable offroad driving although the trend didn’t really take off till much later. Today, Range Rover has many rivals vying for a share of that pie. When the latest Range Rover Sport was introduced in early 2013 in the Big Apple, with ‘Agent 007’ Daniel Craig taking the stage no less, it appeared that Land Rover was going back to basics.

      Continue Reading »


    • Hyundai Veloster: Three-door sportster Option

      THE Hyundai Veloster should appeal to those who want more than just an ‘ordinary’ sportster, styling-wise, that is. As a three-door sports car, the Veloster has few peers along that odd arrangement: it has one door for the driver and two to serve the front and rear passengers.

      Continue Reading »


    • New Mercedes-Benz A-Class: The Sepang Experience

      THE Mercedes-Benz A-Class has grown dimensionally over the respective models and is no longer the ‘puny’ hatchback it started out as. Today, the latest A-Class is a pretty stout looking car, fully beefed up by eagle-eyed daylight running lights (LEDs), 18-inch wheels, and an improved aerodynamic body ...

      Continue Reading »


    • Discovering Isuzu’s 4x4 Land with the new D-Max

      THE passion one shares with his vehicle can come in several forms; engine power, handling prowess, sporty orientation, unique engineering, characteristic body design, marque tradition, off-road ability, to name the common bonds. Carmakers usually capitalise on such bonds to promote their respective vehicles to endear loyalists and to catch the attention of prospective customers.

      Continue Reading »


    • Bridgestone Expands Ecopia Range

      BRIDGESTONE’S introduction of its Ecopia range more than two years ago for the passenger car market appears to have gone down well with customers. The Ecopia range was originally launched to capitalise on its low rolling resistance, which leads to better fuel economy arising from less engine power required to propel ...

      Continue Reading »


    • Hyundai Sonata 2.4 Facelift: More Distinctive Flash

      IT HAS been more than two years since the new Hyundai Sonata was introduced here and this Korean executive sedan had settled into its own niche, favoured among those who wished to venture onto new products. A facelift model was introduced early this year, following sporty options introduced late last year to maintain appeal.

      Continue Reading »


    • Michelin Primacy 3 ST: Good stopping Asia-Pacific Tyre

      MICHELIN has come to terms with meeting regional needs for tyre performance and has introduced its new Primacy 3 range (which is the third generation tyre) as a dedicated product for Asia-Pacific markets. It carries the additional ‘ST’ alphabets, which stands for ‘Silence Tuned’.

      Continue Reading »


    • Latest BMW Z4: Topless fun with 35iS

      THE latest BMW Z4 is promoted as a ‘new’ car although you might be hard put to differentiate it from the previous model at a glance. Those with sharp eyes may spot the slimmer design of the standard bi-xenon headlights that flow further back to the front wheel arches, underlined by the LED daytime running lights.

      Continue Reading »


    • BMW M6 Gran Coupé: For Mature Hotheads

      LESS than a year after the four-door BMW 6 Series Gran Coupé was introduced, an M Sport version has followed. BMW believes that the ‘mature’ group that the 6 Series panders to is ready for another M Sport model in the range, following the encouraging response to the M6 two-door model. And as M Sport motoring goes, the M6 Gran Coupé is just as heady in performance.

      Continue Reading »


    • The Kuga Pounces

      THE Ford Kuga, which takes over from the Escape, is a fresh model in all respects to our market. Though the name is new, it is the second generation model as the earlier Kuga was introduced to the US and Europe markets. Strangely, the name Kuga is used for the European market while in the US, it is sold as the Escape.

      Continue Reading »


    • BMW 3 Gets Distinctive GT Option

      BMW had earlier introduced the GT – Gran Tourismo or Grand Touring – in the 5 Series, which has already gone on to the second generation phase. If there was to be another GT variant in the family, the logical choice was the 3 Series as the reach was wider and the demand just as strong. Sure enough, the 3 Series GT had now come to exist.

      Continue Reading »


    • BMW ActiveE: Strong & Silent

      BMW’S commitment to electric power is seeing fruit in model extensions and a dedicated range, the i models. Among the former is the ActiveE, which is based on the two-door 1 Series, as well as the MiniE. Although the attention on electric cars have slowed down in a few key markets, some - such as China and the US - are maintaining interest in ‘clean’ power.

      Continue Reading »


    • Volvo XC60 T5: Youthful SUV

      VOLVO reaches out to the younger set with the XC60 in the SUV class, and for Malaysia, only one model is offered: the XC60 T5. Yes, it’s the more powerful variant and given its target market, it’s clearly the model that should catch the eye here. For 2013, the XC60 has been given an update but going by Volvo’s practice, most of the refinements are marginal and in the engine bay.

      Continue Reading »


    • Honda 4th Generation CR-V: Slightly Smaller but Better

      ITS launch here might have been delayed by a natural disaster (in Thailand) but the wait is worth the while. The new Honda CR-V is completely redesigned from front to back, giving the fourth-generation Comfortable Runabout Vehicle a fresh new perspective from the old mould, with some Continental influence to the rear styling.

      Continue Reading »


    • Third-Generation Cayman Gets Lighter, Quicker

      THE Porsche Cayman panders to those who find the 911 too big and the Boxster, not Porsche enough for their liking. While the Cayman may be considered a smaller 911, there are styling differences from the general family semblance to stand it apart on its own as a two-seater sport coupé

      Continue Reading »


    • New Mazda6: Driver’s Delight with Skyactiv Power

      THE latest Mazda6 has arrived with the highly anticipated Skyactiv engineering that Mazda announced more than a year ago. The new Mazda executive sedan may have grown dimensionally over the old to lose some of its slimness, but it has not lost any of its agility when put to the task through winding roads.

      Continue Reading »


    • Ford Focus Sport Plus: Dynamic yet Comfortable

      THE Ford Focus is not a new ‘face’ here but it enjoyed only a small share of the market with the earlier models. The latest model may change all that, given its high level of standard features against the established rivals. And the package is not just mere trifles but practical items that were first introduced in premium class cars.

      Continue Reading »


    • Toyota Camry 2.5V: Good Premium Value for the Money

      THE Toyota Camry has earned its stripes over the years as a car that fulfils executive class motoring and the latest model continues to maintain status quo with the best of them. A few days with the Camry 2.5V, which included a drive to Ipoh for some gourmet food and taking in the sights, easily convinced us as to why this Toyota executive sedan remains a strong seller

      Continue Reading »


    • Continental GT: Wild Side of Bentley

      THE Bentley Continental is the two-door version that panders to the elite strata hankering for some sporty drives. As it usually weighs more than two tonnes, matching even the large SUVs, few would imagine that the Continental would be almost as much fun to drive as smaller size and nimbler sports cars about half its weight.

      Continue Reading »


    • Ford Ranger 2.2 XLT: When Small is BIG…

      THE latest Ford Ranger toes the current trend of going smaller in engine displacement without compromising on power and overall performance in general. A more efficient engine turbocharging system has made it possible and for a two-tonne pick-up, you can’t lose out on the power.

      Continue Reading »


    • BMW expands options with Hybrid models

      BMW has shown its ability to spread its engineering base and not put all its eggs in one basket by introducing hybrid cars. The German carmaker may see more merits in its diesel range to deliver power and mileage, but it too has to accept that diesel clatter is not widely accepted everywhere, such as China and the US.

      Continue Reading »


    • World Motor Sport Champions do battle in Bangkok

      IF THERE’S a gauge to judge world motor sport champions by, it has to be the Michelin Race of Champions (ROC). The event is already into its 25th year, but it was only run for the first time in the Asean region in mid-December 2012. It was also the second time that the ROC was held outside of Europe, the first being in 2009 at the Beijing’s Bird Nest Olympic Stadium.

      Continue Reading »


    • Putting the Joy Back into Driving

      TOYOTA is a brand that speaks of reliability, strength and value. As it were, it was voted the most valuable automotive brand in the UK recently. Although it was involved in motor sports at the highest level, such as the World Rally Championship (WRC) and Formula One, few could recall a Toyota car that would awe one in a truly sporty way, other than the mere aesthetics.

      Continue Reading »


    • Mitsubishi Mirage: Economical and Feisty

      THE Mitsubishi Mirage thrives on its role as an Eco-Car in which it is expected to deliver good fuel mileages while serving a great A-B vehicle for most people going about their daily lives. That was our impression, from the time we first saw it at the Mitsubishi factory in Rayong, Thailand, and driving it at the Bira Circuit

      Continue Reading »


      2012

    • Volvo S60 T4: Livelier Option for Younger Set

      THE Volvo S60 is seen as the rival to the Mercedes-Benz C-Class and BMW 3 Series although the price difference is not as big as you would expect, varying from a few thousand ringgit to more than RM20,000, depending on models. Volvo has its share of followers who have come to accept its brand of engineering and safety standards, and the price that needs to be paid to enjoy that privilege.

      Continue Reading »


    • Nissan Sylphy: Hassle-free Family Drive with More Features

      THE Nissan Sylphy has strong appeal here and it’s not difficult to see why. It’s a 2.0-litre sedan that took over handsomely from the Altima, and for its price in the RM115,000 to RM125,000 category, it has few peers. Newer ‘faces’ entering the market at equally attractive prices, however, have eaten into its share as the car’s initial novelty had worn off.

      Continue Reading »


    • Volvo S80 T5: More Refined Drive

      THE Volvo S80 may look pretty similar following our last acquaintance in 2010 but the bold front stands out to stamp its fresh aura with the larger and striking Volvo badge. The S80 T5 Exclusive model that we had a weekend with also came with larger and optional 18-inch alloys with tyres to match (available at an additional RM20,000) to boost its touch of agro.

      Continue Reading »


    • Toyota Hilux 2.5G Gets Variable Turbo Punch

      THE Toyota Hilux is a top-seller in the local pick-up market but it doesn’t mean that it can’t flow with the winds of change. When the efficient variable nozzle turbo (VNT) technology became the preferred choice for many carmakers, it was definitely time to adopt the system too.

      Continue Reading »


    • Nissan Almera KL-Malacca Drive: Strong on fuel economy

      THE Nissan Almera has finally arrived and Edaran Tan Chong Motor (ETCM) has left no stones unturned in priming up the car to fulfil most customer expectations. Even the Tuned by Impul version was made available, which includes a tuned suspension system in addition to the body kit, depending on the price one is willing to pay.

      Continue Reading »


    • Mitsubishi Triton VGT: Smaller but Powerful

      GOING smaller these days doesn’t mean becoming less powerful. With improved automotive technology, carmakers can harness smaller but efficient displacement engines while providing impressive power without sacrificing fuel economy. It’s a best of both worlds approach that many have come to accept, especially with oil prices staying at high levels.

      Continue Reading »


    • Latest Honda Civic: Thai Drive Preview

      SUZUKI built its market on sub-compacts and compacts, and in the past decade, its foray into the World Rally Championship with its Swift gave it some strong standing as a car maker with the engineering to build reliable performance cars. Following the introduction of its SX model some years back in the C-segment market, Suzuki has now gone one step further with the Kizashi in the D-segment category.

      Continue Reading »


    • Suzuki Kizashi: Driver’s Delight

      SUZUKI built its market on sub-compacts and compacts, and in the past decade, its foray into the World Rally Championship with its Swift gave it some strong standing as a car maker with the engineering to build reliable performance cars. Following the introduction of its SX model some years back in the C-segment market, Suzuki has now gone one step further with the Kizashi in the D-segment category.

      Continue Reading »


    • Mitsubishi Mirage Returns as 6th-Gen Eco-Car

      THE Mitsubishi Mirage has quite a history behind it, and that includes us especially in the case of Proton. We never saw it as the Mirage here, but as the Colt and Lancer F(iore). Mitsubishi introduced it in Japan in 1978 as the Mirage but sold it globally as the Mirage. Those old enough to remember might recall the Colt of the early 1980s that came with a manual eight-speed SuperShift transmission, which operated on a planetary gear system.

      Continue Reading »


    • A Punchier ‘B’ & More Refined ‘M’

      THE local Mercedes-Benz team recently embarked on its second set of newcomers for the year, with one of them being viewed more intently than the other. The latest B-Class model comes well updated and a top feature has to be the higher power output. It is no longer a toothless tiger as the new mild turbo engine gives it a lot more bite than before.

      Continue Reading »


    • Seeing Isuzu Beyond the D-Max

      TO MANY, Isuzu is the D-Max. Some might recall the Trooper, one of the two best-selling 4x4 wagons in the mid-1980s (back then, they were not called SUVs). Isuzu used to sell cars too, like the Gemini, which was initially sold here under the Opel name, sporty Piazza and JJ sedan. Unlike the Gemini, not many Piazza and JJ were sold. Isuzu stopped producing cars when sales became unfeasible and focused on its commercial range and 4x4s. It has not looked back and is today the top commercial vehicle manufacturer in Japan, and the second most successful in the world after Daimler.

      Continue Reading »


    • Latest Elantra’s Winning Ways

      THE fact that it took a lot longer than usual for the latest Hyundai Elantra to reach our shores speaks a lot about its high demand in markets abroad. Hyundai is virtually stretching its factory resources in South Korea to keep up with the hectic pace. Now that it’s here, carrying the Inokom badge, the scenario is no different. Just a few months into its launch and Hyundai-Sime Darby has received more than 5000 bookings. About 1600 cars had been delivered.

      Continue Reading »


    • Chevrolet Trailblazer Eyes SUV Inroad

      CHEVROLET has followed up on its success with the Captiva by looking further upmarket in the SUV sector with the new Trailblazer. It believes there is still room for good inroad into the competitive regional market and has added the model recently to its assembly line in Rayong, Thailand.

      Continue Reading »


    • Latest Avanza: Affordable Family Motoring Updated

      THE Toyota Avanza once had a captive audience among those who wanted family motoring in an affordable vehicle without compromising interior space and flexibility, engine power and fuel economy. Although that has been curtailed somewhat by a similar engine-powered rival in the cheaper Perodua Alza, the Avanza continues to retain a strong following.

      Continue Reading »


    • Honda’s Smart Connections

      THE general theme at the recent 42nd Tokyo Motor Show revealed few new models. Instead, there was a clear focus on the immediate future. Honda’s President, CEO and Representative Director Takanobu Ito offered this rationale:

      “We have not had the best of times this year. First, we were badly hit by the terrible tsunami. Before we could recover fully from that, there came the disruptive floods in Thailand. It was a double whammy that would take a lot to pick up the pieces from. But we have to show our resiliency, our automotive development capabilities, and how technologically advanced we are in being prepared for the immediate future.”

      Continue Reading »


    • Honda CR-Z: Award-winning Hot-Hatch Hybrid

      HONDA Malaysia Sdn Bhd launched the new CR-Z late last year to very good demand, more so when Malaysia was the first country in Southeast Asia to offer this award-winning hot-hatch hybrid. Although Honda targeted to sell 100 units by end 2011, more than 300 orders were received within a month of its launch, and the orders are still coming in this year. The sleek, aerodynamic and environmental friendly CR-Z is hailed as the world’s first vehicle to combine a hybrid system with a six-speed manual transmission.

      Continue Reading »


    Ads