April 17, 2014

2014 Nissan Sylphy Teased!

Nissan Malaysia has teased its upcoming 2014 Nissan Sylphy in its own Facebook page. Features of the Sylphy is teased by a series of numbers from 2 to 6:

2: Dual-zone auto climate control
3: Nissan signature three-dimensional chrome front grille
4: Four-wheel disc brakes with Vehicle Dynamic Control (VDC) + Traction Control System (TCS)
5: Designed to achieve five-star ANCAP crash test rating
6: Comes with six-airbags

Engine will be downsized from the current 2.0 litre to 1.8 litre with 131PS and 174Nm of torque, mated with a CVT transmission. Hopefully the six airbags and VDC+TCS will be available as standard instead of optional like some other manufacturers. 

I guess the most important question right now is how much is the all-new Nissan Sylphy? With such attractive styling and generous features, it would be well received if priced at RM120k or below. 

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April 09, 2014

Perodua Myvi XT launching tomorrow?

Rumour has it that the Perodua Myvi XT will be launched tomorrow. The Myvi XT is set to be the entry-level Myvi 1.3, replacing the previously cheapest 1.3 Standard variant with an estimated price of around RM42,000 (most likely with manual transmission). As seen from the leaflet above, two new colours will be offered - Dazzling Red and Lime Green. 

As a base model, there is no fog lights, but it gains rim instead of wheel cover (grabbed over from its facelifted predecessor), while the side mirror turning lights and projector headlamps remain. Different front grille spotted though. Sources said the interior received Bluetooth connectivity and new seats' fabric design.

Safety wise, 2 airbags, ABS and EBD are standard. Previously ABS and EBD are omitted in the Myvi 1.3 Standard. With the help of 'What's Up Graduate' scheme, buyers will receive RM500 worth of Petronas gift card, RM500 Perodua voucher and RM20,000 personal accident insurance coverage for FREE! 3-year warranty and 3-year free service are offered as well! 

So, what do you think about the new myvi XT? It seems like a modest effort from Perodua, where the changes are minimal. However, this will still help to push sales of the already hot selling Perodua Myvi.

*UPDATE: The Perodua Myvi XT is officially launched! No ABS and EBD for it though. Price starts from RM41,936 for manual transmission with solid colour to RM45,436 for automatic transmission with metallic colour. 

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April 05, 2014

Malaysia Clothes Buffet is back for 2014!

 Wait! What? Clothes buffet? I'm sure everyone has heard about food buffet but clothes buffet? Well, Malaysia's largest clothes buffet is coming to town, Syopz Mall in Taylor's University Lakeside Campus to be precise. Happening on 25th-27th of April 2014 from 10am-6pm, everyone is welcome to join in the buffet, it will surely satisfy your taste bud, erm... I mean your crave for shopping!

Introducing the ziplock bag! Like the slogan said: "If you can zip it, you can keep it"! With a fee of RM60, you will be given 15 minutes to fit whatever clothes you like into the ziplock bag. Once the 15 minutes is over, all the clothes will be yours!!! There was a record where a ziplock bag can fit 16 pieces, so the bag is not exactly small and it depends on how you fit the clothes in as well!

On each day of the 3-day sales, there will be a Blowout Sales where every piece of clothing will be sold at only RM10!

Organised by LINs Communication and A Shopaholics Den, the Malaysia Clothes Buffet will be an interesting event that you wouldn't want to miss! Here's a guide on how to reach the venue, see you there:

Purchase your tickets in advance here and check out their Facebook page at www.facebook.com/malaysiaclothesbuffet too!

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April 01, 2014

DRIVEN: 2014 Honda City !

 Everybody was asking the same question when Honda Malaysia first rolled out the all-new 4th generation Honda City: "Is it better than the 3rd generation Toyota Vios?". We'll soon find out. Being an owner of the 2nd generation City myself, I was eager to find out how much has the City improved, especially when CVT gearbox makes its comeback ever since the 2nd generation, where it went 'missing' in the 3rd generation.

 It's undeniable that the 2014 City looks better than its already quite good looking predecessor. Some say its rear end now looks like a Bimmer, classy indeed. The familiar but improved 1.5 litre i-VTEC engine from the 3rd generation City produces 120PS at 6600rpm and 145Nm of torque at 4600rpm. Coupled with a CVT transmission, the City is capable to achieve 17.5km/l fuel consumption figure. That's pretty close to the 1.2 litre Mitsubishi Attrage which is rated at 21km/l!

The 2014 City is available in S, S+, E and V variant, creating options for either the cost-conscious buyers or the buyers who prefer their cars to be laden with features. It has grown in size too, being 25mm longer but its wheelbase has increased by 50mm to 2600mm, matching one of its B-segment sedan competitors, the Nissan Almera. Sit in the rear seats and you'll be fascinated by the amount of legroom available, although headroom is a little limited to taller people around 180cm and above. Honda claimed that the City is bigger than the Camry in terms of interior space. Well, you be the judge. 

Open the front door and 3 blue rings in the instrument cluster of the Grade V lit up, welcoming you to the rather calm cabin. Piano black centre console is a classy touch, but it's also a fingerprint magnet. Make sure to touch only the 5-inch screen but not anywhere else. If you do, you will also find that the dashboard and door panel are all made of hard plastic, except for the small area above the glove box which is padded (only in Grade V though). The plastic doesn't felt neither as well-built nor comes with as good looking texture as of the Vios. Thankfully, the touchscreen air-cond panel is sensitive to the touch and the leather-wrapped steering wheel felt comfy when gripped. 

Stepped on the brake, pushed in the push-start button and the engine was awaken with a mild jolt. Perhaps the Honda City Hybrid, which is going to be launched later this year, would fair an even better job in creating a more refined start-up. Once on the move, it glided on the road without any noticeable shift-shock, thanks to the CVT gearbox.

I tried to imitate slow-moving traffic jam to bring out the infamous 'rubber band effect' and 'bunny hopping' but my efforts were to no avail. There is also no annoying whine when the gear is engaged in reverse or moving from standstill (by the way, rearward visibility is a little constrained due to the sloping roof line). This proves that Honda has modified and improved its CVT compared to the one found in 2nd generation City. However, it's still unknown on the reliability and durability of this CVT gearbox with Earth Dreams Technology.

Acceleration was a brisk with two adults on board, even on an uphill stretch. As a typical free-revving i-VTEC engine from Honda, the growl is raspy and addictive when it is revved. Not intrusive, but just enough to provoke the inner speed spirit within you. Brakes were strong enough to put the City into a halt rapidly if you are too carried away with the speed. Handling was good for a car of its class, however the steering feel was a let down, dull and uninspiring. It will be a boon in the city and when parking the City though. Suspension setup was slightly on the firm side, but still manage to isolate many road undulations with pride. 

The all-new Honda City is a better product compared to its predecessor, and is offered with more variants (and lower price) to make it more appealing to bigger range of customers. All in all, the all-new City is not exactly a winner in the ever-competitive B-segment. It has its areas to shine, but as a whole, there's still some catching up need to be done. 

Only time will tell on the durability of the newly designed CVT gearbox, one of the greatest problems occur in the 2nd generation Honda City. But considering the super stylish design, responsive powertrain, class-leading features and ample cabin space, the Honda City makes a good option when shopping for a B-segment sedan. 

+ Equipment for the high specs, styling, performance, rear legroom.
- Cabin materials, rearward visibility, CVT's reliability is still questionable.

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March 21, 2014

FIRST IMPRESSION: 2014 Honda City !

Being a owner of the 2nd generation Honda City VTEC Facelift, I anticipated greatly the arrival of the latest 4th generation Honda City i-VTEC in Malaysia. More striking styling, larger cabin, loaded with more comfort creatures and safety features are the unique selling points of the City, along with a lower price tag (for the entry level variant) compared to its predecessor. Yes, the cheapest City S is selling at RM75,800, while S+ variant at RM78,800, E variant at RM83,800 and the top-of-the-line V variant at RM90,800, all on-the-road with insurance. 

No doubt it's a much better looking car now, especially when compared with the older generations. Checking out the dark blue City V in the showroom which attracted me with the sharp looking 16-inch alloys (S comes with a 15-inch steel cover while S+ and E wear 15-inch alloys) and the sleek profile. The best view angle of the all-new City must be the 3/4 rear view.

Platinum grille on the V variant (silver finishing for S while chrome for S+ and E). It attracts and make unwanted oily fingerprints more apparent than chrome in my opinion. 

Open the door and you'll be greeted with 3 striking blue rings in the instrument panel. Love this setting, it offers a sporty and distinctive characteristic to the cabin in the dark. My 2nd gen's instrument panel will also light up in red when the door is opened too, which is one of my favourite features in the cabin. Shown here is the most expensive V variant, which comes with 5-inch touchscreen, push-start button and touchscreen air-cond control, so expect the lower variants have lesser equipment loaded in the cabin. 

Material used for this City has improved, with nice texture on the plastic and smooth leather finishing on the steering wheel and gear knob (for V variant only). However, I still feel that Vios has a little advantage in this area, thanks to its slightly better built and stitch-like moulding on the dashboard. 

Since the wheelbase has grown for 500mm to 2600mm (identical to Nissan Almera), it provides a spacious cabin to the occupants especially at the rear. With the front seats positioned to suit my height of 180cm, I still have ample legroom at the back seat, however the rear headroom is a little restricted for me. The City offers more space than in the Almera, since the cabin of the City is wider than the latter. One of the largest B-segment cabins in the market. 

Eventhough the boot space is measured at 536 litres, a D-segment sedan boot size, somehow it doesn't look as long and deep as in my 2nd gen City. One good innovation - There are two levers in the boot that you can pull to fold the rear seats, a nifty and convenient feature. 

Can't comment any further on the 1.5 litre i-VTEC powertrain and CVT gearbox until I have a chance to test drive it. Hopefully Honda has made some changes to the CVT gearbox to make it more durable and smoother in operation. 

The question is - Should I get one? Yes you should if you are looking for a fuel efficient (17.5km/l) and spacious family car or a young executive who want a stylish B-segment Japanese sedan. Which variant? E variant would has the best value for money, which comes with VSA, keyless entry with push-start button and rear air-cond, to name a few. If you are safety conscious, go for V.

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