September 01, 2014

Toyota Camry XV50 Facelift Unveiled!

 Looks much better isn't it? By taking cues from Toyota Camry's elder brother, the Avalon, the newly designed front end gave the Camry a fresh breath of air. No more squarish, Lexus-like front end and after market-like daytime running LED lights (now integrated in the headlights housing). 

Rear end received subtle changes. There's a new chrome strip which runs into the taillights now and a newly designed rear bumper. Other than that, it's still basically retained the design of the pre-facelift Camry. 

The most noticeable changes in the cabin must be the 3-spoke steering wheel and the 4.2-inch colour TFT display that is situated in between 2 dials in the instrument panel. The centre console is restyled too, but the overall shape is generally unchanged. 

Russia will be getting an updated 2.0 litre engine with 6-speed automatic transmission. Hoepfully Toyota Malaysia will bring it in. With this facelift, Toyota Camry should be able to gain more sales compared to the slow-moving outgoing model in Malaysia. 

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August 15, 2014

Perodua Axia Open for Booking - From RM24,900!

 From RM24,900? It's like Perodua Kancil all over again, but the all-new Perodua Axia is much more better equipped, better looking and not to mention a larger cabin too! Malaysia's first Energy Efficient Vehicle (EEV) is now open for booking with a booking fee from as low as RM250. 

Perodua Axia comes with 4 variants, where the entry-level E grade is only available with manual transmission while the top-of-the-line AV grade comes with only automatic transmission. Can't drive a stick? Have to start your options from the G grade. Measuring at 3640mm long, 1620mm wide and 1510mm tall, the Axia position itself in between the Viva and Myvi, not sure Viva will be sold along with the Axia in the future or not though. With 260 litres of boot space, that's larger than a Myvi's!

Perodua Axia is powered by a 1.0litre 1KR-DE2 engine which produces 66hp at 6000rpm and 90Nm of torque at a low 3600rpm. Together with the help of Electric Power Steering (EPS), the manual transmission Axia is able to achieve fuel consumption figure of 21.6km/l, a very impressive figure. 

SE and Advance grade are for those who need more features and style, as they will receive a sportier front bumper design, side skirting with chrome finishing and rear spoiler. It shocked me that the SE grade will have front parking sensor, a first in its class. It might be cool to have, but is it necessary to have a front parking sensor for a sub 4-meter long compact car? Advance grade is a little over-specced, unless you have a crush for leather seats and touchscreen multimedia audio system. 

Safety wise, 2 airbags are standard across the range, kudos to Perodua. ABS with EBD and BA are only available from SE grade onwards. Perodua claims the Axia is able to achieve 4-star in ASEAN NCAP crash test, presumably the Axia has gone through the crash testing in its facility. 

While Perodua decided to stop its 3 years free service campaign, it has been compensated to the Axia with a 5-year warranty! Talk about value for money!

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July 15, 2014

Cabin of Perodua Axia leaked !

 Shots of cabin of the upcoming Perodua Axia (is the name confirmed?) has leaked into the web. Posted in a renowned Malaysia's Mandarin forum, the two leaked photos show a dashboard design resembles to the Perodua GMA Space concept unveiled in KLIMS 2013. The photo above shows the trim level of a base line model, which looks contemporary and stylish for a small car.

The cabin below comes with a touchscreen unit and leather-wrapped steering wheel with integrated audio controls, hinting there will be at least two variants available for the Axia. 

This is most probably the 'Extreme' variant of the Axia, as the aggressive looking front bumper might not be everyone's taste. Will the Axia replaces the ageing Viva? With Perodua's recent move in reducing the selling OTR price of the Viva, it's either to help position the Axia in between of Viva and Myvi in the market later or trying to clear out the existing stock of Viva. 

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July 06, 2014

Kia Cerato KX - RM89,888!

While our first national car manufacturer came out with 'SV' variant for its models, indicating them as the base line models, Kia has came out with 'KX' for its Cerato. When the C-segment Cerato was launched, the base 1.6 litre variant is priced just slightly below the RM100k mark. However, the price is a huge leap compared to its predecessor, the Forte, which started from RM75k. By introducing the Cerato KX will pull the gap closer, which is a good thing.

It is inevitable that some features are omitted along the way of the reduction of price. Now priced at RM89,888 OTR with insurance, few changes are noticeable from the outside. The largest change must be the taillights, now with a simpler design with bulbs rather than LEDs. The chrome window strip found in the regular Cerato is replaced with a black strip. Other than those and a 'KX' emblem on the tailgate, it is largely identical to the regular Cerato.  

Interior wise is a different story. Auto dimming rear view mirrors, auto dual-zone air-cond (replaced with a manual single-zone unit), auto levelling headlights, shift paddle, electric seats and aluminium pedals are omitted. Soft touch upper door trim has been replaced with hard material. It gained a 8-inch touchscreen with navigation and reverse camera (the reverse screen is incorporated in the rear view mirror previously), which replaces the previous 4.3-inch unit. 

Airbags count is down from 7 to 2 and Electronic Stability Programme has been removed. Front and rear parking sensors retained, but I would prefer some comfort creatures to be omitted to compensate for more safety features. 

So it's a little bit here and there which helped to lower down the price, but the Cerato KX has still a pretty impressive equipment list. Keyless entry with start-stop button, cruise control, rear air-cond vents, auto headlights and wipers, pocket lights in the door handle area, puddle lights on the wing mirrors and Flex Steer system (which enables three choices of setting for the steering feel) are still available! 

The same 1.6 litre GAMMA powerplant with 130PS @ 6000rpm and 157Nm of torque @ 4850rpm is fitted for the Cerato KX. Moreover, 5-year unlimited mileage warranty is provided. So will you consider a C-segment Korean sedan priced in the usual B-segment sedans price range? I would!

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July 02, 2014

2014 Honda Jazz Open For Booking!

 Third-generation Honda Jazz is a whole new beast. More aggressive and sharper than its predecessor, the 2014 Honda Jazz will be available in Malaysia in mid-July 2014 in CKD form. Best of all, booking is open from now on! Booking made from now to July 15 will be entitled to 2.53% financing and will be in the running to win a trip to the Maldives!

The Jazz has the same powerplant found in the City. A 1.5 i-VTEC engine with 120PS at 6600rpm and 145Nm at 4600rpm. Paired with a CVT gearbox,

What we know now is the Jazz will be available in S, E and V variant, similar to what the City is having now (except for the S+ variant). The initial spec sheet suggests that the Jazz (most likely the top variant) will be equipped with tons of features such as 6 airbags, VSA, HSA, touch panel auto air-cond, smart entry with push start button and 16-inch alloys. Yes, the practical ULTRA Seats is standard across the range!

Pricing wise? Everyone is hoping that the base model will have sub-RM70k pricing. Then it will be giving its competitors serious run for their money! Since the Jazz has a smaller footprint compared to the City, people will be expecting the Jazz's price to be lower than the latter. 

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