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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June 16, 2014

Proton P2-30A (GSC) spied !

 It seems like someone working in a crash test laboratory captured the upcoming Proton Global Small Car (GSC) codenamed P2-30A on camera! Successor of the flopped Proton Savvy, the GSC (ahem...) is spotted to benchmark against some of the top players in the B-segment hatchback such as Ford Fiesta and Volkswagen Polo Hatchback. A quick (but detailed) look at the GSC above reveals it has keyless entry system (normally come along with push-start button) and projector headlights (possibly with daytime running LED lights). It's a grainy photo but is it front parking sensors on the front bumper?

The rear, however, doesn't look as contemporary as the front. It's better executed compared to Proton Suprima S, but still can be done better in my opinion. LED taillights are standard. Rumour has it that the GSC (depends on variants) will come with Electronic Stability Control (ESC), touchscreen centre console, 6 airbags and a CVT gearbox. 

Price wise, what do you think is the suitable price range for the GSC? Looking at what it is packed and who are its competitors, I would say RM45k-RM55k would be attractive enough!

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June 05, 2014

Hyundai Xcent – Xcellent, Xciting, Xcent

The compact sedans or sub-4 m cars make up as much as 80% of entry level mid-size sedans in India. The bulk of sales came primarily from two models – Honda Amaze and Maruti Swift Dzire. These two highly successive models might intimidate any car manufacturer. But Hyundai is definitely not one of them and has entered the fray with their new Xcent. The Hyundai Xcent comes in the price range of Rs. 4.65 to 7.38 lakh.

Based on the Grand i10 and available with petrol and diesel options, the Xcent in true Hyundai fashion is well priced too. The design is neat and proportionate, especially given the constraints faced while designing a sub-4 m sedan. The Grand i10 and the Xcent are identical till the rear doors. Styling has restrained the iteration of Hyundai’s fluidic sculpture design language. The tail section is very well integrated with the rest of the body, though it looks a bit stubby. The shoulder line flows smoothly into the large wrap around tail lights and the rear section gets some details too, a sculpted bumper and a lip at the top of the tail gate. The tail gate opens to reveal a sizeable 407 L boot. 

The front facade has swept back headlamps, chrome plated radiator grille and trapezoidal air dam incorporated on the body colored front bumpers.

The diesel unit is a three-cylinder 1.1 L U2 CRDi engine with a maximum power of 71 bhp @ 4000 rpm and peak torque of 180 Nm @ 1750 rpm and is mated to 5-speed manual transmission system. The U2 CRDi engine on the Xcent has been tweaked around to offer more power and torque. This includes an electronically controlled turbocharger which makes it much more precise and increases the overall torque by 13%. The power delivery is extremely linear, the acceleration smooth, and the engine noise absolutely cut out from inside the cabin. 

The 4-cylinder 1.2 L Kappa dual VTVT petrol engine has a displacement capacity of 1197cc and generates 82 bhp @ 6000 rpm and has 114 Nm of peak torque @ 4000 rpm and mated with either 5-speed manual or 4-speed automatic transmission gearbox.

The cabin is feature rich and spacious. The dashboard and central console are a carry-over from the Grand i10. The Xcent includes an automatic climate control, steering mounted audio control, Bluetooth, 1 GB of on board music storage, electric-folding mirror, reverse camera, and push-to-start button. ABS is only an optional extra and airbags are available on the top variants only. There is a lot of leg room at the back and the seats have adjustable head rests, rear A/C vent ducts, and arm rest with cup holders. The front seats come with ample lateral and thigh support.

Toyota Etios Cross is another hot selling car in the Indian market is at price 5.7 lakh onwards.