November 16, 2014

2014 Honda Civic Facelift - Lower Price from RM114k

 Honda Malaysia has never fail to surprise us in terms of pricing and equipment level, not unlike the introductory of the facelifted Honda Civic FB. Priced from RM113,800 OTR including insurance for the 1.8S variant, it is cheaper by RM2,180 compared to its pre-facelift's price. No, reduction in price doesn't mean reduction in features too. The Civic 1.8S now comes with additional keyless entry with push-start button, cruise control and auto headlights, while existing Vehicle Stability Assist (VSA) is retained. Airbags count remains at two. 

As for the 2.0S, it is now sold at RM125,800 OTR with insurance, and that's RM6,180 cheaper than the pre-facelift model! Similar to the 1.8S, the 2.0S also gets auto headlights, as well as 6 airbags now! Top-of-the-line 2.0 Navi now comes with a slightly larger 7-inch infotainment screen with navigation (6.1-inch in the pre-facelift). Selling OTR with insurance at RM132,800, which is RM4,180 cheaper than the pre-facelift model.

Mechanicals have been left unchanged. The 1.8 litre VTEC engine still produces 141PS/174Nm of torque while the 2.0 litre VTEC engine churns out 155PS/190Nm of  torque. It's pretty hard to spot the changes of this facelift exercise. The Civic gains a new honeycomb grille as well as a chrome strip in the middle of the lower air intake grille. On the inside, chrome surrounded the driver's air-cond vents. 

The improved spec of the Civic 2.0S makes it a stronger contender in the C-segment market. This will definitely give its closest competitor from the big 'T' a run for its money.

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November 05, 2014

SPONSORED VIDEO - Toyota Innovation

Many years ago, many thought that the concept of hybrid cars is impossible, let alone hydrogen cars. Now, you can easily spot a hybrid car on the road while electric cars slowly gaining their presence. Toyota is one of the good example of car manufacturers which pushed the boundaries and made the unreachable possible. 

Founded in 1937, Toyota then introduced the first generation of Prius in 1997, a bold statement of Toyota's commitment towards producing environmental friendly hybrid vehicle. Since then, Prius is already in its 3rd generation form. Toyota Prius as well as Prius C, a smaller hybrid hatchback by Toyota can be spotted on the road of Malaysia. 

As you can see from the picture above, there are dominoes surrounding the Prius. Please watch the Dominoes video below (not Jessie J's hit song 'Domino', mind you) to get a clearer idea of how Toyota is linked to dominoes:

(You can check out more Toyota's videos and subscribe here)

Pretty amazing isn't it the video? Usually dominoes fall down, but it is the opposite in the video. Why? It shows the spirit of Toyota, picking themselves up and strive for excellence. Mass-producing hybrid cars is a good example of Toyota's perseverance in making the world a more sustainable planet.

"One great idea leads to the next"

Plug-in hybrid vehicle is then introduced to maximise efficiency of a car. Its battery can be recharged using household power outlet, and the car can be operated fully in electric mode, with no CO2 emitted from the car. If the battery is running low, the car will switch its mode into hybrid so that you won't be stranded on the road!

The latest innovation from Toyota is the Toyota FCV. Fuel Cell Vehicle produces zero emission, thanks to the chemical reaction between hydrogen and oxygen to power the electric motor. Moreover, hydrogen is abundant in our atmosphere, making it a good choice of resource to power the future of automobile. 

More details of the FCV as well as other models from Toyota can be found in Toyota's Global Website. You can like Toyota's Facebook page and follow its Google+ page to discover more on how Toyota is contributing to a cleaner environment!

*Post sponsored by Toyota, but all thoughts are our own.

October 19, 2014

Toyota Corolla Altis 1.8G - New Variant

Good news for those who need lesser power but more features. UMW Toyota Motor has removed the 2.0G variant of its Corolla Altis and added in a new 1.8G variant. The 1.8G is priced at RM119,900 (RM3k cheaper than the outgoing 2.0G) while the 1.8E has increased its priced by RM1k to RM115,900. The top-of-the-line 2.0V is still selling at RM136k (add RM3k for Additional Safety Package which include Vehicle Stability Control and 7 airbags). 

Yes, there is still no VSC available for the 1.8G.

The powertrain for the 1.8 variants uses the current Dual VVT-i unit with 139PS at 6400rpm and 173Nm of torque at 4000rpm, mated to a '7-speed' CVT gearbox. What differ the 1.8G to the 1.8E is that the former has black combination leather seats, Optitron meter combination, Bluetooth handsfree function, DVD player with 7-inch touchscreen and reverse camera. 

The new 1.8E also gained Smart Entry and Start System and auto on/off headlights. 

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September 17, 2014


Perodua Axia, say "Ah-see-ya"! Read the name in our national language and you will find yourself saying 'Asia'. Nevertheless, it's a great name for one of the most affordable cars you can get in Malaysia. With price starting from RM24,600 OTR, many Malaysian can now own a car. The Axia is the replacement model of Viva, but somehow Viva is still selling in the market with its entry model selling at RM22k. However, the entry model Axia Standard E manual, which is just roughly RM3k dearer than the cheapest Viva, makes the former a hard car to ignore.

Perodua Axia, which has been granted the status of the first energy efficient vehicle (EEV) in Malaysia, has been given two faces - a cute, jovial face for the Standard E and G variants (above), and a more aggressive looking face for the SE and Advance (AV) variants (below). Which has the better look? In my opinion, the jovial looking front end suits better to this A-segment hatchback. However, the projector headlights and honeycomb grille on the SE and AV variants give the car a more upmarket design. 

The Axia is 3640mm long, 1620mm wide, 1510mm tall and comes with a 2455mm wheelbase. Surprise, surprise. The wheelbase of the Axia is actually 15mm longer than the Myvi's! Axia's interior length (+50mm) and width (+5mm) are than Myvi too! However, if compared with Viva, the difference is apparent. Perodua Axia is 65mm longer, 145mm wider, has a 65mm longer wheebase but is 20mm lower in terms of overall height. 

The brilliant packaging by the engineers also allow 4 suitcases to be fitted into the 260 litres boot, and we are talking about those big suitcases you will find in the airport! The boot looks averagely sized in person, but somehow it is capable of swallow more stuff than the upcoming Proton B-segment hatchback! 

Every variant is powered by the same 1.0 litre all-aluminium, 3-cylinder engine. It produces 66bhp at 6000rpm and 90Nm of torque at 3600rpm, mated to either a 4-speed automatic transmission or a 5-speed manual transmission. Both transmission are capable of achieving fuel consumption rating of 20.1km/l and 21.6km/l respectively in ECO mode, pretty impressive. I guess the Electric Power Steering (EPS) helps too. 

Cabin is where the Axia excels. Spacious for 4 full-sized adults, 5 at a squeeze (just a little). The rear headroom somehow felt more ample than the Myvi's. Cabin is wide for a small car like this, thanks to the thin door and door panels, but this contributed a sense of 'lightness' to the doors and they doesn't give a reassuring thud when closed. Material wise, hard plastics dominated the cabin but at least they doesn't look or feel cheap. Even the entry level's steering wheel felt good to the touch and the fabric seats are well sized and comfy!

What's weird is that the steering doesn't have tilt or telescopic adjustment. I was fondling around underneath the steering rack for quite a long time, trying to find the adjustment lever but to no avail. One thing though, I doubt the air-cond knobs' plastic labels will be able to stand the scorching heat in Malaysia as one of the showroom's unit already has bubble in it. 
From top: 1.0AV, 1.0SE and 1.0G.

Perodua upped the game by increasing the practicality and flexibility of the Axia's seating arrangement. You can fold flat the rear seat, or fold the front seats backward into a lounge. Not as cool as Honda's ULTRA-seat, but still better than nothing.

A nifty feature designed by Malaysian, for Malaysian. A handbag lock that can take a maximum of 3kg located at the inner side of the front passenger seat. At least now female drivers can have a place to hang their handbags instead of placing them on the seat. There's also an integrated tissue box holder at the back of the front passenger seat. It's good to prevent some people from putting the tissue box on top of the dashboard, where the airbag is located.

Perodua Axia has been rated 4-star in ASEAN-NCAP crash test and is equipped with two airbags across the range. However, ABS, EBD and BA is only available in 1.0SE and 1.0AV. No stability control available, not even as optional. One worth mentioning is the availability of front parking sensor for 1.0SE and 1.0AV. 

So there you have it, the affordable and value-for-money Perodua Axia. For the first time Perodua is also offering five-year or 150,000km warranty for the Axia, and the deal extended to Myvi and Alza too! All these make the Viva dull in comparison and the Axia a more sensible purchase, maybe better than a Myvi too... 

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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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