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FULL REVIEW: Hyundai Sonata LF Nu 2.0

In this Blog entry, I'm reviewing a Long overdue Review on the Sonata LF Nu 2.0 D-CVVT. You are looking at All new Sonata LF 2.0.  I d...

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Unresolved problem with Proton - Why? Read on...

SOURCE: The Star Online Blog (Blog.thestar.com.my) August post. Posted by: sisleysusie, 1-Aug-2007.

Here's the article...

"I bought a brand new Proton Satria Neo 1.6 Auto HL in September 2006. Problems started after eight months of normal usage.

The first problem occurred in April-May this year and in a time span of four weeks I've been to the Proton service centre in Plentong 10 times to rectify one problem.

The second round of problems happened recently, in July/August.

Nature of the problem: Engine warning light will suddenly light while driving causing the car to jerk. This would be followed by a sudden gear change and drop in speed. The car can still be driven, however the RPM of the engine would increase to above 4,000 because the gear wouldn’t change, but would be locked in third gear (auto transmission).

Recently, the car behaved abnormally when the problem recurred. In fact, the car almost broke down all of a sudden when I was driving at 90kmh in the fast lane.

Every time the problem occurs, I have to drive for 40 minutes to the service centre, and spend a few hours waiting for my car to be fixed.

1st visit 21/04/07: They suspected a loose sensor and attempted to fix it but the problem was back three days later.

2nd visit 24/04/07: I was told that it’s a wiring or sensor problem. They fixed the sensor instead because that's the easiest to do, but the problem returned less than a week after my second visit.

3rd visit 30/04/07: They said the pedal sensor was faulty and the engine warning light was lit because the pedal sensor gave the wrong signal. They had no spare parts so I had to wait for the parts to arrive within 1-2 weeks. They also assured me that the initial problem had been fixed.

4th visit 04/05/07: The problem recurred. This time round, I demanded to see the service manager. I got the pedal sensor changed on the same day.

5th visit 05/05/07: The problem was still recurring. I reached the service centre at 6pm, but it was closed although the signboard reflects that the centre opens everyday until 8pm. A technician who was on standby assisted me, and once again assured me that the problem had been fixed.

6th visit 07/05/07: I went to the centre again to get the car further checked. The staff assured me that the problem would not recur.

7th visit 12/05/07: The problem returned soon enough. I called the manager and he said he would attend to us. Got the ECU and TCU changed which they had suspected earlier but did not take any action.

8th visit 14/05/07: After taking the car back, I realised that instead of solving the old problem, I was given even more problems related to the engine. I complained to the service manager, and I was told to leave my car at the service centre while they gave me a temporary replacement car.

9th Visit 15/05/07: I was called to the service centre to test drive the car. To my surprise, they removed my sport rims without my permission although the rims had nothing to do with the initial problem.

10th Visit 17/05/07: I collected my car and was assured many times that the problem had been solved.

11th Visit 27/07/07: The problem returned. This time the engine almost broke down, and the sudden drop in speed caused a trailer to almost hit me from the back. At the service centre I was told a wire was loose and they fixed it.

12th visit 28/07/07: Less than 12 hours after my 11th visit, the problem returned. I was driving at 90kmh in the fast lane along Jalan Skudai when the car suddenly jerked and the speed dropped suddenly. I almost had an accident because I was driving in the fast lane.

My car is still at the service centre now. Basically, it has been used as an experiment car to solve a problem which even Proton cannot solve. The car is barely one year old, but it has been repaired and cannibalised like a 10-year-old car.

I feel cheated of my RM54K. I'm a freelance programmer and also a student. As such, money is difficult to come by, and it wasn't easy to get my loan approved. But Proton has been playing around with my hard-earned money by selling me a faulty product.

I have filed a complaint via e-aduan at the Ministry of Domestic Trade & Consumer Affairs website. I only hope the ministry will be able to assist me in this matter."



Visitors Comments:

• We did some research some time ago in a foreign country for a motor magazine, comparing the quality of different vehicles. We only asked one core question - how busy is the service department and other sub-rider questions.

Proton's service department is very busy. This does not solve your current problem but may help your decision-making process when you consider your next vehicle.


By datuk_angin, 2-Aug-2007

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• Proton is the most expensive car in Malaysia when you take into account the servicing and money spent.
By HiraiKen, 2-Aug-2007

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• The very reason why I always advise others: Just say NO to Proton cars, no matter how great they look or how cheap they are.

In this case, the car looks great but being a Proton car, the price is not cheap either.
By joeina, 3-Aug-2007

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• My company "in following government policies and advice" bought some Protons in 2001, this is a simplified description of our problems with them:

a) One Wira had non-stop air-cond problems from Day 1 until today. Our log book showed 22 trips to Proton authorised workshops and the problem has yet to be solved.

b) Of 6 cars with auto cruise, 5 had the system failing on the drivers including one serious situation where the auto cruise refused to disengage.

c) It cost more to service a Perdana than to service a Honda (using authorised agents)- Standard Service.

These are just some of the "headaches" we face in using Proton as our company vehicle.

Our log also helps us in making future decisions when it comes to choosing a model to be our company car and this time Proton won't be on the list.
By mediaterrorist, 3-Aug-2007

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• I am very fortunate that the Proton cars that I bought - Saga, Wira and Iswara - have not given me any problems at all. But I have friends who had countless problems with theirs.

For the time being, I would not consider buying Proton cars because their parts and assembly practices are simply not up to par. I am particularly concerned about parts that are "Proton-designed", such as the Cam Pro engine, which has a poor reputation but Proton insists to continue to use. I was happy, as with other Proton owners, with the "older" engines that were or based on Mitsubishi engines.

Proton has no reason, other than foolish pride, to design and build its own engines. Not all other car manufacturers produce their own engines. Korean car-makers are smart to use engines that are developed jointly with prominent engine-makers. Ssangyong doesn't even develop its own but uses Mercedes Benz engines.

I think that Proton, with its pride and desire to move ahead, has clearly misstepped here. Instead of careful growth, it tried to join the big league too quickly. The blame lies squarely on the Government's practices to protect Proton. Proton has not evolved because there has been no need to. So, instead of having "strong legs" to compete, it is now a lame duck.

The vision of a global car-maker has all but vanished. The Government should realise and acknowledge this fact. Proton is quickly and surely losing market share even on homeground. How does Proton even dare to dream of competing regionally and globally?

It is fortunate that Malaysia still has another car-maker, Perodua, that is doing very well. Perhaps this is because Perodua is essentially a Toyota company, being 51% owned by Daihatsu, which in turn is owned by Toyota.

By sleekk, 3-Aug-2007

STILL WANT A "PROTON"? Think again...

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Propose: Road tax based on insurance instead of...

I hereby proposed that our roadtax be determined by Insured value (or resale value) instead of Cubic Capacity (CC). Why?

Because it's Unfair for say (Example 1) a 15 years 0ld 3200cc car (1991 Honda Legend) owned by a Pensioner worth RM10,000 but have to fork out RM3,000 road tax PA. The pensioner don't want to sell his car due to sentimental value. It's his LAST COMPANY Car which he bought over when he retire...


Again, it's unfair as (Example 2) A New 350,000 E-class owner only pay RM3xx roadtax PA. Why is it so? Because the car's a 1.8.

Can you sense the irony in this 2 examples?

To ensure fairness, the Government should implement this proposal As soon as possible (ASAP) so that some Rich folks won't get away with the Loophole. It's SHOCKING, a 1796cc Mercedes E200K worth RM350,000 owner only have to pay RM3xx roadtax.

Avoid Lemon car/s...

How to find quality in your next car
Friday August 11, 6:00 am ET
Terry Jackson

While it's still possible to get a "lemon'' -- a new car that has a
plethora of problems -- the truth is that new vehicles today are more
reliable and better built than ever. The days are long gone when a dealer
sent you out the door with your new car and the advice, "Make a list of
things you find wrong and bring it back in a few weeks and we'll fix them.''

J.D. Power and Associates' most recent Initial Quality Study of new car
owners showed that 2006 models had the fewest problems of any year on
record -- a 59 percent drop since 1992.

A more extensive study by Consumer Reports mirrored the J.D. Power
findings. Since 1980, the number of glitches in new cars has been cut by
about 80 percent. Nearly every manufacturer has significantly improved
their products year to year.

But as with any competition, there are vehicles that rank at the top of the
quality lists and ones that rank at the bottom. So how can you tell if the
vehicle you're considering is a high-quality vehicle?

The best way is to see for yourself. Here are 10 of the key things to look
for at the dealership:
10 keys to look for

1. Look at the seams.
2. Match colors.
3. What lies beneath?
4. Under the hood.
5. Eye the glass.
6. Door "thunk".
7. Interior design.
8. Exposed wiring.
9. Little things mean a lot.
10. Serious test drive.

First, check out the body of the car, looking beyond the styling and paying
attention to the details.

1. Look at the seams. Check the gaps between body panels. Are the gaps
uniform throughout? A well-engineered and constructed car will show the
same body gaps around the doors, the trunk and the hood. Pay particular
attention to this on vehicles that have been significantly redesigned or
are all new to the market. Although the old adage about not buying a
redesigned model in the first year generally no longer applies, varying
body gaps may indicate the assembly process needs some adjusting.

2. Match colors. Pay attention to the places on the body where different
materials are used, such as where a nose made of a composite plastic
material meets the steel of the rest of the body. The paint should not
noticeably change hue from one surface to another.

3. What lies beneath? Look under the car to see what protrusions,
particularly at the front, could get hung up on parking berms and rip free.
Most cars have some sort of air dam underneath the vehicle at the front to
aid in cutting aerodynamic drag. But such air dams should be mounted far
enough back so parking berms won't rip them off or should be mounted in
such a way as to bend rather than break when encountering an object.

4. Under the hood. Even if you're no mechanic, closely inspect the engine
bay. Most cars have a cover that surrounds most of the top of the engine.
Make sure it's mounted securely -- you shouldn't be able to shake it. The
same test should apply to any battery covering. Look at the wiring. It
should be either covered or tightly bound together to prevent anything from
coming loose.

5. Eye the glass. Look at the window glass and see how the side windows fit
against the rubber gaskets when closed. Anything less than a perfect fit
will result in wind noise that will only get worse as the car ages.

6. Door "thunk". Open and close the doors, looking for how many so-called
"stops" are built into the hinges. A vehicle's door should have two
settings so that it will stay open in a half-way position and fully opened.
Shut the door and listen for any sort of hollow boom, which could indicate
there's less sound-deadening material in the door, which will mean greater
road noise.

7. Interior design. Check out the finish on the interior panels. While
plastic is the industry norm when it comes to door panels and dashboards,
there's a wide variety of grains and finishes applied to the plastic. The
dash and panels should have a rich-looking color and have a textured feel
to the casual touch. As with the body, the gaps between interior panels
should be close and uniform. Look especially where the air bags are hidden.

8. Exposed wiring. If the car you're interested in has power-adjustable
front seats, feel under them to see how the wiring and motor coverings are
secured. Loose wires or coverings could lead to problems in the future.

9. Little things mean a lot. Pay attention to things like seat latches.
They should work with minimal effort and all handles should feel secure,
not prone to bending or twisting. Check the stitching and seams of the
seats for any loose threads or less-than-straight sewing. Open the trunk
and see how the floor covering is secured and whether it's made of a
material that will stand up to carrying heavy or dirty cargo.

10. Serious test drive. Lastly, when you've all but settled on the vehicle
you want, take an extended test drive, not just a spin around the block.
Drive at freeway speeds and pay attention to wind and road noise. Pay
attention to how the automatic transmission shifts. It should change gears
smoothly and quickly. On a manual transmission, feel where the clutch
starts to engage and how long or short the pedal travel is. It should
engage gradually and not have any abrupt lurches. Find a safe area to test
the brakes. You're not so much looking for what the car will do in a panic
stop, but rather how the brakes feel when you apply the pedal. Depending on
how far the pedal travels, the feel of the brakes should inspire confidence
that the vehicle will stop in a relatively short distance.

All of this may sound like a no-brainer step to buying a car, but according
to a recent study, more than 40 percent of new car buyers closed the deal
without even taking a short test drive.

Smart buyers will pay attention to every aspect of a car in order to get a
vehicle that will deliver value.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

"You'd better off on a Bus" - Clarkson on Mazda 2

Mazda2
The Sunday Times Online (UK):

November 25, 2007


Stay out of the real world, my little beauty

Jeremy Clarkson

I do not like to be late. Actually, that’s not strictly accurate. I don’t know whether I’d like to be late because it’s never happened. And it’s never happened because I usually drive very powerful cars, which means I can always make up the time.

Last week, though, there was a disaster. I’d planned to leave at 11.45am for an appointment in Birmingham. But you know how things are. I couldn’t find my phone charger. I’d lost my house keys. One of the dogs was missing. And did I turn my computer off? I’ll just go and check and Oh Christ, now it’s 11.55.

This would mean averaging 60mph and that’s no bother in a Koenigsegg or a Caparo. But then I opened the front door to find that sitting there, all blue and useless, was a Mazda2. And for that little dollop of extra misery, it wasn’t even the 1.5 version. It was the 1.3, and 1.3 litres, in liquid terms, is barely enough to quench the thirst of a dehydrated man. At a pinch, 1.3 litres might, just, be able to power an egg whisk but for making up time on a trip to Birmingham it’s hopeless.

However, in the course of that journey, I had an epiphany. I was exposed to something cruel and unusual. Something I’ve not experienced for 20 years or more. I believe it’s called the real world.

I’ve often wondered why there are so many people out there who hate cars, who find them noisy, dangerous, antisocial and unbecoming of a civilised state. Some of these people, for sure, have frizzy hair and eat only leaves, but others are, apparently, quite normal.

I can understand they might not find driving fun but I cannot understand why they won’t accept that the car, at the very least, is a useful tool. Or rather, I could not understand until I tried that Mazda.

If you are looking for a small five-door hatchback, there are many reasons why you might be drawn to this car. Unlike anything else I can recall, it is actually smaller than its predecessor. And better still, it is lighter as well. It weighs less than a ton, in fact, which means you will get better fuel economy and more speed. I took a good long look around the cab – God knows there was time – to see if I could work out how this weight had been shed but other than the dash, which looks like it was made by John Noakes, it seems to be just as well equipped and just as robust as any other small car. And just as spacious as well.

What’s more, being a Mazda, its is likely to be reliable. And when you add this to the low group 4 insurance bracket, the £9,999 price tag and the rather cheeky looks, it’s easy to see why those who just want a tool might be tempted by such a thing. As small hatchbacks go, it’s excellent.

But here’s the problem. You see, while this may be the best of breed, it just isn’t good enough for the real world. Coming out of Chipping Norton, on the road to Shipston-on-Stour, there’s a long, slightly uphill straight on which you can overtake the dithering old fool who just spent 20 minutes in the town being confused by the double mini roundabout. And who is now in a such a state of shock, he’s doing 3mph.

Not in a 1.3 litre hatchback you can’t. You drop a cog on the five-speed box, weld your foot to the floor and pull onto the other side of the road . . . where 10 minutes later you can still be found, sweating slightly, as you wonder whether you will get past before the long straight is over, or whether it would be prudent to brake and admit defeat.

Defeat seemed like a good idea. So I eased off, slipped back into the old man’s slipstream and realised, with a heavy heart and sagging shoulders, that in a car such as this, overtaking is not on the menu. And as a result, you are forced to drive everywhere at the same speed as the slowest driver on the road. Often, this stretches the concept of “movement”.

Eventually, and happily, the man in front died – I think he’d grown weary of spending so much time in his own company – and I could open the taps on the little Mazda.

It was horrible. Because it is built to a price, for people who don’t like driving and simply want a tool, everything on it feels cheap and nasty. The electric power steering is too sudden. The suspension is too rubbery. The brakes are too sharp. So even at moderate(ish) speeds, it felt disconnected, unstable and twitchy.

Think of it as a motorway service station sandwich. It was not created to be the best sandwich in the world. The chef had nothing to prove. He simply wanted to offer some of the important food groups for the smallest possible price. There is no truffle oil. There is no homemade cheese. There is absolutely nothing to surprise and delight the enthusiastic motorist who wants something a little bit more than ham made from tyres, butter made from petroleum byproducts, and 129 carbon dioxides to the kilometre. Eventually, after what felt like several months, I reached the motorway and accelerated down the slip road. I had gravity on my side, and 85bhp. This would have been great in 1957 but it sure as hell isn’t enough in 2007 because by the time I reached the main carriageway, I was only doing 50 and that’s too slow to join the inside lane without causing the onrushing lorry to have to brake.

So there I was, sandwiched between a truck full of Polish pies and Eddie Stobart, doing 56 . . . and there was simply no possibility of getting into the middle lane at all. I didn’t have enough oomph to move out because, on the modern motorway, there is always something coming and with only 1.3 litres I couldn’t match its speed before making the manoeuvre.

Small wonder people who buy cars such as this can’t see that driving is useful or fun. It isn’t. It’s either dull or terrifying.

And it gets worse because in Birmingham my car was valet parked in the hotel’s 4m-acre car park by a chap who was a) mildly surprised to see me step from such a thing and b) not on duty when I went to collect it four days later for the journey home again.

This meant I had to find it myself and that’s pretty damn hard when you can’t remember anything about it. Most of the hotel staff came to help, with one asking what it looked like. “It’s car shaped,” I explained, “and possibly blue.”

Or red. I do believe the Mazda2 is a good small car but in the cut and thrust of modern driving, and especially on a motorway network full of BMW M3s and Romanian lorry drivers on speed, it is terrible. You would be better off on the bus or the train. Or walking on your hands and knees, while naked.

The fact is that, these days, you need power to survive and I really do think the government should stop fannying about with speed cameras and home zones and congestion charging. The cities are fine. It’s the rest of the road network that needs to be addressed.

What I propose, then, is a ban, on any derestricted road, for any car that does not have at least 150bhp under the bonnet. This way, you won’t hate me for trying to get past in my Lamborghini and I won’t hate you for being in my way. By keeping us apart, it will make Britain a kinder, more understanding place. And in addition, it will remove the single biggest danger on the roads today: big differences in speed.

We’ll all be going quickly out there and that means we’ll all have time to find our dogs and still arrive on time. The Mazda2, then, is excellent. But if I were running the Department for Transport, I’m afraid I’d have it banned.



Vital statistics

Model Mazda2 1.3 TS2 five-door
Engine 1348cc, four cylinders
Power 85bhp @ 6000rpm
Torque 90 lb ft @ 3500rpm
Transmission Five-speed manual
Fuel 52.3mpg (combined cycle)
CO2 129g/km
Acceleration 0-62mph: 12.9sec
Top speed 107mph
Price £9,999
Verdict Excellent, economical hatch, but it’s still completely rubbish

NOTE: This is another GIBBERISH review by Jeremy Clarkson. Typical Clarksonish review. If you didn't notice, He proposed "a ban, on any derestricted road, for any car that does not have at least 150bhp under the bonnet. This way, you won’t hate me for trying to get past in my Lamborghini and I won’t hate you for being in my way. By keeping us apart, it will make Britain a kinder, more understanding place". Here's some of his SELECTED "FANS" comments:

COMMENT 1: "Some years ago I had an Alfa Sprint with 85bhp - I could overtake in that. My current Audi A4 diesel 'only' has 140 bhp while my previous Volvo S40 had 115 bhp - I have/had no trouble in overtaking. Get yourself a diesel Jeremy and feel the turbo come in - you sure can overtake with a lot less than 150 bhp (at least that wouldn't exclude an Alfa GT diesel or a Volvo with the magnificent D5 engine)". by Ian Burgess, Bristol

COMMENT 2 (a negatively GOOD one):
"Poor Jeremy. Spends his life in Ferraris, Porches, Mercedes, Lamborghinis etc, etc. (See Top Gear). When for the first time in years he gets into the sort of car that the real world drives he can't take it. Surprised he didn't comment on the lack of paddle shifts! Maybe it's not the fastest of cars, nor the best on the motorway, but that's not it's made for!" by Mark, Cardiff, UK


COMMENT 3 (Positive one): ""Sensational provocation"....Jeremy's speciality and refreshing for it. A healthy dose of snobbery has not hurt the argument either, or for that matter his loathing of poltical correctness. I enjoyed it all because it was typically Clarkson and he is VERY good at it". by Malcolm Wright, Paignton,


COMMENT 4: (Neutral one) "Jeremy, I've been reading you for ages and as much as I usually like your views, today you've lost it completely!

The three commandments of the good driver:

1. Know how to stop the vehicle
2. Know what you're driving
3. Act accordingly

You already knew it was a 1.3 litre engine and obviously that's not meant for speeding but for fuel economy . It's a bit like trying to introduce you as a sensible and open minded chap...

Next time try and be a bit fairer to the subject of analysis using it for what it was meant for and drive in a rush with your Lambo or one of the many XC90 you seem to own!" by Alfredo Nieto, Madrid, Spain

Footballers' Drives: The Top Ten Premier League runabouts

From Times Online (UK): Supplement: Life and Style.

August 10, 2007

Footballers' Drives: The Top Ten Premier League runabouts

Despite the almost limitless choice, the wealthy young men of the football world keep choosing the same cars: We round up the soccer elite's 10 most popular drives

by Michael Moran

Second only perhaps to our great captains of industry, Premier League footballers are some of the most handsomely-remunerated people in the UK. Unlike those besuited behemoths of the boardroom however, soccer stars tend to have a great deal of leisure time in which they have little to do except spend their money on the most expensive things they can find. You can only live in one mock-tudor mansion though, which is why these elite sportsmen tend to focus much of their spending power on luxury motor vehicles. We’ve taken a look around the car parks at some of the top grounds and identified ten of the most popular choices.

1: BMW X5 (£47,525) The archetypal school run tank is an unexpectedly popular purchase, with soccer luminaries like Wayne Rooney, John Terry, Rio Ferdinand, Sol Campbell, Cristiano Ronaldo, and even old-timer Paul Gascoigne falling for its callypygian charms. The questionable handling has tripped up more than one driver though, with both Gascoigne and Rooney requiring the sevices of a panel-beater after having dented the sturdy Bavarian bodywork.

2: Range Rover Sport (£57,495) Another popular 4x4, and equally unlikely to find its way off-road except by accident. Chelsea's pocket dynamo Michael Essien was arrested earlier this year on suspicion of drink driving in his Range Rover, and Jermain Defoe is another modestly-proportioned driver who appreciates the extra room. Other Range Rover Sport fans have included Ashley Cole, John Terry, and Xabi Alonso. Manchester United midfielder Darren Fletcher pranged his new £63,000 Range Rover HST Sport near the club’s Carrington training ground just months after passing his driving test, prompting an expensive repair bill. Genuinely determined overspenders can always go for the Overfinch Range Rover SuperSport, which Jeremy Clarkson memorably described as: "Very possibly the least cool car that money can buy"

3: Mercedes McLaren SLR (£313,465) Looking a little more like a soccer star's car should look, the sleek if slightly overdesigned convertible is markedly lighter, faster and therefore more dangerous than the bulky 4x4s above. Despite the objections of responsible team coaches and anxious insurers its air of Gallic irresponsibility has still managed to lure Claude Makélélé and William Gallas. It's a vehicle that can't legally be used to its fullest potential on any public road, which is why we've found this clip of the SLR taking on its arch-rival, the Bugatti Veyron, on a track.

4: Aston Martin Vanquish (£166,000) The last of the old school Astons, the Vanquish took more than 396 man hours to build. Each car underwent around 2,000 stages of construction and used eight complete cow hides for the interior trim. Launched to mixed reactions in 2001, it's the car that tempted James Bond back from BMW with an endearingly silly role in 'Die Another Day' (Trailer here).Thierry Henry, Steven Gerrard and Welsh Wizard Ryan Giggs have all been spotted behind the wheel of a Vanquish, suggesting that perhaps it's not so invisible after all.

5: Aston Martin DB9 (£103,000) A modern classic, the DB9 is a prized possession of notorious short range strike specialist Frank Lampard as well as his Chelsea stablemate Glen Johnson. Despite being able to miss the net when he's standing inside it there's clearly nothing wrong with Frank's eyesight when it comes to spotting a good car. He's in good company: When Jeremy Clarkson reviewed a 2004 DB9 for us he signed off with the words "If you want a perfect car, you simply have to have a DB9". The Aston's timelessly elegant lines were described by another Sunday Times car expert, Andrew Frankel, as 'achingly beautiful'. Of all the cars on our list, this is the one that harks back most vividly to those halcyon days when footballers drove an E-type and dated Miss World because that's what looked best.

6: Bentley Continental (£110,000) The majestic Continental is part of the Premier League footballer's starter kit, along with free entry to Chinawhite, a niggling injury, and a cheap nylon shirt with a number on the back. Ledley King, Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink, Kieron Dyer, Gary Neville, Jackie McNamara, John Terry and fiercely competitive Man City left back Michael Ball have all pushed this particular whip at some point in their careers, and it would be no surprise if talented youngsters practising in front of video cameras all over Britain have a toy one already installed in their trophy cabinet.

7: Aston Martin DB7 (£104,500) Combining his initials with his original Man U shirt number, it's hard to see how David Beckham could have chosen any other car - although he obviously did. The CEO of Brand Beckham has also been spotted in, among others, the Premiership standard Bentley Continental GT, the ever popular BMW X5, a Chrysler Grand Voyager (£32,000), a Ferrari 550 Maranello (£157,867), a Ford F-150 pickup (on sale last month through a dealer in Cobham for £18,995), the California classic Hummer H2 (£62,000), a nippy little Porsche 911 (993) Turbo (around £30,000) , a TVR Cerbera (around £23,000),a Mercedes G55 AMG (around £77,000) and several other cars and bikes including a petrol-bingeing Lincoln Navigator (from about £18,000 if you can find one). Imagine how much he spends on maps and boiled sweets for all those glove compartments alone!

8: Porsche 911 (GT3 £72,750) The ubiquitous German sports car, in one or other of its innumerable variants, has found its way into many a mock-tudor garage. Thierry Henry has one, as do Louis Saha, Robbie Keane,and Lee Bowyer - The 911's deceptive placidity at high speeds lulled poor Lee into overstepping the limit in 2006, driving at speeds between 99 and 132 mph along a 70mph stretch of road in Morpeth.

9: Ferrari 360 (Around £80,000) It's surprising that so few footballers seem to have plumped for the pedigree Italian supercar. Kieron Dyer certainly has one of the low-slung thoroughbreds, as does Arsenal star turned national treasure Ian Wright. Perhaps the astroturf glitterati are buying them and just garaging them as an investment against the day when a younger, hungrier player replaces them in the team. After all, they can't all get picked for the Chicken Tonight advert.

10: Ford Ka (Around £4,425) Easily the most affordable entry on our list, and wisely selected by the young and eminently sensible Wayne Rooney. Along with a BMW X5, of course.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Lost my Job. Here's a Poem for it...

I was forced to resign from my Job in Quasar Carriage (Selling Skoda and Mercedes Vito cars). Why? At LEAST 3 reasons, one of it is due to ME NO SALES @ 4th month working. 2nd reason is because I "Accidentally" grabbed my Colleague's Customer @ roadshow. Earlier this customer went to Showroom to check out the Vito and almost commit, THEN @ 9.30pm, he turned up @ the Ikano Roadshow to see the Premium spec. I didn't know it's Al's (colleague) customer... Pandai2 gave Discount somemore (something Al didn't give earlier).

What happened next? LOTS of Twist and turns, getting more and more complicated until they decided that I have to leave the company...

3rd reason... (PRIVATE). How do I feel? Really missed the job (One of the HIGHEST paying Commission job in the Industry, 1 Skoda = 6 MYVI OR 1 Mercedes Vito = 4 BMW E90 320i), the colleagues, the FLEXIBLE Wkg hrs.

My Future? In a "Crossroad". Anyway, here's a POEM about "CROSSROAD" AND to sort of "COMFORTING Myself".

CROSSROADS: A Poem

Many a times
We are left stranded
At the crossroads of life.

Many a times,
We feel abandoned,
In this journey of life.

Several questions crop up,
Remain unanswered for days.
Anxieties build up,
Leaving us in dismay.

It makes us wonder,
Why can't things remain the same.
Everything was fine,
Everything was going smoothly.

And standing there at the crossroads,
Tomorrow seems a blur.
With paths leading us in different ways,
Which one to opt for, we are unsure.

At such times, as always,
Just hold on and follow your heart.
That route will unveil itself,
That route that is just right.

Slowly but surely, clouds moved away,
Happy days are back.
The storm passed away,
The journey is back on track.

But only a few care to look back in retrospect,
At the purpose of such crossroads.
And fewer still care to learn,
The lessons that these crossroads hold.

It's only when we have twist and turns,
The journey becomes an adventure.
Its only when the going gets tough,
The tough gets tougher.

Ps. BON VOYAGE Quasar Carriage. My BLOG will be BACK TO NORMAL. OTOREVIEW, Reviewing Used cars or NEW car more than 3 yrs in the Market (ie. NEW car with 2nd hand market (eg. Honda Jazz)...

Saturday, September 22, 2007

12 reasons to buy a SKODA...

12 reasons to buy a Skoda

1 Reveal yourself as a person of uncommon judgment — thanks to Volkswagen’s ownership, Skoda now builds first-rate cars.

2 Pay less but get exactly the same quality as any other VW Group car

3 Enjoy a little inverted snobbery. Some may laugh but you know the truth

4 Drive the ultimate stealth car — the 200bhp Octavia vRS is seriously quick

5 Tell bad Skoda jokes with genuine irony — these cars are now as well-built and durable as VW’s own Golf

6 Some say the Octavia even handles better than a Golf

7 Bragging rights — the designer who worked on Octavia also did the new Bentley Continental

8 A company with form. Skoda has been around for 100 years. 3rd oldest car manufacturer.

9 Any company confident enough to call its top-of-the-range car the "Superb" has to be all right

10) FAstest growing car manufacturer in the World. China closed 2 out of 6 VW Factories to Assemble Skodas. Best selling Executive Car in India. SPONSOR OF 2008 BEIJING Olympics.

11 SKODA = AWARD WINNING CARS. Octavia => Car of the year in 6 European countries, GOLDEN STEERING WHEEL AWARD Germany 2005 Winner, Also, won 60+ other Awards worldwide (between Fabia and Octavia from 2000 to 2007).

12) BBC Top Gear UK No. 1 in Customer Satisfaction Survey in 2006 and 2007 with 92% voted "Will buy again". ALSO, JD Power Customer satisfaction Survey 2007, Skoda again ranked No.1 Ahead of LEXUS, Honda, Mazda.

Jeremy Clarkson on Skoda Roomster...

From The Sunday Times (UK)
September 9, 2007


Skoda Roomster

Don’t call it ugly, call it quite brilliant

by Jeremy Clarkson


I daresay we all remember the bad old days when you came back from the shops with a new and exciting electrical appliance. And found it had been sold without a plug.

Nowadays, though, thanks to the exciting Plugs and Sockets (Safety) Regulations 1994 (No 1768) any domestic appliance with a flexible cable must be fitted with a plug and the plug must be fitted with a fuse link that conforms to BS 1362.

As a result, you now come back from the shops to find that your shiny new toy has a plug. But that, unfortunately, the product itself hasn’t actually been built.

Last weekend I bought some outdoor lights for the garden. Except I didn’t. What I actually bought was a box full of pieces that could be turned into some outdoor lights for the garden. By anyone with a simple degree in mechanical and electrical engineering.

Of course, there were some poor-quality instructions which explained that all you needed to assemble your quality product was fingers like cocktail sticks and six and a half thousand tools that you do not own.

It was truly and genuinely extraordinary to find how little had been done at the factory. And this is not a one off. These days we see exactly the same thing with furniture and all children’s toys. The outdoor garden heater I bought back in May, to annoy George Monbiot, is still in its box in six bits because I simply cannot fathom how they all go together.

Of course I commend any company that can maximise its profits and quench the thirst of its shareholders. This is all excellent and makes the world go round, but implying on the box that the customer is buying a garden heater when in fact he’s buying a box of pieces: that’s flirting with fraud.

How long will it be before the box contains nothing but some iron ore, a piece of the Russian gas fields and 6,000 miles of pipeline? How long before Ikea sells you a tree in Finland and a saw? And as we edge slowly towards the meat of this morning’s missive, how long before car makers catch on to the idea that people are idiots.

At present it costs the car makers a fortune to assemble a car. The parts are made elsewhere and then nailed together by billion-dollar robots at the plant. So how long will it be before Ford notices what’s going on in the garden lamp industry and simply ships the components directly to your home. Along with a scrappy instruction book, saying, in French, that all you need to put everything together is some oxyacetylene, basic arc welding skills, and a robot.

This isn’t as far fetched as you might imagine, because already almost all the cars we buy are made in kit form. The Aston Martin DB9 is a case in point. It was specifically designed so that the basic structure could be clothed in a different body and sold as something else. The V8 Vantage, for example.

Then there’s the Rolls-Royce Phantom. It is built in the British factory like an Airfix kit, using parts that come in boxes from the BMW plant in Germany. Great. But think how much cheaper it would be to deliver those boxes straight to your door. Along, perhaps, with some walnut and 14 cows that you’ll need to skin and turn into seats. All you need is a large potato peeler and a sewing machine.

The ultimate kit car, though, is the Volkswagen Golf. Its underpinnings are used to make lots of other Volkswagens, like the Beetle, as well as by Audi, Seat and Skoda.

Sometimes I wonder why anyone actually buys the Daddy because it’s possible to buy what’s essentially an identical car. Usually for a lot less.

But then when I look at those identical cars I stop wondering. I mean, it’s all very well imagining that your new Seat is made from Golf parts but it was assembled by Spaniards. And that’s like buying a garden lamp that has been assembled by me. Yes, it’s cheap, but every time you turn it on you will be electrocuted.

Skoda, however, is different. As we know from all the excellent new houses that are being built in Britain these days, the eastern Europeans are fine engineers. It is in their culture, somehow.

So a collection of German parts made by Petr Cech: that should be pretty good. The only problem is that Skoda has never actually made something brilliant enough to overcome the Primark badge on the back. Until now . . . Ladies and gentlemen, please be upstanding for the Roomster.

Ordinarily, there is nothing on God’s earth quite as depressing as a mini-MPV. Whether it’s a Renault Scénic or a Citroën Picasso or that truly terrible Toyota Yaris van, we know that you are biding your time until you are unlocked from the shackles of life by the blissful relief of death.

We know that your life has turned out to be nowhere near as successful or as happy as you’d hoped. We know that you have no imagination. And we know that you have no sense either, because a mini-MPV offers exactly the same number of seats as a normal car.

We can deduce from this that you’ve spent more money on something which comes with a bit more headroom. And what’s the point of that, unless your children are actually giraffes. And if they are giraffes, then you are plainly way too interesting to waste your life in a bloody MPV.

The only exceptions to this rule, thus far, have been the Ford S-Max and the Citroën Berlingo: two genuinely clever and appealing cars. But the Roomster is better still.

First of all there’s the price. It’s just £13,500. And for that you get – yes – a Skoda badge. But you also get alloy wheels, antilock brakes, a full-length glass roof, rear parking sensors, an alarm, cruise control, curtain and side airbags, electric windows and door mirrors, a front arm rest, an immobiliser, a stereo capable of handling an MP3 player, a delightful leather steering wheel, a trip computer and an astonishing array of potential seating positions in the back.

The rear seats, in fact, are so flexible that I managed to get three kids on them. And a full-sized trampoline in the boot.

Eventually, of course, we arrive at the styling. In the same way that you can discuss the merits of Gérard Depardieu for hours but at some point you have to discuss his nose.

Yes. It’s odd. I’ll grant you that. It looks like a cut and shut car. A mangled up blend of Postman Pat’s van, a Wendy house and a Lancia Stratos. But here’s the thing. I loved it. I thought it was unusual without being sweet. Striking without being daft.

I should also explain at this point that while most car makers offer only four colours – silver, silvery grey, greyish silver and grey – the Skoda brochure looks like it comes from Dulux. There’s a choice of five blues, two reds and two greens. Mine was olive metallic and it was great.

I’m procrastinating. And that’s because the Roomster (was it named after Marc Bolan’s lounge?) has a bit of an Achilles heel. It’s, um, not very nice to drive.

It should be fine. The front end is essentially from a VW Polo and the back from a Mark 4 Golf. But the steering is far too quick. You ease the wheel a nad and whoa, the whole thing darts left in a scuffle of tyre squeal and body roll. I liked the car so much I wanted to get used to it. But I never did.

And then there’s the engine. It’s a 1.6 litre VW unit but not one of their best. It’s rough, unwilling to rev and not that powerful. Perhaps the diesel would be better. I hope so because mechanically the only really good bit in my test car was the automatic Tiptronic gearbox.

Ordinarily this would be enough to render the whole car worthless. But sometimes the driving experience must play second fiddle to the whole ownership package.

That’s certainly the case with the Volvo XC90 diesel. It’s a dreadful car to drive, really, but it’s so clever and so well thought out we’re on our second. And about to buy a third.

The Roomster falls into this category. Yes, it’s wobbly and rough, but it’s extremely clever, well equipped and best of all it brought a great deal more light into my life than my new garden lamps. Which, incidentally, are now on eBay.

Vital statistics

Model Skoda Roomster Level 3, 1.6
Engine 1598cc, four cylinders
Power 105bhp @ 5700rpm
Torque 114 lb ft @ 3500rpm
Transmission Six-speed Tiptronic
Fuel 36.7mpg
CO2 185g/km
Acceleration 0-62mph: 12.1sec
Top speed 114mph
Price £13,585
Rating 4/5 stars
Verdict It shouldn’t be brilliant but it is

Thursday, September 06, 2007

FABIA write-up 2: Nice little car - but not as an automatic

by r_welfare - written on 15.12.04 - Rating: (4 of 5 possible stars)

http://www.dooyoo.co.uk/cars/skoda-fabia-comfort-1-4-16v-5dr/


Picture above: Fabia Combi Wagon

Advantages Well-priced
Disadvantages Light steering

I thought I'd report on my time with a 2004 Skoda Fabia 1.4 16v Comfort automatic recently. I had the car for just over a week and in that time travelled over 750 miles.

Let me firstly say that the jokes about Skoda are now well and truly over. They began to die out around 15 years ago when the Favorit was released - here was a modern(ish) front-wheel drive hatchback from the purveyors of the funny air-cooled cars with the engine in the back. While that first Favorit lacked a bit of polish (it was plagued with typical Eastern-European fit and finish), Skoda attracted the attention of VW who injected large amounts of cash. To begin with there wasn't much to show for it (although the build quality of the Favorit did improve over its' six year life), then in '96 they gave us the Felicia - fundamentally the same car but with rounder edges, and a half-decent interior.

Then, in '98, the masterstroke - the Octavia. Based on the current Golf, here was a Skoda that owed very little to the old school, except for competitive pricing. Quality-wise, styling-wise, engineering-wise it was on a par with the other VW group products. VW obviously had faith in Skoda, because when it was time to launch the Mk4 Polo, they chose to release the oily bits first in a new Skoda - the Fabia.

So we all know the Fabia is fundamentally the same as a Polo - and it's none the worse for that. Upon first impression, the car looks solid and quite classy (although mine was a rental and had no wheeltrims, so this was diminished somewhat). It's big for a supermini, being some 12' long, and quite high. Personally, I find the all-in-one colour bumpers a bit heavy-handed (not to say how much they would cost to replace in a bump, given they have no rubbing strips on this model), but it's generally very modern and inoffensive.

Inside is where the surprises start. I mean, the dashboard is VW-quality, and therefore up there with the best, with soft-feel plastics abounding. A million miles away from the Estelle and Favorit of yore. It's all very similar to the Polo or even the MK4 Golf (although it misses out on the neat touches of that car, like the dampened action of the grab handles). It's easy to get a good driving position as the seat height can be adjusted on a ratchet mechanism, and the steering wheel adjusts for rake and reach. Instruments are clear and concise. The only things I didn't like were the fact that the clutchfoot rest wasn't quite long enough for my size 11s, and the heater controls were too far down the dashboard - to change temperature with a passenger would get raised eyebrows as they thought you were trying to grope their knee! Between the stereo (more anon) and the heater was a cubbyhole for bits and pieces about 3 inches deep - why not move the heater controls up here instead?

Rear seat space seemed pretty good to me, although I didn't spend any time there, and the chairs themselves were quite comfortable. The boot was of a reasonable size - you could get a good few shopping bags in there or a set of golf clubs easily enough, it was much bigger than (for example) the old Metro but obviously not as big as the Accord I'm used to, where you could live in the boot. Full marks for the grab handle on the inside to shut the boot without getting your hands dirty, but I'd have liked to be able to open the boot from the driver's seat - you only have the fuel flap release there.

Another surprise is the equipment level. OK, ignoring the fact that only a few years ago Skoda put out real bargain basement machines, this is more indicative of supermini specs improving beyond all recognition in the past 10 years anyway, but even with a mid-range model like this there was air conditioning, electric heated mirrors, electric front windows, ABS, front foglights, power steering, remote central locking, CD stereo, and my personal favourite, the trip computer. Remember the Golf GTI Mk2 had a trip computer in the digital clock that you activated the functions using the column stalk? Well, it's alive and well in the Fabia. I had great fun with this, especially the 'current MPG' feature (apologies to everyone stuck behind me as I treated the accelerator like an eggshell). The only thing I couldn't fathom out was the stereo, it only had 10 buttons but I still couldn't get it to stop putting the Traffic Report on. Maybe at 27 I'm past it? (Lord knows what the average Skoda owner at 50+ makes of it)

What was it like to drive? Well, the ride and handling were pretty impressive if you remember Eastern European cars of old. This one is right up there with the competition, if not quite as compliant as the French rivals in the suspension department. My only gripe was the steering - the power-assistance was very high, and there was less 'feel' than in my Honda Accord, which was surprising (Japanese manufacturers are famous for building power steering systems with no road feel y'see). However, when parking (coupled with the large areas of glass) there was no problem placing the car at all.

The only real downside to the car was the engine/gearbox combination. Given that it said '1.4 16v' on the back I assumed that it was the 100bhp unit used to great effect in the hot Lupo, but according to Skoda you only get this unit with the 5-speed manual. This unit is detuned to 75bhp when coupled with the 4-speed auto, and according to Skoda's website will do 0-62mph in 17 seconds. It never felt that slow to me (and that IS slow), but it makes a lot of strange noises when accelerating which sometimes put me in mind of a diesel - very thrashy. The gearbox is OK, but hunts around a bit on hilly sections and doesn't do a lot for the economy - according to the computer I was seeing around 38mpg overall, and that included a lot of motorway cruising. It does rev quite a bit (3500rpm) at 70mph though. I will give praise for the gear selector on the instrument panel, although I can't help feel that electronics are beginning to go a bit far in new cars. This one made lots of bing-bong noises - when it was running out of fuel, when the outside temperature dropped below 4C, when the radio couldn't find the Traffic Report. I'm just a luddite at heart.

So would I buy one with my hard-earned? Not this combination of engine and transmission to be honest (although it does seem good value at a shade under £10,000), I would either go for the basic 1.2 6v 3-cylinder (which still has air conditioning, ABS, power steering, twin airbags and a CD player) for £6,995 or the hot new vRS diesel if I was feeling flush. The cars are attractively-priced, well-built (from what I can make out) and Skoda dealers still tend to be small family-run affairs in my area, so you should get good service. The joke is finally over - the Fabia is a good little car in it's own right.

UPDATE: In October last year I put my money where my mouth is, and my girlfriend and I purchased a Fabia 1.4 16v Comfort manual. 3 months and 9,000 miles on, it's exceeding all our expectations and returning between 46 and 51 miles to the gallon. It's a great car!
Summary: I liked it so much...I went out and bought one!

FABIA write-up 1: Would you buy a Skoda?

Would YOU Buy A Skoda?
(source www.dooyoo.co.uk)
by kenjohn - written on 23.01.02 - Rating: (3 of 5 possible stars)

Advantages see opinion
Disadvantages see opinion

~ ~ Forget all the old jokes that used to do the rounds a few years back about Skoda. In the bad old days, these Czechoslovakian cars were without question one of the worst on the road, with “sewing machine” engines, and the build quality of a small boy’s go kart.

But since they became part of the Volkswagen group, they have improved beyond recognition, and today they must rank in the top half dozen of European car manufacturers.

I wrote a review a good while back about the Octavia, their top of the range car in the large car bracket, which is proving to be a very popular choice with taxi drivers here in Dublin. (Not to mention the general public!) But today I’m taking a look at their small car, the Skoda Fabia, which is also making waves in the marketplace, and becoming increasingly popular as a “budget buy” for the cost conscious motorist.

~ ~ The current model Fabia is available in three versions.
You can have a five-door hatchback, a four-door saloon, or a four-door estate.
I would have preferred to have test driven the hatchback, which is the most popular model in the range, but as the dealer had just sold his last one, I had to content myself with the saloon version.

My car had a very lively 1.4-litre, 16 valve, petrol engine, with a five speed manual gearbox. If this engine doesn’t take your fancy, then you could also go for the two alternatives. There’s a lower powered version of the 1.4-litre petrol engine, (which obviously costs less of your hard earned cash) or if you fancy real economy (but at a higher price) then you could opt for the 1.9-litre diesel version.

~ ~ But whatever engine choice takes your fancy, you can rest assured that the Fabia offers a very spacious four door saloon, with ample room for four adults (five at a squeeze), and a luggage capacity in the large boot that rivals anything in its class, and even beats many cars in the medium to large car segme nt of the market.
And if you fold down the 60/40 split level rear seat, then you have the equivalent of a small van, and there’s very few loads that you wouldn’t be able to cart around with relative ease.

~ ~ The 1.4-litre that I drove could (with a stretch of the imagination) be described as the performance engine of the range. And it must be said that it was indeed lively enough through the gears, even if you’d never be entering it for a saloon car race at Brand’s Hatch.


Off course, like its Spanish cousin the Seat, the engines and running gear are all German made from its parent company Volkswagen, so you can be assured of both reliability and longevity, and easily affordable and obtainable spare parts.
And with service intervals of 10,000 miles, then a visit to the garage once a year or so would be the norm for most motorists. I did think the one-year unlimited mileage warranty was a bit cheeky though, especially in these days of 3-year warranties being commonplace.

Manufacturer’s these days (at least here in Ireland) seem to be quoting performance figures in “kilometres” rather than miles. The quoted time for the Fabia from a standing start to 100kph (62mph) is 14.1 seconds, and it will carry you onto a top speed of 168kph. (104mph) Not too bad for a car of this size!
And the fuel economy figures are fairly impressive as well. You’ll get about the 30mpg mark driving around town in the traffic, rising to an impressive 54mpg on a long run. So if your driving is a mixture of both, then on average you’ll get about 42mpg.


The ride was firm but comfortable enough, and the suspension coped adequately with the innumerable “speed bumps” that seem to be a feature of town driving today. And on the open road, the ride was quiet and refined, with no excessive cabin or wind noise up to 80mph. (which is as hard as I pushed it)
It cornered well, if not in the rally class , and the body roll from the firm suspension was not appreciable. And the servo-assisted disc brakes stopped you quickly and assuredly enough.


One criticism I would have would be with the power steering, which I found extremely light, with poor driver feedback, but I suppose that you could get used to it given time.


An immobiliser is also fitted as standard, so you don’t have to worry too much about it being removed illegally from your front drive, although I still think a stout chain and padlock round the steering column is the best deterrent going for a car thief.

~ ~ The interior of the car is spacious and bright, with comfortable seats.
And the colour scheme doesn’t grab you by the throat and try to throttle you either, with a subdued décor (beige on the test car), and matching plastic trim. (that doesn’t “look” like plastic, if you follow my drift)

Interior storage space is adequate, with a medium sized glove compartment, and storage pockets in both front doors. One nice touch is the small shaped holders for placing your plastic cup full of tea or coffee in the inside lid of the glove box.
A wide opening boot gives easy access, and there are electric windows fitted at the front, with central locking and child safety locks as standard. The toolkit is neatly stored away in its own little box inside the spare wheel well, so that it wont rattle around in everyday use.


There are two trim specifications “Classic” and “Comfort”, the only difference as far as I can make out being the height and reach adjustment on the steering wheel, and the height adjustment on the driver’s seat. Both are very handy, by the way, especially if you happen to be an “awkward” size. (i.e. larger or smaller than the accepted norm.)

Oh, and you only get the driver’s airbag as standard on the “Classic”, while with the “Comfort” your passenger gets one a s well.
There are rear seat belts fitted as well, but the middle passenger in the back has to make do with only a lap belt, which I don’t like, although they are still the accepted standard on most cars. (I think they’re damned dangerous!)
The instruments were all easily to hand, with nothing awkward to get at, and a nice touch was the adjustable lighting level for the instrument panel. (Great if you do a lot of night driving)

The car also has a very sophisticated trip “computer”, which if you like that sort of thing, will tell you everything you would ever want to know about mileage rates, fuel capacity, length of time to your next fuel stop, and so on ad infinitum. I was never too taken with these gadgets, but I could see how it could possibly appeal to the more technically minded motorist.

The radio/cassette was better than average, with no less than 8 speakers front and rear, although it had a generic badge, so it was impossible to tell the manufacturer. (although I suspect it was a Blaupunkt or Bosche)

~ ~ Costwise?
Well, there are a lot of different specification models available, so if you are truly interested in this car then you would be as well to visit a good website like “autotrader” or “Top Gear”.


So the little Skoda Fabia gets a three (and a half) star rating out of five from this reviewer. Personally, it wouldn’t be my own particular choice of car in this bracket. (see my review of the Seat Ibiza, or the Alfa 147)
But if it’s an inexpensive, good quality, and high specification small family car you are looking for, it’s well worth having a look at.
One thing is for SURE! The days of all the Skoda jokes are long gone.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Happy 50th Birthday Malaysia...

MERDEKA! MERDEKA! MERDEKA! Happy 50th birthday Malaysia. Going to Nilai for a break. Be back on 2/9/07, then only I will tell you how I feel about merdeka AND ABOUT Princess Diana Death Anniversary (Also on 31 August). Watch this space...

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Skoda Superb's ANON owner's review




Picture above: Top of the range Superb 2.8i V6 30v engine bay...

Article A) Hi all.

I own a skoda superb 1.8T and just travel about 2000 km. The car is superb for me as i was driving a proton last time. Compare to Proton perdana, it is much much better in terms of comfort in driving, built quality, features, space and handling.

It comes with 4 cyl 1.8 20 valve turbo engine(aluminium made) with is equavalent to power of Camry 2.4. The engine is very torquey and responsive. However i tend to drive more slowly and cruising at legal speed as it is very relaxing when u driving it.

Fuel consumption is very economical as 5 speed tiptronic gear is used (2000 rpm @ 110km/hr) so on highway i can get roughly 10-12 L/100km.

In terms of size, it is huge. You cannot see from the outside as the car is evenly dimensioned in terms of length, height and width. But when u open the real door, u are sure to be surprised on how spacious the rear seat area is. I am a tall person (6 ft),and i usually push my front seat backward. And even that, the rear cabin is still very spacious. My wife is the most happiest one as she can cross her leg reading newspaper while balik kampung last week.


In terms of features, it is so many at yet the advertisement by AP don't capture all:
1) Fully electric Front driver seat c/w 3 memory setting (so far i have mine and my wife's setting. Just press 1 button, the seat will automatically adjust for you + side mirror)
2) Fully electric passanger seats as well
3) Onboard computer display (many type of display can be set..)
4) Auto angle adjust right side mirror when u put to "R" so that assist u to see car's tyre when do revese parking
5) Rain sensor euro wiper
6) Xenon head light (adjustable brightness)
7) Anti glare real view mirror
8) Climate control air cond system
9) Rear air cond (4 outlets)
10) Chilled center compartment
11) Chilled glove compartment
12) Auto cruise control (can be set by using stick or button on handwheel
13) wheel button control for audio channel and volume
14) Tiptronic c/w 5 speed automatic gear box
15) Fuzzy loggic gear system - automatically set for sport/economical driving, and also auto gear change locking
16) Front and real foglight
17) Immobilizer system
18) ABS + EBD
19) 4 air bags
20) Nighttime u can see all the adjustable button, handle illuminated
21) Auto headlight on for 30 sec during nightime when arrive home
22) Wetcase umbrella at the rear door
23) A spare type (I heard some expensive car don't have this)
24) Plus many more...

And i enjoy surprise by friends and neighbor, they kept on asking" What car? China made one kah?" and i keep on saying to them " Yes this car is so-so, made by previous communist country, no money buy expensive car so buy this one..., aiya i mistake already to buy this car..., engine no good..., etc. etc."

For i want to keep low profile and every day i sleep with a smile because i know i own one of the best car around which some RM250K model can't compete.



I bought my superb from PJ. Actually initially i was attracted by octavia so i went there last september just for a look. But the SA has asked me to wait for this superb.

Just to share my buying experience. The SA i met has certainly one of the factor in assisting me making the purchase. This guy is quite friendly and really follow through with customer satisfaction. I am quite satisfy with his help from optaining car loan until delivery of the car.

He has inform me some customer may experience bad experience when talking to SA due to Quasar's poor sales incentive system. Each SA is competing with each other. Therefore if SA no 1 know u are SA no2's customer, he will no bother to u.



END OF (A)




Article B) HI all, long time no post. It is very interesting to see this skoda thread is still keep going on.

Just want to clarify one thing there, for those non skoda driver especially.

My advice is that don't buy any skoda car if second hand value is your major consideration. Definitely, its second value will be lowered compared to other cars. As far as what I know, for a 2003 Octy, the current offer price is around 78K (original is around 106K if i am not mistaken)

Japanese or national cars offer higher resell value. so they are the best choice definitely.

If your buying priority is brand and prestige, skoda is also not your taste. Skoda is no brand in malaysia and most part of the world

if your buying consideration is lower maintenance cost, skoda is also not the one, as most of the parts are from Audi and Volkswagen (see picture)


But if lets say, value for money is your main consideration, I will recommend skoda to you - driving a much higher spec car at much lower price. Very close to volkswagen/Audi quality but at Japanese car price.



END OF B)

After spending quite some time looking at the thread, I can't actually find any review. Let me share with you on how a review can be written, to show how comfortable the driving experience is.

Here is my driving experience on a trip from KL down to North:

3:30 pm:
With the car still in alarm mode, I press the "boot release" button on remote control and the boot "thud" opened through "gas piston". My wife and maid were then packed 4 big bags inside the boot and hook 2 bags on the special design hook in the boot. The boot closed.

3:45 pm:
My 2 monkeys get dressed and rushed out to open the doors. Well, they can't.

3:50 pm:
Everybody was ok and we locked the house. I was then pressed the "door open" button on remote, and "thud" the doors were unlocked. My 2 monkeys immediately rushed into the car...Goosph..

3:51 pm:
I open the driver door, pressed the memory setting button No 1, and instantly the driver seat, left mirrors and right mirrors moved automatically. At the same time, my elder son who sat in front was playing with the front electrical driven passenger seat. I was then close the door and it sound “thud”.

3:52 pm:
I sat in driver seat. Put the unfolding key into ignition. Waited for 5 times of beeping sound while the CANBUS system checked all the engine condition. Then, I started the engine....vroooommmm...

3:53pm:
Put the gear to reverse mode, released the handbrake. The left door mirror automatically lowered and adjusted to help reversing easier. Now as the car moved forward, the doors were automatically locked.

3:54pm:
We were on the way to the destination. With the unbelievable large cabin size especially the rear cabin, my wife who sat behind, crossed her legs comfortably and enjoying her favourite magazine. My smaller monkey just running across from left to right in the rear and my elder son was
sitting in front enjoying scenery passed by.

3.55pm:
I pressed the automatic air conditioner on. Set at 20 degree C, The cold air flowed from 4 vents in the front , 2 vents at the back of the center console and 2 vents beneath the front seats towards rear passengers.

3.56pm:
I switched on the radio. The RDS information was then shown in both radio display and information display at the RPM meter area. I pressed on the “volume control” on steering and then press the “search” button looking for best radio station. It was “Light and Easy….”. I suddenly increase speed to overtake a vehicle in front and the sound of radio increased proportionally according the speed. At this point I was cruising at 100km/hr and the cabin is so quiet filled with beautiful music.

4:30 pm:
In the middle of highway with less traffic. I pushed the “set” button on the steering and the car was cruised automatically at 110km/hr. After a while, I pressed the (-) button on the steering and reduced the cruising speed to 90km/hr as there was a slow moving car in front. Then I overtook the car and reset back to normal cruising speed afterwards.

5.00 pm:
There was a sudden rain. The front wiper automatically wiped and the wiping speed was according to the heaviness of the rain fall. Then I noticed there was a little mist on the left wing mirror. I quickly switch to heater mode and the mist gone.


6.00 pm:
My elder son felt thirsty. I immediately open the chilled box at the front console and gave him the chilled 100+. I was then open the chilled glove compartment and handed over another 2 cans of chilled cokes to my wife and maid.

7:00 pm:
Stop at rest corner. Finding a parking space is difficult as the car is large. It was raining heavily. My wife then took out the umbrella from the Umbrella holder in the left rear door area and we went for dinner.

7:30 pm:
After stop over at rest area. It started to get darker. I switched on the HID headlight and all the detailed area lighted such as all the door handles, central console area, all the air cond vents area, foot well and etc. so that I can locate these at ease in dark.

7:35 pm:
My wife switched on her own reading light at the back and started reading again and my maid switched on the other reading light preparing drinks for my sons.

7:34 pm:
There was a car from behind came fast with high-beam on. Immediate the rear view mirror automatically reduce the flare and protect my eyes.


8:00 p.m: It was a bit late in schedule, so I decided to give a little push to 150-160 km/hr. The turbo kicked in and the car was cruised effortlessly and comfortably. After passing through tunnel, the speed was maintained at 130-140km/hr eventhough the road is windy, as the car is very stable and in control.

8:23 p.m.: Passing through the uphill and downhill area, I switched into Tiptronic gear mode and drive the car manually…Everything was so quiet as all have droop off.

9:00 pm:
We reach the destination. As it was dark, I stopped the car and engine and switched to “Coming Home” mode, the headlight and room lights automatically on for about 2 minutes allowing time for us to get out easily.


9:05 pm:
Well come to HOME SWEET HOME.
;
;
;
Well, it is not a BMW, it is not a Mercedes, it is not an Audi either…….
…………………..It is just THE BLOODY HELL SKODA SUPERB 1.8 TURBO.
Cheers!

(Source: http://www.autoworld.com.my/forum (under VW Group)



END OF ARTICLE C/REVIEW.



GENERAL OPINION: Want to know more about the "Superb"? Come to our showroom to test drive. We also have the Value for money Fabia, Fabia Combi.

Also check out the State of the art Skoda, Octavia / Octavia Combi wagon. Why? Coz it has 6 speed Tiptronic Auto by Audi, Latest 150hp and 200Nm of torque @ 3500rpm, 2.0 FSI Engine (identical to current Jetta @ RM185,000), 0-100km/h in 9.8secs, Top speed 210km/h. The Octavia is priced @ RM165,000 only (RM171,000 for Combi wagon), NOW with 0% Interest for 4 yrs (OR CASH REBATE). INDEED EUROPEAN TECHNOLOGY and BUILT QUALITY @ Japanese price.

That's all folks... Thanks for reading...

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Hijacking this blog. NEW JOB Selling...

New Job selling Skoda cars and Mercedes Benz Vans (Vito, Sprinter) from 9/7/07 onwards. Well, I managed to survived 1 week. How do I feel? What's my routine? Here's some journal over the past 6 days...

Monday (9/7/07): Just introduction to the job, colleagues, briefings on the Code of conduct etc... and familiarize with the cars. Nothing much to do, left the showroom @ 2.30pm.

Tuesday (10/7/07): FULL DAY PRODUCT TRAINING. 9.30am till 6pm. Morning session conducted by Datuk Amir himself (Managing Director of Quasar Carriage), then product Test drive session. I test driven 1) Skoda Octavia 2.0FSI, 2) Mercedes Vito MPV (More on the test drive experience later). Our flagship, Skoda Superb's Not available for test drive. Then, it's Lunch break.

After lunch, there product training on Skoda cars conducted by Sales Manager Mr. Lawrence, followed by Mercedes Vito and Sprinter product training by our Senior Manager.

Wed (11/7/07). Nothing much to do. Morning meeting. Each of us were assigned with a partner. Did some roleplay and product familiarisation. Got to know more about my colleagues, chatting with them. Left @ 4pm.

Thurs (12/7/07): AM: Technical Training about Octavia FSI by Mr.Yap, chief foreman. Lunch with one of my Colleague. Otherwise, nothing significant to highlight.

Fri (13/7/07): Duty roster came out. I was on duty 3 times in the month of July with my partner, Ghazali. On duty means I have to stay at the showroom from 10am to 7pm. Otherwise, I just have to punch card @ 9am then I will be free to do whatever I want. Though the main idea is to enable to find Prospective customers. Lunch @ 6 to 10 grill and Nasi Lemak with 2 other colleagues. Had Fish and Chips + Drink = RM12.00 poorer.

Sat 14/7/07: WHOLE DAY Skoda ROADSHOW @ Berjaya Times Square 10am till 6pm. Was mentally sabotaged @ 11am, 1st guy approached me. That idiot kept on Saying how good Accord is VS Skoda WITHOUT CHECKING out the OCTAVIA (He just hesitated). He refused to accept that Octavia = (similar to) VW Jetta. He TAUGHT SKODA IS FROM RUSSIA. I wanted to say to him (So dumb, Skoda also dunno where from). But I refrained.

Lunch tapau from McD (5th floor), Approached a Korean, showed him the car, forgotten that you need to remove the rod before closing the bonnet as I taught it's like Skoda Superb. "Krak", the base of the rod which is plastic plated broke. Kena lectured by Kelvin, Quasar Carriage KL, Sales Manager. After that, very Jittery, Tense up, got some inferior complex against certain kind of people. MOST PEOPLE REFUSED to EVEN take the Brochure let alone looking at it. Few of them said "Skoda Ar! Sucks!" No thanks. One of them said "Spare parts hard to get and maintenance AND expensive". CONCLUSION: Most Malaysian have bad Perception on Skoda brands.

Around 4pm, I approached a 16 yrs old Boy. He's very reserved, Showed him the Fabia, he's quite keen. Said "will talk to dad and get back to you". After that, my confidence reached to a new high. At about 5pm, my colleague "BO FENG" approached Small tour bus driver, talked to them and response quite positive. So I get his idea and approached a Mercedes MB140 Bas Persiaran and briefed the driver the new Mercedes Sprinter (thank God I brought 3 copies). Response, Very KEEN. Left the place @ 6pm sharp, took Monorail => KL Sentral => Putra LRT back to Taman Jaya where Dad fetched me home.

THis roadshow was Very tiring, gotta stand WHOLE DAY. Thank goodness we were sheltered from the Rain.

Sunday 15/7/07: Day 2 of the roadshow but I choose not to go. Went to Church Instead. Came back from Church straight went to sleep. Woke up, dinner, then typing this.

CONCLUSION: Eye opening Job, learned a LOT from ALL of the Colleagues, 10 of them in Sales Division including me (ALL but 1 of them were friendly), product training, my Manager (Mr. Lawrence). Looking forward for SALES, SALES and MORE SALES Especially on Mercedes Vans. Will put little hope on Skoda judging by the Poor Brand Perception among Kiasu Malaysians.

Oh! From next thread onwards, I will hijack this purportedly "USED CAR REVIEW Blog". I will instead post AT LEAST 5 blogs on SKODAs and Vitos, Few on Skoda Owner's review as well as some of my Experience as a Salesperson.

Saturday, July 07, 2007

REVIEW: Honda Jazz @ Fit 1.5 iDSI/VTEC

In this review, the spotlight is on Honda Jazz. Honda Jazz is a World car (Ie. On sale in all corners of the world). It’s called HONDA FIT in Japan and America. FINALLY, I have a car to “test” and I can come up with my OWN REVIEW for a mere 15 minutes only though…

In addition, I'd also like to invite another 2 Honda jazz/Fit owners in Malaysia to write about the experience of Owning Honda Jazz.



REFERENCES:

1) http://www.dooyoo.co.uk/cars/honda-jazz-1-4/reviews/ (England Owner's review)

2) www.whatcar.co.uk (for some car Specifications)
3) http://autos.msn.com/research/vip/reviews.aspx?year=2007&make=Honda&model=Fit&trimid=-1 (USA Owner's review)
8) http://www.carsurvey.org/review_74011.html
9) Thanks to Dr. Melchi S.J. Phuah for letting me assess his car.

MY REVIEW: (only 15 minutes with the car)

My Church friend, Dr Melchi S.J Phuah allowed me to check out his car. It’s 6 mts old Jazz 1.5VTEC 7 speed CVT instead of IDSI. It is a Facelift model. His car’s fitted with 15’ rims, bodykit, Leather seats (see picture) and V-Kool (RM2400 and RM2050 extra respectively).

INTERIOR:


The main advantage of the Jazz though, is its interior room. The 1st thing I did was to check out the split rear “ULTRA-seats”. This is made possible by having fuel tank under the front seats instead of under rear seats in “Typical cars”.
There's plenty of room for four people and the boot is a very good size. It really is a “MINIVAN”.

Folding the seats down reveals a van-like flat floor and folding them up enables you to put a lot of stuff in the middle of the car. It takes seconds, and makes for a very versatile small family car. See picture below. It can carry 2 seater sofa when seats fold down. The rear legroom’s spacious, it’s as good as a Proton Wira. The Jazz had quite poor all round visibility with thick A pillar @ front and big "square shaped" rear headrests which causes blind spots (especially seeing bikes, cyclists).






The Aircond switches is 3 non-digital knob-turn type, fairly easily reach from both driver and passenger seats (see photo above). The In Car Entertainment’s cool for a Standard unit. It’s 2-DIN KENWOOD CD-player with USB Port (on the bottom right) and Media controls. See photo below. Oh! It has 4 speakers.

The driving position is quite good with adjustable steering and upright seating (as the fuel tank is located under the front seats) with quite high roofline (MPV Style). The front driver seat also has lumbar adjustable. Cushion is on the hard side, with optional leather. According to the owner (Dr Phuah), the interior build quality is good let down by squeaking sound at back seats at times - especially with passangers (like something loose). He also added that the soundproofing is quite poor but that can be fixed by installing DYNAMAT Soundproofing @ KKLAU (will tell him).

EXTERIOR: The Jazz’s a 2 BOX styling, mini MPV style. Design’s quite good looking (see Picture below) and as a Honda means Virtually Endless Modification options if you have the money. The rear hatch opens high and loading/unloading’s quite easy. The car dimensions can be found in “Specifications” at the end of this review.



RIDE and Handling: The car is quite powerful, there’s a word for this. Ah! Nippy. It goes from 0-100km/h in around 10 seconds (VTEC). Can be considered the most powerful Acceleration in its class. The feeling of effortless power is the result of clever seamless CVT gearing, however, and the Jazz quickly becomes harsher if you need swift uphill pull or uphill overtaking power -- the engine then sounds a bit coarse and a bit hesitate to move.

The Jazz’s also very quiet at idle, you’ll hardly notice that the engine’s on. The car is also doodle to park and steering type is “ELECTRIC POWER STEERING” ie. speed sensitive version.

The suspension is quite hard at uneven surfaces. Is it due to its low profile rims/tyres (15’, 55 series)? Handling is quite good for a Mini MPV, but a bit of bodyroll still there at high speed cornering. Oh! There’s slight wind noise above 120km/h. The brakes were EXCELLENT thanks to ABS+EBD and 4 disc brakes as a VTEC model (rear drums for IDSI model). My friend did LAST Minute breaking, 60km/h to REST around 100 feet...

OWNING IT: The car is very reliable (as agreed by ALL 6 owner reviews in various part of the world). FUEL CONSUMPTION is super. Fuel tank - 42 litres can go 800km, highway, 380km urban and 500km averaged. This is VTEC model. IDSI model’s EVEN more economical around 50 to 80kms more. According to Dr. Phuah, the owner, from Petaling Jaya to JB (around 380km) = slightly above half tank only. As a Comparison, my Ford Telstar consumed 1 FULL TANK. In Malaysia, a new Jazz IDSI costs RM94,000 and JAZZ VTEC costs around 103,000, Imported from Thailand. It came with 3 yrs warranty and 2 years free maintenance (don’t know whether still on now). AS This is a USED car review blog, will cover how much can you buy when used at the end of this blog.


USA Average Owner’s RATINGS:
MSN Auto (USA) Owner’s Reviews
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
9.2 Overall Rating
9.2 Styling
8.9 Performance
9.0 Interior
9.5 Quality
9.2 Recommendation


OWNER REVIEW 1: Honda Jazz 1.4IDSI 5 speed Manual
Jazz up your Motoring
by sandrabarber Rating: (5 of 5 possible stars)

Advantages spacious and flexible, superb fuel economy, comfortable and stylish
Disadvantages none for me

The time was right for a new car. And I wanted brand new, in the hope that I would be guaranteed a few years trouble-free motoring (and hopefully no sudden expenses) with a good warranty and some peace of mind.

In my new car, I wanted the following criteria:

Light and easy to drive
Comfortable seating and leg room in the back
Fuel economy
A good sounding stereo
Affordable insurance
Quiet and reasonably powerful engine
Safety
Good looks
Flexibility (i.e. can take large packages/suitcases etc when necessary)
A make with a strong reputation for reliability
Extra gizmos
Under (preferably considerably under) £10,000

A lot to ask? Yes, but then along came the Honda Jazz?

Criteria 1: Light and easy to drive

My Honda Jazz drives like a dream. It's classed as a 'supermini MPV', meaning that I get to sit quite high up which gives me a great view of the road, adding to ease of driving. The power-steering is light as a feather and I swear could be done one-fingered. All controls are easy to reach and easy to use. Visibility is very good, especially through the enormous front windscreen. Brakes are very effective without being jolting, the clutch is sensitive without sudden shocks, suspension is superb, cornering is a doddle, and overall the ride is smooth with a soft and comfortable bounce over those pesky road-ramps.
Rating: 9/10

Criteria 2: Comfortable seating and leg room in the back

As mentioned, the front seats are high, giving driver and passenger and excellent view. The seats are also comfortable under the bum, and easy to adjust. The back seats are, I'm told, equally pleasant. I'm also told that back seat passengers have ample room for their pins as long as the front seats aren't pushed right back. Oh yes, and it's 5 door, so back seat sitters don't have to contort themselves to get in and out.
Rating: 10/10

Criteria 3: Fuel economy

My Jazz has a 1.4 engine that delivers the economy of many 1 litre cars. I've had it a month now and I'm regularly getting a wonderful 50 to the gallon approx. My Escort (previous car) with the same size engine gave about 33 on a good day.
Rating: 10/10

Criteria 4: A good sounding stereo

My Jazz S, which is the basic model, comes with a built-in Radio/Cassette. The two higher spec models come with CD, although a 6 CD can be put in my boot and easily fixed. I planned to get the 6 CD changer but the sound of my radio/cassette is so crystal clear and rich that I'm not going to bother.
Rating: 8/10 (because the radio/cassette is excellent)

Criteria 5: Affordable insurance
My Jazz is in insurance group 3E which is superb.

Criteria 6: Quiet and reasonably powerful engine. The Jazz is very quiet indeed when sitting in traffic. In fact, it's easy to think that you've stalled. Noise levels do obviously rise the faster you go, but on the motorway it's still a hell of a lot more silent than my old Escort and you can easily have a conversation at normal voice level. Power-wise, again it gives much more than my same-engine-size Escort. I would often have to floor the accelerator in the Escort to get uphill or overtake on the motorway, but the Jazz requires none of that. Acceleration is fast and responsive.

For those who are interested, it does 0-60 in 11.9 seconds (for comparison, 1.4 Clio does it in 13 seconds, and 1.4 Peugeot 205 in 15.2 seconds)
Rating: 9/10

Criteria 7: Safety

The Jazz S has some impressive safety features, including a proper seat belt for the back seat passenger who sits in the middle, side-impact bars and driver and side airbags. It achieved a 4 star in EURO NCAP crash test.
Rating: 9/10

Criteria 8: Good looks
The best word to describe the Honda Jazz is CUTE. Despite being an MPV it's not too tall (front seats are high because the petrol tank sits underneath them) and it has a gorgeous snub nose.
It comes in a variety of colours, mostly metallic. Mine is 'clover green', a very dark metallic green. I think it looks wonderful in bright red, pearlescent white and a gorgeous metallic ice blue.
Rating: 9/10

Criteria 9: Flexibility

Here is where the Jazz is absolutely unbeatable. It is remarkably roomy inside and incredibly interchangeable. The back seats fold down completely flat for that flat-pack furniture, or the seat part of them folds up flat, giving you a lovely tall space for plants etc. (see picture above). Add to this the fact that the boot is a good size and quite deep, and you've got even more space to play around with. You've got the car that is everything - a comfy long-distance ride and a flexible transporter for large and small items.
Rating: 10/10


Criteria 10: A make with a strong reputation for reliability
Since buying my Honda, many people have said to me, 'Oh, you'll run a Honda for years and years.' Time will tell how true this is, but those remarks demonstrate Honda's reputation for building quality, reliable motors.
9/10
Criteria 11: Extra gizmos
Buying the basic model means that you don't expect a lot of these, but what you have got is nice. Heated mirrors come as standard, as does a height adjustable steering column, and the cup holders are actually the right shape and size. Electric front windows and central locking are also standard on the basic model, as are immobiliser and locking fuel cap.
Rating: 8/10

Criteria 12: Under (preferably way under) £10,000
The Honda Jazz S is £9000 if you want it in red, or £9249 in all other colours.
However, I managed to get hold of one that had been pre-registered 3 weeks earlier and had 3 delivery miles on the clock. The only drawback for me was the colour, but that paled into insignificance when I found I could have it for £7699.
8/10 normally, 10/10 in this instance

Services are at 12 month or 10000 mile intervals. 3 years warranty.
5 doors, petrol, 1399 cc, 5 speed gearbox, CO2 134 g/km, vent disc front brakes, drum rear brakes. Official fuel consumption figures: urban 40.9 mpg, extra urban 57.6 mpg, combined 49.6 mpg.

Overall:
I'm absolutely in love with my Jazz. I've taken it on short journeys, long journeys, smooth roads, rough roads, straight roads, winding roads, slow trips and fast-lane motorway dashes. It has delighted me on every occasion and I would highly recommend it to anyone who wants a comfy, flexible, fun, quality car that's always economical, quiet around town and speedy on the motorway.


OWNER’s REVIEW 2 from USA:
"Fantastic Commuting Car!"
2007 Honda Fit Sport 1.5 7-Spd AT
By: An MSN Autos Consumer
Owned: Less than 1 year
Review ID: #504380

10.0 Overall Rating
10 Styling
10 Performance
10 Interior
10 Quality
10 Recommendation

Pros:
Great acceleration, braking, and handling, very intuitive interior layout, tons of space, and great mileage. Easy to handle in heavy-duty urban traffic and a cinch to park in tight spaces.
Cons:
Minor things that most people have already mentioned: lack of a center armrest and doors don't lock automatically; nothing important.
Overall Review:
Love it! It's easy and inexpensive to drive and maintain and wonderful for city driving and parking. It's also got a great personality and the Honda dealer/service people I have dealt with thus far have been so friendly and polite! I went from driving a gas-guzzling Corvette (I love it with all my heart but not with my wallet) to an 07 Fit and I love the Fit's practicality.

SPECIFICATIONS: Honda Jazz @ Honda Fit 1.5 IDSI CVT (1.5 VTEC in Bracket)

Engine: Petrol, Code: L15A 4 Cyl in line, SOHC 1-dsi, Twin spark plugs 1497cc 8 valve (L15A 4 cyl in line, SOHC VTEC 1497cc 16 valve Normal Spark plugs), PGM-Fuel injection with Compression ratio: 10.5:1 (10.1:1), Bore x stroke: 73x89.4mm.

Max power: 65kw [88hp] @5500rpm (81kw[110hp]@6000rpm)
Max torque: 131Nm@2700rpm (143Nm@4800rpm)

BRAKES: Front ventilated discs, rear drums ABS+EBD [Electronic brake force distribution]. (Front ventilated discs, rear solid discs, ABS+EBD)

DIMENSIONS: Length: 3830mm, Width: 1675mm, Height: 1525mm, Wheelbase: 2450mm, Tracks: ff/rr: 1460/1445mm. Ground clearance 150mm. Kerb weight: 1050kg (1080kg).

FUEL TANK CAPACITY & Fuel consumption: 42 litres. Extra urban: 12km/litre, 20km/litre (Highway). Average: 15km/litre. (VTEC: 10.8km/L, 19km/L, 12km/L)

STEERING: Electronically Assisted power steering (VTEC Same)
. Lock to lock turns: 3.53

SUSPENSION:
Front: Independent McPherson struts, springs & dampers, stabiliser bar. (VTEC same)
Rear: Torsion beam axle, springs and dampers (VTEC Same)

TRANSMISSION: Front wheel drive. Electronically controlled CVT (Continuously variable transmission). RATIOS: -NA-

TYRES/RIMS: 175/65R14 (185/55R15)/5.5JJx14” alloy

PERFORMANCE:
Top speed: 180km/h (190km/h VTEC)
Acceleration 0-100km/h: Below 12 secs IDSI. (9.8 secs VTEC, tested)

PRICE:
NEW: RM94,000 1.5 IDSI, 103,000 1.5 VTEC.
USED:
2003 1.4IDSI CVT: 66,000,
2004: 1.5 IDSI 72,000, (FIT 1.5 VTEC: 70,000)
2005: 1.5 IDSI 78,000, VTEC: 83,000
2006 1.5 IDSI: 86,000, VTEC: 90,000

(Honda Fit resale value is about RM2,000 +/- than above, depending on Equipments and type of AP).

AS YOU CAN SEE, the Resale value depreciated about 13% in the 1st year, then subsequent years depreciate about 9%. THREE years retained value is about 72%, which is THE BEST RESALE VALUE VOLUME SELLING CAR IN MALAYSIA (tied with Toyota VIOS). Actually is 2nd BEST OVERALL but MINI is Not a volume seller (ie. Sell few units only) so not really counted (Another similar Example of NON volume seller is Porsche).

Buy one, NEW or USED Honda Jazz/Fit TODAY and the car will depreciate THE LEAST amount of money every year compared with any car in Malaysia. On the 5th year of ownership, the Jazz will still retained about 60% of its Value which is VERY IMPRESSIVE indeed. As a comparison, Kia Spectra 1.6 retained 60% in 1st YEAR OF OWNERSHIP ITSELF.

What to look out for in a Used Honda Jazz? This car is still new (introduced to the Malaysians @ 2003. It’s extremely reliable worldwide (from owner’s review). The precaution is buying a unit abused by Fresh “P” Drivers AND Accident repair unit – make sure body surface & paintwork is smooth & even (can only be checked at daylight, under the sun, so AVOID viewing the car @ evening (Ie. 5pm onwards). AND beware of JOINED units. For PEACE of Mind, send the car to PUSPAKOM before you commit. GOOD LUCK in finding a right Jazz!!!