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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...

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy New Year!!!



Happy New Year 2009 to everyone... May you WORK SMART to embark on your journey to success AND SEE YOU AT THE TOP!!!

This is so boring I know... Will dig up some fireworks photos to put it here... Watch this space... 11.54pm (same day), fireworks arrived...







That's all folks... Thanks for your support in 2008... More stuff for 2009, will include more diverse blog entry such as Books review, movies review, sports, and anything EXCEPT POLITICS (Sensitive issues). My target, DOUBLE 2008 postings. This means AT LEAST 136 entries... Watch this blog...

LONGTERMERS #2, Volume 6: Honda Civic 2.0iVTEC

LONGTERMERS #2, Volume 6: Honda Civic 2.0iVTEC



For the month of December, the Civic made 2 rounds to the Airport. One to KLIA and the other to LCCT and few rounds of PJ => Bandar Metro Puchong => PJ.

The Civic's running well and ever powerful, in 1 incident, I didn't realised that I'm doing from 90km/h to 135km/h in LDP (in less than 10 seconds) after being "tailgated" by a Nissan Sentra 1.8. The driver of the other car cannot do anything. The Sentra was getting smaller and smaller from my rear-view mirror (I presumed poor acceleration (11.8 seconds - Sentra 1.8 vs 9 seconds - Civic). Again (why always happened to me?), the driver cheated, as I slowed down approaching the Toll booth, at the Puchong TOLL (using Smartag), the driver blocked me and overtook from the Emergency lane (2km after the toll).

As I'm typing this, my dad just came back driving the Civic up to Genting Highlands (yesterday). All I know is he used the "Paddle Shift" and when uphill windows' down ...

Without further ado, let's proceed to the Logbook.

Year of manufactured: 2008 (Duh!)
Current Value: RM113,000
Purchase price: RM128,000
Mileage when bought: 0008km.

Mileage last month: 8337km.
Mileage NOW: 9063km
Average mileage per month: 1812km
Fuel consumption: 33L worth of petrol good for 387km (11.7km/L) mix driving of 70% city, 30% highway. Highest: 239km on 20L of petrol (RM40) => 11.95km/L. A decrease over last month. Why higher FC?

It's because the car's in my hands/feet as I'm heavy-footed most of the time. Note the mileage per month decreased. It's because my dad's outside Malaysia for most of December. But hey, at least it's consistent.

Expenses:
NONE for this month apart from petrol fill-ups

Here's a parting shot of the Civic:


That's all folks, do comeback next month. (End of January).

Sunday, December 28, 2008

LONGTERMER #1: Update 6: Ford Telstar i4 DOHC 16v

LONGTERMER #1: Update 6: Ford Telstar i4 DOHC 16v


This month (December), I got not much things to update on the Ford Telstar. I had nothing but praises to the car.

Unlike my other car (Civic 2.0IVTEC), the Telstar’s more stable at high speed (160km/h) and when cornering (nearly lose control of the Civic today while negotiating a sharp flyover bend LDP Puchong at a mere 80km/h), more comfortable and more interior space, Better Noise Insulation, Less “challenge” or “Bullying” by other vehicles AND lastly timeless design.

The 2nd last point I had to take back… Yesterday, got challenged by a Perdana V6. Apparently he taught my Telstar’s also a V6. I took the lead (for 5km), but the V6 driver’s unethical in the end where there’s traffic. He overtook me from the LEFT at LDP.

I changed my mind, I’M NOT SELLING my Telstar… Unless there’s a 1997 Ford Telstar V6 (for below RM18k) OR 2005 WHITE Ford Lynx RS (at RM50k? Dream on… I know).

Fuel consumption improved... By “experimenting” with the Fuel gauge. The 1st 3 quarter the fuel gauge went down very fast. Remaining ¼ it moves S-L-O-W-L-Y. I used to top up at 280km +/- when the “low fuel” light 1st appear. Now I got the hang of it. I waited until the “low fuel” light appeared “Permanantly” before I refill (38L max). Guess what?

It jumped up to a decent 340km (+/- 10km). at 40L worth of fuel (RM80). Last fill up was during Christmas Eve, 44.444L Full tank. => Also RM80. Mileage:

LOGBOOK:

Year of manufactured: 1998 (registered January 1999)
Purchase price: RM42,000 (Aug 2005)
Current value: RM18,000 (As at October 2008)
Depreciation per year (averaged): RM8,000
Mileage last month: 138580km.

Mileage now: 139430km.

Fuel consumption: An improvement: from 6.5km/l to 7.9km/l. How? See text above.

Expenses (this month)
1) NONE. Apart from filling petrol.

Before I sign off, here's a parting shot of the Telstar...


That's all folks, thanks for having the patience to read these...

Friday, December 26, 2008

FULL REVIEW: Mazda RX8

FULL Review: Mazda RX8


OTOREVIEW'S OPINION: The RX8 is in one of my "MUST BUY" lists. There are more and more units in Malaysian roads. Prices varies as it's only available thru gray Imports. More on the pricing later. As usual, I don't have a unit to test drive, hence I dished out 2 Articles from UK, One from "www.parkers.co.uk" another from www.Whatcar.co.uk. Enjoy!

ARTICLE 1. SOURCE 1: www.parkers.co.uk

Summary 3.5/5 starsstars
Mazda is the only manufacturer to continue with the rotary engine. Traditionally they guzzle fuel and munch their rotor tips. However, Mazda claims to have eliminated the latter problem so you can enjoy the stratospheric rev limit without fear. You also get the relatively unique advantage of a sexy coupé that drives well will genuinely carry four people thanks to the stylish solution to rear access.


Performance 4.5/5 stars

Tell your friends your sudden burst of speed and seemingly limitless rev range is being provided by a 1.3-litre engine, and they'll be amazed. Trouble is, while this 1.3 performs more like a 2.6-litre, it drinks like a 3.9. The rotary engine has far fewer moving parts than a conventional engine and is much more compact. In the RX-8 it is mounted very low in the engine bay helping improve the car's centre of gravity. The 189bhp model has a slightly higher torque output than the 228bhp model, but the high-power variant will spin beyond 9,000rpm. A little warning beep is let out once the car reaches 9,000rpm, but there is no heavy-handed rev-limiter cutting in suddenly - the car allows you a further few hundred rpm grace before you need to change up.


Comfort 3.5/5 stars

Automatic climate control is standard on the RX-8 and driver and front seat passenger have pretty much as much space as they need. The optional sunroof encroaches on headroom, though. An electrically adjustable driver's seat is offered as an option with leather trim. The rear compartment is accessed through doors which are hinged at the back and can be opened after the front doors have been opened. Not as easy to get in and out of as a conventional saloon, but better than most coupes, and once you're in the back there is a surprising amount of space.


Practicality 3/5 stars

The boot (above) is bigger than in most coupes although not a match for £20,000 saloons (it's about equivalent to what you'd get in a Volkswagen Polo with the rear seats in place). However, it should carry enough luggage for a week's holiday for two, or a weekend away for four. You also have to monitor oil consumption (checking every second time you fill up with fuel is recommended for the first couple of thousand miles) and ensure it's topped up, which could be seen as an unnecessary hassle for those not truly committed to the cause. The rotor tips need protecting for longevity.


Equipment 4/5 stars

The level of equipment is impressive, even in the cheaper of the two models you'll get a nine-speaker Bose sound system with CD autochanger. High-power version has xenon headlights over standard model. Leather and metallic paint are optional, as is sat-nav. PZ model adds lowered suspension, new springs and dampers, a rear wing, bespoke OZ alloy wheels and is available in either metallic dark grey or solid black.

Behind the wheel 4/5 stars

It's all very stylish and hi-tech inside as befits an X-Men 2 movie extra. One of the things that makes the RX-8 stand out as a great car, rather than merely a good one, is the attention to detail paid to the interior. There are no cheap-looking fittings, and while it would have been relatively easy to base the instruments and controls on those used in the Mazda6, the RX-8 has its own bespoke interior. The few hard plastics around are black high-gloss plastics that look rather classy, and the way Mazda's designers have repeated the triangular rotor shape as design features in other parts of the car is one for the anoraks out there. There is a digital speedometer set into the over-size rev counter, and the steering wheel is fitted with audio controls.

Safety 4/5 stars

Lots of safety equipment including six airbags (front, side and curtain airbags). Traction and stability control are standard along with alarm, immobiliser and central locking.

Reliability 3.5/5 stars

Rotary engines used to suffer premature wear problems, but Mazda claims to have this resolved, as long as the car is well maintained. If oil consumption is not monitored regularly and the level falls too low, the rotor tips will wear out, which will prove very expensive in the long run. Otherwise reliability should be good.

Buying used: 3 stars/5

Many private and trade sellers with RX-8s at the moment. While a sizeable share of those on the used market have been run as company cars, there are many below-average mileage private cars that have lost a few thousand pounds off their new price but still have some of their manufacturer warranty left.

Selling: 3.5 stars/5

Shouldn't be difficult to sell - people looking at an RX-8 should be well aware of its ability and its fearsome thirst. It's a far more practical car than its main rival coupes like the Nissan 350Z and Audi TT. While the Mazda can seat four adults, the Nissan has just two seats and the Audi has very small rear seats. Compare it with premium saloons like the BMW 3-series and Audi A4 and you find that as well as having sensational looks, the RX-8 is far better equipped for the money and more fun to drive.

ARTICLE 2: Source 2: www.whatcar.co.uk

ON THE ROAD


Performance (4 stars/5 ****)

Mazda is the only manufacturer to use a rotary engine, which uses spinning rotors rather than cylinders. There are two 1.3-litre units, with either 189bhp or 228bhp. Performance is strong from both, with a high rev limit and distinctive sound. The base model has a five-speed manual gearbox while the more powerful car has a six-speeder.

Ride & handling (5 stars/5 *****)

Balancing the ride and handling of a sporty car is a tricky job but one Mazda has pulled off. The low-speed ride is firm but not jerkily so and it’s very comfortable at high speeds. But it’s the body control that truly impresses: no matter what the surface or how tight the corner, the RX-8 just keeps on gripping.

Refinement (4 stars/5 ****)

There is a very distinct note to the rotary engine when it is revved. The sound has a pleasing edge that lets the driver know the car is working hard. Road and wind noise is isolated well from the cabin and the RX-8 makes a good long-distance cruiser as well as a fine back-road blaster.


OWNERSHIP



Buying & owning (4 stars/5 ****)

Both models are keenly priced and undercut the equivalent Audi TT - the RX-8’s key rival. Given the amount of standard equipment, the Mazda is great value. Only the car’s fuel economy and emissions spoil things, with the RX-8 falling into the top 35% company car tax bracket. Residual values are strong for a car without a prestige badge.

Quality & reliability ****

Being a Mazda, owners can expect clockwork reliability and build quality that is extremely good. The cars we have driven have been constructed with care. The rotary engine should present no problems because Mazda has been building it for decades and it has won a reputation for durability.

Safety & security *****

Even though there is no central door pillar, the rear door’s leading edge is heavily reinforced to create a 'virtual' pillar when closed, for safety in a side impact. Twin front, side and curtain airbags are standard, as are stability and traction controls. The RX-8 has followed other Mazda cars and scored reasonably well in our security tests.


IN THE CABIN

Behind the wheel ****

The driver of the RX-8 has electric adjustment for the seat, helping towards a great driving position. Steering adjustment is for height only but most drivers should be able to make themselves comfortable. In true Mazda tradition, all the controls are logically laid out in the stylish cabin.

Space & practicality ****
Mazda’s clever reverse-hinged rear doors allow excellent access to a pair of individual rear seats that can accommodate adults with ease. There's also a reasonable boot that can cope with a couple of suitcases, making the RX-8 a very practical for a coupe.

Equipment *****

Mazda has loaded both models of the RX-8 with plenty of kit. Foremost on the list is the superb Bose sound system with no less than nine speakers and excellent sound quality. There’s also climate control and 18-inch alloy wheels. Optional extras are limited to metallic paint, electric sunroof, leather seats and satellite-navigation.




END OF ARTICLE 2, Source 2:

SPECIFICATIONS:

ENGINE:

Engine type

Front-midship Renesis - 2 rotors in-line, naturally aspirated, multi-sideport

Engine capacity
1,308 (654 x 2) cc

Compression ratio
10.0 : 1

Maximum power
170 kW @8,200 rpm

Maximum torque
211 Nm @5,500 rpm

Fuel system
Multipoint electronic fuel injection

Fuel tank capacity
61 litres

Recommended fuel
Premium unleaded (min. 95RON)

Fuel consumption
city/highway: 18/23MPG

Manual transmission
6-speed

Gear ratio:
1st 3.760
2nd 2.269
3rd 1.645
4th 1.187
5th 1.000
6th 0.843
reverse 3.564
final drive 4.444

CHASSIS:

Brake type

front Ventilated disc
rear Ventilated disc

Brake diameter
front 323 mm
rear 302 mm

Shock absorbers type: Bilstein
Steering type: Electric power assist steering

Suspension:
front: Double wishbone
rear: Multi-link

Turning circle:
kerb to kerb 10.6 m

Tyre size: 225/45 R18 91W

Weight distribution: front : rear 50 : 50

Wheel size: 18 x 8.0 JJ

Wheel type: Alloy

Wheel type (spare): Space-saver (T125/70 D17 98M)

PERFORMANCE: 0-60MPH Top Speed BHP
(192ps) Auto: 4d 7.0 s 139 mph 189 bhp (more info)
(231ps) Manual: 4d 6.2 s 146 mph 227 bhp (more info)

SAFETY:

Airbags SRS:

front (driver and passenger)
side (front)
curtain (front and rear)

Anti-lock Braking System (ABS)

Child restraint anchor points

Day/night rear vision mirror

'Double lock' door deadlock function

Dynamic Stability Control (DSC) - switchable on/off
Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD)
Engine immobiliser
High mount stop lamp
Intrusion-minimising brake pedal

Limited-Slip Differential (LSD) torque-sensing

One touch (up and down) power window (driver)
Remote central locking and boot release
Seat-belts (front) with pretensioners and load-limiters
Seat-belts 3-point lap-sash (all seats)
Side impact door beams
Traction Control System (TCS)
'Triple H' safety construction with front and rear crumple zones

Whiplash-minimising front seats

DIMENSIONS:

Ground clearance: 120 mm
Overall height: 1,340 mm
Overall length: 4,435 mm
Overall width: 1,770 mm
Track:- front: 1,500 mm
rear: 1,505 mm
Wheelbase: 2,700 mm
Cargo room: volume (VDA) 290 litres
Kerb weight: 1,374 kg

Besides Articles, I ALSO NEED 2 Malaysian or Singaporean Owners of RX8 to write REVIEW on their RX8. Don't worry, I will acknowledge your work (your name will be there).


PRICE: In Malaysia, Price varies greatly as different Importers have different pricings. There were 2 specs. Type E's 189hp tiptronic style Auto, 16" rims. Type S is 228hp Full blooded 6 speed manual with 18" rims. Price for 2003 unregistered are now from RM143k to RM160k depending on Specifications. On 26 February, there's one used 2003/05 unit up for RM131,800. Another used unit 2005/07 Auto's up for RM168,000.



THAT'S ALL FOLKS! THANKS FOR HAVING THE PATIENCE TO READ THIS LONG REVIEW.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas! Ever wonder what is it...

Have you ever wonder what is Christmas All about?


Btw, it’s CHRISTmas, not X’mas… CHRISTmas without "CHRIST" is meaningless.


Christmas is not about the Christmas lights, the music, Santa Claus, The Grinch, Snowman, or rushing to get your Christmas tree put up. Christmas is Jesus Christ’s birthday.

Christmas is really about being with your family and friends, a time of giving and sharing, being thankful, and celebrating Jesus’ birth and all that He did for us… ^_^

Here's a Christmas Medley for all of you. All are popular Christmas Carols and are related to one another. READ the LYRICS Line by line and song by song, Viola! A Christmas Story...

Check out these songs. Followed by few medley…

Song #1: Mary's Boy Child (Words and music: Jester Hairston)

Long time ago in Bethlehem,
So the Holy Bible say;
Mary's boy child Jesus Christ
Was born on Christmas day.

Chorus

Hark now hear the angels sing,
A new king born today,
And man will live forever more,
Because of Christmas day.

Trumpets sound and the angels sing,
Listen to what they say.
That man will live forever more,
Because of Christmas day.

While shepherds watched their flocks by night,
Them see a bright new shining star,
Them hear a choir sing,
The music seemed to come from afar.

Chorus

Now Joseph and his wife Mary,
Come to Bethlehem that night,
Them find no place to lay she child,
Not a single room was in sight.
By and by they find a little nook,
In a stable all forlorn,
And in a manger cold and dark,
Mary's little boy was born.

Song #2)
(AWAY IN A MANGER)

Away in a manger, no crib for a bed,
The little Lord Jesus laid down his sweet head.
The stars in the sky looked down where he lay,
The little Lord Jesus asleep in the hay.

The cattle are lowing, the baby awakes,
But little Lord Jesus no crying he makes.
I love Thee, Lord Jesus, look down from the sky
And stay by my cradle till morning is nigh.

(medley)

Silent Night (modern version)

"Silent night is a Holy Night
All is calm and all is bright
Round yon virgin mother and child
Holy infant so tender and mild

Sleep in heavenly peace (x3)
Sleep in heavenly peace..."

(medley)

Feliz Navidad (pa pa pa pa pa...) (x2)
Feliz Navidad pros pero anyo feli zi da

We wanna wish you a merry Christmas (x2)
We wanna wish you a merry Christmas
From the bottom of our heart

We wanna wish you a merry Christmas (x2)
We wanna wish you a merry Christmas
From the bottom of our heart...

(medley)

We wish you a merry Christmas
We wish you a merry Christmas
We wish you a merry Christmas
And a Happy New Year.

Merry Christmas! ;-D

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Asian Auto-BOSCH Fuel Efficiency Awards 2008 Vehicle Winners

Asian Auto-BOSCH Fuel Efficiency Awards 2008 Vehicle Winners

 
Compact City Cars
1st
Perodua Viva   4.8L/100km
2nd
Hyundai i10   5.0L/100km
3rd
Proton Savvy LITE 5.7L/100km
 
Compact Premium City Cars
1st
Fiat Panda   5.6L/100km
2nd
Naza Bestari 206 5.9L/100km
3rd
Suzuki Swift 6.7L/100km
 
Family Cars
1st
Proton Persona    6.6L/100km
2nd
Hyundai Accent   7.0L/100km
3rd
Chevrolet Aveo Sedan 7.3L/100km
 
Premium Family Cars
1st
Honda Civic 1.8   6.9L/100km
2nd
Mitsubishi Lancer GT   8.2L/100km
3rd
Hyundai Elantra 8.4L/100km
 
Luxury Family Cars
1st
Mercedes Benz B-Class 170   7.1L/100km
2nd
Hyundai Sonata 2.0  8.4L/100km
3rd
Mazda6 2.0 8.7L/100km
 
Executive Cars
1st
Audi A4   7.4L/100km
2nd
Mercedes C-Class 200K   7.6L/100km
3rd
Volvo S60 2.0T 7.9L/100km
 
Premium Executive Cars
1st
Audi A6 TFSi   8.5L/100km
2nd
Mercedes E-Class 200K  8.7L/100km
3rd
BMW 523i 9.3L/100km
 
Super Saloons
1st
Audi A8 3.2 Multitronic    10.1L/100km
2nd
Jaguar XJ6 LWB 10.5L/100km
3rd
Lexus LS460 L 11.1L/100km
 
Super Sport Coupes
1st
Peugeot 207 CC    7.2L/100km
2nd
Mercedes Benz SLK200 7.95L/100km
3rd
BMW 320i Coupe 8.0L/100km
 
Performance Cars
1st
Mini Cooper S JCW   6.9L/100km
2nd
Peugeot 308 THP 7.75L/100km
3rd
Audi TT 7.8L/100km
 
Pickup Trucks 4X4
1st
Isuzu D-Max 3.0   7.6L/100km
2nd
Ssangyong Actyon Sports 2.0 7.8L/100km
3rd
Mitsubishi Triton 2.5 8.3L/100km
 
Compact MPV
1st
Toyota RUSH 1.5   6.9L/100km
2nd
VW Touran Tsi 2.0 7.2L/100km
3rd
Renault Kangoo 1.5 7.5L/100km
 
Luxury MPV
1st
Hyundai Starex CRDi Diesel 2.5   8.5L/100km
2nd
Ssangyong Stavic Diesel 2.7 8.8L/100km
3rd
Fiat Ulysse 2.0 9.6L/100km
 
Compact SUV
1st
Chevrolet Captiva Diesel    7.7L/100km
2nd
SsangYong Actyon SUV Diesel 8.0L/100km
3rd
Hyundai Santa Fe Diesel 8.2L/100km
 
Compact Luxury SUV
1st
Ssangyong Rexton 270 Diesel   9.1L/100km
2nd
Volkswagen Tiguan 2.0 9.9L/100km
3rd
Subaru Forester 2.5XT 11.1L/100km
 
Luxury SUV
1st
BMW X5 3.0 diesel   8.7L/100km
2nd
Volvo XC90 D5 Diesel 11.1L/100km
3rd
Lexus RX350 11.2L/100km
 
Supercars
1st
Porsche 911 PDK  11.0L/100km
2nd
Jaguar XK8 11.3L/100km
3rd
Mercedes CL500 12.1L/100km
 
Hybrid Cars
Honda Civic Hybrid
 
Low Rider Pickup
Mitsubishi Triton Lite
 

Friday, December 19, 2008

FU-CKED UP Honda Showroom. Filled with RUDE...

In my previous blog entry, I checked out the NEW LAUNCHING of the HONDA CITY 1.5i-VTEC. The SHOWROOM, "Sumber Auto Edaran" in Jalan Universiti is FU-CKED UP... It's FILLED WITH UNETHICAL Service advisers and Sales Executives. Why? READ ON...

This is actually the 8th time I received a RUDE Treatment from this Showroom. Why I STILL FLOCK to the Showroom? It’s because the SHOWROOM Located ONLY 2km away from my house in Section 17, Petaling Jaya.

It all began in 2003, when the "NEW" Honda City was launched... Or rather, shortly after the showroom launched...

1st encounter in March 2003: Walked into the showroom with my dad and sister. We were treated as if we don't exist. NO ONE WELCOMED US because my dad was wearing "Shorts at that time"... Only after 10 minutes, a salesman "entertained us for a while". His name is Edwin Tan (more on him later, in 5th encounter).

2nd encounter: "NEW" ACCORD LAUNCH in November 2003. Again, walked into the showroom, again, treated as if we're invisible. Gotta approach a salesman. He's a HARD SELLING salesman who pushed us to book the car which we didn't. Salesman name forgotten. Gotta dig up the brochure to see the name card... He quit anyway... He SMSed me saying moving to Toyota about 4 mts later...

3rd encounter: NEW Civic Launch in 2006. This time, I'm alone. Again, treated as if I'm invisible, again, spent a good 10 mins exploring the car before a salesman entertain me. Was told that the waiting list was 4 months and counting, only produced 400 units a month at the moment. When ask about the unavailability of certain colour, the salesman walked away. Before that, again, hard selling tactic. Salesman Name forgotten. Again, gotta dig up the brochure.

4th encounter: NEW Stream Launch in 2007. Again, treated as if I'm invisible. Salesman got pis$ed off as I thrown in questions like why no rear aircond vents, why beige seats, why 15" rims, why so basic etc... Forgotten his name. Gotta find his name card.

5th encounter: NEW Generation Accord Launch recently (this year). Again, "treated as if I'm invisible. Again, 10 mins passed I explored the car, NO SALESMAN Entertained me. I had to approach a salesman. It's Mr.Edwin Tan again, showing his true colour. I approached him cause I've "seen" him 3 times earlier. Here's what he said: "Why don't you find another salesman as I’m very busy". I know he's busy but he should say: "Allow me to introduce another salesman, this is Mr.XXX."

6th encounter: General visit. This is NOT A RUDE Treatment, rather an ignorant salesgirl named "Grace Sam". She argued with me that new Civic 2.0IVTEC has 2 airbags instead of 4 airbags ALSO, waiting list 2 ½ months. Also, 1st impression gone as I saw here and 2 other colleagues smoking outside the showroom as we are entering the place. She now transferred to Honda USJ showroom. NOT ONLY that, she failed to “update” us on the pending NEW INTEREST RATE INCREASE. This is back in June 2008.

It takes another branch Honda dealer “GLOBAL AMITY, Sri Kembangan” salesman to tell me… Also, he has a car for me in 3 WEEKS. Of course, I bought from him, interest rate locked at 2.35%. After 4 days, it shot up to 3.5%. No point revealing the salesman name as he resigned End November to join REAL ESTATE FULL TIME (now my colleague).

7th encounter: At the Service centre. 2nd free service, 1st oil change. I asked what type of engine oil they are using. The service advisor said “MINERAL OIL”. I got disappointed and ask further, “WHY NOT SYNTHETIC”. He said “NO POINT” as after 5000km there will be another oil change. You know what? He said: “After the free service (10,000km), you are free to choose your engine oil”. Service advisor name “Cannot mention" as my dad's car in Jeopardy (yes, going back there for Service as it's the nearest to my house). I still remembered his face.


8th encounter: Happened TODAY December 19, 2.40pm. AGAIN, walked in to Showroom ALONE, STILL “INVISIBLE TREATMENT”. I spent a good 10 mins scrutinizing the car still no salesman entertain me. I HAD TO RESORT TO APPROACH A SALESMAN to ask for brochure and price list. This salesman’s name is simply “LOY”. Here’s our conversation:

Me: I’m a Honda Owner, any extra stuff if I booked a City?
LOY: This is a NEWLY LAUNCH car, sorry sir, NO DISCOUNT, but freebies only you confirm booking today.
ME: Oh! It’s not me, asking on behalf of my “Brother”.
LOY: Then BRING YOUR BROTHER HERE, we talk.
ME: My Brother is working in Vietnam at the moment.
LOY: Oh! [AT THIS POINT, he suddenly became friendly, I tested him]
ME: “Can I take some photos of the new City? Want to E-mail to my “brother”.
LOY: “SURE”, and gave me a 20 page “PRESS KIT” Brochure. “Hope you can scan and e-mail him, lots of photos here”.

To cut the long story short, he became friendly and chatty after learning that my “BROTHER” is working in Vietnam (Actually it’s my DAD, not brother). We chat for a good 30 mins before he serve other clients.

ACTUALLY, I got more than 8 encounter, between 2003 and 2006, made 4 more visits (Stream launch, CRV Launch and 2 more general visits). But sales execs who served me back then gave "OK" service. Nothing to complain though "STANDARD SHOWROOM PRACTICE" I was treated as if I'm invisible for the 1st 5-10 minutes before they "serve" me...

SUMMARY: The modus operandi of Salesmen there:
1) SALESMAN WON'T Entertain you as you walk in. As if you are invisible. Let you play around with the car AT LEAST 5 mins. AND YOU GOTTA APPROACH HIM/HER, it should be the other way round!

2) SALESMAN'S Mood depends on Economy. They treat you GOOD and gave you discounts and freebies only when Economy's tough.

3) Strange but true. ALL THEIR TEST CARS have 1 common No-plate. "328".

That's all folks. Thanks for having the patience to read this...

Thursday, December 18, 2008

NEW LAUNCH: Honda City 1.5iVTEC

Today, I went to Honda Showroom to check out the newly launched Honda City. I was quite impressed by the car. It's available in 2 grades. "S" and "E", priced at RM85,000 and 89,980 OTR respectively. What is the difference between "S" and "E"?

"E" has the following extras:
- 16" alloy rims + tyres instead of 15"
- 60/40 split fold rear seats + recline instead of "Fixed rear seatback"
- Paddle shift + steering wheel audio control
- Others: Power retractable door mirrors, leather steering wheel and gear knob, door mirror integrated signal light, rear seat under tray.

The heart of the car lies a "4 cylinder 16v SOHC I-VTEC PGM-FI with 120ps@6600rpm and 145Nm@4800rpm mated with 5 speed automatic gearbox. Also, Electric Power Steering (EPS).

Safety features:
- 4 disc brakes ABS + EBD + BA
- Dual Airbags
- G-CON Technology body (G-force control)

The dimensions are as follows:

Length: 4395mm, Width: 1715mm, Height: 1470mm
Wheelbase: 2550mm
Weight: 1160kg
Fuel tank Cap: 42L
Boot space: 506L

BUT AND A BIG BUT. The SHOWROOM, "Sumber Auto Edaran" in Jalan Universiti SUCKS... It's FILLED WITH RUDE Service advisor and Sales Executives. Why? READ ON...

This is actually the 8th time I received a RUDE Treatment from this Showroom. It all began in 2003, when the "NEW" Honda City was launched... Or rather, shortly after the showroom launched... SEE Next blog entry for the FULL STORY.

Anyway, pictures tell a thousand words, here the photos...













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

FULL REVIEW: Land Rover Freelander V6 2.5 SE


FULL REVIEW: LAND ROVER Freelander V6 2.5 SE



In this blog entry, I'm writing about Land Rover Freelander V6 2.5 SE. This car surprisingly, quite a good seller in Malaysia with 900 units sold in 2004 alone (the year where Freelander 2.0TD and 2.5SE were assembled in Malaysia. It's on sale in Malaysia from 2002 to 2006. As usual, I don't have a car to test and brag about, hence I dished out 2 Reviews. 1 from Australia (GOAUTO) and the other from UK (Parker's). Due to copyrights and space constraints, I can only create a "LINK" to Parker's webpage (REVIEW 2):

http://www.parkers.co.uk/cars/reviews/land-rover/freelander-station-wagon-1998.aspx?page=1

How's the resale value like in Malaysia and how much it costs when new? It's priced at RM295,000 when new in 2001 in CBU Form (Fully imported from England). In 2004, Land Rover Malaysia went ahead to "Locally Assembled" the Freelander 2.5 V6 and pricing reduced to RM198,000 OTR. Today, a 2004 model's yours for RM80,000 only. See chart:

Year 2001^ 2002^ 2003 2004 2005* 2006
Price: RM60k RM66k RM73k RM81k RM98k RM130k

^ => CBU from England
* => Facelift in 2005. Special editions.


Limited to 100 units. They are: Kalahari (Orange themed) - pic above, Serengeti (green themed) and Serengeti (Grey themed). Priced from RM215,000 to RM226,000 for the Special Editions (1).




The data above shows that the Freelander has ONE OF THE WORST resale value car in Malaysia. This is bad news for 1st owner but GOOD NEWS to you, as the 1st owner already absorbed the depreciation. But note that besides BAD DEPRECIATION, this car's a LEMON especially in UK (Home country) as reported by owner/s themselves in "Carsurvey" website (4).

Examples are, defective cooling system (ie. overheat problem), engine misfired, sunroof leak, power windows problem (PROTON, you are NOT ALONE), Gearbox Problem, ECU Problems and some electronics problem (Eg. Hill Descent Control failed)... I guess these were the reasons why Land Rover Malaysia decided to Local Assembled the car as the UK assembled ones have very obvious quality issues.

REVIEW 1 from GOAUTO Australia: (2)

SUPERTEST: LAND ROVER FREELANDER 2.5V6 SE 5 door

Overview


FINALLY, Land Rover has delivered the Freelander many had longed for: a soft-roader with a petrol engine that can shift its considerable bulk without straining under the weight of it all. Improvements to transmission, chassis and interior ergonomics, among other things, are also welcome. But alas, quality is a continued cause for concern and Freelander, despite its excellent packaging, remains an expensive proposition in a market segment that's now stronger and more competitive than ever.

The Car


THE mid-life mechanical upgrade has brought a reshaped and 65mm longer front-end to V6-powered Freelanders, however the "Little Landie" retains its distinctive, modern appearance and defining features such as the "fast" windscreen angle and the large, protective bumpers and wheelarch mouldings. New paint colours and alloy wheel designs adorn the body, along with revised badging. The front indicator lenses are now clear, blending with the headlamps to give a wider look to the vehicle.

The Car - Seat Plan

ALL seating positions in the five-door Freelander have a three-point seatbelt and head restraint. A new centre console increases the already high number of storage spaces in the front, while rear passengers have at their disposal overhead map pockets, front seatback pockets, an armrest (if centre rear position vacant) and a power outlet located behind the new centre console box. The new ES specification includes twin illuminated vanity mirrors to the top specification.

The Car - Seats


FREELANDER seats are claimed to use carefully selected materials, such as high-density cold-cure polyurethane foam, dual-hardness foams and high-durability fabrics, combined with seat suspensions that are tuned to harmonise with the vehicle's suspension characteristics. All models have driver's seat lumbar adjustment, however, none are adjustable for height. The ES features leather seats, with the front pews able to be heated. The front seatbelts have load limiters and pretensioners, and are adjustable for height.

The Car - Dash

SWITCHGEAR repositioning has significantly improved the user-friendliness of the Freelander's dash layout. The fully electronic instrument cluster - remaining deep to prevent night-time reflections - has also come in for attention, retaining the small and sometimes difficult-to-read gauges but introducing a new dark green colour to the dial faces and a revised layout. A low-fuel warning light has been added. Useful, removable rubber trays remain a feature of the dash presentation.

The Car - Controls

ALL five-door wagon Freelanders now have rear electric windows, and all driver's windows now feature an auto-down facility. The electric window switches are mounted on a new high-positioned centre console unit between the front seats. Cruise control, standard on automatic transmission models, has steering wheel mounted buttons. The steering wheel is tilt adjustable, the wipers have a variable intermittent function (five settings ranging from three to 20 seconds) and the external windows are electrically operated.

The Car - Wheels/tyres

THE Freelander ES and Td4 five-door models now have 16-inch alloy wheels as standard, the ES using a chunky three-twin spoke design known as "Triple Sport". Both models use 215-section tyres, while the SE petrol versions use 195 tyres with a 15-inch six-spoke "Adventure" alloy wheel design. All wheels have extra clearance for the new larger brakes.

Did you know?
All Freelander wheel and tyre combinations have nominally the same rolling radius to enable them to be interchanged without affecting factors such as overall gearing or speedometer accuracy

The Car - Luggage

FREELANDER'S luggage capacity with the rear bench seat upright is 546 litres, increasing to 1319 litres when the 60/40 split-fold rear seat is employed. The folding operation can be executed from the cargo area or the rear seat; either way it is a simple task - no headrest removal is required and the seat base also folds forward to create a flat floor and a huge barrier between the cargo compartment and the front cockpit. The spare wheel is located on the barn door-type tailgate, while the rear glass window can be lowered. Luggage tie-downs and a lockable storage box are also provided.


The Car - What's changed

THE most obvious change in the 2001-model Freelander facelift is the switch from four-cylinder petrol engine power to V6, and the introduction of a new turbo-diesel engine. But there are many others improvements. The engine has forced improvements in the transmission (now auto only with the V6), front-end structural design, and steering, braking and suspension systems. Other improvements centre on the air-conditioning system, standard dual front airbag deployment, switchgear placement and the number of standard luxury items on the ES spec. More specifically, the new V6 engine brings with it a new five-speed Steptronic semi-automatic transmission, the braking system has been substantially upgraded, the front-end has been redesigned and restyled to accommodate the new V6 engine, and the standard driver's airbag capacity was increased from 45 to 60 litres with the front passenger airbag increasing from 120 to 150 litres.

The Car - Stand out features


THE mismatch between vehicle and engine has now been addressed with the replacement of the 1.8-litre four-cylinder petrol engine with a 2.5-litre V6. It makes a good pairing with the standard five-speed automatic transmission, which has Steptronic sequential manual shift operation to allow the driver to take control of shift points whenever he or she desires. Safety and security features remain high, along with creature comforts rarely seen in this class.

The Car - Climate control

THE Freelander V6 has an uprated ventilation and (standard) air-conditioning system, with an increased intake area for the plenum and a pollen filter fitted standard. A larger fan is employed, and the airflow available through the system has increased by at least 15 per cent in all settings. The floor level ducting to the rear compartment has also been improved. "Privacy" glass for the rear side and tailgate windows also serve to reduce solar heating of the cabin.

The Car - Sound system

FREELANDER now features an upgraded AM/FM radio-cassette system with six speakers (including two tweeters) and a compact disc player standard on all models across the range. The luxury ES specification has a six-disc CD autochanger mounted under the front passenger seat and operated from the radio head unit.


The Car - Security


ADDITIONAL security was provided with the latest upgrade in the form of a more sophisticated engine immobiliser, which is now separate from the locking and (standard) alarm setting system. A remote keypad or the key itself can be used to operate the various options of locking, deadlocking and alarm setting. The immobiliser inhibits both the starter and fuel injection and is controlled by a combination of password and rolling-code communications between a transponder in the key and an antenna ring around the ignition key slot.

We like: Engine performance, general refinement, ergonomics, ABS brakes
We don't like: Price, cargo space, quality glitches


Our Opinion

By TERRY MARTIN 14/02/2001

WITH Freelander sales steadily declining in recent years, Land Rover has revamped and repositioned its small four-wheel drive to stand - in price at least - head and shoulders above the intensifying scrimmage underneath.


But the Brits have brought us the Freelander many have longed for: a soft-roader with a petrol engine that can now shift its considerable bulk without straining under the weight of it all. The previous MGF 1.8-litre engine has been dumped in favour of a Rover 75 2.5-litre V6 mated to a new five-speed automatic with Steptronic sequential manual shift.

There's a flood of additional equipment to justify the price hike and a sizeable mechanical upgrade that, if nothing else, helps remove some of our lingering doubts about the quality of manufacture - at least it did, until a rubber seal peeled off at the base of the front windscreen and a rattle developed in the front passenger's door.

All petrol Freelanders now offer as standard the V6 and auto, plus power steering, cruise control, driver's seat lumbar adjustment, remote locking, CD stereo, electric windows (including the rear), traction control, twin airbags, ABS brakes and the noisiest air-conditioning system you're ever likely to encounter.

The ultra-expensive, top-spec ES brings an uprated stereo with a six-CD changer mounted under the front passenger seat, leather upholstery, heated front pews, illuminated vanity mirrors and 16-inch alloy wheels.

While the leather front seats are comfortable, the high seating position does not adjust for height and taller drivers will find their vision curtailed by the headlining. The small amount of fore/aft travel on the front seats doesn't help here, either.

Not unlike the Discovery, a narrow door opening is provided for rear passenger entry/egress, although once inside adults will find the graduated roof provides excellent headroom and the front seats allow lots of room for big PEOPLE.

Like most offerings in this segment, fitting three across the rear is asking for trouble but the seats themselves are comfortable and equipped with a headrest and three-point seatbelt at each position.



Split 60/40, the rear bench can also fold and tumble neatly to liberate cargo space and provide a huge barrier behind the front seats. Freelander needs such versatility because its luggage area is tiny; distance from tailgate to seatback (when upright) is just 685mm.

Developing 130kW at 6500rpm and 247Nm at 4000rpm, the V6 is smooth and refined and does a resolute job shifting the 1597kg unladen mass.

Yet for all the engine's willingness, and the transmission's adeptness, Freelander is still not particularly quick and asks to be worked hard if the benefits are to be fully realised. Fuel economy suffers in the process, and the asking for premium unleaded is a constant source of pain at every fuel stop.

More important for some will be the knowledge that tackling steep inclines need not now require going at the grade with a banzai approach - or going home. There's plenty of low-down grunt to take things easy.

Freelander is still not as capable off-road as, say, the Suzuki Grand Vitara - the latter's dual-range transfer case (far superior to hill descent control), ladder frame chassis, suspension design, better ground clearance and the like make sure of that - but it remains more competent off the beaten track than others of its ilk. And far better on the road than the likes of Vitara.


(Above: Electronics of Freelander...)
Revisions to the all-independent suspension now helps provide a supple, comfortable and controlled ride, while the ES clings to dirt and tar alike extremely well thanks in part to the 16-inch wheel/tyre combination and full-time four-wheel drive.

Steering kickback is the primary source of annoyance while driving on the bitumen and a precursor to a fair amount of rattle through the steering rack over dirt-road corrugations.

Dust sealing is excellent, though, as is the general level of refinement and performance of the ABS brakes on all surfaces.

No question, the Freelander V6 is a big improvement. But at this price, it should be outstanding.


Mechanical - Plan views

FREELANDER employs a transversely mounted V6 driving all four wheels.

Mechanical - Engine


FREELANDER'S 1.8-litre four-cylinder petrol engine has been replaced by a 2.5-litre V6 mated exclusively to a five-speed automatic transmission. The V6 is an all-alloy 24-valve quad-cam unit developing 130kW at 6500rpm and 240Nm at 4000rpm. It uses premium unleaded, has a fuel tank capacity of 59 litres and is claimed to reach 100km/h from standstill in 11.1 seconds. Official fuel consumption figures point to 11.0L/100km (city), 6.8L/100km (highway).
Did you know?
The former 1.8-litre four-cylinder engine used in Freelander was derived from the MG-F. The current 2.5-litre V6 originated from the Rover 75

Mechanical - Suspension

THE Freelander uses an all-independent suspension system, with a MacPherson strut at each wheel. At the front, each lower control arm is in the form of a virtual wishbone, while at the rear each side has two lower links forming a trapezoidal wishbone, backed up by a long trailing link. An anti-roll bar is also provided at the front to keep the vehicle as flat as possible when cornering. The suspension struts were increased in diameter and given recalibrated damping curves with the latest upgrade, while the suspension geometry and bushing were further refined.

Mechanical - Transmission


THE sole transmission available on petrol Freelanders is a five-speed automatic transmission with Steptronic sequential semi-manual shift operation. The transmission features a torque converter and gear ratios designed to suit the Freelander's requirements both on and off the road. It also has adaptive programming that enables it to alter shift patterns according to the driver's accelerator use and the prevailing terrain.

Did you know?

The "Steptronic" automatic transmission is a name you might recognise in relation to BMW. That's because the German manufacturer previously owned Land Rover and provided much engineering input into the current Discovery and Freelander models in particular, before passing ownership on to Ford

Mechanical - Brakes

LAND ROVER engineers upgraded the entire braking system for Freelander V6, with the ventilated front discs now larger at 277mm (diameter) x 21mm (thick) and larger front disc callipers fitted. The 254mm rear drum brakes have wider friction faces - up from 38mm to 44mm. A new dual-mode operating mechanism within the drums is designed to give the handbrake greater holding power. Anti-lock brakes with Electronic Brake Distribution (EBD) are also fitted standard.

Did you know?

Electronic Brake Distribution (EBD) was first fitted to the new Land Rover Discovery in 1999. Using the ABS wheel sensors to monitor the front to rear balance of braking effort, it allows the braking system to provide maximum retardation - with stability - at both ends

Mechanical - Steering


FREELANDER uses a power-assisted rack-and-pinion steering system, which was upgraded to coincide with the introduction of the V6 petrol engine. A higher-pressure pump and new valve settings for the steering rack headline the changes. Land Rover claims the result is improved stability, tautness and steering accuracy. A total of 3.2 turns are required from lock to lock and the turning circle is 11.6 metres.

Safety

WHILE chassis and braking improvements highlight the active safety improvements on the Freelander V6, a major passive safety program was also undertaken. The larger, heavier engine meant the front-end structure needed extensive revision to perform better in a crash. Great use of high-strength steel was used, while the standard driver and front passenger airbags have increased in capacity. Traction control and anti-lock brakes with EBD are standard. All seats have a head restraint and lap-sash belt.

Data/SPECIFICATIONS:


ENGINE:
• 2.497-litre DOHC 24-valve front-mounted transverse V6
• Power: 130kW @ 6500rpm
• Torque: 240Nm @ 4000rpm
• Compression ratio: 10.5:1
• Bore x stroke: 80.0 x 82.8mm

TRANSMISSION: • Five-speed Steptronic semi-automatic

SUSPENSION: • Front: independent by MacPherson struts, lower wishbone, coil springs, anti-roll bar
• Rear: independent by Chapman struts, coil springs, anti-roll bar

STEERING: • Power-assisted rack-and-pinion
• Turning circle: 11.6 metres
• Turns lock to lock: 3.2

BRAKES:
"LAND ROVER engineers upgraded the entire braking system for Freelander V6, with the ventilated front discs now larger at 277mm (diameter) x 21mm (thick) and larger front disc callipers fitted. The 254mm rear drum brakes have wider friction faces - up from 38mm to 44mm. A new dual-mode operating mechanism within the drums is designed to give the handbrake greater holding power. Anti-lock brakes with Electronic Brake Distribution (EBD) are also fitted standard."

DIMENSIONS: • Length: 4447mm
• Width: 1809mm
• Height: 1828mm
• Wheelbase: 2557mm
• Front track: 1534mm
• Rear track: 1545mm
• Kerb weight: 1597kg

PERFORMANCE (Auto):
Top speed: 200km/h
0-100km/h: 10.1 secs

FUEL CONSUMPTION:
Poor fuel economy. 2500cc needs 18 liters/100 km in town. On the freeway it needs 12 liters/100 km.

STANDARD EQUIPMENT:

• Full-time four-wheel drive
• Hill descent control
• Air-conditioning
• Power steering
• Cruise control
• Driver's seat lumbar adjustment
• Remote central locking
• Six-CD sound system
• Electric windows
• Traction control
• Twin airbags
• ABS brakes with EBD
• Leather upholstery
• Heated front seats
• Illuminated vanity mirrors
• 16-inch alloy wheels

END OF REVIEW 1. REVIEW 2: (3)
http://www.parkers.co.uk/cars/reviews/land-rover/
freelander-station-wagon-1998.aspx?page=1

AVERAGED Rating: 3/5 out of 5 stars.


Here's some of the "Selected" Owner's review (4) in Carsurvey.org website.

DELETED.  Due to Copyright protected by carsurvey.org.

REFERENCES:
(1) http://www.motortrader.com.my/NUS/articles/0/article_166/page_m.asp

(2) http://www.goauto.com.au/mellor/mellor.nsf/story2/
F84A581B19D1950ACA256A86001FE130

(3) http://www.parkers.co.uk/cars/reviews/land-rover/
freelander-station-wagon-1998.aspx?page=1

(4) www.carsurvey.org