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Friday, May 30, 2008

Farewell report: Proton MPi Iswara 1.5i(A)

My Proton MPI Iswara 1.5i(A) UK-spec 1995/95. It's different from LOCAL Iswara. It came with original 4G15 Injection engine, Original Lancer Fiore dashboard (will explain why later), Lancer Fuel tank, fuel pump, fuel cap (Hard to find the fuel pump (back in 2001), gotta find Lancer), Nippondenso air-cond (Not Proton air), Slightly thicker body shell (more solid) etc...

Q:Why the title "Farewell report"?
A: It's because I'm selling off this car. RM7800 Ono only. CASH BUYER ONLY! If cash, price can negotiate further. What's need to be done, just some touch up on the paint work and rear foglights (mine's stolen early this year).

I'm the 2nd owner of this car having owned the car since 2000. I bought the car for RM32,000 on March 2000 with 114,000km on the clock. Over the past 8 years, I clocked 104,000km (Averaged 13000km per year). Total mileage now: 218,000km.

Without further ado, let’s proceed to my brief write up on this car.


The interior’s TOUGH. The seats are Hardy PU & cloth covered coconut husk. The dashboard’s taken from Mitsubishi Lancer Fiore. Why? It’s because back in 1989, the Saga failed the UK Basic crash test as the dashboard collapsed and crushed the legs of the driver. To pass the test, Proton used original Lancer Fiore dashboard and the car finally passed the basic crash test. Words can’t describe the interior, I will now present you the photos.


The engine is tried and tested 4G15 “Megavalve” 12 valve engine but with added twist. It came originally with Multi-point Fuel Injection engine with “ECI-MULTI” embossed on the ECU (see picture). The output is 67Kw JIS (91hp) @6000rpm, torque is 126Nm@3500rpm. Generally, it’s quite reliable, except my car’s Throttle body was changed 3 times as it failed to function. It’s not cheap AND RARE at RM800-900 for a new part.
The engine, believe it or not is smooth and quiet (till 130km/h). I swore by it. Don’t believe, call/E-mail me to test drive my car. Apart from the Throttle body, it requires little maintenance and is a Workhorse. As it’s mated with 3 speed automatic with high gearing, the performance’s weak (see “performance” later) and the Noise will crept into the engine from 130 km/h onwards.

Ride and handling:

The car came with Front MacPherson struts, I-arms, antiroll bar coil springs and dampers. The rear suspension’s outdated and inflexible U-shaped trailing arms, coil springs and dampers.

My Iswara started off (1st year owning the car) with soft suspension (nosedived when braked hard), severe bodyroll and understeered easily (80km/h). The “Trailing arms” rear suspension makes things worse. How I solve this problem?

Firstly, I changed all the Shock absorbers to Monroe® Sensatracs. Next, I installed HOTBITS Lower Suspension Tie-Bar. This followed by Anti-roll bar PU Bushings. Finally, I upgraded the rims & tyres to 14” and added “Spacer” to the rear wheels. The end result? SUPERB handling (but RIDE a bit HARD) and now tolerates understeer up to 120km/h. Little bodyroll, No more nose-diving.

The Iswara out-cornered many cars such as TOYOTA VIOS, Altis, Camry 2.4, Honda City IDSI, Toyota Hilux, Perodua Myvi in Tropicana to Damansara Indah road (that twisty corner rulez). It also can keep up with Proton Waja (side by side or 1 car length behind until Casa Indah traffic light), Honda Civic EK VTEC (CKD stock), Perodua Kelisa, Toyota Estima, and Mercedes E230. This regularly occurred until 3 weeks ago, I gave up my leaking Monroe Sensatracs & installed Kayaba Shocks (front Oil, rear gas) which trade-off the handling with better RIDE.

The brakes, though rear’s drum is pretty good especially the front when fitted with good brake pads such as Bendix Metalking. Of course it’ll lock at hard hard braking as it does not have ABS.


The car being a 3 Speed Auto, was underpowered. 0-100km/h around 13.6 seconds though 0-70km/h (traffic light start) was quite fast at 6.4 seconds – a bit torquey (126Nm of torque @ 3500rpm). Top speed: 165km/h @ 5300rpm (Redline 6000rpm). Anything above 130km/h = NOISY and slightly unstable.

Fuel economy:

The fuel consumption’s CRAP. Full tank’s (45 litres) only good for 290km town driving. 380km Highway driving. This started in 2001, few months after I changed the fuel pump. My fuel consumption got worse. Is it because it’s taken from Late 80s Lancer Fiore (ie. Old)? To Next owner: If you want better fuel consumption, you have 2 options, Either changed the Fuel Pump or Convert to NGV.

Wheels and tyres:

The Iswara came with 175/70R13 and fitted with 5 spoke 13” JRD Rims. The PCD is 114.3 four holes, 5Jx13”. I used the stock tyres and rims for 2 years. In 2002, I upgraded it to 185/60R14 with 14” Japanese alloy rims (KOSEI Laufer).

Transmission: 3 speed automatic gearbox
1st: 2.846
2nd: 1.581
3rd: 1.000
Rev: 2.176
Final drive: 3.600

Dimension and weights:

Length: 4260mm
Width: 1630mm
Height: 1360mm
Wheelbase: 2380mm
Weight: 895kg
Boot space: 370litres
Turning circle: 9.4m

Lastly, to cap it off, here’s the Major parts I changed:


- Kenwood RDS Cassette player + CD-Changer (RM1300 - June 2000)
- K&N Air filter (RM460 - Speedworks) (July 2000)
- 4 new tyres (Michelin) 175/70R13 (RM600 - ripped off) (March 2000)
- Timing belt, fan belt, spark plug, front brake pad. (RM -NA-) => July 2000
- tinting (SunGard and RIKEN (Front windscreen) - RM560 (August 2000)
- MONROE Sensatracs (Front and back) - RM510 + workmanship) - Sept 2000)
- Fuel Pump (Used Lancer) - RM340, Sept 2000
- Rockford Amp, RCA Cable (RM300) - Sept 2000
- Taiwan Amp 600W, Mohawk Front speakers + tweeters, RCA Cable (RM800) - Aug 2000

- 2 oil change (service)
- Changed bumper, knock right mudgard (hit by motorcycle)
- New Battery (NS70)

- HOTBITS Lower suspension Tie bar (RM200)
- PU Anti-roll bar Bushings by CARMANIA (RM120) - April 2001
- Rear wheel bearing
- Power window relay (RM120)
- Bendix Metalking brake pad
- 2x oil change
- Enforcer Security system. (After my car was broken into & money, roadtax stolen)
- Changed the Throttle body (RM800)
- Changed Engine Mounting (1 set, SET TULEN)


- 14" Rims (used KOSEI Laufer RM380) and tyres (RM660)
- New Battery NS70 Maintenence free
- 1x oil change – Changed spark plugs
- Lowered the car with OMP Springs.
- Changed front bumper – soft brushed at the side with another car, bumper dropped.

- Fixed the Roof (Rust blisters) - Anti-rust, respray)
- Front tyres (14" Goodyear Ducaro GA)
- Monroe Sensatrac (Rear) + Camber
- 2x oil change
- Removed the OMP Springs (Not comfortable, too hard)

- Monroe Sensatrac (Front)
- Radiator Fan Motor and switch
- 2x oil change (Changed spark plugs)
- Changed the throttle body (RM850)
- Changed Timing belt (184,600km)

- Goodyear Ducaro GA tyres 14" 2x)
- Bendix Metalking Brake pad
- Timing belt
- New Battery (NS70)
- Rear wheel bearing
- Radiator fan switch, top & lower pipe
- 2x oil change
- Camber

- Monroe Sensatrac (front) (197,000km)
- NEW Maintenance free battery (NS70)
- 2x oil change, changed spark plugs
- New Front Bumper (Hit kerb)
- Changed the Throttle body (RM900)
- Monroe Sensatrac (rear)

- New tyres (Dunlop 185/60R14) 2x + Camber
- 2x oil change
- Changed Trestor fr Brake pads, brake hose, changed whole rear brake shoes.

- New absorbers (Kayaba – Front Oil, rear Gas), driveshafts, Bushings
- Removed Kenwood RDS Headunit + CD Changer, 2 amp, RCA Cable, install Sony Cassette Headunit
- Rear foglights stolen (Cannot find replacement in Accessories shop) AND Looking for Original Air filter set to replace the K&N. The car will be even SMOOTHER and QUIETER with original air filter (Cannot find replacements in Chop shops).

THAT”S ALL FOLKS. Thanks for having the patience to read it.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

How to test drive a car properly

Did you noticed that I rarely made a FULL REVIEW by myself? (I created only 2 Original car review and both happened to be FORD). Why is it so?
A: Because I don't have a car to test drive properly. It takes at least 3 days to test a car properly. Three days to gauge the fuel consumption, 1/2 day to take the pictures, 8 hours to test the ride and handling (to highway AND twisty roads), 2 hours to test the acceleration (averaged 3-5 runs). Two hours to and fro to test the top speed... AND the lists goes on.

To backup my statement, here's an article from "The times newspaper online, UK" by Jason Dawe on 21 May 2008 (Yesterday). Article sourced from:


How to test drive a car properly

By Jason Dawe

"Visit most furniture stores today and within minutes you’ll find yourself actively encouraged to kick off your shoes, choose a sofa, chair or bed and while away the next half hour "getting used to it".

Short of offering you a newspaper or complimentary drinks and nibbles, it seems that some retailers are now keen to ensure you properly assess their products before shelling out a sizeable chunk of cash for something you will use on a daily basis. My brother swears that the last time he went to look at beds the assistant told him to try each potential purchase for a minimum of 15 minutes. It had been a long day and by the third mattress he was fast asleep, snoring like a Labrador and muttering about ‘just 5 more minutes’ when the manager tried to shake him awake, watched by a bemused crowd of Sunday morning shoppers.

So why is it when we look at cars we frequently end up spending just minutes behind the wheel before deciding if it’s the car for us. For something that is probably the biggest purchase after a house most of us will ever make, we approach the car selection business in a very haphazard manner.

How can you possibly get a proper feel for a new car when you find yourself driving around the local industrial estate with an over anxious salesman sat beside you bellowing into his mobile and indicating the next turn back to the garage? How do you know how it performs on a long run, or if the seats are still comfortable after 3 or 4 hours behind the wheel? Will the aircon lead to arguments, and do the passengers find the ride quality nausea inducing?

Granted, a lot of manufacturer’s now offer 24 and 48 hour test drives, but is this enough? How can we get a real feel for our next car before buying it?

Rental offers a very simple solution, with a lot of the main fleets offering a huge choice of vehicles. The chances are that if you have your eye on a car, your local rental agency will be able to get it for you. And hire doesn’t have to be expensive – ignore the published tariffs and do some bargaining – you might be surprised at the deals with which you could end up. For the sake of spending just a couple of hundred pounds for a week’s rental, you could save yourself thousands if you find the car isn’t for you.

For example: Dave has a large family and is regularly upgrading his car. He found his first couple of MPVs were not quite what he wanted after only a few weeks. He’d test driven both of them, but on both occasions he had no inkling as to what would annoy him about the vehicles.

The first vehicle was found to have an uncomfortable driving position and seat, which only came to light after a long day behind the wheel. The second suffered from a poor power band in the lower gears that made driving difficult in towns. Now doubtless, these are personal choices, and both MPVs are owned and loved by thousands, but Dave and his family just couldn’t get to grips with them. He decided to upgrade, and narrowed his choice down to two. He then rented them for 5 days, both when he knew he would be experiencing as many different driving conditions as possible. Hot weather, traffic jams, rural motoring, motorway, windy roads, picnics, shopping. He threw everything he could at them and one overwhelmingly stood out as the winner.

Avis confirm that rental experiences influence new car buying decisions. On handing back the rental car 44% of UK renters said they were slightly or much more likely to add the model to their next new car shopping list. Peugeot used rental in 2007 to find out more about what drivers thought of their new 207, supplying Avis with 300 cars across the UK, with drivers being encouraged to fill in a questionnaire about their experience.

“As a manufacturer, the most important reaction for us is the one we get from the public,” Peugeot commented. “With an average of 105 potential drivers experiencing each of the Avis Peugeots over a six month period, thousands of drivers got behind the wheel of the 207 for the first time.”

“For years supplying cars to the rental industry has had a negative connotation and while it was always thought there were benefits to car makers of getting their product in front of new drivers, no one could prove it,” explained Paul Hainsworth, Avis Fleet Director. “…We understand manufacturers have to control rental volumes more carefully, but this proves they could lose out on future sales, many to drivers who have never experienced their brand, if they do not keep up a presence in the rental arena,”

“I’m convinced that through renting I’ve actually saved money in the long term”, Dave told me. “Test drives can be ok but I needed to drive the car in ‘real life’, with the family, on holiday, shopping, wherever, to see if it was the one for us. A week should give you a real feel for whatever you’ve chosen, and give you the chance to find out all its quirks. I lost money on my other two cars so I don’t begrudge the cost of the rental, and in fact I did get a very good deal.”

As manufacturers take stock of their exposure to rental volumes, the Avis findings reinforce that it is still a very powerful marketing tool for car makers."


My (Jefflim's) comments: Thanks to this article, I found a source of inspiration in testing used cars and write a review FULLY by myself. By renting them and used for at least 3 days. BUT and a BIG BUT, in Malaysia, there's little choices, affordable fleets are either ANY Proton, Any INOKOM (read Hyundai), TOyota Vios, Toyota Avanza, or ANY Perodua. Other choices you got to pay $$$.

Well, I decided I won't change my writing style at the moment.
I will continue to write a couple of paragraph by myself, then slot in a (or TWO) "WELL WRITTEN" review in English. Next, I'll include the Specification of the review car. Subsequently, I'll write some comments on its resale value in Malaysia based on my research. Lastly, to top it off, OWNER's REVIEW and OPINIONS. As usual, I will acknowledged all the respective writer's work to avoid being sued for Plagiarism.

Any feedbacks by readers' of this blog are welcome. I'm ready to accept criticisms and make necessary changes (eg. writing styles) to my blog. Lastly, Thanks for visiting and reading my blog!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Choose your vehicles No. plate carefully...

Yes, number plate matter in lots of circumstances. Choose your Number plate wisely and sensibly. Why? Due to resale value purposes. I got 7 case studies here to back up my statements.

Case 1: My sister's looking at a Pristine condition Fiat Punto 1996 (Back in 2003). After testing drive and scrutinizing the car, she loved it. BUT MY DAD refused to buy the car? Why? The problem lies in the Number Plate. Wxx 411. Means Die everyday. Apparently, the previous owner's an Indian which didn't "pantang" (superstitious) this number.

Case 2: My dad used to own a Honda Legend, the No. plate's "3904" (Born long sure die). Due to the pristine condition, 1 owner, full spec and low low mileage, he forgave the no plate and bought the car (back in 1997).

Case 3: A Malay girl became a laughing stock after taking delivery of her new car.
Wxx 4967. Does anyone knows what this No. plate means? It means Die (or Small) Playing Sex)

Case 4: This is the most recent, 3 days ago in fact, My dad's looking at this PERFECT Condition, about 30,000km, 1 owner, Like New Silver 2005/06 Honda Accord 2.4IVTEC. Priced very competitive at RM109,000. Market value RM116,000. What stopped him from buying this car was the "New no plate" WR? 1334. It means "Forever live die". Asked whether can interchange no plate, the salesman said RM1,800. Again, like the "411" incident earlier, he walked away.

Case 5: A Datuk's selling of his Mercedes at about RM15,000 above market value. Why? It's because he sold off his car with the auspicious no plate. Wx 88.

Case 6: My Uncle always escaped Police Roadblocks. The Police officers even salute him. Why? Due to his Black Mercedes with VIP No Plate Pxx 9.

Case 7: My Cousin just took delivery of his new car. His mum picked this number for his new car. I'm not sure whether he becomes a laughing stock or not, haven't check with him. But the No. plate's sure cool and funny at the same time (in my opinion). Pxx 1369. It means Forever "69".

Based on the 7 cases, it is evident that choosing the right number plate's important. Choose wisely. Don't be stingy and pay RM50. I tell you, 9/10 you will end up getting a "bad" number as all the good number already taken up. Just pay AT LEAST RM210 to pick a nice no from current running no (Eg. 1001 to 1999), OR RM350 to jump from the running no if you don't want to tender the number. No regrets...

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Launch Report: Perodua Nautica...

Before I write anything, I'd like to say that I checked out the Perodua Nautica yesterday, the 1st day launching. I learned that it was a CBU from Japan with a Shocking Price tag. Anyway, before I proceed further, feast your eyes on these Perodua Nautica Photos.

Only the steering wheel was taken from Perodua MyVI, the rest of the dashboard's from Japan.

The front were a slightly rounded compared to Toyota Rush.

The rear seats can be split-folded 60:40.

Decent Rear legroom. Though I found the legroom a bit inadequate (I'm only 5 feet 9).

The beautiful yet compact engine bay. MOST Parts have Japanese Characters. Even the battery was "PANASONIC" brand. Unheard of.

The Nautica was powered by the same engine as Toyota Rush 1.5L 3SZ-VE DVVT (VVTI). 4 speed Automatic only. Unlike the Rush which were Long wheelbase 2WD and 7 seater, the Nautica were original wheelbase (100mm shorter) and FULL TIME 4WD. The saleslady proudly said that the Nautica's CBU from Japan. Only the steering (taken from MyVi) and bumpers were Peroduas. Only 2 colours were available, Met Black and Met Grey.

BUT and a BIG BUT, the price's a JOKE. RM89,000 for Automatic Nautica. Add additional RM3,000, you can get its elder brother, Toyota Rush . Also, a New Vios 1.5S's RM2,000 cheaper. So as the New City 1.5 VTEC, RM4,000 cheaper. No wonder Perodua Boss targeted a modest 200 units sales monthly. A far cry, compared to MyVi's 6,000 units monthly sales.

Monday, May 05, 2008

FULL REVIEW: Rover 623GSI by…

By my ALL TIME Favourite Malaysian Car Magazine, “Highway Malaysia”. I was a BIG FAN of Highway Malaysia. Sadly, the magazine became a victim of 1998 recession, its last issue was published in October 1998. More on Highway Malaysia in later posts. This article was published in June 1995 issue (I was then a 15 years old) of Highway Malaysia. It’s unclear who wrote this article but from the editorial page, it’s either “Uncle Chips Yap” (Managing Editor) or Mr. Leeps P.S.Lee (Editor).

The reason I brought up this article was because it’s very well written. I loved this Rover 623GSI and it’s very rare. I wished to personally test it and write an original article but I can’t as the car’s VERY RARE in Malaysia. So I did the next best thing, share one of the best review SPECIFICALLY for Rover 623GSI to all of you. I truly enjoyed the article.

Before I present the article I’m here to say that the I’m interested to purchase this CLASSY car but market value of this car’s unknown as it’s so RARE. Few weeks ago, an owner advertised a 1995 unit for RM23,800 but I was too late, on the 2nd day, I called and… it was sold  . As usual, in my blog, I’ve dished up some owner’s review at the end of this article.

Here’s the article, enjoy!:

“COVER FEATURE: ROVER 623GSI. Not the Rover your father know…”

"The Rover 623GSI, the subject of this issue’s cover feature, is one of the latest model in Rover’s lineup. It’s an excellent example of best of both worlds – the reliable, user-friendly and motorsports-proven engineering of Honda and the snooty, prim-and-proper snobbery that reflects the pedigree of British craftsmanship and quality. The effects is such that although the car has some Japanese genes, it has been masterly crafted to feel very British. Don’t look for the “Accord in Rover” as the 623GSi is based on European Accord, built in the UK which has different styling.


The 623GSI is one of the two 600 series imported by EOI (Edaran Oto Indah), Rover’s distributor in Malaysia (shutdown in 1998), the other being the 2.0L 620SLI.

Well designed cockpit area as seen through the sunroof.

As the flagship of its series, it comes with nothing less than Connelly leather for upholstery and panellings and genuine burr walnut trims (if a walnut panel is badly defaced or damaged, you have to change the entire set and not just the affected panel at a very handsome price, of course).

The much desired grains of the polished walnut wood are nicely matched to add the touch of British class inside the car. It’s polished dark brown shade complements the light gray leather upholstery.

The other power luxuries are for opening the windows (centrally located on the centre console), electronically adjustable door mirrors and opening, closing or tilting open the sunroof. Other niceties on the leather bound 4-spoke steering wheel include cruise control switches well within thumb’s reach with activation switch on the dashboard.


Being British also means the turn indicators and headlight stalk is on the left and the wiper is on the right. We had to make a conscious effort to remember this setup as all our testers drive Japanese or Malaysian cars, but we expect that an owner would get used to it.

In the area of safety, there are 2 front airbags in the 623GSI.The instrument panel could be better organized. It has lots of information to offer, it looks rather cluttered with too many things in one place. The host of information could be offered without the over-crowded impression with a better layout.

An appreciated feature would be instrument panels incorporates a gear position indicators between the metres, with colour codes to separate driving gears (green) and others (red) such as Reverse and Park) something which we think all automatics should have for safety reasons.


There is another area where the Rover stands out distinctly on its own and this is exterior design. The basic outline is so masterly redesigned that the British character comes out clearly. This impression is very much enhanced by the strong influence of the oblong chrome grille with vertical fins and the distinct Viking shop logo. It’s hard to imagine a Japanese car having such a frontal appearance.

The good looks are boosted by the nicely rounded body with its smoothly flowing lines. In case you are looking for styling cues from the current Honda Accord in the 623GSI, don’t bother, the rover was based on European Accord (built in the UK) which has a different styling.

The Rover meets all safety requirements including current European safety standards and the offset barrier impact performance proposed in the EU. Most of the Body panels are galvanized to protect against corrosion.

The colour coordinated bumpers are the energy-absorbing type, side impact bars are standard on all types and there’s an automatic fuel supply cut off device that is activated by impacts to prevent a risk of fire.


The engine is Honda supplied and fine tuned to Rover needs. It has a light aluminium DOHC 16valve cylinder head which allows better heat dissipation. Controlling fuel feed is an advanced electronic engine management system that provides responsive performance through its precise fuel metering and by injecting fuel only at the intake stroke of each cylinder. It’s obviously a Honda Module as the giveaway is the “PGM-FI (Programmed fuel injection) embossed on the intake plenum chamber which can be seen in Honda engines.

From the specifications, it appears to be a Honda 2.2 engine with a bigger bore 87mm to 85mm. The stroke is the same long travel 95mm. This has resulted in an increase in engine displacement from 2156cc to 2259cc. With a higher compression ratio of 9.8:1, the power delivery is high with 116kw (158hp) available at 5800rpm. Likewise, the torque is a generous 206Nm at peak revs of 4500rpm.

For the Malaysian market, only the 4 speed automatic variant is brought in. Going by the gear ratios, this appears to be a similar transmission unit to that in the Malaysian assembled Honda Accord 2.2EXI.


The smoothness in engine power was immediately felt and appreciated as we departed from EOI’s showroom in Bandar Sunway. The low-end torque was initially not as strong as we had expected it to be until we realized we were in default automatic shift mode which gives optimum shifting, rather than deferred shifting for more zip.

In default mode, the gearchanges are designed to tap the torque curve rather than to change down to a lower gear to optimize the power build-up. As the torque is more mid-range than low-end, the excitement of the engine becomes better as revs pick up. When switched to sports mode, there was an immediate feel of power which impressed more than the relaxed feel in default mode.

The mid-range torque was found to be strong, allowing quick build-up of speed as the power took over and spurred the car strongly to 200km/h and on to the top speed of 214km/h.

The tall gearing was unmistakable in the pretty relaxed engine speed cruising along 80km/h to 110km/h, between 2200rpm and 3000rpm. At slightly under 3500rpm, the 623GSI was already tearing along at 130km/h, so fuel savings are to be expected in long-distance runs. However, the engine speed at which the other gears changed up was lower (about 5500rpm). Rover claims a 0-96 (60mph) time of 9.5 secs and our time achieved on a new car was 9.99 seconds for 0-100km/h.

Unlike some of the cars we had tested earlier, the 2.3 litre engine showed itself ever-ready to unwind on demand, making it a real delight to drive the car.
Similarly, response to kickdowns was equally breathtaking. We clocked a very quick 5.17 secs from 50 to 80km/h on kickdowns. This is pretty close to sportscar performance and felt the 623GSI has a lot more punch than its sedan lines would lead one to expect.

The fuel consumption was better than class-average as we covered 210kms on ½ a thankful in a variety of driving conditions. As we said, the high gearing does bring down the revs down significantly enough to save on fuel consumption.


There was a distinct firmness in the Rover’s ride that added to the stable feel. It was appreciated at speeds above 160km/h as the 623GSI hugged the road. The sense of speed was also played down by the low wind noise at high speed. Two of our testers could not help but keep commenting how the Rover felt like a Honda.

Ride comfort was good, something we have come to expect from a 4-wheel independent double wishbone suspension system that are now a common feature under Hondas. However, the firmness of the Rover achieved probably with harder spring ratings, did come across rather unpleasantly over some bumpy terrain. But with a higher performance capability, the firmer springs are perhaps useful, even complementary, if there is some sacrifice in ride comfort.

The 623GSI also tracked well through corners with neutral tracking up to a fairly high limit before the tyres protested with squeals of understeer. The cornering speed could be pretty high and some drivers may be tempted into overdoing it through the car’s neutral feel. Body leans were also well controlled although the sensation inside the car suggested otherwise. This was probably due to the higher speeds in the passage through corners. That was how easily one could be encouraged to push the car.

The 4-wheel disc brakes (ventilated in front) were assuring with the assistance of ABS. There was a more immediate feel of the brake action than that found in Hondas which we found to have a softer feel.

The turning circle is a fairly big 11.2 metres so it was impossible to stay on the road in making U-turns on 2-laners. But this is not a demerit peculiar to the Rover as many other cars of its class and dimensions equally affected.


As expected, there’s a fairly roomy interior albeit with certain limitations. Tall people may find the rear a little cramped although most Asians of moderate build will find the elbow (and knee) room adequate to their comfort. Similarly, the headroom is not too bad if you are up to 182cm/6 feet. The seats are well padded, offering good support in right places. The rear seats are well padded, offering good support in right places. The rear backrests are split 60:40 and can be folded to enhance the luggage space in the boot, which is big enough to fit quite a lot of items.

For driver’s convenience, the power window has one-touch operation but only for the downward movement (for safety reasons). The factory-installed security system works in tandem with the central locking and immobilizes the engine in the event of break-in. However, if a door locking system is activated by remote control, then the car should be unlocked in the same way. If the driver accidentally open the doors with the key, the security system will automatically immobilize the engine.

To activate the system and start the engine, one has to use the special number code that comes with each car security system. This will indicate the number of times the door has to be opened and locked with the key in certain sequence. Just hope that the code isn’t too high as you may lose count opening and locking the door.

Our experience with the 623GSI, as a representative of today’s Rovers, was certainly a pleasant one. Unlike British cars of the 1960s and 1970s, today’s Rovers are light years more durable, reliable, efficient and undoubtedly on par with the best Japan can offer in each class. The plus point is the British character which is hard to imitate and which makes a Rover a special type of car to own."



Front engined, FWD 4 cylinder in line 2259cc DOHC 16valve, Electronic multipoint Programmed Fuel Injection (PGM-FI)

Bore/stroke: 87/95mm
Compression ratio: 9.8:1
Light alloy cylinder head and cylinder block

Max power: 116kw @ 5800rpm (158bhp@5800rpm)
Max torque: 206Nm@4500rpm
Weight/power ratio: 11.8kgs/kw
Kw/litre: 51.3kw
Catalytic converter: YES


Gearbox: 4 speed automatic with dual driving modes
1st: 2.710
2nd: 1.370
3rd: 1.030
4th: 0.730
Rev: 2.050
Final ratio: 4.290


Side impact bars: YES
Front suspension:
Independent, double wishbones, coil springs, telescopic dampers

Rear suspension:
Independent, double wishbones, coil springs, telescopic dampers

Steering sys: Rack and pinion, power assisted

Wheels and tyres: 6Jx15 alloy, 195/60R15

Front brakes: Vented discs ABS
Rear brakes: Discs ABS

Overall Length: 4650mm
Overall Width: 1950mm
Overall Height: 1380mm
Wheelbase: 2720mm
Front/rear track: 1480/1480mm
Kerb weight: 1380kgs
FUEL Tank Capacity: 65L
Turning circle: 11.2 m

Top speed: 214km/h
0-100km/h (0-62mph): 9.99 secs
50-80km/h (overtaking): 5.2 secs
RPM @ 100km/h in OD: 2700rpm

TESTED MIXED: 9.2kms/litre (26mpg)

NB: Performance tests weree carried out at 728kms on a testcar supplied by Edaran Oto Indah Sdn.Bnd. Actual performance might vary depending on mileage clocked, engine tuning, atmospheric conditions etc. Bridgestone Potenza RE88 tyres were fitted on the testcar.

Retail price: RM187,000 (excluding insurance)
Insurance: RM5,088.20 (w/o NCB deduction)
Annual roadtax: RM602.20

Price includes: Air conditioner, central locking, 4 power windows, elec. Adj door mirrors, anti-theft system, Audio system with CD-Changer, Elec. Sunroof, ABS, 2 airbags, leather seats, cruise control.

NOTE: TODAY’S PRICE as estimated by Jeff Lim as at MAY 5 2008. 1994: RM16,000, 1995: RM19,000, 1996: RM27,000, 1997: RM33,000. Note the big price gap between 1995 and 1996, it's due to the car inability or slim chances of getting loan due to the age. Hence most are cash buyers. It's EXTREMELY HARD to find in the market. Last seen advertised was 2 weeks ago, a 1995 unit, owner asking RM23,800. It's a GREAT BARGAIN as it was priced at a whooping RM187,000 when new.

END OF SPECIFICATIONS. Without further ado, let’s proceed to OWNER’S REVIEW:


END OF A LONG REVIEW. Thank you for having the patience to read it.

PS. I hope this is not a plagiarism work. Because I already acknowledged the editor’s work and stated out the source clearly (Highway Malaysia, June 1995). Therefore, I’m confident I won’t be sued for plagiarism.

FULL REVIEW: Ford Escape / Maverick @ Mazda Tribute

In this blog, I present a FUll review of Ford Escape / Ford Maverick / Mazda tribute by GOAUTO Australia. I know, I know the review was meant to be done by me but I don't have a car to testdrive. In Malaysia, The Escape and Tribute in 2001, initially came with 138hp 2.0i Engine. It wasn't until 2003, the 4 cylinder 160hp 2.3L DURATEC engine. Few months later, a DURATEC 204hp and 266Nm or torque 3.0i V6 24v was launched.

As for the Mazda Tribute, it had a retatively short term in Malaysian market from 2001 to 2004. It's a 2.0L version. Then what is Ford Maverick?

Ford Maverick was a UK's Ford Escape which were in Production from 2001 to 2004.

I will cover the Malaysian Resale value of Ford Escape at the end of this blog.

Without further ado, let's proceed to "GOAUTO Australia's" article about Ford Escape.

Model release dates: February 2001 - May 2006


LATE on the scene in the soaring soft-roader segment, the five-door Escape is one of the few in class to strike a good balance between on-road and off-road ability. Ditto for ride and handling, a strong engine and automatic transmission pairing, and price versus equipment in XLT form. An uninspiring and slightly dysfunctional interior disappoints, but otherwise most ingredients are there to steal sales from the all-conquering Honda CR-V - and to grow the recreational 4WD market even further.

The Car

THE Escape breaks no new ground in terms of SUV styling. Indeed, its broad, muscular shape looks a lot like the Honda CR-V - which is probably the biggest compliment the vehicle could be paid. (If only the sales were as high.) Subtle styling cues differentiate the lower-grade XLS from XLT. The latter has front foglights embedded into the front bumper, and surrounds the black mesh grille with chrome. It also features alloy wheels and a bigger wheel/tyre combination. Extensive use of sound deadening mats was undertaken to isolate road and powertrain noise.
Did you know?
The Mazda Tribute and Ford Escape are built on a common monocoque platform and, on the outside, share only the roof panel and front windshield

The Car - Seat Plan

FORD claims the Escape interior package is the most spacious in the compact all-terrain wagon segment. Vehicle entry is assisted by handgrips and a relatively low doorsill height. Five seats are provided, four with headrests and three-point seatbelts. An airbag is provided for the driver and front passenger. Cup holders? Four. Up front, headroom measures 1026mm, legroom 1057mm, shoulder room 1430mm and hiproom 1356mm; in the rear, headroom drops to 997mm, legroom to 938mm, shoulder room to 1420mm and hiproom to 1244mm. "Room" is, of course, relative depending on the number of passengers and their size.

The Car - Seats

EACH seat uses fabric upholstery and is designed to ensure long-journey comfort, to enable easy ingress/egress and to provide a natural seating posture, even for a smaller female occupant. The front bucket seats were tailored using anthropometric data to fit smaller drivers while still comfortably accommodating larger adults. The front seat design also minimises fatigue by optimising the distribution of pressure applied to the user's back and buttocks. Only XLT drivers gain the benefit of seat base angle and lumbar adjustment. Two-notch, height adjustable head restraints are provided for all outboard occupants. Each front seat offers 240mm of slide adjustment to enable a comfortable position by users with the most common heights and builds.

The Car - Dash

THE major controls are contained within a large, sweeping hood that emerges from the top of the dash on the far side of the centre fascia and extends across to the right-hand front pillar. The instrument dials contained within are white-faced and deliberately large and legible, though increments are restricted to 10km/h. The usual gauges for fuel, temperature and tacho are provided, along with warning lights for brake system fail, parking brake, seatbelt and door/liftgate ajar. The instrument panel incorporates two layers of steel with a layer of elastomer insulation sandwiched between to reduce vibration.

The Car - Controls

FORD claims that placement of controls and switchgear was tested using blindfolded occupants - while the vehicle was parked (thank goodness for that!). Attached to the steering column are stalks for controlling the lights and (variable intermittent) wipers, and the automatic transmission gear selector. The column itself is tilt-adjustable. A driver's footrest, remote fuel door release and adjustable instrument panel illumination are also provided. Electric window switchgear is located on the door trim, with door lock/unlock switches on both front doors. XLT models get driver's seat base angle and lumbar adjustment, and cruise control (buttons for which are contained on the steering wheel).

The Car - Wheels/tyres

XLT models come standard with five-spoke 16x7 inch alloy wheels and 235/65 R16 tyres. XLS models make do with steel wheels and go down an inch in the wheel/tyre combination - 15x6 rims are used with 225/65 R15 rubber. The spare tyre for both models - a temporary-use 15-incher on 215/70 R15s - is stowed underneath the cargo floor and accessed from inside the vehicle.

The Car - Luggage

LUGGAGE capacity of the Escape extends from 935 litres to 1792 litres when the 60/40 split-fold rear seats are put into action. Both the seatback and seat cushion fold forward, enabling a large, flat surface at approximately the same height as the cargo-area floor. The seat cushions can also be removed to increase the maximum cargo length even further. The cargo area contains a 12-volt power outlet, luggage tie-down hooks, an open storage bin on each rear-quarter panel and, on XLT models only, a retractable security blind and cargo sack net. The tailgate lifts upward like a conventional hatch. Rear access can also be made via the flip-up rear window.

The Car - Stand out features

HERE at last before the 4WD boom is over, the Escape (and its Mazda Tribute clone) have turned up with a CR-V appearance and extremely good engine performance. Though not the most refined powerplant on offer, the 3.0-litre engine has spirit and strength on its side - and a V6 tag that'll win buyers in an instant. The Blue Oval badge helps here, too, though once out of the showroom the driver will find solid on-road manners and, something of a rarity in this class, good off-road ability.
Did you know?
Escape ground clearance is 200mm, the approach angle 28.5 degrees and the departure angle 22 degrees.

The Car - Climate control

TEMPERATURE controls are relegated to the lower portion of the dash fascia as Ford claims the audio is more often used and therefore deserves pride of place. They're still within easy reach of the driver. The manually operated climate system uses a trio of rotary dials. Air for front-seat occupants is delivered through louvres in the centre console; rear seat passengers get their air via floor-level vents. Air-conditioning is standard on both the XLS and XLT models.

The Car - Sound system

A FOUR-SPEAKER AM/FM stereo with a single in-dash CD player is standard on both Escape models, with XLT adding a cassette player and a six-disc CD changer that fits underneath the dash in the centre console. Unusually in the crossover from left-hand to right-hand drive, the (fixed) aerial is retained on the driver's side bonnet. The positioning can cause distraction, particularly when a shadow is cast across the dash.

The Car - Security

FORD'S "SecuriLock" engine immobiliser system is standard on both the XLS and XLT Escape models. The system uses a key containing an electronically encrypted transponder that is written to, and read, through a transceiver unit attached to the ignition key cylinder. Ford claims the vehicle cannot be started without the proper key. Remote central locking (one-stage unlock only) and tinted glass are also standard, while the XLT gains a security blind for the luggage compartment and a perimeter alarm.

We like (+ve): Engine/transmission pairing, on and off-road manners, equipment level
We don't like (-ve): Bland interior, column shifter, centre-rear seat safety omissions

Our Opinion
By TERRY MARTIN 19/04/2001

WHO would have thought that of all vehicle manufacturers, Ford and Holden would be among the last to enter the booming recreational four-wheel drive market?

While Holden is still without a contender, Ford, sharing its product with Mazda, has finally introduced the Escape - more than three years after Honda, with its CR-V, and Subaru, with the Forester, started bowling suburban Australians over.

What a run they've enjoyed. Honda had sold more than 34,000 CR-Vs here before the Escape touched the ground. And for its part, Subaru had waved off 25,000 Foresters.

Now everybody wants to get into the act.

Despite the lure of the corporate badge and V6 power, the Escape must contend with nameplates the calibre of RAV4 and Grand Vitara, plus other cheap or evocative offerings such as Freelander, Sportage and Santa Fe. Yep, Korea even got a couple of light-duty off-roaders up and running before the Blue Oval.

Mazda is also doing its utmost to present the Tribute in a better light than the Escape, with which it shares its platform and all mechanical components.

To succeed, the Escape must impress in all departments - price, packaging, accommodation and performance, both on the road and off it.

And it does just that.

There's not the attention to detail, not the polish in the presentation, to match the top sellers. There's no striking appearance that will turn heads.

But in XLT form, the Escape presents a strong value-for-money proposition. The price brings with it an energetic 3.0-litre engine, a well-matched four-speed automatic transmission and all the features you might expect: dual airbags, power steering, anti-lock brakes, air-conditioning, remote central locking, cruise control, electric windows/mirrors, six-disc CD stereo, variable intermittent wipers, roofrails, alloy wheels and front foglights.

Prospective buyers will, naturally, be pleased with the commanding view from the front pews. But they might also be less than impressed with the interior design.

Bland and basic are words that spring to mind here. Cloth door inserts and an enormous centre console armrest are small comforts in a cabin bathed in hard, unwelcoming grey plastic.

So large is the centre armrest that access to the handbrake (positioned on the left-hand side of the console) can be impeded. And there are other driver-oriented problems. The long column-mounted transmission lever, when in gear, can hinder access to stereo and temperature controls. Window switchgear is big, blocky and not altogether friendly to fingertips. The volume/on-off button on the stereo is on the far left-hand side. And the fixed aerial, positioned on the right-hand side of the bonnet, can be a distraction.

Topping it off, the cheap-looking and out-of-character white-faced instrument dials include a speedometer with intervals at 20km/h. A full point is given for 10km/h increments, but from where we're sitting the attention to detail is insufficient.

Otherwise, the controls present no great problems. The rotary temperature dials are big, the stereo head unit is high-mounted and cruise control buttons are placed conveniently on the steering wheel.

Built for America more than anywhere else, the Escape makes no attempt to provide access to the rear seats with the space liberated by the column shifter. Instead, it fills the void with an enormous centre console that contains big bins and a couple of mug/bottle holders - and, of course, the mother of all armrests.

The generous interior dimensions help provide excellent comfort for four people, though the driver's seat - which has the admirable addition of lumbar adjustment - would be better served with genuine height adjustment instead of a dial to alter seat cushion angle.

Like most offerings in this class, three people across the rear bench would put friendships to the test, although the Escape is better than most in this respect. The rear occupants are also treated to another impressive twin cupholder display, however the centre-rear occupant is left without a head restraint and a three-point seatbelt.

He'll no doubt be the one left holding his drink, too.

With its temporary spare tyre located under the luggage compartment floor, the tailgate is free to lift upward like a conventional hatch. It is lightweight and just high enough for average-sized adults to stand underneath without stooping. The rear glass also opens, however its release handle would be better off positioned near or on the glass itself rather than confusing matters by being tucked underneath the number plate recess alongside the tailgate release.

The cargo area itself is extremely generous in width (minimum width is 1040mm, maximum 1320mm), has a netted storage spot on each side, a 12V power outlet (adding to the two up front), luggage tie-downs, a convenient shopping bag net and a retractable, two-position security blind.

Child seat anchorage points are located in the roof headlining near the tailgate so as not to interfere with cargo - but the trade-off is a reduction in rear visibility when tether straps are employed.

Both the seatback and the seatbase split-fold forward to increase the 870mm depth from tailgate to seatback to 1320mm, at the same time creating a small barrier between the front seats and an almost-flat floor.

The centre rear safety exclusions and ergonomic blots up front excluded, the Escape packaging should suit most people.

And unlike some others in this class, it doesn't disappoint with its mechanical package either.

Developing an excellent 150kW at 5900rpm and 266Nm of torque at a high 4700rpm, the 3.0-litre quad-cam V6 has plenty of performance to compensate for the 1568kg kerb weight.

Fuel economy suffers at the hands of a driver who likes to press on, something the engine encourages with its strength in the higher reaches of the rev range.

It generates plenty of the noise in the process, but has no trouble keeping revs up and making light work of virtually all tasks required. The column shift does NOT encourage manual shifting, yet the gears are well matched to the engine and frantic searching for gears isn't a factor.

Handling is good by four-wheel drive standards, the 16-inch rubber providing acceptable grip into corners up to a point and body movement, while apparent, is kept largely under control.

The steering is direct and allows only a few niggles through the steering column when the Escape - which runs as a front-driver until slip is detected and torque is sent (seamlessly) to the rear wheels - encounters ripples in a corner.

The all-independent suspension is well equipped to dispense of potholes and most other rough-road irregularities, although corrugations in particular do send up unwanted vibration through the steering rack and the floor.

The tyres also create a fair bit of noise. Refinement is otherwise fine.

Off the beaten track the suspension allows good wheel travel and the four-wheel drive system, which uses a rotary blade coupling to govern front/rear power distribution, can be locked for a 50/50 torque split.

The vehicle would be better served with low-range gears, for while the "4x4 Lock" provides excellent traction and the ability to crawl steadily up steep gradients, descending even modest inclines without using the brakes is impossible - if damage is to be avoided. While the brakes themselves perform well (rear drums and all), engine braking is not a strongpoint.

Every bit as good off-road as most of its rivals, Escape is always going to be limited by its engine characteristics, lack of low-range gearing, scant underbody protection and reliance on a space-saver spare wheel.

Even considering those factors, the Ford soft-roader is more competent than we might have expected and one of the few in this class to strike a good balance between on-road and off-road ability.

Decent accommodation, an excellent engine/transmission pairing and a high level of equipment should ensure the XLT Escape is not simply another five-door wagon that fights over the food scraps left by CR-V and Forester.

Mechanical - Plan views

THE Escape sits its V6 engine transversely in the engine bay and like many compact off-roaders primarily powers its front wheels most of the time. When slippage is detected, the Control Trac II 4WD system transfers torque via a rotary blade coupling to the rear wheels to help regain grip. A switch on the instrument panel can be used to engage the 4WD lock-up feature, resulting in a 50:50 torque split.

Mechanical - Engine

ESCAPE is powered by an all-alloy 3.0-litre quad-cam 24-valve Duratec V6 engine that develops 150kW at 5900rpm and 266Nm at 4700rpm. Mounted transversely, the engine also has compact dimensions to enable installation within the body's short front overhang. Major features include a specially developed tumble-port induction system and redesigned intake manifold, which together maximise intake air volume. Ford claims the result is strong low-speed torque and optimal performance across the rev range. Official fuel economy figures point to 13.0L/100km on the city cycle and 8.0L/100km on the highway. The fuel tank holds 62 litres.
Did you know?
Both the Duratec V6 and the Zetec four-cylinder offered with the Mazda Tribute complies with Euro III emission standards

Mechanical - Suspension

THE Escape suspension consists of MacPherson struts up front supported by L-shaped lower controls arms and, at the rear, a multi-link mechanism employing two lateral links and trailing arms, with springS located between the trailing arms and body. The front coil springs and shock absorbers are separately mounted to a dual-path upper strut mount to assist with isolating shock forces that would otherwise hamper ride quality. A stabiliser bar is connected to the strut dampers - the closest suspension components to the wheels' movement - to maximise its effectiveness, even with small roll movements. Ford claims the rear configuration provides sufficient wheel stroke for off-road driving and optimum wheel alignment under all road conditions.

Mechanical - Transmission

A FOUR-SPEED column-shift automatic is the only transmission offered on Escape. An electronic control system automatically switches between normal and "slope control" shift maps in accordance with the driver's accelerator pedal inputs, the vehicle's speed and other variables. The full-time four-wheel drive system Control Trac II uses a rotary blade coupling. The system ensures the vehicle runs primarily as a front-driver, automatically apportioning more torque to the rear wheels when the front wheels begin to slip. A switch on the instrument panel can be used to engage the 4WD lock-up feature, resulting in a 50:50 torque split.
Did you know?
Ford, Mazda and Dana Corporation jointly developed the 4WD system

Mechanical - Brakes

ESCAPE'S front wheels are equipped with single-piston ventilated disc brakes, each with a diameter of 278mm and thickness of 24mm. The callipers each have a cylinder diameter of 60mm. At the rear, the wheels make do with leading/trailing drum brakes. The drum diameter is 229mm and the lining width 42mm. An 8-inch + 8-inch tandem vacuum booster is employed. A five-sensor, four-channel, four-wheel anti-lock braking system (ABS) with electronic brake-force distribution (EBD) is also standard on XLT.

Mechanical - Steering

THE standard rack and pinion steering system has engine-speed-sensitive power assistance. XLT has a minimum turning circle of 11.2m (XLS 10.8m) and the steering wheel requires 2.9 turns lock to lock. The steering gear is mounted on the suspension cross member. Widely spaced steering-gear mounting locations are designed to maximise system rigidity and produce a more responsive steering feel. The only Escape model with cruise control, the XLT has the controls mounted on the airbag steering wheel.


LIKE most recreational four-wheel drives, Escape is built on a (one-piece) monocoque chassis for passenger car-like stiffness, torsional rigidity and crash performance. Energy-absorbing measures honed in on the steering column, front fender and the knee bolsters located below the instrument panel. Dual front airbags are standard across the range. The front seatbelts have pretensioners, belt "grabbers" and anti-submarining ramps. They also adjust for height. Height adjustable (two-notch) headrests and three-point seatbelts are provided for outboard occupants; the centre rear has an inferior lap belt and goes without a head restraint. Four-channel anti-lock brakes system (ABS) with electronic brake-force distribution (EBD) is standard on XLT, unavailable on XLS.

Did you know?

Some 4WDs continue to use a separate chassis, where the chassis and body are literally bolted together, to provide strength and durability in off-road situations. Monocoque is generally regarded as the optimum design in the event of a collision because it is designed to crumple and absorb energy.

Malaysian Ford Escape Specifications:



Escape 2.3L VICS Escape 3.0L V6
Displacement (cc) 2261 2968
Maximum Power (PS / rpm) 157 / 6000 206 / 6000
Maximum Torque (Nm / rpm) 203 / 4500 276 / 4750
Fuel Tank Capacity (litres) 61 61

Feature Escape 2.3L VICS Escape 3.0L V6
Suspension (Front) and (Rear) MacPherson Strut Multi-Link
MacPherson Strut Multi-Link

Brakes (Front) Ventilated Disc Ventilated Disc
Brakes (Rear) Drum Drum
Alloy Wheels 16 x 7JJ 16 x 7JJ
Tyres 215/70 R16 235/70 R16
Turn Radius (m) 5.4 5.6
4 Speed Auto Transmission S S

Feature Escape 2.3L VICS Escape 3.0L V6
Overall Length (mm) 4415 4415
Overall Width (mm) 1825 1825
Overall Height (mm) 1770 1770
Wheelbase (mm) 2620 2620
Curb Weight (kg) 1522 1599
Ground Clearance (mm) 200 210
Seating Capacity 5 5


Escape 2.3L VICS Escape 3.0L V6
Central Locking S S
Cruise Control - S
Power Mirrors S S
Power Steering S S
Power Windows S S
Reverse Sensors S S
Sunroof S S

Feature Escape 2.3L VICS Escape 3.0L V6
Anti-Lock Braking System S S
Braking Assist S -
Electronic Brake Force Distribution S S
Side Impact Beams S S
SRS Air Bag - Driver S S
Side Airbags S S
SRS Air Bag - Passenger S S
Traction Control System S S
S - Standard.

PERFORMANCE: (Anyone can contribute?)


In Malaysia, ALL Ford Escape's imported from Philippines. The 2.0i XLS appeared from 2001 to 2004. Subsequently, it was complemented with 2.3L (Same engine as Mazda 6 2.3i) in 2003 and was priced at RM139,000. In 2004 (a year later), the Ford Escape V6 3.0i VICS arrived and was priced attractively at RM162,800. Today, a 2001 Escape 2.0i was priced at:

ESCAPE: 2.0i / 2.3i / 3.0i V6
2001: RM50,000/ - / -
2002: RM58,000 / - / -
2003: RM65,000 / RM69,000 / -
2004: RM73,000 / RM76,000 / RM73,000
2005: - / RM84,000 / RM80,000

(Averaged Price taken from 1) Motortrader, 2) The Star Classifieds,

Saturday, May 03, 2008

My letter to The Star was published BUT...

BUT I sent it on 25 April! Wonder why they took so long to edit and print in on the newspaper (Took EXACTLY 1 week). As expected, the letter's EDITED Heavily. This is the EDITED letter as published in The Star today:

Friday May 2, 2008
Diesel on sale here of poor quality

IT’S heartening to hear that the Government wants to remove the diesel subsidy. They don’t realise that our diesel quality is the “Worst of the Worst” @ EURO 1 whereas the world is already using EURO 5. Ironically, Malaysia produces the best diesel in the world but it is only exported.
Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Minister, please give us this diesel.
Alternatively, just remove both the petrol and diesel subsidy (except for those deemed in need) and whatever excise duties, import duties and sales taxes as well.

Petaling Jaya, Selangor.

THIS IS THE ORIGINAL UNCUT Version. Note that they Completely changed my title!

TITLE: Subsidised diesel to go can, give us better quality diesel 1st.

""It's heartening to hear that the Government wanted to
remove diesel subsidy. They don't realise that our
diesel quality's the "Worst of the Worst" @ EURO 1
where as the World already using EURO 5. You know
what, ironically Malaysia produces the BEST DIESEL in
the world by the name of "Shell V-Power Diesel" only
to be exported. Here's an extract of article 1. I felt
very angry upon reading it... WHY we, Malaysia don't
get this quality diesel, YET the Government want to
remove the diesel subsidy.

""Shell V-Power Diesel is a top performance diesel
fuel designed to help modern diesel engines deliver
more power, for longer. Already available at about
5,000 service stations across Europe, Shell scientists
have used the same fuel technology behind V-Power
Diesel to create this special racing fuel for Le Mans.

This remarkable result was due in part to the
inclusion of Shell GTL (Gas to Liquids) Fuel in the
race formulation. Shell V-Power Diesel is the first
and only premium diesel to use this special synthetic
fuel technology which is created from natural gas in
using a unique Shell synthesis process. Shell
GTL Fuel burns more cleanly and efficiently than
conventional diesel because of its outstanding purity
and cetane quality.""

What now, Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Minister
Datuk Shahrir Samad? Please gave us this diesel.

Alternatively, just remove ALL the Petrol and Diesel
subsidy (except subsidy card/s for School Buses,
Lorries, Fishermen, and those needed) AND REMOVE
whatever Excise Duties, Import Duties and Sales taxes
as well. I'm sure ALL Malaysians will thank you.""

THIS CLEARLY SHOWS that The Star practised "Reading between the lines" as well. I don't know since when but it's obvious.