Monday, July 27, 2015

Range Rover Evoque prices: UK vs Malaysia

Recently met an old friend after 18 long years. We were university mates and both of us ended up in the UK in quite different occupations. However, despite being only about 100 miles apart we were unable to meet up because of something or the other.

It was quite ironic that we finally met up in Malaysia, around 9000 miles away from the UK. Anyway, we got to talking about cars like car lovers usually do and the cars we drive. My friend recently bought the Ranger Rover Evoque, which coincidentally also happens to be my dream car.


We were discussing car prices and how the Evoque is quite out of my league with prices starting at RM413,888 (without insurance).  Source: Paul Tan.

My friend was visibly shocked as the cost in the UK was around £30K (OTR). That's considered quite a handsome even for a luxury brand. However, it translates to about RM180K at the current exchange rates, which means that we are paying more than double the price of the Evoque here in Malaysia as compared to the UK. 

With that amount, I can buy a 2-sty Terrace/Link House 3 bedroom house near my office in Semenyih, Selangor. So literally the Ranger Rover Evoque is a house on wheels. 




Tuesday, July 07, 2015

Skoda Superb joins list of top safety achievers

According to the latest safety test results released by Euro NCAP, the Skoda Superb achieved 5 Stars, thanks to robust crash protection and its Autonomous Emergency Braking systems. The Superb is also equipped with crash avoidance technologies awarded under the Euro NCAP Advanced Rewards scheme such as Multi Collision Brake and Crew Protect Assist.

Among other cars tested, the Hyundai i20 supermini acheived 4 stars which is quite good for its segment, but misses out on the 5 stars due to a lack of an AEB system.

However, the Fiat Panda Cross recveived a modest 3 star rating. The supermini, based on the third-generation Panda 4x4 launched back in 2012, lacked assist technologies and also did not fare well in the latest full width crash test designed to evaluate the protection offered to smaller occupants in the driver and rear passenger seat.

Given below is the list of car safety ratings for 2015 so far, from the Euro NCAP website.

Monday, June 01, 2015

New 2015 Peugeot 508 Facelift in Malaysia

Peugeot Malaysia just launched the new 2015 508 facelift sedan. There are three variants, namely the Peugeot 508 THP (est. RM175,000), 508 SW THP (est. RM185,000) and 508 GT (est. RM205,000).

So what's new?

Well the cars feature completely updated exteriors, new engines and new interior designs.

The most visible external design change is the vertically oriented front grille with the Peugeot lion logo in the middle.

There are two engine options: the 1.6-litre THP petrol engine and a 2.2-litre HDi diesel engine.

The two 1.6 THP-powered variants feature 18-inch alloy wheels, while the 508 GT runs on 19-inch alloys.

The tech includes head-up display, reversing camera, blind spot detection system, keyless entry and start, Bluetooth™ and satellite navigation with a 7" colour touch. screen.

Luxury features include full leather seats (while the top end GT features Nappa upholstery) with massage function. Just imagine that, you can get a massage if you feel tired. The cars also feature Quad-zone air-conditioning system and Premium JBL HiFi 10-speaker system.

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Ford takes top honours at the 5th annual Honest John Awards

The Honest John website is one of the most popular online destinations for people looking for reviews before deciding on a new car (or used one) in the UK. Yesterday, they announced the winners of the  5th annual Honest John Awards., The winners were the most popular models with the website's two million users.

Ford won a number of awards this time with the Ford Mondeo winning both Car of the Year and Most Popular Large Family Car. The Fiesta was also crowned the Most Popular Small Hatchback category while the Transit Custom won the Most Popular Van title for the second consecutive year.
Here is the full list of award winners:

Full list of award categories and winners:

Car Of The Year: Ford Mondeo

Most Popular Large Family Car: Ford Mondeo

Most Popular Van: Ford Transit Custom

Most Popular Small Hatchback: Ford Fiesta

Most Popular City Car: Hyundai i10

Most Popular SUV: Hyundai Santa Fe

Most Popular Large Executive Car: BMW 5 Series

Most Popular Performance Car: BMW i8

Most Popular Compact Executive Car: Mercedes-Benz C-Class

Most Popular Classic Car: Mercedes-Benz W124

Most Highly Rated Car: SEAT Ibiza ST

Best Real MPG Performer: Honda Civic Tourer

Most Popular Small Family Car: Citroen C4 Cactus

Most Popular MPV: Volkswagen Golf SV

Most Popular Crossover: Nissan Qashqai

Most Popular Convertible: Mazda MX-5 RC

Most Popular Luxury Car: Audi A7 Sportback

Friday, May 08, 2015

Performance of European car brands in Malaysia

According to  recent report, of all European brands sold in Malaysia in 2014, Volkswagen performed the best with sales of 8916 units. They were followed by BMW (7808 units) , Mercedes-Benz (7131 units), Peugeot (5498 units) and Volvo (with 1210 units).

Mercedes-Benz may very well overtake VW this year with the German automaker seeing record breaking sales of 967 units in the first quarter of this year (up 13%). This growth was largely due to the sales of the new locally-assembled E300 Blue TEC Hybrid  (638 units) and the S400L Hybrid (270 units).


Mercedes-Benz E 300 BlueTEC HYBRID

Friday, May 01, 2015

Proton Wira modifications under RM1000 project 1

A couple of months back I wrote about "Rejuvenating an old car - repairs on a Proton Wira 1.3 M". Well, I was having a chat with some of my friends, discussing the pros and cons of repairing and modifying old cars over buying new ones.

I feel that Malaysians in general take good care of their cars but once they pass a certain number of years, apart from irregular service, they kind of stop replacing worn out parts, there are dents and scratches everywhere, rust in various parts are left untreated, their headlight turn yellow with age, the bumpers are nearly falling off and the you tend to hit the speed bumps whenever you go over them as the shock absorbers are way past their due date.

The dilemma facing a lot of owners of old cars is that you do not want to repair/ replace the parts as "it is an old car" and you are thinking of upgrading to a newer car. But you continue driving the same car until one day, the bumper falls off or worse, breaks down in the middle of the highway. A friend was telling us that it would cost thousands to repair/replace everything in his old car which set me thinking: How much modifications/ improvements can you do on your car with just RM1000?

I was lucky I had the ideal car for this project - my dad's old Proton Wira Aeroback. Based on the Mitsubishi Lancer platform, this car is a favourite among car modification enthusiasts in Malaysia, mainly because of the wide range of accessories and aftermarket parts available and of course the affordability.

The car is still running beautifully without any major issues. As mentioned in my previous post, the timing belt had been changed last year and I recently had the shock absorbers and a few other parts changed. However, it was clear that the car had seen better days. The paint is pealing off on the rear bumper, the Proton logo in the front has also fallen off.

Of course I have to clarify that all the mods I plan to do are mostly remedial and/or aesthetic. I do not plan to do anything related to performance enhancement or the engine. I also plan to do most of the work myself whenever I can to reduce the cost and keep under the budget.

First of all, I had to think about all the parts which were essential. So I went about replacing the old wipers. I bought Genuine Bosch (BE17+BE20) Proton Wira ECO Wiper Blades for RM54 on Lazada. This is one of the things that we can do ourselves and do not need to go to a workshop for. This is not my first time and I had the new wipers on in a couple of minutes.

Next I sent the car off to painting specialist M. Spray Work in Taman Mayang Jaya and got the rear bumper painted. The big ugly patch on the bumper was really lowering the image of the car. That cost me RM200, which took a big chunk out of my small budget. However, Mr. Tan did a really good job and the bumper looks as good as new.

Before

After

Sometime back I had read an article on car soundproofing kits which helped to reduce vibrations and noise in the car. After a bit of searching online, I found a seller -Fsmotoersport on Lelong.com.my, selling soundproofing kits for Proton Wira cars. It cost me RM40 for the custom made bonnet soundproofing kit and it finally arrived day before yesterday. The pieces were custom cut to fit the spaces on the car bonnet and the experience was like doing a jigsaw puzzle as I had to figure out which piece went where. There was no need to use glue as the pieces were self adhesive with easy peel away backing and it was all done in less than half an hour. I was quite unsure whether it would work but was quite happy after driving around our neighbourhood. There is a noticeable reduction in the engine noise.
before



After

Of course, I also had to get a new emblem/logo to go on the front grill. The font looks quite plain without the logo. I initially thought of replacing it with the original "old" Proton logo - the one with a star and crescent moon but then while going through Lelong.com.my, found someone selling the new Proton Tiger logo/ emblem. Though it is meant for the Proton Iswara, I think it will fit perfectly on the Wira as well. It cost me RM19.90 and I am waiting for it to arrive.

All together I have now used a total of RM313.90 which leaves me with RM686.10 for other improvements.

What should I do next?

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