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THE STAR Sunday 13 April 2014



Smart motoring
The right choice for you.

Small hatch, big possibilities > 8

Taking to the road in style > 9

2 MOTORING StarSpecial, Sunday 13 April 2014

Creating a compact world

OMPACT cars are not necessarily a persons rst set of wheels. In a growing family, the need for a compact car is akin to having a small motorcycle as your run-about vehicle. However, with the increasing awareness for road safety, coupled with the fact that most Malaysians now have better living standards, the motorcycle is slowly giving way to safer and more modern compact cars. Ten years ago, compact cars had basic specications. Push the dateline further back and the Perodua Kancil comes to mind. It was the ultimate basic car with a loud three-cylinder engine and compact interior. But Malaysians bought the Kancil in droves because the car was perfect for their need and budget. Now, compact cars have better amenities and of course, higher safety standards. The Peugeot 208 GTi has amazing power and being small and powerful has a good effect on car acionados. The increasing fuel prices have also helped to boost the sales of compact cars throughout the world. The American market not as small as the Perodua Viva, but still a compact sedan by Mercedes-Benz standards, has just been released in Malaysia. With a price tag of RM235,888, many will be queuing up to get the sportier CLA200 than the traditional C-segment C-Class. The new Mini has also been launched in Malaysia and although it does not differ very much from the rst New Mini design, the packaging is better and there is more interior space. The Mini has been getting good responses from the local market for its Paceman model. It seems that the cars practicality is striking a chord with many Malaysians. The more affordable compact models are also getting higher spec lines and safety equipment. The Kia Picanto is still the best example, with its Stability Programme and six airbags in its high-safety equipment list. The car is also aesthetically pleasing and has high assembly quality. Judging by market trends across the world, it is a safe assumption that the future of compact cars will be big.

The newest compact by Mercedes-Benz, the GLA. was never fond of these tiny vehicles but the global impact on fuel prices has changed this and we now see smaller cars being produced. According to a report by Financial Times, the upward trend of buying smaller cars in the United States began in 2012, when Ford and General Motors saw a marked increase in their models from that category. In January, Mercedes-Benz posted a 15% sales increase from December last year, and a 32% of the surge is from its compact models. Jumping on the bandwagon, Mercedes-Benz has launched three compact models the new A-Class, the GLA and the CLA creating a new variety of compact luxury cars. These varieties seem to be getting good responses from the market thanks to its more affordable prices. The CLA, for example, although

Perodua shifts into higher gear

BEING humble is good. Although it never prides itself as the No.1 car company in the country, surpassing its older brother by almost 50,000 units last year, Perodua has no intention of resting on its laurels and recently announced that it is shifting into higher gears. Perodua will be expanding its three-model line-up this year as one more new model will be launched in July. The new model may possibly replace the Viva and will be in accordance with the governments energy-ecient vehicle (EEV) guidelines. It will also be the rst product from the new factory, which is one of the key elements in Peroduas transformation process. The process, which was announced last year, has started to take shape and will denitely take the brand to a whole new level. According to its president and chief executive ocer Datuk Aminar Rashid Salleh, the new factory will be based on the Daihatsu Motor Company (DMC) Kyushu factorys SSC (simple, slim and compact) theme. Costing around RM1.3bil to build, including the robots, software and all the equipment, it will boost Peroduas manufacturing capacity from 250,000 units to 450,000 units a year with double shifts. The new plant, which is a third the size of the current factory, also runs a leaner number of staff at 1,200 workers compared with almost 6,500 in the current workforce. The SSC concept minimises movement inside the factory and that translates to the ability to produce more vehicles. The new technology robots, which the new factory is using, are also smaller and have the ability to replace another robot if one has a breakdown or has to go in for maintenance. Apart from that, Peroduas new plant will feature the environmentally friendly 3-Wet waterborne paint system, which will be the rst in Malaysia. Also a rst will be the fact that this new automotive factory will be a totally jig-less factory. Perodua is also opening its factory to the public, especially those who want to learn about the latest in automotive manufacturing technology. It is also investing in a longer test track, which has a low-speed circular track and a high-speed straight track. This is also an indication that Perodua is focusing more on ride and handling, something that it

had been lacking before. The same SSC concept is also used to better the lives of the workers as Perodua will be building a new mosque with a capacity of 3,000 people just outside its gate. Using a build-and-release concept, the mosque will be given to the community to upkeep and Perodua staff will be ferried by buses to the mosque for their Friday prayers. Perodua is also building a childcare centre in its grounds, which is being subsidised by the company. The old plant is also being transformed to ensure that its workers have a better working environment. The workplace is kept clean, bright and cheerful. The Pikachu reward concept is used throughout the plant and it is amazing to see a factory with gleaming forklifts. During our visit, we even saw a worker waxing his forklift, a true testament to the transformation of process and mindset of a local car factory. Perodua will also invest in a new stockyard area that spans 118 acres just behind the current area. This new stockyard centre is planned to ease the dealers off their stocking cost and Perodua

The new manufacturing plant costs RM1.36bil. is already in talks with the Road Transport Department to set up a registration oce right in the stockyard. This will allow dealers to register the car there, and ship it straight to their customers. Perodua has also set up an area for its new joint venture partner, Kawamura-Kako. Kawamura-Kako is a plastic manufacturer that has been supplying Daihatsu with high-quality plastic parts. This will take place in the second half of this year and it will add to the effectiveness value of Peroduas Just-In-Time manufacturing process. As for quality, the company is on its way towards achieving its targeted 0.003 DPU (defects per unit) by December this year. Our visit shows that the gures are moving towards that direction as the DPU level is dropping fast below its average of 0.014 DPU since the transformation process that began in January. With its gross development value of nearly RM2bil, Perodua is on the right track to produce more cars with better quality.


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4 MOTORING StarSpecial, Sunday 13 April 2014

These days, compact cars have spacious interiors.

Compact is the way to go

OING around town in big cars can be quite a hassle these days, especially with trac jams and cramped parking spaces. A more feasible option would be a compact car to help you navigate through the urban jungle. Just because a car is small does not mean that it offers less in terms of comfort and features. These days, compact cars come with a myriad of features such as anti-lock braking system (ABS), two airbags, stability control and electronic brake force distribution that used to be reserved for bigger cars. In addition, you can also get a decent entertainment system, good sound proong and comfort levels in compact cars. The prices for these cars can vary extensively so a bit of research is required in order to obtain the best deal. The Perodua Viva is the perfect example of an affordable compact car. It replaced two of Peroduas previous models, the Kelisa and Kenari, back in 2007. The Viva, however, did not manage to capture the same market popularity as its predecessors. The price of the most basic Suzuki Alto starts at RM44,888. Powered by a three-cylinder 996cc engine, which develops 67hp and 90Nm of torque, it is paired with either a ve-speed manual or a four-speed automatic. Next up in the price range is the Hyundai i10, which starts at RM52,900. For that price, you get the 1.1-litre engine with 67hp or with another added RM5,000, you get the 1.2-litre version with 87hp. Being a four-speed automatic, this is a decent compact and one of the nicer ones to drive. Featuring a long list of equipment compared to other compacts, the Kia Picanto surpasses most by having more than the standard two airbags and ABS. It comes with six airbags as well as stability control. Other plus points include a cute design by German-automobile designer Peter Schreyer and LED daytime running lights. Under the hood you will nd a 1.2-litre engine with 85hp and 119.6Nm of torque that is capable of propelling

Tips for buying a used car

IF what you are looking for is a reliable used car that is relatively cheap and easy to maintain, consider the Perodua Kelisa or Kenari. A decent used unit of the Kelisa or Kenari can be obtained for as low as RM10,000. Even though it is only equipped with either a 850cc or a one-litre, three-cylinder engine, the Kelisa is fun to drive thanks to its light weight and short wheelbase. Its small size, good all-round view coupled with a small turning radius make it easy to park and drive around town. While the ve-speed manual comes with a clutch that is light to operate, the basic four-speed automatic does the job well. Sharing the same wheelbase but having more room thanks to a tall roof, the Kenari can be categorised as a minivan. Folding down the rear seat provides space that is large enough to transport small furniture. A car that has been well taken care of should not have any major problem apart from the normal wear and tear, which you should keep an eye out for. While parts for these cars are generally affordable, the rear engine mount for the automatic version can be quite pricey. A typical engine mount usually costs around RM80 and above but this one will set you back almost RM1,000 excluding labour costs. Replacing it will mean removing the engine out of the engine bay and this will incur further high costs as well. Before purchasing your car, it is best to nd out if the previous owner had replaced the engine mount before. If they have not, try to negotiate a lower price by adding the cost of replacement into the sales purchase. You can prolong the lifespan of the engine mount by shifting into neutral gear whenever you stop at trac lights. This is because the threecylinder engine tends to rattle quite hard because of its natural harmonic imbalance and this becomes apparent on load and in low rpms. This rattling will eventually wear out the engine mounts faster.

The basic Suzuki Alto is priced at RM44,888.

The Perodua Viva is an affordable compact car. the car effortlessly. Weighing less than 850kg, the Mirage is equipped with a threecylinder 1.2-litre engine, which develops 78hp and 100Nm of torque. You can opt for either the ve-speed manual or continuously variable transmission. The price for the Mirage starts at RM60,198.

StarSpecial, Sunday 13 April 2014


Taking a different direction

HEN Mitsubishi rst introduced the new Mirage, there were mixed reviews from enthusiasts as well as automotive journalists. Some were impressed with how fuel-ecient it claimed to be, while others just could not accept what the company had done with a nameplate that was known for its abilities as a performanceoriented car. We were rather impressed with the Mirage after our test drives as it still has its predecessors good handling abilities. And the best part about the car is how little petrol it consumes. Keeping up with the demands, the Mirage is ideal for students and rst-time car buyers who are looking for a car to use daily but also one that can be used in a gymkhana course. Buyers with families, who need the extra boot space, will not be disappointed as the Attrage has as much boot space as the Mirage. It is also more elegant in its appearance. In competing with some of the best-selling cars in the market such as Toyota Vios, Honda City and Nissan Almera, Mitsubishi had to ensure that the Attrage had a unique selling point that would distinguish it from its rivals. While the new City is known for its practicality, the Vios for its reliability and the Almera for SPECIFICATIONS


Engine: 1.2-litre, 12-valve DOHC MIVEC Displacement: 1,193cc Transmission: Invecs-III Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT) Max power: 76hp at 6,000rpm Max torque: 100Nm at 4,000rpm Fuel consumption (claimed): 21km/l Price (OTR with insurance): RM67,978

its spaciousness, the Attrages strength is its fuel eciency. Under normal day-to-day circumstances that comprise trac congestions, occasional overtaking, a combination of highway (average speed of 110kmph) and city driving (average speed of 80kmph) with no conscious intentions of saving fuel, we managed to achieve about 19km/l. This gure is close to the gures one would normally see in hybrids. But that does not mean that the car cannot achieve the claimed 21km/l. When we drove the car on the highway with a speed ranging between 80kph to 90kph with the rpm within 3,000 revs, we were able to hit an impressive 24.2km/l. Propelling the car is the same 1.2-litre DOHC MIVEC engine as the Mirage, which produces 76hp

The Attrage is a car that is known for its fuel efficiency. and 100Nm of maximum torque. The mill, which is paired with a CVT transmission, offers decent power but when the car is fully loaded, it struggles to pick up in speed. However, once we drove past 4,000rpm, the power delivery was smoother and brought the cars speed up to more than 110kmph. The handling of the Attrage is not as agile as the Mirage, due to the difference in strength that changed the cars dynamics. However, the steering of the Attrage isquite preciseand does not over steer or under steer. Our favourite aspect of the Attrage is the super-tight turning radius that adds to the cars manoeuvrability and agility. Although the Attrages longer body disallows it from being as speedy as the Mirage, it takes corners well with a fair amount of grip. There was still noticeable body-roll as the suspensions are set up with comfort in mind. Mitsubishi has also given the car a basic look.

Unlike the Mirage, the Attrage has a chrome grille and sharperedged headlamps. What we like about its exterior is that the prole is seen in the rear, eliminating the inevitable hatchback-to-sedan feel. The rear is also simple with large taillights and clear indicators that portray a simple yet pleasant look. The interior includes keyless entry with a push-start button, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and gear knob, digital automatic air-conditioning and also a remote boot release. The stereo in the GS is a Kenwood 2-DIN unit with USB connectivity. The Attrage has decent cabin space in both the front and in the rear. It also has ample storage space. The seats and door panels are garbed in fabric and hard plastic. However, the Attrage does not feel cheap, thanks to the silver accents and a piano-black nish on the centre-stack. In terms of renement, there is still room for improvement. The noise, vibration, and harshness (NVH) levels were better than the Mirage but we could hear the engine every time we accelerated. Besides these minor hiccups, the car is a good ride to have and if impressive fuel consumption is at the top of your list, then the Attrage might just be the right choice for you.

6 MOTORING StarSpecial, Sunday 13 April 2014

StarSpecial, Sunday 13 April 2014


A better City drive

HE B-segment compact cars are getting more popular and in terms of compact sedans, Hondas new City is rising as one of the top players in the eld. First introduced as a spin-off from its successful Jazz hatchback, the new City has taken on a look of its own that may just set it above its predecessors. The City comes in four variants, the lowest spec being S, S+, E and the highest, V, all of which use the same powertrain. The new City is longer and taller than its previous model, resulting in a larger cabin and more legroom. Accessories include a rear arm rest, three 12V sockets (two are found at the back of the centre console), two USB ports, one HDMi port, a seven-inch touch screen audio system with touch screen buttons and sliders, push start button, ISO-FIX anchorages, eight high-quality speakers, illuminated meter cluster that guides you using colours to maintain an economical drive, ECON mode, a 536-litre of boot space, leather interior, black plastics and rear air-conditioner vents. The exterior of the car includes 16-inch alloys, shark n antennae, a platinum front grille and smart entry system. Safety of the car is of the highest grade (V grade), equipped with six airbags and vehicle stability assist (VSA). Beneath the hood is the same iVTEC 1.5-litre engine but with a slightly different tuning. Power gures are the same (118hp, 145Nm) although its maximum torque is 4,600 rpm (200 rpm lower than the previous City). The transmission has been reverted to continuously variable transmission (CVT), although most users would not realise this change in the gearbox. Overall, the new Honda City is better and more rened than the previous generation and its competitors. This includes the quality of its t and nish, sound insulation, engine noise during driving and idling, and a vibrationfree pedal box.

The new Honda Citys interior is ergonomic.

The Clio is Renaults hottest variant.

Clio is Renaults latest launch

A GREAT performance car to look out for is the newly launched Renault Clio RS 200 EDC. Being the fourth generation of the Renaults B-segment hatchback model, the RS has become Renaults hottest variant. The new Clio RS utilises a new 1.6-litre turbo-charged engine, which originated from its sister company Nissan. At 200hp and 240Nm, the new Clio RS 200 accellerates from 0kph to 100kph in 6.7secs and has a top speed of 230kph. Another modern feature is the ecient dual clutch transmission. It will be the rst time that a Renault RS will not have manual transmission available or a three-door version. The interior sports a modern look, particularly seen in the RS Monitor 2.0 that offers onboard telemetry and real time performance with impressive graphics. The price of the Renault RS is RM168,270 (OTR without insurance), making it a more affordable car than previous models.

The new Clio RS is powered by a1.6-litre turbo-charged engine. The new Honda City is set to be a porpular choice.

A convoy of Honda City cars. Practical and feature-rich interior of the Honda City. The Clios interior shows sporty intentions.

8 MOTORING StarSpecial, Sunday 13 April 2014

The 208 GTi is a good-looking hatchback.

Small hatch, big possibilities

EARS ago, Peugeot introduced a small car that was capable of achieving big things the 205 GTi. Everybody loved the small hatch for the way it handled corners and its ease of correcting steering mistakes. The 205 GTi was the hot hatch to have at that time. Almost 20 years later, we see another small hot hatch from Peugeot that may be what many of us have been waiting for since the demise of the 205 GTi. When you walk past a Peugeot 208 GTi, there is almost no way to tell it apart from its sibling, the 208VTi. When parked, the 208 GTi looks just like any other supermini. But upon closer inspection, you will notice the slightly ared wheel arches, the upsized 17-inch alloy wheels, the GTi brand on the tailgate and on the chrome wings just behind the rear windows. You will also see other minor features like the chequered front grille and aggressive-looking exhaust tip that highlights this little cars sporty intentions. Inside the 208 GTi, the rst thing you will notice is the extensive use of the colour red. From the seats to the meter cluster and the steering wheel, quite a number of surfaces are given the red treatment compared to the standard 208 VTi. While being the same size as the VTis, the steering wheel SPECIFICATIONS

Engine: Four-inline 1,600cc THP200 turbocharged Max power: 200hp at 5,800rpm Max torque: 272Nm at1,700rpm Transmission: Six-speed close-ratio manual gearbox Safety features: anti-lock braking system (ABS), traction control (TCS), electronic stability programme (ESP), electronic brake assist (EBA), electronic brake-force distribution (EBD), six airbags, front seatbelt pre-tensioners Price: RM139,888 is stitched in red and given a red centre stripe. While some complained about the size and positioning of the steering wheel, we think that it is perfect for a sporty car like this. The small size makes for quick steering response and steering weight.Paired with the supportive sports-seats, it offers a very comfortable ride. Another addition to the interior is a glass roof with blue moodlighting along its sides. With the sunshade open, this feature makes the 208s cabin feel a lot larger than it actually is. Another feature we liked about the 208 is the in-car entertainment system. Our test car came with a central HD touchscreen paired to an Arkamys-

The three-door 208 GTi. tuned six-speaker audio system. Other than controlling the audio system of the 208 GTi, the touch screen also controlled various other functions, like satellite navigation, Bluetooth and Smart Park Assist. The Smart Park Assist allows the 208 GTi to effortlessly manoeuvre itself into a parking spot choice with relative ease. The only qualm we had with this touch screen system was that the satellite navigation was somewhat dicult to use. Twist the key and the engine of the 208 GTi comes alive with a low rumble from the exhaust, producing 200hp at 5,800rpm and 275Nm of torque at 1,700rpm. The true power of the 208 GTi is evident when you step on the throttle and power is directed to the front wheels through a sixspeed, close-ratio gearbox. Rowing through the gears, upshifts are relatively smooth compared to other manual performance cars. Power delivery is linear for a turbocharged car although peak torque comes in early at 1,700rpm. The century sprint takes 6.8secs and top speed maxes out at 230kmph. The 208 GTi offers good power delivery and takes corners well. It feels very neutral during sharp bends and has a slight hint of understeer when pushed hard. Even though the back feels like it has a tendency to oversteer at times, the 208 GTi remains well -grounded even when taking

The 208 GTi has subtle differences from the run-of-the-mill 208 VTi. corners at high-speed. Some of the safety features include the anti-lock braking system (ABS), traction control (TCS), the electronic stability programme (ESP), electronic brake assist (EBA), electronic brake-force distribution (EBD), six airbags and front seatbelt pre-tensioners. Regardless of your age, the Peugeot 208 GTi is sure to get your heart racing. In our opinion, this baby hot hatch is one that is denitely worth considering if you have a budget of around RM140,000 and are looking for a car that will reward you every time you get behind the wheel.

A three-pedal sports hatch.

A sporty and comfortable interior.

StarSpecial, Sunday 13 April 2014


Taking to the road in style

N 2009, French carmaker Citroen started its mission to re-inject some excitement into its range of cars by launching the DS3 the model that spawned the brands Different Spirit range of premium cars based on existing passenger models. Despite being the rst DS model in Citroens range, the DS4 and DS5 were introduced rst in Malaysia last year. They were introduced after the Naza Group acquired ocial distributorship of the brand in the country. The DS3 took another year to join the party. The DS3 is equipped with a 1.6-litre VTi engine that produces 120hp and 160Nm. This output is channelled to the front wheels via a four-speed automatic gearbox, allowing the car to accellerate from 0kph to 100kph in 10.9secs. Its top speed is rated at 190kph. If the gures seem uninspiring, you have to bear in mind that the DS3 was not conceived as a performance car. This is a lifestyle-oriented car that is aimed at individuals who prioritise style as much as substance. Aesthetically, the DS3 has charms good enough to direct attention away from the iconic MINI Cooper and Volkswagen Beetle. Exterior wise, its shark n C-pillar is a unique and likeable feature, as are the LED strips at the front and the 17-inch twotone Bellone Black Diamond wheels. The interior boasts luxurious Mistral Claudia leather seats and a distinctive dashboard layout nished predominantly in piano

The DS3 is a stylish French hatchback. black colour. Like the MINI, the DS3 is a three-door hatch, tting only two adults at one time. The rear seats are a little tight and impractical for long journeys. This makes the DS3 ideal for singles and young couples who want a stylish ride. Even though it looks small on the outside with restricted cabin space in the back, the DS3s boot is big enough for two sets of luggage with some room to spare. In terms of driving, the normally aspirated 1.6-litre engine does well enough to get the DS3 up to highway speed limits. The car holds its own at high speed pretty well too, with noise and vibration levels kept to a minimum most of the time. The DS3s suspension is a sporty one. The stiff damping can be uncomfortable over bumps and potholes but it gets better when the car is driven spiritedly. It helps with cornering too the DS3 is surprisingly fun along twisty B-roads despite its modest powertrain. At RM117,888, the DS3 is an interesting alternative to other chic offerings such as the MINI Cooper and Volkswagen Beetles cars which are substantially pricier than the cheapest Citroen model you can buy brand new in Malaysia today. It is a capable hatchback, which will get you to your destination in style.

The DS3 is a reasonably priced premium car.

The DS3 is a sure stand-out.

Compact crossovers on the horizon

AS more options for compact crossovers enter the automobile market, Fords trendy-looking Ford EcoSport will become a car to look out for. The EcoSport for Malaysia runs on a 1.5-litre TI-VCT engine, the same one found in the Ford Fiesta. It also comes with an array of features such as seven airbags, sunroof, stability control and keyless entry. The EcoSport is a front-wheeldrive that can be taken off-road or for a city drive. It sits 200mm off the ground and can pass through water as deep as 550mm. The 1.5-litre engine produces 108hp and 142Nm of torque. Another emerging compact crossover is the Renault Captur. The Captur comes in striking colours (24 colour combinations with three matching interior trim packs). The Captur is powered by a 1.2L

The Mirage comes with an attractive ownership package.

An economical choice
The Renault Captur comes in 24 colour combinations. turbocharged petrol engine that produces 118hp of torque. This is a model that boasts a unique design. If reasonably priced, the Captur could possibly capture a huge market for compact crossovers. MotorImage, the distributor and assembler for Subaru vehicles, recently announced that it will provide an STi Performance Package for its compact SUV the XV. The package will only include changes to the suspension setup and tyres as the focus is more towards performance handling. No changes are made to the engine. The XV produces some of the best compact SUVs and this will add another feather to their cap. MITSUBISHI Motors Malaysia is offering a free maintenance package, cash rebates and low monthly installment plans for its Attrage SE, Attrage GS and Mirage GS models. The promotion ends on June 30. Customers of the Attrage SE will be offered one-year free maintenance, cash rebates up to RM4,000 or a low monthly installment plan from RM658. Customers who book or register for the Attrage GS model will be entitled to one-year free maintenance, cash rebates up to RM4,000 or a monthly instalment plan from RM588. Customers of the Mirage GS models will receive one-year free maintenance, cash rebates from as low as RM6,000 or a monthly installment plan from RM458. The Attrage GS CVT is priced at RM67,978.50, while the Attrage SE costs RM75,796.50. All prices are on-the-road minus insurance. The Attrage comes with a warranty of three years or 100,000 km, whichever comes rst. The Mirage GS is priced at RM64,090.65 on-the-road minus insurance.

10 MOTORING StarSpecial, Sunday 13 April 2014

Small is the new premium

S THE demand for lifestyle vehicles have become more popular, German giant Mercedes-Benz has introduced its rst compact crossover, the GLA, to meet market demands. The GLA is based on its latest CLA sedan and joins the marque premium compact division (which includes the A and B-class cars and the sporty CLA), catering more to city drivers than off-roaders. For the adventurous, however, Mercedes-Benz offers the Off-road Package that provides a slightly higher ground clearance (30mm more than standard ground clearance) and various bumpers to accomodate different approaching and departure angles. Mercedes-Benz also offers the Dynamic Handling Package that lowers the cars standard height by 15mm and adds rmer springs and dampers. The GLA by itself, however, has the best aerodynamic numbers for a production SUV of 0.29Cd. Mercedes-Benz also introduced the 4MATIC permanent all-wheeldrive system for the rst time in a front-wheel-drive chassis. The system is connected to a 7G-DCT dual clutch transmission with an integrated power take off (PTU) unit that channels the power to the rear wheels via a lightweight propeller shaft. At the GLAs rear is the torque on demand rear axle equipped with an electro-hydraulically actuated multi-disc clutch. It allows variable distribution of traction power to either the front or rear of the car. The GLAs suspension utilises MacPherson struts for the front A rear view of the sporty GLA 45 AMG.

The GLA 45 AMGs sporty design. The car also boasts a diesel engine. The four-cylinder 2,143cc direct injection turbocharged diesel engine produces 136hp and 300Nm of torque and has an economic fuel consumption of 4.9L per 100km. Acceleration from 0kph to 100kph takes 9.9secs and the speedometer peaks at 200kph. Those who can afford the Mercedes-AMG will get a completely different GLA experience. The GLAs two-litre engine will boast a reformatted mapping and the turbocharger is increased up to 1.8 bars to produce 360hp and 450Nm of torque. It is the most powerful turbocharged two-litre engine. Accelaration from 0kph to 100kph takes 4.8secs and its top speed peaks at 250kph. Fuel consumption is set at 7.5L per 100km. SPECIFICATIONS


Engine: Inline 4, 1,991cc, direct injection, turbocharged Max power: 211hp at 5,500rpm Max torque: 350Nm at 1,200 - 4,000rpm Transmission: 7G-DCT with 4MATIC 0-100kph: 7.1 secs Top speed: 230 kph Fuel consumption: 6.5L/100km

The potent powerplant of the GLA 45 AMG. wheels and a multilink setup with three transverse links and one trailing link for each rear wheel. The cars ride height will depend on how it is set up. There are four options available comfort, dynamic handling package, offroad and AMG sports suspension. The GLA is powered by a fourcylinder 1,991cc direct injection turbocharged engine that produces 211hp and 350Nm of torque. It can do the century sprint in 7.1secs and top speed peaks at 230kph. Fuel consumption is of a reasonable 6.5L per 100km.


Engine: Inline 4, 2,143cc, direct injection, turbocharger with variable turbine geometry Max power: 136hp at 3,400 - 4,000rpm Max torque: 300Nm at 1,400 - 3,000rpm Transmission: 7G-DCT with 4MATIC 0-100kph: 9.9 secs Top speed: 200 kph Fuel consumption: 4.9L/100km


7-Speed Sports Engine: Inline 4, 1,991cc, direct injection, turbocharged Max power: 360hp at 6,000rpm Max torque: 450Nm at 2,250 - 5,000rpm Transmission: 7G-DCT with 4MATIC 0-100kph: 4.8 secs Top speed: 250 kph (limited) Fuel consumption: 7.5L/100km The stylish interior of the GLA will certainly impress.

The GLA 45 AMG has a sleek outlook.

StarSpecial, Sunday 13 April 2014


A creative crossover
FTER nine years of selling the EcoSport exclusively to the Brazilian market, Ford has decided to take its compact SUV to the global arena. To cope with international demand, the EcoSport will be manufactured in Brazil, India and Thailand. The EcoSport is essentially a crossover built based on the Fiestas platform. However, it is a notably bigger car, which measures 263mm longer, 43mm wider and 219mm taller than Fords popular B-segment hatchback. In living it up to its title as an urban SUV, the EcoSport gains better ground clearance over the Fiesta. The undercarriage is separated by 200mm from the tarmac while the Ford also claims that the EcoSport will safely pass through water as deep as 550mm. Apart from its bold exterior outlines, the main feature that The EcoSport is a durable crossover. a 1.5-litre Ti-VCT engine, which channels power to the front wheels via a six-speed PowerShift dual-clutch gearbox. The output produces 108hp at 6,300rpm and 142Nm at 4,400rpm. However, a simpler torque converter would have been preferred as the more complex dual-clutch transmissions have trouble shifting gears at times, especially during low speeds. On the highway, the EcoSport is quite a pleasant cruiser at high speed. The car feels well-grounded despite being tall in height while NVH levels are impressively low. It is also very comfortable especially in the rear, which sports more legroom and headroom than the more compact Fiesta. Overall, the EcoSport feels like a durable crossover that doubles up as an everyday runabout that is easy to drive, practical and comfortable. Its price is unconrmed but the EcoSport will prove a possible choice for families and individuals with active lifestyles.

The relaxing driving position of the EcoSport. adds ruggedness to the EcoSports general outlook is the tailgatemounted spare tyre, which also creates more boot space (346 litre). The interior of the EcoSport is similar to the Fiestas. It comes complete with Fords SYNC system, which is powered by Microsoft. It allows occupants to seamlessly link their mobile devices to the cars audio system via Bluetooth. However, the system takes some time to get used to as it is not very user-friendly. Under the hood, the EcoSport packs the same drivetrain as the Fiesta currently being sold in Malaysia. Power comes from

A typical Ford interior is functional and attractive. The EcoSport cruises pleasantly at high speed.

Datsun is back
NISSAN has turned its Datsun name into a budget brand to target a new market. The rst model, which was launched in India last year, is the Go hatchback. The company later launched a couple of variations, including the Go+ MPV and RediGo concept car. Nissan also recently launched the On-Do (a Datsun sedan) in Russia, which represents the brands fth largest market. The Datsun On-Do was designed in Japan but built in the AvtoVas plant in Togliatti, Russia. It is a four-door sedan that seats four and will provide good competition to the automobile market when The On-Dos audio system. introduced in Malaysia. Power comes from a 1.6-litre engine that produces 87hp of torque. The On-Do is a basic vehicle that comes at an affordable price, making it a good choice for car buyers on a budget.

Basic but hardy-looking interior of the On-Do.

The On-Do is a sensible option for car buyers on a budget.

12 StarSpecial

Sunday 13 April 2014