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Car Reviews

Rated to the ma-X by BMW

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CHIANGRAI, THAILAND: BMW sees its X Series range generally as a lifestyle option for those who want such motoring alternatives to endorse their status quo with a premium brand. Although the X Series models are used mostly, if not always, on paved roads rather than be taken off road to check out one’s plantation or construction site, these Bimmers would hold their own when coming across muddy patches or tackling off-road slopes. Corporate Affairs Director of BMW Group Asia Sethipong Anatarasoti says that while the BMW X Series might not be designed to tackle serious off-road terrain, its all-wheel drive…

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Mazda3 on a SkyActiv mission to impress

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Un-perilous. Unexciting. Un-fast – these were the characteristics of our recent 348.3km single-tank challenge in a Mazda3 from Bermaz headquarters in Glenmarie, Shah Alam to Johor Baru (JB). Clear blue skies meant our drive to the south was going to be a hot one after having experienced two simillar challenges previously. One of the most significant predicaments for us as drivers travelling long distances, and at such slow speeds, was how to deal with the heat. If left un-dealt with, it can cause a lot of fatigue. To recap, we had the opportunity to take a 1,200km trip from Bangkok…

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BMW X1 driven in Munich

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BMW continues the front-wheel drive momentum in the second-generation X1, focusing clearly on the smaller body dimension model range to capitalise on the interior space advantage such a drive system provides. Though BMW did not make immediate mention of this trend, it did elaborate on the improved interior space gained over the earlier model, which was a rear-wheel drive SAV (Sports Activity Vehicle). This front-wheel drive engineering was already applied in the 2 Series Active Tourer and Gran Tourer, and the positive global response to these new models in the BMW range augured well for its move in this direction.…

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New Ford Everest aims for the high ground

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The latest Ford Everest offers outstanding cabin comfort and refinement, and considerably narrows the gap between middle-tier and luxury SUVs (sport utility vehicles). We know that sounds too much like advertising copy. But we can’t help the fact that the 2015 Everest seven-seater SUV really does perform as advertised, as we discovered during a recent 140km media drive in the lush green valleys of Chiang Rai, Thailand. Three variants are available, with the 2.2-litre Titanium 4X2 priced at 1,269,000 baht (RM140,000); the 3.2-litre Titanium 4X4 at 1,459,000 baht (RM161,000) and top-grade 3.2-litre Titanium+ 4X4 at 1,599,000 baht (RM176,500). The American…

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Hyundai Veloster Turbo: What a change!

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The Hyundai Veloster wasn’t very well accepted in Malaysia following its official introduction in early 2012, and sadly it’s Gamma 1.6-litre MPI did little to entice – until the more potent turbocharged 1.6-litre GDI broke cover in Malaysia recently. Our test vehicle was the Veloster Turbo, which slides in just under the range-topping Veloster Turbo Sport without the sporty decals, the orange “Turbo” side trim on the front seats and costing RM3,738 less at RM152,476. The Veloster is simply and readily identifiable with its unique design that cannot be related to any other make or model and currently out-powers anything…

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Sun, sea and the Honda HR-V

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There’s nothing like a quick getaway right in your own backyard. It is so easy these days to just hop on a plane and take a break from the fast paced concrete city of Kuala Lumpur to an island seaside resort surrounded by pristine beaches and lush nature. And that’s exactly what all of us did: members of the local motoring media flew down to Langkawi to spend a few days on the sun-soaked island courtesy of Honda Malaysia. We weren’t on holiday by any means. We were sent there to spend a bit of time with Honda’s latest sensation,…

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Hamming it up with a Mini JCW

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The Mini John Cooper Works (JWC) three-door has arrived in Malaysia and it has more than a few people raving about it. I decided to take up the offer from the folks at BMW to find out what is so great about this small car while burning some rubber in the process in Palma De Mallorca, Spain. The JCW is the ultimate variant of MINI’s hatchback, the British brand’s best-selling model. The engineers and designers at MINI had perked it up aesthetically and placed more power into this cute little fella. So what is under the bonnet? The heart of…

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Track day with Porsche Cayman GTS and 911 Carrera S

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There’s no better reason to get up early in the morning and head out to Sepang to sample all kinds of Porsche cars. It was a day of surprises during the recent Porsche Driving Experience which was held at the Sepang International Circuit. The first was the announcement made by Sime Darby Auto Performance chief executive officer, Arnt Bayer, that we, the members of the media, would get to drive the all-new Cayman GTS. There was also the new Boxster GTS but that was purely for display purposes only. The next surprise was the rain. It wasn’t just a drizzle…

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Kia Cerato impresses with bells and whistles

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The Cerato clears the misconception that Korean-made cars are low on specifications and value. Ever since the Kia Cerato (K3 in Korea) made its debut back in 2013, the C-segment practically scrambled to find an answer to this feature packed ride. It was not our first time in the Cerato, mind you, but rather a revisit to something that still gets plenty of eyeball attention from its sleek aerodynamic design. It’s attractive, no doubt, with its masculine lines, sensual curves, long bonnet and a coupe-like rear end that contributes to its ability to cut through the air with coefficient of…

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Let’s drive the new BMW 6 Series, shall we?

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BMW had enjoyed success beyond its expectations when it introduced the 6 Series a decade ago in 2004 as a Convertible, though it was the recent generation series that commanded better sales with its wider model options. Almost 80,000 examples of the outgoing model were sold globally, half of which were the longer-wheelbase four-door Gran Coupé. The Malaysian market, however, saw a greater preference for the two-door Coupé. The sporty stylish classic Coupé theme had obviously found a soft spot among the well-heeled and with the latest generation 6 Series, BMW decided to introduce all the variants at one go…

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