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Car Reviews

First drive of Jaguar XE

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The premium mid-size Jaguar XE is clearly slated to take on the German brands – BMW 3 Series, Mercedes-Benz C-Class and Audi A4 – and Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) didn’t hold back on coming out with a worthy rival. Developed from a new platform, the XE is a rear wheel-drive car making it a complete change from the front wheel-drive X-Type (which was based on the Ford Mondeo platform as Jaguar was under the Ford Motor group at the time) that it replaces. Now that JLR is under the Tata Group, Jaguar’s new direction is to develop all its models…

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Toyota Camry Hybrid – loaded and loved

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The latest generation Toyota Camry hybrid is loaded with refinement and technology. It’s a sign of the times when the top-of-the-range 2.5 litre Toyota Camry for 2015 now comes exclusively with a hybrid powertrain, leaving only the 2.0L variants – G and E grades – with a new and improved combustion engine. The aptly titled Camry Hybrid is now more powerful, thanks to the assistance of the two electric motors which pushes out 143PS and 270Nm of torque. It also boasts a sportier look with a minor facelift. And it’s slightly cheaper too than the previous generation Camry. Yes, you…

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BMW 2 Series Gran Tourer driven in Croatia

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Now that BMW’s first 2 Series Active Tourer family mover has arrived, it was a matter of time that a bigger alternative would come along and that has surfaced in the 2 Series Gran Tourer less than a year later. As it were, BMW has sold more than 33,000 units of the Active Tourer globally since it was introduced in the second half of 2014 and demand is seen as encouraging and growing. The move is logical as BMW would naturally develop a dimensionally bigger model option given the market that these vehicles are targeted at – flexible family motoring.…

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VW Golf GTI: Fun in spades

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Joy is a many splendoured thing. And it invariably includes a Golf GTI in hand. The promise of fun is why you would feel compelled to pay nearly RM240K to the Das Auto crew. And if you so much as itch for more, Volkswagen wants to hold your attention with its hair-raising Golf R but you gotta cough up RM60,000 more to pump up the whoop-dee-doo. An already pricey model gets even more expensive very quickly, doesn’t it? Let’s assume the GTI is what you are after – a hot hatch without pushing the limits of the turbocharged 4-cylinder mill.…

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First drive of facelifted Peugeot 508

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The local large executive sedan market has been the playground for the “Big Three” Japanese brands for ages. But in recent years, Continental brands have been making some in-roads into this exclusive club with aggressive marketing and new generation models. Introduced locally by Nasim Sdn Bhd in 2011, the Peugeot 508 has made itself a compelling alternative with competitive pricing, sporty design and high levels of vehicle specifications.  Now, this French lion has undergone restyling into a more elegant looking vehicle as it claws deeper into premium car territory. Compared with the previous 508, the new model is now 38mm…

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Ford Fiesta ST driven

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Things have been heating up in the compact hot hatch segment; never before had enthusiasts such a variety of choice available to them locally. The French have been rather aggressive with their offerings of late, but however, one name has been quite the talk of the town – the Ford Fiesta ST. Having owned a Fiesta 1.6 Sport myself, I was much eager to know how improved this hot variant was. Fully-imported from Germany and based on the humble Mark-VI Fiesta platform, Ford’s sports car-beater is available solely here in 3-door form. This makes it immediately recognisable as an ST,…

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CarSifu drives Isuzu MU-X for first time

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Isuzu is not a newcomer to the sport utility vehicle (SUV) segment as some may recall the Isuzu Trooper Bighorn and Citation models that were sold locally till 2007. When Isuzu Japan entered the market in 2008, it decided to focus on the D-Max pick-up truck to establish a strong foothold along with the commercial truck range. Back then, production of the Trooper had already ceased and the distributor ACM was selling what was left in its vehicle stock. At the same time, Isuzu had already introduced in Thailand an all-new SUV model called the MU-7 that was based on…

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Mercedes E 400 Avantgarde locked and loaded

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The double-headlamp styling of the second generation Mercedes-Benz E-Class (W210) which rolled out in 1995 became such a recognisable and popular feature that the car was affectionately called “tai sai ngan” (Cantonese for big small eyes) by local enthusiasts. That “four-eyes” design was retained in the next two generations until advancements in headlight technology rendered it unnecessary for the E-Class to have headlamps in separate housing. In the interest of preserving the E-Class’ recognisable styling, the headlamps on both sides are now in a single housing, use LED daytime running strips to mark out the “eyes.” Aside from enhancing the…

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Panamera S E-Hybrid: Call it frugally fast

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As stricter emissions laws and increasing environmental awareness sets in, many carmakers have pressed on with their efforts at giving the world clean and efficient cars. Unsurprisingly, even performance carmakers have marked a shift, dabbling into the idea of incorporating green and eco-friendly technologies in their creations. And the result is sometimes surprising as some of these technologies also allow the creation of even better performance cars. In Porsche’s case, the proof of point to this concept has to be the Stuttgart brand’s flagship 918 Spyder hybrid hypercar, and its 919 Hybrid Le Mans racer. Both the 918 and 919…

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Weekend out with Audi A8 L

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Audi is going places. When it’s not busy trying to outsell its other German peers, it’s making news on other fronts. Volkswagen’s money-spinner is hopping on the self-driving bandwagon, with the A8 flagship tasked to lead the charge. Audi figures that is two to three years away from reality as it sorts through the technical hurdles. Meanwhile, moviedom beckons and Audi just couldn’t resist plugging itself silly with a vehicle like the  Transporter series, which is basically an extended commercial for the brand. Come September, the Transporter rides again, with a newcomer replacing Jason Statham to take down baddies like…

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