Three years and 85,000km into the life of this car, I finally think I’m ready to owner-review it. What is it? A 2015 MY16 Skoda Octavia Ambition Plus six-speed manual with a couple of options. I should start that it took me over 12 months to research and eventually purchase this particular model. I’d like to think that this isn’t uncommon for Skoda owners. I’d like to think that because it somewhat justifies the many hours spent online and at dealerships. My previous car was basically the same car – an MY11 90TSI manual. I was reasonably happy with that car, plus the little issues I had seemed to be addressed – mostly the lacklustre performance with the 90TSI engine. So after comparing and driving most of the competitors in this pricepoint, I soon realised nothing could tick as many boxes. I opted for the Tech Pack and added a power tailgate, metallic paint, 18-inch wheels, and Smartlink. I managed to get all this for almost exactly $30K – … [Read more...] about 2015 Skoda Octavia 110TSI Ambition Plus review
Notes plus review
Compact SUVs are all the rage these days, and the trend is not limited to a certain region or class – from Europe to Asia, mass market to premium, the high-riding hatchbacks are a must have in any range. The Renault Captur leads a European B-SUV brigade that also has the Peugeot 2008, Opel Mokka and Nissan Juke, while in ASEAN we have the all-conquering Honda HR-V. In the compact premium club, the BMW X1 has been joined by the Audi Q3 and lately, the Mercedes-Benz GLA. As BMW will testify, the early bird gets the worm. The X1 did not so much ride the wave, but help created it back in 2009. By the time the mid-life facelift came along in mid-2012, Munich had already shifted over 275,000 units of the X1. The E84 was then brought to America for the first time, and the series ended with over 730,000 units sold. That book is now closed as BMW has rolled out its second-generation X1, which is set to make its public debut at Frankfurt this September. About time, as the previous X1 was … [Read more...] about 2016 BMW X1 F48 Review
The thing about small-displacement motorcycles, especially those in the quarter-litre class, is that some of them can be heaps of fun to ride. This is especially so if you’re a rider with a sporty outlook, and like pushing the limit, somewhat, on what a particular motorcycle is capable of. When testing motorcycles with a lack of outright power, the rider is allowed to concentrate on other traits of the bike, in areas where barely a second thought might be given. One example is cornering speed, another is rider comfort, and even ergonomics. One thing that Yamaha has been known for, since the days of the RD, and following that, the RD-LC and YPVS models, is how to put a whole lot of performance, and fun, in a small, 250 cc package. The latest iteration of Yamaha’s small sportsbike, the YZF-R25, assumes the mantle of the R5, and its racing sibling, the TR3. With the basic building block of a parallel-twin, the YZF-R25 makes no bones about being a sportsbike, targeted to the … [Read more...] about REVIEW: 2015 Yamaha YZF-R25
The Malaysian car market is fairly predictable, but every once in a blue moon, someone will spring a surprise. And as surprises go, the introduction of the Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid late last year (yes, we’re in 2017!) was a huge one. It’s not just the availability of the Korean green car here either – the timing, the fact that it’s locally assembled, the pricing; everything was scarcely believable to pundits and competitor brands alike. It has been awhile since a regular, non-plug-in hybrid car was launched in Malaysia. Ever since the tax-free window of opportunity for CBU hybrids (and electric vehicles) ended in 2013, the two Japanese companies that profited the most from the battery rush have stopped promoting the genre. Understandably so, as without government incentives, prices ballooned to the usual high levels that we pay for imported cars. Hybrid cars made a recent comeback, but the proponents this time are premium brands pushing plug-in hybrids. The small … [Read more...] about DRIVEN: Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid review
There’s no automotive segment in Malaysia that is quite as competitive as the B-segment sedan market. The crossover may be the darling of the car-buying public right now, but the affordable three-box, four-door with a small engine and a big boot remains firmly in the mainstream, and pretty much every mass-market carmaker that has a proper foothold in the Malaysian market has an entry in this cutthroat sector. For years, the Toyota Vios and its arch-rival, the Honda City, have sat at the top of the food chain, being the progenitors of the genre. At the time when the latter was an ungainly Jazz sedan, the world’s largest carmaker showed with the original Vios that you could have a handsome, reliable sedan for minimal outlay, and it established an early dominance. Fast forward to today, and the City has turned into a formidable competitor, with thrusting, square-edged styling hiding a new drivetrain and plenty of new toys. Hamstrung not least by an engine and gearbox … [Read more...] about DRIVEN: 2016 Toyota Vios review – new heart, but any better?