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  • Land Rover Discovery Sport SD4 previewed in Sepang – 2.0L petrol and 2.2L diesel to go on sale late-July

    Land_Rover_Discovery_Sport_Malaysia_ 002

    The Land Rover Discovery Sport has made its first appearance in Malaysia – the seven-seat (or rather, 5+2) replacement for the Freelander 2 was previewed a while ago at a Land Rover Malaysia off-road experience event happening in Sepang, but the new Disco Sport won’t go on sale here until late-July or August.

    Two engine variants will be available when the SUV eventually arrives, and these will be the familiar 240 PS 2.0 litre turbocharged petrol (which is the Ford EcoBoost mill) and a 190 PS (and 420 Nm) 2.2 litre Ford/PSA turbodiesel. No indication of pricing as yet, nor is there any on what trim levels to expect.

    The showcase model is a metallic Yulong White 2.2D SD4 example, and wears a SE level trim, dressed in an Ebony interior (with Ebony grained leather). Here, the oil burner is mated to a nine-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifters.

    The kitbag on the display unit includes xenon headlamps with DRLs, a powered tailgate, a panoramic roof and a Meridian surround audio system. Also on here are eight-way electrically adjustable front seats, reverse camera and a new eight-inch touchscreen.

    There’s also configurable mood lighting and a HDD navigation system, and the SD4 example is shod with nine-spoke 18-inch alloys and 235/60 profile rubbers. We’re however told that the specifications for both the diesel and petrol Disco Sport we’re getting hasn’t yet been finalised, so the SD4 you’re looking at may not be fully representative of the type, at least in the case of the diesel variant.

    The Disco Sport is equipped with the automaker’s Terrain Response system, and features 25-, 31- and 21-degree approach, departure and breakover angles respectively as well as a wading depth of up to 600 mm, making it one ready for any rough moments. We’ll have more on the SUV when the time comes – stay tuned.

    Land Rover Discovery Sport in Iceland

  • LDP road closure, diversions this weekend (May 23-24)


    A road closure and traffic diversions will be in place at KM 18.45 on Lebuhraya Damansara Puchong (LDP) from 11.55 pm on May 23 (Saturday) until 6.00 am on May 24 (Sunday).

    This is to facilitate the launching works of the pedestrian walkway for the new Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) – Sunway Line Project. Both directions will be affected. Prasarana has duly suggested six alternative routes as follows:

    Alternative Route 1 – Puchong/Bandar Sunway-bound (from Jalan Majlis)
    Motorists travelling from Jalan Majlis heading towards Bandar Sunway will be diverted to the slow lane and enter a slip road on the left, below the Kelana Jaya overhead bridge. They will then continue their journey towards Bandar Sunway or Puchong.

    Alternative Route 2 – Puchong/Bandar Sunway-bound (from the Federal Highway)
    Motorists travelling on the Federal Highway from Kuala Lumpur will be diverted to enter the slip road on the left, below the Kelana Jaya overhead bridge. They will then continue their journey towards Bandar Sunway or Puchong.

    Alternative Routes 1-2 (left), and 3-6

    Alternative Route 3 – Petaling Jaya-bound traffic on LDP (from Puchong)
    Motorists travelling on the LDP towards Petaling Jaya will be diverted to Jalan Lagoon Utara and turn right after the traffic light into Jalan Lagoon Timur before entering the New Pantai Expressway (NPE). On the NPE, motorists will be directed to make a U-turn after the Petron petrol station heading towards Kuala Lumpur. Thereafter, motorists are required to turn left after McDonald’s to re-enter the LDP towards Petaling Jaya.

    Alternative Route 4 – Puchong-bound traffic on LDP (from Kuala Lumpur via NPE)
    Motorists from Kuala Lumpur via the New Pantai Expressway (NPE) heading towards Puchong will be re-diverted to U-turn on the LDP into Jalan Lagoon Timur. They will pass Jalan PJS9/1 before connecting to LDP Sunway Toll.

    Alternative Route 5 – Puchong-bound traffic on LDP (from Petaling Jaya)
    Motorists heading towards Puchong on the LDP from Petaling Jaya will be diverted to enter the New Pantai Expressway (NPE), turning right towards Sunway Pyramid and left into Jalan Lagoon Timur. They will pass Jalan PJS9/1 before connecting to LDP Sunway Toll.

    Alternative Route 6 – Entering PJS7 (From Shah Alam)
    Motorists coming via the New Pantai Expressway (NPE) from Shah Alam who wish to enter PJS7 will be diverted to enter the LDP and make a left turn into Jalan PJS7/10, as Jalan PJS7/8 will be closed.

  • Tata GenX Nano launched in India with AMT, EPAS


    The “world’s most affordable car” has come a long way. It didn’t quite live up to the initial hype, nor has it really graduated many Indian families from two wheels to four – still, since its 2008 birth, there has been no shortage of upgrades and editions.

    This is the latest iteration – the Tata GenX Nano. Launched recently in India, it’s perhaps the most sophisticated and well-equipped Nano yet, distancing itself from its budget roots. For the first time, the little tyke gets an ‘Easy Shift’ automated manual transmission (AMT) and electric power-assisted steering (EPAS).

    The AMT has five speeds, sports mode (wow!) and a creep feature. For the record, the Tata Zest sedan diesel is also offered with a five-speed AMT, though that one’s called F-Tronic.

    Other upgrades enjoyed by the GenX Nano include a bigger 24 litre fuel tank, a tailgate (the original Nano had no opening rear hatch – you had to fold the back seats down to access the boot) and a four-speaker AmphiStream sound system with Bluetooth, CD, USB and AUX.

    Also new is the steering wheel and a digital display in the instrument panel. The display shows information such as average and instantaneous consumption, distance to empty and the gear selected.

    Most importantly, Tata says safety has been improved – the GenX Nano has “advanced structural stability”, an anti-roll bar and crumple zones to cushion frontal impacts. Also, the doors now have side impact beams.


    Exterior-wise, you’ll see an ‘Infinity motif grille’, smoked headlamps and a rear bumper that apes the front bumper in terms of design. Sangria Red (new), Persian Rose (new), Pearl White, Meteor Silver, Royal Gold, Dazzle Blue and Damson Purple body colours are available.

    The water-cooled 0.6 litre two-cylinder petrol engine soldiers on, producing 38 PS at 5,500 rpm and 51 Nm of twist at 4,000 rpm. Claimed fuel economy figures are 23.6 km per litre (manual) and 21.9 km per litre (AMT).

    Three manual and two AMT variants are available, priced between 199,000 and 289,000 rupees (RM11k-16k). Accessories include a sunroof (!), leather seat covers, bodykit (!), reverse sensors and even a remote-controlled hatch release.

  • Mazda CX-3 open for booking – RM120k-130k est

    Mazda CX-3 Akari Oz 03

    A Mazda dealer has announced on its Facebook page that the Mazda CX-3 is open for booking, and in response to a user comment, has revealed an estimated RM120k-130k price range.

    We rang the dealer, who told us the cars are arriving in July, ahead of deliveries expected in August. This tallies with what Bermaz sources revealed to us in February.

    At the time, we were told only one “very-highly-specced” front-wheel drive variant would be offered, with six airbags and a head-up display.

    Fully-imported (CBU) from Japan, our car should have a 2.0 litre SkyActiv-G petrol engine and a six-speed auto. Do you think our Honda HR-V will have cause for worry?

    Oz-market Mazda CX-3 Akari – top-spec

  • Post-GST blues – vehicle sales drop over 30% in April


    Well, it looks as if the implementation of the Goods and Services Tax (GST), which came into effect on April 1, has had a noticeable impact on sales of passenger and commercial vehicles in the country.

    Vehicle sales in April 2015 amounted to 45,187 units in total (40,902 units passenger vehicles, 4,285 units commercial vehicles), which was 22,127 units fewer than sold in March – this amounted to a significant 32.7% drop over the previous month.

    post gst sales figures

    The sales figure for April 2015 was also 23% lower than that of the corresponding month in 2014, down by 13,554 units. Year-to-date performance up to April for 2015 was 213,493 units sold, slightly less than the same period in 2014, when 218,654 units were shifted.

    The Malaysian Automotive Association said that the slump in April was due to consumers making an adjustment to the post-GST environment, and added that the significant difference in TIV figures for March this year was also brought about by consumers making vehicle purchases ahead of the implementation of the GST.

    The association said that it expects sales volume to be better in May as consumers become more optimistic now that post-GST prices have been revealed by the industry.

  • Lexus ES 250 now offered with five years free service

    Lexus ES 250 free service

    The Lexus ES 250 can now be had with five years free service, complimentary road tax and insurance, as well as Lexus solar and security film. This promo applies to both ES 250 variants (standard and Luxury), but is currently offered for the month of May only.

    Launched in Malaysia in October 2013, the ES offers the Camry crowd a means to move upscale without breaking the bank account. In terms of rear legroom, especially, not even a BMW 5 Series or Mercedes E-Class can match the Camry or Accord, so for those looking to upgrade from such vehicles, the spacious Lexus is a handy option – as we discovered when we compared it to the Camry and S-Class.

    Prices for the Lexus ES 250 start at RM257,318, up to RM276,690 for the Luxury variant. Both variants have the same 2AR-FE 2.5 litre Dual VVT-i twin-cam four-cylinder engine with 181 hp at 6,000 rpm and 235 Nm of torque at 4,100 rpm, matched to a six-speed automatic transmission.

    For more information on the car, read our full review and refer to for the complete list of specs and equipment.

  • Tan Chong opens biggest Nissan 3S centre in Johor


    Edaran Tan Chong Motor (ETCM) recently opened its biggest 3S (sales, service and spare parts) centre in Malaysia. Costing approximately RM25.5 million, the Johor Jaya 3S centre includes a showroom, MUV certified pre-owned and used vehicles centre, hire purchase and insurance division, a vehicle distribution centre and of course, a service centre.

    The six-storey building, built on 2.15 acres of land, has a total built-up of 256,000 sf. The huge facility has over 400 parking bays, a showroom that can display up to 30 vehicles, 36 service bays with the capacity to serve up to 150 cars per day, a lounge with WiFi and a kids corner.

    “What makes our Johor Jaya 3S centre special isn’t just its sheer size, but its ‘Tan Chong City’ concept. This mega 3S centre offers customers the opportunity to test drive and purchase new Nissan models, trade-in old vehicles, get them serviced, as well as obtain spare parts for their vehicles,” said Datuk Dr. Ang Bon Beng, executive director of ETCM.

    To date, ETCM has a network of 100 showrooms and 60 Tan Chong Express Auto Service (TCEAS) workshops across Malaysia. The company targets to have 20 3S centres in the country by end-2015.

  • 2015 Ford Ranger facelift – a sprinkling of new XLT images of the pickup, ‘coming soon to Malaysia’

    2015 Ranger XLT 4x4 1

    Nothing wrong with going with a ‘strong, silent type’ approach to plug the 2015 Ford Ranger facelift, but when a press release comes in with just a few photos and no accompanying text save to say “Coming soon to Malaysia,” that’s taking it to a whole new level.

    The Blue Oval has released three new images of the Ranger in its XLT form, with the sole studio shot being of a 4×4 and the outdoor ones (that’s a Thai backdrop, by the way) being of a Hi-Rider variant.

    Word sometime ago was that the facelifted Ranger, which made its world debut in Bangkok back in March, was set to arrive here sometime around mid-year, so not long more to go before the refreshed T6 makes its local debut.

    Click to enlarge.

    Three revised Puma oil burners might make it to the Malaysian market – output on the ZSD-422 2.2 litre four-pot Duratorq TDCi has been bumped up to 158 hp and 385 Nm from the 148 hp and 375 Nm seen on the current pre-facelift. There’s also a ‘new’ high-efficiency derivative of the ZSD-422 offering 129 hp, up by six over the 123 hp seen on the current Ranger XL.

    No output change to the other Puma mill, with the P5AT 3.2 litre five-cylinder Duratorq continuing on with 197 hp and 470 Nm of torque, but the unit now features a reworked EGR system for improved efficiency and 18% better fuel consumption.

    There’s also a 164 hp and 225 Nm 2.5L Duratec petrol engine, the L5-VE, but that’s not coming to our market. In terms of transmissions, the familiar 6R80 six-speed automatic and six-speed Getrag MT82 manual continues on. Stay tuned then – the silence will be over in good time.

  • PSA: Petition to make the use of child restraints compulsory in passenger cars in Malaysia

    Volvo V40 Child rear seat crash test

    An informal group of concerned individuals called The Child Restraint Action Group hopes to petition the government to make child restraints (child seats) compulsory in all four-wheeled vehicles, in addition to other measures that might encourage parents to use these child restraints in their vehicles.

    You can help these efforts by signing the petition below. There are about 100 signatures so far and the target is to hit 1,000 signatures. You can click the link that says “read full petition” below for more info.

    If you are browsing from your mobile device and have difficulty accessing the embedded form, you can click here to see the petition in a new window.

  • Mazda launches ‘Driving Matters’ ad campaign in the USA – goes back to the essence of Zoom-Zoom

    Mazda Driving Matters-05

    Mazda wasn’t always so cool, you know? There was a time when bread and butter cars from Hiroshima were about as exciting as well, bread and butter. Wasn’t that long ago, actually. Then we entered the new millennium, Zoom-Zoom came along and as they say, the rest was history.

    For this writer, Mazda’s Zoom-Zoom brand campaign is the best in town bar none. It was steadfast in focus since day one (for those who love to drive), is instinctive and catchy (the way ‘The Relentless Pursuit of Perfection’ is not) and effectively tugs at the heartstrings of its target audience.

    Lines like “all children know it, some adults remember it, one car company refuses to outgrow it” and “these are the only cars worth building, these are the only cars worth driving” can soften the heart of the most jaded enthusiast. Put on your headphones, view the video below and share with us your thoughts on it.

    Of course, you need the products to back the talk up. The first Zoom-Zoom car was the first-generation Mazda 6 that came out in 2002. Bucking the mid-size trend at that time, the ‘GG’ had the styling and driving to be a great ad for the ad. Subsequent models from a rejuvenated Mazda including the 3, RX-8 sports car, 5 and 2 further cemented the branding.

    Why the reminiscing? It’s because Mazda North American Operations (MNAO) has rolled out a new advertising campaign called Driving Matters. Unlike what some headlines will lead you to believe, it’s not a replacement for Zoom-Zoom, which according to Mazda, will continue to be a part of the brand’s DNA. Driving Matters is the sequel to the North American Game Changers campaign that focused on the functional side of Mazda cars.

    Since its inception in 2000, Zoom-Zoom has come to symbolise what a Mazda stands for – stylish, insightful and spirited – and Driving Matters will communicate the company’s core belief in the joy of driving and illustrate the emotional enhancement driving has on our lives in everyday situations, the company said.

    “Through the Driving Matters campaign, consumers will get a glimpse at why driving matters so much to Mazda and why we obsess over every detail in designing our cars. Whether it’s for safety purposes or for maintaining our ‘fun to drive’ nature, it all comes down to the fact that driving matters to our customers and it matters to us,” said Russell Wager, VP of marketing at MNAO.

    The Driving Matters campaign will launch with “A Driver’s Life”, an ad that chronicles the major moments and life stages in a driver’s life, like getting a license and buying your first car, through raising a family and obtaining your “reward” car. Our young hero grows up and assumes responsibilities, but the “fire” in him never dies. All he needs is a spark…

    The spot, which features a few 2016 Mazdas, will launch today in US cinemas and on TV. It’s a good ad, one that many of us who love driving will be able to relate to, even if we didn’t go to college in a Mazda MX-5. It’s a return to ad form for Mazda after the cold Game Changers. Why Zoom-Zoom? Because Driving Matters.


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