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[ LATEST UPDATE: Naza has updated the Naza 206 Bestari for the 2008 model year. Click the link for more information! ]

I remember falling in love with the Peugeot 206 a few years ago when I was in college. There was this blue one parked in the college parking lot belonging to some lucky girl with generous parents, and every time I walked up to the college entrance I would take the opportunity to admire it. It’s a sporty little hatchback, and the addition of the air vents on the hoods did wonders to add to it’s sporty look. Although Peugeot has released the 207 recently, the 206 still remains in it’s portfolio, serving a different market segment. Now Malaysians have the opportunity to experience the Peugeot 206 in CKD form, with the launch of Naza’s latest car, the Naza 206 Bestari, previously known by it’s codename the Naza NX-02.

[ Click here for Naza 206 Bestari Test Drive Review ]

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Exterior

The Naza 206 Bestari 1.4 is a B-segment 5-door hatchback based on the Peugeot 206 1.4. In Malaysia, other examples of B-segment cars are the Proton Wira and the Chevrolet Aveo. The Naza 206 Bestari was developed to fill in the gap in the RM60K-RM70K segment of the B-segment car class. This area used to be dominated by cars like the Kia Rio before tax rates increased the pricing of the Kia Rio and the Hyundai Getz CBU.

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Naza did not touch the exterior design of the 206, their reasoning is too many cooks spoil the soup as it is already a great product. So much for my photoshop.

Unlike the Naza Sutera which was revamped quite significantly for the local market, Naza’s decided that with the Peugeot 206 it was already a very good product, so no significant re-engineering was required. The car is almost similar to the original Peugeot 206 with the exception of the lion logo being replaced by the Naza logo. The car looks very feline, as with most Peugeot cars. The car is equipped with nice 14” aluminium wheels wrapped with 175/65/R14 tyres. The wing mirrors are powered, and can be controlled from the inside of the car. The air intake on the bonnet however, is not for a cold air intake.

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Nice 5-spoke alloy rims

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The Peugeot TU3 engine

Engine

The Naza 206 Bestari comes with a 1402cc Peugeot TU3 engine. The multiport fuel injection SOHC 8-valve engine provides 74hp at 5500rpm and 120Nm of torque at a low speed of 2800rpm. For the moment, the car is only offered with a Peugeot AL4 4-speed automatic gearbox with adaptive and sequential control, which Naza says is a Porsche Tiptronic System. There will also be a 5-speed manual transmission in the future. The 4-speed tiptronic gearbox has adaptive control, something like the Waja 1.8′s gearbox or the Toyota Vios Super-ECT where it senses situations like hill descents and downshifts to help with engine braking. The gearbox also suits itself to the driver’s behaviour, changing gears at different RPMs according to the driving pattern. This engine and gearbox gives the Naza 206 Bestari a top-speed of 160km/h for the automatic and 170km/h for the unreleased 5-speed manual version.

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The Peugeot TU3 engine torque curve

Other than the manual auto mode, there is also a sports mode with sportier gear changes, a snow/mud mode in which the car starts on 2nd gear to prevent traction loss on slippery surfaces, and a manual mode which is the tiptronic mode. In tiptronic mode, the driver shifts the gateshift to the M selector. Then he can shift the gears up and down sequentially by pushing the lever up and down. If revs drop below 1000rpm, the gearbox automatically downshifts to first gear to prevent engine stalling. This is actually something new to the 206 in Malaysia as the original Peugeot 206 was only offered with a normal 4-speed automatic gearbox on our local shores. Naza brings us a Porsche-developed 4-speed tiptronic gearbox with the Naza 206 Bestari.

Although the Peugeot 206 originally had 1.6 litre and even 2.0 litre models, Naza’s market surveys showed that fuel economy was an important criteria for buyers looking for B-segment cars in this price bracket, so they decided to go for the 1.4 litre model which is fuel and road tax saving, but provides ample torque for a smooth and not “out of breath” drive.

Suspension

The Naza 206 Bestari uses pseudo-MacPherson struts with a decoupled anti-roll bar for the front, and a trailing arm rear suspension. The shock absorbers are pressurized with nitrogen gas. Both the front and rear have 18mm thick anti-roll bars to help with the handling.

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Interior

The Naza 206 Bestari has a dark coloured interior, something that suits it’s sporty image. I am not a big fan of cream interiors. Seats are semi-bucket seats, nicely contoured to fit your body. The car is equipped with power windows on all doors. The center dashboard area has manual aircond controls which are arranged in a simple and easy to use layout. There is also a grey Clarion FM/AM/CD player which looks kind of bland to me, but buttons are arranged in a functional and easy to use layout as usual. Sometimes simplicity is beautiful, but maybe this is slightly overdoing it. This player pipes sound output to 4 speakers – two in the front doors and two tweeters located in the wing mirror brackets. CD player functions can also be controlled from a small stalk under the steering wheel, so you don’t need to take your hands off the steering wheel to control your audio system.

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Three spoke steering with Naza logo in the middle

206_bestari_11.jpgThe steering is a three spoke design, and most three spoke designs look pretty sporty. I like it. The steering has a Naza logo on it, surrounded by a silver ring. Power window buttons for the front windows are near the handbrake, while power window buttons for the rear are on the back of the center console arm rest area.

There is ample storage space everywhere, and the glove box is sort of clever. It has special compartments for a pen, two cups, and sunglasses. I assume the two cup holders are there for the driver and the passenger, but I think it would be slightly hard to open the glove box to actually put your cup there if there was a passenger sitting on the passenger seat.

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Nice touch with the cupholders in the glove box, but is it really practical?

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Plenty of storage space in the Naza 206 Bestari’s interior

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Nice dashboard meters which are really clear in the dark

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The dashboard meter console is what you will be looking at most of the time. From left to right, fuel, engine RPM cum temperate, speedometer, and gear indicator. The gear indicator is an LCD screen showing what gear you are in, which is a must for the tiptronic operation. At the top is a multi function trip meter, which can show you the amount of kilometers to your next service interval. The center of the dashboard also has an LCD screen showing you the date and time. I’m not sure what other things can be shown. I did notice something strange though. In the PR images (the interior images used in this blog post), the area near the center LCD panel has two buttons, a hazard warning light button and a door lock button. But in the actual car pictured below, there is only a hazard warning light button.

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Hazard warning light button is located at an easy to reach place

206_bestari_6.jpgThe gate shift looks very upmarket as it is usually available on premium cars only. Instead of a button you press to unlock the safety feature of the automatic gearshift, you just shift it diagonally through the gates. From D, if you push left into the M selection, it activates tiptronic mode. Push forward to upshift and pull backwards to downshift.

Safety features

The car has dual SRS airbags, one for the driver and one for the passenger. The fuel tank also has a safety feature that cuts off fuel supply whenever an airbag is deployed or there is a strong deceleration. There is anti-lock braking system for the automatic tiptronic version which is the one launched now, but the future manual model will not have anti-lock brakes. Brakes are 247mm discs at the front and 180mm drum brakes at the rear. The car also has Electronic Brakeforce Distribution and Emergency Brake Assistance.

Build Quality

I had ample time to look at the car’s quality of fittings and I must say I am impressed. Everything feels solid and very well put together. Dashboard materials feel good, steering feels nice in my hands, the doors do not take much effort to close and feel solid. The seats are comfy. I like the contours of the semi-bucket seats. Buttons do not feel cheap and flimsy. This is what I like about European cars, the interior has a much different feel than Japanese cars. And I like that feel.

Colour Options

The Naza 206 Bestari comes in Midnight Black, Quartz Blue, Quick Silver, Racy Red, Aegean Blue and Svelte Grey.

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Naza 206 Bestari Svelte Grey

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Naza 206 Bestari Aegean Blue

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Naza 206 Bestari Racy Red

Price

The Naza 206 Bestari will cost you RM68,888 on the road with insurance for private registration. This makes it pretty competitive as it is cheaper than it’s competitors like the Chevrolet Aveo and the Hyundai Getz. The Peugeot 206 is a great car, and Naza has provided us with a nice alternative at a cheaper price even though it’s pretty much just a re-badge. The Peugeot 206 is Peugeot’s best selling model and it’s engineering and technology is proven. The Naza 206 Bestari comes with a 3 year or 100,000km warranty, whichever comes first. I’ll end this blog post with somemore Naza Bestari photos for you to enjoy. There is also a sporty concept version called the Naza Bestari Sport Concept.

[Click here for Naza 206 Bestari Test Drive Review]

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Nice contoured seats to support your body

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Rear space. I could sit in it, although it wasn’t anything too fantastic. This is a small car after all.

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[Click here for Naza 206 Bestari Test Drive Review]