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Car Reviews

Jeep Wrangler shaken and stirred

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When it comes to having an off-road pedigree, there is one car that takes the cake. This car doesn’t just have good breeding, it created a whole pedigree of its own. I’m of course talking about the Jeep Wrangler. To cut a really long story short, this go-everywhere-take-everything-on machine first started life as a special project by the US army. The onset of World War II saw these proto-Jeeps spread out across the globe. It was during this time that American G.I.’s gave it the Jeep monicker, possibly after a character from Popeye or by slurring the military designation given…

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To Terengganu and back in Peugeot 308

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It’s so stylish it can walk down the runway and make heads turn (and in fact it did). That’s how the new Peugeot 308 THP (Turbo High Pressure) was presented during the car’s officical launch in Kuala Lumpur recently. Before the hatch was launched however, the French marque’s local distributor Nasim Sdn Bhd invited members of the media to take the 308 THP for a drive to Tanjong Jara Resort in Trengganu and back. The French do know how to make a statement and the 308 THP is dressed to impress. It’s completely new and sleek exterior design and lightweight…

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Lexus NX F Sport is automania-tested

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The Lexus NX F Sport has upped the ante to stay ahead of the compact sports utility vehicle (SUV) pack and with stiff competition in this segment, especially from premium European marques, Lexus is giving its line of luxury models a bunch of bells and whistles to stand out from its rivals. The Japanese luxury marque seems to have found a winning formula in the NX F Sport. There is no lack of front and rear legroom, as this sporty SUV has a 2,660mm wheelbase. While the NX F Sport is a tad on the heavy side with 1,860kg of kerb…

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We drove the Porsche Cayman GT4 in Portugal

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Porsche has worked its new compact Cayman GT4 into a sports car that performance purists would love. There appears to be a growing trend of extending prestigious and exclusive models down the line to expand appeal and market share. From Porsche, this has surfaced in the Cayman GT4, the entry-level model to purist sports car driving for those who might find the newly launched 911 GT3 RS too big for their liking. This GT family model is not to be confused with the Cayman GTS, which is provided as a sportier option to the standard one with merely a bigger…

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MINI Cooper tested

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The new Mini Cooper is one pocket rocket that lives up to its reputation. It’s rather hard to believe that the modern MINI has been around for 13 years. It feels like only a short while ago that BMW unveiled the successor to Sir Alec Issigonis’ original creation, but already here we are with the all-new third-generation MINI Cooper. The new Cooper sits on an all-new platform and features a new BMW engine to boot, which is actually debuting in the MINI, instead of the other way around. And no longer is the turbo-charged engine limited to just the Cooper…

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Mazda2: From Bangkok to Penang on a single tank

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While the latest generation 1.5-litre Mazda2 SkyActiv launched locally in January had proven to be a success due to its innovative styling and design, local distributor Bermaz Motor wants to up its appeal by giving a taste of a more efficient diesel-powered variant. Called the Mazda2 SkyActiv-D, our test drive entailed a 1,200km single-tank journey from Wearnes Mazda, in the heart of Bangkok, to Penang. The journey was put together to see who among the motoring journalists could drive the most frugally. Our Thailand-spec Mazda2 hatchback came rather spartan and lacked the head-up display, paddle shifters, leather accents, commander control…

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First drive of Rolls-Royce Wraith

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The Rolls-Royce Wraith is the “ultimate gentleman’s gran turismo” as proclaimed by Rolls-Royce Motor Cars, chief operating officer, Torsten Müller-Ötvös. And after having the opportunity of driving the Wraith from Petaling Jaya to Putrajaya, I can only agree with the sentiment. When it comes to the Rolls-Royce, my opinion of it had been that it is the ultimate car to be chauffeured in. And that is still true if you’re sitting in a Phantom or Ghost Series II (I sat in the latter on the way back from Putrajaya and it is an exquisite experience in-and-of itself). Where the Wraith…

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Chevy Malibu tested

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There’s a certain presence about the Chevrolet Malibu LTZ, which simply and silently states: “I have arrived”. It may seem chunky in appearance, but to some degree – it’s arguably stately as well, but while the male audience may find the Malibu manly enough to own, it also possesses a touch of grace for the ladies. Our Malibu (priced on the road with insurance at RM158,888) came draped in Olympic White with distinctive creases on the hood (that seems more form than function) – only to be downplayed by its curvaceous mid-section. Some of its styling cues have even been…

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Chery Maxime goes big on value

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Although Chery is an unfamiliar marque to many Malaysians, the Chinese automaker’s seven-seater Eastar MPV (multi-purpose vehicle) is not a strange sight on the road, especially in the Klang Valley. To recap, several thousand units of the Eastar people carrier were sold in the last few years as many saw it as a decent choice in the below RM90,000 MPV segment. There is even a Chery Eastar owners’ club which is quite active in organising get-togethers and road trips. However, the Eastar is a bit long in the tooth and its replacement is the new Maxime which is also locally…

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On the road with VW Beetle 1.2 TSI

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When it comes to distinctive automobile shapes, few are as iconic as the Volkswagen Beetle. I have always been fond of the Beetle, my first car was a classic 1970 original. The ‘people’s car-turned-modern icon’, now in the second-generation of its contemporary form, dubbed simply as ‘The Beetle’, still continues to be one of the most recognisable cars in existence. We were given a chance to roll with the 1.2 TSI Beetle recently, and while the average petrol head would most likely mention the 1.4 TSI or range-topping 2.0 TSI variants, one can’t help but wonder how the entry level…

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