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Car Reviews

First drive of all-new Nissan X-Trail

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With clear blue skies, we had the relentless sun beating upon our heads before setting off in the latest mid-sized Nissan X-Trail 5+2 seater sports utility vehicle which looks to do battle with the likes of the Mazda CX5, Honda CRV and the Mitsubishi ASX to name a few. Our 16-car convoy departed Glenmarie for the once moss-filled beaches that gave the coastal town in the eastern state of Perak its name – Lumut, which is now home to our Royal Malaysian Navy and a gateway to the little island of Pangkor. The drive would take us northbound through the…

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Infiniti Q50 tested

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NISSAN’S luxury marque Infiniti is gaining traction among premium car buyers here. The Q50 rear-wheel drive sports sedan represents some of the best stuff offered by Infiniti, in terms of driving refinement, ride comfort, safety features as well as handling and performance. After living with a test drive unit for three days, we have to say the Q50 more than lives up to our expectations for a rear-wheel drive sports sedan that competes with the likes of the BMW 3 Series and Audi A4. Imported from Japan, it has a generous list of standard equipment. If that is not enough,…

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City on a holiday

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When we took the Honda City last Christmas season, Johor ended up in the shortlist for an extended drive as the east coast was off-limits, what with the monsoonal floods – unfortunately the worst on record with over 200,000 people evacuated nationwide. So Johor it was. Surprisingly, the nearly 5-hour drive on the North-South Expressway on Christmas morning was clear through to Johor Baru (JB), with no wretched jams to gripe about. Until one reaches the city centre, where locals, Singaporeans and other out-of-towners were out in force for a day of merry-making. Given a choice, one would prefer a…

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Driving Hyundai Sonata to PD

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Making its Malaysian debut in December last year, the seventh generation Hyundai Sonata LF has been restyled to project a more elegant aura over the previous model’s aggressive looks. We had an opportunity to test this latest incarnation in its range-topping Executive trim, costing RM158,053 (on-the-road with insurance) with a quick drive from Kuala Lumpur to a small town in Negeri Sembilan that was once known for its charcoal and tin ore. The town was once a busy trade centre, but today it’s now known for its beaches among the locals and tourists alike – holding much nostalgia as we…

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Open up to a Targa lifestyle

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PORSCHE is as much a visual statement about outright performance as it is about lifestyle. While little needs be said about the former, the latter hardly needs prompting either especially when the 911 Targa is driven up your alley. The Targa is Porsche’s version of the coupé-cabriolet model and is the new model addition to the current 911 range. This is not a new concept though but one that Porsche has developed into an iconic benchmark since it was introduced to the 911 family in 1965: since then the Targa has accounted for about 13% of all 911 produced thus…

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Nissan Teana scales up comfort level

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THE new, third-generation Nissan Teana D-segment sedan offers a nice blend of perky performance, a spacious cabin and a smooth-and-quiet ride. While its predecessors were also renowned for their strong engines and roomy interior, we feel that the latest-generation Teana has taken its driving performance and comfort levels up by more than just a few notches. We recently spent three days with the top-grade Teana 2.5XV, which was launched here last June and is priced at RM169,900 on-the-road with insurance. Assembled at the Tan Chong Motor Assemblies plant in Serendah, the Teana is also offered in two 2.0L variants which…

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Toyota Mirai – first hydrogen drive

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It’s exciting times ahead as we head to Tokyo for a quick spin in toyota’s hydrogen-powered Mirai. IT’S not about clairvoyance when we talk about the future because in this case we literally had the opportunity to not just take a peek, but sample what Toyota is banking on to be the future of mobility – the Mirai. The Japanese word mirai means “future” and Toyota is offering this hydrogen-powered Fuel Cell Vehicle (FCV) sooner than some may have anticipated. You see, the water-producing Mirai is not just ready for production, better yet, it’s ready to go on sale -…

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On the hunt with the Isuzu Safari

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The D-Max has gone stylish but loses none of its ruggedness. LAY your eyes upon this beastly beauty and there may be no turning back, because this is Isuzu’s way of keeping budding owners visually poised in admiration with its D-Max V-Cross 3.0 Safari – dressed only in Venetian Orange Mica for our test. Although the name can be quite a mouthful, this is one of three 3.0L V-Cross variants introduced in Malaysia last year. Of late, the pickup truck has garnered substantial popularity, eventually becoming seen as a fun rugged vehicle to own rather than for its commercial applications…

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We drove the BMW i8 in Milan

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Being one of the grandest buildings in Italy, the Milan Cathedral easily dominates the city centre with its Gothic-styled architecture with 135 spires. Also known as Duomo di Milano, this majestic building was completed in 1965 or some 600 years after work started. As such, it was a sad tale for the designers of the cathedral as they could not see their masterpiece finished in their lifetime. Being a coincidental backdrop for BMW’s international test drive of its i8 plug-in petrol/electric hybrid car, the German car maker shared a similar storyline with the Milan Cathedral about the toil and imagination…

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Mazda5 turns on the charm

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The Mazda5 looks mighty fine for a people-carrier. We run through its other qualities, to see if it’s worth spending good money on. FOR many, there comes a time when a family bids a warm welcome to a new addition, and for some it usually means a larger vehicle. Enter the Mazda5, which is an entry-level multi-purpose vehicle (MPV) with a six-plus-one seating layout. It’s readily identifiable as an MPV, and there’s always that stigma that it is nothing more than a people mover with some comfort and from little to no engine performance. With the Mazda5, that stigma gets…

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