Is this the first ever car review?


Written on 5/27/2005 12:54:00 pm by sikapitan

And so it is, the red half of Merseyside has done the improbable. They have beaten Milan in a Champions League final through a penalty shoot-out (again!!!) despite being three, I repeat THREE, goals down at the start of the second half. I won’t bore you with tactical analysis yada yada yada. Suffice to say, as we have seen in another final recently *ehem ehem*, life’s not fair. It never is. It never will be. Football, like I’ve said many times before, is the perfect embodiment of life itself. In this case, it’s just like you out there who worked so hard to look good, talk smooth, smell nice and yet the girl just went to that ugly bloke who has “heart”. Bullshit I say.

To complete one of the most miserable months in my life (at least in terms of supporting something), Carrie Underwood and Sergio Mora both won American Idol and The Contender respectively. It might be wise for the betting man to come see me, and place their bets on whoever I’m NOT supporting. United, Milan, Sporting Lisbon, Bo Bice, Peter Manfredo, even the people I thought would be in Akademi Fantasia did not make it. The losing streak is incredible. Perhaps I should refrain from supporting Perodua’s MyVi?

It was on the way back from those late night sojourns at the mamaks that I and Mr. Fredo stumbled upon the still-open Perodua showroom. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, Perodua is way ahead of Proton when it comes to marketing. Is the Gen.2 not important enough for them to make a seriously good ad campaign? Where’s the TV ad for example? The lack of impetus on the part of Proton has clearly given Perodua the advantage. What’s the last Proton TV ad you remember? Mine is the Satria ad where there’s like horses and some weird soundtrack at the back. Perodua? How about the Einstein jibe for Kenari, or Superman changing in a Kenari, or the mad professor for “engineered for excellence”? Let’s not forget the countless Hari Raya and such ads that are miles better than Proton’s. I know that ads don’t make a car better, but it sure does show that the company cares enough to promote.

Back to the MyVi. In a brilliant move, Perodua decided to extend the operating hours of their showrooms. Of course, the straight laced people at Proton might be thinking “Sapa nak beli kereta tgh2 malam?”. The point is not only to sell cars, but to make an impression. Anyway, when we stopped at the showroom close to midnight, there are still a lot of people hanging about. Not as many as during the day, but if one out of 15 manages to buy, there could be 2 customers signing up between 11-12.30 pm, and that’s a worthwhile risk to take.

The car itself looks impressive. The shape is the amalgam of various recent runaway successes in Malaysia. The front end is unmistakably Jazz/Toyota Wish hybrid. The whole shape is a bit Citroen C3, while the back is Getz/Punto like. The length is something like Aveo’s (they even have one in the same ugly bird-shit color). Most amazingly, the inside of the car seems bigger than even my Jazz. Maybe it’s the lighter color, but it is a brilliant piece of engineering to pack that much room in a compact car. In terms of looks, it’s a winner in my book, especially in funkier colors like the Orange or Red. The interior layout is decent enough, with funky 3 spoke steering wheel for the higher end models and built-in cd player for all models. The boot space is not so big, but the various configurations you can do with the back seat will probably help solve this problem. Plus, as the salesman keeps on telling to anyone who would bother listening, the back passenger’s doors can be opened at an 80 degrees angle. In layman’s term, you could open it flat out to fit that IKEA table or your fat uncle.

But, the interior trim is still cheap, with the rough fabrics and hard plastics reminding you that this car is not meant for those who appreciate finesse. The auto stick-shift is way too low, the car feels way too big (difficult for lady drivers), the stereo looks gaudy (and there’s no way to replace it!!!) and it’s difficult to get a proper driving position. But the plastics looked solid, and if the Kenari/Kelisa interior is anything to go by, should last a lifetime. My friend has just reported that the interior trim of her Gen.2 keeps falling apart. Please explain Mr. Proton.

I don’t know how it will drive, but the top-end is fitted with the DVVT (another great ad campaign yea?) 1.3 engine found in the Kembara. In that car, because the engine is powering 4 wheels, the fuel consumption is a bit on the high side. But fitted in a two-wheel drive vehicle, it should prove a bit more sprightly and economical. At a price that’s considerably lower than any of its likes (from 41k-51k), it is a sure winner. And a deserved one too, if first impression’s anything to go by.

I just hope that it’s not like some of the girls I’ve went out with. Beautiful, but too un-refined. Go figure.

For pictures from the LonRis experience, visit my fotopage.

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