Previews

2014 Perodua Axia: Everything You Need To Know, All In One Place

By 2 days ago 0 comments

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Perodua, Malaysia’s second national carmaker, will soon be launching its all-new 2014 Perodua Axia. The Axia (pronounced “a-zee-ah”) will soon replace the Perodua Viva as the country’s most affordable vehicle, at a low price of RM24,900.

And ever since rumours of an all-new model made headlines, we’ve been following the car’s arrival pretty closely, and here, we compile everything we know about the coming Axia, under one roof – from its appearance in concept form at the KLIMS13 show, to the most recent information we’ve been able to dig up from Perodua. Here goes:

Perodua Axia E Secures Four-Star ASEAN NCAP Rating

Weeks before the all-new Axia makes its debut, the Association of Southeast Asian Countries New Car Assessment Program (ASEAN NCAP) revealed that the Perodua Axia E, the base variant, has scored a respectable four-star rating.

Perodua Look To Sell 7,500 Axia Units A Month, Records 3,000 Bookings In Five Days

Just five days after the car opened for bookings at Perodua dealerships nationwide, the company has reported that some 3,000 units were booked – all looks good then for them to hit their target of 7,500 units a month!

2014 Perodua Axia Spec Sheet Revealed: We Detail All Four Variants

Not wanting to wait until the car’s full debut, Perodua launched the car’s primary specifications on its own website, revealing how all four trims will look like spec-wise when they launch here. You don’t want to miss this one.

Tentative Prices Leaked Online For All-New Perodua Axia

More than Perodua themselves, it seems that informed dealerships can hardly wait to get going with the Axia’s sales. Here is a leaked brochure of the tentative prices for the all-new Axia, before it was officially made public.

Taking All Orders: Perodua Axia Opens For Bookings Nationwide

Just after Perodua revealed a teaser image of its Axia, some information surrounding the coming car was finally revealed for all, along with the announcement that it was finally opened for bookings.

Perodua Discontinues 3-Year Free Service (Makes Way For 5-Year program)

Along with the announcement that they were no longer offering their 3-year free service promotion, Perodua also revealed the first official photo of the Axia, seen from its rear. Of course, it was only later than we learnt of the company revamping its 3-year promo to a 5-year one.

SPYSHOTS: Perodua Axia Interior Leaked Online

Spotted spreading around on Facebook, pictures of the Perodua Axia’s interior design caught our attention very quickly, with what appeared to be a very-well equipped car for the segment it was joining. This was our first indication that Perodua was gearing up to launch something quite impressive.

Perodua Slashes 2014 Viva’s Prices By Up To RM5,000 – Making Way For The Axia?

In order to speed up the discontinuation of its Perodua Viva, the national carmaker appeared keen to load off remaining stock of its then ‘most affordable vehicle in the country’. This could only mean one thing: the arrival of the Perodua Axia was near.

55 Edition 2014 MINI Countryman On Sale In Malaysia: From RM189k

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MINI Malaysia has just announced that in conjunction with the car’s 55th anniversary and the upcoming Malaysian festivities (Hari Merdeka, Hari Malaysia), a special limited-edition MINI Countryman will be up for sale, exclusively for Malaysia.

Called the 55 Edition MINI Countryman, prices begin from RM188,888 (without insurance), and is limited to just 55 units, so you might want to hurry on over to a dealership now to book one. Why? Well, if you’ve always wanted a Countryman, consider that this is an RM30,000 discount over the regular CKD MINI Countryman.

So What’s New?

Starting on the outside, you’ll note that the locally-assembled (CKD) 55 Edition MINI has a few sporty stickers that celebrate the brand’s 55th anniversary, and sets itself apart from the regular  Countryman. Of course, there’s also the already-mentioned RM30,000 price reduction.

Particularly, these include a sports stripe that runs across the bonnet, side skirts and rear tailgate, and there’s also a 55 Edition badge which sits on the hexagonal radiator grille. Unique 16-inch Five-Start single-spoke alloy rims are also featured.

2014 MINI Countryman 55 Edition

The interior is decked in cloth Cosmos Carbon Black upholstery, and elliptical door bezels in Piano Black with a Polar Beige inlay. For features, MINI Malaysia has spec-ed rain and light sensors, an anti-dazzle rear-view mirror, an on-board MINI Radio Basis with Bluetooth connectivity, and multifunction buttons on the steering wheel.

No changes occur under the hood, with the special 55 Edition MINI Countryman packing the same 1.6-litre, naturally-aspirated engine from the CKD MINI Cooper Countryman which makes 120hp and 155Nm of torque. Transmission is courtesy of a six-speed torque converter automatic.

2015 Suzuki Vitara Previewed Ahead Of Paris Motor Show

By 3 days ago 1 comment

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Suzuki Motor Corporation has just announced that it will be premiering its all-new 2015 Suzuki Vitara at the coming Paris Motor Show, which begins early October.

The new five-door SUV will be a fourth-generation model, which will replace the current model that’s been in production since 2005. In Malaysia Suzuki Malaysia Automobile, under the stewardship of DRB-Hicom, continues to sell the the five-door Grand Vitara variant, which is also what we see here.

Curiously, Suzuki Motor Corp are dropping the “Grand” label which typically signifies their five-door variant. You may also find that it looks a bit familiar. Well., that’s because the car made a first appearance at the 2013 Frankfurt Motor Show, as the iV-4 Concept.

In the media materials packed along with a photo of the 2015 Suzuki Vitara, we’re told that the SUV will offer an optional ALLGRIP intelligent four-wheel drive system, while petrol and diesel engine options will be announced as well.

Stay tuned to Live Life Drive for more news.

SPYSHOTS: 2014 Proton Iriz (GSC/ PCC) Seen Again On DUKE Highway

By 3 days ago 1 comment

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Proton has once again been spied testing its all-new compact car on public roads, this time, we understand along the DUKE highway. Thanks to reader David L., here it is once more, with a pretty good close-up shot of its rear end – in sharper quality to the one we saw on Elite highway not too long ago.

Previously, we’ve detailed the all-new coming model quite extensively for you, going off a few spyshots of the car undergoing testing and telling you all about its ins and outs. From this picture, it’s a bit hard to tell you more than we already have: note six-spoke alloy wheels, LED rear lamps, rear parking sensors, rear wing attachment and so on.

In more recent developments however, there are a few things worth updating you with. For starters, it looks to us likeProton has already settled on naming its Global Small Car the Proton Iriz. And secondly, at least two engine variants are likely to be offered: one being a naturally-aspired 1.3-litre mill, the second a 1.6-litre. Reports of a turbocharged 1.3-litre engine haven’t been ruled out, but no word of it has been carried forward either.

Proton Iriz leaked spec-sheet

Then you have this: what appears to be a spec-sheet that highlights the Proton Iriz’s performance, economy and safety features. And in all honesty, we’re in some awe of what’s to come. Of course, it wouldn’t be right to assume that all of these features will be available to all variants of the car.

In its highest trim, where the bulk of these highlights will feature, the Proton Iriz certainly looks impressive.

Performance & Economy:

Having already mentioned the likelihood of 1.3 and 1.6-litre variants, we can see here that it will be a new VVT mill, that gets a new Bosch engine management system. The Proton Iriz will also be offered with a five-speed manual option, as well as a continuously variable transmission unit (CVT).

There are also a few goodies to come that will keep its fuel economy and CO2 emissions low. First up is an electronic power steering (EPS), which unlike typical hydraulic units, relieves the strain put on engines. In the same way, we expect the smart alternator mentioned to also do the same, only switching on when a driver lifts off the throttle.

The maniverter is essentially an exhaust manifold with an integrated catalytic converter, and is there to reduce toxic emissions.

Proton Iriz

Safety & Convenience Features:

For certain, we see here that the range-topping Proton Iriz variant will benefit from having an anti-lock braking system (ABS), electronic brake-force distribution (EBD), traction control (TCS), an electronic stability control system (ESC), and hill-hold assist functions. Six airbags have been allocated, with ISOFIX child-seat anchors included as well.

However, just how much of these features trickle down to the more affordable variants is yet to be seen, but the more the merrier for Proton.

Other convenience features include a multimedia navigation system, keyless entry, daytime running lights, power windows with anti-pinch for the driver’s window only, and even a reverse camera with sensors. Interestingly, there’s a service reminder feature as well, leaving just the “ABCM body electronic controls” to decipher – active body control management sounds too much like an S-Class’ Magic Body Control feature.

Proton Iriz

Buyer’s Guide:

With all the hype building nicely around the coming Proton Iriz, an official launch can’t be too far from now – from our observations, we reckon sometime next month (September) is likely.

When it does makes its official debut, the Proton Iriz will directly compete with the current Perodua Myvi, which retails from RM42k (XT 1.3L) to some RM62k (Extreme 1.5L). Could prices for the Iriz range similarly? Time will tell.

Proton Iriz

On the other side of town, the Perodua Axia, another all-new Malaysian-made model to come, may slot in just beneath its bigger brother, the Myvi, and the Proton Iriz, it is an equally exciting prospect for Malaysians in the market for an entry-level vehicle. You can learn more about the Perodua Axia and the Proton Iriz here:

2014 Proton Iriz

Perodua Axia

2014 Perodua Axia:

All-New 2015 Volvo XC90 Unveiled: The Benchmark SUV Is Finally Here

By 4 days ago 0 comments

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After several teasers and pictures revealed, the Volvo Car Group has finally unveiled its all-new 2015 Volvo XC90. The Swedish flagship seven-seater SUV has finally shown its full form, in the wake of the previous-generation’s end of production. Nevertheless, as we’ve told you before, the all-new Volvo XC90 is here to mark an all-new journey for futureVolvos, with its awesome new looks, and brand-new set of technologies.

Apart from the unveiling of the car’s exterior design, there isn’t much here that we haven’t already told you about, but here’s a quick recap just in case, starting with the new design language:

Volvo XC90

EXTERIOR DESIGN:

From a teaser we’ve seen before, we know all about the XC90 having Thor’s Hammer for daytime running lights, and the car’s vertical-slat grille with its distinctive diagonal slash across it. New to the lot of us is just how pretty Volvo has managed to make its flagship SUV! From every angle (available in the gallery below), it looks plainly stunning, and makes for some excitement considering future Volvos designs will stem from this.

The muscular lines will be garnished by a range of new wheel designs in sizes that go up to 22-inchers, with wo major exterior trim options made available. These include:

  • The Urban Luxury package: combining a colour co-ordinated body kit with polished stainless steel details, such as front deco frames, front and rear skid plates and side scuff plates. The 21-inch exclusive polished wheels complete the elegant look.
  • The Rugged Luxury kit: adding on to the XC90 SUV a tech matte black exterior trim, stainless steel skid plates, running boards with illumination and integrated exhaust pipes. This version is supplemented by unique 22-inch wheels.

XC90 Volvo

ARCHITECTURE:

The all-new XC90 is the first Volvo to sit on the company’s new Scalable Product Architecture (SPA). The modular SPA platform will be used to underpin future models from Volvo, of which a whole new range is expected by 2017. You can learn more about there SPA platforms and Volvo’s future use for this here:

2015 Volvo XC90

PERFORMANCE:

Several Drive-E powertrains will makes its way into powering different variants of the XC90. Typically, a host of 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder (petrol and diesel) mills with different tunes will be offered.

And as we’ve reported on before, at the highest end of the spectrum will sit a very special T8 Twin Engine, which features a turbocharger, a supercharger, and an electric motor for power, making some 400hp and 640Nm of torque in the process, also keeping CO2 emissions down to a low 60g/km (NEDC driving cycle).

Without electric power, the same combination of a turbo/supercharged mill equates to the T6 variant, which makes 320hp and 400Nm of torque. There will also be D5 and D4 turbo-diesel options, which offer combinations of 225hp/470Nm and 190hp/400Nm respectively.

Eight-speed Aisin-sourced torque converter automatic transmissions are used across.

XC90

SAFETY:

Expectedly, the all-new XC90 comes equipped with a range of sophisticated standard safety equipment, which include two ‘world firsts’ technologies: the first being a run-off road protection package, the second, an auto brake at intersection capability. We’ve detailed the special safety systems of the all-new XC90 HERE.

In short, the XC90 you see here moves the Swedish carmaker another step closer to achieving its Vision 2020, which is to have zero fatalities or serious injuries in any case a Volvo is involved in. Autonomous driving and online connectivity are two other parts of this vision, as explained by Lex Kerssemakers, Senior Vice President, Product Strategy and Vehicle Line Management of Volvo Car Group”

“With the XC90, we take the first step towards self-driving cars. A new function that automatically follows the vehicle ahead in stop-and-go traffic will provide a radically simplified, semi-autonomous driving experience.”

Volvo XC90

INTERIOR:

Having previewed its interior design and technology several times before, including a cheeky spot in the unveiling of the Volvo Concept Estate we saw way back when, the press materials offered today highlight the car’s all-new tablet-like touch-screen control console – the beating heat of the Volvo’s finest features. Nearly completely button-free, Volvo says that the latest Sensus interface “represents an entirely new way for drivers to control their car and access a range of Internet-based products and services.”

Volvo XC90

“The new interior is pure and uncluttered, while still radiating the sophisticated confidence and formality that luxury SUV customers expect. The simplicity is perfectly in tune with our Scandinavian design heritage. It opens up generous surfaces and gives us the opportunity to create a modern, luxurious interior architecture,” says Thomas Ingenlath, Senior Vice President Design of Volvo Car Group.

Other notable inclusions to the XC90’s interior include a heft of soft leather, and wood with handcrafted details, including a gear lever made of crystal glass from Orrefors, a famous Swedish glassmaker, with diamond-cut controls for the start/stop button and volume control.

Volvo XC90

1,927 limited First Edition cars for online buyers:

The Volvo Car Group has also mentioned that in conjunction with the unveiling of the all-new XC90, it will also be offering 1,927 units of the SUV in a special First Edition trim – celebrating the year Volvo was founded.

The First Edition models will only be available to online shoppers, in an attempt by Volvo to show off its new marketing activities and personal service.

Volvo XC90 First Edition

Reserved for the 1,927 units will be a T6 All-Wheel Drive drivetrain or a D5 twin-turbo diesel engine, an Onyx Black exterior with eight-spoke 21-inch wheel designs, nappa leather interior with the seats in Amber, a Charcoal leather dashboard and Linear Walnut inlays.

The fronts seats are equipped with ventilation, while the second-row will get a heating system, and the third-row will be power-operated.

The very special Bowers & Wilkins audio system is include, for all its 1,400 watts Class D amplifier, 19 speakers, and one of the first-ever air-ventilated subwoofers seen on a production car.

Volvo XC90

GALLERY: 2014 Chevrolet Malibu Detailed – A Closer Look At The All-New D-Segmenter

By 1 week ago 0 comments

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If it all goes to plan this time around, Naza Quest, official distributor of Chevrolet cars in the Malaysia, will finally be launching its all-new 2014 Chevrolet Malibu.

Briefly, the coming D-segment contender will pack a nifty bit of kit, which we at Live Life Drive were able to sample nearly a year ago, when we first thought the Malibu was gearing up for a launch.

However, bear in mind that when we last had our hands on the car, Chevrolet reps were hesitant to fill us in with too much info (for obvious reasons), allowing us only to photograph and drive the car, then pretty much left it at that.

Nevertheless, here’s what’s you can expect from the coming D-segment Chevy sedan:

Chevrolet Malibu 2014

Performance:

As mentioned, a 2.4-litre EcoTec four-cylinder petrol engine paired with a six-speed torque converter automatic transmission is charged to drive the front wheels. As a result, 167PS @ 5,800rpm and 225Nm of torque @ 4,600rpm is put to the tarmac. The gearbox will also allow for manual shifts through the gears.

Exterior:

Bear in mind that a newer, refreshed 2014 Chevrolet Malibu with a slightly reworked front-end and interior is already available in other parts of the world, but here, it looks like the teaser image and the car we’ve snapped before is consistent with the pre-facelift model.

Don’t fret, much of the coming Malibu is still alright by our books.

Starting with what’s outside, Chevrolet’s honeycomb grille is split by a single bar bearing the iconic bowtie (on the facelifted one, the lower part of the grille is enlarged, while the top half is far slimmer with more chrome detailing, and that’s about it).

The headlamps are projector types with daytime-running lights parked neatly inside. Fog lamps on the lower part of the bumper are decorated with more chrome surrounds.

Along the sides, you’ll be able to spot the 18-inch five double-spoke alloy wheels. The power-adjustable wing mirrors have turn signals on them, while more chrome is found on the door handles and surrounding the windows.

At the rear, twin exhaust pipes notably feature on each end, with a third brake lamp visible on the integrated boot-lid spoiler.

2014 Chevrolet Malibu

Interior:

Inside the car is where things could get a lot more interesting for D-segment shoppers. With the Malibu’s competition offering leather seats at every corner, here, in what’s primed as the highest-spec Malibu in town, we have semi-leather seats – not the best of starts, but it gets better.

The three-spoke leather-wrapped steering wheel has all the right controls on them: audio, phone, and cruise. Blue ambient lighting is available, and also clearly visible on the latest teaser image. Drivers will also get to appreciate a colour-display Driver Information Center, which has all your trip needs: fuel data, car messages and more.

2014 Chevrolet Malibu

Features & Equipment:

Going off the teaser images and those we’ve got here, we can tell quite a bit about the coming Malibu LTZ. For starters, you can’t deny the seven-inch touchscreen colour display’s attractiveness. If or not the interface will feature the full power of Chevy’s MyLink connectivity is still uncertain, but don’t be too surprised to find at least Bluetooth, voice recognition and a few other nifty bits included, if not for the full range.

An engine push-start is apparently and synonymous with our assumptions from seeing the teaser image, while it also appears that automatic headlamps and wipers are present to make the car’s D-segment attributes.

Safety:

It isn’t easy predicting how many airbags a car will have based on a few pictures, but the obvious safety features enlisted for the Chevrolet Malibu LTZ include a StabiliTrak® stability control system (ESP equivalent), a rear-view camera, and an electronic parking brake.

2014 Chevrolet Malibu

Buyer’s Guide:

In hindsight, the 2014 Chevrolet Malibu is amongst the more handsome bunch in the D-segment. For equipment, theHonda Accord and Mazda 6 appear to have quite a lot more to offer, but first impressions of the Malibu show that it’s not going out without a fight – we’ll have to wait a bit longer until the car’s official launch to properly detail that.

Price will as always be a fierce factor in determining the Malibu’s appeal in the market, and the base model tags on theHonda Accord and Nissan Teana make it nearly impossible for anything else in the segment to deal with. Naza Quest needs to at least get near the Mazda 6’s base price, which is around the RM150k to RM160k mark, to make it anywhere near worth a second look.