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#1

Posted 12 September 2016 - 08:04 AM

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So after nine years and a bit, my Little Red Riding Hood, aka Honda Civic FD, is coming to the end of its life. Well the end of it's COE anyway, which means I can either cough up the money to renew this little piece of paper or explore new cars.
 
 
Given that I can get back almost 10k for this baby, it's really been giving me sterling service, and I should try to get another car.
 
 
So here comes the hunt:
 
 
I have set myself a budget of around 130k but if I can spend less, that will be even better. i.e, with my car thrown in, my outlay should not extend 120k.
 
 
First decision was to forgo renewing the COE.
Second one was whether I should go for a 2nd hand one. Given the high prices I see for 2nd hand examples, a first hand car seems to be the way to go.
 
 
What are the things I really need, and what are the niceties then?
 
 
Needs:
Reliability is paramount. No 'characterful' cars, a euphemism for unreliable. So most likely a Jap car, that is actually made in Japan, maybe a Korean one, or perhaps a Merc if they are made in Germany and not somewhere else.
 
 
Not too low slung - I need easy enter and egress for my mum.
 
 
Versatile seats:
Folding rear seats, the ability to carry large objects will be very good.
 
 
Fuel economy:
Given the high oil prices, this will be a good thing.
 
 
Enough power to merge with traffic. I don't need a speedster, but I don't really want to worry about having a heart attack every time I need to join traffic and there's a rather steep slope outside my home and I need to merge with fast moving traffic there.
 
 
I also go on the North South Highway every now and then, so something that doesn't struggle on it will be nice.
 
 
Niceties:
 
 
Original leather seats
Red color
Quick turning radius
Low turn to turn ratio
SUV - high sitting position and hey, I haven't owned one before, but it was fun to drive
 
 
Front and back cameras
BT capability
 
 
 
 
So what have I identified:
 
 
 
 
Right at the top of my list right now is the Honda HRV, the authorised dealer (AD) version of the Vezel that has been taking the local market by storm.
 
 
What are the plus points:
 
 
- Jap made
- very creative interior
- SUV style
- low FC
- smart interior with decent soft touch materials abounding
- many charging points, USB and other touches
 
 
Negatives:
- not as solid feel as a conti car
- 130hp might not be enough compared to my older FD
- CVT transmission
 
 
 
 
So moving on, I have also tried a whole bunch of other cars. The main issue is that none, yes, none of the cars have everything I want. Each has their own pros and cons..
 
 
 
 
Mazda 3 & 6:
 
 
Plus:
- nice Conti feel
- good handling
- conventional 6 speed auto
- soft touch materials abound
- Jap made
 
 
negatives:
Heavy 3 combined with a 1.5l engine in the 3 doesn't help
can't help comfy in the 6 somehow
servicing can be an issue given that the new dealers aren't really setup for so many new customers
US long snout styling
? reliability
a little low slung
rear legroom
 
 
 
 
Corolla Altis
 
 
Plus
- Proven track record
- Borneo servicing
- Good FC
- Improved looks compared to the older one
- decent legroom
- solid bidding process
 
 
Negatives
still looks bleah..
plastics aren't in the same league as the Mazda or Golf
not too many nice features inside
 
 
Hyundai Elantra
 
 
 
 
- sleek looks
- plenty of soft touch materials
- decent legroom
- lower price
 
 
 
 
Negatives
- bidding tiers means you aren't so sure if you will get your car
 
 
Conti offers:
 
 
Golf
 
 
Pluses:
 
 
Solid build, lots of soft touch materials in the cabin
Good acceleration
 
 
Negatives
Tight legroom at the back
Suspect gearbox
 
 
Audi A3 Sportback
 
 
An expensive version of the Golf, with similar pros and cons
 
 
 
 
A3:
 
 
The sedan is made in Hungary, and the Merc CLA is also made in the same country, and will cost 30-40k more than a Golf. It's hard to see how one can opt for this, even though most conti cars, especially the bigger brands are known for safety, and a solid metalwork. But servicing is not as easy, since these companies are much smaller than Borneo Motor or Kah, and the cost of repairs, spares and even basic servicing might be more.
IMHO
The A3 is a value for money car. The A4 is significantly more costly. Almost got this car. The build quality is very solid, the engine is quite powerful, rear legroom is actually quite impressive.
It uses a more powerful 1.4t, has a bit more room and is made in Germany. It uses a wet clutch design. 
The cabin has more features but it's about 20k more. The soft touch materials, the gear shift knob, oh so wonderful..
It's the cheapest of the three marques. A Merc Cla will cost another 20k more for example. 
 
 
The big German brands are now more vague on the origin of their cars. For example, the popular C class Merc is made in South Africa, and not long ago, the previous model gave more issues than expect for this marquee brand.
 
 
BMW 216:
The 216d was IMO a better drive, more torque and instant response, greater urgency and the rear seats were sliding with a three fold capability. The cabin soft touch materials were also better. 
The diesel is noisier but inside you hardly hear it. 
The view out of the cabin was nice too as you sit higher. 
 
 
But the 216d is about 10k more and I wonder about the reliability?
 
 
The CLA is made in Hungary, and the BMW 3 series is also made in South Africa.
 
 
The B Class was a solid build car with space, ergonomic and good safety features. The engine specs are also impressive, but it's about 30k more than the HRV.
 
 
Ideally a Honda HRV with a nice 1.8l engine or maybe that new 1.5 turbo will be superb! Even the hybrid version has enough ommph. Pity the authorised dealers aren't bringing it in.
 
 

So basically I have sort of narrowed it down to two and a half:


The HRV is the car with the stuff that checks most of the list.
Well made, highly functional, the last Jap made car in the Kah showroom (the Jade has dubious origins China then shipped to Japan?)
Spacious, and well designed. At 112k this month, it's also within my budget by car.


BUT, is it powerful enough, and a thought, planted in my mind, ala Inception - YOLO and buy something you can like..


So there's plan B...


The Merc B class.


About 20-30k more.. 
It's safe, almost as functional, spacious - you will be really surprised how big it is inside. Easy for my mum and I to get inside.
The engine is decent, and will lap up the North South nicely.


The third option is a bit out of my budget..


BMW 216i
Drives well, very torquey and the soft touch build quality.. wow
Functional too. Diesel is cheap to run, but I don't know how maintenance will be.
A friend said something which resonated with me:
"Seems that my friends who own BMWs tend to swear at rather than swear by the car"


Any comments ?


Cheers


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#2

Posted 12 September 2016 - 08:21 AM

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X1. GLA. Q3. Forester XT.
“Everybody is a genius. But, if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it’ll spend it’s whole life believing that it is stupid.” – Albert Einstein

HungryPaPa - https://instagram.com/hungrypapa/

#3

Posted 12 September 2016 - 08:24 AM

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X1. GLA. Q3. Forester XT.

 

Thanks but only the XT falls into my budget :(

I like the Tonka Toy, tough as nail styling and simplicity inside the FXT, the power, space and Jap reliability, but I can't stomach the FC...


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#4

Posted 12 September 2016 - 08:26 AM

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You already considering Bmw and merc. Might as well all the way
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“Everybody is a genius. But, if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it’ll spend it’s whole life believing that it is stupid.” – Albert Einstein

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#5

Posted 12 September 2016 - 09:14 AM

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What i gather from TS from the long post and tons of analysis paralysis is at the end of the day, the top priority is predictability & reliability. Basically, replicating his FD experience. 

 

Liddat mai itchy backside lah look at MB, BMW, Audi, VW. Not saying they are unreliable, but there may be elements of unpredictability wif the occasional bug, recall, over enthusiastic engineering, etc. Btw, 130k can't buy the YOLO experience so no point trying and coming away disappointed. 

 

Narrow it down to jap. Or korean if one lives today and not in the past. 

 

For 130k budget, i would straightaway look at SUVs from ADs and forget abt a sedans, PI car, etc. A few choices come to mind: X-Trail, Tucson & CX3 (in descending order of size, not ability). 

 

 


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#6

Posted 12 September 2016 - 09:24 AM

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Tuscon turbo ... MTL!!!
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#7

Posted 12 September 2016 - 09:32 AM

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Tuscon turbo ... MTL!!!

Wonder what is the FC of it's 1.6L tubro
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http://world8.monste...d&vid=190036371

#8

Posted 12 September 2016 - 09:47 AM

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What i gather from TS from the long post and tons of analysis paralysis is at the end of the day, the top priority is predictability & reliability. Basically, replicating his FD experience. 

 

Liddat mai itchy backside lah look at MB, BMW, Audi, VW. Not saying they are unreliable, but there may be elements of unpredictability wif the occasional bug, recall, over enthusiastic engineering, etc. Btw, 130k can't buy the YOLO experience so no point trying and coming away disappointed. 

 

Narrow it down to jap. Or korean if one lives today and not in the past. 

 

For 130k budget, i would straightaway look at SUVs from ADs and forget abt a sedans, PI car, etc. A few choices come to mind: X-Trail, Tucson & CX3 (in descending order of size, not ability). 

 

You are very astute bro..

I and a conservative buyer, as you rightly pointed out, so I have been faithfully going back to AD all 9 years for my servicing

 

Let's say the B Class falls into my budget, will you consider it reliable enough?

 

I had a hard look at the Mazda family, but my personal observations are that the AD is having some trouble coping with the volume, and their servicing niggling issues are on par with Merc.


Tuscon turbo ... MTL!!!

I saw a colleague's NA 2.0l version, nice space, good build, but it is as slow as the HRV but FC is a lot worse.

 

For < 115k, the HRV is my benchmark..

 

Right now, C&C has a nice deal, which allows the B180 to fall within my range, so that's why I am even bold enough to step into their showroom..


You already considering Bmw and merc. Might as well all the way

As for the higher end models, well, I guess one must be aware of one's limits, and I don't really want to go deep into depth..

 

I am a bit older, so I should try to keep to a certain budget and save for the future.

 

Yes, some might say, don't drive, but there are the usual reasons for a car, including transporting mum, family and of course the wonderful freedom it offers..

 

I am someone who might hold onto a car for ten years, so trying out less reliable conti cars isn't really an option.

 

The French have a lot of design flair, the initial price isn't too high, but I will want to stay away from them for now.

 

The stakes are high as the amount isn't cheap. If it was a few thousand, sure, I could try a few brands..

 

 

But thanks for the tips :)



#9

Posted 12 September 2016 - 09:53 AM

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X1. GLA. Q3. Forester XT.

Bro, you forgot to recommend xtrail. It should quite fit TS' specs. Big, space, cvt (save fuel), foldable seats, ease of getting in n out, and best of all $125k there about. ;)

#10

Posted 12 September 2016 - 09:58 AM

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X trail drinks fuel pls.

The fact that it is a CVT doesn't help
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#11

Posted 12 September 2016 - 09:59 AM

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Wonder what is the FC of it's 1.6L tubro

Buying a car is personal, why ask others.
You had spent so much effort analysing, you must have already some idea what you will be getting.
I do not think any comments or suggestions from anyone here will influence what you already had decided in your mind.
Happy shopping.
Cheers.

#12

Posted 12 September 2016 - 10:01 AM

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Bro, you forgot to recommend xtrail. It should quite fit TS' specs. Big, space, cvt (save fuel), foldable seats, ease of getting in n out, and best of all $125k there about. ;)

Xtrial is under power to carry such a heavy body. FC is not impress. Fc is actually similar to the FXT.
3rd row seat is a joke.

Edited by Tohto, 12 September 2016 - 10:07 AM.


#13

Posted 12 September 2016 - 10:03 AM

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Well I have sort of narrowed it down, to the HRV for value and reliability, and the B Class for the extra safety, power and yes, it's nice to own a Merc, even once in my life!

Not shy to admit that was indeed a push factor..  

Reliability is something I don't have as much insight..

 

I have driven a Lancer, Corolla, Astra, Hyundai Excel and now the Civic FD.

The FD is the best, followed by the Astra for long road drives.

The Corolla (2003) was the FC king.. 


Well thankfully I don't need seven seats ... yet :) 



#14

Posted 12 September 2016 - 10:03 AM

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Tuscon turbo ... MTL!!!


Good one. But the price is almost same is FXT.

#15

Posted 12 September 2016 - 10:04 AM

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Agree. Ts also made up his mind, no need to say he will buy the hrv. He just wants to get endorsement.

Edited by Ingenius, 12 September 2016 - 10:05 AM.

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#16

Posted 12 September 2016 - 10:06 AM

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Well I have sort of narrowed it down, to the HRV for value and reliability, and the B Class for the extra safety, power and yes, it's nice to own a Merc, even once in my life!
Not shy to admit that was indeed a push factor..
Reliability is something I don't have as much insight..

I have driven a Lancer, Corolla, Astra, Hyundai Excel and now the Civic FD.
The FD is the best, followed by the Astra for long road drives.
The Corolla (2003) was the FC king..

Well thankfully I don't need seven seats ... yet :)


HRV is Thai made. Using a older engine compare to the Vezel, less equipment than the Vezel but selling a lot more.
Only good thing is it is from AD.
There are still good PI around.

#17

Posted 12 September 2016 - 10:06 AM

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Actually why do I ask for an opinion?
Well something more knowledgable bros may know things I don't.
And give insight into cars I haven't seen or tried.
So please share if you can.
Thank you

#18

Posted 12 September 2016 - 10:07 AM

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I'm with Soya on this. The Conti makes have their indosyncracies perhaps due to more advanced features n electronics but that's not to say they are bad but since TS prioritises reliability above everything else perhaps it's better to go for Japs who are more clockwork with precision n reliability so HRV won't go wrong I guess.

B Class is ok though due for model change I think. It has its prestige n good thing about this model is that precisely cos it's been around for awhile, any indosyncracies would have been ironed out by now but servicing will be more ex compared to Japs. Benz servicing even more ex than BMW I'm told?

Edited by Spring, 12 September 2016 - 10:08 AM.

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#19

Posted 12 September 2016 - 10:10 AM

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HRV is Thai made. Using a older engine compare to the Vezel, less equipment than the Vezel but selling a lot more.
Only good thing is it is from AD.
There are still good PI around.

Actually the new HRV is now Jap. $112k which is about 7k more ex than the PI. But I prefer AD for safety and will go back to them for servicing.
The B Class was offered for about 20k more but also includes free service credits.
Kah is giving free five year service but I think only oil is included not parts..
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#20

Posted 12 September 2016 - 10:13 AM

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Actually the new HRV is now Jap. $112k which is about 7k more ex than the PI. But I prefer AD for safety and will go back to them for servicing.
The B Class was offered for about 20k more but also includes free service credits.
Kah is giving free five year service but I think only oil is included not parts..


Seems like your mind already set.
For me once it is using a older engine and less equipment, the car had no chance to be shortlisted.


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