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Recently met an old friend after 18 long years. We were university mates and both of us ended up in the UK in quite different occupations. However, despite being only about 100 miles apart we were unable to meet up because of something or the other.

It was quite ironic that we finally met up in Malaysia, around 9000 miles away from the UK. Anyway, we got to talking about cars like car lovers usually do and the cars we drive. My friend recently bought the Ranger Rover Evoque, which coincidentally also happens to be my dream car.

We were discussing car prices and how the Evoque is quite out of my league with prices starting at RM413,888 (without insurance).  Source: Paul Tan.

My friend was visibly shocked as the cost in the UK was around £30K (OTR). That's considered quite a handsome even for a luxury brand. However, it translates to about RM180K at the current exchange rates, which means that we are paying more than double the price of the Evoque here in Malaysia as compared to the UK. 

With that amount, I can buy a 2-sty Terrace/Link House 3 bedroom house near my office in Semenyih, Selangor. So literally the Ranger Rover Evoque is a house on wheels. 

According to  recent report, of all European brands sold in Malaysia in 2014, Volkswagen performed the best with sales of 8916 units. They were followed by BMW (7808 units) , Mercedes-Benz (7131 units), Peugeot (5498 units) and Volvo (with 1210 units).

Mercedes-Benz may very well overtake VW this year with the German automaker seeing record breaking sales of 967 units in the first quarter of this year (up 13%). This growth was largely due to the sales of the new locally-assembled E300 Blue TEC Hybrid  (638 units) and the S400L Hybrid (270 units).

Mercedes-Benz E 300 BlueTEC HYBRID

Wanted a small, affordable second car for city driving in Malaysia.
The maximum budget is RM 40K (approx £7298).

If I had that budget here in the UK, I would probably go for a second hand car and would have several options.

However, in Malaysia there are only 2 options available, namely the Perodua ViVA (Yes! That is how the name is written) with prices starting from RM 24,936.45 (for the ViVA 660 BX - Manual, solid white colour) and the Proton Saga with prices from RM 33,426 (for the Saga SV Manual, solid white colour). The SV stands for Super Value.

Dimension wise, the Perodua ViVA (3575 x 1475 x 1530) is slightly smaller but taller than the Proton Saga (4278 x 1680 x 1520).

Looking at the websites of the two Malaysian car companies, I am quite impressed with the information provided from engine specs in detail to the various accessories available.

Though there is nearly RM 8000 difference in prices between the two cars, the Viva seems quite underpowered even for a city car with an engine displacement of only 659 cc. If I choose the ViVA 850 - Manual (847cc), prices goes up to RM 32,756.45.

I am not too concerned about the maximum speed but I am definitely interested in the fuel efficiency.

The Perodua website does not tell us anything about the fuel efficiency, other than mentioning that the cars have been equipped with "Dynamic Variable Valve Timing (DVVT), Double Overhead Camshaft (DOHC) and Electronic Fuel Injection  (EFI)".

The Proton Saga has a CamPro IAFM, 4-cylinder, DOHC 16V 1332cc engine and according to their website, the fuel consumption at @ 90km/h (approx. 56m/h) is 5.7 litres.

So if you had RM 40000 to spend on a car, I would definitely recommend the Proton Saga.

The new Volvo V40 models made their Malaysian debut at Mid Valley, Megamall concourse today. The models were the new Volvo V40 T4, the Volvo V40 T5 and the Volvo V40 Cross Country. The Volvo V40 boasts a 5 star NCAP rating and a host of new innovations such as Knee Airbags for the driver and radar based Cross Traffic Alert.

At the launch was Keith Schäfer, Managing Director of Volvo Car Malaysia, who has taken over the reins from Goran Larson (retiring Volvo Car Asia President), a couple of weeks ago.

According to the press relese, the V40 T4 model will be available from RM173,888 for the V40 T4 model, RM188,888 for the T5 model and RM198,888 for the V40 Cross Country. In addition, they come with 5 years free servicing, inclusive of parts, 5 years free warranty and 5 years Volvo On-Call cover.

Keith Schäfer, Managing Director of Volvo Car Malaysia together with Mr. Lee Ming Tiong, Sales Director of Volvo Car Malaysia

Volvo V40 Cross Country

(From left to right): Sales Director of Volvo Car Malaysia Lee Ming Tiong, Managing Director of Volvo Car Malaysia, Mr. Keith Schäfer, and President of Volvo Car Asia,Goran Larsson

Thanks to David Lau for the info and pics

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