Random Solitary Thoughts

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

On Car Shopping and the Hazards of Shopping for one in a Country such as this...

For the past month, I have been contemplating (seriously this time) buying a four-wheeled vehicle. In other words, a car.

So thus began the insane challenge of finding a model decently priced, and decently suited to my needs, as well as decently suited to my future plans for it. And with so many things to consider, it is no wonder I still haven't booked one yet.

First priority would be needs and likes. But after a brief scan of possible cars to own and their respective prices (thanks to the heavy taxes) I decided to stuff 'needs and likes' back up the hole it came from.

So next up would be price. Again, thanks to meaningless and ridiculous taxation, the only cars within my miniscule budget (thanks to the meagre salary they're paying artists' these days) are local or Korean cars.

Riiiiight... next up, selecting a model. There are notably a few different types of cars to choose from, ranging from hatchbacks to MPVs and whatnots. So again, another filter.

I hate MPVs. Period. Don't ask me why, I just hate them. SUV's are just as bad. They're okay, but I find driving a tough jungle trekker in the city a bit over the top. Not even if it's considered a concrete jungle. Just doesn't bode well with me somehow. Mini MPVs? See above, under the part where it says I hate MPVs for no reason. Only I hate mini MPVs a little less. Why? Coz they're tiny, and usually doesn't serve more than one purpose, and that is to get from point A to B. Again, not much of a point to buy one since it's not as 'Multi-Purpose" as it's reputated to be. Dunno why they even bother building them.

So it's down to my two favs, sedans (or saloons in some countries) and hatchbacks. At this point, it should be interesting to note that I do like coupes, but thanks to the first obstacle (price), all coupes have automatically been slaughtered from my short term dreams of owning one.

Now, among the two classes, I prefer hatchbacks over sedans, but at this point, any type would do. So we have a choice of Protons, Peroduas, Hyundais, and Kias. Naza mostly stocks MPVs which I hate, so it's to heck with them.

Among the Kia models, onlt the Rio hatchback and the Spectra comes close. The Spectra is underpowered, and has nothing spectacular about it, so it's down tot he Rio. The Rio has nothing spectacular about it, so that's it for Kia. And no, the Picanto doesn't count coz it's a mini MPV and you know how I feel about anything MPV.

Now Hyundai, the Accent, and the Getz. The Accent packs a 1.5 l engine, and is reputated to be underpowered. After a few years of harrowing experience with a Wira 1.5 auto, anything 1.5 frightens me. So it's down to the Getz, which is pretty decent except it has nothing special. BUT, it doesn't have cons as well. This, I gotta keep in mind...

Protons. I've been driving protons all my driving life, and I must say, I've been dissappointed. Thoroughly. The only Proton I truly like is my old Wira 1.6 auto, which was made up of mostly japanese parts. The Wira 1.5 auto, it's newer and more Malaysian counterpart, sucked. Plus the Wiras are old. The waja is problematic, and for RM 60k plus, it's not worth the hassle. Plus I don't like the look.

The Gen 2 looks impressive, but has a problematic back seat. Problematic as in you can't fit in anyone taller than me. Plus I don't like the interior. Ditto with the Savvy. And it's too small. And don't get me started on the Saga/Iswara, or whatever you call it nowadays. The Satria seems just fine at this point, even tho it's old as shit. But then it conflicts with reason number three, future plans. Having a two door car would result in a steep depreciation in price during selling, and I don't intend to keep a car that's already more than 10 years old (in terms of design) for another 10 years. So Proton is out.

Down to Perodua. The Kancil is too small, and extremely hazardous to drive on the highway. Screw that car. The Kelisa, nice, a bit small, might not be a good idea for long distance driving, but overall a good bet. The model's getting a bit old tho... so need to think it over. The Kenari... er... no offense to my friends driving it, BUT, I still (after so many years) fail to figure out why anyone would need that much head room, unless you have a head the size of er... someone's brother.

Kembara? Looks good, decent engine, but a tad bit high and bodering on pseudo SUV/MPV. Probably not. And then there's the MYVI. Decent, good price, enough space, but possibly underpowered, and bordering on MPV, but with a cool body kit, so I'm willing to forego the MPV part. Anyway, a test drive is required to prove once and for all, if this is the car to buy.

So off I went to the show room to request for such a service. Unfortuntely it was on a Saturday, so the sales exec said to come back the next day. I said okay. The next day, Sales exec called to say she can't make it. So it's postponed till Wednesday. On Wednesday I rushed there to find that the sales exec has left and I can't test drive the car.

This morning she called to schedule another appointment. At this point, I'm at the verge of not buying the MYVI, (coupled witht he long waiting list... urgh) but financial reasons compel me to try to test drive at least one (before I decide to buy the decent but slightly unimaginative Getz, which costs more btw), before telling them no.

But I shall do it at a different showroom.