For most working class citizens who work a minimum of 10 hours a day , which unfortunately includes me, buying a personal mode of transportation in the Bolehland is probably one of the biggest decisions ever in our life. Beside from buying a house or choosing our livelong soulmate, when it comes to owning a car, we have to look into every imaginable aspects very seriously. They cost us a bomb too. In some cases the installments will piggyback us even past our retirement age . Thus nothing should be taken for granted when making this important decision.
With load of pampering and TLC to shower these beauty though, it can be a good future investment. But the depreciation in value is phenomenal. The moment we take out the brand new car from the show room, the value will slip down faster than we could lower our pant down during a seasonal diarrhea.
Actually, for the past 2 months I've been quite busy spending my weekends hunting high and low for a decent family car. With four ever-growing up kids, a saloon car wouldn't comfortably fit us anymore. It looks and feels like sardines in a small can. If we add in our maid into our entourage, the car become slightly more tastier than a chicken masalla.
After a much arduous and time consuming fact finding mission, my significant half and I finally narrowed down our searching into a few selective models.
To be frank, at first I was quite excited to give our nation much talked about MPV, our pride and joy, a second chance. The price is quite reasonable even though I still feel as a national car , locally build and assembled by the nasi lemak nation the price should be much lower. What more with a mere 1.6l engine, rumored to be the same engine as its smaller gen-tle sibling, I think this MPV is seriously underpowered. But the most alarming fact that bothered me most was, the moment this MPV enter the market, the interest rate rocketed up. From a consumer point of view, that doesn't sound good at all and I don't think this is fair to suddenly have to fork out extra money from my small pocket. Am I not patriotic enough? I still eat nasi lemak and sing Negaraku from time to time.
Another interesting choice was a genre from the country of the rising sun, a close contender with proven history for its reliability. Load of new innovations that rise to its name. The huge difference between the 2litre E and G spec is quite unreasonable though (digital air conditioning system, a door strip, wood finishing to name a few). But I will keep this option open. At least until a new interest rate is being revised. We were also quite tempted with its bigger brother the Aeras series. A reconditioned unit cost another RM30k - RM40k. But it makes me wondering. After at least five years of being driven around by Yakuzas, who probably eat sushi and spilled some sticky sakae onto the seats, I would still have to pay an installment higher than what I am paying now for my double storey terrace resident. Doesn't sound justifiable too. I don' think I want to spend numerous hours sleeping, eating and having my intimate moment in any of these MPVs.
We looked and tested a few other car brands too. The Grand Starex is, in our mind quite stands out among all and the most ideal MPV so far (in term of its specification). A brand new 12-seater, 2.4 Diesel turbo with five years warranty cost as much as the reconditioned Aeras (year 2004) and slightly longer in size than the mother of all MPVs - the Alphard. And it doesn't has the pungent smell of kimchi at all.
Finally, after so much effort and trouble in interviewing the many patience salesmen, test driving and kicking here and there onto the tyre, opening and closing the doors (that is what most people do) to see if they can stand the humiliation on our bumpy road condition, we decided not to part with our money yet, 'investing' in buying an MPV. We resorted to just rent any MPVs we fancy whenever we want to 'balik kampung' and save the many absurd installments for our next honeymoon :)
As i am not working or associated with any of the car companies, and obviously they are not paying any money for this unofficial car review, these are just my personal opinion, personal preferences. All in all, I still feel that the local consumer in the Bolehland is still being shortchanged as compared to some of the countries, where buying and selling cars is just like changing their dirty garments. Dirty cheap.
I remember one time when I talked about cars with my mentor, she reminded me of one thing - a car is just another mode of transportation from point A to B. Or even a piece metal when left to decay is similar to any other scrap iron in a junkyard. I am not sure whether I am wise or not but for the time being, I am stuck with two German frankfurters. But for me, if its not for their Sheer Driving Pleasure, it is still my Ultimate Driving Machine.