Friday, September 11, 2009
Why no more small compact 4WDs ?
Of late, I don't see many new models of small compact Four-Wheel-Drive vehicles been produced or sold locally. I wonder why ... Is it because Malaysians dah kurang minat dengan aktiviti off-roading ?
Kalau dulu2 kita ada agak banyak jugak choice in the market. Some popular Japanese brands/models are like Suzuki Jimny & Daihatsu Feroza (aka Escudo). Yang buatan Rusia pulak Lada Niva. Though small in size but strong enough for rough terrain. Their cc are normally between 1.3 to 1.5. These models are all short-wheel-based.
Rides can be a bit bumpy or choppy, and not as smooth as their long-wheel-based big brothers like the Mitsubishi Pajero & Triton, Nissan Terrano or Toyota Land Cruiser & Hilux.
But one thing for sure, they are fuel efficient, and are easy to maintain too. Some people say that these compact 4WD is a poor-man's 4WDs. I tend to agree. Heh3 ... ;)
Of course, today the Perodua Kembara & Nautica is still in production locally. Tapi I kurang minat sikit dengan model2 macam nih - not appealing to me as they don't look rugged or macho enough. Lagi pun Nautica only comes with automatic transmission. I guess I'm from the old school who still prefers the manual transmission cars.
Model Suzuki Vitara kira ok lah jugak, especialy if you are into light off-road activities. It's x suitable for hardcore off-roads ;)
Toyota Rush (twins of Nautica) pulak sebenarnya not a real pacuan empat roda, eventhough it may look like one. But I have to say that I like Rush's high ground clearance - as compared to other cars / SUVs. Kalau setakat ketulan kayu / batu kecik tu dia senyum jer ! Tak payah nak brek atau slow down tak tentu pasal.
Satu lagi model yang I suka ialah Jeep Wrangler - American made. I just love their front grille - ala Hummer & Terrano. I memang suka yang jenis boxy-type jeeps. Tapi Wranglers dah termasuk dalam kategori high-end lah. With a cc of 2.5, fuel consumption pun masyaAllah ... ;)
I wish Malaysian govt can relax a bit on their import policies of foreign cars, especially for this small compact 4WD category ... I heard that kat Singapore, they still produce new models for Jimny (of course with some minor touch-up here and there - to justify the new price tag !) ... wishful thinking !