I was at a juncture.
My current mode of transport had been with me for almost 6 years. Reliability had been declining. Some of my emergency leaves was due for a multiple breakdowns.
It was a great car. No. It was not a car, it’s a CUV, Compact Utility Vehicle.
It was a 5+2 seater 2004 Renault Kangoo. Small outside, big inside. Basically, a five inch ‘songkok’ wont be a problem during ingress and egress. This is Doraemon’s pocket on wheels. really.
It’s 1.4 litre petrol engine had been good for 5 years. Only on it’s sixth year, that it began to show some aging.
Alternator burnt once, I changed to a good reconditioned model. Then, the alternator pulley rubber absorber broke after a month, exactly a day past it’s reconditioned warranty period. Took me and my favorite workshop quite a while to figure out. Changed the pulley once, solid without a rubber absorber. The result, it’s engine doesn’t feel smooth anymore when the power kicks in. Rough.
I went through the owner’s club internet forum. Future ownership looks bleak. Next predicaments waiting in line are the gearbox and radiator problem, that is if I am lucky to have a healthy fuel pump that year.
Before the alternator-related problems, I had to change the gear lever assembly and engine mounting at own cost. They decided to be out of service just after the 3 years warranty went expired. Nice.
No. No more of this. I need a new car. It’s my fourth year of working and I had saved enough. So, what car should I choose?
I want a sedan this time. A handsome sedan, could be from B-segment or C-segment.
I went through websites, reviews and new cars and secondhand dealerships around Rawang and Selayang Auto City. And also a Car of the Year event in Martrade.
Suzuki SX4, at 50k km made it to the secondhand consideration list. No, Vios and City is too mainstream. Not my type. But, Suzuki has problems. Small, but annoying problems.
Peugeot 207 sedan, Ford Fiesta S and Proton Prevé 1.6 made it to the list of new cars.
The 207 handles good, sophisticated technologies like auto lights and rain wipers, large cargo. But, it’s ugly. And the gearbox is the same as the Kangoo. No, no more French.
The Fiesta. Well, nice looking, handles great. Safety is top notch. 6 airbags. Cramped inside and… just as I tought, the DSG gearbox has major problems still unsettled. Avoided.
Then, there’s Prevé. I was in Kuching when I test-drove one, few months before I tested others. Perfect time and road condition. It was almost dark and rainy for me to test the auto headlamp and wiper. The test route was busy on one side, and clear on the other leg.
I tested the acceleration of the new 1.6 turbocharged engine, the ride and handling, the brakes, the CVT gearbox. European-feel, this. Satisfied. Few niggles aside, but ones that I can live with. Safety, while not top notch, is almost the same as the Fiesta. ESC, or Electronic Stability Control is a must, for me. Only Prevé and the Fiesta has this.
Interior is big. My mother was at the back when I was test-driving. She literally has to bend forward just to talk to me because the back seats are quite far, I can barely hears her voice.
So, this is it. This is my choice. It ticks all the boxes. Spare part availability, few niggles, already 6 months launched (by this time, the first batch problems are settled), safety, ride and handling. I bought the 1.6 Turbocharged Prevé in October that year. The much-missed Kangoo was sold to the same dealership for RM 12k, considering the loan had settled, I put RM 10k as the deposit for the Prevé.
As much as I hate to part with the Kangoo, I have to. So, in the evening of
11th October 2012, I say goodbye to the loyal Kangoo, and drove home my Elegant Brown Prevé.
We have no Preve for rent at this time, but we have these cars for rent at an affordable price in Miri here MariSewa Miri.