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When you go to make your next vehicle purchase, you will likely want to visit one of your local car dealers in Greensboro NC but before you do, there are some things that you should be aware of.
It is no secret that the car dealers of the past used various types of tricks to get customers into the vehicles they want to sell, not the vehicles the buyer actually wanted. One thing to keep in mind when you visit your local car dealer is what services do they offer. All prices, data and specifications in the Guide are researched and compiled by a specialist, independent team of motor trade experts. Published monthly at a price of ?5.99, the Parkers Car Price Guide is available from all good newsagents and supermarkets including Tesco and WH Smith. Bauer Consumer Media Limited are authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (Firm reference No.
The promise of Mercedes Benz quality at a Korean price was an attractive proposition that drew many buyers to the SsangYong Musso. Although there were lots of Korean makes and models being sold here, they were typically cheap and cheerful cars that appealed to those with a severely limited budget.
Back then it was case of love it or leave it, but compared to some of the four-wheel drives that now fill showrooms to overflowing the Musso fits right in. At the time SsangYong and Mercedes were involved in a joint venture with the German star marque providing the Korean company with technology, and access to engines that had been superseded in the Mercedes range. SsangYong was also able to source components from the same suppliers as Mercedes so the quality came indirectly as well as through the front door.
The Musso was a four-wheel drive wagon of a size similar to the Toyota Prado, Mitsubishi Pajero and Jeep Cherokee, the very models that were beginning to power the push to four-wheel drives for every day round town use. At launch there was a choice of petrol or diesel engines, both with strong Mercedes-Benz connections.
Not only was its acceleration off the mark brisk, it also had good mid-range urge for safe overtaking.
The diesel choice was a sturdy 2.9-litre single overhead camshaft five cylinder which produced 70 kW and 192 Nm for a much more sedate drive.
By today’s standards the normally aspirated diesel lacks performance, it’s sluggish away from the lights, but it’s hard to beat for fuel consumption. A double overhead cam, four valve, fuel-injected four cylinder petrol engine was added to the range in 1997. When it first arrived the petrol-powered Musso could only be had with a four-speed auto taken from the S-Class Mercedes, but a five-sped manual was made available from 1997. Two types of four-wheel drive system were employed, both activated by a switch on the dash. All were well equipped with a long list of standard features, including power steering, ABS, air-conditioning, alloy wheels, power windows, power mirrors, central locking, leather steering wheel, rear spoiler, metallic paint.
Six-cylinder petrol models range in price from $17,000 to $21,000, deduct $1000 for the four cylinder engine, $1500 for the five cylinder diesel. Early wagons with the six-cylinder petrol engines could suffer from oil leaks from the head gasket, but it’s not a widespread problem that should cause undue concern. With the Musso so well equipped it was really aimed at the buyer who drove their 4WD for every day transport with only the very occasional foray beyond the black top, so damage from offtrack use is not normally found.
Even so it’s worth looking for signs of hard off-road use, like bashed brackets and fittings underneath, dents and scratches down the sides, and dust in the hard to get at crevices inside. The transfer case caused some grief on early models due to the electric shift motor (coloured blue) overloading the shift fork, which was rectified on a service campaign.
Front upper control arm bushes are also known to chop out, but improved aftermarket bushes are available to eliminate that problem.
Like all cars Mussos need regular and proper servicing to keep them running sweetly, so look for a service record when inspecting one with a view to purchase. Retired Mercedes-Benz service technician Peter Hoockey owns a 1997 Musso diesel ex-Mercedes Benz, which has now done 160,000 km. A four-year investigation into an organized fraud ring has uncovered a million-dollar scheme targeting high-end vehicles through auto loan and insurance fraud has led to several arrests, according to the California Department of Insurance. CDI said it executed coordinated arrest warrants of the suspects in the early morning hours of Friday. The alleged fraud ring purchased or leased high-end vehicles, many of which were acquired fraudulently by various individuals who lied about their employment or income on credit applications to qualify for loans or leases, according to CDI.
The suspects then defaulted on the loans and leases while at the same time filing false insurance claims on the defaulted vehicles, CDI stated. A total of 18 dealerships were reportedly defrauded, and the scheme allegedly involved more than 20 new luxury vehicles and five used vehicles as well as an additional three that have been exported from the country. Quote of NoteA driver for a TNC who does not have the proper coverage is at considerable personal risk. By now, many readers will be aware that the Perodua is about to launch its first sedan model as two pictures and also a leaflet have been leaked on the internet. The idea of a sedan model has been circulating within the company for some time and back in 2010, at the KL International Motorshow (KLIMS), a sleek prototype was displayed which Perodua said indicated its future direction although technically, that prototype had extremely advanced technology like a ‘Precious Metal-free Liquid-feed Fuel Cell’. Fuelling the rumours was a cleverly photoshopped creation by Theophilus Chin which alarmed even Perodua’s management and made them wonder if their R&D people had been proceeding with the project without their knowledge! As we now know, the company has chosen to use ‘Bezza’ and while the design is not as futuristic as the Bezza prototype of 2010, it is better looking than the chunky Buddyz concept. With the Bezza, Perodua has done almost exactly the same thing as Proton did with the Waja. And just as Proton designed the body of the Waja itself, the same has been done by Perodua for the Bezza because Daihatsu does not have such a model at all. Anyway, let’s now move on to the Bezza which is likely to take its place at the top of the sales chart. In shaping the Bezza’s body, the Perodua designers had to work within the constraints of the Axia platform which is fairly compact.
The designers have done a pretty good job of creating a 3-box sedan from the hatchback and it does not look like all they did was just add a boot to the back. Many people may see this as a ‘Saga-killer’ although Perodua doesn’t even think of that at all. The body structure follows current industry trends with increased use of high tensile steel which makes the body more rigid but without a weight penalty. Interior spaciousness or what is known as ‘packaging’ is a big challenge with such a compact model. The major difference from the Axia is the amount of boot space and with a boot floor length of 1030 mm, the volume available with the rear backrests up is 508 litres – almost double that of the hatchback.
For those who need more space, the rear backrests can fold down individually (60:40 split) or together.
Moving on to the dashboard, although the hardware and structure behind it are probably similar to the Axia, the Bezza has an entirely different design which has a more horizontal theme to create a sense of extra width. And it’s not just high quality that Perodua offers too – with the Bezza, they have a real game-changer as many of the features they offer are not just firsts for Perodua but also in the segment (in Malaysia at least).
Rear passengers can also get power for their devices as there is a USB port for them at the back. There are also all the other conveniences which are provided in other Perodua models including the special lock (called a ‘side snap hook’) to secure handbags.
Where the Axia is available only with a 1-litre 3-cylinder engine, the Bezza has an additional and larger 1.3-litre unit as well. Another high-end technology in the Bezza is Regenerative Braking which was initially only found in hybrid cars.
All these technologies, along with the efficient electronically-managed automatic transmission (E-AT), enable the Bezza to qualify as an Energy Efficient Vehicle (EEV) according to criteria set by the current National Automotive Policy (NAP). Apparently, Perodua has is confident that the Bezza will be tops in safety and by this, they must mean that it will get at least 5 stars in the ASEAN NCAP crash test. In accordance with legal requirements, there are two front airbags and ISOFIX point for a compatible childseat.



This variant doesn’t have a pushbutton so the key had to be inserted and turned – which is how Perodua engines have been started all along anyway. The engine in the Axia felt rougher but the one in the Bezza shakes less and I would attribute this to not just mounting points and construction but also the better combustion due to the VVT-i. There were two others on board the car as I accelerated off and on flat ground, it moved briskly off the line. The new test course has sections that replicate the hilly terrain of Malaysia and though the Bezza zoomed up the incline effortlessly, a slight diminishing of speed reminded me that it is just a 1-litre engine. The 4-cylinder engine can be taken all the way to the 6000 rpm redline and does not protest, and in between, there’s a lot of flexibility so the transmission does not keep changing a lot.
Unlike the 1-litre variant, the Bezza 1.3 pretty much raced up the same slope and with the high speeds, I also assessed the handling of the car. If there is anything I would like improved, it is probably the steering feel which was on the light side.
If you are realistic about your expectations, the Bezza 1.0 is fine for those who are on a tight budget. August 13, 2016Perodua Bezza - 0 to 19,000 orders in 27 daysDemand for the new Perodua sedan has been impressively high although that was expected.
The first thing you should know is that an educated buyer is a good buyer, so do your research before your visit. The more you know the better you will have it when you go to make that deal of the century with your local car dealer. Today’s dealer has evolved in a way so that they do not typically use these tricks; instead, the tables have turned and it is now the customers turn to play the tricks on the dealer in an attempt to get the vehicle they want at a deal that nobody else can beat.
The dealers who offer the most are going to offer you the best service and the best prices. Far too many people pay over the odds when buying a car, so it's essential to know exactly what you should be paying. Our used car values are fully updated monthly, using thousands of real-life prices collected from forecourt sales, private vendors and auction results. The Korean-built four-wheel drive wagon was imported first by Mercedes-Benz and sold through ’Benz dealers, giving the Musso an instant credibility few Korean cars enjoyed. In a market used to four-wheel drive wagons with fairly straight lines and boxy shapes, the Musso’s angular shape stood out.
Although the SsangYong name was new to this country, the fact that it was being imported and sold here by Mercedes-Benz made it acceptable in some minds that would otherwise have dismissed it as just another cheap import from Seoul. The double overhead camshaft, four valve, 3.2-litre fuel-injected petrol engine gave 161 kW and 310 Nm, which was enough to endow it with a lively turn of speed. The diesel had a part-time system, which meant it could be driven in two-wheel drive as well as four-wheel drive, the petrol engines were full-time four-wheel drive. At first they were sold through Mercedes dealers, then that arrangement fell over, and the Musso was passed on to Daewoo and sold here under that company’s somewhat tainted banner.
Some uncaring owners were inclined to neglect their Mussos and didn’t service them as they should. Michelle’s is a 1996 auto, with dealer fitted turbo diesel, which has done 142,000 km, John’s a five-speed manual 3.2-litre six which has done 100,000 km. It’s a long awaited model from the country’s No.1 carmaker which has been producing hatchbacks and compact MPVs (and one compact SUV) since it began operations in 1993.
Then at the 2013 KLIMS, a more ‘production-friendly’ concept car called the ‘Buddyz’ was displayed and it seemed like Perodua would soon launch a sedan. The fictitious model even had a name – Jaguh – and it was so convincing that the company had to clarify that it had no such model under development. This is more than just another new Perodua model as it has numerous firsts; more significantly, it is a major advancement in the company’s capabilities and comparable to Proton’s development of the Waja which its CEO declared had made the company a ‘world-class’ car manufacturer. It has adapted a Daihatsu platform (the same as the one used for the Axia) and is using engines developed by Daihatsu. Those who still want to dismiss Perodua as a ‘rebadging company’ may then say that Japanese must have done the design but the truth is that this model has even greater Malaysian involvement than the Myvi.
Well, ‘little brother’ seems to have been a diligent pupil and studied hard to excel but even after outshining ‘big brother’, it has not become arrogant and boastful about its achievements.
Historically, Malaysians have preferred the traditional 3-box sedan design but the best-selling model for many years has been the Myvi, a hatchback. Apart from the sedan being more commonplace than the hatchback, some say that the presence of the boot gives a greater sense of security (additional crumple zone at the back during an accident). Things like the overall body width and length had to be such that they could fit properly on top of the platform. With some European hatchbacks, the sedan variant often looks like a half-hearted effort and the result is not aesthetically pleasing.
But it is inevitable that comparisons will be made and for those who want to know, the dimensions are smaller than the Saga… although not by a lot. This has been achieved by putting covers on the underside so the airflow below the car is smoother. Official data shows that the distance between front and rear occupants is the same as the Axia but what is interesting to note is that this distance is actually greater than many models one class higher. You’d think that in such matters, the designers would just do what they can and leave it at that but we were told that Perodua conducted surveys on user requirements and feedback indicated that 75% of Malaysians would be satisfied with 500 litres. But while the layout looks a bit ‘messy’, the fit and finish even in the pre-production units viewed were still of a high standard.
This is certainly something which many will welcome – no need to use a powerbank or run a cable from the front. One thing which the designers haven’t been able to improve has been the cupholders at the front.
The 1-litre unit is not exactly the same one as it has variable valve timing (VVT-i) on the intake side and it produces 68 ps, which is about 2 ps more than the engine in the Axia which does not have VVT-i. It was only introduced in the region last year on Daihatsu and Toyota models and it is manufactured at Perodua’s new plant in Sendayan, Negri Sembilan. The system, usually provided in more expensive models and a first in a Malaysian car, automatically shuts down the engine when the car is stopped for long periods, eg at traffic lights.
This system draws the energy that is normally ‘lost’ during braking and deceleration and uses it to recharge the battery and keep it fully charged. This means that Perodua can get incentives which help it to offset its production cost to sell the car at a lower price. However, the maximum score would only apply to the Bezza 1.3 Advance which is the only variant having Vehicle Stability Control (VSC) and Traction Control. Additionally, Perodua provides a seatbelt reminder and there is ABS with EBD (Electronic Brakeforce Distribution). Motor Trader was offered an opportunity to get brief driving impressions on Perodua’s new test course a few weeks ago and although the time was limited, it was enough to get an idea of the performance that can be expected. So the first variant I chose to drive was the Bezza 1.0 with a manual transmission which I expect would be the cheapest one. The accompanying sound was as expected from a 3-cylinder engine – what I usually call a ‘motorboat’ sound.
The engine revs freely and though the upward shifting was easy, I kept finding some resistance going into 3rd gear.
This is not to say that it ‘doesn’t have enough power’; in the early years of the Kancil, people often thought it can’t go up Genting Highlands but any car can do it. With this bigger engine, the performance was much better and I would say it is ideal for the car.
Electronic management helps to make the transitions between gears smoother as the computer times the change precisely and coordinates it with the engine output too. Being tall and narrow, it would seem that the car will not feel so stable but it sat well on the road at high speeds and in turns, it did not roll much. There is still the physical action of turning the starter motor and that makes noise and can sometimes be rough.


Next, you should be aware that dealers no longer use tricks, but you can so you can get the best possible deal on the vehicle you want. You want to know the reviews of the vehicle you are looking at, the history of the vehicle and the value of the vehicle. For instance, when you go to a dealer and they have the perfect car that you want, but you found the same one down the road for less money, you can, and you should, tell the other dealer where you found the same vehicle for less so that they can try and beat the price.
For instance, if you need a one stop shop where you can trade in your old vehicle, finance your new one and bring it back for service, you want to be sure that the dealer you go to offers all of these services. Established in 1972, Parkers remains the UK's most accurate and comprehensive consumer car price guide. He likes the roomy interior, the lift up tailgate, which gives weather protection when unloading the vehicle, the reasonable roof height for loading the roof rack, the very quiet pre-chamber diesel, and German-made auto. They have experienced no mechanical problems whatsoever, apart from replacing a set of glow plugs on the diesel at 140,000 km, at a cost of $30 each.
Sometimes companies lie (and even ask the police to take action) because they still want to maintain secrecy but in this instance, Perodua was telling the truth. Critics may argue that Perodua is just ‘cloning’ products – taking Daihatsu models and making a few changes here and there but with no real in-house capability.
Though denied in earlier years, Proton had actually adapted the platform of the Mitsubishi Carisma and initially used Mitsubishi and Renault engines for the Waja.
It has been entirely designed by Malaysians and although there are some Japanese present in the design department, they are more for coordination on certain matters with Daihatsu. This is probably because Perodua has not had a sedan in its line-up and so people had no choice if they preferred a Perodua. Others have said that the sealed boot is preferred because it will keep durian smells from getting into the cabin!
The width and wheelbase, in particular, can’t be varied but the overall length can and the Bezza is 510 mm longer than the Axia. Not so with the Bezza which has well-balanced proportion and a nice frontal presentation which gives a visual impression of more width than the Axia.
There are also little features like air-spats under the front bumper and stabilizing fins at the door mirrors and rear lights to improve aerodynamic efficiency.
The spaciousness has been achieved by clever design of the seat structures and especially for the rear passengers, the seats are designed to offer better comfort and support. And for an extra-long item like a carpet, you can also fold down the front passenger’s seat flat (have to take out the headrest) so there is a flat space all the way to the dashboard. It is commendable that in spite of having to sell its cars at low prices, it can still give such quality. This means that you can watch videos (only when the car is not moving), use apps like Waze and Google Maps, access Facebook and other social media, listen to your own music selection and of course, make and receive phone calls. Due to space limitations, the two circular receptacles are merged and because they are so close, two large tapered cups may not fit in properly (cans are fine). The NR-VE engine is more advanced than the one in the Myvi as it has Dual VVT-i, which means the opening and closing of the valves can be optimised for the exhaust side as well. It’s very useful because a running engine with the car not moving is a tremendous waste of fuel; the Perodua engineers say that the system can help you get up to one more km for each litre. By using this approach, the alternator does not need to be used so much and as the alternator is driven by the engine, less use means less load on the engine.
We don’t know what the price range is at this time and won’t know till the launch but from the way the Perodua people keep smiling when asked, we may be in for a pleasant surprise.
ASEAN NCAP (and also EuroNCAP) will not give maximum star ratings if a model does not have VSC, not matter how well it does in the crash test. That’s not all – there’s also Hillstart Assist which makes moving off on a slope easier and the windscreen wiper speed is matched to the speed of the car (the faster the speed, the faster the wiper sweeps). It’s sometimes irritates me but I know it is unavoidable and as with the Axia, I urged the engineers to try to mask the sound by putting more insulation in. I’m not sure if it was the particular unit but it was noticeable; with manual transmissions, the operation is usually smooth to the point that there’s nothing to comment on.
The problem with many drivers is that they want to do it in top gear and so the car struggles on steep slopes. In more extreme manoeuvres like a slalom course, the car tracked very well and was very controllable as it swung left and right.
However, the challenge is to balance the amount of assistance between high and low speeds and different drivers will have different expectations. It’s not like in hybrids which operate with no sound or movement as they start off with the electric motor. Another point you should know is what all your dealership offers; do they offer financing, trade-ins or a full service center? Once you know all of these facts, you are going to be educated in a way so that the dealer will give you the best deal they can, just because they know that you have done your research so you know what you can get the vehicle for whether it is there or at another local dealership. Then go to the other dealer and tell them how the dealer down the street will beat their price; it is a kind of bidding war so that you get the best price. The more services the dealer offers, the better off you will be purchasing your vehicle from them. Other good ideas are the heated exterior mirrors, lay back rear seat squabs, and rain sensing wipers. John felt the suspension was too soft causing them to wallow over rough roads and sag in the rear, but replacing the rear coils and shockers with Pedder’s heavy duty units rectified that. There was no ‘Jaguh’ sedan but they did not deny that they were ‘looking at the possibility of producing a sedan’. Unfortunately, because much of the R&D activity is kept secret (like any other manufacturer), the public has never been able to know how much progress Perodua has really made in developing in-house capabilities and they are considerable. It’ll be interesting to see if the Bezza sells better than the Myvi eventually, confirming that Malaysians still like the 3-box design. The perception that a hatchback is not as spacious as a sedan no longer holds true with today’s models and the Honda Jazz clearly demonstrates this. In other countries, cars at this end of the market are usually quite basic and quality is not a priority. This is timely since the authorities are getting more serious about use of the handphone while driving and say that even holding it when waiting at a traffic light is an offence.
But what this really means is that the level of protection is the same with all variants, except that Active Safety is different due to the absence of VSC in the other variants. They told me that they have lowered cabin noise levels but their focus was more on other sources of noise. So engineers usually wait till the car is on the market some time and listen to feedback and then fine-tune the steering feel. Fortunately, the sound of the starter motor isn’t very loud otherwise motorists in cars next to you will wonder if you are a terrible driver and keep stalling the engine!
The more you know, the more educated you will be and the more likely you are to get the best possible deal on the vehicle you want; not the one you need to settle for. John says both are more than capable of handling some pretty serious tracks, but the diesel lacks the highway performance of the petrol engine. One downside with the new engine – it requires an extra litre of engine oil (4 litres instead of 3 litres) which will add a little to maintenance cost but since you will save on petrol, this increase is probably offset anyway.
There are also anti-intrusion beams in the doors to give better protection during side impacts and a beam across the back of the rear seats to prevent luggage from shooting forward and causing injuries in the event of a severe collision. Ever wondered how Mr.Teoh’s Pajero could be transformed from being a dull looking vehicle to a bright, youthful and robust looking off-roader, which is not only able to turn many heads on the streets, but also tough enough to handle the unforgiving terrains and the sharp overgrowths on the off-road terrain?




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