I was rather pissed at this new TV show on ntv7 called Drive that was supposed to be a comprehensive guide for car enthusiasts and potential car buyers as it has some ‘interesting’ segments like comparing and reviewing cars of a certain category. Plain BS if you ask me.
I was unfortunate to watch the episode where the host was comparing 3 MPVs in the sub-RM 100K category – The Proton Exora 1.6 A, Naza Rondo 2.0 A, Nissan Grand Livina 1.6 M (notice how the competition is being staged here..) Anyway, I would have expected any car guide show that wanted to tell the people which car to buy should focus on the key factors people look for when buying cars – Fuel Consumption, Ergonomics, Space, Performance.
Instead, the host took all three cars for a spin and came up with such conclusions:
- After taking the cars through a slalom of cones, he concluded that the Exora performed best here and was really impressed with its handling of corners and such.
- Whilst the Rondo had heavier steering, it didn’t perform as well as the Exora on the cornerings. The Livina seemed to have steering problems. It felt light and could pose problems during cornerings. Driving it made the driver feel like ‘floating’ (?!!!)
- The seats on the Exora feels quite hard but is comfortable enough. (what?!)
- To him, all three cars have panels that are similar and safety features not really touched on…all are adequate… (sigh…)
- The Livina seems to be able to drive through rain/flood because it is quite high (duh?!…it’s much lower compared to the Exora actually..)
- When he compared the same luggages in the 3rd row boot, he realised the Livina (surprisingly) showed more room space. Of course, he was quick to interject that the reason is because the 3rd row of the 3rd row of the Livina had been raised so it wasn’t as comfortable as the Exora nor Rondo.
- Final conclusion: Exora wins the comparison. Go buy one today (sublimal message)
Look, I am not whining because I am driving a Livina, but I could see so many ways the show could be improved. Check out my version of how the episode should be like:
Opening Scene: Montage of host driving all three MPVS. Cue title: Planning to buy an MPV with a tight budget of RM 100K? Stay on this channel!
Host walks in the garage with all three cars parked behind. Script: Today, let’s look at three popular models in this category and compare them based on performance, fuel consumption, ergonomics, space, accesories and price.
After the customary drive arounds and blahs blahs, the host would summarize (for example):
Based on performance, the Rondo seems to outpower the other two rivals. Its solid 2.0 engine easily provides the sufficient power to climb hills and tackle corners with a full load. Its low-based frame makes it pretty stable even at high speeds of above 140kmph. The lighter steering of the Livina makes it easy to handle. With an impressive torque of XXX, it has quite a good pick-up, as with other Nissan cars. Whilst the Exora can handle corners pretty well for a big car, its 1.6 engine can feel somewhat underpowered when taking off from a stationery position. But after a while when the car is cruising, it poses no problem.
After a study conducted with several car owners, we found the Livina to be most fuel efficient, followed closely by the Exora. The Rondo however was found to be quite a petrol drinker.
Being C-based cars, both the Rondo and Livina provides an easier entrance and exit from the car for users as it has a lower frame. The Exora feels more like a bigger MPV in the mould of the Grandis or Innova, so mounting and dismounting may not be as comfortable. However, the 3rd row of the Livina is elevated so it may not be as comfortable as the rivals with floor-based 3rd row seats.
Based on overall volume capacity, the Exora wins hands down with XXX cubic meters, followed by the Livina with XXX cubic meters and the Rondo (XX cubic meters). The ability of the Exora and Rondo’s third row seats to be split 50:50 also makes it very flexible compared to the Livina which doesn’t have this functionality. However, do note that the Livina’s 3rd row space is larger compared to the other two, simply because it is wider at the back.
The Exora wins the accesories category handsomely too. Perhaps it is a much newer car but having the full specs of an impressive ICE with bluetooth and CD changers, ceiling mount DVD player-screen, wing light mirrors and LCD panel keeps it far ahead of the Rondo and Livina, which only comes with a basic ICE that cannot even play MP3s.
The Exora is considerably cheaper than its two rivals, with the Livina being the most expensive of the three, probably because it is an imported brand whilst Naza is a localised brand and Proton is our national brand.
Based on these findings, I would recommend the Exora because it offers value for money with a big space, great entertainment and affordably cheap! However, I would advise all buyers to take a test drive for themselves before making the right decision for yourselves!
Cue to interview clips of current owners of these three cars. Script: Let’s hear what existing owners of these cars have to say about their wheels!
And there you have it! Didn’t that sound more believable?