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Bodywork started after disassembling almost all parts. Remain only the outer shell of the car with wiring harness which can not pullout easily. Gauge 14 & 18 zinc coated metal sheets used for most places.
Firstly cut the right side of the chassis and welded new bar.
Then the left side and floor board plates one by one. All door bottoms, front and back wings repaired. Mean time door hinge pins refilled at a lathe workshop. Finally attached all doors and wings again to check the aligning.
Carbide 9kg and a oxygen cylinder consumed for this works.
So just planned to do quick review after driving a specific car as it would help most of the people who seek out details about a particular model. Those entries contain details about how the car is like to drive, comfort level, build quality and interesting facts(if there are any). So I will be unable to post details about long term ownership and maintenance.
This review is based on Honda Fit GP5, which is one of the most common cars in SL roads and one of my favourite cars to drive.
I have driven this car in hilly areas, bends, stretches and bad roads. So I will be able to give a brief idea about how it is likely to drive. The first thing you notice when you get into a Honda (specially if you are a Toyota owner) how the seating position, dash layout wraps around you. It just makes you feel like you are sitting in a driver’s car. The seating position feels much sporty and lowered.
The Honda’s Earth Dreams Hybrid system (even though it has those early clutch replacements and a bit unrefined nature) is a joy to drive. The acceleration is really good even when the car is filled with 5 adults. I drove the car from Padukka to Kegalle once with 5 adults and I never felt that it was underpowered. The Fit will do 0-100kmph around 8-9seconds but I never tested that. But trust me the car has more than enough grunt for day to day driving and sudden overtakes. The steering is really light with a little bit of weight, but much sharper than a toyota. It goes where you direct without a delay. In corners it’s steady, feels much more planted and rigid. Given the size and power, the car is miles ahead in the driving area when compared with a Toyota Aqua, the main competitor. You can corner this really hard without any slips or stability issues.
But the issue you’ll find with this car is the unrefined nature of the hybrid system. When you are going slowly round the town, the throttle response is a bit hideous. Sometime you really have to put your foot down to make it get going. When the engine kicks in, it’s much less of a trouble. This is existant in all the three i-DCD equipped models, Grace and Vezel also. Another thing that a felt is that due to the high amount of torque generated by the motor, the car is a bit hard to control during small manevours and specially entering into a garage with a bump. You’ll have to be a bit carefull or otherwise the car will jump forward.
Around the town the car is a breeze to handle due to low turning radius and light steering.
When compared with an Aqua, the ride is pretty comfortable, but not as a sedan with softer suspension setting, such as an Axio Hybrid. The seats are on the firm side and the suspension too, but for me the car feels a bit more comfortable than the Aqua. Also the seats hold you better when cornering providing good side support. One thing that you’ll notice is the amount of leg space for the both front and rear occupents when considering the size of the car. It’s really adorable.
One day I drove a Fit from Kadawatha to Kegalle and after the journey I felt a bit tired which I never felt in my 121. That’s due to the stiffer suspension and a bit higher road noise levels since it’s a hatch.
Most of the materials used are hard plastic. But the finish makes it feel a bit more upmarket. The door panels and dash are nicely finised with silver accents and piano black insertings, so I find the car to be miles ahead when compared with Aqua, Vitz and even the 3rd Gen Prius.
The car has much more options such as paddle shifters, brake hold and LCD colour multi information display.
Interesting Features and facts
-The climate control system is touch sensitive, which cannot be seen on far more expensive car models. It’s really cool, but sometimes a bit harder to control on the move.
-During a hard braking, the signal lights alert the rear driver by doing fast pulses.
-When you pass 100kmph, there is not much power left.
-Just like most Honda’s the original speakers are really good. Make sure to use a good head unit or keep the original japanese one than replacing with a crappy chinses head unit.
Overall the GP5 is a car that I really love to drive and would fit a small family with kids nicely. The economy is good but not good as an Aqua. But beware of the dual clutch system and the hybrid battery when you are buying one.
This review is based on my personal experiences and other people might have different opinions. If there is anything wrong or inappropriate please let me know. Also that this review is not sufficient as a deciding factor for a new car since it omly covers about the brief time period of driving experience but not MAINTENANCE AND DAILY DRIVING. Looking forward for your comments🤗Thank you for reading!
It's been a while since the last entry where I rambled on about the minor details but now for the all important part how does this actually drive. I've done over 5000 Km's now and I guess spend enough time with the car to give my honest feedback on how it handles etc.
I'm not going to dwell on the statistics and figures since that is readily available on the internet - but for formalities sake the Civic comes with the P10A2 engine - Honda's 3 cylinder turbo charged engine which has somewhere between 125-130 BHP.
So the overall driving experience ? Well it's adequate and after the break-in period it seems the car is actually quite eager than it was initially. There is a bit of turbo lag and coupled with the torque at low revs you feel a bit like driving a diesel ....no complaints though.
A question I usually get from some people is whether this model comes with the much maligned DCT - well surprise surprise it does not. Honda have mated the P10A2 with a CVT. Of course there is always the manual and that is actually supposed to be great as per reviews from the UK - but considering I use this car to drive daily to and from work in the colombo traffic I had to be a masochist to opt for a manual (which I'm not - and god bless future me when I try to sell a manual in Sri Lanka ) . Those who have driven the GP5's and Graces know that the Dual clutch set up is actually a blast to drive - which is not the case with the CVT. My previous car also had a CVT gear box and frankly I'm not a fan of them at all. But then given how DCT's fared locally I guess having a rubbery CVT over a DCT setup is not a huge deal.
All grades of the FK6 comes with paddle-shifters - now I know it's a bit funny to see paddle shifters and CVT in the same sentence but what the setup actually does is have more of a simulated shifting mechanism going when you use them. When you're in normal 'Drive' mode you can use the shifters to change gears but the car is too eager to override you and kind of spoils the fun. However if you change your gear to 'S' then the HUD will display an 'M' indicating that the car is ready to receive manual input and a blinking indicator also indicates when the time is right to shift up. Of course if you don't shift at the right moment the car will give you some time and after a while will override you. S mode, and the 7-Speed CVT with the shifters is a little fun time to time but I think it's there more as a gimmick to be perfectly honest. I will upload a video on this later on and update the entry.
There is an ECO mode which can be enabled/disabled by a switch on the gear shifter console. Turning off the Eco mode will give you a more fun driving experience as the car is much more peppier. For more fun on an open road shift to S and use the shifters.
I use the E03 expressway daily and that's where this car really feels home at. I mentioned the low end torque - around 2250 RPM there is a sweet spot and you can feel that pull. Due to it's dynamics the car feels very well planted and very stable at high speeds. You just feel the car hugging the road and hurtling forward - which is a really nice feeling. The handling is quite good -the steering is a little lifeless but adequately sharp and the ride is very controlled. I drive an SR which does not have the adaptive damper system found on the EX.
The ride is generally smooth even with some potholes - though I cannot give any feedback about the rear since I've never actually traveled in the back seat.
Road noise is something I've always associated with Honda's and once again this is no exception though the road noise insulation is comparatively better than that of smaller cars like the Fit. But it does a good job of cutting out the racket from that noisy 3 pot engine - which believe me is quite loud and rough when you actually open the hood and take a look. But inside the car it's generally quiet.
To sum it up ... Cars with downsized engines for the sake of reducing emissions and improving gas-mileage are not meant to be fast performance cars in the first place. But Honda have tried to give the driver a bit of feel-good factor with the fake air vents and the paddle shifters and the overall 'sporty' feel. I wish it didn't have the CVT gear box and the steering was a little less lighter. But the noisy little 3 pot engine pulls really well given it's size and the weight of the car. The 1L Turbo Civic is no Type R but for a bird with clipped wings it flies pretty well.
And now for the FAQ Section
 "Nice car bro how does it do on fuel ? " :
I drive in generally bad traffic I wouldn't claim it to be the worst since I don't travel to areas like Rajagiriya/Dehiwala etc. And the car returns around 7-8 KMPL. On general I get about 10 KMPL in a 50-50 City/Suburban drive. On the Expressway I get around 6L/100Km which means about 16.6 KMPL. On the average long distance drive on non expressways depending on the time of the day the car will do between 12-16 KMPL.
 "The car is a bit low isn't it? " :
One fear I had earlier about the car before purchase is it's low ground clearance - somehow I have found it to be ok so far. I recently traveled on one of the most horrible roads I have seen in the western province - it was a tiny impossibly narrow dirt road with immense pot holes and pieces of rock jutting out leading to an almost forgotten home for the senior citizens where we had to give dinner. It was a hellish drive in pitch darkness but somehow i got through without a single scrape. For a better understanding I will try to upload some daytime pics of the said road.
 "Aren't the back seats a bit cramped?"
Leg-space wise no. There's quite a lot of leg space . The thing is due to the curved shape of the roof some may feel that head-space is a bit lacking. The only person to complain so far was my 6'3" /125Kg cousin. So unless you're some behemoth you are OK. Having said that I must say the Civic is a little too driver oriented with a lot of care given to the driver and lesser focus to the passengers: for instance the seat height adjustment is not available for the front passenger. It's a little darker in the back too.
It's been little more than 4 years with my Hiace and it has done around 76,000kms so I thought its time I give you guys an update on it.
Let me start the blog with the basics,
Mine is a Toyota Hiace KDH206, this variant of Hiace is fitted with a 1KD-FTV turbo engine with an all wheel drive system. The AWD system in the KDH series is pretty much full time, it runs on all four wheels normally and if any of the wheels experience a slippage, the vehicle stops sending power to that specific wheel.
There is a noticeable difference between the AWD variant(KDH206) and RWD variant(KDH201). The KDH206 is around 100kg heavier and you could feel that through the steering when you drive one. In addition, the KDH206 feels far more planted at higher speeds and around corners than the RWD variant. However the downside is that the full time AWD system drinks bit more fuel than RWD version.
Cost of Maintenance
In short the Hiace is not cheap run, I get fuel economy of around 6km/l in kandy and around 9-10km/l outstation, the RWD KDH201 would return around another extra 2km more per litre. Hiace is originally fitted with 195/80R15 8ply tyres and they cost around 22-23.5K per tyre from brands like Continental or Pirelli, while Maxxis tyre could be found for around 16k.
The Hiace requires 0W-30 oil and a regular service which needs to be carried out every 5000km costs around 10K using Toyota oil, I was using Toyota oil filter as well, but now I have switched to VIC.
ATF oil must be changed around every 40k kms, I change air filter and cabin filter every year.
It requires super diesel and this is an absolute must, if you regularly pump auto diesel you will pay more in repairs than what you saved by pumping auto diesel. The most likely issues you would get from pumping auto diesel are DPF, which costs around 70-80k to replace and injectors, which would set you back around 500k for all four.
So far I had to change only a bush which costed around 50rs, apart from that I have not had any repairs.
The Hiace pulls pretty well for a vehicle which weighs 2 tonnes, the 1KD-FTV with a variable nozzle turbo produces 100kw at 3400RPM and 300nm of torque at 1200-3200rpm and it is connected to a 4 speed conventional automatic gearbox. Overtaking other vehicles with Hiace is pretty easy, you just have to put your foot down, the turbo will come to life and you would be gone. It is always on the right gear, there's no unnecessary downshifts or up shifts, the gearing ratios are perfectly synced with the power band of the engine although it is only a 4 speed gearbox in a world of 6 and 7 speed gearboxes.
The Hiace properly comes to life on hill climbs with the help of low end power and variable nozzle turbo.
Handling is fairly good for a van, it handles better than large SUVs. The KDH series has much less body roll compared to the previous LH series, but it isn't great as handling of a car. I notice the difference in handling when I drive the Hiace after driving our Bluebird which has front and rear independent suspension.
It doesn't handle large potholes and bumps as good as a car, but it does manage to soften small potholes pretty well. The diesel engine noise is evident compared to a hybrid or petrol vehicle but the noise reduces when the vehicle gets to the third gear or at around 70+ km/h speed. The A/C is epic on the Hiace, it is one of the best cooling A/C I have come across, I rarely have to set the A/C temperature below 26 degree Celsius on auto mode and that is without the dual A/C.
There is plenty of space inside, 7 or 8 people could travel on long journeys with their legs stretched out and not crammed. The second row seat is the best place to be in, you get the dual A/C right in front of you, it is acoustic sweet spot and minimal sunlight enters the cabin.
It is quite a practical vehicle if you are using it occasionally or for long journeys as it can seat 8 comfortably yet carry plenty of luggage(you could fit around 4-5 large travelling bag placed horizontally), it has got atleast double the amount of luggage space compared to a Noah/Esquire. However it is bit of waste of money if you are using it on daily basis as fuel bills are gone be crazy and parking these are not that easy within city limits. In addition, maneuvering these around narrow roads requires some skills especially roads with tight bends.
Second hand value and parts
Selling a KDH isn't difficult at all, if you maintain them right there will always be people willing it to buy it from you. There are plenty of body parts available but 1KD engine parts are bit difficult to find and even if you do find, it will be expensive
Some used parts prices are:
- Pair of tail lights: 15k for older design and 30k for new design
- Pair of headlight: more than 100k without the HID unit
- Rear door: around 40k
- Fog lights: around 20k
What I have done with my Hiace
The Modellista body kit came with the van from Japan itself and I added the Modellista grill later on
Original Toyota spoiler which came painted pearl white
I tinted the fog lamps yellow with Nightbreaker bulbs in them
I have also replaced the rear seats which are rotatable and come with a table as well
I have done some electronic mods as well,
Installed a transcend DrivePro 200
Carrozzeria tweeters with crossover
and JBL component speakers with crossover(thanks to @TheFlyingFox)
I was planning on installing FIAMM horns, but the JDM side of my brain took over and I went with Mitsuba Alpha
Note: click on the links to access the videos
My dad had the body kit removed for a short period of time and during that time I drove it through some muddy terrain. It did well.
Finally. At long last, the ITR sedan conversion is done!! Here she is in all her glory. More glam pics in the upcoming months!
Few niggles I’m trying to fix. The front end didn’t come with fender liners/mudguards. Sourced those from uk.
Also I was using a lengthened shifter linkage from an ek3 with a d series box. Apparently that’s why shifting into reverse and 2nd are difficult. Waiting on a proper ITR shifter linkage from the UK as well. Along with the stock dual bend shifter.
For the year 2017 Toyota introduced the C-HR which is a compact SUV. Recently It came to the Sri Lankan automobile market also. The car came in 2 major variants with 4 trim levels. An only petrol version with a smaller engine but with a turbo charger and a one with the famous Toyota's Synergy Drive hybrid powertrain system. Both of these have 2 different trim levels as G and S (where G is always coming with the highest spec list). With the dimensions, the C-HR is a practical city rider. Despite the exterior dimensions, the interior is not a big compromise.
We at Tarragon TV did a review on this car as the 5th episode of the series. Watch it and let us know your comments. Remember to subscribe for more videos in future.
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Guys please note that we switched the AL forum URL from http://forum.autolanka.com to http://autolanka.com/forums today. It was done mainly for SEO and also to provide a better service for you all in the future. All of the old AL forum URL's should automatically redirected to the new forum URL. Therefore there will not be any impact to any external links. We did lot of testing after the change and everything (cross-fingers) seems to be working fine. Please let us know if anything is not working or if you need assistance with anything.
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The first question when a tourist visit to Sri Lanka is, "why you guys are honking this much?". A question that I even don't know the answer.
We Sri Lankans uses our car horn for every reason. If we see a friend; we honk, if we see an enemy; we honk, if we see a girl; we honk, if we want to overtake; we honk, we are rather than driving the car; we honk the horn. In my personal experience, near Orugodawatte Junction in the morning time we can hear more than 25 honks per minute.
Following are some honking etiquettes that I presume too good to share.
When is it appropriate to use your horn? Generally, you should only honk the horn when reasonably necessary to insure safe driving. For example, if your brakes have gone out, honk to alert other drivers.
Use your horn to promote safe driving
However, there are times when it is common and acceptable to use your horn when there’s no immediate threat of a crash. Keep in mind that there is a big difference between giving a quick “beep” and laying on your horn with an obnoxious “BEEEEEEEEEEP”. For example, if the driver in front of you at a red light is not paying attention when the light changes to green, wait at least 4 seconds and then give a light, quick tap on the horn.
If another driver is driving too close to the lane line or almost hits you, it is appropriate to give a quick “beep” to let them know that they made a driving error and need to be more cautious. A quick honk of the horn can mean “Watch what you’re doing!”
Don’t use your horn to vent frustration
Your horn is not a way for you to tell another driver you don’t like their driving. If someone’s driving creates an ongoing danger, call the police. Never lay on your horn out of frustration with another driver.
Many instances of road rage begin with aggressive horn honking. You never know another driver’s state of mind, the kind of day they’re having, or how they’ll react to your blaring horn. Your safety is the top priority, so be calm when driving. If you must honk your horn at someone, do it lightly. Also, do not yell, mouth words, or use hand gestures to show your anger.
Don’t use your horn to ask “What’s Happening?”
Do not honk at your friends because this could alarm other drivers. You may startle another driver into slamming on their brakes, aborting their turn, or performing some other dangerous maneuver. Your horn is not a way to say “Hey” as you drive past your friends.
No, your horn cannot magically clear a traffic jam
If you’re stuck in a traffic jam, don’t honk. It isn’t going to make the situation any better; in fact, it will make it worse for everyone around you. Unless you are in a parade or stuck in a parking garage after your favorite baseball team just won the World Series, you should never lay on your horn in traffic.
Honking is sometimes against the law
In some cities, honking your horn between certain hours is against the law. I don’t think anyone will miss the neighborhood carpool mom honking at 6:00 a.m. to get the kids outside. You don’t have to worry about breaking the law if you use your horn only when absolutely necessary. Not wanting to get out of the car and ring the doorbell is not grounds for using your horn.
Honk if you’re …
Honking does not always pertain to alerting other drivers. Honking has become a way of showing support. For example, some people honk when they drive past students having car wash fund raisers. In Detroit, a U.S. District Judge ruled that not allowing “honking for peace” in anti-war demonstrations would be against the First Amendment.
The bottom line is to refrain from immediately reacting to a driver’s “wrong” move by laying on your horn or even giving a quick beep. People make mistakes and sometimes you need to just let it go rather than using your horn to vent. The simple rule: only use your horn when necessary.
When practicing with your teen, watch how he or she reacts when other drivers make mistakes. Discuss why honking would or would not have been appropriate for each situation.
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