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Everything posted by alpha17

  1. If you prefer to use your own bike for the trial, you’ll need to get it insured. I can’t exactly remember the process, but any insurance company can provide this service. Go and ask them. You can get it insured specifically for this day.
  2. Yes. I’m yet to see a non-hybrid Fit for sale, except for the previous model. Another problem is that when you look for a particularly rare model, you’ll have to make some sacrifices. You might not get a selection of colours or grades, so you have to just go for it for the sake of buying the non-hybrid variant. Stretching the budget to go for a 1000cc Civic is a good idea. Anyway there are Toyota and Mazda models which are much better in reliability than the GP5. You can get, 2011-2012 Corolla 141 for around 4 million which is a relatively bulletproof car with plenty of agent maintained good examples available. Much more comfortable than a GP5 and has more presence and better ground clearance. But driving pleasure is not as good as the honda(would still be better to drive than the CVT equipped cars like Axio, Allion and Premio, and will have more oomph due to the 1600cc engine) Everyone’s choice - Boring 2010-upward Allion or Premio, really comfortable and really boring. Reliable if maintained properly. At the moment most ones bought for 2013-2014 Permits are up for sale due to new permits. Mazda Axela or 3 2009-2012 between 4-4.5 million. Better than a Honda to drive. Most of them have been taken care of by the owner, as most mazda buyers go for a Mazda for driving pleasure and they are enthusiasts. Plus you’ll get some nice set of options. If you can extend the budget a bit, you can get the new 2013- mazda 3 or mazda Axela. Mazda 3(brand new imports with 1600cc engine) have less options compared to the 2000cc JDM Axela Hybrid variant. Haven’t seen much JDM 1500cc non-hybrid Axelas. Without a doubt they have nice looks than any other in the list.
  3. You should mention your requirements to suggest good examples. Anyway, buying a hybrid without at least doing 1500km per month is pointless. Also note that hybrid batteries from 2013-2014 models might be having their final one or two years.
  4. There are only a few (might be less than 20, or even 10) 1800cc 2010 afterwards Allion/Premio are imported to SL. I have only seen one for sale yet. That’s because from 2011-2012 taxation has been increasing rapidly for higher capacity engines. But you can find a 2007-2009 one and still those would be a bit rare too(There might be one or two up for sale at the moment). 1500cc variant is just ok for daily driving. Compared to the 4 speed conventional auto gearboxes in the 2002-2006 240 Allion/Premio models, newer 260 with CVT has tuned to get better torque around 1000-3000rpm. Even in the hills I’m yet to experience any issue. But the car feels barge-like and cumbersome in corners than cars like Vios and 121. That’s due to the weight and soft tuned suspension. Those cars excel at doing long journeys than any other car in this segment. This is what I have experienced. Due to this softer suspension setting, you’ll rarely get the feeling of sticking to the seat and the car is going faster. One day I had a test, Axio 2011 and a Fit Gp5, accelerating from a stop. I know when driving the GP5 feels a whole lot faster that an Axio in any way and feels like in a totally different planet. But I was amazed seeing the Axio just went away, passing the GP5.
  5. Sporty exterior and rich looking interior of the Sorento would definietly catch the eyes of anyone. Opposed to that Montero has a boxy design plus a cheap looking interior. But remember...Hyundai and Kia vehicles start showing their age much faster than a japanese one. They might be a real bargain as a brand new import, but as used vehicle, I wouldn’t recommend to anyone. Usually korean vehicles’ interior parts start giving rattles after sometime. Even they have used nice materials, solidity is not upto the jap standards. Montero is a pretty solid vehicle with ample of spares available. 3.2 DID engine sounds like a Canter lorry, but those engines are pretty reliable. Remember to go for the Super Exceed variant, as it would give you the best options plus a really nice sound system. Both jeeps are pretty common on SL roads, but montero is more prestigious and also in a class above the Kia.
  6. Too sad to hear your story mate. Like others said, use a cover and give something to a security person in a nearby shop. A thief had tried to rip of my Allion's mirror too, when it was being owned by my relation, and that was even when the car was parked in the hospital. Luckily the security person had arrived on time, and still has the signs of cut by a hot blade.
  7. Using the double tape would leave some gap. What about using rivets?
  8. Briefly I would advice you to stay away from a 5 year old hybrid. Most Aquas had to go through pre-mature battery failing problem is SL. One of my close friend had to replace the battery around 70000km. Also don’t buy a hybrid to park it inside the garage for most of the week. Better to do around 30-40km per day to keep the battery on safe side.
  9. I have NSCD-W66T(which is a lower version of NSZT-W66T) and I did change the language.Changing the language won’t benefit you, since that only translates the japanese words regarding the navigation department. This option is introduced for the convenience of the foreign tourists who rent Toyotas to drive around japan. Even if you change it, all the music playback areas would still be in Japanese. So best thing is to install Google Translate into your smartphone and then download japanese translator pack. Then you can use the camera translation mode in real time. Select the option and read those japanese words through the camera of your smartphone. That is dead easy. After using it few times, you’d remember all the options. That’s how I squeeze out all the potential from my japanese navigation unit. But remember! If the chip of the system is absent or locked, you won’t be able to do anything. You can find a chip for around 5000-6000 from a car audio place. If the unit is locked from the code (the chip is inside) unlocking would cost you around 2000.
  10. Okay. There is only one thing left to do as I mentioned before. You can factory reset the head unit by putting it into reverse gear. If that doesn’t fix it, take it to a car audio guy. Probably a 5 minutes job.
  11. AFAIK almost all of the Allions have Eco mode and Auto headlights. Just like the @hrm pointed out, finding a trustworthy example is a bit hard to come by. I was also looking for a 2007 Allion by the end of last year and had no luck finding one, so ended up with a 2013 model. But sometimes good cars with all service records pop up on sale. So be patient and start hunting carefully. Here, don’t consider the mileage, colour, grade or engine capacity as a sticking point. My advice is; it better to go for a car with all the service records which had done 150,000kms than going for a car with 60,000kms and no service history.
  12. I recommend Amaron batteries. Panasonic is also good.
  13. alpha17

    Toyota Axio Hybrid

    @Hyaenidae Thanks buddy. I might have ended up crashing the car into a bike on that moment. I remember a car maker once said as a motto of a particular model as something like this 'designed for the driver inside you'. But for the Axio Hybrid we should change it as 'designed for the dead man inside you'
  14. Please clarify. 1.Does the radio function properly when you just turn it on using the ACC (pressing the push start button once) without starting the car? 2.Say now you are playing a song or listening to radio somehow by keeping the car in the reverse gear. Now you put it into D. Does the music continues, or the system goes totally dead? 3.Does the camera work? Anyway try resetting it to factory settings as it would be the only thing you could do at this moment.
  15. alpha17

    Toyota Axio Hybrid

    Today, my review is based on one of the most frequently seen cars on SL roads; Toyota Axio Hybrid. Since the car was first introduced in 2012 only as a gasoline variant continuing the 1NZ-FE engine, the Hybrid variant was introduced in 2013. So most people went for the hybrid variant instead of going for the gasoline variant. The the car received a minor facelift in 2015 together with the addition of the Toyota Safety Sense C (link about Safety Sense C- https://www.toyota.com/content/ebrochure/CFA_TSS_C.pdf). From the introduction, the car still remains as one of the most imported cars to SL. Here in this review I'm going to focus mainly on the driving dynamics and build quality. First of all, the looks. Yeah I know that it is not a head turner at all, but I really don't like the exterior look of the pre facelift variant (apologizing from all the owners). The facelifted version looks much better IMO but that is totally based on my personal opinion. Here my review is based on a 2014 Hybrid G variant. So I'll start with the topics. Interior We all know that most people were let down by the interior quality of the 2007-2011 Axio NZE141, due to really cheap and plasticy looking bits and pieces. So the newer version seems nice at the first glance. I really like the soft padding on the door panels and on the passenger side of the dashboard. When you close the door, you'll feel a bit of solidity. Design wise, 161 interior is better than the 141 in almost all the aspects except for the area where the gear shifter is located. On the 141 model the dashboard continues towards the front armrest as a one piece, but on the 161 it looks kind of seperated. This creates an empty space around the gear shitfter, giving the impression of a much more cheaper car. Watch closer and you'll notice the cost cutting effects which took place around the cabin. First one is the hard plastic dashboard top. On the previous 141 generation, the dashboard top panel was finished with a soft touch material. On the G grades, same material was continued on the upper parts of the door panels (dark grey part). But on the 161 Toyota have gone with the cheaper hard plastics. But they would not bring out the dashboard cracking issues which were existed on the 2007-2008 models. Main competitor of the Axio Hybrid, Honda Grace have a much more exciting interior with tons of silver insertings and colourful lighting in the dash. Compared to Grace, Axio's interior looks kind of bland for me, but the feels that it is a bit solid than the Grace. Seating is a bit improved from the 141. You'll get more side support on the front seats and seats are a bit softer (maybe due to the velvet like covers used). Front seating positions are okay and are mainly catered for a comfortable ride than a sporty ride. This car has a good rear seating position for tall passengers. On the Allion/ Premio thigh support is insufficient on the back seats due to lower positioned bench. But on the Axio Hybrid, thigh support is really good for tall passengers. Again you'll notice a cost cutting attempt on the back seats. Fixed headrest. Shame on you Toyota. You'll only get adjustable headrests in the Luxel variant, but there are only a few and those are gasoline versions. Leg space is okay and a bit better than the 141, but lacks when compared to Grace. Still most people would find the interior space is adequate. Options Almost equal to 141, but lesser than the Grace. You'll find Stability control and Electronic brake force distribution which was only available in the Luxel of the 141. Also you'll get nanoe (generates ions with water particles to reduce skin drying out when using the AC). From 2015 facelift, safety features became standard throughout all the grades. But thw two front tweeters came with the G limited and above variants of the 141 were absent. Actually there is nothing more to say about the options, so let's move on to discuss how it drives. Driving Once you sit on an Axio Hybrid you'll have to totally forget that you are in a driver's car. I mean "TOTALLY". Even from the earlier days most Toyotas are not famous for sportier rides, but there was a very little amount of enjoyment left. VERY LITTLE. But here, it is NONE. Even boring cars like Allions, Premios, 141s, Aquas, Prius and suprisingly the gasoline variant of the 161 Hybrid feels much more engaging to drive than the Hybrid Axio (But still miles behind other cars like Mazda Axela). I drove it on a twisty road and I got ZERO feedback from the steering. No weight. Numb. You can't predict how the tires would react to your input given through the steering. I almost met with an accident when I took a bend after speeding a bit on a straight road, because I was unable to predict how the car would react to the steering input given by me. The problem is when you drive the car at higher speeds you cannot predict the amount you'll need to turn the steering wheel to take the bend. Even the boat like Allions and Premios have a little weight to the steering which would help you a bit in this kind of occasions. Aqua shares the same powertrain with the Axio hybrid, but feels more nimble and sharper to drive. But this issue is less pronounced when you drive the car slowly. It is dead easy to drive and maneuver around the town due to this lightness. But on corners, the car has plenty of grip than the previous generation. I experienced a noticeable reduction in body roll when compared it with the 141 Axio. Also when you do over 100kmph the car feels well planted on the road than the previous gen ( 141 Axio felt like the car is flying, when the speed is over 120kmph). I remember that Toyota had repeatedly mentioned on their japanese site that the high speed stability was enhanced, at the time when the new model was first introduced. Then the acceleration. On speeds below 50-60kmph it has adequate torque. The motor gives sudden bursts of torque on demand, so it's easy in traffic and low speeds. When you put your foot down, for a brief period you'll really feel the assistance of the motor, but then it slowly fades away around 50-60kmph. For me it does not feel as fast as the 141 Axio ( Let's not compare it with the the Honda's equipped with i-DCD Hybrid System). The car weighs about 1150kg with 110 combined horsepower, but the 1310kg weighing Civic FD3 feels much more livelier and responsive even though it has the same amount of combined horsepower. Again, for day to day driving the powertrain is more than adequate. I know most of you feel disappointed about the driving dynamics about this car at this moment. But you should not forget that it's a Toyota's entry level hybrid. It serves all the purposes which it was intended to fulfill. A major plus point that you can experience in this car is the fuel economy. In freely moving traffic it gives around 15-17kmpl. Long distances would help to squeeze out around 25kmpl. I don't have much knowledge or details about the fuel economy levels, but I would be glad if owners can post the figures as comments. Then the smoothness. When compared to Honda's hybrid systems ; specially the i-DCD Hybrid systems in Fit, Vezel and Grace, the Axio Hybrid is silky smooth. The integration of the engine and the motor is seamless. You won't notice a single sign while the car changing from the motor to the engine, except for the slight engine whirling sound. As I mentioned earlier in this forum, there is a bit of as issue with the Honda i-DCD Hybrid system at the beginning of a steep hill. It feels like the gearbox is confused to choose the correct gear. You won't experience that in the Toyota. It just goes. The powertrain of the Toyota Hybrid system feels polished than the Honda's. Another benefit is the comfort level and refinement. The car is comfortable over bumps than the Honda's due to the softer suspension setup, but not as good as an Allion or a Premio. It's on par with the previous gen IMO. Road noise levels are also low and the hybrid system helps to eliminate the engine noise during lower speeds. I notice a huge difference in comfort and refinement levels in the Honda Grace when compared to the Axio Hybrid. Grace is bumpy and the suspension feels busy over bumps. Harder seats worsen it further. So for doing long distances Axio Hybrid is the best option due to the fuel economy and refinement levels. What we should not forget is that the purposes it was built for and those are economy and easy drive. Issues and Reliability Since I drove the car for a brief period, I cannot comment much about the reliability. The owner of the car (a close friend), I've driven bought it in 2014 as a Zero mileage unit and still owns it without an issue. Now the car has done around 60,000kms. I've heard about premature battery failure, but haven't met an owner who had to experience it. But there is a possibility for that due to the fact that it shares the same powertrain with the Aqua, which is famous for the same issue. Other than that, haven't heard about any complaints. Verdict At the end, all I have to say is that the Axio Hybrid would satisfy you if you expect what it can deliver at its best. Don't look for it expecting handling levels that would put a smile on your face. The issue of the steering wheel can only risky when you push the car to its limits, but if not, that is perfectly tolerable for a typical SL driver. I'd name it as a car which is perfectly suited for the typical SL driver. At the end I have to say that this review is based on none other than my personal experiences. Feel free to highlight the flaws and mistakes, as it would be helpful for my next review. Thank You for reading. -alpha17- For details about grades and variations, you can visit the links below 2012/05 - http://cdn.toyota-catalog.jp/catalog/pdf/corolla-3/corolla-3_201205.pdf 2013/04 - http://cdn.toyota-catalog.jp/catalog/pdf/corolla-3/corolla-3_201304.pdf 2013/08 - http://cdn.toyota-catalog.jp/catalog/pdf/corolla-3/corolla-3_201308.pdf 2015/03 - http://cdn.toyota-catalog.jp/catalog/pdf/corolla-3/corolla-3_201503.pdf
  16. You could go with the Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross. Haven’t driven but been a passenger and it is much more energetic and comfier than the CRV. 2nd hand value would fall in to the same category with the CRV. But the interior build quality might not be as good as the CRV. Another fact is that I can’t stand the back end design of the Eclipse Cross. Other option is the Vezel with 1.5 Turbo engine (same engine from the CRV). It was released a few months ago and I doubt whether anyone had imported it to SL yet. With that you’ll get better reliability than the Hybrid variant, plus better performance. But resale value is a bit harder to guess, since Vezels are loosing their value faster due to DCD replacements and even if this model has the cvt and non-hybrid power train, value would be likely to loose. Or else get the ordinary SL guy’s choice. Allion or Premio.
  17. Viva elite would be the best option as the car is relatively new, compared to the other cars in the list. Might not be the fastest, comfiest and option filled one, but will treat you without much of an issue. Actually I’m not aware of the variants and issues. Get an automatic one with less mileage and you’d be fine with it for years to come.
  18. Ahhh I get it. I met two people in SL who went for a Petrol Prado and Petrol Hilux due to vibrations in the diesel variants (they had deep pockets too).
  19. Among the mentioned cars, I’ll give my ideas about the cars that I know. Swift - good ground clearance so you can go anywhere. Not very reliable, as a neighbor owns one and repairs are very common (I dunno if there is a fault with his car), not much economical on fuel, easier to drive and handle BJ5P - Go for the Familia variant as it is the jdm version so its more comfier. Really good ride with comfort and handling, another neighbor had one for years and never complained elite - car made purely for cheap runs. Good fuel economy and reliability sunny - comfortable but bad on fuel on all Fb15, n16 and n17 models. Some claim about sensor issues and front suspension issues on fb15 older models march k12 - i dunno the reason why you add that up to your list...it’s freakishly ugly as hell Some other cars you should consider corolla 110 - good car with good reasale value and okish fuel consumption, comfortable, but the only problem is that most of them have been beaten to death by now so finding a good one is a miracle carina 212 - same as the 110 plus better looking exterior, roomy interior, bit more comfort and better looking, but finding a good car is.....
  20. Both might be equally equipped but since you’ve already owned a Hilux, better to go for the same again. Engine might be different, but opposed to Rangers Hilux is much famous around here, so you’ll be ok with finding parts and selling due to toyota badge. A fully loaded one from the Toy**a La**a would be about 11.9 million, but it’s not the rocco version.
  21. But I think mostly it’s due to the Toyota’s reasons other than japanese regulations. Every luxury car maker had moved to diesel engines (bmw,merc,audi and even jags) but still Lexus is using petrol engines. As I remember (correct me if I’m wrong) Mazda Axela had diesel engine options in Japanese market. But even the famous 1KD-FTV had been swept away from the Prados.
  22. If you really want to make an investment, better to deposit them in a bank or buy a land. I mean, those are two entirely different vehicles and each one of them would give you different outputs. Owning a KDH would have the resale value, practicality and go anywhere advantage. But the Shuttle would be much of a sportier and comfortable drive at the expense of resale value and expensive running costs. A car would carry a bit of more prestige than a Van here in SL. Anyway whether you go for a van or a car deep down inside it’s just A to B transportation so, it’s your choice.
  23. That’s quite a ride mate!! Congratz!!!
  24. I would advise you to go for the 2015 Santafe. Usually koreans are not well built as japanese vehicles (eventhough they use nice materials and interesting designs, fit and finish is not upto that of japs). So getting a newer one would be much safer and would likely to last longer since they have been improving their quality recently.
  25. Well most of us might be seeing an Alto Turbo RS rocketing in the streets in the near future....
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