Naza Sutera Forza 1.1 Review
In all honesty...

Story & pictures by Azfar Hashim
6 Feb 2009
 

The Sutera is one of the best value-packed small car available in our market now

The outside story

Have you noticed that as of late, a slew of pint-sized cars have made their way into Singapore? You don’t have to look far though – just flip through Saturday’s papers and you’ll see advertisements being put up, displaying their equally diminutive asking price. And these small cars - generally smaller than the you-see-them-everywhere Honda Jazz/Fit and Hyundai Getz crowd - are pleasing to the eye, no matter where they hail from.

These small cars offer the cheapest car ownership experience – simply because (a) their engine capacity never exceeds the 1,300cc mark, and (b) they’re small, so they’re economical...they won’t cost you a bomb to upkeep.

And how do I know?

Well, that was where I started from three years ago. The first car I owned was the Perodua Kelisa, which was at that point the cheapest steel on wheels. I paid less than $20k for a brand new Off-Peak registered one, service and parts are cheap, aftermarket parts are in abundance across the Causeway and a full tank of Octane 95 petrol costs less than $50, lasting me at least for five days – travelling between Tampines and Tuas on a daily basis back then.

But you must know what you’re paying for – you can’t expect to pay something below $30k, and expect Teutonic quality. Get my drift? Although refinement and earth-shattering performance are not its cup of tea, these small cars can still provide the freedom to roam everywhere and anywhere.

So along came the Naza Sutera, hoping to provide the answer to potential car buyers who are looking for the most affordable city roundabout. In case you didn’t know, Naza is Malaysia’s third automotive manufacturer after Proton and Perodua. However, the cars produced under the Naza brand are usually rebadged Kia, Peugeot and Hafei. In fact, its donor car, the Hafei Lobo, is also sold here.

Exterior wise, the Sutera has a very modern and pleasant outlook. Everything looks proportionate, and you can just know the designers were inspired by triangles. The front signal lights, side mirrors, door handles, C-pillar windows and even the tail lamps – they’re all triangular. Which is unique, as to be honest, when was the last time you come across a car that has such quirky detailing?

At the same time, Naza tried to give the Sutera a touch of sportiness – by making the full body-kit, roof-mounted spoiler and 14-inch six-spoke alloys wrapped in 165/55 R-14 Goodyear rubbers standard fitment.

I also can’t help but notice this particular bit – when viewed from certain angles, the Sutera has cues of the smart fortwo we reviewed some time ago.

 


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