Similar cars tried:
Honda Stream, Toyota Crown, Hyundai Sonata CRDI
Duration of car driven:
Less than 1 month
The road was flooded with precipitation. Our adventure begins near the head of the anaconda, which is the 100 pax queue snaking from the lonely taxi stand. This is rush hour on a wet Friday. Welcome to Singapore.
Then it arrived, the sparkling salmon coloured MPV piloted by a fellow Lim, although not Richard. I boarded the rear seat of the Toyota Wish, gave Lim my destination and we were away.
As representations of the Toyota brand go, few come close to the Wish. Spacious enough for a CNG tank in the boot, a generously sized passenger Lim in the middle (yours truely), an obviously sleep-derived Lim at the wheel and still have space for my dog, if it was allowed to board.
Overall impressions are positive. Robustly built, honest upholstery makes no misrepresentation of being at any point removed from a bovine. Acceleration is leisurely, although that may just be Lim at the wheel being conscious not to prematurely deplete his reserve of CNG.
Would I have a Wish?
Compared to its rivals, which are the stalwart Crown and the over-zealous Sonata, I say yes.
In one fell swoop, the people at Wolfsburg corrected the myriad of problems that plagued the original "People's car". They turned the driver's seat around so that the engine is in the "right" position. Of course, being very detailed German people, they also swapped the lights so that you won't blind the cars behind at night with bright Xenon lights shining in their face. They also moved the wiper so you can use the car safely even when it rains. Or when you need to sweep a dead bird off.
These improvements they did some time ago with the "New Beetle". But didn't VW invented "kaizen"? They certainly upped their game with the "Newer" Beetle - like screwing the car together better. They also fired the florist, since the iconic vase is no longer there. Then again, Peter Lim is not one into horticulture, so good riddence!
Performance-wise, "fast" doesn't begin to describe this incredible car. From the get-go, the fiesty ferret of a 1.2-litre TSI engine hooks up to the tarmac like gym socks to velcro. "Das Auto"? Try leaving everyone in the dust.
Verdict? A firm "like".