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Basic information of my car:
2022 Honda City RS e:HEV
Reasons why I bought this car
As a full-time e-hailing & p-hailing driver, fuel consumption is the main issue I must deal with every single time, to minimise the expenses for lucrative purposes as well as for a living, as we typically spend a minimum of RM1k per month for petrol. I drove a 2019 Perodua Myvi 1.5 AV for e-hailing, which I bought for my daily commute from home to and office and vice versa after my Proton Iswara 2001 was stolen (due to high demands for genuine spare parts as Proton stopped selling new genuine spare parts).
However, using Myvi for e-hailing & p-hailing means I'll have to pay an extra RM100 for loan instalment (22% down payment, 3.17% interest rate, 9 years loan), compared to e-hailing drivers with a Perodua Bezza 1.3L AV and a similar mortgage (or Bezza X with 10% down payment = RM 463 [3.3% interest rate, 9 years loan]. While the former’s Eco Idle technology contributes to saving 5% of overall fuel consumption (1% lower than Perodua’s claim).
While most taxis use NGV natural gas to tackle their car’s engine thirstiness, it is harmful to the engine as most fellow cabby drivers advised when asked. With that being said, the best alternative to NGV gas for tackling unwanted waste of energy is electricity, which is generated from hybrid cars’ batteries.
It is worth mentioning that a Hybrid Electric Vehicle (HEV) like the Honda City RS e:HEV, unlike a PHEV such as the BMW 330e, it spend nothing on recharging the battery, compared to fuelling the NGV tank, but only on battery replacement fee when it reaches its lifespan. In the meantime, many people insisted that the maintenance fee for a hybrid vehicle is expensive, I would compare it to the monthly budget of petrol on an ordinary internal combustion engine (ICE) car, and the division of the repair fee of the high voltage battery by 8 years and 365 days a year (8 years warranty given by Honda) once it reaches the warranty’s expiration.
Car selection process
- I had a budget of: No exact budget was being set, as an e-hailing driver, paying reasonably priced expenses of undertaking wisely while providing the best services to patrons, as well as making enough for a living are goals we all strive for. Since I am choosing to provide a budget e-hailing vehicle service, B & C segments cars are among my choices.
- Models that I have considered include: Perodua Bezza 1.0G & 1.3 AV, Perodua Ativa 1.0 Turbo, Nissan Almera 1.0 Turbo, Nissan Leaf, Nissan Serena S-ybrid, Toyota Corolla Cross Hybrid, Toyota Vios J, Hyundai Kona Electric, Honda City S
- Reasons why I chose this car:
Again, minimising fuel consumption to maximise the profit is always the goal of most chauffeurs who monetise with their own car(s), which is also why the Perodua Bezza is a preferred choice for vehicles for hires, such as taxis and e-hailing. On the contrary, drivers who provide more premium cars to passengers, "kosong" spec Japanese B-segment sedan are the choices.
Contrary to most Malaysians' doubts on the reliability of hybrids, many neighbouring countries such as Cambodia, Thailand, and Singapore have proven that these high mileage clocking hybrids such as the Toyota Prius, are still running well after years of servicing, coupled with very few battery’s maintenances.
On another extreme side, while charging an electric car is significantly cheaper than filling up a petrol tank (e.g. Nissan Leaf’s 40kWh battery pack, TNB rate each kWh after 300kWh= RM 0.516 X 40 = RM20.64 full charge), having to park your car for about 45 minutes make no sense as it reduces my productivity to my job, compared to a hybrid that takes me less than 5 minutes to refill, once every 4.5 days on average (1.5 days for my Perodua Myvi). With that said, a hybrid or a plug-in hybrid such as a BMW 530e are more feasible options, as plug-in hybrids do not take very long time to fully charge their battery compared to an all-battery-electric car, while a hybrid car or HEV does not require to charge at all but filling up petrol like an ordinary petrol-powered counterpart such as a BMW 530i.
- I have already done 4500 km.My average fuel consumption is 26km/l.
The best car I have used in my life so far! Added with tinted windows, the automatic climate control and the remote engine start keep you cool from the moment you embark to disembarking your car while saving your wallets on petrol expenses. As a crucial fact to remember, a good car means it serves the purpose of its user, which turns out that it served the purpose of saving fuel, especially in the notoriously congested KL city centre. Here are other well-served-purposes owning this car:
Despite the Adaptive Cruise Control gives an abrupt acceleration and braking that drools petrol, it is still favourable to my long-distance driving on expressways, to combat the fatigue of juggling the deepness of pressing the accelerator. One of the tips to overcome abrupt acceleration is adjusting the cruising speed. A spacious and comfortable interior with a combination of leather and fabric adds extra comfort to both passengers and the driver along the journey, and most of my e-hailing passengers have commented that they felt very comfortable along the journey. Also to mention, the rear air-conditioner vent helps to cool the rear passenger better under a hot sun.
Pros of my car:
- Fuel-saving, even with aggressive acceleration & deceleration, I still manage to get a whopping 19km/l, which a petrol-engine-only car hardly gets even with economical driving. The ICE wakes up occasionally and runs for a short duration to recharge the high voltage battery while stuck in a long period of complete standstill traffic.
- Reasonable maintenance fee, just slightly more expensive compared to the national brand counterparts.
- Spacious interior compared to other B-segment cars.
- Auto-Brake-Hold helps reduce the fatigue of needing to keep depressing the brake in complete standstill traffic. Pretty close to Nissan's e-pedal
- Deceleration selector pedal, a similar concept to engine braking
- Temporary tyre repair kit. A better alternative to a spare tyre as the rubber liquid injected into the tyre to repair the tyre permanently, despite "temporary", it fixes the tyre permanently until you replace a new one, as long as you inject the whole bottle of rubber liquid. For those who are alarmed that this car does not come with a spare tyre, you don't need to!
- Apple CarPlay/Android Auto tend to crush always, very annoying when you need to unplug and plug my USB cable over and over again, as it happens multiple times each drive.
- No front parking/cornering sensor or 360 view camera, making narrow cornering and parking just right in the parking bracket, without occupying neighbouring spaces difficult.
- No auto side mirror fold, having to turn on the car to accessory mode to fold the side mirror is exhaustive, when you forget to fold the mirrors or needed to leave your car hastily to a place.
Total Score: 4
Quality & Features: 4
Ride Comfort: 5
Price & Cost: 5
Candidly speaking, while many people insist that hybrid cars' batteries are expensive to repair, I would comment that do your maths in your overall car ownership expenses of a hybrid vehicle, just confirm the replacement cost from your dealer. I would say the same with other City RS e:HEV owners that different technologies, whether it is new or old, as it meant for different purposes.
As the world is heading toward carbon neutrality, we ought to play a part and be a role model to others before they follow. With that said, for people who have a job that requires you to travel a lot, before supplies of EV charging networks meet their demand, hybrids are transitional models to carbon neutrality and electrification, as a damaged or under maintenance charging port can ruin your holiday. As stated above, a good car means it served its purposes. So this car served the purpose, as it is designed for city drive, added with those practical functions such as the auto brake hold.
Had a hard time dealing with the electric parking brake (colloquially called hand brake), since I have not used any car with one. Truly I tell, the auto brake hold makes it feel like the gear position is Neutral. Because of this, there was once when cars in front departed after the traffic light turns green, I struggled as I have to depress the brake before you are allowed to release the "hand brake", while you are still panicking in doing the "SOP" to put the "hand brake" down LOL...
Since the car solely runs on a high voltage battery while idling unless the engine charges the battery, it is so quiet and you hardly tell if it is stopped or started. Even when it starts it ICE, the starter motor is so quiet and it won't scare passbyers at all, which is the whole point here as I can start the car with Honda CONNECT to pre-cool the interior under a hot sun when I am out of range of car's remote control, without scaring people at the vicinity.
The car is so quiet that it hardly tells if the car is started or stopped, had a hard time reminding myself to shift it to "Park" position, as I am so used to ICE cars that you still apprehend the audible engine sound.
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