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MuratM

MuratM

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Reviews written

since 06/02/2004

36

New Spec Hyundai Getz 1.4 liter 16V 16/12/2005

Welcome home

New Spec Hyundai Getz 1.4 liter 16V Well after choosing the 1.3 version for my sister, I decided to grab one for wife to drive around as a grocery getter since she was practically unable to manouver our gigantic Hyundai Starex around in the mall lots and all. So we hit the neighbouring Hyundair dealer. The nice lady advised us that we should wait for another week or two for the new version to pop into the market. As I asked her what the difference was, she handed me a "preliminary introduction booklet" which was meant for dealers only and asked me to read and return it. So with a nie cup of coffee offered by her, I sat and read it and decided on the spot to wait and buy that one... Proved to be a good idea and choice... 1- Looks and Feautures: * The metallic black baby we decided to buy looks more modern with the stretched headlights, wider and more robust bumper inserts, wider and bigger door guars and all. The dashboard has been changed as well as the gauge cluster. * A basic level, multifunction onboard computer has been added. It shows the ambient (outside) temperature, the average consumption, daily and overall trip and distance to go before refuelling. Nice... * The front looks are quite similar to those of the Peugeot 206 and 307 so this car is practically a mixture of them both: 206 headlights and a 307 grille. The rear end is unique an does not resemble anything else. * Tyres are a misjudgement or misfortune at the least. I mean you have a 97 HP powerplant on this pocket ...

Daihatsu Sirion 11/11/2005

Nice eh ?

Daihatsu Sirion While searching for my wife's car (which I ultimately decided on the New-Spec Hyundai Getz 1.4 16V) I also checked this car out. Here goes for you folks : 1) Looks and Design : * This body version is called the "Classic" here. There is also a new body version which frankly looks much better. (Did not try it out yet though) * The chrome trim (especially the side guards) is way out of whack. Too much and ugly on such a small car. * The design comprises of weird curves here and there. Gave the impression that Dali or Picasso had a couple of doodles in the overall design but both are long dead... * The body is quite sturdy but fender and etc panels are very thin. I guess the "soft shell, tough pit" consept is followed here. With a lot of crumple zones provided but the actual inner shell where the passengers reside is very hard. Fair... * A thru C pillars are quite hard and made of thick metal. Gives a trusty feeling. But the engine hood gives a worrying feeling that during a hard head on it may enter the cabin thru the windshield and cause massive injuries. * The paintjob is good but the black Sirion I was testing had bubbles and dried out flows and globs at the end of each flow. These were rather at areas which were out of sight but if all cars are painted like this, I would worry about uneven paint coating and very quick oxidation and corrosion... Again yet, it may be a very isolated case where one of the robots somehow failed and ruined the whole job... ...

Hyundai Getz 1.3 09/11/2005

We love it

Hyundai Getz 1.3 It all started when my sister asked me what wheels to buy. She trusts my judgment about cars and many other things, as she earns her dough at least as hard as I do, her burden being harder with a recent divorce and a 5 year old son to both mother and father at the same time. Well after a serious survey I drove her down to the Hyundai dealer... 1) Looks : Cute, compact and modern. A body style which would not be outdated for the next 3 to 5 years. A blend of a pretty "baby car" and a serious vehicle that means business. 2) Exterior : * Panel joinings are even, well placed and sound. The "knock-on-the-panels" test gives me the impression it has a tough little shell. * Especially the pillars A through C are made of very thick steel sheets and they sound like as though you knock on a solid and heavy oak table... * Same applies under the bonnet when you knock on the engine carrier extension arms (or partial chassis is you please) Even the crumple zone right behind the front bumper is quite solid. * Doors close and open with that assuring "thud" ; not the worrying "plopp" . * Door and hatch lid gaskets are multi layer an not just one lousy strip of rubber. Good for sound and heat insulation. * Light units such as headlights and taillight assemblies are sound and would not jerk or budge under the pressure you apply. That means good gasketing and fitting, hence hardly any condensation beads within the lenses. * Nicely big wing mirrors for wide and good visibility. ...

Fiat Palio Weekend 1.6 18/05/2004

I'd rather stay home this weekend...

Fiat Palio Weekend 1.6 Alright... So this is another Fiat built here in Turkey... Let us go try it even if we have no intent whatsoever to buy it... (Buy a Fiat ? God NO !) Looks and Body : The same dull looks of the Palio hatch and Siena (the sedan version) The body gives the durable feel when you knock on it. However, the paint clearly shows that it will fade soon under the harsh sun of Turkish summers. You folks have a year more before she fades away in the UK. The body is extremely rigid. Good... This "half on the curb test" of mine should become an industrial standard... (I want my copyright for it !) The pillars are very thick which gives the impression that the body can withstand real hard knocks. However this image is tarnished when you come across the door sill design. It is a straight rectangular opening and the panel joining corners give the impression that the design was actually done to ease the production instead of providing for added safety. The door opening (especially the front doors) may crumple and obstruct exit after a crash, rendering the doors prctically welded into place thus making it very difficult or impossible to flee the vehicle or worse yet, cause loss of precious time for rescue teams. Seeing this, I decided to see the body safety within the bonnet to see what could happen after a head on or an offset. Trim is absurdly cheap plastic and disguised under the same color which is even duller than the body itself. Engine and Mechanics : The ...

Citroen Berlingo Multispace 1.9D 30/04/2004

If only it had a bit more of space...

Citroen Berlingo Multispace 1.9D OK now... I was looking for our family van before I decided on the 2.5 Turbodiesel intercooler monster (my Hyundai H-1 Starex) and I stumbled into the Citroen dealer. Looks and Body : = The vehicle looks cute. The double side slide doors and the choice of tail hatch or a double door tail gate is neat. The sleek design gives the impression of a very low friction coefficient. Only if the engine could match that... The "half-on-the-curb-test" proved the body had a minimal twist. Good... Panel clearances and trim assembly is good. Tail lights could have been larger and in a better shape. Interior : Good seats although signs of typical French taste for soft seats. Does not provide for too comfortable leg room to the backseat passengers. Luggage space is good enough for the cause you buy this vehicle, even more. Controls are placed in a convenient manner. Trim plastic quality is higher than expected for such a vehicle. Vision is clear. Wing mirrors are nicely big and provide wide angle coverage. Headroom is delightful. Engine, Mechanics and Handling : Just as I had started thinking this might be my choice, my smile was frozen on my face. The test drive ruined my impressions. * Very noisy diesel. And that is after the vehicle arrived from another 15 minute test drive with a warm engine. * "Choppy" but silent ride. I don't know how to describe it but it felt rather like the vehicle had two suspension systems on top of eachother, ...

Lada 2111 30/04/2004

So what has changed ?

Lada 2111 The Samara had been a reasonably good car for the price paid. The Niva is a genuine true blood off roader better than many out there. But what is this ? I wanted to spare some money two yeas ago, instead of spending it all on a car, I wanted to stow away some dough for a nice holiday. So I walked into a Lada dealer thinking that the USSR had collapsed and the mentality and philosophy for manufacturing had changed. I did see it had changed. But for worse... Looks and Body : = The new body design is not very exciting. It is not very modern either. As I listened to the gentleman who seemed to be really in love with his job, I learnt the car was actually designed back in 1992 but wasn't produced until 1997. "Oh well, better late than never" I thought. I was terribly wrong for a change ! The body build is ridden with countless errors along numerous evidence of shoddy and "couldn't care less" style haphazard assembly and workmanship. The bonnet of the metallic gold colored sedan (you guys call it "saloon") was so unevenly mounted that while one side had a gap of almost 2 cm.'s, the paint on the other side of the bonnet and adjoining fender was damaged because the gap which was supposed to be there wasn't and the two body parts were scraping against eachother. Horrible !!! The wing mirrors proved to be "semi-fixed" where they do have a knob to adjust (same of the Samara) but they move but simply do not adjust decently. The windshield does not give the ...

Fiat 126 29/04/2004

Love bug

Fiat 126 Back in 1990 I bought this tiny baby for my wife. It was actually built in Poland at a plant named FSM (Fabryka Smochodov Malolitrazovich = Automotive Manufacturing Malolitrazovich - the city' s name-) We came to love it so much that when we sold it to buy my wife's next car, she cried... LOOKS and BODY : * The tiny body is made of steel sheets so thick that they are like armor plates ! * It is so cute that you don't even care about the panel gaps whatsoever. (The poppy red enhanced the lovely appearance too) INTERIOR : * Tiny and cramped for a tall guy like me. * No real rear seat is there. Just a haphazardly attached vertical and horizontal cushion to make you think you actually have a 4 seater. * Non existant luggage space. The spare tyre is placed quite conveniently though, it also provides for a supplementary bumper. * Seats are tiny too. * Pedals not only close but on top of eachother. * Shifter extremely hard to throw into first (non-synchromeshed) * Easy to access and comprehensive controls which are of no significant range of equipment. * Lovely dash design which is pure and simple. * Quite silent ride for such a tiny car with the engine right behind your ears. * Awesome fatigue if you drive more than a couple of hours. ENGINE, MECHANICS and HANDLING : * The 2 cylinder 650 cc engine (can be whether air or liquid cooled) delivers tiny performance at only 24 HP. (The air cooled version my wife had had a ...

Lada Nova 29/04/2004

Tough... On your nerves...

Lada Nova One of the members of Ciao mentioned the Lada Nova (if not the Vauxhall) and woke up a sleeping memory inside... No matter scientists say bad memories are forced to hibernate until awaken by some triggering effect... The Nova is actually a little enlarged version of the Fiat 124. (Lada too) I used to drive one of these back in 1986. It was a brick-red brand new Nova. It was a company car assigned for my use. (Don't know why but some call it "Riva" as well) I came to hate the car. let us see why : BODY : * Ancient * Loose panels and trim actually FALL OFF ! (My right wing mirror flew off when I was going with a mere 100 km/h !) * Doors, boot and bonnet uneven * Doors, boot and bonnet do not open easily. If opens easily then vice versa applies and they won't close easily. * Tin sardine can used for the body's sheets. Rust spots started appearing on the sideskirts and fender lips within a year. * Dull color comes off when you try to polish and wax the car. I managed to reach the primer coat when I rubbed a bit hard with my fine grade paint cleaner (safe cut) INTERIOR : The first impression is that a lot of heart is placed here. But that comes short of true. The dashboard had many controls that did not appear on those days on many other cars which were much more expensive. * The econometer which also appears on the Samara was erratic and not trustworthy. You could see the needle drifting to the yellow high-brun zone even in idle. * ...

Lada Niva 29/04/2004

Let's go off roading...

Lada Niva Niva means "field" in Russian. These guys mean what they say with that word... I drove one of these for about a year during my duty as a construction site chief controller. (No I am not an architect or construction engineer; I am an engineer but not those...) "Natasha" as I named her, never let me down even in the mudden roads deeply troughed by the 30 ton dumspters. Body : The design is ancient. The silly looking plastic trimming and ridiculous add-ons do not help remove that fatigue. It is like my 82 year old grandma putting on make up and trying to look at her 20's... The body is made of real tough steel sheets joined together with point welds and bolts. The joinings are uneven. You can see only 2 mm.'s on one side of the bonnet while you see some 3 cm.'s on the other. However, if you can cope with this eyesore, the body is tough and rigid. I did the "half-on-the-curb" test for this one too. Tch, uh-uh... no body twist. You need that on an off roader. Otchin harasho... (Very good) The rear hatch starts right from the bumper. Good for loading and unloading. Interior : = Extra soft seats induce fatigue quickly. No side support of the seat means the driver or the font passenger could get quite intimate with the shiftstick, underdrive or center tranny activator shiftsticks... The seats used to be vinyl which was easy to clean. But the fabric will be a huge pain in the neck to clean up after an off road adventure with all the dirt and grime rubbed in, ...

Mitsubishi L300 29/04/2004

There is always room for perfection

Mitsubishi L300 While doing my research for our family van, I checked out the several models available in Turkiye. Since all of them except for the Mazda, VW and Mercedes Benz are made here, the choices are very vast. (Mercedes Benz Vito and Viano are not made here. Sprinter and other models are built here as well.) So I spent two and a half hours at my local Mitsubishi dealer checking out the L300. (There was no point in checking out the Spacegear since the Hyundai H-1 Starex is the very same thing at 56% of it's price.) Body : -------------- The looks are nice. I have always had a liking for "snoutless" vehicles with that "bussy" feel. The brand new color coordinated front bumper with those built in foglamps and sleek design make the vehicle look even better. Ever surprising for a cheap Japanese vehicle, the body panels satisfy during the "knock-on-the-panel test". The "tock-tock" is assuring that the steel sheeting and it's insulation is real tough. Body panels are joined neatly together. Plastic trim is minimal so no worries about loosened and rattling pieces around. They come in body color too. Neat... (Turkish consumers have this hard to satisfy taste. So it is next to impossible to push whatever you have in hand into the market. Even the ever cheap brands like Dacia or alike have to change their vehicles before they export it to Turkiye.) The side wing mirrors could have been larger, at a better shape and electric control. At least they are color coordinated ...

Ford Transit 28/04/2004

I caaan't heeaarrr yoouuuuuu

Ford Transit I recently tried out the new body style Ford Transit van (8 seats), a special version called "journey" with all goodies Ford could ever think of. These include a CD player stereo, aircon, SRS ( or STS ? ) airbags, central locking. Nothing more... Body : --------------- The new body design looks a bit better than the old one. (The old body still sells at the name of T12) When it came to the knock-on-the-fender test, the "clang-clang" showed me that the quality of steel sheets did not change at all. Panel and fender joints are neat and tidy. The uneven gaps do not show on this sound body style. However when I tried the half-on-the-curb test, the rear hatch door refused to close. So the body twists significantly. Not a good point. The scene in the wheel wells spoke of poor rust proofing. I asked the dealer if the vehicle had a rust-proof warranty, he gabled and mumbled 3 years but even he was unceertain. I was too... If you are a detailing enthusiast like I am, the several plastic parts which have serious gaps between them and the body will be annoying after each car wash, since no matter how hard you wipe and dry the car, water will still come running down from those gaps leaving ugly water marks. Interior : ------------- The interior is "Ford as usual". The stereo is at a weird place. So far to reach that even I, with a height of 1.91 meters, had to slightly raise half of my "rump" to reach it... So you don't listen to music when you drive alone... The ...

Deutsche Bahn (formerly Deutsche Bundesbahn)(Germany) 27/04/2004

Could have been better.

Deutsche Bahn (formerly Deutsche Bundesbahn)(Germany) Destination : Hamburg - Berlin Train : The ICE Sales : -------- Counters are overwhelmed by lines of hundreds of passengers. Some give up and go to the kiosks. Well this guy had to wait since I needed help. Young gent at the counter very helpful, polite, actually having a great time helping a foreigner who has an awful American yankee accent (that is me...) He asked me if I wanted a first class. I accepted happily. He gave me a lot of information from the speed of the train (he said well over 200 km/h which later proved not to be the case) to where and how to board the train and a lot more. Danke schoen mein freund ! Train : -------- Came in sharply on time. OUTSTANDING ! The car was clean and tidy. The conductor was polite and eager to do his job. However, when the train took off, the maximum speed I saw on the digital screen was no where higher than 150 km/h. So it is no speed train. It kept on braking and slowing down eventhough not stopping anywhere. (Express as the E at the end of its name ICE suggests) At the end of the day, the arrival time in Berlin was as same as the ticket and info sheet. So the speed was never actually meant to be over 150 km/h... Restaurant Car : --------------- - I have always found the word "bistro" annoying. I don't know why but it reminds me of a barber shop. I would not go chewing on a hot towel... The range of snacks was a turn off unless I was starving. So I decided to stick to my candy bar and half ...

Lufthansa 27/04/2004

I got punished for not speaking German !

Lufthansa Itinerary : Munich - Berlin Aircraft : Airbus 321 Class : Economy this time Check-In : ---------- Military style, no smile, no emotion, no motivation. Boarding : ---------- Same as above applies. Aircraft : ---------- Shows signs of extensive use. Not ancient but worn. Not dirty but shows neglect of deep cleaning. It also showed when the captain started issuing technical delay notices every 10 minutes. (Hehhe count' em and you'll see you had been sitting in that seat for the last 40 minutes without a budge !) He was announcing the delays with such a joyful voice that I suspected the following : 1- He is scared stiff and trying to overcome it. 2- He is making fun of us. 3- There is clown in the pilot' s seat. 4- All of this is a joke and someone is gonna come up saying "ha-haaa wave at the camera" The only turn off preventing me from thinking "heey this fuunnn" was that he kept saying "hard technical problems" UHH OOOHHH....!! 45 minutes of technical delay... But the name assures you still... CREW : ------ Apart from the clown in the cockpit, the stewardess were not looking so amused. The matured (I would not dare call a lady "aged" or as in this case "ancient") stewardesses were comfortably seated in their jumpseats and would not even offer a smile. This stewardess came upon me asking me to put my jacket to the overhead bin. Well I am NOT putting my Cerruti in that bin ! I said it could be spoiled so I would appreciate if she could put ...

Berlin - Tegel (TXL), Berlin 27/04/2004

You guys need a new one !

Berlin - Tegel (TXL), Berlin I travelled to Berlin several times. I like that city. However, I could not come close to anywhere I could say I like any of the three airports they have there. The Tegel Airport is very very old, no modern facilities to help you out, even the airline signs are so small that the cab driver squinted to see which terminal I was supposed to get off. (They know of no other terminal than where Lufthanse takes off) So at the end, I had to dash around with my several baggages from terminal to terminal to go and check in. The airline offices and check-in counters were so close facing eachother that one had to squeeze through the queues to walk through. The shops are placed so strangely that you cannot understand which is the souvenir shop and which is the fast food restaurant. The hamburger joint is a joke. A single table shows that some people are devouring something but only when you look into the tunnel, you can understand there is a food process going on inside. The smell repelled me and I had to go to the terrace restaurant instead. The check-in counters are manned by third party handling agents and are doing business as usual. But the security guards (airport staff I presume) are a complete turn off. The guy refused to speak any English, told me roughly to do something in German when something beeped on me. (Nothing was found) and when I said "I am so sorry I cannot speak German" to cover all the embarassment and humilliation so I could cover it with a ...

Thai Airways International - THA 27/04/2004

Sawasdee krub and khob khun krub go together...

Thai Airways International - THA Itinerary : Bangkok - Hong Kong Type of Aircraft : Boeing 777 Check-In : ---------- The check-in staff is extremely polite. As I was more or less a CIP, it was astonishing to see that TG (Thai co. and flight code) actually assigned this lovely and cute lady to dash around for my assistance, saving me a lot of walk and sweat. She not only guided me around, but also carried around my travel documents for process. TG made me feel not only a CIP but a real VIP. Now I know what priviledge means. And I'll tell you what; I was not the only one pampered... Almost every single passenger in the lavish CIP lounge had an assisting TG staff, be it a lovely lady or a nice gentleman. Outstanding... Boarding : ---------- It was a breeze, provided that the lovely lady took care of that for me as well. The incredible Thai courtesy showed again when I thanked her in Thai saying "Khob Khun Krub" (Ka is for females) the "kow" (the gesture where the hands are joined as though in prayer and followed a bow with eyes closed)she displayed made me feel a Siam King !! Aircraft : ---------- The Boeing 777 was almost brand new, very clean and well maintained. No residue food or lavatory stench to make you grimace and frown as soon as you step into the aircraft. (Yo, PIA ! listen to this !!) Seats were comfortable and provide lots of leg room. This was the first time I got to fly the triple-seven. I was impressed to see the incredible performance of the aircraft. I guess ...
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