Competition heats up for entry premium sedans

Premium sedans offer a balance between performance and comfort, while its sleek design lures young and successful individuals

by RAHIMI YUNUS/ pic by ARIF KARTONO

THE midsize premium sedan is often viewed as the right choice for consumers who want to upgrade from a mass-market vehicle to a premium segment car.

The entry premium sedan is largely priced at the RM300,000 range and has become a favourite among buyers and a bestseller for carmakers.

The premium sedan offers a balance between performance and comfort, while its sleek design lures young and successful individuals.

Premium makes such as Mercedes-Benz, BMW and Volvo instal the latest safety and technology features in their entry sedans with the aim of attracting buyers.

The Malaysian Reserve looks at some of the entry premium sedans available in the market that have added excitement to the Malaysian automotive scene.

Volvo S60

The new Volvo S60 was launched last month, the latest passenger car in the segment.

Labelled a “true driver’s car”, the S60 is priced at RM295,888 on-the-road and without insurance.

The new midsize premium sedan is powered by a two-litre T8 Twin Engine AWD plug-in hybrid which delivers 407hp and a peak torque of 640Nm, via an eight-speed Geartronic transmission.

The S60, which comes in an “R” design, accelerates from zero to 100kph in 4.4 seconds.

It’s built on Volvo car’s scalable product architecture platform, featuring the same safety technology and infotainment system used in the 90 Series cars and the SUV XC60.

A run-off road mitigation with road edge detection, oncoming lane mitigation and city safety with auto brake technology are among the safety features in the vehicle.

The S60 is also installed with a 360-degree surround-view camera and a nine-inch head-up display.

The car is imported from the carmaker’s plant in the US before it is expected to be assembled locally in the second quarter of next year.

BMW 3 Series

BMW Group Malaysia unveiled the new BMW 330i M Sport in September, the latest addition to the premium automaker’s locally assembled portfolio.

Powered by a two-litre TwinPower Turbo petrol engine, the new BMW 330i M Sport generates a top speed of 250kph and outputs 190kW/258hp with a peak torque of 400Nm from 1,550rpm to 4,400rpm.

The car makes the century sprint in 5.8 seconds via the updated eight-speed Steptronic Sports transmission, while consuming 6.4 litre of fuel for every 100km.

The new 330i M Sport is tagged at RM288,888 (on-the-road, without insurance), inclusive of five years unlimited mileage warranty, free scheduled service programme and tyre warranty programme.

The new BMW 330i M Sport has a notably larger kidney grille and slim, three-dimensional tail lights fitted in “L” shape with emphasis on the use of smoked glass.

The car is a lighter vehicle as its total weight has been reduced by 25kg (kerb weight of 1,545kg).

The AMG C 43 can reach speeds of up to 250kph (www.mercedes-benz.com.my)

Mercedes-Benz C-Class

Mercedes-Benz Malaysia Sdn Bhd launched the new C-Class sedans in November last year to fuel consumer interest in its top locally- produced models.

The C-Class has been the brand’s bestseller in Malaysia. The German carmaker unveiled three new facelifts — the C200 Avantgarde, C300 AMG Line and AMG C43 4MATIC — with upgraded designs and power output.

The C 200 is powered by a 1.5-litre four-cylinder petrol engine with a starter/alternator combination of 48V, introduced as an EQ (electric intelligence) boost that added 13hp (10kW).

The new engine provides a maximum power output of 184hp that can accelerate the car from zero to 100kph in 7.7 seconds.

The C 300 AMG Line is equipped with a two-litre engine to deliver a maximum power output of 258hp and a maximum torque of 370Nm.

The C 300 is capable of going from zero to 100kph in 5.9 seconds.

The AMG C 43 is fitted with a three-litre V6 engine that provides a maximum power output of 258hp and a maximum torque of 370Nm, sprinting from zero to 100kph in 4.7 seconds.

The C 200 has a top speed of 239kph, while both the C 300 and AMG C 43 can reach speeds of up to 250kph.

The C 200, C 300 and AMG C 43 are priced at RM259,888, RM304,888 and RM577,888 (on-the-road, without insurance) respectively.

Audi A4

The A4 sedans are made available in three variants since April 2017 although recent reports suggest a revised version could be coming next year.

Regardless, the entry-level Audi A4 1.4 TFSI, the top-of-the-range Audi 2.0 TFSI Quattro and the cutting-edge Audi A4 2.0 TFSI Tech pack remain popular with Malaysian car enthusiasts.

The Audi A4 1.4 TFSI is the entry-point into the Audi A4 family, featuring a 1.4-litre engine and seven-speed S tronic transmission that develops 150hp and 250Nm of torque between 1,500rpm and 3,500rpm.

This dynamic combination allows the Audi A4 1.4 TFSI to accelerate from zero to 100kph in 8.5 seconds.

The model consumes 5.2 litres of fuel per 100km and carbon dioxide emissions rating is stated at 119g per km.

The Audi 2.0 TFSI Quattro produces 252hp and a maximum 370Nm of torque with Audi’s Quattro permanent all-wheel-drive system.

The top-of-the-range Audi A4 makes the century sprint in just 5.8 seconds, with an electronically limited top speed of 250kph.

The Audi A4 2.0 TFSI sport sedan is priced at RM319,900 (without insurance) and comes with five years of unlimited mileage warranty.