Thursday, 22 November 2007

2nd Generation Honda Stream 1.8 i-VTEC in Malaysia

In this age of rising fuel cost, the new Honda Stream is now beating with a 1.8 i-VTEC powerplant (downgraded from 2.0 i-VTEC DOHC previously). If this petrol motor sounds familiar to you, that’s because it is the same R18A SOHC powering the current Honda Civic 1.8S. Rated output is 140ps at 6300rpm and 174Nm of torque at 4300rpm. Electric Power Steering (EPS) together with Honda’s superb and still “first-in-class” 5-speed auto ‘box, ensures better fuel economy for this 2nd generation Stream.

As expected, the tilt and telescopically adjustable steering wheel is pinched from the Civic 1.8. The double-DIN (Kenwood) audio head-unit doesn’t allow for on-wheel control buttons/switches. For cabin comfort, there is a standard automatic climate control A/C. The meter panel is of the self-illuminating type and unlike the Civic, is a regular twin dials of speedo and tachometer. In addition, a multi-info display is available, through which the driver can call up motoring info such as current fuel consumption, remaining fuel and estimated travel range. Being a CBU unit, an electric sunroof/moonroof is standard.

Brakes are standard discs all- round, peering through 15” alloys, looking adequately sized, being ventilated items for the front axle. Suspension set-up is the cost-saving MacPherson struts up front while the rear uses a compact reactive-link double wishbone suspension. The more compact rear suspension is said to free up more third row passenger space while wheelbase lengthening by 20mm further increases legroom for 3rd row passengers. Meanwhile, ride height is now lowered by 45mm, helping improve driving stability with the resultant lower centre of gravity.

Safety features include ABS, EBD and dual SRS airbags. There is no Vehicle Stability Assist (VSA) for the Stream 1.8, which is electronic stability control system in Honda-speak. According to a Honda dealer’s Sales Advisor there may be a top range Stream 2.0 i-VTEC later in 2008, pending the market’s acceptance and response to the Stream 1.8.

In the meantime, the new Honda Stream 1.8 i-VTEC is available in four colours - Premium White Pearl, Alablaster Silver Metallic, Royal Blue Pearl and Nighthawk Black Pearl. You can park one in your driveway for RM149,800 (on-the-road with insurance).

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