Test drove both 1.6 auto premium and 1.8 today around Temasya Industrial Park.
I like the suspension. It's bordering the Continentals in feel at legal road speeds. I need to take it beyond legal speeds to see if it remains just as composed.
Steering is a tad over-assisted but it gives decent road feel.
The 1.6 is barely sufficient to move the car off from standstill. The first impression I get is that the engine sounds too tinny for the car. It whines a fair bit (had to bring it up to 4k rpm) just to move the car off from standstill. After which, I had to keep the revs between 3k and 4k rpm to keep the car "alive" during the test drive. Engine is new though with only 200km on the odometer.
The 1.8 is much better but the engine note is too throaty for my liking. Every time I step on the throttle, the engine note intrudes into the cabin but at least it sounds good. The rest of the car is quiet so the engine noise in isolation seems very out of place. 400km on the odometer.
In the 1.8, I can't stand the locally installed HU. The angle of the screen means that most of the time, it reflects the sun into my eyes and I can barely make out what is on the screen. I prefer the HU in the 1.6 over the 1.8.
In isolation and between the 2, i will take the 1.8. Compared to other C-segment cars, my vote goes elsewhere.....to another car that brought smiles to my face during the test drive - the Ford Focus TDCI