2004 Inokom Atoz GLA 1.1 Epsilon 4GHC petrol from Malaysia
An OK small car for a family - reliable, well-built, dependable, average FC and maintenance
1. Not so many problems with this car. It remained problem free for the first 5 years. But one of the problems that I had with this car is the overheating issues, and it is also partly my fault for not using any coolant except for distilled water, which caused the water system to be corroded. Due to this, I suffered 3 overheating issues for not using coolant, and luckily the engine has not suffered any damage.
2. Besides the above, another problem is the engine oil leakage. Not sure why it happened, although the leaks were not too serious, my mechanic suggested to me to replace the oil seal (which is somewhere between the gearbox and the engine) in which the engine has to be taken out for the repair. During the repair, the mechanic notified me about the piping and water pump, where the fan blade seems to have disintegrated or is missing.
3. From the mechanic's advice, I replaced the water hose along with the water pump and other engine parts such as the mounting, and the total repair cost was about RM1200. Since then, the car works fine till this day without any issues, and I had previously replaced the radiator with a Taiwanese made one.
4. As for the wear and tear, since it is a 12 year old car, expect the need to replace certain parts such as absorbers, bushes and other parts such as a door handle lock, which I had replaced 2 of the locks on the passenger side door. The cost for some of the parts can be said pretty decent, and they can be easily obtained since it is mostly half-cut and the originals were much more expensive. As for the interior, the center console has been deteriorating and was easily scratched, and most spare part shops have not been selling it. The body panels such as the fender or the door can be easily dented, even though the chassis was quite tough.
5. Other than the above, another issue that I haven't attended to is the slight rev issue. When I switch on the headlights especially at night, the engine's timing or idle revs will increase slightly and will cause the engine to be slightly louder. Apart from this, another issue that even makes my local mechanics (non-Hyundai) scratch their heads is the decreasing engine oil. Before its 7000km interval, around the 5000km period, I found that the engine oil was at a critical level through the dipstick. There's no leak to be found and the exhaust did not emit any smoke. During the service, I had a discussion with the mechanic and agreed to replace the spark plugs which were already 3 years since they were last replaced, and I'm currently monitoring the oil level.
My father bought this micro MPV (dubbed as a multi-functional vehicle) in 2004 to replace our previous Toyota Starlet which had been totalled in an accident. It is basically a CKD version of the Hyundai Atoz and our version came with a 4 speed automatic 1.1 liter SOHC engine, and it cost about RM 42000. Currently it has been passed down to me and most of the time I'm the one driving it.
1. At first impression, the car's design might not be preferable to some and the interior space is just alright and it had just enough leg room for the rear passengers. The car seems to be well built and there is not much squeaking noise even after 12 years of using it. The comfort level such as the seat is quite good, even going for more than 4 hours of driving, and there is no fatigue feel at all when driving it. As for NVH, it is respectable for a car in its price range, and the quietness of the cabin does depend on what kind of surface you are driving on. But it can get noisy especially on rough road surfaces or in raining conditions. The A/C which is sourced from APM is quite good and it has been working just fine without any issues, and the air is pretty cold.
2. As for the ride and handling, it's easy to drive and park mainly due to its small dimension. It has pretty decent handling, as the hydraulic power steering is sufficient enough to provide the decent road feel. Even though it is just a small hatchback, it doesn't feel like driving a small car and it makes you feel like driving a big car, which is something that you need to experience to believe, and the chassis is quite good. For highway driving, at a speed of around 110-150km/hr, it's quite stable as there is no floaty feeling. But still it is advisable not to drive more than the national speed limit since it is a city car. As for cornering, with its 13 inch wheels and firm suspension, it actually is quite decent and fun if you know the limit of the car, but at a certain high speed cornering, the body roll will appear since it is based on a tall body design.
3. For the performance, it's just a family type vehicle which will bring you from A to B. The 1.1 liter engine does feel underpowered and slow, especially when driving up a hill or during acceleration. This could be due to the weight of the car. It has just enough power to move the car smoothly. It's sufficient enough when driving in the city, but in go-stop situations, there's a need to work the engine up to accelerate the car. In highway driving, it's just fine when cruising, but overtaking maneuvers need to be planned before doing so because the top end torque is quite weak. But even though the engine is not the best in performance, it can still carry 5 adults and some stuff and drive up certain slopes.
But to feel the performance of the engine, you can switch off the A/C and manually shift the gearing for the best performance, but it is advisable not to always do it. The transmission is a 4 speed automatic with overdrive mode and it changes gear smoothly without any problem till now.
3. For the running cost and fuel economy, the normal interval service doesn't cost much and is mostly below RM 180 as there's nothing much to fix.
For the fuel economy, in city driving such as Melaka town with a lot of go-stop conditions, the average will be around 10.8km/l to 11km/l+-, and if you drive more sedately you can get 12km/l.
As for highway or non-stop driving, at a speed of 90-100km/hr I managed to get around 17.3km/l for a 380km trip, which involved some city driving.
As for mixed driving, I once traveled from Melaka to Cameron Highland (340km) at a speed of 90-100km/hr, and I managed to get 14km/l. It involved a hill climb (37km) and traffic congestion to Ringlet before refuelling there.
4. This car has been part of my family for 12 years now. It has served us well and doesn't give too much of a problem. And it even managed to survive a flood before when the water reached the seat level and I mistakenly started the engine in which it damaged the ECU (replaced it with an original part). I have been to many places with this car and ferry most of the people that I know with it. Although most of the people have negative impressions about it and the cons of this car such as reliability and fuel economy and etc, I somehow tend to appreciate it and have decided to maintain and keep it as long as I can.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 30th November, 2016