PUBLISHED : Saturday, 04 August, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 04 August, 2007, 12:00am

Wheel do

Hong Kong's Volvo lovers should drive their cars more often, says Wearnes group engineer Niklas Viiala. 'If you don't use your car, it won't run properly,' says the Singapore-based Swede.

He spent last week looking under local devotees' cars as part of Volvo Hong Kong's free check-up promotion. Common low-mileage problems in Hong Kong were the corrosion of brake disks from under use, and tyre wear in the heat, says Viiala, from Bor?s, who has ramped Volvos for 20 years.

Volvo Hong Kong is publicising its service back up to highlight the peace of mind gained by using factory-approved mechanics. The promotion is also a reminder that Volvo is the third-most popular European make in Hong Kong, says the dealer's general aftersales manager, Eric Tam.

According to local trade figures, Volvo have sold 'nearly 6,000' units over the years in Hong Kong, ahead of Audi, Tam says. The most popular Volvo model in Hong Kong is still the XC-90.

'The facelift keeps selling [for HK$508,800] because of the 2.5- litre T engine and it's a comfortable seven-seater,' he says.

In the details

Meguiar's distributors Champ Year (Hong Kong) will present its Ultimate Quik Detailer to Mobilio Friends' Club and Hong Kong Mobilio Spike Club at the Clear- water Bay and Country Club at 10am tomorrow. 'It has just arrived in Hong Kong,' says the distributor's spokeswoman, Lily Kwok. 'This new product contains hydrophobic technology that makes water and other such contaminants not stick to the clearcoat.' For more information, go to

The only kei in the village

The Suzuki Every van could help florists, dry cleaners, bakers, delicatessens and even couriers carry light payloads of up to 350kg, says Eric Chan of dealers Island Motors.

You'll need to test whether the three-cylinder, 658cc can take your business' loads up to the Peak, but we like the comfort of the driver's cabin and, importantly for Wan Chai traffic, the large side mirrors. The storage area is big, at 1.86 metres long, 1.19 metres high and 1.36 metres wide, and its two side sliding doors could suit caterers and event planners too. The Every drives 16.8km on a litre of gas and sells for HK$105,000.

The kei have been pressed into public service on Cheung Chau and Lamma, says Island Motors spokesman Desmond Yu. The Fire Services Department has bought new Suzuki Every 660 4WD village ambulances to negotiate the islands' narrow roads, he says.

Village ambulances were introduced in 1990, and the little Suzukis are up to the job, Yu says. 'The new Suzuki Every 660 4WD has a compact body design, its turning radius is just 4.1 metres, and it has spacious compartments,' he says.

After modifications that include a sophisticated telecoms and mobilisation system, the Suzuki village ambulance can carry one patient and is 'fully equipped and manned at paramedic level', Yu says. 'The ambulance is equipped with automatic defibrillator, oxygen regulator and selected drugs for illnesses such as diabetes, heart attack, shortness of breath and drug overdose.' However, word on the street is that the ambulances aren't big enough to accommodate taller patients. Have you had problems with your legs sticking out? Send comments to

Fug check

Hong Kong car buyers can check the fug factor of most of their cars on the 'Best on CO2' car rankings organised by Britain's Department of Transport and What Car? If you go to, search for the type of car you're looking for in 14 What Car? categories, transmission and fuel type, the new site automatically offers a list of the lowest CO2 emitting models according to your requirements.

Pure Pajero

The new seven-seater Mitsubishi Pajero is a whopping drive, ranging from the three-litre (HK$328,000) to the 3.8-litre Mivex Exceed X which offers Range Rover-style plushness for HK$483,000.

The rugged ride has improved visibility, with the lowering of its spare wheel, four lamps on the tailgate and one on the mirrors and xenons up front, and the interior has an 860-watt, 12-speaker Rockford sound system and flip-down nine-inch ceiling screen. The Pajero's wading depth has been raised to 70cm with rally proven four-wheel drive. That's perfect for Guangdong, but it's a tricky park in Hong Kong.

Stanley lands

You can see 'Stanley', the environmentally friendly and driverless robotic Volkswagen Touareg TDI, in the i-Space of Singapore's Science Centre until August 12, says Harthmuth Hoffmann, the marque's spokesman. Stanley has been a big hit in tech-mad Singapore, its only Asian stop on a world tour, Volkswagen says. Named after a collaboration between Stanford University and Volks-wagen's Palo Alto Electronics Research Laboratory, the prototype made automotive history in 2005 when it drove 212km through the Mojave Desert in six hours and 54 minutes without a driver or external intervention.

Eco Driving in TST

Finally, our sister, Chinese- language publication Automobile is organising an Eco Friendly and Safe Driving show at New World Centre, in Tsim Sha Tsui, this weekend. The show opens at 11.30am today and involves sponsors representing Michelin, Lexus, Toyota and Segway and displays and talks about greener driving.