Mar 31, 2014

Melaka Adventure with the Peugeot 508 RXH

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(Daddy revs)

In case you didn't already know, we are a family that loves to go on road trips. Nothing quite like a road trip northwards to spend time together as a family and explore Malaysia. There are are just so many great things to see and do... plus it definitely is much easier on the wallet for a family of five!

So when Peugeot Singapore offered us the chance to head up to the UNESCO World Heritage city of Melaka during the March School Holidays in the comfort of the newly-launched Peugeot 508 RXH 2.0 Hybrid 4, it was a proposition that we could not refuse.

The Peugeot 508 RXH 2.0 Hybrid 4 is a technological marvel, boasting a diesel-electric hybrid engine. What's that, you ask? It essentially means it has a 163bhp, four-cylinder diesel engine driving the front wheels and a 36bhp electric motor powering the back. This wizardry means you can, allegedly, get almost 25 kilometres on 1 litre of fuel - an amazingly high figure for such a large and luxurious 4WD!

Exterior- wise, I loved the styling of the car! Okay, so the colour of the car played had major influence in my liking of the car but I especially adored the three vertical bars in each of the lower-side air intake. These bars contain white LEDS which act as daytime running lights, and are supposed to bring to mind a lion's claws. Yes, the Peugeot logo is a lion after all.

And one thing is for sure; the French really know how to enhance one's driving experience. The gorgeous styling of the 508 RXH 2.0 Hybrid 4 continues inside with futuristic dashboard detailing and a premium finishing.

There are four driving modes, selected by a rotary knob on the centre console. These are ZEV (electric-only), Auto, Sport (with a livelier engine responses), and 4x4, which keeps the rear wheels powered all the time. For maximum efficiency of its hybrid system, Auto is the default choice and through my driving experience, it works well enough for a leisurely drive along the North-South Highway in Malaysia.

And equally important when on a road trip to Malaysia is the 7” colour display screen which doubles up as GPS navigation system - which came in extremely useful when we went on our great food hunt in Melaka. But more on that in my second post.

For the monkies though, something else about the car took their breath away.

Yes, what else but the ultra cool Panaromic Glass Roof that the Peugeot 508 RXH sports? With a turn of a knob, they were thoroughly impressed by the enormous glass sunroof that sucked in the beautiful blue sky along our drive up to Melaka.

Of course, the most gorgeous car in the world would count for nothing if our luggage for a family of five are not able to fit into its boot. But we need not have worried, the boot space was exceedingly generous!

And with our luggage dumped into the boot, we were off!

The passenger seats were far roomier than most of the car models that I have driven. Ale's car seat is rather wide and takes up a fair amount of space in my current car so the first thing the boys remarked when I transferred her car seat to the Peugeot, was that they have suddenly so much more room to move around! Although I highly suspect that the car's Quad-zone Digital Air Conditioning which allows the 3 rear passengers to customise their personal air-coditioning zone played a part too.

Our drive to Melaka was uneventful, to put it simply. And this can only be a good thing when it comes to road trips. Although the 508 RXH is a big car and it sure felt like it while drving, but accurate steering made it easy to place. It gripped well and stayed level, ensuring a smooth drive for all of us. In fact, the ride was so smooth that I could have easily read a book were not for the need to keep an eye on the road ahead. Not that I would, but I could.

Uneventful or not, I - after the monkies' incessant ramblings of 'Are we there yet?' - was still pretty happy to finally reach our destination, which Peugeot Singapore had kindly put us up at Hatten Hotel Melaka.

Our previous visits to Melaka had us staying near Jonker Street, so Hatten Hotel Meleka was something different. For one, it is surrounded by huge shopping malls (Mahkota Parade and Dataran Pahlawan Melaka Megamall) which made food and entertainment super accessible.

We had two adjoining Junior Suites, and can you tell that the monkies loved the rooms?

Since we were there over the weekend, there was no chance we would forgo a stroll along Jonker Street - short drive from our hotel - to take in all its sights and sounds... and chendol, pineapple tarts, char kway teow, you know the drill.

And when it got too crowded or hot for our liking, all we had to do take shelter back at the shopping malls beside our hotel. And whatever kiddie rides that the monkies fancy, that is.

Pardon Ale's, erm chor-lor pose. Anyway, the one thing that the monkies truly fancied though, was this.

The hotel pool, complete with a kids pool area and splashing water fountains!

Yup, all holidays should be made of these.

And snuggling in bed too. Because shopping and feasting is tiring stuff.

That pretty much summed up our first day in Melaka. But there is much more to come in Day 2, of course... as we take our trusty Peugeot on a mini food hunting trip around Melaka. PLUS, we have a very very special surprise in store for our readers, so do stay tuned for Part 2 of our Melaka Adventure!

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