Several months ago, I was down at Leng Kee to look the Honda Stream and Toyota Wish. Having heard so many horror stories about parallel importers, I prefer to deal with the authorized agents. At that time, Borneo Motors had just started to bring in the Toyota Wish. Kah Motors had been selling the Honda Stream for a while. It was a good time to start researching the two car models.
The Honda Stream, I felt was a little pricey then. With Borneo Motors introducing the Wish, I imagine there would be some pressure on Kah Motors to bring down the Stream’s price. It turned out not to have any impact. But fortunately with declining COE prices (and what more with the recent crash of COE prices), things are beginning to look better now.
Many years ago when I was in the market for a new car, I was looking at the Mitsubishi Colt Plus and Honda Jazz. I wanted a hatchback car for more flexible boot space configuration. Alas, I ended up with a Toyota Altis, because both the Colt Plus and Jazz were not terribly good value (in my opinion), and shockingly the Toyota Altis turned out to be pretty good specs, good price, and all-around good value for money. (I say “shockingly” because I never had very good impression of Toyota’s Corolla line.) At that time, the Stream was ugly, and there was no Wish (from Borneo Motors).
So anyway, now my interest is roused again with the Stream and Wish. They are both quite comparable compact MPVs. Both are 3-row, 7 seater, 1.8L engine, and very similar size. Here’s my quick run down of their more “objective” features:
- The Stream has a better engine. The Stream’s engine does 103kW at 6300rpm and 174Nm at 4300rpm, while the Wish’s does 97kW at 6000rpm and 170Nm at 4200rpm. The Stream’s engine is supposed to be more hi-tech.
- The Stream has better automatic transmission. The Stream gets a 5-speed automatic transmission, while the Wish has a 4-speed automatic transmission. At highway speeds of 100km/h, the Stream’s engine runs at 400rpm slower than the Wish’s. Usually, lesser RPM means more fuel economy.
- The Stream’s third row is more spacious. The Stream’s internal width in the third row is 990mm, while the Wish’s is 800mm. Passenger’s feet in the third row cannot rest flat on the floor in the Wish, which makes the traveling experience more uncomfortable. Access to the third row is easier on the Stream with the lever to fold away the second row seats on the seat shoulder.
- The Stream has better brakes. They both have ventilated disc brakes in the front. But while the Stream has disc brakes for the back, the Wish only sports drum brakes at the back. Most of the braking force is provided by the front, so the difference may not be terribly significant. But for the best safety, disc brakes all around is definitely better. They look nicer too.
- The Stream is more fuel efficient. The stated 10-15 mode fuel consumption for the Stream is 14.8km/l, and 14.4km/l for the Wish. Fuel efficiency depends on many other factors too, and overall tends to be a very illusive number to reliably pin down in real world driving conditions, so I’m not sure how much to believe these numbers as being objective.
- The Wish costs less upfront to buy. The basic price already has “everything” thrown in (or can be bargained for): fog lights, full body kit, scuff plates, etc.
- The in-house finance package for Wish has a lower interest rate. The package from Borneo Motors has a 1.99% interest rate, whereas it is 2.2% from Kah Motors. The difference is not very significant ($21 per $10K loan per year), and it may not matter anyway if you don’t take the loan.
- The Wish has cheaper servicing cost. For servicing packages from 1K to 80K, the overall servicing cost for the Wish from Borneo Motors is $2737, while Stream from Kah Motors is $2893. I couldn’t find the 1K servicing cost for Wish, so I assume it to be the same as 10K (it ought to be less). Of course, one could go to 3rd party workshop, but during warranty period I will probably want to go to the authorized agent.
In a nutshell, the Wish is cheaper to own, but the Stream has superior specifications (but not necessary in add-ons/accessories).
Then, the more “subjective” features (which of course everyone may have a different view because it’s all about personal preferences):
- Looks: The Stream body definitely looks better than the Wish. In particular, I dislike the Wish’s back view. But I prefer the Wish’s headlight assembly.
- I prefer the Wish’s centre console. It looks more “advanced” than the Stream’s.
- But I like the Stream’s driver’s instruments better.
- Anecdotal feedback from owners seem to show that the Wish is more fuel efficient.
The most subjective thing is that I just prefer Hondas over Toyotas. Not that there is really anything really wrong with Toyotas. Buying cars is not all about logic. (Sometimes maybe even hardly at all!)