For those who like to D-I-Y (Do It Yourself) with the Naza Bestari, you can now do so as Naza Corporation has just added a manual transmission variant to the Bestari line-up. It is actually not a surprise to have this variant since it had been mentioned that the company was considering the manual transmission when it launched the Bestari last year.

The Bestari Manual, priced at RM63,888 (about RM5,000) less than then automatic, is intended to meet the demands of enthusiast drivers who still appreciate the joys of shifting gears themselves. Though the automatic also has a manual shift option as it is a Tiptronic gearbox, it?s just not the same because it is a sequential pattern whereas with the Bestari Manual, there?s that ?good old H-pattern?? plus, of course, the clutch pedal to press too.

A manual transmission typically gives a car a bit more zest than an equivalent with manual transmission as power losses are virtually absent. And with the modest output (74 bhp) of the Bestari?s Peugeot 1.4-litre engine, this extra zip should certainly be welcome.

All other specifications of the Bestari Manual are the same as the Automatic except that it does not have ABS. It is possible that Naza chose to omit this for price reasons but their surveys have also indicated that for many buyers in this class, airbags are of a higher priority and they have provided two at the front.

There?s a ?redesigned meter panel? mentioned in the leaflet but apart from the absence of the gear position indicator, it looks identical to that in the automatic! Anyway, it?s okay if they didn?t do anything else since the panel is quite a well-designed one with excellent legibility and even a sporty appearance.

The same six colour choices as the automatic are available (Midnight Black, Racy Red, Quartz Blue, Svelte Grey and Aegean Blue) and for the first 399 customers of this new variant, the booking fee is only RM688 (also applicable at authorised Naza dealers).

Since its launch last year, just over 1,000 Bestaris have been sold in Malaysia and some units have also been exported to Nepal.

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