CMI Imports Peugeot and SYM

May 1 2009

CMI (Canada Motor Import) has inked a deal with French company Peugeot and SYM scooter manufacturer from Taiwan to import their respective scooters into Canada.

Peugeot is a prestigious brand with a long history that spans more than a century and is a well-known manufacturer throughout the world, not only as an automobile company, but as a progressive manufacturer of premium scooters. CMI are importing the 50 cc 2-stroke Urban and Sport line-up as well as the Executive line of Peugeot scooters that range in size from 125 cc to 500 cc in a liquid-cooled 4-stroke, fuel injected configuration. One of the Executive models, the Satelis Blacksat even sports a supercharger mounted to its 125 cc engine.

The SYM line offers three scooter families with engines that range from 50 cc to 300 cc in both 2-stroke and 4-stroke variations. SYM, also known as a quality manufacturer, has over 50 years of production and manufacturing experience, including the production of some Hyundai cars, and they build and sell engines to major corporations.

I never thought I would be saying this, but I actually took CMI up on their offer to test ride the Peugeot and SYM scooters that they are importing. To ease my mind a little, I told myself that at the end of the day they still have two wheels and a throttle. And when thinking about the charm and elegance of the test ride being in Old Quebec City, a scooter seems to go hand-in-hand with the vintage European backdrop.

While we rode various models, big and small, throughout the city and the larger models on the highway, I couldn’t think of a better place to try these particular brands of two-wheeled transport. A congested city, especially one with such vibrant old world flair that Quebec City has, is the perfect place for a scooter. In fact, I would have to say that a scooter might be more practical than even a motorcycle in such conditions.

Both makes were easy to manoeuvre in city traffic and skinny city streets, but if hills, especially the up kind, are part of your daily commute, I would suggest something in the 125 cc range or larger as the 50 cc machines just wouldn’t cut it. The riders on the smaller machines looked more like they were on pushbikes as they would scuttle their feet trying to help the overworked engine climb the hill.

If I had to pick a favourite brand, I would have to say the Peugeot has the best fit and finish and the best ride. That isn’t to say the SYM wasn’t up to par as a daily commuter. On the contrary, the SYM ran a very close second in the overall quality of product department.

Price on the other hand will be a determining factor in the purchase of either make. The SYM are the most economical and range from $1,995 for the ‘Simply 50’ up to $5,895 for the ‘Citycom 300i’. While I agree that a scooter makes a lot of sense in the bustling concrete jungle, and the prices of the SYM might seem reasonable, I can’t feel the same economic buoyancy on the higher end Peugeot.

The Peugeot line starts at a reasonable $1,995 but even the 50 cc ‘Speedfight Rcup 50’ will lighten your pocket of $4,150. The Satelis 500 Executive, with Immobilizer Alarm and Power Braking System with ABS commands a whopping $10,995. Incidentally, the supercharged limited edition ‘Satelis Blacksat 125 Compressor’ also retails for $10,995.

While the prices range from reasonable to, in my mind, outrageous, the scooter in general is an excellent mode of transport for the congested city dweller. They are agile, produce low emissions, economic to operate, they don’t take up much of a footprint and are actually kind of fun to bomb around city streets on.

And on the positive side, they leave enough room in your garage for your real ride, a motorcycle.



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