Where on earth are you hiding the really important stuff like vehicle dimensions? Certainly not in the road test.
- Wayne H.
Hmm... I'll assume you're talking about the new FG Falcon, so we'll get
some stats up for you this week. Generally speaking it's a larger car
in every dimension - width, height, length.
I am considering buying either an '02-'03 Lexus LS430 with 70k+ or maybe for roughly similar money a new Honda Legend - which incidentally seems a little derivative of the Lexus in the area of cabin layout and features.
What are your thoughts?
- John B.
Thanks for the email John. I think it depends a little bit on what kind
of person you are. The Honda Legend is very well engineered and will
provide you with as much - if not more - refinement than a 5-year
old Lexus LS V8. However if you're after a something that conveys your
status, the Legend can blend into the crowd a bit, while the Lexus has
a more imposing character. Personally I'd go for the Honda myself because it's AWD, but neither option will cause headaches.
you bought the first generation 350Z, should you upgrade to this newer
model? I'm not 100 per cent sure about that one, but I'm leaning
towards a yes."
I'm in a dilemma similar to your comment
above, I have a 2003 Nissan 350Z manual and can't talk myself into the
extra $30k for basically the same car. The only week link on original
350 was air intake and exhaust with that done I keep the torque,
increase power and loose a few rev's on new car.
- Richard S.
Great Lancer review!
Can I ask in your opinion is it cheaper buying the ES and then
upgrading privately with the $4k? Same question if you buy the VR and
spending the extra money to modify it yourself? By yourself I still
mean pay a private auto shop to do the job. Will you get more that way
OR is it better to just pay for the higher model and get the original
from the dealer?
Thanks for the email. It all depends on what you're wanting from your
transport. If you're planning on never selling it again and keeping it
forever (or at least ten years or so) you could probably have more fun
shopping for parts on Ebay and then paying an auto shop to do the
labour. However, modifying cars generally reduces their resale value,
especially popular makes, like Corolla, Mazda3 and of course the
Lancer. If it's just a short term purchase you're probably better off just getting the VR.
In regards to your article on the Web called "Road Test: Pontiac Trans Am".
made mention of how good the right-hand drive steering conversion was.
A friend of mine has bought a '78 Trans Am and the right hand drive
conversion for it is down right dangerous. Would you know how to
get in contact with the person or company that did the right hand drive
conversion for the car in your article?
- Brett Deneen
The Trans Am we tested had an exceptionally good conversion - virtually
flawless - and I'll get in touch with the owner to find out if he
can help. From memory it was a mate of his who did the conversion, but
I'll mail you back with details when possible.
Well, I've owned a Mini Cooper S for a few years now and I love it. This new Mi.To
from Alfa Romeo, well I have to applaud the Italian company. I like the
design and the switchable chassis settings are something that would
appeal to me as someone who likes to drive cars for fun and
satisfaction, not just for transport.
However, I'm ready not
ready to drop my Mini just yet. I think the new Alfa will take time to
build appeal and if it's not coming for another 15 months that means
more sales to the Fiat 500 and Mini Cooper. More competition is a good
thing I think, as it will drive Mini to make better cars.
- K. Andrews
also sufficiently old to remember Romsey Quints (his column was titled
'Of cars and men' if I recall) but the real reason for my post is that
I need to contact John Maroulis who posted on 28/2 as I now own the
Welsor Clubman he drove in 'unsorted' form at Bathurst.
- Rob Kilpatrick
Just had a squizz at your piece on the new XR8 Falcon
and I'm very keen on testing and buying the only V8 Falcon in the
range. I like the new FG design too. Subdued is good in my opinion.
The new SAM exhaust
system with the bypass valve will be insane. I've heard a Jag XK8 go
past my work and you can hear the sound change from a quiet thrum to a
completely raw, wide open blat. So, when can I get one?
Editor's Note: Ford played the gathered media a
"recording" of the XR8's engine note during the initial powertrain and
chassis briefing and it sounded pretty raucous. I think the new XR8 -
and especially the XR8 Ute - could be big drawcards for FoMoCo in
Australia. As for the FG Falcon's on sale date, "May" is about as
accurate as we can get at this stage. Stay tuned for our first hands on
test in April.
[Audi] TT 2.0-litre manual arrives in a couple of weeks. I'm
looking to have it chipped - 188kW and 340Nm, along with H@R suspension
Good move or not? It's the new "S" line and I believe it will be one of the first in the country.
- Bruce Williams
Being an enthusiast myself, I'd say go for it. With 188kW the TT will
be an absolute machine, as the standard 147kW version does the
0-100km/h in 6.4 seconds. You'd be looking at well under 6.0 seconds if
you can keep the wheelspin at bay. As the for the suspension I don't
reckon you'd need it, particularly if you get the magnetic ride option.
The car is pretty firm as is. The only issue with all these mods is
that it'll probably cost more to service in the long run, it may not be
quite as reliable and resale values generally suffer when you move cars
away from stock-standard. But in terms of driver enjoyment, it sounds
like a potent setup.
I like that Holden [Coupe 60].
Isn't it fu*** beautiful and beasty? That car is as hot as a red
pepper!! I just don't know what the hell that bloody Ford is doing?? It [Falcon] should be in the rubbish bin.
A very fair assessment Feann. My family and I spent a week in France last year with just such a [VW Passat]
wagon and I have to say that it is one of the most impressive vehicles
that I have driven. The turbo-d was completely unfussed with a load of
five people (3 adults, 2 teenagers) plus 6 weeks worth of luggage and
the manual 6-speed transmission was a delight, with a ratio for just
about every road and traffic situation.
motorways in particular the car really came into its own and covered
distance with ease. Even though this was a rental vehicle it came with
all the trimmings; leather, climate control etc. It certainly showed up
my old Aussie 6-cylinder sedan which struggles with a similar load.
It's a real shame that VW Australia won't import the manual
transmission as it really compliments the whole notion of the sports
just picked up a VZ Berlina a month ago. It has an overactive rear
parking sensor. Is there any simple way I can adjust this or do I have
to take it to a dealer to adjust it? The almost constant sound while
reversing is unbearable.
Thanking you in advance,
- Rebecca Gyles
I'm pretty sure most proximity sensors - both factory and aftermarket -
are software/hardware controlled so you would most likely need to take
it to your dealer or an auto electrician to remedy it. You should
probably check to see if the sensors (small circles on the rear bumper)
are unblemished and don't have any foreign matter on them either which
can sometimes upset them.
Do you have any plans on reviewing the BMW 3 series range? I notice a distinct lack of BMW reviews on your site.
We do have plans to test the BMW 3 Series range, but whether those
plans reach fruition is not clear. BMW has a small press fleet in
Australia but hopefully we'll be testing a 335i in the coming months.
On your article on the Astra Diesel
you had some criticism of the steering when used in a sporting manner.
Well, if you study the controls you will find a "sports" button, which
adjusts engine performance and steering feel for just that
Thanks for the email Andrew. I was aware of the button but if memory
serves it was more of a gimmick than a real world chassis changer.
That Turbo Mitsu Sportback
with automated twin clutch transmission would definitely be on my next
car list! Could drive it to work in heavy traffic, put stuff in it
on weekends etc.
It would give the Ford XR5 Turbo a fright especially if it arrives here in AWD form.
A lot of these so-called hot hatches are hopeless in the rain. The Sportback would at least have traction.
Thanks for the email Klaza, and I think your views reflect those of an
increasing number of car buyers. The new Lancer Sportback Ralliart, as
it will be called, will indeed be 4WD and will be coming to Australia
and could be priced at around $45,000. It'll have about 175kW which
should ensure that it can play ball with the WRX hatch. Rest assured
we'll give it the once over in the Road Test section when it arrives (hopefully sooner rather than later!).
This was a great read on a very impressive vehicle (VW Golf R32).
I am old enough to remember Romsey Quints (Sports Car World). This was
comparable. I also know what it is like to drive a Lotus Super 7, Lotus
Elan (138mph down Conrod at 8,000rpm in top!) Hustler SC1 and a very
unsorted Welsor around Bathurst when it was a goat track.
Wombat made the R32 sound like much more fun!! I want one.
- J. Maroulis
I own a 2001 Subaru WRX wagon, and I seriously doubt the new Mitsubishi Lancer Ralliart Wagon
will be able to compete. Subaru has had years perfecting the turbo AWD
wagon, and the boxer engine is better unit than a plain old inline
four. I predict it will be expensive and will underperform.
Editor's Note: Thanks for the email Jim. In terms of exterior design the Lancer wagon will compete strongly with the 2008 WRX hatch.
Have you seen the new Impreza hatch? The performance issue is moot
until the Lancer Ralliart wagon launches, but Mitsubishi did in fact
build a load-lugging Evolution IX wagon that was only sold in Japan, so it does have a small amount of experience with turbo AWD wagons.
Hello. RE: Motoring Section, Mitsubishi Lancer First Drive.
mention in your First Drive of the Mitsubishi Lancer that the tyre
noise is a bit of a problem, "... which should be easily
remedied". Sorry for what may be a basic question, but how would
you propose that the tyre noise can be reduced?
this got anything to do with changing the Yokohama tyres which you
mention earlier on in the review as possibly being responsible for some
of the tyre noise?
Thanks for the mail Philip, and you are quite correct - changing the
tyres would certainly change the acoustic properties. The car could
also have done with more acoustic damping in the cabin too, but this
was only a minor issue and when the radio is on it's less noticeable
just recently purchased a brand new TL Focus Ghia Hatch, (December 2007
Build) on the 30th January 2008, after driving a Tickford enhanced Ford
vehicle for the past 8 years.
The focus comes with
all the goodies required. Even though I have only travelled 300kms, I
can honestly say it has a very strong feeling and is a comfortable car
to drive. The auto isn't too bad either.
economy is very very good having travelled to Melbourne from Geelong
twice in that time. What can I say except try one first, as I was about
to purchase a new Mazda SP23 and from what I've heard the Focus drives
- Adrian Small
- just found this site and am really pleased to have done so! I have a
1996 VW Golf GL. It has a power window (driver) problem.
noise to begin with then the window only goes half way up. Then no
power at all, and then repeats itself. VW offer to fix it, but it's
expensive. I wonder if any other part can be put in, ie. motor,
Appreciate your reply. Thankyou. Oh, and whom can you suggest to do the job in Brisbane.
Thanks for email and glad you like the site. Other than going to VW to
fix it, I do know that it can be done in your garage, though I'm not so
savvy with the electronic and motorised parts myself as to explain how.
Sorry about that. A friend of mine had a 1984 Audi 80 with a similar
issue and managed to fix it. Turned out to be worn wiring rather than a
busted motor or regulator.
Was just looking through my Royal Auto mag and see a write up on the
new Mazda 2. Nice enough looking car, but what's with the drum
brakes on the back?
Last time I looked at the calendar I
saw year 2008. Our 1989 Laser Ghia has four wheel disc brakes. Surely
it couldn't cost that much more to put discs on the rear?
- T. Kettner
Hi, thanks for the 380 review.
I am a male 6'5" - that is 198 cm.
am trying to decide on whether to buy a second hand Mitsubishi 380 or a
Ford B.A. The 380's driver's head room is better than the Ford's B.A.
don't you think?
Would you recommend the 380 over the Ford for someone like myself who is very tall?
Hello Shawn. I tend to agree there. Both vehicles have a fairly similar
amount of head room, but the Mitsubishi 380 seems to have a roomy
perception to the cabin I reckon.
Regarding the article on the Melbourne F1 Grand Prix not sticking around - good riddance. Waste of money, waste of time. I hope it goes to Russia like Bernie says.
- M. Crest
Thanks for the very in depth Lancer review. I will definitely be taking one of these for a test drive soon!
Hello Wombat staff.
have been looking to replace my 1999 Toyota Corolla for a while now.
Not that it has done anything wrong, it's been a dream to run but not
With a budget of $20,000 what car would you think would suit me? My priorities are space, reliability, and decent performance.
second hand Mitsubishi 380 sounds real good with the 5 year warranty
and I think I can get a 2005 model for under $20k. Anyway let me know
what you think as it would be much appreciated.
G'day Mike. It's sad to see that the Mitsubishi 380 has been
effectively wiped out after the closure of the South Australian plant,
but the fact of the matter is that the 380 is one of the best large
Aussie cars in my mind. The engine is one of its strong suits so
performance is taken care of while interior space is excellent
too. Take one for a test if you can, and I reckon you'll be impressed.
Other options include the Falcon, Commodore, and possibly the Nissan
Maxima if you can find an affordable one.
Re: Road Test: Mazda6 Luxury Sports, 13/12/05.
you know why do they not put rear air conditioning vents in these
'luxury' cars, and can they be put in? I have found the rear passengers
can not feel it from the front.
Thanks for the email Ingrid. More and more new cars are featuring
vents for rear seat passengers. Most are centrally mounted in the
footwell, but the Ford Mondeo for instance has adjustable rear vents in
the B-pillars which is pretty cool (no pun intended).
would like to purchase a Ford Focus diesel. Do you know when the 2008
model will be released in Australia? I had no reply from Ford.
Editor's Note: The 2007 Ford Focus diesel models are on sale. Ford hasn't yet indicated when the 2008 models will be coming into the country, which are expected to be mechanically similar except for dual clutch gearboxes.
again. I just wanted to say about Holden V8s, that the normal SS have
L98 V8 engines, not LS2s. LS2 V8 have 298kW to 307kW and 540Nm and
550Nm, and hasn't been detuned.
L98 V8 engines were
specially built for Holden V8 Commodores and Luxury models. It's a
common Mistake, because of being the LS2 is more popular and more
spoken of, and their both in the GM LS V8 range...
Maybe in the future Commodore will have an LS2, because if the L98 having only a 270kW and 530Nm spec.
Anyway great website. I really like reading your articles and great journalists too!
Editor's Note: Thanks for the email Lachlan. I always thought that Holden referred to its 6.0-litre V8s as the LS2 engine.
Looking back at a few press releases Holden calls the SS Commodore's
engine the "6.0-litre Generation IV V8", so you're quite right.
RE: Mercedes-Benz 2009 edition SL350 Roadster.
The new design isn't revolutionary, but I can see where Mercedes is
going with it. The headlights are different to older models' that had
the fried egg theme, but the design will mellow over time. Just like
the new BMW 7 Series came out it was trashed by the press - but its now
one of the best selling 7 Series ever.
I've driven the new BMW 6 Series convertible, but I'd buy one of these new Merc SL's over the BMW. They're just better cars.
there. Nice website, good reviews, and nice images on the news stories.
I wanted to add my 2-cents to the large car debate. Ford's new Falcon
is coming out soon and Holden's Commodore has been out for a while, but
I reckon unless they can secure long term export markets or add
diesel/hybrid or even small turbo engines to the mix (like the new Ford Explorer), they're doomed.
economy is now the single biggest motivating factor for a lot of new
car buyers, and the big cars don't cut it. The Mitsubishi 380 is pretty
much hanging by a thread, and the Aurion only exists because the Falcon
and Commodore do.
- Ryan P.
Interesting take Ryan, and I agree with some of your comments there.
Ford will unveil the new Falcon at the 2008 Melbourne International
Motor Show in late Feb, and
there's a lot of people hoping for something truly dynamic that reduces
fuel consumption. Ford is being very secretive leading up to the new
Falcon launch and hasn't even revealed the designation yet (BH?), but
as soon as we get the info, we'll get it published.
Howdy. Just want to know if you have tested/reviewed the Toyota Trooper V8 diesel?
Hi Dan. We have no plans to test the Toyota Trooper V8 diesel, though a
colleague drove one recently and said it was one of the most capable
4WDs he's ever driven. A little bit expensive, but virtually
unstoppable. We are however testing the Landcruiser 200 series (with
the V8 diesel) in a couple of months.
The new BMW M3 Convertible
will never look as good as the old 3.2-litre version that came before
it. The E46 models will always be the truest and purist of the M3
family. The roof on the new model looks stupid as well. You can see all
the joins for the 3-piece roof and it looks incomplete and not very
I'd get a Jaguar rag top instead.
Nice review of the Ford Mondeo
but you didn't comment on the ability of the air-con to cope with
Aussie summer conditions. Is it up to scratch or is it the normal puny
- John B.
The Mondeo has pretty decent air-conditioning - I'd give it a 6.5 out
of ten. Adequate and better than a lot of Euro air-con systems, but on
a 40° day it'll struggle.
Good to see you guys back and kicking in 2008 and loving the Detroit 2008 coverage. Just want to make a comment on the new Volkswagen Passat CC coupe - awesome design.
The exterior of the car looks sensational, and I can't wait until they launch it here.
- Sean B.
Thanks for the email, and we're glad you like the coverage. I just got
off the phone with Volkswagen Australia's PR chief and he said that
they're already in discussions with their German counterparts to bring
the slinky new 4-door Passat coupe here. "We're
very positive the car will come to Australia," he said, adding that it
would provide a key halo effect for the Passat range. As for the time
frame, it could even arrive here before years end.
Volkswagen Passat CC. The design is appealing and if it was priced well
I'd consider it, but it's a complete copy of the Mercedes-Benz
The Benz still looks better. The tail lights on the Passat CC need work too. They look out of place on the car.
After owning Subaru WRX's, I decided to purchase an XR5 Ford Focus...
can I say? Apart from the emission of all wheel drive, the car rocks.
Performance is smoother and punchy, ride is sensational and the seating
spectacular.Bye bye Rexxie.
- J. Barnes
have a 2007 Captiva 2.0 LTZ Diesel and I'm not getting the claimed
6.8l/100km on the highway or the 8.8l/100km urban fuel consumption.
I've checked the vehicle over the past 3000kms and I always seem to get
between 10.1l/100km and 10.4l/100km for my combine fuel cycle (70km
highway and 30km urban) per day.
What is wrong
because the vehicle consumes about 2 litres more per 100km than what
was claimed. My driving is between 80km/h and 110km/h.
- Andy Joseph (South Africa)
Thanks for the email Andy. It could be a number of things here, and
when we tested a similar 2.0-litre diesel Captiva we didn't record fuel
consumption below 10L/100km. Some of the factors that can adversely impact
fuel consumption include the quality of fuel you purchase, you're
driving style, the quality of the roads, how many people or how much
luggage you have in the car. There is also the possibility that the
manufacturers claims were somewhat optimistic.
We are trying to decide which station wagon, Holden or Ford, would tow a 17-foot caravan best.
- Andy & Pam
If you're going for the 6-cylinder models, I'd say the Ford Falcon
would be the better for towing mainly because it has a lot more torque
and displacement. You could also opt for the 6-speed automatic in the
Falcon which the 6-cylinder Commodore doesn't have, which will 'learn'
your driving patterns and would useful when towing.
Are the new Mustangs gonna be in Australia?
Ford's PR people were initially unavailable for comment, but
realistically I doubt the Mustang will be coming to Australia as it
would potentially hurt FPV sales. When we get official word I'll update this response so check back when you can. Update: Ford Australia confirmed it - no Mustangs for Australia.
are recalling 86,000 commodores - maybe they should be doing the same
with Captiva petrol versions and replacing the catalytic converters - I
hear they smell worse than a high school chemistry sulphur experiment.
Excellent comparison review you did on the Mitsubishi Grandis vs Honda Odyssey.
Can you suggest which later model Odyssey comes with a 6-cylinder (a
little more 'grunt'), and 2 & 3 row seats fold down? Have actually
been comparing with the Tarago, however Tarago may be a little
- Julia H.
Thanks for the email Julia, and there was a V6 option on the previous
Honda Odyssey that output around 150kW of power and was known for its
grunt. That model was sold in Japan and Australia between 1999 and
2004, and you can probably find one in the used car classifieds if you
don't mind doing the elbow work.
You say that the [Holden] 6.0-litre is "stone age V8 rust"
- it's all aluminium alloy construction! And then you rate the SV6
equal or higher against individual criteria; and yet you give an
overall rating that is higher in the V8 version ......what gives ?
Otherwise a good read.
Thanks for the email R.B. Though it sounds negative, I wasn't so much
calling the LS2 V8 engine stone aged rust, but highlighting the
fact that a stone aged engine (no matter its source) of 6.0-litres
will almost always beat out the most advanced nat atmo 3.6 bent six. It
was more a note that you can't beat outright capacity, rather than a
slap in the face for the LS2.
In this review of the Hyundai i30,
you make no comment on the road noise at highway speeds. I test drove
the new Corolla versus i30 diesel this last weekend and the distinct
difference was the Corolla was a more refined driving experience with
lower road noise, better handling dynamics and a more precise steering
handling feel with a nicer more modern interior cabin experience.
haven't done the i30 diesel review yet? The i30 diesel defies gravity
being cheaper to buy than Corolla and 25% cheaper to run on fuel. It
has an acceleration surge that (puts a smile on your face) the Corolla
just can't match.
Tough call. The i30D is maybe a
guys car :) ? Toyota should get brownie points for making the Corolla
so much better than the previous model - and hey when are they bringing
their diesel version onto the stage?
- Dennis P.
G'day Dennis. We haven't yet tested the Hyundai i30 diesel, but my
colleagues from other publications reckon it's a pretty sweet machine.
In terms of road noise, the i30 model we tested has different sized
wheels and tyres to the diesel version you drove, which can often have
a profound effect on tyre noise. There is a diesel version of the new
Toyota Corolla (2.0-litre) available in South Africa at the moment, but
don't expect it to arrive here anytime soon as demand for the petrol
version is still very strong.
I was reading about the new Ford Focus RS and I was wondering if you reckon I should wait for the RS, or get the Focus XR5 Turbo right now? I like the idea of AWD and the cool new look Focus RS, but I also want a new car pretty soon.
I'd say get a Ford Focus XR5 Turbo, because you'll be waiting until at
least 2009 for the car to come out in Europe. And then there's the
question of when it comes to Australia, if at all. Could be 2010 if
it's popular in Europe (and it will be).
Hello again Web Wombats. I'm a Holden and HSV fan, and do like some of the other cars that GM offers.
wanted to ask, would the 2009 Chevy Camaro make it to Australia, either
as a Holden (not rebadged with Chevy badge), or rebadged as a Holden
(return of the Monaro)? Will Chevy come to Australia just like Dodge
PS. Great article about the HSV Maloo.
Hi Lachlan. The Camaro is currently only being built in left-hand drive
configurations which would mean Australia misses out. But there has
been plenty of talk that Holden wants to sell a small number of them
here, and now that Cadillac is coming in 2008,
the case for the Camaro may improve. If Chevrolet did create right-hand
drive Camaro's, they'd most likely stay badged as a Chevy. There has
been further talk however that the new Camaro could be used as a base
for the next generation Holden Monaro. Watch this space...
I have read your test results on the Suzuki SX4, before and after I bought the car.
I have had it for 5000 kilometres so far and all that I can add to your findings is: 1) The front pillars make it a little difficult going around round-abouts for vision and 2)
the indicators sometimes do not reset, due to not having to turn wheel
too much to turn the corner (also they are too quiet so if they don't
reset it can be a hazard. And 3)
the fuel tank is a little small, but after reading lots of forums I
understand that is as big as they can put in it, due the rear
I have an auto and the fuel consumption is just a
little higher (9.1L/100km). But over all it is a fantastic car and
would highly recommend it for anyone that wants a car for all
- Rex Hill
Mate, regular reader of the articles, but lost all respect with praising the Proton.
Mathew Salzone's Note:
While the Proton does not compare with the usual range of cars we
review, it did in my opinion have something special about it. I did
enjoy the simplicity of the car and was very impressed with the
handling. However I do agree that Proton have already dug their own
grave with cheap interiors, reliability issues and cutting corners in
all the wrong places. Thanks for writing in and we love to hear all
Re: The "review" of the Proton Satria GT.
a crap review! The reviewer says he loves it despite rubbish QA, poor
design, a slug of a motor, ancient engineering, poor safety and mundane
interior. No reference to competitors' standards, fuel efficiency,
And the grammar is appalling. Who wrote this fan-boy garbage?
Mathew Salzone's Note:
I can see that you didn't enjoy my first review here at Web Wombat. The
Proton definitely had flaws in most areas, but the handling alone won
me over in the end - as is spelled out in my review. I am slightly
bias as I own this car and race it competitively in hillclimbs in
Victoria. Ask most other people using it currently in the production
car championship and they will say the same. Thanks for you email,
and if you would like more information on the GTI I would be happy to
forward it to you.
you do an article on the VE HSV Maloo R8? It was released last month
and it was avoided, so please if you have the time, could we see more
of the HSV side of Holden.
Consider it done. If you don't see it on the front page, try a refresh.
Also, we'll be testing the ute in February 2008 as well, so we'll give
you our independent analysis on Australia's most powerful ute.
Re Golf RaVe 270 Concept Wagon:
I wish VW would sell the Golf Wagon in Oz. The Passat wagon is too expensive and has crap seats compared to the Golf.
be even better if the 198kW engine was available. Though I'd be quite
happy with 170kW and peak torque at lower RPM. I wonder what a twin
charged 2.0L would be like?
- KlazaEditor's Note:
If Volkswagen did end up twin charging a 2.0-litre engine, it'd be off
chops! If the 1.4-litre twin charged (turbo + supercharged)
version in its first generation can develop 125kW, then you'd have
to think a 2.0-litre version could make more than 200kW without trying.
From what we gathered at the TSI launch however, the VW people in
Germany said they'd probably only take twin charging to 1.8-litres at
the most (and something about 'watch out' for the next gen Polo GTI).
Is there any chance the 2008 Honda Accord Coupe is coming down to our shores?
- Brian (Melbourne)
Nah, not really Brian. The car is pretty much tailored for the North
American market (left-hand drive only) and though Honda's Accord
models sell very strongly here in Oz, I'm not sure there'd be a
business case for importing it.
I am really interested in the Renault Clio 182 Cup (and loved your review) but have read numerous stories regarding their reliability.
I have nutted my purchase down to either the 182 (winning by miles), XR4 and 2004 Astra SRI Turbo.
really like the Clio but after hearing about the frequent electrical
problems I am worried that the costs of maintenance/running for the car
will be high. Are the costs for servicing this particular car high
given its relative rarity in Australia? Also; would most of the
problems be stamped out with a second hand purchase (the one I am
looking at has done about 30,000km), or would they be more frequent?
Any advice is much appreciated.
Thanks for the letter Steve. Electrical problems in general can be a
right-royal pain in the arse in modern motor cars because often it
takes months of trial and error to figure out which solenoid is a dud
or whether there's frayed wiring somewhere. Software glitches aside,
this can involve things like removing the dashboard and generally
tooling around for hours. I'd suggest finding a Clio club in Australia
(or abroad) and asking the members what they've experienced. Could
be nothing more than rumours at the end of it all.
Your test of the Santa Fe and Grand Vitara
didn't impress. The Vitara does not have a rear diff lock - at least
not by the accepted definition. A diff lock locks the torque split 50%
to each rear wheel - it does away with the differential action in the
The Grand Vitara has a limited slip diff - this
type of diff has shims or clutch packs that help to transfer the drive
when one wheel experiences a loss of traction. LSD's are only around
40% effective at best, and will not transfer any drive (as you found)
if one of the wheels are off the ground. This can be overcome by
lightly riding the brakes whilst also using the accellerator, this
loads the diff and allows some of the torque that was just spinning
away in the airborne wheel to the wheel that is on the ground.
you ascribe features to a vehicle (suggesting a diff lock in the rear
axle), you should first do your research. Before testing offroad
vehicles and denigrating their abilities, you should first do a basic
4x4 course to know how to get the best from that vehicle and its
- Marc Lagalle
Thanks for the email Marc. We relied on information supplied by Suzuki
in regards to the LSD/Diff lock confusion, so thanks for clearing that
up. We'll never trust the tech specs again...
Not too sure how you achieved that range in the VE Commodore Ute comparison test.
See text here: "The
above figures are Holden's claims, and after driving the vehicles for a
week we recorded similar figures (11.8 and 14.6L/100km respectively).
We covered just over 700km in the SS Ute with one tank of fuel, while
the SV6 managed more than 800km. Both models have the same 73 litre
If the V8 Ute chews juice at the rate of 14.6L per
hundred k's, and supposedly covered 700km before needing fuel, then the
fuel tank would need to hold 102.2 litres (assuming all the fuel was
usable) to achieve that. The SV6 at 11.8L per hundred would need a
94.4 litre tank to achieve 800km's.
Even if every drop of the 73
litres were usable, a 700km range in the V8 would suggest a fuel
consumption of 10.43l/100. The V6 with a range of 800km's, a
consumption figure of 9.13l/100km. Were these figures achieved on
- Marc Lagalle
Editor's Note: Marc, you're quite right about needing a 102.2 litre fuel to reach 700km if the car used 14.6L/100km all the time.
But the SS Ute doesn't use 14.6L/100km all the time. It can
achieve much lower figures on the highway and on normal roads if
driven frugally and whacked into 6th gear at lower speeds. If I was
specifically asked to get the best possible mileage out of the new
Holden V8 ute, I reckon I could probably do better than 700km. I
can smell a challenge!
have a 2005 Holden Astra (AH) sedan 5-speed manual. When changing gears
first to second there is an annoying hesitation each time. I have
heard this happens to some of these cars and want to know if
anyone else has this problem and maybe what to do about it?
My local GM dealer doesn't seem too interested in the problem.
Keep up the good work,
Disagree with Barry about the Audi SUV convertible concept car.
Typecasting people as "idiots and losers" because of the type of they
drive shows ignorance and intolerance. I think the idea of a
convertible SUV has merit. We are led to believe that out of all the
SUVs sold, only a tiny percentage use them off-road so why not give
people what they want?
- S. Goff
you please tell me what the name of the song and the woman singing it
in the new Volvo S40 commercial being shown in Australia now?
- Rachel Busse
Editor's Note: We had to ask Volvo this one, and they said the song is called 'Wish You Were Here' by Andy Sharpe.
I'm in the market for a new car and it has to be a diesel. My contesters are either the Astra or the Focus, manual models.
I don't know which one is better, I am yet to test-drive either. I
currently own a MY07 Astra Coupe and the 1.8l engine lacks the power.
The chassis is great but from what I hear the Focus has a better
I'd like your opinion on how these two stack up. Also,
is there any indication on when the facelifted Focus will be arriving
on AU shores?
G'day Nermin, and yes you heard right. The Focus has a better chassis.
In my opinion it's the most balanced and rewarding small car chassis on
the market, though in terms of acceleration I think the Holden Astra
diesel (manual) has a bit more poke. Both are very good cars though, so
you won't be disappointed whichever path you tread.
for the facelifted Focus, I think it's expected to hit Europe in
early-to-mid 2008. I spoke to one of Ford's people at the recent
Focus Coupe Cabriolet launch about that same issue - when's it coming
to Oz? - and the response was a 'maybe 2008'.
Okay, I agree with your staff writers that Audi designs some world-beating cars and the R8 blows my mind, but this 4x4 SUV convertible
is a joke. Who would buy this? Who would drive it? Idiots and losers,
that's who. I think Audi's recent success has blurred its vision.
Thankyou for going to the effort of reviewing the Santa Fe & Vitara off road in the mud. It was very informative and helps give me more confidence in my Santa Fe's ability.
- J.L. Worley
No worries. I remember that road test fondly - it was a lot of fun and
we got the cars bogged once or twice, pushing them a little too far at
times. But we were very surprised just how well the Hyundai performed
in the slippery, muddy conditions with road-based tyres. Could have
used more ride height though.
We owned, serviced and loved our '73 VW Beetle. Lost track how many times around the clock the KMs we drove. But
all things must come to an end, due to age and my size I began to
experience cramp due to the lack of space. We decided to sell - car was
still running well, front disc brakes and very little rust etc. Our choice was a brand new VW Polo 1.9 Diesel TDI.
first ever brand new car. Fantastic to drive, much more room than the
Beetle and a water bottle holder. But from day one noticed an
unpleasant whine in the transmission, eventually, after many weeks, a
brand new transmission was fitted (diff & gearbox).
We still have the same noise with a new gearbox at 60K and with an increased whine at 82K. However,
returning car four times and everyone acknowledging the noise, we were
told this was not excessive and nothing to worry about and that "they
are a bit noisy! No new gear box this time."
We are not happy as I am in contact with two friends who own an identical car with out this FAULT. I am, according to VW, the only one they know of experiencing this FAULT.
My question is, are there any other VW owners out there with this model experiencing what I think is diff whine? I believe this is a relatively new 'box designed heavier to suit the diesel motor. I'm unable to find much about it. Reverse
gear jammed on us for a few days, because of a faulty rev light
switch?? Only one rev light, the beetle sported two, giving an
Whatever happened to advanced technology - sometimes it really is going backwards. To do with money?
- Mike L.
Thanks for the letter Mike, and sounds like you had a good thing with
the Beetle. Shame about the tranny whine though. Anyone else heard of
this issue? Let us know and we'll publish it here.
I want to convert my 2006 Mitsubishi Lancer to LPG but am having
trouble finding a company that can provide a conversion kit for this
type of car. If there is anyone out there who could help me?
Just had a look at the high res photo of the Lamborghini Murcielago by IMSA,
and I think it's a mild improvement over the LP640 Murch. The factory
standard Lambo Murch is so appealing that it's hard to make it
better, but this German mob have made a fair go of it. But the wheels
impressed. Whoever gets to test ride these cars does know how to write
well. I believe it would be difficult to get so much info into a report
and still keep it interesting and even (good grief) slightly humorous.
Well I laughed anyway.
Well done. I have now been converted from the Colt and will go investigate the Swift.
In response to the following question
about the new Ford Mondeo height and ease of entry compared to the
Falcon, I have just ordered the new Ford Mondeo TDCI after reading Web
Wombat's informative review on it and I currently own a BF Mk II Falcon so I feel well qualified to answer this question.
Mondeo is MUCH easier to enter and exit from all doors and is a little
more spacious behind the wheel as I can have the seat more upright that
I can in the Falcon. Being large as well as 6'2" tall, I don't believe
anyone would want for better access or room.
- John Edmondson (Melbourne)
Thanks for the letter John, much appreciated. And I think that answers your question PB.
I have just been reading up on the Toyota Matrix and at the end of the
article it says that the release date in Australia will be late 2002.
Should this read late 2007 or 2008?
Hi, do you know if the 2007/2008 Toyota Matrix will ever be imported to Australia?
Thanks for the letters folks. The article written in 2001 about the Toyota Matrix said "The
release date of the MATRiX in Australia has not yet been released, but
expect it in late 2002" and this never happened. Unfortunately the
vehicle is not and will not be sold in Australia. If you really want
one, you could import it from the States or Japan, but this would
involve lots of time and some money.
We are enjoying reading the Road Tests and they are fantastic, better than Wheels Mag.
we heave one big favor to ask, could you guys test a Pajero SWB 3-door
diesel and petrol if possible since everybody is testing 5-door hope.
Hope you can help.
Glad you like the reviews, and we should be able to test a Pajero
SWB 3-door model from Mitsubishi. With a bit of luck we could have
a review done in a few months, so stay tuned and we'll do our best to
get the low down on the 3-door Paj. Update: We've
booked one for late December, so hopefully early 2008 we'll have the
road test for you. It's an automatic diesel model.
To Feann Torr, RE: the new Mondeo.
you give me some idea of the front seat heights, in regards ease of
entry and exit for less flexible people? We have a Territory which
offers easy seat access, whereas we find the Falcon too low.
So do you have to get as low as with a Falcon?
Thanks for the letter PB. To be 100% sure, we'd have to put the Mondeo
side by side with the Falcon, but from our first drive I'd say they're
fairly close in terms of front seat height. Headroom in the Mondeo was
quite good, suggesting a slightly lower seat/higher roof. At the same
token, they do have adjustable seat heights which could help out. In
terms of getting in and out of the Mondeo, I'm 6'1" tall and had no
trouble at all, but I'd suggest heading down to the dealership to give
their demo cars a run through.
Lexus IS250 (Road Test) review states that the Lexus IS350 will be
"coming soon" - has that been confirmed? And if so, what dates, if any,
have been set.
Hello Anthony. Damien made the comments in his review in mid 2006 when
Lexus hadn't yet finalised the new range. For the time being, we know
that the IS350 will not be coming to Australia in the short term. On
the upside, Lexus will be importing the IS-F (think IS500!) from
Japan, which is powered by a searing 5.0-litre V8 engine. Check this link for more info.
Enjoyed reading the article on the Australian Motor Show. The Insider's Guide
was a good read, informative, but a little strange. I'm most interested
in the Bufori sports cars. Can you give me some details?
- Paul Sanderson
Editor's Note: The
best way to find out more on Bufori, which has only a small number of
cars coming to Australia, is to go to their Aussie website: Bufori.com.au.
looking at a new car purchase next year and was considering the VW Golf
GTI DSG but was also interested in the 1.4 VW Golf GT TSI DSG. As
you have driven both (and I haven't yet), in your opinion which one is
the better buy?
Also, could you please explain the
difference between normal headlights and bi-xenon headlights. Do
you think it is good value to pay the extra dollars demanded for the
bi-xenon headlights? Many thanks, please keep up the excellent
website, I always enjoy reading your unbiased and informative car
You know, I'm leaning towards the 1.4 Golf GT TSI. It's not quite a
quick, but that 1.4-litre twin charged engine is just the business, and
can be frugal too. It's cheaper, and is a better buy in my mind. The
chassis setups are almost identical (except for brakes), so the main
difference between the two is engine performance.
your second question, bi-xenon headlights. Yes I think they're worth
the dollars. Bi-xenon means two xenon headlights (one on each side -
it's a bit of a wank really). They throw a much brighter, whiter and
more penetrating light onto the road. Xenon headlights work with
inert xenon gas instead of argon, or halogen gases, or any of the other
stable gases that mingle well with electricity. They do get hot though.
If the price isn't too exorbitant I'd always recommend them.
I want to know the price to buy new V8 motor from the 2007 BMW M3. It's
a 4.0-litre V8 that achieves peak power of 309kW. Would it come
complete extractors and exhaust and gearbox? I have 1985 BMW 318i
E30 (4-cylinder) and I plan to remove the motor to fit new V8 from 2007
BMW M3. Can the V8 can fit it? Or do I need to modify the chassis
Thanks for the email John, and I'm not 100% sure BMW sells the engines
to private customers. They do often sell engines, including the M
division motors, to supercar makers but that's usually in bulk numbers,
not a one off. To get that engine you may have to buy the car, though
you may get lucky and find a repairable V8 from a wrecked M3 on Ebay.
As for slotting the 4.0-litre V8 into the engine bay of an E30 318i, I
think you would need to do some major modifications to engine/chassis
mounts. And I wonder whether the chassis would twist under acceleration
too... Either way, good luck with your project.
Hi there. I was just reading the road test for the Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution VI.
Under the section regarding brakes, the column states the car has
17-inch discs at the front and 16-inch at the back. I'm pretty certain
this is not true. Most sources agree the Evo has approx. 322mm front
discs, which is approx 13 inch. Just thought you might want to change
Thanks for the heads up John. I remember writing that road test in late
2003 - easily one of the most amazing cars I've ever driven. I think
the 17-inch figure may have been radius instead of diameter or
something like that, but the change has been made, and thanks again for
at your website for your reviews of cars but can't find any that
compare two cars like the Subaru Forester X and the Mitsubishi
Outlander LS. These are the basic models my wife wants to know
about and l hope you can help her - we know both are good but which is
the best one?
I'm leaning towards the Mitsubishi Dan. Design, functionality and
quality have all come a long way in the new model, and you can get the
Outlander with a CVT which is far more efficient than a standard
automatic, and it's also got a fuss-free switchable AWD system. Resale
wise and Subaru will probably hold its value better so if it's only a
short-term buy the Subaru could be the wiser choice. I'd suggest going
to your local dealerships and test driving them both to get a better
idea of what is suitable.
Hi my name is Geoff and I live and work in Western Australia.
am trying to find a contact and a location to have a vehicle tested for
maximum top speed. I drive a 2.5-litre diesel 4WD and have been
mistakenly booked for speeding at 154km/h. I have elected to have this
matter dealt with in a court and wish to produce documented evidence of
the vehicles performance, or lack of it, as part of my defense.
am 50 years old and own a communications business. I drive an average
of 50000km per year with my business and socially. In your road tests I
see you mention top speed and I need to know who to contact to perform
- Geoff Porter.
Thanks for the email Geoff. The top speed figures we sometimes quote on
our road tests are generally sourced from the manufacturer. Your best
move would be to
contact Nissan Australia's head office in Victoria ( 9797-4111),
and explain to them your situation. They may have a senior engineer on
hand who knows, but they should be able to help you out in some way or
another with the query. The only other way may be to commission the
services of a mechanic or an engineer to perform the test on your
vehicle on an off-street drag strip.
I am just going to comment on a road test Feann Torr and Chris Shumack did on the Holden SSV vs Ford XR6T. I've
read over it a couple of times and added up the scores in each
category and the Holden finishes 1.5 points ahead of the Falcon but
apparently the Ford is the better car (that's what is written).
why is the Falcon the better car? You guys either can't add up properly
or you are just Ford biased.
Editor's Note: Hello Shaun. I've never been brilliant at mathematics myself, but that's not the issue here. Simply put, we
never base the overall score in a head to head road test on
the total figures from the four different sections (drive,
engine, interior, exterior). Though the Commodore was better in some
respects and may have totalled a higher score, the Falcon was the better vehicle overall. Call it the X-factor if you like.
Also, your allegation that we're Ford biased has no merit.
Chris owns a VY Holden Commodore SS and he loves it, and I've got a
Japanese motorbike. And no, Ford doesn't wire money into our Swedish
bank accounts either. Using your logic we're also Holden biased,
because we gave the entry-level Holden the beans in this Commodore vs Falcon road test.
Could you help me word a letter to ask my boss for a
payrise? I'm an NRMA road side service man and have not had a pay rise
for over 18 months.
That's a real doosra Bernie, probably the toughest letter we've ever
been sent. To be honest, I'm terrible at imploring my seniors to give
me better conditions and pay. I know it sounds like a cop out, but
I'm not the best person to ask. I'm loathe to offer any advice for fear
of hurting your chances... However, check out this article one of my
Web Wombat colleagues wrote for the Careers Channel here.
to reintroduce an updated Leyland P76. Pity you cater for the
French... No miles per hour, feet, inches. It's imperial
for the UK.
- Julia (UK).
Were you drunk when you wrote this? Seriously though, the Leyland P76
wasn't the worst can on the road in 1973, but neither was it the best.
Sure, you could fit a 44 gallon drum in the boot, which was great for
the mafioso and other organised crime syndicates, but for whatever
reason (perhaps its nickname: 'Cheese Wedge'?) it never sold the
numbers to compete with the Holden Kingswood and Ford Falcon. As for an
updated version of the P76, well, I can't see it happening. There's
still a cult following for the original though - check out LeylandP76.com.
Good website. I always enjoy reading your tests and reports.
- J. Harris.
Editor's Note: Cheers mate, and thanks for your support.
Hi Web Wombat ppl,
Is it just me, or is the new Honda Accord Tourer Concept: Euro Wagon just a rebadged current model SAAB 9-3? Check this picture against the Saab.
On a different subject, I've emailed Pontiac and they have no plans to make an RHD version of the Solstice, _sigh_, a car from the US of A that I actually would have wanted.
- Brett D.
It could be you Brett. No, only joshing. There are similarities between
the cars, and the wider, lower Accord certainly has an even more
European flavour to it. It'll be interesting to see how different the
production version of the new Honda Accord Euro will be when it's
launched early next year at the 2008 Geneva Motor Show.
thinking of purchasing a value for money family car. Am considering the
common four: 380, Falcon, Commodore and the Aurion. Which one
would be the best best all rounder in terms of fuel efficiency,
reliability, and dynamics.
Tough call mike. That's the million dollar question really. Well, I'm
just going to say that if reliability and fuel economy are numero uno,
I'd go with the Toyota Aurion. It's rides nicely,
but dynamically it's a dog and the engine feels weaker than the
others. Such is life. The Mitsubishi 380 is the most underrated car of
the bunch and easily matches the Falcon and Commodore in most
benchmarks. It's just a shame there's a huge cloud hanging over
Mitsubishi's local operations at the moment. As for the Falcon and
Commodore, I'd say the Commodore is probably a better all-rounder, but
it does drink more fuel than the Falcon. Furthermore, if you wait
another seven or eight months Ford will deliver an all-new Falcon.
At the same time, you'll be able to get a cut-price BF MkII Falcon soon
as Ford tries to eliminate old stock before the new model arrives. Hope
it helps Mike.
Nice review on the Mark II Falcon XR6 Turbo. Agree
with most points you made but as a very content owner of the XR my only
criticism is the printout on the speedo. You need coke bottle glasses
to see the numbers on it. One other nagging point is the tiptronic set
up of changing gears: it's arse about. My wife's Mitsubishi VRX version
of the tiptronic is perfect.
- F. Varga.
Yeah, fair call that one. The number do kind of go upside down towards
6000rpm. As for the tiptronic, I have to disagree. I reckon that the
setup of pulling back on the gear stick to change up a gear is more
intuitive. When you've got acceleration pushing into you, it seems more
logical in my mind to click the gearshifter in the same direction as
these forces, rather than fight against them. To each his own.
I have purchased Outlander 2007 model. Fuel consumption is shocking.
1: for the first 10 min the fuel consumption is 25L/100km to 30L/100km.
2: for the next 30 min the fuel consumption is 15L/100km to 18L/100km.
3: After that if I am still driving fuel consumption is 10L/100km to 12L/100km.
On high ways i get around 9.5L/100km to 10.5L/100km.
Is this what we are excepting ? I have no records of getting 5.8L/100km.
Can you help me with fuel consumption?
- A. Jay.
Something could be awry A. Jay. The 2.4-litre engine hooked up with the
CVT should return much better fuel economy than that. 10L/100km on the
freeway is shocking. We've driven Ford XR6 Turbos that return better
than that. Our test model Outlander sat on roughly 6.0L/100km on the
freeway after about 10 minutes of driving at 100km/h with cruise
control. How many kilometres are on the clock? The engine may need time
to bed in, and the way you drive a brand-new car from when it had zero
kilometres on the odometer can have implications as to its long
term character. It may be worth talking to your Mitsubishi dealer about
Hi, I am seriously thinking about buying an Astra SRi Turbo coupe. Am I making a mistake? Or do I go for it? I've read mixed reviews and now am a bit confused.
- Pamela W.
It's a very good car the Astra SRi Turbo, one of the quickest hot
hatches in it's price bracket. It inherits everything that was good
about its donor car, the Astra, and I don't think that if you
bought one you'd be making a mistake. It may not be the best hot
hatch through a corner, true, but in terms of straight line speed
it's hard to beat. It's also one of the most striking to look at with
it's dynamic coupe styling. I'd give the Ford XR5 Turbo a look as well,
but if you have you're heart set on the Astra I'd say go for it.
Re: Audi RS4 review.
recently bought one and I can't get enough of it... It is worth every
cent that I paid (2nd hand $40k off new car price!) and definitely the
best car I have ever owned. Great article, agree with all your comments.
- David M.
the net for specs on the Colt i found ur page. About 14 weeks ago i
bought a 2007 [Suzuki] Swift and my mum has just picked up her year old
[Mitsubishi] LS Colt. We had a bit of a laugh that you guys
compared the two. i see that the Ralliart Colt is turbo'd and i know
the sports swift isn't... I have a Z series Swift how hard is it to
turbo if money is not an issue... i'm looking at hotting up the swift
to be one of its kind... do u have any advice for me?
- Turbo Gurl
Thanks for the email Turbo. If money is not an issue, it won't be hard
to get your Suzuki Swift modified with a turbocharged and intercooled
system. You just need to choose the right mod shop or specialised
mechanic. A good place to start would be ModYourCar.com.au. Though they only sell products, they should be able to guide you in the right direction.
Why in road test of Golf 1.4 TSI is there some hesitation in low revs?
Thanks for the email Eli, and neither our quick drive nor the full
review of the Golf 1.4 GT stated that there was hesitation at low revs.
The Volkswagen is responsive at low revs. In his review Peter
supercharger and turbo increased the driving fun with oodles of torque
from low engine revs right to the top end." Hope it clears things up.
just mailed VW Australia asking them whether they're thinking about
importing the new Golf Variant wagon. They replied that
"Volkswagen Australia have no short term plans to import the Golf
Estate Wagon and make it available to the Australian market".
note that in May 2007 VW Australia were thinking about importing the
car to Australia by mid 2008 but this looks like they've decided not
to. What's your take on this because in my case it probably means
I'm not going to wait to look at one but buy something else in the
- J. Neve
My take is that Volkswagen would be more likely to release the Jetta
wagon in Australia in the next couple of years, but again they've got
to make a good business case for any new model they launch, and small
wagons aren't huge sellers in Australia. You mention you'll probably
look to buy something else in the meantime, and the Holden Astra wagon
and other similar models would be a good place to start.
Hi. I am thinking of buying a Dodge Nitro SXT Diesel. What is your opinion of this car?
The thing that attracts me is the style. I just love the shape.
also love the shape of the Jeep Commander. I love American styling, the
square shape cars. The Jeep Commander is a bit big for a single person
so I will stick to wanting to buy a Dodge Nitro SXT Diesel but would
like an opinion. The cars styling is just awesome, that hot front
Thanks for the email Arek. I'm not head over heels in love with the
Nitro design, but I do think it's refreshing, and one that really
stands out on Australian roads. I like the fact that it's original and
daring more than anything else. It's an all-American design to be sure,
and Dodge/Chrysler seems to be getting good mileage from these
squared-off designs. The diesel is the pick of the litter too, but
don't expect class-leading off-road abilities.
July 2005 I bought a new BA2 XR8 Falcon Ute. I noticed from the first
time I drove it there was a minor vibration in the rear of the vehicle.
I accepted it as being a normal situation for a ute. However, at the
first service the dealer rotated the wheels & from that point on I
had a severe vibration.
After balancing the wheels a couple
of times without any improvement it was discovered whilst on the
balancing machine that the mag wheel was actually out of round.
Initially the dealer (Nova Ford Caboolture Qld) claimed that I had
damaged the wheel by running over a gutter. As I knew this to be
untrue I vigorously persevered for them to replace the wheel at no cost
to me. Eventually their service manager admitted that some wheels were
indeed out of round due to manufacturing problems & they replaced
the wheel at no cost to me apart from severe stress & much of my
Another problem I have encountered is that if I do 3
cold starts consecutively (drive the vehicle out of the garage
& wash it & then drive it back in) the next time you try
to start it the engine floods & is almost impossible to start. The
first time this occurred I had to call the RACQ for assistance. The
RACQ person knew immediately what to do as he said it was a common
problem with BA Falcons. He just floored the accelerator & sat on
the starter motor & after about 2 or 3 minutes it fired up
producing a cloud of black smoke. This has happened a second time in
exactly the same circumstances. Obviously cranking over the engine for
such a long period is going to be detrimental to the starter motor
& battery. I have referred this problem to the Ford Co. and they
claim it is a normal situation. I certainly don't agree that it is a
normal situation. I am making this information available to alert
current owners & potential owners as to these problems with BA Ford
Also, if anyone is aware of a solution to this flooding problem I would appreciate them advising me.
- John Rowley
So, just reading over your report on the new XR6. I am in the market to
purchase one, just wondering if there's a lot of difference in the '05 model
to the new 6-speed auto?? Is there better fuel efficiency in the new 6-speed? Which one would you recommend?
The 6-speed auto is a world-class transmission, and the 4.0-litre
inline 6-cylinder engine is a willing accomplice. I'd suggest taking
one for a test drive to see for yourself. If you're not in too much of
a hurry though, I would recommend you hang on until early 2008 when
Ford releases the next generation Falcon which will have even more
Tyre wear on Nissan Murano: have you had any complaints as I only got 20,000km from my set.
Editor's Note: None as yet - yours is the first. But that does seem a touch low, especially as the Murano isn't grotesquely overweight at 1.8 tonnes (about the same as a V8 Falcon).
New Mazda6 - don't like it. The current design works, but the new model looks like every other next generation car. Very forgettable...
In regards to the new Mazda6 design,
it's terrific. Spot on. If only Mazda's designers worked for
Volkswagen, they'd have some great cars. I like the elegance in the
design, but there's style
there too, and I think this will be another huge seller for Mazda. When
I agree Pete. Though we only have the one front-end photo to go by (at the time of writing), it
represents a very stylish new design, one that could spark a whole new
level of interest in the medium car segment. With Ford's Mondeo on the
way to Oz later in the year, it'll be up against some tough competition too.
There are no firm release dates at present, but may arrive in Australia as soon as late 2008.
ride a scooter to work four times a week, 10km each way, and often
I find the attitude of car drivers (especially 4WD and SUVs) to be
hostile. I've rarely done anything unpredictable and as you know
scooters are not slow off the line, so I can't be accused with holding
I sometimes wonder if cars should be banned
from Australian cities and their surrounds, or at least given a
congestion/pollution tax like some European cities. I'm doing the
right thing by reducing pollution and traffic with a motor scooter as
my commuter transport, but I sometimes feel victimised because of it.
I refer your BMW 130i review.
Which set of engine power/torque stats is correct?
Max Power: 195kW @ 7800rpm
Max Torque: 315Nm @ 5500rpm
developing a super fit 195kW of power, which hits the skids @ 6600rpm.
That's a very high power peak, yet the engine's maximum torque of 315Nm
is on tap from just 2750rpm, which is remarkably low."
Editor's Note: Thanks for the email Wyvernest, and that was what we refer to as a f**k-up
in the weblishing industry. The 7800rpm engine speed figure was wrong,
essentially a typo. If you do a shift+refresh on the page, it should
show the correct figures now.
Hi, I've just read your article about the [Civic] Jap Spec Type R and
I must say, it's astonishing! But since its not coming to our shores, I
was wondering if its possible to import one in? If it is, would getting
it registered and insured a problem?
P.S keep up the good work guys.
Thanks for the kudos Sky. If you have the time and money and don't mind
filling in pages of forms, then you could import one. Registration
wouldn't be a huge issue as Japanese regulations aren't wildly
different from our own, though insurance may be steep as it's an
import. I've just had a dip in the Australian-spec Civic Type R, and I
would urge you to take a test drive of the local version before
considering an import as it's a very lively performer.
have had my Ford GT-P Falcon since April 2005. I read all of the
reviews before I bought it and as far as engine performance and comfort
go I have not been disappointed. The drive line however is another
story - I seem to have a lot of lash through the drive line which makes
it almost impossible to change gear with out a clunk coming from the
The car has 40,000kms on it now and Sunshine
Ford at Southport on the Gold Coast still have not been able to sort it
out. Another shocking experience I have had is that I have just been
informed by Sunshine Ford that I need to spend $4,500 on my brakes
because they are worn out. The discs are beyond minimum thickness and
the pads are worn. This represents in excess of $1000/10,000kms.
guarantee if my representative at Sunshine Ford had of explained that
to me before I bought it I would have opted for something a little less
costly to maintain.
Any way enough of my whinging. Web Wombat is a great site with heaps of informative reviews and stuff. Keep up the good work.
- Mick Sheldon
Re: Updated Ford Focus.
can't Ford put a 2.3 in it? Mazda do. And also a decent 6-speed
auto. Maybe a Volkswagen DSG style gearbox would be even better.
So many good small cars...sadly either with no auto or last century's crap 4-speed autos.
Can't agree with the scooters thing. I've
driven to work everyday for the last 14 years, the same route, and
since scooters have started invading the roads in the last two years I
have had to have my wits about me. They just pop out of nowhere and
more than once I've had to lock the brakes to avoid destroying one. I'm
now looking at new cars with proximity sensors on the front, rear, and
sides. Any recommendations?
- Chris. T
Hi Chris, and thanks for the email. Though there are a number of new
cars with proximity senors front, rear and sides - and most of them are
prestige cars (Audi, BMW etc). From experience the Lexus GS range has
some of the most sensitive proxo sensors going round and would be a
good place to start looking.
About the scooters in the city: is a single person on a scooter more of a nuisance than a single person in a massive V8 4WD?
Do you know the date that the new Mondeo is coming?
Hello Tom. The Ford Mondeo will be coming to Australian dealerships
before the year is up. The company line is still "late 2007". We're
betting late November, just in time for Christmas.
Please tell Feann that his facts are wrong in the below article - the supercharger is not electrically driven. It is driven off the crank and has an electro-magnetic clutch.
Thanks for the note Craig. Yes, I was wrong in the TSI write-up, which
was a typo that I made and then failed to pick up on. The changes have
been made to correct the issue. It should now read "mechanically" instead of "electrically" (driven supercharger). If it doesn't, try a shift+refresh on the pages.
Scooters a menace?!
An annoyance maybe, but how about trucks?? Scooters don't scare me -
trucks terrify me! Take a leaf from the European book, they should
be precluded from frequenting the overtaking lanes. By LAW. What do the
police do on the road in Australia these days apart from issuing
speeding tickets? Nothing. Not one thing. It disgusts me.
neglected the real concerns of drivers and driver safety and now are
doomed fall from grace in the eyes of the Australian public. Pathetic
revenue raising flunkies...
- Stanley T.
Read your article on the scooter 'scourge' and the survey results don't lie. A lot of people see them for what they are. Scooters and
motorbikes are a menace on our roads, which is proven by the higher
fatality rate among the motorcyclists. Ban 'em all - they're a nuisance!
- P.D. Jamieson
What a great idea Mr Jamieson. Let's ban two-wheeled transport because
they're a nuisance. Shall we ban car pooling as well because you don't
like to listen to Kenny G unless you're alone? Let's ignore how two-wheeled
transport reduces congestion and C02 emissions, and instead just legislate to
appease the irrational and unreasonable minority.
Okay, on the scooter topic? I don't ride a scooter, I've only ever driven cars with automatic
transmissions. I really don't like seeing scooters zip up through gaps
in the traffic. When I've been sitting in a queue of cars for several
minutes, it seems like a scam. Why should I wait in line while this
cheap little moped drives past?
Totally agree with you there. You shouldn't have to wait in line. But
because of our increasing car population and stagnating road
infrastructure, the situation is going to get worse before it gets
'Bout time Ford shut the Geelong engine plant.
Just look at BMW or Mercedes - they sell cars right across the world
and use the same engines in all models. Even Holden exports it's
alloytec V6 all over the place. It's only tradition that has kept
Ford's inline 6-cylinder engine going. Now it's not 'green' enough and
gets the scrap.
know that the Falcon is Australia-only (that'll change in time), but
using an engine that has no export markets was always going to die
a slow and messy death. I'm shocked that it's surviving until 2010! Get
your Falcon XR6 Turbo's quick, because once they're gone, they're gone
Interesting point Stav. Ford had to face the facts - sales of locally
made product are dropping and imports are rising. It's a case of making
a difficult decision today, and surviving tomorrow. Interestingly, the
XR6 Turbo could well exist beyond 2010 if Ford decides to add forced
induction to the new Duratec V6. You can bet there'll be some lobbying
by the Ford faithful if the Blue Oval decides to ditch the iconic turbo
model when the V6 replaces the I6.
It's a sad thing to hear Ford shutting down
it's engine factory. The inline 6-cylinder engine will be missed - I've
owned several Falcons over more than three decades and I've found the
6-cylinder to be a real workhorse and good for towing. I just hope
the new V6 from the across the pond will be up to the task.
I have just read your report on the new Nissan X-Trail, very interesting. But could you tell me if it has telescopic reach on the steering wheel?
Editor's Note: Thanks for the email Reg. The new X-Trail has has tilt adjustment only for the tiller - no telescoping unfortunately...
Read the new Honda CR-V
review, nice work. Now, I have a question: I'm in the market for a new
compact AWD at around $35k on the road, but I'm torn. I don't like the
new look of the CR-V, but the fuel economy keeps me interested. Honda
has a reputation for solid build quality, but I want something less
girly parked in the drive-way. What do you reckon?
- Jason P. (South Australia)
Jason, if fuel efficiency and build-quality are most important to you, I'd suggest giving the Mitsubishi Outlander
a dip. Mitsubishi's build quality has improved greatly in past few
years, and thanks to its CVT it can reach some very impressive fuel
economy targets. I'd suggest taking the Outlander for a test drive and
perhaps the Toyota RAV4 as well.
I have just finished reading your road test regarding the Golf GT, and was wondering if you could enlighten me on a few issues.
am thinking about updating my 2.7 V6 Hyundai Sonata with something that
offers more spirited performance, but I would also like this vehicle to
provide a comfortable and quiet ride over country roads as my present
I would like to avoid buying another large car to achieve this
combination of sporty performance and a comfortable ride. My previous
car was a TS Astra, which had a slightly firm ride, which was
completely acceptable on most roads except for a few country roads that
produced a continually nobbled ride with some suspension
noise. This became wearisome after a while.
If the Volkswagen GT
provided a firm, but comfortable and quiet ride, this would be
great. Please let me know what you think, and maybe make a few suggestions or alternatives etc.
- Shane Chislett (Craigieburn, Vic)
Peter Maniatis' Note:
Hi Shane. The Golf certainly provides a good ride and definitely
refined enough that it offers plenty of comfort as well. It sits very
neatly on the highway has plenty of get up and go for both city
and open road performance. It's a refined car - but probably won't
offer as much compliance on bumpy country roads as your current car. It
has a similar suspension setup to the Golf GTI: fairly stiff and
sporty. Your best bet - and I would recommend this to any punter - is
to take the Golf GT for a test drive - make sure you get a 30 minute or
longer spin - preferably on a freeway (or tollway) somewhere. Would be very worthwhile.
We have a late 2005 TX Territory with 6-speed sequential transmission, and I agree with all of your comments,
however I was disappointed that no update on economy has been achieved
with the newer Territory models. Our AWD model with 3rd row seats is an
exceptional vehicle, but a larger fuel tank to provide a better range
is our only complaint.
- Y.F & G.P
was driving to work the other day and this huge group of cyclists were
totally blocking both inbound lanes - about 50 or 60 of them. I know
the Tour de France is on and everyone likes to get into it and that,
but it pissed me off not being able to pass these guys who were doing
maybe 30 or 35km/h in a 70km/h zone.
read the news page and saw the Porsche Panamera development shots. I
have 996-type Porsche 911 Carrera, which was once criticised as being
an unfashionable design. But this new "Panamera" is atrocious.
no doubt Porsche will sell many of these new GTs, because BMWs and
Mercedes are all too common these days. Yet if these photos are
representative of the final design, the Porsche stylists should be shot.
- E. Pampling
Note: I actually thought the car looked half-decent, if a bit long and ungainly.
The final design is likely to change somewhat (especially if Porsche's
top brass reads this) but overall I think what you see is what you're
going to get.
Good read on the new Ford Focus
first drive. I'm very keen to buy a diesel small car and my short list
was the Peugeot 307 diesel and the Astra diesel. The 1.9-litre Golf was
on there too because it was cheap, but it outputs 77kW and I want a bit
more power than that for cruising. My question - does the Focus really
Thanks for the email Patrick, and yes, it does stack up. It handles
very nicely, is easy to drive, and it's got on the best gearboxes in
the business. If you're after the full 100kW/320Nm whack for some
spirited driving, the Focus won't disappoint. I'd suggest test driving it first, and if you haven't already take the Astra for a spin because it's also very good.
Hi. I am looking at replacement my current Mazda SP23 sedan with one of the following hatches:
- Golf GTi
- Focus XR5
- Mazda3 MPS
- HSV Astra VXR
travel 40,000 kms per year. Could you please let me know the estimated
running costs for these vehicles. I have heard the Golf and Focus can
get expensive to maintain when they travel over 100,000 kms. I'm
thinking the Mazda may be the cheapest to own in the long term.
If running costs are the most important factor, either the Astra-based
HSV VXR or the Mazda3 would be the pick. There aren't huge differences
between these three turbocharged models in terms of yearly running
costs, but bear in mind that the Focus XR5 Turbo has no cruise control,
which could be a drawback if you're doing lots of highway driving.
Just read your test report on the diesel Pathfinder.
I bought an STL and find this vehicle perfect for my requirements,
probably the best vehicle I have ever owned. The vehicle consistently
uses 8.5L/100kms, the steering is precise and the ride is great. Prior
to the Pathfinder I had a 2004 patrol which was a good vehicle but a
bit too truck like for me.
Hi there. I have just read the information on your web site and am interested in finding out some more.
Is there a government recommended gas converter? And what paper work is necessary to make a claim back from the government?
- Lydia Mcphie
Thanks for the letter Lydia. From memory I think you need a receipt from the installer, and also an invoice of some sort. Give the AusIndustry Hotline a call and they'll be able to provide you with the relevant information: their number is 13 28 46.
Road Test: Holden Astra CDTi Diesel:
have owned one of these (manual) for 6 months now. This is one of the
first reviews where I have seen the reviewer get what this car is
about. No whining about cup-holders etc. Plenty of space given to the
driving experience :)
want to know more about the Camaro Concept car - where can I get one,
how much are they, how can I put in an order? That car is
absolutely beautiful. I rang Holden but they don't know anything yet, I
thought you might be able to help me out?
Thanks for the letter Raquel; the Chevrolet Camaro will begin
production in the USA (based on the Holden-developed Zeta platform) in
late 2008. It will go on sale in North America from in the first half
of 2009 and will available with both V6 and V8 engines. You can't yet
put in an order for the car, and it's still unclear whether the car
will come to Australia.
I have a [Subaru] B4 and have been interested in the Subaru B4 Blitzin
rear spoiler, but am struggling to find one up to the point of coming
across this web site which shows pics of a B4 Blitzin in
silver. Please could you put me in contact with some one who
imports this style spoiler from Australia.
- DM Lazarus
We've sent your email to Subaru Australia, and hopefully they can help out. More: Subaru's product manager (accessories) responded and said they don't stock the spoiler.
To the Editor, Motoring Channel:
can't understand why you would question someones opinion of the new
Belgium-made Astra SRi Turbo up against the other hot hatches he has
test driven. He loves the Astra, he owns and lives with it and
says it is the best for his money. Do you own one to say they are
better for your money? You have to experience rather simply test
I used to own a VW Golf GTi. Got rid of it and
virtually dumped the over-rated brand. Great at test drive and reviews
but owning one of these South African rattle box's was a so
disappointing. I like motoring journo car reviews and your website is
okay but rather make a decision to buy based on an owner's review.
will never get a South African made German engineered car ever again.
Quality control is the problem. Where is the new Golf GT made? In South
Africa also, Mexico or Brazil or some third world country and still
charge full sale price?
Thanks for the email and your opinions are duly noted. Yes, test
driving a car for seven or ten days is not the same as owning a car and
experiencing all the travails that go with it, but the cars we test
often have quite a few kilometres on the clocks, have been thrashed to
within inches of their lives (often on the race track) and sometimes
show this wear and tear. I questioned one readers opinion of the SRI
because it's not as good as its rivals, plain and simple.
When are you going to update the letters page?
We update today! I've been overseas for a little while, but we're now
firing on all cylinders again. I thought about letting some of the
other Motoring Channel crew answer the letters, but they're a rough
bunch... It may have gotten nasty.
I've read that Audi will stop producing the RS 4. Any credence to this news?
G'day Stan. Yes there is credence to the news. The RS 4 will be no more
when the RS 6 arrives half-way through 2008. Audi has a standard
practice of only building one RS model at a time, and the RS 4 was only
supposed to have a two year production run. When the RS 6 arrives, the RS 4 is expected to cease production.
Hi. Loved your write up on the Golf GTI!! Any news on the GT (TSI) coming to our shores as yet?
It writes up very well overseas.
I received your email this morning, right after returning from the GT
launch in Queensland. Curious timing. So yes, we had our first drive
yesterday and you can read about it here.
Believe the hype too - the TSI technology is pretty spiffy, and the
sheer power that the tiny 1.4-litre engine makes is took me by
surprise. Though Volkswagen was very cagey about upcoming TSI engines,
here's hoping they build a 1.6 or a 1.8-litre version. It'd be mad like
a cut snake.
like to find out if anyone else is disappointed with the true fuel
economy figures for the 2007 2.0L Honda Civic Sport Auto. Have
just purchased one and it is averaging 11.3L/100km - not the 8L/100km
as claimed by Honda.
The service department has told me to wait
till 5000 kilometers as it should improve. I have a Nissan X.Trail
2.5L and I get 9L/100km for it and a 1.8L Mazda3 that gets
7.6L/100km. So I am disappointed and shocked at the
Civic. Does anyone ever check the manufacturers claims?
Thanks for the email Bernard, and that 11.3L/100km sounds more like
something you'd get driving a 6-cylinder car. Some engines do
need to bed in properly before they can achieve their optimum fuel
efficiency levels, but that sounds a bit iffy. We often record average
fuel consumption figures well above the manufacturer's claims when
testing new cars, but this is usually because we're testing performance
limits which often involves frequent throttle inputs. If you're
getting solid numbers from your other vehicles I can assume you're no
lead foot, so if you don't get any improvement in fuel economy in
another couple of thousand kays, I would suggest thatit could be an
engine or fuel delivery/blockage issue and worth speaking to your
dealer and service department. As to the manufacturers claims we generally find they're optimistic, but never by 3 whole litres per 100km.
Thanks for the information on the R32. Sounds like it is a great car.
In your opinion, is it the best buy at around $60k drive away? Compared to the coming Audi S3?
I am considering to purchase the R32, and it is going to be my first
new car. Though I am not sure whether there are better options.Thoughts?
Thanks for your letter Vince, and unfortunately I cannot comment on the
new Audi S3 as we haven't tested it yet. According to the official
numbers it will slightly quicker than the Volkswagen Golf R32 due to
its highly strung turbo 4-cylinder engine
(which is lighter than the R32's V6), but Australian pricing isn't
available yet and it may end up costing more than $60k. Audi's S models
are pretty slick machines in most respects, but I reckon if you
test drive the Golf R32 you may be hooked as it's an impressive
performance car and involving to drive.
Feann, good review, and I like the HSV Clubsport
but I just don't need to cart all that bulk and weight around. I'm
desperate for a rationally priced sports sedan that I can use as a
family car and enjoy a measure of performance driving.
only we could get something like the 4.5 litre V8 Nissan here in
Australia! Incidentally, get your articles proof read before
publishing. Silly errors spoil the read. Otherwise, well done.
- Alan Harrison
Thanks for your comments Alan, and I guess if you wanted less weight
but similar performance you could try something like the FPV Typhoon.
Though it's not that much lighter. If you've got $65k to spend, it may be worth having a look at the FPV F6 Typhoon.
Otherwise, you're looking at a lot more money if you wanted an
8-cylinder 5 Series BMW or similarly sized family sports sedan.
I hate it when morons clog up two or three lane roads by
sitting just under the speed limit in the right lane. I'm finding it's
happening more and more and they just won't budge no matter how many
times you flash your lights and toot your horn. What ever happened to
'keeping left unless overtaking'?
What are your thoughts on this blight on the Australian driving public?
- Michael (An Irritated Driver)
Fair call Michael, and I tend to agree with you on this topic (and
that's why I also ride a motorbike - you don't have to put up with the traffic congestion or the inconsiderate
driving of idiots meandering along in the overtaking lanes). Having
this year spent some time driving in England and Wales, where
trucks and lorries have to stay to the left lanes and almost everybody
adheres to the 'keep left unless overtaking' rule, everything works
swimmingly. I think that because their roads are much more congested it
forces drivers to be more courteous and more aware of their fellow
drivers, but another reason why two and three lane roads operate more
smoothly in the UK is that the Police enforce the 'keep
left unless overtaking' rule. In Australia they don't. I reckon it'd
make a huge difference if the coppers were more proactive in this area
and fine people for doing the wrong thing.
It has been bothering me a lot these past few days that my friend who
owns a 2005 Nissan Maxima says it would kick my car the 2006 Mercedes
E350's butt. I was just wondering your thoughts about these two cars
going at it, who would be the victor.
- Shahzebb K
Thanks for the email Shahzebb and I haven't driven the E350 with its
200kW V6 engine, so I can't comment with any authority. On pure numbers
(which are often a poor guide) the E350 has more power from its
3.5-litre V6 than the Nissan, but the Nissan is lighter. Then again,
the Nissan is front-wheel drive, the Mercedes is rear-wheel drive... We
don't condone street racing, so I'd instead suggest you ring up
your local drag racing centre or race facility and book in some time to
see who is the quicker in a straight line. My money's on the Merc.
I'm commenting on the review of the Astra CDTi turbo diesel.
I got one of those cars for my b'day, and the review is sooo true... It's an awesome little car :-)
I love it to bits ... and yet it's so powerful :D
What is the
timing belt change interval on the new 1.8-litre engine [on the new
Holden Astra]? The draw back with the old 1.8ltr/2.0ltr turbo motors is
the cam timing belt has to be replaced every 60,000km at the cost of
around $800, ridiculous in this modern age.
Having owned a couple of Astra's, if Holden haven't fixed the timing belt change issue I wouldn't buy one.
- Tony R.
I spoke to Holden today and they said that the service costs for
the Astra's Z18XE - the older engine you talk about - are basically the
same for the newer Z18XER. Holden's spokesman stated: "However the
camshaft timing belt, tensioner, idler and roller get replaced at
150,000km for the Z18XER rather than 90,000km for the Z18XE. The 2.0L
turbo gets the same work at 120,000km." Hope this helps.
I read your article about the new VE Commodore SS vs XR6Turbo. You
mentioned that there was no ESP fitted to the Turbo, what year was the
model? All the BF XR8/Turbo Falcons have driver assist, electronic
brake force and traction control as standard. Also side airbags
are now included from last reports.
I also feel the XR6T
would have gotten a better score if it was a different colour.
Great read and nice to see a 4 year old car still holding it against
the new VE.
P.S. I drive the BF Typhoon F6 with the ZF and it is the best car I have ever owned.
- Malcolm H.
Note: G'day Malcolm, and you're correct - the XR6T does have DSC (dynamic stability control) and the review now reflects this. The original mistake was made when we looked
at the spec sheet for the standard XR6, rather than the XR6T, which
doesn't get DSC. My bad. As to the garish toxic vomit colour, it didn't impinge on the score but it did make our eyes bleed...
Hi wombat staff. Wondering if you
are planning to do a review on the Porsche Boxster or Boxster S in the
near future (pardon me if you have already).
- S. Demon
Thanks for the email Mr Demon, and though we're not on the Boxster's
trail, we are looking at road testing the coupe version, the Cayman.
Do you know of any LPG conversions done to 3.5 or 4.0 V6 Nissan engines
(quad valve heads)? Quite a lot of 3.3 Nissan V6s have been converted -
but has anyone converted a 3.5 or 4.0 and put any miles on it?
- I. Travis
Rebate: Does this rebate apply to people getting diesels to run partly
on LP gas? Everything I have heard on the subject so far has only
applied to petrol vehicles. I am keen to get it done but would not do
it without the full subsidy.
Paul, I'm pretty sure the rebate applies to diesel engines as well as
petrol engines who want to convert to LPG. We recently ran a story
about a new LPG system for diesel engines, and its makers claim it's eligible for the full $2,000 rebate. The people at the
AusIndustry Hotline are pretty cluey on this sort of stuff and everything related to the LPG rebate - their number is 13 28 46.
just want to talk about the badge comments. For me some of the Euro
cars don't have the quality of Japanese cars. All French cars
(Peugeot 207, 307, Citroen C2, C3, Renault Clio with the exception of
the Megane) have serious quality issues.
Even VW, BMW and
Audi lead the charts in problems with quality. I can't deny that VW,
BMW and Audi are great cars but you can do the research and find that a
lot of people are complaining about quality.
Japan cars lead the
pack with less quality problems, and Mercedes Benz is the only Euro car
in the top 10. My point is, I'd prefer a Japanese car over a Peugeot
207, VW Golf, Renault Clio, etc.
I have to agree with Mr Noske about the seemingly shortsightedness of Nissan about their not importing the Skyline range.
model approaches the upper luxury range of vehicles as it does in the
US as the Infinity (where the reviews and sales are quite good and also
profitable for Nissan). The 2007 model is not yet on the Australian
'grey' import list and the lack of cruise control on the Japanese
models (presumably reflecting the lack of suitable freeways in Japan)
would be a drawback for some buyers.
It is indeed a very
capable and well-equipped vehicle, which, in my opinion, could sell a
lot more then the current Maxima range (which is also a nice car). The
new Maxima, in essence,
differs only in the rear/front drive department as both have the new
CVT transmission as fitted to the Murano. Would be interesting to see
the price structure if it were imported!
At roughly (AUD)$40,000 for the top model in Japan, even if it came in here for say $50K, it would be a really good buy.
- Dave Rogers
I read your article on the Ford XR6 Turbo versus the Commodore SS V that came out recently (5 April 07). I just wanted to point out two errors:
The Ford XR6 Turbo has Dynamic Stability Control as standard
(which is equivalent to ESP). Lack of ESP should not be listed as
a 'con' for the Ford in the comparison table.
2) In the article
you say that the Ford brakes are the "Performance upgrade
brakes". In fact Performance brakes are are the standard brakes
for the Turbo and XR8.
You might want to publish these corrections which may make the Ford an even clearer winner.
All the best,
Thanks for the email Walker, and you are quite right - the Falcon XR6
Turbo does indeed get DSC. I think the mistake got made when we looked
at the spec sheet for the standard XR6, rather than the XR6T, the
former of which doesn't get DSC. I've made the changes to the review -
do a shift-refresh and the change will now be reflected in the article.
Interesting road test on the Santa Fe and Suzuki Grand Vitara,
what a choice! I'd like to spend an extra $10,000 on the Suzuki and see
the difference. Wait 'til you can get into the seven seat Suzuki [XL-7]
and then compare.
I just purchased a new 2007 [Golf] GTI. From what all reports say it is
electronically limited to 130mph [209km/h]. But just recently I was
able to open mine way beyond that. Is that a bit strange?
- Jacob Eady
Thanks for the email. I don't quite remember how far we pushed both
Golf GTI models we tested - in terms of top speed - and as far as I was
aware there was no speed limit on the Australian GTI models.
I just want to comment on your reviews of the current model Commodores against the current Falcons.
to know how you could possibly think that the interior of the
Commodores could be better than that of the Falcon? I have been driving
both cars for work and the Commodore feels like a cheap, badly made rip
off of the Falcon interior. Furthermore, the new Commodore's rear
end feels like it is made up of jelly and bailing twine and doesn't
give any confidence in the cars ability to handle the road, especially
at speeds of around 100km/h and even moreso on bumpy roads.
in all, I think that even the base model Falcon is a much better car
than the top of the range Commodore. I will still keep my mind open for
the new Grange when I get the chance to drive it though. I have been a
Holden fan for a long time but I think the new car is just a huge
disappointment, especially considering how much money was spent on
- Jacob Mannik
Thanks for the email Jacob. Comparing the Commodore interior with
the Falcon's interior wasn't difficult. Granted, the Falcon still
has slightly better dash plastics and the seats are plenty comfy, but I
stand by my words - the Commodore has the slightly better interior for
the time being. The centre console is more modern, as are most of the
controls, and easier to decipher. You say the Commodore feels cheap -
but both vehicles have their shortcomings, there are plenty of flimsy
bits on the Falcon too. Both cars are manufactured to come
under a certain price (especially entry-level models) and this means
the quality is not going to be of Mercedes-Benz standards.
Handling wise, and I personally wouldn't say the Holden's rear end is
made up of jelly, but I understand where you're coming from. The Falcon
has a superior rear suspension system, and this is an area that Holden
needs to keep working on and refining.
Just looking at the article on the differences between the LS1 and LS2
V8 engines. The last of the LS1s also had throttle by wire (I have
a WL statesman), so it is not unique to the 6.0-litre motor. I
haven't tried a 6.0-litre yet, but I know that the WL drove a lot
better than earlier LS1s I tried in terms of low down power and
Re: VE SS-V and XR6-T comparison.
let me congratulate you on your quality review and comparison between
the VE SS V and BF XR6 T. I do have an issue though.
did you compare the SS-V to the XR6T? It doesn't really make that much
sense, especially given the existence of the XR8. Sure,
the XR6T is superior to the XR8, but I don't think that justifies a
fairly skewed comparison. They are quite different cars. If the answer
to my question is in fact due to the XR6T's superiority over the XR8,
then I think the XR8 should have still be used in the comparison.
In my view, the XR8 should have been used instead of the XR6T, and be fairly penalised in its shortcomings.
Nonetheless, good work on the site.
Thanks for the email Kanishka. We decided to go with the XR6 Turbo over
the XR8 for a number of reasons. Firstly, scheduling. The car you
want to road test isn't always available at the time of the comparo,
but more importantly in my mind, I just wanted the best of the best in
this comparison, and those two cars are the XR6 Turbo and the SS V.
In your article on the IS250 Lexus,
you conclude that the IS 350 will be coming. Does Web Wombat
have more information on this, as at March 2007, Lexus 'has no plans',
but perhaps they have told the media something different?!
Your article on the IS 250 was very useful and enjoyable - thanks Web Wombat.
- C. Patton
Mr Patton, you are quite right. The car is not scheduled for an
Australian release at the time of writing - but when Damien wrote the
review in mid 2006 it was expected to come here. Clearly Lexus has not
seen nor felt the need to import the more powerful V6 model into
which is a bit of a shame as the new IS Series is a very good car, and
a little more power would make it a real BMW 330i rival.
I am in the process of purchasing an HSV R8 after having a Mercedes C350 then trading up to an E350.
C350, in less than 4 months, had the steering pump, the steering rack
replaced, the gearbox recoded several times and the valve bank
replaced. After all this they still could not fix the problems.
upgraded to an E350 with a reasonable replacement price as it was
German made, not South African. For over 12 months we had this vehicle,
after which we left it at the dealer and requested a new car. The
following was required: gear box valve bank replaced, gearbox
recoded several times, gearbox stripped and checked, lefthand control
unit replaced, air conditioning dash control unit replaced (air
conditioning failed), then the car was put on truck as the gearbox was
smoking and the engine failure light came on.
During this period
we had a loan car for 3.5 months. After discussing this with several
persons that own these types of vehicles this is not so uncommon.
Therefore it just goes to prove that twice the price, twice the
problem. I have exact dates of all these problems and emails to back
all these statements. They also advised by email they would upgrade the
car at $8,000 but when it came to the crunch it turned out to
be $23,000 extra.
Also, be aware that all these details were
sent to motor magazines and road services and no one wants to comment,
but see how many will comment if it was a Ford or Holden. So here I come HSV.
- M. Argor
enjoyed reading through many of your car reviews, much better reviews
than most. I'm interested to know if you may be reviewing a Suzuki SX4
Thanks for the email Rowan, and yes, we've got the SX4 (manual) booked
for late May, so we'll definitely be publishing a review of that one.
And from what we've heard, it's a pretty decent little motor.
As a true blue Ford lover I now own an Astra SRi Turbo.
I've driven all the cars you mentioned and I found the Astra to be the
best of all. You put the back window as a con if you can't see - get a
camera. I can't find fault with the car and let me tell you as a
die-hard blue blood Ford lover I tried. At 250km/h in 5th it still
wants to go. It will do me.
G'day Leon. The turbo Holden Astra is one of the faster hot hatches in
a straight line, and it looks awesome, but for my money there are
better hot hatches out there. Cornering isn't it's strong suit
(compared to its rivals), and for mine this is an important factor as
to whether a car rates well or not. Interestingly, did you try the
Megane turbo? I've recently had a dip in the Renault RS Megane 225 and it's pretty damned impressive, so we'll give you the low down on that one soon.
The Pathfinder review
is extensive and correct. I have new model Pathfinder, petrol V6, and
when in 4x4 mode its wheels get jammed while reversing and turning at
at the same time. Straight reversing in 4x4 has no problem.
Is there any technical issue or vehicle has problem?
Note: Sounds like a 4WD lock mode. If so, the car is locking the centre or front differential, which basically means that
all four wheels/left and right wheels spin at the same speed. If
this is so, then turning the steering wheel and trying to apply drive
will result in jamming, as you say, and possibly even damage to the
differential if you push too hard. Check your car's manual - it
shouldtell you what precautions need to be taken when engaging the different 4WD modes.
I recently bought a VE SV6 Commodore it has been a really disappointing experience.
It has been in the holden garage constantly since purchase: rattling,
new strut, new hand brake; and it still rattles. All this before
5000km. Its a billion dollar blunder - this is my review of the billion
dollar baby. Holden also want it back for two more days to see if they
can fix it but they are not sure if they can. All I wanted was what I
thought I paid for: a nice sports car, not a rattling bucket.
- S.V. Lane
VE Commodore SS vs Falcon XR6 Turbo: you said a while back you would do this comparo.
like to see the result. Have driven both. The VE V8 sound from its quad
pipes is addictive, but XR6 Turbo is more tractable for city driving
with more torque low down in rev range and would be a better daily city
The VE V8 is similar to my VY V8, and its performance can really only be appreciated at highway speeds. E.g.
80-180km/h acceleration is staggering but useless in a country with
speed limits and token enforcement aimed solely at revenue raising.
G'day Mumbo. Yep, the review is still on track (update: it's now live), and will be published
in April, so stay tuned for that one. We tested both cars in a number
of different situations and you're right about the XR6 Turbo being more
tractable - whipping up peak torque at just 2000rpm will do that.
Hi, I currently own a 2001 Astra TS sedan (manual), which has just done 100,000km.
purchased the car two years ago privately. Recently the car began
running very roughly and stutters during gear change. I took it to the
dealer and learned the clutch needed replacing and the gearbox required
rebuilding (4th and 5th gears were gone). This cost me well over
$4,000. The dealer told me it was due to my way of driving that caused
these problems. But I never drove the car hard or to the point that
could damage the gearbox.
I understand that the clutch
could wear and tear over time but how can the gearbox be damaged so
much? Is this a common problem on Astras?
Thanks in advance. Regards,
Thanks for the email Ray, and though I can't help you with 2001 Astras
and their idiosyncrasies, I do have a theory about this one: perhaps it
was shagged by the bloke you bought it from? He could have smashed the
in and day out, and now it's finally starting to give. Anyone else have
any issues with Astra gearboxes? Let us know.
Comment on review of Mitsubishi Grandis/Honda Odyssey.
say the seating is easier to manage in the Grandis. It is - unless,
like us, you get a car that has a fundamental problem with the
headrests on the rear seats, a problem that the dealership and
manufacturer seem unable to rectify.
Poor customer service from both has made us come to regret our purchase.
- L. Monford (UK)
The reports are very good... However you need to learn to spell or use the spell checker more often.
find that Holden spent two billion dollars getting this car to the
showroom, and it's not in front of Falcon in fuel consumption. WHY?
It's a lower cc engine but a heavier vehicle and so strains a lot.
stretched it's wheelbase more to Falcon's standard and placed the
engine further back into the car more to Falcon's standard it would be
better. Oh, and it's [Commodore] not really in front.
It's just the driver or Holden pressure to give it an almost even vote.
It [Falcon] should have romped in by a proverbial mile.
No I am
not a Ford man. I drive value for money Nissan! But keep up the good
attempts and if in doubt go drive a Maxima: it's good. I use a
Pathfinder to pull the Whittley.
- H. Zero
Thanks for the email H. Zero. Interesting views on the Commodore there,
and in regards to the Maxima, we've actually driven two of them, and
both reviews can be found here: Nissan Maxima (2006); Nissan Maxima (2005). The Nissan Maxima is a very good car, but it's front-wheel drive proposition, and that's a big no-no for a lot of traditional large sedan buyers in Australia.
bought seventeen Evo 8s and I'm still not happy with the car. I'll try
one more time and buy another one. Who knows? I may end up liking it.
- Mojo Nero
What?! Seventeen? That's a lot of cars. After two or three I think I would have tried the Subaru WRX STI or perhaps a BMW 130i.
great work on the car reviews. I am looking for a small car at the
moment and your reviews have been in depth, great to read and very
useful to me.
Keep up the great work.
To the twerp that wrote about the Clubsport, you are a dickhead mate. Rather than write about HSV's you should spend more time on the gay and lesbian Mardi Gras.
- T. Johnson
Do I detect a hint of distaste in your email? You didn't like the
review, huh... Fair enough. You could have said why, though. I don't
mind being criticised for my work, but you need to tell me what exactly
you didn't like, so I can then make improvements in the future.
Instead you just insult me, which isn't very kind. Okay, how's this Mr
Johnson - if you write a decent review on the Clubsport I'll publish it
here on the Motoring Channel, and then I'll write you an email about what I think of your writing, only I'll give you clear examples of the pros and cons. Deal?
have owned an 2003 Honda Civic GLi with a 5-speed manual: it's the
biggest POS (piece of shit) I have ever owned. We have had a long list
of problems with this POS, some of which are oil use of 500ml per
1000km, and when you decelerate with a slightly open throttle, as you
do in traffic, the car jerks and surges like a mongrel.
Honda say it's a characteristic of the car. Sorry - POS. Apparently
it's a characteristic of the manuals only, and I have heard of
Corolla's doing the same. I have also been told that it's part of the
emission control, to get the cars into the country.
question is this: does anyone else out there have the same problem? And
why are these types of problems not picked up during tests by
magazines and the like. I for one will never buy another Honda.
- T. Kettner
have read an article by Feann Torr on Nissan Patrol - very good
article. I am struggling at the moment - do not know what to choose for
the next 4x4. I have Pajero 2, but it is already 10 years old and
200,000km on the clock. Can not decide between Pajero 4 DiD and Patrol.
I am driving weekends, and often off road. Not sure that Pajero will be
reliable with the amount of electronics. What would you recommend?
Kind regards from snowy Russia,
Thanks for the email Vladimir - and I you have the honour of
being the first Russian to send us a letter. Okay, we've tested
the new Pajero (review soon!), and it's remarkably good off-road, with
good ground clearance and decent approach/departure angles. However,
you are correct in thinking the Patrol is more low-tech, and if you are
looking for a workhorse that would spend a lot of time off-road I
think the Patrol would be a better choice as it's more rugged.
Dear Web Wombat staff,
love your motoring reports and have been waiting for a Ford XR6 Turbo
vs Holden VE SS review, which I believe you have said you are going to
do. I was just wondering if this review was coming up or if you have no
plans at to do it.
Keep up the good work guys.
- Matthew Else
G'day Matthew, and yes, we are going to publish this comparo - and it's quite an interesting battle this one. Very different from the entry-level Commodore vs Falcon comparo we filed. As to the time frame, we should have it live in April.
Hi there. This is a good comparo [Ford Falcon XT vs Holden Commodore Omega] but you underestimate the VE - the steering is up with the Euro car makers. Plus the power is 180kW not 175kW.
- Little Fitzy
Thanks for the email Little Fitzy. I still think the VE's steering is
not as good as its main Australian rival's, and as for being up there
with the BMW's and what not, I have to disagree. But this a subjective
thing; I like Belgian beer, and you may not. Each to their own. As for
the power output, the model we tested was the LPG version, which when
running on liquefied petroleum gas outputs 175kW and 325Nm of
torque. The 180kW and 330Nm figures are for the petrol-only Commodore Omega models.
We have had our Peugeot 307 auto diesel
for six months and it is a real pleasure to drive. Fuel
consumption on a trip is 4.7lt/100 and overall since new 6.1 lt/100.
The trip computer keeps all these figures for us.
I am at present looking into buying the 1.6 diesel for a run around as well.
- Ken Faye
wish to express my disappointment in my new Nissan Pathfinder 2006
model; the vehicle constantly blows heavy black smoke from the exhaust.
I have on numerous occasions sent it back to the dealer I purchased the
vehicle from and they inform me nothing is wrong and this is normal.
I must point out it is that bad that I have been pulled over by police
and advised of excessive smoke. I would be interested to know if any
other owners have this problem. The vehicle has done this since
purchase and the dealer still fogs me off. I have been behind other
Pathfinders and have not noticed any smoke at all.
- T. Conti
you sure you can use regular unleaded on the Maxima
Ti-L? I am buying a 2004 model and have been told to only use
Guess what... I screwed up. In the review it correctly states to use 95
RON petrol, which is premium, not regular as it says in brackets. My
mistake. Regular unleaded is usually around 91 RON, and this is too low
for the 3.5-litre Nissan
How does it
tow? Is it suitable for heavy towing, or is it just a show pony?
Depends which model you buy. Even the standard Territory has a decent
383Nm of torque, and if you tick the box with the with the genuine Ford
heavy duty towpack and load levelling kit, Ford reckons it'll haul a
braked trailer loaded to 2300kg. But if towing is your main reason for
buying a Territory, I'd go with the Turbo version, which kicks out
480Nm at very low engine speeds. It's no show pony, but if you've got
truly monstrous loads I'd suggest looking at diesel powered 4x4s.
am the proud owner of a Nissan Pathfinder R51 ST-L. Yes, I love my
Pathy. I picked up the vehicle in gleaming metallic silver, no paint
issues whatsoever, and find that in 6-speed manual 2.5-litre diesel
form I get just under 800km around town and 980kms on highway. At
almost 2.5 ton I think that's incredible. These are exact figures as I
have 46720km on my vehicle already in this time.
I am a
real estate agent, driving in traffic everyday the performance of my
vehicle still astounds me not to mention others, especially at the
lights. My question after all my rambling is: does anyone know what
Nissan is doing to rectify the fuel gauge issue? Calibration seems to
be out... a lot! The fuel light comes on even when I have 20 litres
left in the tank.
I know an 80 litre tank
isn't large by
any means, however I don't think this is right. When questioning my
dealer (the second one I have had to attend after the first one tried
to to charge $120 for Castrol Magnatec!) they replied that "it's
currently under investigation and there is no fix a this time".
the product, not the service.
Are there any bright colours available for the Suzuki Swift - if not,
then why not? I find that the visibility of a car is one of the major
selling points with me. I avoid greys, silvers, blacks and even whites.
What other colours are there please.
I am considering
larger car ( Camry) to a smaller car as I feel that economically and
environmentally it is the wise and sensible move for the future.
Thanks for email Susie, and sadly you're out of luck with the standard
Suzuki Swift models. There's a metallic orange colour, but it ain't
that bright, and the only other colours are white and silver that stand
out. However, if you don't mind spending a bit more cash, you could go
for the 1.6-litre Swift Sport, which is offered in a very strong yellow
colour that's just about as bright as you can get.
Great job in your
motoring reviews fellas - the most honest and real world performance
reviews I've read. Right up there with Jeremy Clarkson.
regarding the Golf GTI (Mk5). I've just run in my DSG '07 model... And
wanted to let you know that the '07 model now has launch
control enabled in the DSG software (previous models' engine
management was not enabled, although it's built into the DSG software).
turn off ESP, and use Sport mode on the DSG. Launch control (LC)
then allows the engine to rev freely, left foot braking, to 3000rpm.
Then off the brakes for the perfect launch (also raises the cut out by
500rpm in LC mode). This is not in the VW literature, so thought it
worthy for you to try it out and then have Web Wombat update the GTI
review. I'd like to see how much quicker to 100km/h the GTI is with LC
mode. I've read 6.3 seconds in vwmag.com.
Thanks for the email Lozza, and some interesting news that GTI owners
will be sure to appreciate. I remember driving the VW Jetta with the
2.0T FSI engine and DSG, which featured launch control, so it
makes sense for the GTI with the same power core to benefit as well.
Another car with launch control is the VW Golf R32, which takes off
very strongly, but I must add that with both the Jetta and the R32, I
had some trouble getting the launch system to work
effectively. I got the feeling the engine prefers to be warmed
before it will work properly. I'll give VW a buzz and see if I can
wangle another GTI, so stay tuned.
to read this about the IS200
that I have just bought, really great! But the thing you said about the
brake lights... Hmm maybe that's why people buy Lexus light for their
Ford ever going to put the 6-speed gearbox on a rear-wheel drive
version of the Territory?
- S. Campbell
It's not likely. This is something I've often thought about too but at
this stage, only the AWD versions are offered with the 6-speed
automatic gearbox, and it doesn't look like changing due to the extra
on engine noise.... We have a new B Class 200 CDI: do they all have an
annoying rattle when driving through each gear??? The Mercedes mechanic
was deaf, so was of no help. Is this what we have to accept after so
much hype about this new B Class?
That doesn't sound good. Do the rattles occur all the time, or only
when accelerating? If so, it could just be a slightly loose panel
somewhere that a bit of sealer would probably fix. Though ripping apart
a Mercedes dashboard may not be a wise idea... Perhaps your best bet is
to go to another Mercedes mechanic and get a second opinion.
have just purchased an IS 250
[Lexus] and was wondering if you knew how to override the safety
feature on the Sat Nav - Bluetooth etc., which won't let you use it
Some Lexus IS 250 are locked out of viewing some systems, for
'safety' reasons, as parts of the Nav system are deemed distracting.
From memory I think it was European and Australian models of the car
that are afflicted, while owners of the car in the USA don't have to
put up with this issue. I believe you can cut a few wires if you're up
to scratch with electronic engineering, but this can also cause the Sat
Nav to glitch. It may be worth sitting down and having a chat with your
Lexus service manager next time you take your car in, and if he cannot
remedy the problem with US software, you may have to put up with the
I'm a fan of performance cars and the proud owner of a Nissan Silvia
S15 (APS stage 2 mod). One thing I still don't get is why Nissan dumped
such a great, sexy and well designed car? Why not continue to fine tune
and improve it, such as throw in an outrageous new GTR engine, giving
the Silvia the ball-tearing power it deserved.
dump such a
great and successful car, Nissan's management must have had rocks in
their heads. I have driven many different cars over the years from
Porsche, HSV to WRX, but still whenever I took the Silvia out for a
little fang on the twisty end of the Great Ocean Road, it alway gives
me a smile along the way :)
This car has
the serious stuff for going fast and going bold. To Nissan I say please
bring back the Silvia with a fat dong.
- S. Eagle
Unfortunately I never had the pleasure of driving the Silvia S15, also
known as the Nissan 200SX in Australia, but from what I've heard they
are great drivers cars, with the rear-wheel drive layout another viable
option if you want a turbo fast-four without the AWD setup of the WRX
or Evo. Will Nissan bring the Silvia back? Such a decision would have
to go through Renault first, and the odds are not good, so
that fat dong you're after may never materialise. There were
rumours that the Foria concept pointed to a new
'affordable' turbo sports coupe, but there's been little news on it
Which car do you prefer - the Honda Legend or the Volvo S80 3.2 AWD?
Volvo has much more interior space and feels bigger - any preferences
in your view?
I haven't driven the Volvo S80 yet, but I have driven the Honda Legend,
and I can tell you that it's a very fine automobile with huge amounts
of room and lots of power from its 3.5-litre V6. The Honda is about the
size of a Commodore - very roomy - but I couldn't preference
in the other's stead. However, word on the street is that the
Volvo is a very good car, and will probably retain more positive resale
values. You're best bet is to test drive both cars and also to
fire off as many questions as you can think of to the
having my BA Falcon (2004) converted to dual fuel, but have had many
conflicting stories, RE: its suitability to run on gas. Can you tell me
if it is in fact suitable?
As far as I'm aware the BA Ford Falcon is suitable for LPG conversion.
There are tens of thousands of BA Falcon taxis getting around Australia
that get thrashed from dawn until dusk, and some of these clock up more
than half a million kilometres. If you're not feeling good about it,
talk to an official Ford
dealer/mechanic about it - they should be able to inform you
of any issues there may be.
the deal with Nissan Australia these days? In the rare event we hear
from them, it seems to be only when they are confirming a new Nissan isn't
coming here or is still being considered for sale here - there seems to
be a lack of decision-making happening at this company, Micra being a
prime example (18 months have gone and still no firm confirmation it's
Also, why has their been no
medium car in
their range over the past 10 years or so? And then there's the
uncompetitive, fugly and ridiculously named Tiida - Nissan's 21st
century 120Y. Nissan sales in Australia will only keep falling while
Thanks for the email C.B., and I must say that I too have been
puzzling over why the Micra never came out in Australia. It
have given the Japanese marque a Toyota Yaris rival, and word on the
street is that it's a great little car. On the flip side, the GT-R will
be coming here next year, so that's something to look forward to at
I am in the market for a new car.
Firstly, I have read the reviews on the Typhoon F6 and Mazda6
(I know I am comparing apples to oranges!) and found them very helpful
- you make it such a hard decision! Taking out fuel consumption as an
issue what would you suggest out of the two performance wise and is
there any other reviews in the ball park of these two types that you
suggest to read and how do they stack up against them?
for your time,
P.S. I am leaning towards the F6
Thanks for the letter Michael, and I'd say go for the F6, definitely.
Especially if fuel consumption isn't an issue. The Mazda6 MPS is a good
performance car, but not quite as sharp as the F6 Typhoon, and not
quite as rewarding to drive. However, with the price difference in
mind, it may be worth giving the Japanese car a test drive, just to be
comment on the Ford/Holden
review: when noting Ford's lack of design review you have to remember
that this is a Mk II and not the next model. Holden does
the same thing with its series II/III. It is purely a
and not a rebuild.
Ford did their rebuild with the BA and
minor upgrades with the BF.
What's better: Golf GTI or Mazda3 MPS or Ford XR5? How about resale
What's better? That's a difficult question. If you asked which was
quicker, we could identify the Mazda3 MPS straight away. Price wise?
The Ford Focus XR5 is the cheapest. As for best resale? The Golf GTI.
Hope it helps.
am having trouble with the air conditioning unit in my 2001 Mazda
Tribute 6-cylinder and would be happy to hear from anyone who may have
experienced troubles with their Mazda.
I read your article and viewed the pics on the new Nissan
coming out in 2008 in the US. It is a sharp new addition to their line.
But at the $85,000 price range there is a lot of entrenched
competition. Place a Porsche Cayman S next to it and, even
though I'm a
Nissan fan, I'll take the mid-engine Cayman S over the GT-R any day of
the week and save $25K to boot!
The price for the new GT-R will be much higher than the 350Z, and this
may well take it into Porsche territory as you suggest. That said, the
performance of this new car will be focus of plenty of discussion, and
the word on the street suggests that the high price will be well worth
it, with possible 8-cylinder power driving all four wheels. Will be a
Porsche killer though? Nissan hopes so, but let's wait and see...
guys. Re: your article on VW Jetta (July 06).
purchased my new TFSI Jetta in Feb 2006, one of the first in Sydney,
black with beige leather and all the options. Unfortunately after
18,000km and six trips back to dealer for a range of warranty
problems, mainly electronic sensors, and strutmounts and injectors and
megatronics unit in gearbox (yes that's what they replace when the car
can't decide on 1st or neutral when in traffic).
not flushed with excitement with my Jetta at times, but after trips to
Melbourne often and via Semore and Yea, if you know the road, the
problems disappear (at least until the next dash light comes on).
sure if you get feed back from owners but here's mine and I love the
Thanks for the feedback on the car Alan, and as yet I've not heard
problems occurring with the strutmounts. Interesting. How do you drive
it? To within inches of it's life? I know a guy who bought one with and
the DSG gearbox in his TFSI Jetta died because he slammed it too hard
for too long. He does drive rather forcefully, and he used the launch
control a lot (you turn ESP off, put the gearbox in 'S' sports mode,
push the brake pedal and the throttle together), and I think that
shagged it pretty good.
just wanted to comment on your review of the Ford
I just wanted to offer you some feedback on the Zetec from an owner
about the quality of Ford's service on this car. After being forced to
wait eight weeks for delivery (after being promised a car could be
found in a fortnight or so), we were delivered a Zetec in which the CD
player did not work.
It took four trips to the
dealer, for the
first three trips we were falsely assured the problem was fixed each
time, the fourth was to get the serial number, we were told a new CD
player would have to be brought from Europe, taking approximately 3
weeks. After three weeks we called Ford to find no action had been
taken. A week later we have finally been told that Ford Europe has no
correct CD players, and no ETA on when they will have more from the CD
We have had a car now for
months with no
CD player, and now we have been told it will be an indefinite wait till
it is fixed. All with the inconvenience of five trips to the dealer to
get it fixed. I do not know what is going on at Ford these days, but
beware, once they have your money they could not care less about
I'd appreciate it if you would warn
consumers that Ford Australia will sell you the European car without
any ability to support the vehicle locally. Your review was an
important source of information for us before buying, and we definitely
would not have bought from Ford had we known!
in reply to your Ralliart Colt versus Swift Sport
review, I read in your article that you said the rear seats in the
Ralliart are small. This must mean that you did not find the adjustable
lever? The rear seats in the Ralliart Colt actually slide forwards and
backwards, making the boot room and leg room smaller or larger.
girlfriend sat behind me in the passenger seat and said her comfort and
room was matched with my old 2004 Mazda2 (large rear - very roomy).
They slide backwards a significant amount and I was actually really
impressed with the amount of room in it.
Bit of a
weren't that impressed, I'm considering one at the moment, but I will
be doing some modifications. What do you think it needs? Lowering a tad?
Every now and then we screw up, and here we screwed up. I didn't
realise there was a lever that allowed the rear seats of the Colt to
move fore and aft, so I must also apologise to Ong Chen Yee. Sorry about that. It
wasn't so much that we weren't impressed with the Ralliart Colt - have
you read Chris Shumack's review?
- but that the Swift Sport was so much more affordable and
somewhat more rewarding to drive. As for modifications, I'd put bigger
rims on it and wider tyres for more grip, and yeah, I'd lower it too,
which would improve its centre of gravity and handling balance. If
money wasn't a big issue, I'd also chip the engine and add a freer
flowing exhaust to coax a few more kilowatts from the
you please advise if I will be eligible for the $1,000 rebate if I buy
a used car through a Ford dealership that has been fitted by the
company "gas research" who are a very well known company and LPG
supplier. The car is second hand and is both dual fuel fitted.
That's a good question Rob, and one that I don't know the answer to.
From memory I think the $1,000 rebate is for new cars only. I reckon
the people at the
AusIndustry Hotline will be able to help: try calling them on 13 28 46.
I'm considering having a gas fuel system installed on my 2002 Nissan
Pathfinder Ti. The main questions I have:
1) If installed
under the vehicle, will this significantly reduce the clearance height
of the undercarriage?
2) Options for
relocating the spare tyre?
3) Size of
Any recommendations on the subject or of any any installers in Canberra
(preferred) or Sydney?
Also if anyone knows of a
website where I can obtain some info on this subject, this would be
Thanks in advance,
G'day Trev. In answer to question one, I'm pretty sure that you're
ground clearance won't change dramatically, but approach and departure
angles may be reduced slightly with the addition of a 70 litre LPG
tank. Question two: relocating the spare tyre - whack it on the roof!
As for recommended installers, I can't help you there. Last time I went
to a mechanic was... About five years ago when I owned an immaculate
1979 XC Ford Falcon.
The letter sent on the 10/11/06
to the Motoring Channel.
I have a 2005 Mazda6 2.0L (Elegant model) and I live in South Africa.
My car has to date had the clutch replaced 4 times, which ultimately
puts me on my 5th clutch.
According to some
information which I
recently discovered, the problem could be related to the flywheel and
is something which is not looked at, as the technicians are not 100%
aware of this. According to the head of warranties at Ford Motor
Company South Africa it is possible that the flywheel becomes
and needs to be replaced.
Thanks for the response to the question E.H.C, and hopefully that sheds
some light on the issue for Cameron's high clutch burn rate.
have the 2003 Volkswagen Golf 1.6-litre petrol manual
model, white colour, and would have traded to the new model, but for
the appearance changes making the car look Japanese in the headlight
area, and also in the tail lights. I don't understand the idea of LED
lights being round in another shape of housing - it would be better to
have the led option filling the shape of the housing.
I think the appearance of the car is fine in certain colours. For
example, the dark metallic grey looks great. In the lighter colours,
the large expanse of bumper plastic in black looks incongruent and once
Regarding your review,
I think you might have pointed out that the lack of power isn't always
caused by it being a 1.6 as such, but perhaps caused by meeting
pollution control standards, which tends to take power.
my time again, I would get the less fuel efficient 2.0-litre model, as
I find people tend to not tolerate slowly accelerating cars. In
Australia I mean. In parts of Europe, I'm sure it would be a different
Just read your test on the BF
XR8 utility. Take delivery this week with options
that you suggested - 18-inch wheels, hardtop, Momo, leather.
made mention of an exhaust upgrade and a chip. Do you have any
suggestions as to who is supplying the chip and who fits the exhausts.
Any thoughts on cost??
Bernie, hope your ute is treating you well. In terms of the exhausts
and chips, I'm not quite sure exact prices, but you should be able to
get a chip for a few hundred dollars, though the exhaust will be more.
Generally speaking, you get what you pay for, so if you got the cheap,
you may be disappointed. Go to CAPA's website and check their tuning shop pages - they have
plenty of Ford tuners that should be able to help you out, and CAPA
does a lot of supercharging stuff too.
I am interested in Accord Euro Luxury. However, I found a lot of people
complain about "drifting to right". Here is the link to the forum. It seems that the problem
happens on 17-inch wheels with stock tyres (Bridgestone RE040).
of these people have done everything that you can imagine (eg. contact
dealer, contact Honda Australia, rotate tyres, wheel alignment, etc.)
- Are you aware about this problem or have you
heard someone tell you about this?
- Does this mean that the
tyre or Accord Euro Luxury (or both) are crap?
- Is that right
that high-performance low profile tyre doesn't last very long? (eg. it
won't last up to 60k - 70k kms)
I am now in doubt
about buying an Accord Euro Luxury. Probably should buy the standard
Euro. What do you think?
Thanks for your attention,
Thanks for the email Rusmin, and that's the first I've heard about it.
It could be something impossibly difficult to rectify, such as the
engine is slightly heavier on the right side of the car. I didn't
experience this problem on the Accord Euro models I tested, but I have
experienced it once or twice on other cars, though only mildly. It
could be a tyre problem, but I doubt it - the Bridgestone
RE040s are pretty good rubbers. In answer to your second question, I
don't think the Accord Euro Luxury or the tyres are crap and these
could be isolated cases. And yes, you're quite correct, high
performance tyres with low profiles have less longevity than everyday
tyres. There's less rubber there, and often there made of a softer
compound to improve grip, plus there's a lot more power
being exerted on them as they're normally fitted to high power cars. I
have a friend who owns a 2002 HSV GTS, and he
has to change his rear tyres every 15,000kms (though he is a burnout
was wondering if anyone knows somewhere in Sydney that is able to do a
LPG conversion on a 1997 Subaru Impreza RX Hatch (automatic)? I live on
the Northern Beaches.
am thinking about buying
the Ford Territory TS. I was wrapped in this vehicle until I read some
bad reports on the Internet. A lot were suggesting stay right away from
this car.What is your opinion on the TS?
- D. Sutherland
Oh, the Internet. The source of all evil according to
some... We've spent lots of time in various Territory models
at the Motoring Channel, and generally speaking they are good cars. I'm
not impressed with fuel economy - something a diesel engine would
remedy - but otherwise there's not a great deal to complain
If someone was suggesting to 'stay right away from this car' I would be
checking this persons credentials (does he/she work for
The Territory is a good car, represented by class-leading sales every
month, and numerous accolades to boot. We reckon it's a solid car, but
I'd suggest making up your own mind by taking one for a test drive.
Re: Ralliart Colt versus Swift Sport.
First of all, I think the review is seriously flawed. The rear seat
space of the Swift Sport is so small compared to the Ralliart Colt.
Being a new Ralliart Colt owner and for someone who seriously
considered the Swift Sport before, I have sat in both numerous of times.
if the reviewer actually knew how to do a math calculation, he/she
would have known that the Ralliart Colt ends up with a higher average
Thanks for the email Ong. I think you're being a little unfair by
branding the review "seriously flawed" by suggesting the rear seat room
description is wrong. Even if Paul did make this cock-up, I
think the review would become "seriously flawed" as a result. If he
called the car 4WD when it is clearly not, maybe then.
must disagree with your position on rear seat room. I helped Paul
conduct the comparo (which was great fun, I must admit)
rear seat room in the Colt is less than the Swift. Of course, this also
depends on how far back you push the front seats, but generally
speaking the Colt had less room. We had the cars sitting there side by
side in a parking lot and compared them as directly as is humanly
the overall score of any car we review is not always the total sum of
the four sections. A car could score four out of five in all four
sub-sections (drive, engine, exterior, interior) but may only get a
3.5/5 overall score. Sometimes there are nuances in a car that cannot
be quantified in these sections - such as price - yet make a large
bearing on how the car scores overall.
Do you plan on doing a review of
the HSV Astra VXR any time soon?
Thanks for the email Lewis, and at this stage we have not booked the
HSV Astra VXR in for a road test. We have requested the new HSV GTS
with its magnetic ride control for a review in 2007, so we'll try and
get the VXR on the books as well.
read with interest your comment that the MY07 WRX will be limited to
cosmetic changes. That surprises me just a tad. If
report is correct, I hope that Subaru changes their mind.
Given that the likes of the Ford
XR5 and the Mazda 3 MPS have heaps of kilowatts and 6-speed
gear boxes, I've been expecting Subaru to increase WRX power and add a
6th gear. A sixth gear would be quite handy for open road
and fuel economy, the latter being a focal point for many buyers in the
You make a good point about an extra cog in the gearbox Peter, as it
would improve open road fuel economy on the turbocharged Impreza WRX
models. I spoke to Subaru's Melbourne PR representatives and they told
me the MY07 would get minor cosmetic changes, but no mechanical
upgrades. The STI model has a 6-speed gearbox, but it costs an extra
$17,000 and forgoes a smoother ride for a more performance
oriented suspension set up.
I was just inquiring if the Lamborghini
Murcielago LP640 was A) coming to
Australia and B)
if so, is it street legal - can it be registered? Look forward to your
Thanks for the email Carl. There's already a handful of these cars
getting around in Australia, having been imported via official channels
(such as Lamborghini dealerships), and yes, they are street legal. They
cost $658,883 plus on road costs, and I reckon that insurance may cost
a bit extra, too.
Hi all. I bought a Mazda 3 Maxx
Sport for my wife. Since new, I
found the air-conditioning was inadequate on hot days; the air
temperature is not cool at all. We owned other cars such as the Toyota
Camry, Ford laser, Magna and Falcon, and we never experienced this.
vehicle had been back to the dealer two times and it is still the same.
Wonder if any of Mazda's people discovered this?
Can someone please tell me why the
is not brought into Australia? Given our love of rear wheel
drive cars why would this not be a success? Nissan
has a prime chance to be a mainstream competitor again with this car
and get away from being a low-volume niche player in Australia.
- T. Noske
Unfortunately I cannot answer your question Mr. Noske. But can relate
to you on this - I really like the new Skyline, and the new
engine powering the rear wheels sounds like a very nice piece of kit.
There's always the option of a grey import if you're desperate for one
of these beauties, but all the red tape that goes with private car
importation can be wearing.
To the Editor: about your comment
on 4WD fuel economy.
stop filling people's heads with rubbish, it gets too many people on
the bandwagon. There are thirsty 4WDs and cars surprisingly! Print some
real figures so people can make up their own minds. I bought a 1991
patrol to convert to gas at $4,100 before the rebate. I still think its
worth helping the environment. 14.0L per 100kms is good for a brick.
Thanks for the email, and I disagree that I'm filling people's heads
with rubbish. I like 4WDs, I enjoy heading down fire tracks in the bush
and whatnot, but do you seriously believe that it's not just a little
bit excessive to see a single 75kg human using a gas-guzzling 2300kg
vehicle driving through the city in peak hour traffic? Using so much
metal and weight and engine power to shift one human is excessive and
environmentally irresponsible in my opinion.
40 years time, we may look back on such instances with a sense of irony
- who knows? Maybe I am completely wrong, but I'm not knocking
believe car pooling is a far more sensible option -- for all types of
passenger cars, not just 4WDs.
I've read Peter's review
and I'm pleased with it, as on Wednesday Nov 1st my husband and I took
delivery of a gorgeous harvest yellow Nissan Tiida. I must say it took
me a little bit to get used to it after driving a Nissan Skyline for
nine years, but it's getting easier everyday. We got the auto, so I am
happy that you like that over the manual. Anyway, all is going well we
shall be happy to keep her for a very long time.
Thanks for the email Anne, and we've had a lot of emails about the new
Tiida - and everyone seems to be talking quite positively of their
purchases. Perhaps Nissan's small car will go on to create a legacy
like the Pulsar before it...
had a Golf IV GTI (2003) for about three years. This model,
the new ones, are made in South Africa. Problems started from day one.
Rattles, loose screws and bolts, bonnet out of alignment, side mirror
adjusting by itself...strange, noisy wipers, coughing engine and more.
for a so called prestige car? Hopefully the new models are
screwed together, but no thanks. Not for me. I now prefer my German
engineered cars made much closer to Germany.
the LPG conversion Government grant: Yes it is completely
discriminatory. Not only in regard to the new cars receiving a higher
grant, but why are vehicles subject to a salary sacrifice arrangement
ineligible, particularly when they are used for private use only??
have just been financially disadvantaged by $400, a non refundable
deposit, as I have only just found out that this is the case. Without
the grant, the cost of the conversion is prohibitive. Absolutely
Just read your review of the Volkswagen
think you have
understated the power of this car. I also have a Gen III V8 Calais in
the family and when comparing the takeoff speeds, the Jetta rips the V8
from 0-60 or 70km/h. The torque down low is more than
am a 100% V8 man myself, but this car is fast, very fast. Very humbling
the DSG gearbox does get lost sometimes, this
is why they give you the sports mode and Tiptronic. The S mode leaves
the gear in one or two gears below D letting you have a crack whenever
you need. Tiptronic is a breeze, when cornering it is much more highly
recommended. Choose the gear before or during the corner, let the box
its work, come out the other side pumping!
has also been put as a con on your review, the suspension is perfect!
Well I guess I am used to Holden's but it's not jiggly at all, well
maybe a bit, but its solid as.
the way, where is the test drive review of one of the new VEs? I have
been hanging out for a proper unbiased Wombat review.
Thanks for the email Grant. I agree with you that the TFSI Jetta is
quick - and the DSG makes it even more decisive at forcing it's 280Nm
of torque through the front wheels - but I'm afraid I have to disagree
with you on the suspension front. It's ride is far too rigid for
something that's being advertised as a vehicle with luxury aspirations.
Don't get me wrong, I love the fact that it's taught enough to hold a
very tight line through a corner, but I remember feeling many of the
bumps and lumps in the road coming through my seat when driven over
regards to the VE issue, we're testing our first model as I type, the
Omega, and I'll be aiming to have the review published by the end of
the month. I've driven it for a few days now, and I quite like it. But
I've yet to coax it through some tight corners, so we'll see if the
updated suspension system was worth the wait.
a year of research, test driving nearly every brand under the sun,
discussions with critics and the like I am down to a simple two car
Buy a Honda Accord Euro Luxury (auto)
for $46k driveaway, or wait until March '07 and get a Lexus IS250
Prestige Auto for $60k driveaway (with optional sunroof).
spoken with both dealers seriously, and have gone meticulously over
both vehicles. Both are probably their class leaders, but I'm probably
comparing apples and oranges here a bit. Of course the heart says
Lexus, the head says Honda. I guess my question is, is the IS250 a $14k
better car than the Honda?
telling me to go Lexus, family are saying Honda. Any ideas?
Cam, and thanks for the letter. In answer to the question "is
the IS250 a $14k better car than the Honda?", no it's not. The Honda is
a brilliant vehicle and has enough performance to keep the Lexus
honest. The new IS250 from Lexus is a great vehicle and you'll feel
more important when driving it, but in my opinion the only area it
beats the Honda is in its rear-wheel drive layout and luxury aspects.
Though the Honda is a rather prestigious-looking vehicle, inside and
out, the Lexus will make a bigger impression and, for some drivers,
such badge value is priceless. The Lexus may hold it's resale value
better and is a more involving drive, but I'd go with the
I have to agree with your write up
of the 380 VRX.
My family hired this car from Sale (Victoria) for a trip to Albury via
Mt Hotham and found it a great and responsive car to drive with plenty
of grip and power (just ask the Beemer driver who finally pulled over
to let us pass after mauling his bumper for 10km, and then proceeded to
fade in to the distance).
hired an auto model and found the transmission excellent to use in
sports mode. The car used on average over the 1300km 8.6L/100km.
Everyone looking for a sports sedan should drive one of these before
making up their mind.
It's unfortunate that the 380 is selling so poorly at the moment in
Australia, as it's one of the most enjoyable-to-drive FWD large sedans
on the market. I'm glad to hear someone else say it, so thanks for the
someone who bought his car #1 after reading your Accord
Euro reviews and is now looking to replace the motorbike with
a #2 car, I read your Civic Hybrid '06 review with great
thing that should be noted is that ESP (or VSA, DSC or however
choose to skin the cat) has been excluded from the Australian version.
It is standard in the European version.
find this quite disappointing, and I feel that Honda Australia deserves
to cop some flak for it.
with your [Holden Commodore SS]
review. I have an '05 SS. The brakes are shocking. They've done
18,000km and have been machined already - going to upgrade or sell it.
To Motoring Channel,
am on to my third clutch in a 2002 Mazda6
Luxury Sport - the last one only lasting 16mths/30,000km. While the
dealer assures me, in the nicest possible way, that it must be the way
I drive it, I am afraid I just don't get it.... I know I drive just
fine, this is the only manual car I have had with this clutch burn rate.
I the only one with this issue or are there a few other Mazda6 clutch
issues floating round?
G'day Cameron, and thanks for the email. That's an interesting issue
you've got there. Unfortunately I cannot shed any light on this issue,
but perhaps there's some readers out there who drive manual Mazda6s
that may or may not have experienced similar issues?
for your interesting road test of the Pajero. Do you think the
3.2-litre diesel is strong enough to pull a 16' to 18' off road
caravan? I'm looking for a 4WD for this purpose.
Hi there Alan. I reckon that the diesel Pajero could do it - it's got a
strong diesel motor - but bear in mind that the vehicle can only tow a
maximum of 2,500kg with a braked trailer, and 750kg with an unbraked
I have spent considerable
time trying to find a 7-seater vehicle where the third row splits (this
allows you to use half your boot space and still seat one child). This
vehicle must be AWD and able to tow a van. Territory and Kluger do not
split their third row seats.
Captiva has a very narrow second
row seat. The Honda MDX is the closest car but is $70k+ on the road...
Has anyone got any official pricing on the new Subaru Tribeca yet?
Thanks for the mail Stuart, and you've got a few choices. The Subaru
Tribeca range begins at $53,990, though the most affordable 7-seater
model asks $55,990. Alternatively there is the Hyundai Santa Fe -
petrol and diesel - that has twin folding 6th and 7th rear seats, and
the upcoming Citroen C4 Picasso is another cleverly packaged 7-seater
that may do the trick. Hope it helps.
the base model manual sedan version a month ago. Traded a (much
loved)1990 Telstar Ghia which had done 380,000kms (hence the upgrade).
purchased this car as a shopping trolley for my wife's 50th and needed
room for two growing kids, $15950 + on road from Yarra Valley Motors.
happy with car, but centre lap sash would be good. Also the engine is
flexible enough not to warrant 6-speeds, and there's a tendency to
change up too often/too soon. I find the engine slightly noisy at
highway speeds but this may reduce as the car runs in. Basically happy
with the "package", very good fuel economy and driveability. Great
have just read your reviews on the Lexus GS450h
(Road Test) and the Sydney Motor Show. I was really impressed with the
level of detail about all aspects of the Lexus and the unbiased (Holden
& Fords are the only good cars in Australia!!) account of the
Show. Both were very informative articles. Love your
wondering what you think about the decision to upgrade a 2001 Corolla
Ultima with just over 50,000kms to a 2006 Astra Diesel CDTi.
I've driven the Astra diesel, and I reckon it's a great car, and I
believe you'd be making a wise decision to change from petrol to diesel
in this instance. And the new Astra is a nice car too - just don't
choose the automatic diesel model. It's nasty compared to the
manual version. Or at least test drive both the manual and
models before you decide, because there's a huge difference.
booked my car in for gas conversion next month but a friend has
mentioned an interesting point. We have read the government will pay
back up to $2000
does this mean I may only get $500 dollars back as I have an older
car?? The gas conversion garage has told me I will be getting $2000
back, which means it would only cost me $300. But is this a sales pitch
- will we all get stung when the rebates actually come back to us?
Hello Kath. As far as I'm aware, the Feds won't scrimp on rebates. If
your conversion cost more than $2,000, you should get that much back.
Give the AusIndustry Hotline a call if you're concerned, as they're
well-versed in all things related to the LPG grants scheme - 13 28 46.
like your reviews. Very helpful and insightful. Well structured and
comprehensive presentation of the subject matter. On another note, any
ideas on if and when VW may bring in to Australia the V6 2.5-litre
Thanks for the email Grant. At present the only diesel Passat you can
get in Australia is the 103kW, 320Nm 2.0-litre diesel (with DSG). There
is very little chance that a larger diesel may come to Australia in the
Passat, as in Europe there aren't many diesels on offer above this
size. Audi, which is owned by VW, uses a 3.0-litre twin turbo
some models, and this could become an option, but would probably cost
too much to make a decent business case.
get sick to death of hearing
about the "Australian built" GM V6 in the Alfa 3.2. Read the Alfa
Website information on the 3.2 engine. The engine leaves Australia as
an unfinished rough caste block only and all the other bits (heads,
pistons, rods, cams assembly, etc.) and the engineering part of it are
designed and produced by Alfa.
for this intelligent and thoughtful web page. After having
hours on the Internet looking for information about the Hyundai Santa
I finally found everything that I needed in one well planned and
executed set of tests and subsequent write ups. Kudos indeed.
- Robert F. Arentz
anyone help me with any age restrictions on cars for the LPG
rebate? I have an HX 1977 Kingswood wagon which falls into the
category of an old car that the government wants to get off the road
due to pollution. Can these old cars receive the rebate or is
there a limit to the car age, i.e 1986 when unleaded became mandatory?
You've completely stumped me Tom, but that's a bloody good question
nevertheless. Okay, I've done a bit of research and it turns out there
are no barriers on the age, make or model of car that are eligible for
the LPG subsidy. There are four restrictions though:
be for private use
less than 3.5 tonnes
must be registered
Vehicle must not be on novated
lease or salary sacrifice
'77 Kingswood will be eligible for the rebate, but there are plenty of
particulars that must be adhered to in order to collect the rebate. One
of these is that you need two supporting documents to prove the LPG
conversion. An invoice and your car registration papers will suffice,
and the Government reckons the invoice must read "Paid in Full" with a
nil balance at the bottom. Processing the application forms and making
sure the documentation is correct takes about 10 working days, and
payment will usually be received soon after that. Hope it helps.
in the market to buy a small/medium 4X4, which is 3-4 years old and low
kms. Thinking of either Mazda Tribute, Ford Escape or Nissan X-Trail.
Maybe also Rav4.
Today I looked at and test drove a
Limited, V6 with all extras (from dealer yard). The vehicle looks and
drives great, as far as I can say, but I'm not so savvy when
comes to 4X4s. Seems to be a very good deal as well.
friend mentioned that the Escape model had a few problems, but wasn't
sure what they were, I can't find info on that either. Would
anyone know what the problems pertain to?
I get an opinion on which of the above mentioned 4X4's would be the
safest, best performance car? I don't need it to bash around the bush,
just driving it in the hills and city. I really would
appreciate some opinions and comments.
Thank you very
Thanks for the mail Angela, and in response to your first question I've
not heard of any major problems. Then again, second hand cars are not
my forte - perhaps another reader has experienced troubles? The second
question in regards to what would be the safest and best performing,
it'd be a toss-up between the Mazda Tribute V6 and Ford Escape V6. Both
models are built on the same underpinning platform but the Mazda is the
more spirited performer. The Nissan X-Trail shouldn't be ignored either
- I'd give one a test drive to get a feel for it. It is a
4-cylindervehicle, but what slight performance you would lose to the
6-cylinder models would be a gain in fuel efficiency.
Thank you for the [Territory]
review! Do you know if Ford has any plans underway to address the
Territory's fuel efficiency problem by introducing a LPG gas system
that can be retro fitted?
G'day Reid. No word from Ford (yet) on official LPG systems for the
Territory. You could get a third party such as a local LPG mechanic to
do the conversion, and then you'd be eligible for the rebate scheme
too. Check out this website
for details on what Territory LPG conversion involves.
motoring website is excellent. It has plenty of good information, and
for as long as I can remember the website has never been down. Good
is the best car in the world. The people don't know what they're
talking about because I have a GT-R Skyline and is the best car and
fastest car in the world. Thank you.
- Nena B.
Interesting email Nena. I think many people would disagree with you on
your idea that the GT-R Skyline (R34 I'm assuming) is the 'best' and
'fastest', such as Ferrari drivers, and maybe Porsche drivers. Fact:
it's not the fastest production car in the world. And as for the best
car in the world, it's all subjective and is in the eye of the
beholder, but thanks for your thoughts.
can you please tell me when the LPG Conversion Rebate of up to $2,000
comes into effect? I paid $2,500 to have my Landcruiser 4WD
put on gas in February this year. Can I make any claim?
Thanks for the email Liesel. I hate to be bringer of bad news, but the
rebate only applies to conversions done on or after the 14th
of August 2006. Feel free to the AusIndustry Hotline a call, as they
are knowledgable on all things related to the LPG grants scheme - 13 28 46.
own a new Nissan Pathfinder 2.5-litre turbo diesel and am generally
pleased with my purchase. However the engine (I suspect turbo) has a
faint but annoying high pitched vibration noise from anywhere between
1500 - 2000rpm when accelerating under load, uphill etc.
few months ago a fellow Pathfinder owner approached me in a car park
and told me of his experience with a dodgy turbo on his car. He
explained that he had actually got Nissan Australia to confirm that
there was a problem with the turbo impellers on these model engines.
anyone else out there have any info on this issue as my local
dealership where I purchased the car "can't hear a thing".
up the great
reviews guys. Are you going to review the new VE Holden Commodores and
SS range soon? I would value your opinion RE: all the hype.
Thanks for the plaudit Greg, and yes, we've got some new VE Commodore
models booked in for road testing before year's end, and they include
the SS V, Calais V and entry-level Omega at this stage. I've
not driven one, but am quite excited about giving the SS V a good
thrashing, and with any luck we'll be lining them up against Ford's new
MkII BF Falcon for some good old fashioned comparo action.
LPG subsidy plan is discriminatory because not all car owners can
cannot because my car is not 'suitable for conversion' according to the
two conversion companies in Hobart. The car in question is a 2.0-litre
VW Golf. Apparently equipment is not available for this car.
Government should be making other options available to those that cant
use the LPG scheme ... i.e. subsidised petrol and/or subsidised
The situation is similar to the HIBIS
subsidy scheme: Telstra was obliged to provide ISDN service to those
that could not get Broadband, and if they could not provide ISDN,
consumers were eligible for the full satellite subsidy.So we have a
precedent for anti discrimination rules.
think the Federal Government's offer to motorists to convert to LPG is
a bit unfair to the motorists who have already converted to LPG way
before this offer. I have been using LPG for twenty years now, and
there are a lot of others too. Therefore we should get something in
read bits of people's letters, particularly about Gas Conversions.
find the whole gas conversion quite inequitable. Firstly, you
have a petrol guzzling car to get any benefit, cost and space wise
(imagine a gas tank in a Corolla or similar). Whatever
buying smarter, and focussing on smaller or mid-sized
diesel would be a better option but no rebate for that!
of us that are being smart, like the person buying the CDX Astra wagon
(the same size as a '63 EJ Holden wagon - used for families back then),
which ticks more boxes.
I too have ordered
a CDX Astra wagon, and was told
a similar story from the dealer - although Nov/Dec delivery, not
Jan/Feb. It will depend on your options - that person has probably
requested a manual, or a rarer colour as the editors
are some dealers with stock, especially autos. The good news
waiting until then you'll get a MY07 version, so resale value and
options will be better.
Thanks for the letter Dergy. You make some interesting points about the
LPG subsidy plan set up by the Government, and we can only hope that
the policy-makers and politicians out there have a read of
letters page to see what the people they have pledged to represent
really think about it. Time will reveal whether this LPG plan has
succeeded in reducing car emissions and costs to motorists, or whether
it was simply a waste of millions of tax dollars.
your Saad 9-3
Aero review; perhaps you should comment on the ever
downward spiralling re-sale value of the car as GM try to buy
market share and reduce their prices. I have had 36
independent faults and two re-calls with my Saab Aero in 3
years; both City Saab and Saab Australia say this is "within normal
limits" and are impossible to deal with. Endless trips back to the
dealer. They refuse to acknowledge that it is a lemon -- perhaps this
is their expected standard??
Thanks for your thoughts Sloany, and it sounds like
your Saab had a few glitches. Thirty six faults? I don't like
the sound of that, and by the tone of your letter neither do you. I've
passed the letter on to Saab and they said they'd look in to
Hope it helps.
feel that we will be paying for the gas rebate in the way of increased
gas prices. I have a gas car and have seen how the gas price
went up at the same rate as petrol, and since then the petrol has come
down yet I still see the gas price remain at the higher cost.
has petrol come down to $1.10 per litre and gas is still $0.59c per
litre. I am convinced that gas users are subsidising this new gas
- VRX 35
greenhouse gas emissions are the focus of our Government's LPG
conversion scheme, why are business and fleet cars (like taxis)
excluded from susidies, knowing that a private family car runs
approximately 300 kilometres per week, and a taxi does about
I am just about to buy my first new car and am wondering if anyone can
tell me why the long wait? I am getting a Holden Astra CDX Wagon. The
dealer has told me it will be built in Germany in October and arrive in
Australia in January or February. Are there only shipments at
certain times of the year? Friends of mine had to wait 3 months for
their Corolla Levin wagon, but 5 months for mine seems a long time.
Thanks for the email Michelle, and though I'm no sailor, as I
understand it there are some gaps between container ships between
Europe and Australia. Or rather, they don't run as often as you'd
think. Five months does seem like a long time however, but
often this can happen with models that are finished in rare
colours, or have special accessories. I'd quiz your dealer for more
information on the subject, but you may just have to play the waiting
there, I have been sourcing information on the opportunity to
convert my car to LPG and have decided I would greatly benefit from it.
But no one seems to even be able to even give me a rough estimate when
the rebate is returned once its paid and fitted? Could you tell me?
Thanks for the email John, and the simple answer is that I have no idea
how long it takes for the rebates to arrive. I could hazard a guess,
but that wouldn't help anyone and may give you false expectations. Only
the bean counters in government departments know when you're rebate
will be delivered.
Web Wombat Motoring,
had inquiry into the LPG car gas conversions about the subsidies: does
the subsidy cover family cars or only the one? I.E. husband's
wife's car. I am hoping that I will get a reply, as I am anxious to
G'day Whitemagic. The $2,000 LPG rebate is a "one car per person"
scheme according to the government's spokespeople, so yes, both your
wife's and your car will be eligible for the rebate if you apply
separately. If you need more info on the LPG grants, try calling this
hotline: 13 28 46.
should not be fooled with German Engineering made in an outsourced
factory. Impressive at test drive and until 2,000km then
start. I had a MY03 Golf IV GTI (made in South Africa same as
model) for almost three years and it turned into a rattle box with over
12 warranty visits in the first 2 years. It only had 19,000km
I traded it and basically dumped the VW brand. Now I prefer my
German engineered car made closer to Germany.
Thanks for the email, and you make a valid point. Unfortunately not all
cars are equal, and because we only get to test the vehicles for around
seven days, it's hard to make longterm judgements on their reliability
or longevity. We drive 'em, and if they perform well we say so.
Furthermore, every car and motorcycle that rolls of a production line
is far from identical. I remember seeing dyno tests for two brand new,
never used VY Commodores and one developed 7kW more power than the
other. Sometimes it's a 'luck of the draw' thing and unfortunately
there are lemons out there.
do a lot of country kms, and are one of the few not brainwashed by the
"big country needs a big car" garbage. I currently drive a
Daihatsu Sirion (awesome car but getting old at 7 years and 250,000kms)
and was looking to replace it with something more comfortable and
I had in mind Fiat Grand Punto
1.3TDI, Citroen C4 Tdi or Polo TDI, and am interested in your opinion.
Thanks for the email Lagalles, and it sounds like you've taken good
care of your Sirion. Seven years and 250,000kms? Very impressive. As
for something newer, senior writer Damien Tomlinson has had hands-on
with the diesel Polo, and neither he nor Peter Maniatis nor myself has
tested the Fiat or the Citroen. The Polo is a rather tidy
performer, with impressive straight-line speed and incredible
economy - and according to Damien is quicker than Polo GTI. I've not
heard much about the Fiat Grand Punto, but the C4 is supposed
to be a very neat vehicle, with a long list of standard
and a solid diesel mill. I'd recommend calling up your Citroen and VW
dealers and organising a test drive, then you'll be able to gauge which
one best suits your needs. Hope it helps.
I have somewhat of a dilemma and I was hoping that you fellas at Web
Wombat would be able to help me out. The decision I have lies between
the Ford Focus Zetec and the Honda Civic VTi.
Ford employee I can get the Zetec for $22,500 + on-road costs. Which
car would you recommend I get?
am in my twenties and I appreciate a dynamic drive but I also want
serenity at times. I want the car to be the best all-rounder possible.
I am looking at a manual transmission.
You want the best all-rounder possible? I'd be leaning towards
Zetec Focus if I were you, because the price is very peachy,
performance wise the Zetec comes out on top, and is more adept at
cornering. It can also offer serenity if you need it, and though I have
nothing against the Civic - it's a very fine automobile - I reckon that
for less than $23k on the road the Zetec makes a lot of sense. Hope it
just read the report on the new Dodge Charger SRT8 Super Bee. Please
Chrysler Australia - import this vehicle. I will buy it, I don't care
how much! I have to beg just build me a Super Bee please.
I'm sure Chrysler's reading, but they've previously said that the
Charger won't make it to Australia unless demand in other right-hand
drive countries increases.
is a welcome opportunity, this is early days so the information is
still not available. My concern is of the initial cost of the gas
conversion to my older car. I am on a disability payment and rely
heavily on my car for day to day activities, thus I will not have a
spare $2,000 to make the conversion. Catch 22 or is there a way of
getting out of this loop?
- Pat M.
The only way to get the LPG conversion rebate is to provide a receipt
of the conversion work along with an application form, so in your case
it is indeed a catch 22. This is a really unfortunate situation and
many in the media have labelled the scheme as discriminatory,
your situation - sadly - is a case in point. I'd suggest
letter to Prime Minister John Howard outlining your concerns.
am looking to purchase the new VE Commodore SS or the BF XR6 Turbo. I
have owned a previous XR6T in which I was unhappy with quality issues
that you do not expect in a $45k car. I still liked the power and
comfort from the XR6T.
What would you suggest?
Thanks for the letter Melvie, and it sounds like you're ready to move
away from Ford due to the quality levels. If money is not an issue for
you, the new SS VE Commodore would be a great car to test drive. The
new VE architecture involves improved suspension and will offer similar
levels of comfort to the XR6 Turbo, but with more power
looks. Of course, if petrol costs are an issue I'd suggest sticking
with the Ford Falcon, as a 6.0-litre V8 will almost always be thirstier
than a 4.0-litre turbo L6. If you can wait until October, you can also
get a BF MkII Falcon XR6 Turbo, which will hopefully address some of
the quality issues you experienced. Hope it helps.
am happy with the LPG deal. But do you get the money before or after
To get the $2,000 rebate from the government you
have to pay for the conversion yourself, and then fill in an
application form and together with the receipt for the conversion work,
you can collect your tax-free grant at a Centrelink or Medicare office.
Any conversion done on or after the 14th of August 2006 is eligible for
the rebates cannot be collected until October the 1st, 2006,
application forms won't be available until September, and they too can
be collected at Centrelink or Medicare shop fronts.
There's also a number you can
call if you have any questions: AusIndustry Hotline - 13 28 46.
just like to write in about the new HSV range. As an owner and fan of
an E-Series Falcon I was amazed to see that HSV has taken the bold step
(and stepped on many toes no doubt) to use the words "E-Series" for its
new VE range.
I mean, do we now have to let these
guys into the E-Series club?
Well spotted Nic, and it could be another move by HSV/GM
raise the hackles on the backs of Ford owners and to keep the Holden vs
Ford conflict alive and well. As for the E-Series club, well, it
could end in tears...
In relation to the LPG article in the Motoring section:
rebate offered by the federal government is a red herring. They are
offering the subsidy now, but what will happen in 2011 when the fuel
excise is applied to LPG as well, all these LPG vehicles on the road
will assist in filling the government coffers. Is this rebate scheme
merely an investment in future government revenue?
research funding for the development of Bio-diesel?
cars are not
the noisy, smelly creatures they used to be, with European manufactures
like Mercedes-Benz manufacturing impressive performance cars that run
on diesel. Diesel is also cheaper and more environmentally friendly to
produce with a less complex refinery process, not to mention the
greater distances that can be travelled on one tank of diesel as
compared to ULP. As far as I am aware diesel engines can run on
bio-diesel blends with no or minimal conversion.
could be better than
driving around in a car that smells like your local fish and chip shop?
You make a good point about the LPG excise arriving in 2011 Mr Beggs,
and one that many drivers will find troubling. The second
makes about diesel and bio-diesel cars is also a valid one, as diesel
cars are becoming increasingly popular in Australia, with some models
just as efficient as the small sized Toyota and Honda hybrid models on
the market. The next few years are going to be very interesting
the month of July in 2011, an excise on LPG will begin. Users
begin paying an extra 2.5 cents a litre, which will
annually for five years, totalling a rise of 12.5 cents more per litre
after this time.
you please amend your review of the Ford
Focus XR5 Turbo. In the area of cons is listed 'No
ESP'. The XR5 Turbo comes standard with ESP and being such an important
safety feature could mislead people.
Okay Sneaky, fair call, I'll change the listing - my mistake.
the Focus has no ESP, but it's all in name. DSC, or dynamic stability
control, does pretty much the same thing as ESP, and apologies to
anyone who may have been mislead.
Having just bought a new TK Barina I was a tad horrified to
are simply Daewoos re-badged, but after reading Peter Maniatis'
(4/6/06) review I am a bit more at ease, as he suggests they are not
bad after all. I read another article on a different web site in which
the person was virtually saying it is rubbish, etc. etc., so I believe
have a big element of luck with cars new or old, so if you have any
info on this vehicle I would be happy to hear.
- A. Melling
Perth we have a number of hydrogen powered buses that have been in
service since 2004. You can watch the steam come out of their roofs as
they're driving - and no noxious emissions! I'm wondering why car
makers don't yet sell these hydrogen engines? This whole thing about
them being volatile and about to explode at any moment would seem to be
bull twang as these big buses have been going for years. What's the go?
When can I get myself a hydrogen car??
Good question Gonzo, and the rising price of oil and diminishing
supplies is solidifying the case for alternative fuel types in cars.
After all, when Earth's oil supplies run out, there'll still
millions of kilometres of road stretching across the globe, so it would
prove sensible to make use of this infrastructure. The
issue is a very complex one and not easily answered. I'm not fully
versed in the intricacies, but here's my take: The biggest issue at the
moment is not the hydrogen engines themselves - they are indeed a
reality and Ford has even started building them at one of its engine
plants in North America - the issue is the fuel. Or more precisely its
are two types of hydrogen propulsion systems to consider: fuel-cell
stacks, that mix hydrogen with oxygen to make electricity and power
electric motors, and the traditional internal combustion engine, with
pistons and crankshafts and whatnot that's powered by hydrogen. The
biggest problem scientists face with hydrogen is that it is a
at normal temperatures this makes storage a right royal pain in the
bum, and we'd need massive tanks to travel a short distance.
Compressing it is one answer, as is to liquefy it, but the latter takes
a lot of energy, and liquid hydrogen has a temperature of
-253ºC so storage tanks tend to be heavy and
the equivalent of a petrol station (a hydrogen filling station) to
store massive amounts of compressed hydrogen gas or liquid hydrogen
will be difficult, as will the transportation and transferral of the
stuff. And in a long winded way, I guess that partly explains why you
won't be driving a relatively affordable hydrogen powered car
anyone else would like to write in and comment on this topic, we'd love
to hear it -- or to tell me if my explanation is flawed.
considering buying a four-wheel drive so that I could travel with ease
and peace of mind. I am not looking at doing serious off roading but if
needed would the Ford Territory have any dramas?
Thanks for the mail Barry, and the Ford Territory doesn't have as much
ground clearance as something like the Toyota Landcruiser, but if you
chose the AWD version you'd find that it can tackle low level 4WD
tracks with ease. If you're not doing serious off roading, I reckon the
Territory would be fine.
Hi. Re: your review of the Mazda 6
sports hatch 13/12/05. You quoted
price as $40.910. Is that plus on road, dealer costs etc? Only recently
I went to check the car out and was quoted something like $47,000.
Frank (Perth, WA)
All the car prices we quote on the road tests are before all the on
road costs, statutory charges and all those extra costs. $47k sounds a
bit steep for stamp duty and the other associated costs... Maybe the
dealer slipped in a few extras? Hope it helps.
Hi, just replying to the Pathfinder
review: I own a R51 ST-L turbo diesel auto.
Points; Fuel economy is as stated
on windscreen around the 10L/100km around town and some highway driving
and down to around 8L/100km on highway. The motor is great, the car is
comfortable to drive around town and over long distances is even
better. Have fitted a P-BOX to it from Steinbauer and picked
up around 18% increase in power, which is really noticeable, without a
real change in economy.
Bad Points; Poor paintwork.
Ours is a
metallic silver and has particles in the paintwork throughout the
vehicle. The transmission has a shudder when in top gear and about to
change down at low revs (you need to put your boot into it to get it to
change and not shudder). The side pillar (drivers side) makes it hard
to look to your right when pulling out of a side street. Nissan has
said they will re-spray the vehicle but I'm not happy about having my
new vehicle stripped down, painted, smelling like a panel shop and put
back together, as they never go back the same.
several trips back to Nissan
they admitted they have a problem with the auto transmissions but don't
have an answer. I don't have one good word to say about Nissan's
customer service and would suggest you have a good look over any
Pathfinder you choose to purchase before handing over any money.
Note: Your letter certainly made for interesting reading
Stewart, and I'm sure Nissan will take heed of the issues you pointed
out. Since the Nissan turnaround in the last few years, after
Renault took over in 1999, costs were cut in many areas to make the
company profitable once again, and this could explain the drop in
quality. We were quite impressed with the Pathy, giving it three and a
half wombats, but as we don't get long-term testers, it's hard to gage
their long term viability, so thanks again for the letter, it's much
appreciated. You make an interesting point about the P-Box from
Steinbauer as well, which electronically alters the fuel injection
system. I've heard the little gadgets are quite reputable and
Steinbauer seems to be making lots of friends with the modules, and
your comments appear to back these up.
Three weeks ago I bought the Lexus
IS250 Prestige with a moon roof. Whilst I think it
is a beautiful car I am having awful difficulty getting used to driving
it. I have always had a large sedan and I guess this car is
completely different. I wonder if I am babying it - it seems to be slow
off the mark. Should I drive it hard on take off - what do you suggest?
Note: Thanks for the mail Del, and the IS250 is far from
slow, it's 8.4 second 0-100km/h time means it can be stirred into
action quite rapidly. I'm assuming you're driving the automatic model,
which is a bit slower than the manual and could explain it's slow-ish
take off. If you're in a hurry, give it a boot full, for sure, but in
and around the city it's really not worth it, as you'll drink lots of
fuel and probably end up stopping soon after as the next
traffic light looms.
often use an octane booster in my motorbike (about $15 or $20 at the
petrol station) which makes a big difference, and seeing as the Lexus
IS250 has a high 12.0:1 compression ratio you could try that as well
and it may make a small improvement, but be aware that when you stop
using it, you'll probably feel the difference.
Re: the VW Jetta review by Feann Torr.
What an excellent review! I'm just about to take delivery of the FSI
2.0 in a week or so and can't wait!
The new VE Commodore has landed. From
photos, it's not a vast change from the previous model and that's
probably a good marketing move. There are hints of the Vectra in its
styling. A handsome looking car.
the question on mine and likely many others' lips is, will there be a
diesel engine? With GM producing 19 new engines and gearboxes for 2007,
surely there's a diesel in there somewhere??
for your thoughts Philip, and that's indeed a valid question. Holden
hasn't addressed the fuel consumption issue with the new VE,
despite it's billion dollar investment. There is talk of a dual fuel
LPG version of the VE Commodore coming soon, but it seems as though
both Ford and GM Holden are not yet ready to drop an oil burner into
their large cars, which is quite odd considering the surge in
popularity they're experiencing in Oz. I have a sneaking suspicion
that Holden will develop a diesel motor for the Commodore part-way
through the VE's
life cycle, and if Holden does, Ford's hand will be forced as well.
Hi Feann, I
enjoyed reading your article on the Jetta FSI Turbo.
I have noticed the
Golf 2.0 FSI rides on 65 series tyres, whereas the Jetta 2.0 FSI's are
55. Does the difference in tyres give the standard Jetta a firmer ride
and maybe transmit more tyre noise into the cabin? And is there any
differences on the road between these two models.
would appreciate your comments. Ta,
- Shane Chislett
Shane, interesting question, and one that's got me scratching my bonce
in deep thought. To be perfectly honest, I don't remember either of the
naturally aspirated 2.0-litre Volkswagen's making much tyre noise when
cruising - they were rather quiet on the road. I think the Jetta may be
a tad firmer in terms of ride, but its much of a muchness really.
I can't decide between
a 2006 R1SP or an Aprillia RSV 1000 R. I owed an
'04 R1 and loved it, but sold it for family reasons. Now it's time for
a new bike and I'm trying to compare them. Does the R1 have
BREAK horsepower or standard engine horsepower, if not BHP then could
you please let me now.
R1SP model would be my choice because I'm a bit of a closet Yammy
fan (even though I ride a CBR6). That said, I remember talking to the
guys at Peter Stevens a few months ago about the R1SP and they reckoned
that the 30 or so models that were imported here from Japan were all
spoken for. If you can find one, get it, as it'll hold its value better
than than the standard Yamaha YZF R1. As for the 180 break horsepower,
all R1s get this
engine, but the R1SP is quicker because it's lighter than its donor
vehicle. As for the RSV 1000 R, you can't go wrong with the Italian
stuff really. It might be more expensive, but the street cred they have
over Japanese bikes is significant, and they're plenty quick too. Hope
Saw your comment about jumping
Turbo for the weekend. Wondered what your thoughts were? I'd been
tossing up between this and the XR5, but opted for the SRi after
driving them both. Nothing wrong with the XR5, but the SRi was more of
a complete package - in terms of looks (sexy as), equipment (an amazing
array of standard equip for a car in this price bracket) and
performance (I've just come out of a 200SX s15 and this is just as
punchy). Re: rear window - was an initial concern, but the amazing side
mirrors more than make up for this.
Glenn, my thoughts on the SRi Turbo are generally positive, as you may
discover in the upcoming review. Agreed - the look is very stylish, and
sitting on those massive 18-inch wheels certainly turns heads, as does
the coupe-ish profile. Performance wise, the Holden has less
than Ford's XR5, but is about 36kg lighter. Straight line acceleration
is fairly similar between the two, but the XR5 has a meatier mid-range,
whereas the Astra performs best closer to its redline. I think the
ultimate decision for most buyers will come down to brand
but like you said, equipment levels and looks will also play a
you road tested the new Ford
Turbo? I would apreciate a copy of the report and your comparison
aganist the WRX and Golf GTI.
I understand there
is a new WRX coming
out in Nov 2006. Kindly confirm.
I currently drive
a 1999 WRX (since
travelled 96K and with trouble free motoring. I am reviewing what new
car I would like to purchase. I am 59 and still enjoy driving
- Des Cusack
I have driven the Focus, and the review will be published soon, but I
can say that it's a very, very accomplished vehicle that raises the bar
in the hot hatch segment. It's not quite WRX quick, but it's not far
off, and I preferred it to the Golf GTI. To answer your other queries,
there will be an MY07 Subaru Impreza model arriving later in the year,
but changes will be minimal, to areas like interior trim, and
possibly new alloy wheels. The exterior will be the same as the current
MY06 models and it will be mechanically the same as well. It's well
giving one a test drive, and until then, here's the current 2006 model
Hi there, I love your motoring site,
offers plenty of information and feedback. I currently drive a Mazda3
however I have a new addition to the family and find very had to fit
everything in the car especially when travelling down to Canberra. I'm
a bit confused; the petrol prices these days are concerning and I just
don't know whether to buy a Lancer wagon VRX or a Mitsubishi 380. They
are both good cars but the V6 consumption worries me. At the same time
I would like some power behind the wheels.
would you recommend?
Thanks for the mail Ben. I would recommend the Lancer wagon VRX. The
new models have the larger 2.4-litre engine, and the increased
torque levels give the car a surprising amount of shunt. They
smaller engines and a lighter kerb weight than the 380, and if fuel
consumption is crucial to you, the Lancer would be a better option.
Hi. I was wondering why can't auto
dramatically reduce the weight of modern cars? This would reduce fuel
comsumption greatly. The FJ Holden was made of very heavy metal panels
(virtually no plastic) and weighed about 1000kgs.
cars are mostly plastic and a
Ford Fairmont weighs nearly 1800kgs. 4X4s are even worse. Why??
- John McRae
of the biggest differences between cars that were around between in the
'60s and '70s and today's vehicles is the technology. Your FJ Holden is
indeed very light compared to today's large cars, but FJ was basically
a frame, sheet metal, some seats, an engine and some wheels. Today,
cars come with DSC, ABS, ESP, airbags, electric windows and mirrors,
400 watt 11 speaker CD stereos, heated leather seats with 16-way
electric adjustments, DVD players, and the list goes on. It's the
technology that adds a lot of weight, but there are other
Large capacity engine - a 6.0-litre Holden V8 for instance - are often
incredibly heavy, and you almost
never a see a new model that's smaller than its precursor. Even small
cars are getting larger.
most modern cars are incorporating more and more plastic bodywork in
lieu of metal, yet they aren't getting lighter, and the metals
that are being used are getting thinner and lighter. Even so, the above
points and improving occupant protection (side intrusion
members etc) tend to add to the weight of cars. Simply put, the cars of
yesteryear were incredibly simple, with few features, whereas today
people expect to get electric windows and proximity parking
sensors, and that adds weight.
What's the verdict - XR5 vs Golf GTI?
The Ford's cheaper, but is the Golf better?
quick, agile. The Golf
anti corrosion warranty (I don't have a garage). Which one is
likely to be more reliable/stay in one piece longer?
Good question John, and one that many people want answered. To put it
bluntly, the XR5. That's my quick 'personal' opinion. The Focus XR5 is
cheaper, a quicker car through a corner with a more lustrous engine,
which I'll detail in the road test soon. I like the look better, and it
sounds ace, so that's why I'm opting for the XR5. Sadly for those
people wanting a definite winner, it's not as simple as that, as both
cars are incredibly good, separated by a Persian cats whisker.
Agreed, the Golf has slightly better build
quality and if you
don't have a garage I'd say go with the Volkswagen, and it will
probably retain its value better as well, and also drinks less fuel.
But for sheer thrills, I'm leaning towards the Ford. Hope it helps.
Hi! Enjoyed reading your reviews of
Astra CD Coupe and SRi Turbo. I've just got the CDX Coupe - a real joy
to drive, love the comfy heated leather 8-way adjustable seats,
6-stacker CD in dash system and 16-inch alloys. The interior is
soothingly low-key and minimalist, though some of the dash controls are
set too low. It hasn't got the front fog lights and curtain
airbags that the latest CDX has, but no big deal. Poor rear
visibility is a small price to pay for sleek coupe style.
think it's the best/sexiest
hatch style, right up there with the Alfa Romeo Brera and forthcoming
Audi Shooting Brake. And honestly, it looks way better than
Ford Focus. Got a creaky steering wheel issue after 6600 kms but other
than that, build quality is high and definitely better than the
previous Polish-built model. Wish my budget extended to the
SRi Turbo and the soon to be released HSV VRX, but the CDX drives fine
on the 92kW offered by the 1.8-litre engine. The 16-inch
provide good roadholding and extra stability when cornering at speed.
Had some problems initially getting used to the drive by wire
electronic throttle - learnt to rev harder when starting from first
Anyway, love your reviews, so keep it
Thanks for the plaudit Nat, and glad you like the reviews we
publish. As for the new Astra SRi Turbo, I picked a black one
yesterday, and I must say it looks very stylish. I agree with your
comments on the coupe's sleek look (and with 18-inch wheels and a
bodykit it looks stunning!) and I have to say that your comment on the
view out the rear being "poor" is understating it a bit. It's like
looking through a keyhole... It's a very quick car nevertheless. But is
it better than the Focus XR5 Turbo and the VW Golf GTI? I should know
by about Sunday arvo once I've fanged it a bit more, so stay tuned.
The report on the diesel ST Nissan
Patrol was most interesting. However, can you please advise if there
will be a road test on the ST-L 4.0-litre petrol Pathfinder in the near
future? I will be looking to purchase a "Pathy" in approx. 12 months
time and have started to do my homework.
also be towing a 17'6" caravan
weighing approx 1650kg. Provided it is feasible, I will be intending to
convert the vehicle to LPG.
Glad you liked the road test Wayne, but sadly we're not looking at
reviewing the petrol version of the Pathfinder at this stage. That
have been in a friend's petrol-powered Pathy and it's got mumbo,
no doubt about that. It's quicker than the 2.5-litre diesel model, but
I actually preferred the beefy bottom end of the diesel engine more.
Even so, the petrol model would have no trouble towing a 1650kg
caravan, though you may lose a touch of power when converting it to
I'm looking for a replacement for my 2003 Ford Escape XLS V6. The
current state of fuel prices is making driving my car an expensive
task.So far I'm down to a short list of the Holden Astra CDX, Mazda3
Maxx and the next generation Hyundai Elantra.
do you think? I'm open to any
I live about 12km out of town, and
make about two return trips a day. The 12km trip into town is a
highway, but I do quite a deal of city driving as well.
G'day Deb, and thanks for the email. I'd warrant there's plenty of
people in your situation who are considering trading their current
vehicle for something more frugal. Of the three you mention, the Astra
jumps out at me, largely because it's the only one of the three I've
driven, but despite the unfortunate bias, it is a very nice car to
drive, and kindly on the hip pocket too. Though we haven't
yet (we will soon), the new Astra diesel would be well worth checking
out, as would a number of other small diesel offerings, such as the VW
Golf and Peugeot 307. Diesel-powered small cars are becoming
increasingly popular with private buyers, and I would strongly suggest
you test drive one of them alongside the petrol-powered models you are
considering, as you may be surprised by their refinement.
RE: the Lexus IS250. It's a fine thing
to drive, but what's the point of a 4-seater which will not accommodate
two adults in the back for anything more than a shopping
trip? And ditto the GS300, with zero rear headroom.
are you testing the Alfa 159,
said also to be the best thing in this price range in o/s tests?
Thanks for the letter Robin, and you make a good point. There's not a
great deal of room back there in the IS250, but the same goes for
almost all other vehicles in its class. If you're planning on driving
big people around, it'd best to get something longer, such as a 5
Series BMW or E-Class Merc. As for an Alfa Romeo 159 road test, we've
not booked anything yet.
Loved the detailed Ford
Territory report! It would be great to know if there is any
info on the towing ability/capacity of the 2WD to tow an 1800kg boat.
- Gerald Glover
Hi Gerald, and thanks for the email. The 2WD Territory can tow a 750kg
trailer without brakes, and if your trailer has a braking system, this
rises to 1600kg. However, you should be able to tow your boat with a
braked trailer and Ford's optional heavy duty towpack and load
levelling kit, which enables a very useful 2300kg braked
there. I recently took delivery of
a TK Barina and I love it. I've owned heaps of cars of various shapes
and sizes and this is the best "entry" level vehicle I've ever
had. The many articles that I've read are less than flattering
and many of the criticisms are absurd.
of this genuine bargain are
not particularly interested in it's technology or lack
there-of. I wanted a safe, economical and reliable car, able
to take me to work and propel me along paved highways at the speed
limit. I generally do not have passengers although I have
spent 600 highway kilometres in it with two adult and one child
passenger. One rear seat had to be sacrificed as we had two
large suitcases, and the remainder of the back seat was a little
squashed, but the car did everything asked of it.
article described the car very
fairly, and I think it competes very well with the other entry level
vehicles. The reason I picked the TK were in agreement with
your findings, however I doubt that disc brakes would provide any
advantage over drum rear brakes, in this case. I did pay extra
for ABS, by the way.
- Daniel Harcourt
I have had two Subaru WRX's
in the past six years and am now considering the XR5 Focus
as an alternative, as the lease on my current MY03 expires in
approximately two weeks. But I do wonder whether or not the DSC system
in the XR5 along with the lack of all paw grip will honestly allow it
to be as good in the handling department as the new WRX with it's
all-paw ability. Can you please offer your thoughts on this even though
they have not had a back to back comparo yet?
- Derek, Launceston
Thanks for the email Derek, and having driven both the MY06 WRX and the
new XR5 I can say that the WRX would offer better grip. But not by a
country mile. Though the turbocharged 5-cylinder Focus lacks AWD, it
comes with fatter tyres and feels very secure on the road, giving the
driver loads of confidence. During the launch we drove through hail
storms and some really shitty weather, and none of the XR5's slipped
off the road. When it was dry, I pushed fairly hard and the DSC only
kicked in once, which says a lot about the chassis balance. Your best
bet is to test drive one of the XR5's, but that could be easier said
than done, as most of the Australian deliveries are being snapped up by
enthusiastic buyers fairly quickly.
I concur with everything said in the
[380 VRX] review, although not sure I understand rear end squat. I
drive the first release VRX and am very happy with it. Prior to this I
had a BA II XR6. The 380 is much better from the drivers perspective.
Yes you would expect a sports car to be lower profile. The tyres on the
XR6 were more impressive, and even the Aurion, yet to be released will
have the market accepted rear wing.
niggly thing to me is the rear
boot access. It might carry a lot, but will have to limit the
dimensions of the cases you try and fit in. Another feature I
particularly liked about the XR6 was the automatic light sensors which
would turn the headlights on when lighting was too dim. But did I
already say, it drives better than my XR6?
mentioned in the review is that this is the only one of the three
referred to which has climate control as standard. Also I don't know if
this is unique or not but the computer screen in the middle console can
be used to programme certain preferences e.g. single or double click to
unlock all the doors; sound or no sound, as in other security systems,
and even how long you want the lights to remain on for after turning
the engine off, amongst other options.
380 has also been recognised as Australia's most secure locally
manufactured car. The 380 scored 74.5 to clearly beat Commodore with
59.5, Falcon with 57.5, Nissan Maxima with 51.5, Camry with 58.0 and
Avalon with 57.0.
Thanks for the site. It is very
Thanks for the email David. You make a lot of good points about the
380, which in my opinion is an underrated car. Okay, so by rear end
squat I mean that the car's rear drops down, and the car's front end
pitches up as the car accelerates hard. Put the 380 in first gear, dial
in about 3500rpm and ease out the clutch, as you quickly feed in full
throttle. Our test car's rear end tended to 'squat' whenever we took
I've just tested the Audi A3 2.0 FSI
they didn't have the 2.0T FSI quattro. I was wondering what it was
like? The 2.0 was good for a small car (I have a 1994, 5.0-litre
Statesman) but the handling was great for just a FWD car. The
size and therefore the safety for my wife and son worry me. Should
Any other info on the A3 or A4 1.8T
quattro's would be greatly appreciated.
Writer's Note: The Europeans are kicking goals all over the
market, combining style, quality, safety and refinement, and they're
progressing on the all-important cost factor as well. This is putting
pressure on the Asian brands as people realise that a "car for the
missus" doesn't have to be a Corolla or a Rio.
A3 is a beaut little car, but there is a sizeable difference between
the FWD and quattro models, so I would urge you to try one out. There
will be a cost premium for the all-wheel-drive system, so do your sums.
As far as safety goes, a quick airbag count should put your mind at
ease. These cars have lots of passive safety systems, such as emergency
braking assistance, ABS etc, so if - heaven forbid - your
wife prangs it, she'll be a lot safer in the Audi than many others. My
recommendation? Buy with confidence.
current Nissan Pathfinder, would you consider it an appropriate vehicle
for towing say a Jayco Destiny (Outback option) Pop Top van over a two
to three year stint, principally on made (though often unsealed) roads,
For ease of use, we are
looking at the Auto diesel version.
Note: Neil, thankyou very much for
your enquiry. In my opinion the current Nissan Pathfinder is a very capable four-wheel drive
and would be the sort of vehicle that would be more than adequate for your
three year trek. The auto diesel version would be my first option as well - it's a very
willing performer with loads of bottom end torque. I don't think you'll
be disappointed with the PathFinder.
Nissan GT-R looks like an ugly Mustang. Why take an elegant automobile
like the G35 and stuff it with steroids? Just lean it out....keep it
subtle and add horsepower.
Thanks for the email, and you make a valid point. Honestly
though, Nissan could probably use a 1964 Cedric body shell and
GT-R would still sell like hotcakes, such is it's reputation. We hear
that Carlos Ghosn (Nissan's head honcho) is a big fan of the Motoring
Channel, so there's a good chance he'll read this and heed the advice
of the people who intend on purchasing what should rival the
looked at the Aurion Sportivo concept and I love it. I hope it becomes
a reality with a supercharged V6 with AWD. Toyota really needs to get
out of the 'cardigan' image with a sports sedan that can make its mark
against the XR6 Falcon and similar cars.
seriously see the new Aurion is going to squash the 380 into the
ground. Sure the 380 is a nice car but no one really wants them.
work on the Audi S4 - good review. I doubt I'll ever get to
one of those fancy-schmancy cars, but I got a good mental idea of what
it's like. Keep up the slick work people!
knows how the Aurion Toyota will turn out but people are hard on the
Avalon... I found it limousine-luxurious to drive, quick, so quiet,
comfortable. The only fault was a degree of instability on corrugations
and accelerating while cornering.
I'm hoping the
Aurion will have some of the great qualities of the Avalon.
it's Kayley here, I'm a 19 year old chick whom of which owns a 1976
Holden Torana and I love it - not as much as your new Torana. It's
great. I love it!
just found your excellent website. Congratulations on layout and
I thought I would share with your readers
some important information that may save a life. If new tyres
are bought in pairs, they must be fitted to the rear for safety
reasons. Whatever your tyre dealer might tell you, insist that your new
tyres are fitted to the rear.
website: Where do I install new tires if I only buy two?
you're replacing only two tires, be sure to have them installed on your
vehicle's rear axle. New tires will provide better grip than your
half-worn tires and when they are installed on the rear that helps
reduce the potential for your vehicle to fishtail or hydroplane in wet
There is an interesting clip
on this page. Thank you.
Aurion looks a very fine vehicle - its specifications
show it to be equally impressive and it will kill off the reasonable
Mitsubishi 380. However I doubt it will be a volume seller: the trend
is against large cars. Toyota should have concentrated on the new, much
better looking Camry and included a 3.5-litre V6.
drive a proper 4WD and will stay with it as these present vehicles
cannot survive off road or out of the metropolitan areas. I challange
your test drivers to a week with me at the wheel and them in the
passenger seat, I do not think it would survive the first trip as I can
gaurantee hitting at least one large kangaroo. That would be the end of
that vehicle as it does not appear to have any frontal impact
protection for the vehicle and how about chassis rails, are there any?
detailed technical reply is what I an requesting , not some academic
waffle about safety.
Thanks for the email. I understand you want a detailed technical reply,
but it's rather difficult when you have left out some critical details
- such as the 4WD vehicle you are talking about. When it comes to
kangaroos though, I agree they're tough marsupials (nothing on wombats
though). My brother hit one riding his Yamaha 600 Fazer from Sydney to
Melbourne and it destroyed the bike. And his foot.
any one know what Nissan Australia is up to?
Australia has introduced several new cars (Murano, Tiida, Pathfinder,
New Navara) in the last couple of months. In spite of these new models
Nissan sales in Australia have been on the back foot. Murano and
Pathfinder have been quite successful in the US with Americans not
getting enough. But are these cars really expected to give Nissan the
volume it needs to achieve the top importer position? No, I can't
understand how Nissan would expect this.
Tiida has done well in Japan. But in Australia Tiida sales have been at
only 50% of targets set by Nissan. But when you look at the Tiida
models offered to Australia, it appears Nissan has done some serious
cost cutting and to keep up their profit margin. For example
Tiida Q (top of the line) offers drum brakes - something that has
become obsolete over time.. I compare this to my 2003 Corolla (basic
model) that offers disk brakes on all four wheels. Also the tyres on
Tiida look shockingly ugly and there is no climate control in Tiida Q -
the models sold in Japan do.
Nissan seems to have
forgotten their built brand when it relied to Pulsars to drive its
sales in the past.
Looks like Nissan sales in
spite of all new models will slip below Honda - goes to show we want
value for money.
Toyota Aurion will finally kill the dud Mitsubishi 380.
chance you guys are going to do a review of the BMW
K1200R? I'm interested to see how this machine
goes. Looks bloody awesome if you ask me.
G'day Scott. Unfortunately we're not reviewing motorbikes at this
stage, but it's something we've always wanted to do at the Motoring
Channel (and to pit a few bikes vs cars too!). As for the K1200R, it's
a big departure for the usually conservative BMW brand, with a
radical street bike style and a pumping 120kW engine.
ask Nissan why they advertise the 350Z as 287hp on the fly [wheel].
It's supposed to have 238hp at the wheels, but it
cats, and a cold air intake, all new, just to get 230hp at the rear
wheels. What a rip.
really like the new Aurion Sportivo concept as it has extra grunt, new
look and a new name. I own a 2005 model Camry Sportivo V6 and its
really fun to drive. But the only disadvantage about the driving feel
and power is the car being front wheel drive.
really hope that the new Aurion Sportivo turns out to be rear wheel
drive as they are talking about challenging Ford and Holden performance
vehicles. Having 250kW+ engine with a front wheel drive would create
lots of torque steer and also create a disaster in sales and opinions.
I hope it is rear wheel drive and provides a 6-speed manual.
review: very informative, detailed and well written.
You answered all the questions for me: I had a 285 HSV and
didn't think it was a responsible car (too much fuel) and I now have
the [XR6] turbo six - my first Ford. It's great, just needs a bit more
power and better suspension, but is amazing how fast it is in 3rd gear
and has instant acceleration as well ... Conquered an HSV last week on
the highway: from 100k I was three lengths in front and still in 3rd at
just writing in to say that this article (Road
Test: FPV F6 Typhoon, 22/Feb/2006) has been one of
the best I
have read about the Typhoon ('Phoon) yet! Good job. One thing that
wasn't realised during the testing is that this vehicle comes already
with 245 (40/ZR18) tyres and not the 235s commented on in the article.
Maybe it was all the wheelspin that made the writer believe that they
were smaller! Anyway, would love to hear more feedback on this
vehicle with future tests.
Go the Phoon! (Oh, if you
hadn't realised by now I already own one, a 6-speed manual. Great fun
- George Banos
Glad you liked the review George - I thoroughly enjoyed reviewing it. I
always find it surprising to see what the local Aussie
doing these days. 550Nm? That's big league torque and no mistake and
would give many European V8s a good run. As for the tyre issue, you're
quite right - my mistake. But I still reckon it needs more
the rear, either via stickier or wider tyres (or even
Road Test was really well written and in just about every way, I think
highly accurate. However there is one thing that continually irks me
with your Road Tests on Japanese Cars, and that is the comment that
"the Plastics are very good but not quite up to the best European cars".
experience as a person who has owned European cars and examined most of
the late European car interiors is that the plastics are of fairly poor
quality (have you see the latest BMW's?) and that Honda and Subaru in
particular have far superior quality to any of the European cars that I
European Brands in many cases offer
through the steering and a bit more character, but they have a long way
to go before they can match the Japanese for quality. Otherwise - good
Note: Fair call Mark - and I agree that some of the
new BMW's do leave a little to be desired
in the dash plastics department. At the same token, I stand by my
comments. I believe that Vehicle's built by Audi - and some of
French marques too - make use of better quality interior
than the majority of the Japanese automakers.
recent review on the Golf GTi failed to point out the 11 month waiting
list, this was originally 6 months when I ordered. Not only has this
put a sour note on it all but I am left pondering how you could rate
this car so highly when no one is able to get one for so long.
recent review on the Golf GTi failed to point out the 11 month waiting
list, this was originally 6 months when I ordered. Not only has this
put a sour note on it all but I am left pondering how you could rate
this car so highly when no one is able to get one for so long.
was left standing jaw to the ground when they told me my new car was so
far out of reach. I instead settled for the Sportline [Golf] which I
now regret. The Climate control is plagued with problems, the car was
less-than-new when purchased and VW Australia sold a similar car to the
one I ordered as a second hand item to one of the dealers now offering
it for less than the car I had ordered originally.
happy at all.
I am going back to Holden or
Mini as soon as I can sort out the bodywork issues on this new car of
Denzil (Denzil Bourne, 13/2/06), those "rickshaws" don't wallow around
on the road and send you to sleep while driving. The "sporty"
suspension setup of the current Camry Sportivo can't hope to match with
its Falcon and Commodore siblings. Nose diving, pitching and rolling
through corners isn't awfully inspiring. And that interior! Pretty
I hope Toyota Oz's coming efforts are a
bit more pleasing to the eye and touch than their previous ones; if the
American Avalon is anything to go by, I think that the Aurion may be a
nice car to drive however.
- Kanishka Bandara
asked for comments on the Aurion - from my perpective it looks very
promising: well proportioned, clean and modern with no jarring
angles (like the present Camry). I agree the sportivo has hints of the
XR8 - a good looking car from most angles - but more modern as you
would expect, especially from the side.
quality, the superb new V6 and 6-speed auto, well-sorted local
suspension and lots of goodies, it should be more than a match for the
Commodore and Falcon, although we all know rusted on Falcodore fans
would buy a rickshaw with a Holden or Ford badge before a
if it looks good (unlike the Avalon) and it is good (like the underated
Avalon but better in every sense) it should do well over
will be looking very closely when my lease runs out at the end of this
a Zetec [Focus] for two months and no problem. It's wonderfull from
inside and out. I love the extra power in traffic, but it's a really
magic car as soon you push it - no delay in power.
there any way to make my 2004 F4i look like a 600RR? Can I buy the
plastic and tail pipe and bolt it on or do I have to get a shop to do
it. I like the lines better and the pipe but want to keep my bike
'cause its paid for...
Note: Thanks for the letter, and I
have to admit that I looked into the same issue with my carburetted
1999 Honda CBR600F4 a few years ago. It is "doable" according to some
of the aftermarket guys I spoke to, but it will be a pain in the ass
and probably cost you a pretty penny. And yeah, unless you're good at
plastic welding, you'd probably need to go to a garage to get it done.
is Honda Australia thinking? I have read that the new 2006 European
styled Civic will not be coming to Australia. The European Civic would
sell like hotcakes in Australia. The US-styled model will not - it's
The Accord Euro is a perfect example: look at
the sales success of the Euro compared to the unattractive US styled
Accord. Australians also prefer the Japanese built Hondas over the Thai
cars (even if they are cheaper). Bring the European styled,
Japanese-built Civic to Australia.
- John McRae
for the email John, and I should point out that the European-styled
Civic is in fact built in England, not Japan. I spoke to the guys at
Honda this morning and they say that the Euro Civic is being considered
for Australia, but is unlikely to make it here in the short term future
as it would cost the consumer about $35,000 at this stage in time.
Was very interested to read Damien's critique of the Ti Nissan
(28/04/05). I have the Ti-L model and am disappointed with the amount
of "textured plastic" in the interior also. I have replied to Nissan's
PR company's survey of new Nissan owners and commented that leather
should have been included on the top interior door moulds.
have not heard back from them and find this disconcerting as some reply
should be expected such as "we have passed your concern on to the
Also, I have found it very poor PR for
Nissan not to have a "Contact Us" link on their website to hear
directly from those concerned motorists who have criticisms or bouquets
to deliver. Perhaps Damien may be able to let me know why the Maxima
has a reputation of poor trade-in value.
for your letter. Unfortunately I fear the concerns you have are becoming more and more prevalent
in modern cars, especially in competitive segments. As for resale values,
they are usually relative to new-car sales, i.e. if a car isn't popular in
showrooms, that will be reflected in demand in the second-hand market.
Oversupply can also dampen resale performance, and this is the case for cars
servicing the fleet and car-rental markets (Commodores, Falcons etc).
Do you plan to test drive the Lexus IS250? I would really like
to see how it handles compared to the BMW 3 series.
Thanks for the email Anon, and yes, Damo will be driving the IS250
next month, so we should have some real world impressions for you
sometime in March.
Hi, my name is Craig Lefebour, and I am your biggest fan. I am
in love with the Lancer Evolution VII to the IX. My dad bought a Lancer
2004, ES (GSR) look a like. And i just love it, he said that he will
give it to me for my 21st birthday, and in replace I have to buy him a
car. So I am on the look out for a car. Please help me as I think the
Outlander will suit him.
Thank you for your
- Craig Lefebour
Thanks for dropping us a line Craig, and I'm with you on the Evo thing
- I reckon they're incredible performance cars too. Interesting story:
we were to take delivery of an Evo IX a few weeks ago, but
somehow the gearbox lost 6th gear. Anyway, we'll be
soon enough, and as for your father's replacement car, the
Outlander is an underrated vehicle and would fit the bill quite nicely.
Hyundai's new Tuscon could be a worth a look too - maybe organise a
test drive with your dealer and see what you think.
Recently Holden added the TT36 Torana to their show room at
Fishermens Bend [Melbourne]. I've fallen in love and nearly run off the
road each day I pass on my way to work. I can't take my eyes off that
My heart races, mongrel stirs and brow
sweats. I'd sell my left nut and virgin sister to own that car. Holden,
what are you waiting for? Your customers are like hungry wolves. Start
pumping out that mad sexy machine and you'll have them howling.
What, no Camry reviews? You appear overcome with talking up
the second rate offerings from Ford and Holden.
Toyota V6 from the eighties is a far sweeter engine than anything
produced by the above over three decades: wake up and drive a real
value for the buck reliable performance car.
Senior Writer's Note: I made
reference to a Camry in my review of the Audi A8.
The Camry is far and away the ugliest car in the family segment, and it
generally can't compete with the other V6s in the market, except on
Comment on Nissan Maxima:
I have recently purchased
(21/12/05) an ST-L. I agree with the review there is too much hard
plastic, especially the grey on the back of the front leather seats. At
least make it black. Carpets also.
The pockets in
the rear of the front seats are useless, as is the sunglass holder as
curved sunglasses will not fit in. Not enough storage pockets and not
The brushed aluminium on the dash
reflects sunlight into the drivers and passengers eyes when travelling
in the middle of the day. Transmission kicks down too readily on cruise
control, and it needs fog light protectors. I had one broken on second
day ($357.00 ea)
I would like to know what sort of price one should pay for an
'05 plated XT Forester. They don't seem to want to do much dealing, is
this normal for Subaru? Is it a good thing?
Editor's Note: Subaru dealers are
rumoured to be tight operators - and I suppose they can afford to be in
some respects. Their vehicles have a high desirability rating. I
remember when my mother bought a Forester a few years ago and she
thought that she was a real wheeler-dealer. She ended up getting
virtually no saving.
Your note about being low in the
pecking order for test cars back on Nov 2, 2005, underestimates your
sites reputation and pulling-power. If I was a car manufacturer, Web
Wombat would be very high on my list of reviewers.
for one find your reviews on par or superior in terms of information
(trusted opinions especially) and photos to what I read in the
newspapers and established motor magazines like Wheels (one of my other
favourites) and Motor.
When I was researching for
my next car and got the Ford BF XR6 Turbo, the Internet was my primary
source of information, in particular your two BA XR6T reviews. Then
came motor mags and finally, having honed in on what I wanted, test
drives came next because they took the most effort carry out.
So, Internet is king as far as I'm concerned. Thanks for your
advice over the years!
Note: Top stuff Gary - we really appreciate it. Glad you like
our words, and hopefully 2006 will be yet another great year for all
involved. Thanks again!
Thank you for the very comprehensive [Golf GTI] review.
I have a Golf GTI with satellite navigation on order. I have
heard that the satellite navigation does not come with maps for the
country areas, only for major cities (eg. Sydney). Could you please let
me know if this is correct, and if so, who the supplier of the system
is so that I can make enquiries about updates for the maps.
Note: Thanks for the letter Harry. You are correct in hearing
that the original software wasn't up to scratch in the country. VW says
that it's digital maps did display major roads through rural areas, but
didn't have the detail when compared to city areas.
VW has introduced new software/maps in Golf models
(including the GTI) that we're led to believe should cover the entirety
of the Australian continent in detail, rural areas and all. If you have
a GTI on order, you should get the updated software, but it would pay
to call your dealer and double check nevertheless. Hope it helps.
I live north Carolina, USA. I found your article on the new Ford
Ute V-8 to be very informing. I've been a lover of this style
vehicle since we had the Ford Ranchero here. I only wish we could buy
the Ford Ute in the USA.
I currently own a 1995
Mustang GT coupe with a 5.0-litre engine. Lots of go in that engine and
especially in that car. I have added a cold air induction system, a
larger throttle body and mass air meter, off road X-pipe, and no
catalytic converters, as required on newer vehicles here in the states
for vehicle inspections. More fun than a person can have!!
addition we are able to see the series McLeod's Daughters (2003
episodes) on the WE satellite channel. I always enjoy seeing the Ford
utes in action.
Editor's Note: Thanks for the
email and it's great to hear from our American readers, who make up
about 15% of our overall readership. I've always been of the opinion
that Aussie V8 utes would strike a chord with American drivers, so it
was quite interesting to read your letter.
Just wanted to say that I have just fallen in love with the
Holden TT36 Torana hatch concept car! I want one!! I want to know when
they are gonna make them available to the general public - probably
never... I would happily go into debt for something as beautiful as
that!! Just thought I would let you know how I feel!!
Note: Thanks for the letter Cathy, and it's always good to
get feedback on what you guys like the best. Methinks that the TT36
concept may be relegated to 'dream car' for a while yet, but you never
know your luck in the big city...
Hi, I am a fan of Feann Torr's reviews and I'd really like him
to do a review of the new BF XR6T and BF F6 Typhoon side by side. On
Ford forum www.fordxr6turbo.com the guys are continuously wondering
whether they should go the T or the 'Phoon and whether the extra $$$
are worth it. Me personally, I'm just keen to read lurid Feann's
motorscript about the T because I recently took up a Silhouette BF XR6T
and absolutely love it.
Note: Gary, thanks for the letter - and cheers for the
plaudit. We're testing an F6 'Phoon in the new year and we'll look into
organising an XR6T at the same time, as it's the kind of test everyone
here (read: those passionate about performance cars) would love to see.
Hopefully we'll have the goods in the new year, but it'll be our first
F6 reviews as well, so either way it should be an interesting test. The
new look aero bodykit the F6 Typhoon looks very nice, and the boosted
power sounds good too - but is it worth the extra $14k? We'll find out
In regards to review: Road Test: BF Ford Falcon, 20/10/2005.
(1a) The review mentioned that one of the "Cons"
is fuel economy. Do you have any fuel figures for the
Ford BF XR6 mated with ZF 6 speed auto?
(1b) Official Ford figure is 10.2L per 100km
- which looks pretty good to me (can it be believed?).
(2) I've been looking at upgrading to a Mazda6
Classic, Honda Accord-Euro and now Ford BF XR6 with
ZF 6-speed auto.
(3) Extra room in the Ford is good.
The 6-speed auto is smooth (only had a short test drive).
Ford runs on ULP (others require PULP). Seats seem roomy
Thanks in advance,
Editor's Note: Thanks for mail Phill. In
answer to your questions: 1a) The fuel consumption
figures during our first drive of the various models
are not representative of everyday driving but (1b)
the 10.2L/100km is to be believed. The new 6-speed offers
particularly good fuel economy, even in the V8 models.
(2+3) All three cars you list there are highly
competent, and though the two Japanese models are smaller
inside and out and aren't as quick as the Falc, they
offer better fuel economy. If these three cars are your
final choices, I think you'll be very pleased with whichever
decision you make - neither of them are stinkers.
The distance from my home to work is 32 kilometres
(64km return), and with the completion of the Craigieburn
bypass (due in a couple of months), approximately 85%
of the distance to work will be done at highway speeds.
I was wandering what the fuel economy would be for the
new Falcon Fairmont Ghia 6- or 8-cylinder with the new
automatic 6-speed gearbox.
I've read reports that the gearing is quite high in
top gear, but I have only seen the combined fuel results.
Since most of my driving will be at highway speeds,
the larger engines might be near as economical as a
4-cylinder, which would be revving much higher at highway
speeds etc. If this is the case, I might be seriously
looking at upgrading to a large car rather than a smaller
I was hoping you or your readers may be able to help
with the following situation.
- Shane Chislett (Craigieburn)
I recently (March 2005) bought an XR6T 6-speed manual
mainly because it met most of my requirements but also
because of the praise that was bestowed upon it by the
motoring fraternity. However, I am amazed that nobody
has reported on the inherent problem the vehicle (manual)
has with "coasting fuel shut-off" and the
"variable cam timing" problems.
The net result of these so called "Characteristics"
causes the vehicle to exhibit a surging effect when
travelling on certain downhill (moderate) gradients,
particularly when in cruise control. I would appreciate
if you could inform me if you have experienced anything
like this with the BA MkII you test drove, if not, then
may be something to look out for when next to hop into
the BF XR6T.
- David Connolly
Editor's Note: Thanks for mail David, and
in the BA MkII I must say that I was not confronted
with this problem. We've spoken to a few people who
made mention of the issue, and will be testing the BF
XR6T (6-speed auto) before Christmas, so I'll be sure
to keep my senses alert for any such surging effects,
and I'll attempt to quiz the Ford white coats heads
too. Thanks again for the heads up.
Editor's Note #2: Turns out we're getting
the XR6 nat-atmo, not the turbo, so we'll have to wait
until 2006 before we can verify the surging effect.
After reading the Audi
S8 V10 article, all I can say is wow! I am
in love with it! Audi's great looks and a Lamborghini
engine: what a great combination. I'd sell my soul for
G'day again, (as this is the second time I've emailed
a comment on your Wombat motoring page).
I've just read your story on the German police Porsche
and noted the link to a web page for anyone who can
read German. There is a google link that translates
complete pages for those of us who are "language
challenged" (like me). The hyper link below is
the result of using the translator.
Keep up the great work on the motoring page for us
Please, please, please, please, please, please, please
Holden put the Torana TT36 into production - I want
that car, I need that car. It's sexy, sleek and perfect
- April OXOXOXO
Editor's Note: Thanks for the letter April.
We've had plenty of mail regarding the TT36, the majority
of which has been very positive. There hasn't been much
talk of the car recently, but dropping large car sales
in Australia could force Holden's hand into building
a homegrown medium-sizer along the lines of the Torana.
Loved the review on the new MkII Falcon XR6 Turbo.
Just one question though - didn't the new XR6 turbo
gain 5kW and 20Nm with the revised euro III emission
standards and increase to 245kW and 470Nm?
Keep up the good work!
- Luke G.
Editor's Note: Mr. G, thanks for the letter.
We always appreciate the feedback. The BA MkII Falcon
got a slight increase in power, but it's the brand-new
BF model (the 2006 if you like) that gets the big hike
in power (245kW/480Nm), and we're eagerly awaiting our
test car in December, so with any luck we'll have a
insightful review for you before the years up.
Hi, Just read your reviews of the Clio
Sport Cup and Golf
GTI DSG. Can't decide which one to buy? What would
you choose if you had the choice?
I have to commute a total of 100 kilometres per day
to work and back, not too many traffic lights, but plenty
of winding B-quality back roads. I travel from Montrose
to Thomastown via Mooroolbark, Croydon, Ringwood East,
Warrandyte, Research, Eltham, Greensborough, Bundoora
Any thoughts would be appreciated, and fuel economy
is important also. I currently own a manual 330ci BMW
which averages an amazing 9.5 litres per 100km on this
daily journey. However, I'm looking for something smaller,
lighter and more fun.
Editor's Note: Because you're currently driving
a Beemer, I'd suggest the Golf straight off the bat.
It's a bit quicker in a straight line, probably not
so agile through the corners as the little Renault,
but if you jumped from your 330ci into Clio you may
be left feeling a little dejected, while the Golf GTI
has a more luxurious interior and a bit more room as
well. Both cars run specially tuned 2.0-litre engines
yet the Clio is more fuel efficient of the two as it
weighs a lot less. Hope it helps.
Who can convert new Corvette cars from left to right
hand drive here?
- John Webster
Editor's Note: Thanks for the email John.
Tough ask, that one, but there are a number of places
that could help you, or at least point you in the right
direction. First, try Corvette Queensland (http://www.corvette.com.au/).
They have a pretty comprehensive outfit, while corvette.net.au
appear to convert older 'Vettes to RHD, but may know
someone who can help. Good luck mate.
The Golf GTI is fantastic. I just took delivery of
a DSG and will never look back.
Thank you for the VZ Calais review - I currently own
a phantom mica V6 VZ Calais and I love it. Now, in regard
to one of the letters talking about the BF Fairmont
Ghia: I just have to say, and I will say it very kindly,
get your head out of the sand.
I use to own a BA Futura and it was a nice enough car
but the fuel economy stank like a dead skunk. I find
my Calais just as quiet and refined as the current Falcons
and the fuel economy is very good. Although the lack
of rear window wiper is a worry. The VZ crap? Sounds
like one of the readers is biased with Ford.
This isnt exactly a newly released car. How about a
test of the BF Fairmont Ghia and Falcons. They have
just been released. The Falcon has more power, torque,
is more refined, more frugal, quieter than the VZ Calais
you are test driving and which was released about a
C'mon, I visit Web Wombat for unbiased reading, not
like the crap about the VZ Calais.
Editor's Note: The reason some of our road
tests are not published immediately on the launch of
the vehicles in question is that there is a certain
pecking order in the Australian motoring media circles,
and being a relative newcomer to the scene, and an online
entity, we're at the bottom of this pecking order. We're
also pretty lazy, so that contributes a bit.
In regard to your road test of the VZ Calais, I have
a few issues.
When discussing the cons of the car, the writer complained
about the lack of a rear windscreen wiper and the dash
being not being different enough to other Commodore
First, I see no reason to complain about the Calais
not being fitted with a rear windscreen wiper. This
is not something normally fitted on a sedan. I do not
know of a 4-door sedan that actually has a rear wiper.
Hatchbacks and wagons have them, and that's all very
fine, but sedans just don't, and that should not be
used to detract from the car.
As for the dash, it is in fact quite different to other
Commodore variants. The Executive and Acclaim has a
much more plain layout. The Calais' dash has a different
(and more elegant) font; the needles are chrome; the
rings of the gauges are chrome, and there are 3 reasonably
sized screens on the dash as opposed to the single on
one on other Commodore variants. Overall, it's far more
The Executive and Acclaim have very plain and basic
layouts, and the S and SS has a more endearing, sporting
layout with the gauges being colour coded with the exterior
colour. The only car that shares the dash with the Calais
is the Berlina. Also, you may note that the Statesman/Caprice
has a different dash layout as well.
Editor's Note: Thanks for the email - you
make some valid points there. I told Peter about the
critical mail we've been getting about his Calais review,
and he wrote some replies, which I cannot reproduce
here for reasons of propriety.
Hi there. I have read with interest the car review
Feann Torr did on the VW Golf GTI with DSG transmission
on 22/07/05. Are you able to inform me if the DSG transmission
in the GTI is the same or similar to the DSG transmission
in the Audi A3 Sportback Damien Tomlinson reviewed on
Damien gave the Audi DSG Transmission a glowing review
but as I cannot afford the $74K price tag for the Audi.
I am looking at the VW Golf GTI with DSG transmission.
Your response would be appreciated and keep up the good
work on your great website!
- Rob Grieve
Editor's Note: Thanks for the letter Rob.
Audi was purchased by VW in the 1970s and since then
the companies have been sharing more parts to cut costs
- and yes the DSG is a shared component, so the DSG
you get in the Audi A3 Sportback is the much the same
as the device as found in the Golf GTI.
Just wondering if you know much about the special Mitsubishi
Evo IX (it was black with extra bodybits, different
wheels huge exhaust) that was a the Sydney Motor Show?
I only had a quick glance and forgot to go back before
Editor's Note: What you saw at the 2005 AIAS
was an Evo IX tricked up with specialised Ralliart upgrades
from the works rally team, which span cosmetic, chassis
and powertrain components. For people thinking about
buying an Evo IX (we're getting our hands on one in
early 2006) there are specially appointed Ralliart/Mitsubishi
dealers who can help out in this respect. Some of these
items can be seen on the Ralliart
website. Hope it helps.
Comment on the new Mitsu 380.
When is Mitsubishi getting the balls to build a proper
RWD car? Okay, they offer the AWD in the late Magna
and apparently they are not going to offer AWD in the
new 380. Come on Mitsu, if you really want to fit in
between Holden and Ford build some RWD muscle cars.
Editor's Note: There's often idle chatter
about Mitsubishi Australia dropping a great big V8 engine
into one of its locally built vehicles and entering
the V8 Supercars championship (highly unlikely at this
stage, and something Ford and Holden would be keen to
quash anyway), but at the moment the company's Australian
fortunes hang on whether or not the 380 is a success.
Perhaps Mitsubishi doesn't have the balls to build a
proper RWD, but at the moment it's a more a case of
having the cash, rather than the cojones.
Hi Feann. Well I have to say the Nissan
GT-R Proto looks pretty damn awesome to me. When
Nissan showed off the GT-R Concept at the 2001 Tokyo
Motor Show I thought it had great promise, but the Proto
makes it look quite ugly and awkward in comparison.
The only possible criticism I could have of the design
is the large black grill and air intake at the front
which looks a little cheap and plastic. Apart from that
I can't wait until 2007 when Godzilla is once more unleashed.
What are your thoughts Feann?
Editor's Note: Thanks for the letter Ant,
and my thoughts? I pretty much agree with you. That
front section with its matte-like finish does look a
little cheap. I really like the slim headlight clusters
though, and rear end is traditional yet tough. The side
profile appeals to me a lot too, simply because it harks
back to the older R33 and R34 Skyline GT-Rs, and further
removes itself from the 350Z shape. It's also good to
see Nissan/Renault boss Carlos Ghosn sticking to his
word about releasing a global performance super coupe.
Can't wait to drive it!
Hi. You're one of the lucky few who've actually managed
to test drive the Golf GTi! My name is on the waiting
list and it should be coming in within a month or so.
I wanted to know your specific views about the DSG.
You said it was slick, but that you still preferred
the feel of the manual. Did the DSG make you feel like
you weren't entirely in control of the car? Did it ever
override your gear selection (e.g. because of over-revving)?
I've only been able to test drive a DSG in a diesel
VW - and I was sorely disappointed - but given that
the diesel is a much lower revver it's difficult to
tell how it might feel in the GTI.
At this stage, I've ordered a manual... It's not important
that I'm the fastest away from the lights. My driving
pleasure will be in taking this car out on the Great
Ocean Road and through the Dandenongs. So if it's driving
pleasure only that you're after, would you stick with
a manual with the GTI?
Thanks in advance,
Editor's Note: Yes, we've tested both the
DSG and the 6-speed manual model GTI, and I have to
say I prefer the old-fashioned gearbox with the clutch
pedal. You're right about the DSG being quicker - it's
shifts are lightning quick and it will be faster away
from the traffic lights than the manual, but I felt
much more in control in the manual model round corners,
and that's more important to me than straight line speed.
The DSG will hold gears if you ask it to, but for driving
pleasure it's got to be the manual.
Loved your very comprehensive review on the XR6 turbo
- well done. I own a 2004 HSV R8 and was beaten off
the lights by a XR6 Turbo. Does this surprise you? Is
the Ford the better/quicker car?
Look forward to your expert opinion.
- Greg Malham
Editor's Note: Glad you liked the review
- I enjoyed reviewing it! It doesn't surprise me greatly
that an XR6 Turbo beat an '04 Clubbie, as you need look
no further than the XR6 Turbos torque peak @ 2000rpm:
that's incredibly low and it's no wonder that the turbo
Ford is fast becoming the Aussie performance
sedan of choice. Of course, many owners have taken to
tuning their XR6Ts for more torque, so who knows what
your traffic light nemesis could have been packing?
As to being a better car - it depends. The HSV-tuned
suspension and the Commodore's lighter weight would
probably give it an edge through corners, so if straight
line speed isn't important as the car's agility, one
could conclude that a 2004 Clubsport R8 is better than
a stock standard Falcon XR6T. It's all very subjective.
Some drivers may prefer the feel of the heavier Ford
at the end of the day.
Hi. I just bought a GTI Golf 5 and it is damn amazing
- I look for the smallest excuse to take it for quick
spin. The review is exactly how I would describe it.
- Marcus N. (South Africa)
Commenting on the recent advertisement aired on Channel
10 for the Holden Astra. I am horrified that such a
thing would be allowed to be shown on TV at all, let
alone at this early hour. Disgusting and offensive.
Editor's Note: You must be referring to the
Holden Astra ads where the car's owners do their chores
in the nude. Generally the Holden marketing people do
a bang up job advertising their products to specific
buyers, but this is one exercise we've heard quite a
few complaints about.
I would just like to say that the guy who writes your
motoring reviews is a legend. He can truly explain each
and every car in words. Please pass this on to him.
- Max Kangur
A comment in response to mike Bond's (12/09) criticism
of the "380" name for the new Mitsubishi.
I understand that Mitsubishi did some serious market
polling to test response to the 380 tag and other suggested
names. The 380 had a very high acceptance level.
I didn't like too much of it either at first, but had
a rethink in realising that both BMW and Mercedes have
been doing it successfully for ever. BMW's 525, 323,
etc and Merc with 180, 230, 500 and so on.
Mike asks, "what if they change the engine size?"
Same applies - change the 380 to whatever fits the new
engine. Again BMW and Merc have used this policy for
years. If it works for them .... 'nuf said.
- Martin Valentine
E30 325i: Does one get a supercharger to bolt on or
- Def (South Africa)
Editor's Note: Supercharger all the way.
They're more often than not more expensive to setup,
but provide for a zero-lag power boost pretty much from
standstill, as there's no compressor/turbine that needs
to spool up like in a turbo system. Could shag your
engine quicker than normal, but forced induction is
Read your review of the SV6 Commodore, and agree with
you comments; I recently purchased a new SV6 (Auto),
find it to be a very good vehicle. It revs a little
hard at times, very good fuel economy (10.4L/100km):
would look at same motor in Crewman or Adventra for
next vehicle. I like the SS but it's too fuel hungry.
- West Shooter
Your comparison of the Odyssey and Grandis overlooks
a glaring ommission in the Honda: only a lap belt in
the 2nd row centre seat. This is both unbelievable and
unforgiveable in a MPV. No amount of airbags, ABS etc
can make up for the lack of this most basic of safety
features. Would you put your child in a lap belt?
Mitsubishi 380 is just plain slack. What do they do
if they change the engine size. They should have had
a SA name like Barossa 380, Adelaide 380 or Flinders
380. I like the name Mitsubishi Barossa 380. Still some
over paid marketing graduate has done their job and
used a computer program to select the name. It may be
better built but not better named.
- Mike Bond
Good article, but I think you've misprinted the RPM
at 100kms - should it be 2750, rather than 3750?
- Mick Kraus
Editor's Note: I thought it looked a little
odd at the time. But my notes indicate that was the
engine speed. And you can't argue with vague notes scrawled
on a napkin, can you? Seriously though, I use a voice
recorder when testing cars, and I can remember thinking
the same thing "That looks a bit rich".
Just read your review on the Ford Focus. Great article.
Just wondering though, does the focus really rev at
3750rpm at 100 km per hour. That amount of revs seems
quite high. Is the gearing really that short?
I look forward to your response and look forward to
your opinion when you road test the Nissan Murano.
Editor's Note: Glad you liked the article.
The tachometer read just under 3800rpm in 5th gear at
100km/h, this is true. It does seem a little short at
first glance, but when you're in the thing it's quiet
at that engine speed, and fuel consumption is pretty
good too if you whack it on cruise control. Here's the
gear ratios for the 5-speed manual model:
Final drive ratio: 4.06
My comments on the Monaro: well I cannot say much about
it, but as for the 2005 Pontiac GTO that was built by
the great people at Holden, I just purchased the GTO
and it is one spectacular car all around. Comfort, styling
and most of all performance. I'd have to say the best
part is it smokes the Ford Mustang and that's great.
My hat's off to all the people at Holden.
- DamYankee (America)
A comment on FPV Falcon V8:
I'm sure it's a nice car but I will never buy an 1800kg
vehicle that is so anti-social in its drinking habits.
There are plenty of exciting cars half a ton lighter
and two to three times more economical.
Its 2005, we're running out of oil and you guys should
use your leverage to educate us!
- S. Crocker
I'm looking to purchase a new Honda Euro or new model
5 cylinder Passat. What is your opinion?
Editor's Note: Tough call Brendan. We've
tested the Honda Accord Euro (twice) and firmly believe
it's one of the best mid-sized cars in Australia. It's
well built, and reliability? Second to none. Period.
We've tested the Passat, but not in its V5 form. The
Veedubs have better interiors and the V5 engines are
quite powerful for their capacity, but the Passat is
more expensive to service. If I was in your position
I'd go for the Honda, but neither are bad cars.
Just bringing back the Magna subject, does anyone find
it odd that a pretty much completely camouflaged 380
was running around, that looks a lot like its Galant
Maybe Mitsubishi is trying to throw the journos off.....
"You are all very strange people. Saying that
nicely I wouldn't touch nething (sic) to do with Europe
cars, I hate 4cyl (WRX) aswel as skylines, they r crap.
Whoever said Torana aren't good must have serious problems!
GM were smokin some good shit wen they made Toranas.
P.S. Fords R Gay.
As for Bob here..... Well, hasn't someone been under
a rock for a while?
It doesn't matter what Mitsubishi call their new car
- as long as it's not as dingo ugly as the last Magna,
and it's not front wheel drive. If it's either of those,
they might as well book in at Centrelink right now.
- Ace 600
I have searched everywhere for a report on the XR6
Turbo MkII with 6-speed box. Thankyou.
As an owner, December 2002 XR6T, slush box, I list
the issues as i see them.
1. weight & fuel consumption.
2. Soft dampers, float over bumps
3. delay in gear change "adaptive mode"
4. rear dampers worn out at 46,000km
5. absence of a foot rest for driver
A) reduce weight by 100kg,
B) install a drivers foot rest,
C) get some decent Bilstein dampers,
Then I would again buy an XR6T as it is a great touring
car as well as local run-about.
- D. Barrett
Editor's Note: Very interesting insights
Mr Barrett. We really have a lot of respect for the
XR6T here at the Motoring Channel, but one thing we
can't always evaluate in our seven day road tests are
the longterm durability and reliability aspects of these
cars, so thanks again for your findings.
and I selected the new Mitsubishi
Colt for its safety (apart
from all its other obvious
attractions). Most reviewers
do not mention that it was
designed at a time when
Mercedes was a shareholder
in Mitsubishi. Therefore
it has the safety cell of
the Smart Four Four.
specced model has window
airbags in addition to two
front puffers. We looked
at Honda and Mazda but were
taken with the newness of
the Colt. I'm amazed how
many editorial mentions
the Mazda2 gets for safety
when the Colt is never even
to the former's PR people.
The Colt is proving agile
and economical and I feel
quite content having my
kid out there in this hybrid
Jap/German saftey capsule.
Hi. Just reading
your article on the Torana
TT36 and was quite impressed
with the information you
researched and provided.
As an owner of a A9X I can
see the similarities between
the cars, however I'm disappointed
that they are trying to
make a 4-door (family) car
out of a coupe -- one of
its greatest claims to fame
was Brockies' win at Bathurst
by 6 laps to the second
car in 76/77... in an A9X.
The A9X or
LX/SS Toranas are to this
day one of the greatest
muscle cars to ever grace
our roads with their presence.
For G.M. to add shocking
white to the interior is
as you say, shocking to
the eye.. (even for a concept
car) love the sport gages/pedals
etc - true to the predecessor.
As for the motor (Holden
DO it again!!) what a beauty
- tweak that puppie up a
little and the ol' XR8s
might, I say might, be able
to keep up. The look of
the car in general is awesome
but is lacking a traditional
good solid kit and needs
to be lowered slightly.
The paint? Well ummmm, for
my lady maybe, but then,
I don't think she'd like
you need a paint analyst,
I'd be glad to help..
All in all
great car but I feel it
still needs work before
they have the right to label
it as a Torana (meaning
"to fly"), especially
the next A9X. Well that's
about it. Just had to have
my say on this one team.
Anyway great site keep up
Hi, I love
this pink Torana
and I really want one, so
please make it avaliable!!!
I garuntee I would buy one
if they where sold here!!!
Yummy!!!! Pink is Gr8!!!
Note: We'll let Holden
know how you feel - and
who knows, maybe it will
get built one day if there's
I think that
the name should have remaied
Magna; whatever the car
name it will not make it
more succesfull unless they
come up with something good.
And if it looks anything
like the American Galant,
Australian's will just walk
You are all
very strange people. Saying
that nicely I wouldn't touch
nething (sic) to do with
Europe cars, I hate 4cyl
(WRX) aswel as skylines,
they r crap. Whoever said
Torana aren't good must
have serious problems! GM
were smokin some good shit
wen they made Toranas.
too bad of a name for the
new 'Magna', however to
me it reminds me of Peugeot
and also what happens in
the future if they develop
a new engine that is a different
capacity? Will Mitsubishi
have to change the name
Great idea for what will
be a great car, with engineering
[Mitsubishi Australia CEO]
and his marketing department
need to be replaced. They
have always had excellent
product but their marketing
has always been a dissarray.
The 380 name
is definitely the wrong
choice and Australians wont
adapt to it, Galant or another
name would have been better.
Furthermore, brands with
numerical names have historically
failed. Unfortunately this
will certainly put the nail
in the coffin for Mitsubishi
That was a
great review on the MKII
GT. Well written and
a joy to read. I go to Warnambool
every month in my GT --
guess which road i'm taking
- GT Kat
The name for
the new Mitsubishi Magna
replacement is rather uncreative.
Although at the same times
it reminds me of the Mercedes
Benz 380 and it's very close
to the branding of the BMW
3 series. Sorry but I find
the name 380 not that great
- they could of come up
with something better and
a bit more individual for
a new car.
fine to me! In line with
Europe and Mazda. Though
they should consider the
number system for the full
local range if all gos well;
380 also lends its self
to 380ss, 380gt or 380sst
for turbo and so on.
- Jim Colligan
What a great
on the Grandis and Odyssey
- my wife and I are just
in process of chosing a
new car with 2 kids at school
and another on the way.
I'm concerned that both
these cars have 4-cycinders
- do they really have enough
Note: They both have
what I'd call 'satisfactory'
amounts of power, but I
think their respective gearboxes
do a very good job of making
the most our of the 120-odd
kilowatts. Take either one
for test drive and find
some steep hills to get
a good idea of how well
I'm not happy
at all with this new Dodge
Charger. 4 doors? Okay...
being a 2 door fastback
was one of the old Chargers
characteristics, and this
just goes against that.
This is just sedan of the
Magnum, and the exact equal
to a 300C, why has DaimlerChrysler
built 2 of the same car?
have built a Coupe to be
in competition with the
Pontiac GTO and Ford Mustang.
But on to
worse things, anyone seen
that Ford Fairlane Concept
made by Ford America? What
the hell is that!?! There's
already a Fairlane still
here in Australia, and that
thing is an SUV!
I think buyers
should design a car.
your article on the WR1.
I took delivery of mine
Sept '04 and have had an
amazing experience over
the last few months.
It is a truly
great car that can be lived
with on a day to day basis
as shown by the 8000+ miles
I have clocked so far! BTW,
those front fogs are driving
lamps and do they light
the road up!
TT36 concept. Love it.
Love it. 'Bout time an Aussie
6 was brought to the arena.
The interior needs work
but overall it's awesome.
- E Wells
has corrosive properties".
That's not true. But Methanol
has corrosive properties.
we use 5% Ethanol in all
gasoline. In next year probably
10%. We have also many flexifuel
cars (Ford Focus) using
E85 (85% Ethanol).
have converted my gasoline
car to run on E85. There's
no broblem at all using
E85. It reduces the emmisions
of fossil CO2 by 75 per
cent. My car is a Skoda
Felicia from year 2000.
Don't know if you have that
car model down under.
Evo VIII MR FQ400 looks
like it would be more than
a handful. Just don't let
those foolish teenagers
take one out. Though I like
the 'sharks teeth' styling
cue, are they large enough
to create a vortex? Methinks
they create more drool than
Love the site.
replaced the tyres on my
2001 Astra CD with a set
of 4 Toyo Transas Teo tyres,
and I want to share what
an improvement these tyres
have made compared to my
original Dunlop SP Sports
(195 x 60 x 15 inches).
The Toyo Teo
tyres were similarly priced
compared to the replacement
Goodyears. Not only does
my car handle
better than it did before,
but these new tyres have
reduced the previous road
/ tyre noise, enhanced steering
feel and the ride is now
much smoother & comfortable.
I didn't believe tyres alone
could make this much difference.
My car now feels a lot more
refined and tracks arrow
straight on freeways and
country roads travelling
- Shane Chislett
This is just
one big BITCH session. I
don't like the editor, and
I think that Kanishka has
some gender confusion.
the Best, the new alloy
tech V6 would kick any reject
to your roadtest of the
IS 200. Let's be serious
- this is an overpriced
2.0-litre purporting to
be a "sports"
model (albeit with luxury
trimmings). It makes the
BMW 318 look like a road
rocket. With a 0-100 time
of 11.2 seconds it's no
wonder it "sticks to
the road" - it's probably
gone to sleep!!!
with this model Lexus (and
to almost the same extent)
the Europeans - BMW 318
and Mercedes C180 - they
simply don't have enough
power to challenge their
Even "tongue in cheek"
you could hardly describe
any of them as "sporty"
- more a cheaper way of
getting Joe Average into
a "name brand".
I like the
road test of the Caprice
which I felt was impartial
and his shame: Clearly this
fool with the name Paul
has little/no knowledge
of motoring or motor vehicles.
clearly one of those people
who think that a BMW or
some other German marque
(or even Asian) means the
whole world. One reply I
can almost guarantee from
'Paul' is these cars have
wait for someone to say
it before I break their
hearts and crush any brain
matter left with the all-conquering
truth. It is definitely
time that people like 'Paul'
wake up and support home
grown heroes. When it comes
to performance vehicles,
cars pumped out by HSV can
wallop most Euros for a
fraction of the price. It
would be un-Australian to
not support the underdog,
who has risen to more expensive
Wake up! The
only thing rubbish is your
to the Motoring section
you should check your
facts before embarking
on a vituperative
diatribe about Mitsubishi
you know that they
are made in Australia?
have actually driven
a recent model Magna,
you would probably
find they are an excellent
touring vehicle -
right, they are economical.
I have been driving
mine up and down the
Pacific Goat Track
and getting 8.0L/100km.
Magnas are far better
than the dinosaur
technology that (until
very recently) plagued
the other local brands.
Good to see them catch
up, but it took an
awful long time.
Kanishka Bandara (16/11/04)
made some strong comments
on the the quality of
Australian roads. I
tend to agree. Australian
roads are crap compared
with European and even
American. I would think
Australia would have
used our European counterpart's
engineering to help
our roads become roads,
not a series of potholes.
I would like say to
all those rejects (Regular
Euro and Jap Crap Tossers)
out there leave the
poor Aussie cars alone.
This issue was first
addressed to me by Letter
to the Editor in Motor
Issue, 2004) stating
the Bull S*** Aussie
cars are left with.
car brands strike hard
to enter Aussie markets
advertising their new
tech, when Aussie cars
have it anyway and Euro
did it first. Magna
(quadtech and other
stuff) has been rated
one of the worst cars
to drive even with the
all wheel drive.
Australia, support your
HA HA HA
HA!!!!! I have never laughed
so hard so pathetic Holden
fans make me sick I hate
your crappy review so
there I am sending this
email in disgust.
holden fans are weird
'Oh look at me I'm a holden
fan lardy da da'
Note: Though I appreciate
your grammatical aptitude
Paul, I wonder which "crappy
review" in particular
you are talking about?
You give no reason for
such 'crappiness' and
I was hoping we could
clarify that. Good or
bad - we appreciate our
This is just
another act of bureaucracy
from the Bracks government.
As a 15 year-old,
my comments regarding motoring
and motor vehicles often
go unfounded or ignored
by others, but I hope WebWombat
can change that.
and decades, the Australian
Government, but moreover
the Victorian Government,
has been continually covering
up its complete stupidity.
The previous, and indeed
the current licensing system
simply teaches how to move
a one and a half tonne piece
of metal, glass and plastic
along a thing they call
road. This has spanned Australia's
motoring history and now
the Government has to try
and fix it.
you complete fool, wake
up to the world around you!
I can go on forever giving
you reasons why the roads
are such a mess with blood
of young drivers, and indeed
moron of a premier has to
do is to transfer funds
from his ever-so-precious
speed cameras and put it
into driver training. Many
people are worried about
not exceeding the speed
limit by 2 km/h that they
forget about the task at
take a visit to the local
newsagency and pick up a
copy of Motor and Wheels
magazine and hear the outcries
of such fellow motoring
keeps putting band-aid over
Band-Aid He cannot fix the
problem; he's simply not
smart or practical enough.
He's jeopardised Victorian
lives. Now he's on his way
to jeopardising its economy,
Australia's booming motor
industry, and the Australian
needs to find terra firma...speed
cameras don't save lives,
driver training does. When
I'm learning to drive, I
will make sure that I will
be doing exactly that...learning
on speedos was done in the
U.S. a number of years ago
- 85mph. It was done to
promote fuel economy. It
has been discontinued.
We must promote
driver education, not just
lame knee-jerk reactions
such as limiting speedos
that will miraculously stop
the speeding and road deaths.
clueless. Every one of his
are knee-jerk reactions
with little or no thought.
People will still go over
130 if they feel like it,
they just won't know how
much faster there going,
is that any safer?
speeds has had no effect
on injuries and death rates,
all it's achieved is creating
a larger speed difference
between individual cars,
some who follow the speed
and others that ignore it.
Under Bracks, all blame
has fallen on car drivers,
when a pedestrian is killed
they are usually somewhere
they shouldn't be, the road.
speed cameras and install
J-walking cameras, put some
responsibility on pedestrians.
Bracks has tried to punish
motorists in every way possible,
as long as it's easy and
makes easy money, but has
done nothing to raise the
bar on driver or pedestrian
education, or motorist attitudes.
is thrown out there will
be more lives lost and more
knee-jerk policies and "safety"
revenue raised by the Victorian
a politician tries to place
the blame for car accidents
on something other than
poor driver education. Getting
a license in Australia requires
little more than passing
the written test.
In some countries
(Germany for example) getting
a license requires that
you understand principles
such as defensive driving,
first aid, car maintenance
etc. and this basically
ensures that you understand
the responsibility that
comes with owning a vehicle.
In the wrong
hands a car is a deadly
machine and unfortunately
many people simply do not
understand this, which is
why we have so many unsafe
cars and drivers on the
road. It's not that they
are bad people it's just
they don't understand the
damage that can be done
to other people due to their
suggestion is merely another
attempt at a band-aid remedy
to a much bigger problem
which could only be addressed
with a total overhaul of
the licensing and registration
Andrew, I'm 17 and just
finishing high school. I've
recently heard about this
idea of speedos only displaying
speeds of up to 130km/h
for safety reasons.
I just have
to say that this is the
most absurd idea I think
I've heard for quite some
time. This will not reduce
speeding offences. The vehicles
will still be able to obtain
speeds well over 130km/h.
There is no evidence nor
reason to prove that this
method would work. It is
The only method
that could actually stop
speeding offences is to
manufacture cars that do
not exceed 100km/h. We all
know this is not possible
however, as manufacturers
would lose too much money.
Also because it would still
allow drivers to drive at
100km/h through 60 zones.
believe that this idea will
not take off, but if implemented,
would have no effect whatsoever.
note: I asked Jason Laird
from (General Motors) Holden
about the impact of the Victorian
Government's speedometer limiting
Holden would be
happy to implement any strategies
that will improve road safety.
However, these strategies would
obviously need to based on scientific
merit. Holden is not aware of
any research that indicates
maximum speed marking on speedo
influences driving behaviour.
There are several
reasons why speedometers are
marked in their current format
Parts of the Northern Territory
have no speed limit
There are different speed limits
in each State and Territory
Some vehicles are used for track
Export markets - 36,000 cars
Imported vehicles, especially
There is also
the issue of consistency because
there are already millions of
cars on our roads. This does
not mean for a second that any
manufacturer is encouraging
people to act outside the law,
nor does it mean that any of
these issues are insurmountable
in themselves. However, there
are many circumstances where
vehicles may be driven at speeds
in excess of 100km/h.
As an aside,
Holden is currently working
with Monash University to explore
the driving behaviours of three
different groups - inexperienced,
experienced and old drivers
- to investigate causes of accidents.
- Jason Laird
(National Manager Media Relations,
How stupid to retrict
speedo meters to 130km/h. Who would
want that? Why don't they just ban
cars off the roads? If one has the
money to afford a Porsche or an
Aston Martin, I don't see why they
would want one of those cars to
be limited to 130km/h.
I reckon then that
Australia should only sell 3-cylinder
cars that can barely reach 100km/h.
Or simply ban all
cars from our roads...
Do you know if VW will
bring in a Passat TDi wagon? If so,
when? What about pricing? Start digging
please and add your "pressure"
to the pack so this far away little
land actually does get an fair go at
some decent motors.
- Keith P.
Editor's Note: Volkswagen's
people say they can't rule it out, but
that it's best not to hold your breath.
Though we road tested the TDi
Passat sedan, even this vehicle
is not yet available to Australian buyers.
However, if VW Australia sells truck
loads of its new diesel powered Golfs
and demand for the increasingly advanced
oil burners builds, the chances of a
TDi Passat wagon coming here will improve
with the new model cycle. But again,
don't hold your breath.
I would appreciate other reader's comments
on the new Honda
Accord, mid-to-large size BMWs and the
latest Toyota Camry.
Is it just me or are these
slab-sided monsters some of the ugliest
cars ever produced? It appears that they
haven't been removed from their packing
crates. Their glass areas have been reduced
adding to the box-like appearance. Is this
change for changes sake? It certainly can't
have any aerodynamic efficiency! Appreciate
- Ray M.
Hi. I've just purchased a new
VZ Monaro CV8 (Devil Yellow). I'm normally
a Holden Calais man, but, after driving the
new Calais V6 and V8 and the SV6 I tried out
the new Monaro. All the other cars are completely
tame by comparison.
With the shortened gear ratios,
the manual CV8 is absolutely explosive off
the line. The sound from the twin exhausts
is fantastic. Looking over the bonnet with
the new raised scoops you can fantasise that
you're driving a Ferrari or some other Euro
The manual shift takes some
getting used to, but the engine has so much
torque that you can accelerate in any gear
(including sixth). Brakes are excellent. If
you don't mind a bit less boot space because
of the new exhaust/fuel tank placement, you
will be mightily impressed...try 0-100 in
the five second bracket and standing quarters
in high 13s. I'm thinking of having my numberplates
- Ray M.
Well I don't know what the Holden
Design team was smoking when it [Torana] was
designed, but jeez. It really should be back
to the drawing board. BIG BIG thumbs down from
me. AND I AM A RED AS RED HOLDEN FAN!!!
TT36 - change the interior for something more
masculine, add a five speed auto, replace the
glass top with a sun roof and make available more
colour options than hot pink and I'd buy one tomorrow!!
I was at the ['04 Australian] Motor
Show yesterday and there were over 100 people looking
at the Holden
Torana TT36 at anytime so I think it should be
made into a production car.
Editor's Note: We've listened
to many people's opinions on the new Torana hatch
recently, and while some agree with you, saying they'd
buy a TT36 on the spot, there is a large contigent
of people who think it's visually too close to the
Commodore, and not small enough to be a Torana.
Just commenting on how incredible the Ford
Focus Vignale concept is! Any chance it will be
coming to America?
I'm a 26 yr. old computer engineer with IBM and I think
I speak for many young professionals when I say that
the vehicle would be a major player here.
- Robert Sawyer
Editor's Note: The buzz that Ford's new concept
has been generating recently will go a long way towards
the green lighting of the concept for production, but
the concept was more for European markets. It's not
out of the question for the American market altogether,
and when we have the details, we'll fill you in.
G'day rev heads. Just writing because today I came
across an alarming article in Melbourne-based newspaper
The Age about a 4x4 driver who obviously couldn't control
his rage. It's pretty scary, check it out:
A Perth man alleged to have mounted a footpath in
a four-wheel drive to deliberately knock down six pedestrians
has been charged. The 22 year-old from suburban Scarborough
was charged with causing grievous bodily harm after
the incident in Doubleview early on Saturday morning,
Police will allege the man was driving a white Mitsubishi
Pajero four-wheel drive, when it mounted the footpath
and struck six of 12 people walking along at the time.
A 17-year-old youth remains critically ill in QEII
Medical Centre following the incident. The five others
struck suffered injuries of varying degrees, police
said. The 22 year-old is due to appear in the East Perth
magistrates court today.
- Concerned 'car' driver
I recently upgraded my 2001 model Subaru Forester to
one of the new 3.2-litre diesel Mitsubishi Pajero's
- and I'm most impressed with it, particularly the fuel
consumption and the ease at which it tows my beloved
I didn't go for the $70,000 model you guys tested,
but I'm very impressed with its performance and the
way it drives. I must say that I don't agree with Feann
and Peter's assertions both about the rearward vision
and lacklustre dashboard however.
The rearward vision is fine - large side mirrors can
be angled to remove most of the low blind spot, and
the dashboard is much better than these flashy digital
jobs car companies are coming out with nowadays. Besides
that gripe, I enjoy the site - keep up the good work
- Adam S.
Being a Ford Man I have to admit, Holden's got it right
with the Monaro.
How can anyone hate it? It looks good and muscular
like an XR falc. And the light blue colour looks great,
reminds me of Ford's off-yellow colour (Citric Acid)
which I reckon is HOT! It's standout colours like these
that makes a car a head-turner.
If there was something to criticise about then it would
definitely have to be the interior, looks too Commodorey,
with so much buttons it's just not user-friendly (though
aesthetically, it looks awesome, except for the centre
console where the power window buttons and transmission
are, looks cheap in that area), and what's with the
extra tacho's? Does this car have turbo or somethin??
Overall if I had the money then I would definitely
buy it, ride quality and dynamics shouldn't be bad,
but why the heck should that matter when you'll be getting
yourself a chick magnet?
Now if only Ford made a coupe....
Do I like the look of the new Monaro? No. But that
doesn't mean cutting some holes in the bonnet is a bad
idea, even if it doesn't do anything.
The Monaro's getting a bit long in the tooth and needed
a distinctive freshen up to keep the interest alive.
Holden might lose buyers looking for a sub $100k coupe
who see the scoops as a bit offensive, but will gain
others who want the Monaro and nothing else. Either
way, the two door Commo is living on borrowed time.
From pictures on websites and magazines, the new Audi
A4 does not seem to be a nice looking car; maybe it
looks better in the flesh.
That huge front grill is atrocious. It reminds me of
those semi-trailer trucks or those caterpillar tractors.
I think the big grill and air-dam on the VY commodore
works better. The A4 looks good from the side, however
the rear looks like a Corolla.
I'm surprised I havent heard more fuss about Holden's
latest advertising for the VZ
[Commodore]. I thought I was seeing another ad along
the lines of the 'hoon crashes silver falcon ute' safety
campaing, but NO, it was for the SV6 - all about power,
speed and young blokes showing off to younger passengers.
After the initial 'test-bed revving, slathering young
revhead' ad that was all about power, power, power and
going for it - it makes me wonder what happened to the
regulations on car makers encouraging dangerous behaviour
in their attempts to sell cars?
Thanks for your time.
LOVE THE SITE!
- Justin Stent
3 Series is a mess.
I own a 2002 330ci and was going to buy an M3 next
year. I still will, except now it will be a 2004 year.
They will see the most successful car ever built and
sold in America by BMW disolve into nothing. This E
90 looks like a Hyundai, cheap and ugly.
I reckon the new VZ Dunnydore is easy on the eye, but
that's it. It's still miles off the BA Falcon.
So HSV's gonna get a 6.0-litre V8 soon - so what? Ford
will still crank out more power from its more advanced
5.4-litre Boss V8. And what happens in five years time
or whenever the hell it is when emissions have to be
cut - is HSV gonna bring out a 7.0-litre V8? Ha!
Anyone who's driven one of Ford's V8s will know just
how awesome they are.
I just don't understand why they [Holden] sell more
cars than Ford. And don't tell me "Because they're
better" because they're not. I've not driven the
new VZ, but if the 8-cylinder VY is anything to go by,
it's got nothin' on the Falc.
- Brian 'Ford' Franklin