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The Mercury Cars Guide : January 10th 2009
10— CARSguide Classifieds 62 300 400 • carsguide.com.au Saturday, January 10, 2009 Disappointed with diesel W HAT’s with the price of diesel? I bought a 1600 cc diesel car because it was supposed to be cleaner and more economical than un- leaded. It cost me several thousand dollars more than the petrol version: money I will probably not recoup as I do too few kilometres. I get 5.2 litres to 100 km, so I amburning less andit is cleaner than petrol would be. But with diesel still costing close to $1.40 compared with unleaded at $1, I ambeing penalised for doing the right thing by the environment. Any answers? Romas Malzinskas email Sorry, but we always recommend people to do their sums on fuel, whether it is LPG or unleaded or diesel, based on their annual mile- age. Fuel companies say it costs more to make diesel, because of the sort of crude oil used as its base and that is the reason for pump price difference. Diesel is really only the best choice for high-mileage drivers. Great package with good deals onnew cars and the price for a second-hand one being high in comparison, anew one was the way to go. I I test drove Commodores, HondaAccordandEuro, Falcon, Jetta, Golf and looked at the Mazda 3 and 6, all of which had their good points. But when I looked at the total package of safety, economy, size, power, appearance and price, the obvious choice was the Holden Commodore 60th Anniversary edition with factory-fitted gas, at a drive- away pricenow of about $30,400 after the government rebate. Havingnowdone 10,000km— which includes a trip to Queens- land — I can say that the economy would match much smaller cars. N August this year I was looking for a replacement car and determined that, about going over the limit and keep left unless overtaking. Guy Boyd email Defensive driving HAVE almost had enough firstname.lastname@example.org with GRAHAM SMITH It averages about 9 litres/ 100kmin the country,andabout 13.5 litres/100km in the city- mix. It is awonderful feeling, trav- elling 500 km and refilling at a cost of about $29. So why doesn’t GMH tell the world about this great package? John Pemberton email You got a great deal because Holden moved quickly to boost the value on the Commodore. It is a top car, just like the Ford Falcon but a lot of people have forgottenthemas they only look for a fuel-economy compact. Reckless drivers I USE Melbourne’s free- ways daily and rack up 400 km a day some- times. I have noticed more and more people doing what taxi drivers have been doing for years, which is sitting in the right-hand lane under the speed limit. These drivers create a dan- gerous situation as they cause other drivers to overtake on the left, which is something I won’t do as I have a large utility four-wheel-drive and it’s not a safe option. Whenwebip or flash head- lights instead of just changing lanes most people will slam their brakes on which is I consider reckless driving. The police don’t police it and it’s becoming a lot more common. It’s not rocket science, don’t be so paranoid some people. I Iamnoangelwhenitcomesto speeding but I have been driving now for more than 40 years and amlicensed for everything from motorcycles to semi-trailers. If speed kills then all pilots, racing car drivers, motorcycle racers and the like would be dead. Speed PLUS inexperience is what kills. Those that say defensive driv- ing courses are no good, or that they make you feel even more bullet-proof, have obviously never done one. The ones I have undertaken and completed never made me feel more bullet-proof. One of the first things they teach you is to always drive to the condi- tions. Then they teach what to do to prevent things going pear- shaped. They do teach you what to do in emergency situations but this only makes you a better driver. Charlie Findley email Speed poser I Vorsprung durch Technik www.audi.com.au WOULD like to comment on speed limits. In the Australian Capital Territory, they have an advertising campaign — ‘‘Wipe Off Five’’—to save hundreds of lives, but if the authorities there really believe their campaign why don’t they just reduce all speed limits by 5km/h? I travel interstate several times a year and it is a joy to drive in the other states, just flowingwiththe traffic,whichis often travelling above the posted speed limits when condi- tions allow. C OULD I please get your opinion with regard to a first car my 18-year-old son is looking at. He has about $9000 to spend and has his mind set on a 1999 to 2001 Mitsubishi Lancer. Do you think this car is ideal given he is looking for economic fuel consumption and reliabil- ity? Also are there any known de- sign problems to be aware of? Would you suggest anything else that he should look at? John Hayhurst email The Lancer ticks all the right boxes and will give better value than a Toyota Corolla, which is much the same and the benchmark in the class. Freeway Cruising can have it added. I I have been looking at a few different cars and one of the better deals I have been offered is a 2009 Mitsubishi Lancer hatchback for $21,440 drive- away, with a 5/10 year war- ranty, cruise control and metal- lic paint. Iwas thereforewonderingifyou think that the Lancer is a good car and whether there are any other cars in the same price range that I should be consider- ing? Natasha Main email The Lancer is a good car and one of the newest in the class. But check on the deal as the really good prices are all for 2008 stock. DOa lot of freeway driving and am looking at cars around the $20,000 mark that have cruise control, or of this ‘‘speed kills’’ and ‘‘defensive driving courses are no good’’ attitude of To come back to Victoria and having to drive with one eye on the speedometer for fear of going 3 km/h too fast and cop- ping a fine is tiring, mind numb- ing and leads to lack of concen- tration on the road and other traffic. Matt email Look at Lancers I Prado Purchase AMwondering if you have heard when the new look Prado will be out. Weare looking to buy now, but will hold off if there is a big change in the look. Are you aware of any of the changes? Melinda Draffin email Great timing, as we have a scoop picture and early details today. But the Prado will not be in Australian showrooms, so far as we know, for at least six months. Timeless style L OOKING through the Carsguide I see a nice special on the SLR Stir- ling Moss Benz. Finally someone sat the driver a ways back and gave the car a hood worthy of a nice looking car. Owninga Corvette myself, I find a few things on the Benz similar to a 1970’s Vette. Seating position, the same.Huge bonnet, scoops in the guards, even the nose is the same side view. I think the Benz would drive somewhat better than a Vette. It’s a pity the only people who ever get to own such pieces of art usually buy, I would think, as an investment or to have in their collection. I hope I’m wrong. Ken Gatenby email The keys to good design in sports cars have not really changed since the 1930s. Sad that none of the Stirling Moss cars will come to Australia, but we’re sure some of them will be driven quite hard on private tracks in Europe. OPENHAUS AUDI PREMIUM QUALITY Across the entire range of new and demonstrator Audi models • FREE ON-ROAD COSTS^ Offer valid until January 31st OR • 0% INTEREST FOR THE FIRST 12MONTHS# On all Audi Approved:plus pre-owned models • FREE STAMP DUTY* only - visit Audi Centre Hobart, 246 Murray Street Hobart, or call (03) 6238 3344 today. ^On-road costs exclude Dealer delivery charge which may vary between Dealers. #Available to approved Business Applicants of Audi Finance† on a Hire Purchase with a 36month termand a balloon payment of 55% of the Recommended Retail Price with 0% interest for the fi rst 12months and monthly principal only payments and thereafter 8.50% interest withmonthly principal and interest payments. Fleet, government and rental buyers are excluded. Standard fees and charges apply including Dealer delivery fee and statutory charges. Full conditions are available on application. †Audi Finance is a trading name of Volkswagen Financial Services Australia Pty Ltd Ph: 1800 799 689. ^#*Offer applies to vehicles ordered and delivered in January 2009. ^#*Offer ends 31st January 2009. Overseas models shown. AUDI3753_OH09_HM_1001 ONCE-A-YEAR VALUE
January 31st 2009