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The Mercury Cars Guide : February 7th 2009
Saturday, February 7, 2009 Classifieds 62 300 400 • carsguide.com.au CARSguide —3 aims to save the planet The green-friendly message will be a big marketing draw card for Mini as buyers look to downsize and look at fuel-efficient alternatives. BMW Australia last year success- fully convinced Germany there was a sound business case for adding the diesel to the Australian Mini range. It was, in hindsight, a brave move considering the majority of Mini owners scoffed at such an idea of having a diesel under the bonnet. But times have changed and being seen to be green is now OK. So how does the diesel Mini drive? The quick answer is a lot better than many critics thought. There’s some sound reasoning for going down the diesel path, not the least is the feel-good factor. And by the way, you can spot the diesel by the slight power bulge or is that a pot belly—on the bonnet and the D badge on the boot, otherwise it looks like a regular Mini. For those who frown at the thought of a diesel Mini — be prepared for a culture shock. This one comes high on the fun factor scale. There are a couple of minor downsides — at highway speeds there’s some wind noise around the A frames, the engine sounds harsh over 3000rpm and there’s some old- fashioned diesel clatter on start up and engine shudder when it auto- matically shuts down and goes into idle mode. And the engine shutting down when the car is stopped feels strange but you get used to it and you can switch it off if not needed. But the positives here far outweigh the negatives. This is no sprint car but underway this oil burner is remarkably quiet and refined. Punting it along dead smooth German autobahns and average- quality rural roads proved the Mini, despite the extra weight of the diesel motor, sits well on the road with a compliant suspension set-up, good dampening and precise gear shifting. It certainly has the potential to shine on Australian roads and the claimed 3.9l/100kmh looks achiev- able. The ride from the run-flat tyres is firm without being uncomfortable. And it retains the Mini magic of crisp point-to-point steering. It may only have 80kW under its belt, and zero to 100km/h takes a leisurely 9.9 seconds but you don’t buy this Mini for off the line pace. This is a fairly relaxed engine—at 100km/h it is only pulling 1800 revs. Torque is what the Cooper D is all about—240Nm of it spread between 1750 and 2000rpm which can be briefly boosted to 260Nm under full throttle. To put that another way, the diesel produces the same amount of torque as the existing turbocharged Cooper S, but uses substantially less fuel and will be markedly cheaper to buy. The Cooper D will sell for about $34,000, the petrol Cooper S sells for $42,100. And that’s the conundrum fac- ing Mini buyers. Can they live with the D for diesel badge on the boot? If not, hide the badge and still boast to your friends you are doing your bit to save the planet. NEAT AND TIDY: The diesel Mini retains the compact lines of the original design. FAST FACTS MINID Onsale: June Howmuch: $34,000to $38,000 Underthe bonnet: 1.6-litre turbo diesel,80kWat 4000rpm,240Nm torque from 1750rpm; peak torque260Nm under full boost. Fueleconomy: 3.9l/100km combined, 104g/kmCO2 Transmission: Six-speedmanual or six-speed automatic optional Talking point: Engine switches itself offwhencar is stopped to save fuel. For: Green friendly, terrific fuel economy, strongmidrange torque from engine, better than expected rideand handling. Against: Tight back seat, engine clatter start/stop, road noise. At Performance Automobiles we say ‘yes we can’ more often! Visit www.performanceautomobiles.com.au for our specials! The exhilirating Impreza Hatch! with FREE ALLOYS! 2009 Impreza R from $22,990 $93# from GRAND OPENING SPECIALS! per week Travel in comfort & style! with LUXURY PACK INCLUDED! Class leading safety! with FREE ALLOYS! Make an impression! with LUXURY PACK INCLUDED! 2009 Liberty 2.5i from $29,990 from $119# Style and luxury! with FREE FAMILY PACK! per week 2009 Outback 2.5i from $34,990 from $138# per week 2009 Forester X from $29,990 from $119# per week Performance Subaru Cnr. Argyle & Burnett Streets www.performanceautomobiles.com.au Peter Latham Sam Allwright Adrian Millington 2009 Tribeca from $49,990 from$209# # Plus $1,950 Dealer Delivery, Government & Statutory charges as applicable. All repayments are based on a 5 year term with a fi xed interest rate of 8.55% and a 30% balloon payment for commercial applicants. Offer excludes government buyers. * To approved purchasers. Offer expires 10/2/2009. FINANCE ON ALL VEHICLES AVAILABLE NOW!* New A/H: Adrian Millington 0438 062 259 Pre-Owned A/H: Mike Nebbs 0417 089 631 6210 7000 per week
January 31st 2009
February 14th 2009