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The Mercury Cars Guide : May 23rd 2009
2— CARSguide Classifieds 62 300 400 • carsguide.com.au Saturday, May 23, 2009 the US but the undisputed standard- bearer for the pro-hybrid/electric lobby is still sparking on all cylin- ders. Power surge for eco-warrior T KEVIN HEPWORTH OYOTA’S third-generation Priusmay be running head- long into an economic storm and a sales slump in With global sales of the eco- warrior tumbling in economic hard times and falling petrol prices, the Gen III Prius is about to land in Australia. In North America alone, for the first three months of this year sales of the current car totalled just 24,277, about the same number sold in a single month last year. With the official launch of the car set for July, Carsguide this week had an early opportunity to get at close quarters with the radically changed yet still instantly recognisable hy- brid pioneer. In a short drive of the new Prius it was obvious designers and stylists had been hard at work — and less obvious just what the engineers had been up to. Styling changes inside are obvious to anyonewhohas previously driven a Prius. The driver now sits in a defined ‘‘cockpit’’ space with a floating cen- tre console supporting the gear lever and buttons to select Power, Eco or EV. ‘‘The controls for almost every- thing in the car are clustered in what isacommandzoneonthenewdash,’’ Toyota Australia’s product planning manager Ashley Edwards says. ‘‘This and the newly-styled infor- mation display puts all the informa- tion on the car where the driver can easily access it.’’ The other big changes to the interior are greater headroom for rear seat passengers — the result of shifting the high-point of the roofline further to the rear to accentuate the car’s wedge styling — and better knee and leg room from a redesign of the front seats allowing for greater scalloping in the seat back. A redesign of the rear suspension geometry has the dual out- come of in- creased boot space (an extra 30 litres) and greater rear-end stability on a chassis the engi- neers claim is generally far stiffer than the outgoing model. It is a claim that had to go untested on this week’s short drive but there is no doubt the new model has a better turning circle and steering that feels far more direct and con- nected than was previously the case. The Prius still has to make do with the carry-over nickel-metal hydride batteries from Prius II which means RECOGNISABLE: The third generation Toyota Prius hybrid car under test at Toyota headquarters in Caringbah. Withanextra27kWfrom the elctricmotor the Prius III can get from0-100kmhina respectable 9.9 seconds. 142Nmof torque. Withan extra27kW from the elctric motor the Prius III can get from 0-100kmh in a respect- able 9.9 seconds and when carefully managed the company claim of 3.9 litres per 100km fuel economy may well be achievable. the full electric vehicle range is still restricted to about 1.5km at under 40km/h before the petrol engine fires up to take over propulsion and start the recharging process. Thenew1.8-litre engine lifts power by 16kW to a peak of 73kW with Toyota is not giving away any clues as to pricing, only saying the car will be competitive — presum- ably with Honda’s Insight which, while delayed into next year, is expected to reach the market at about $30,000. Exact trim levels are also being kept close to the chest although it seems certain that there will be at least two levels offered with the higher grade car winning optional extras such as LED headlights, heads-up driving display and satel- lite navigation. Also being offered is an air condi- tioning function with the ability to turn on a three minute burst of battery powered air-con remotely from the key fob without needing to start the engine. ‘‘That is a world first,’’ Edwards says. Specialising in cars... www.thecarmart.com.au 97 Hyundai Excel LX 1.5lt hard to find auto, p/s, low 124,000km. 02 Hyundai Sante FeGLS wagon 2.7lt semi-auto, p/s, a/c, eletrics, alloys, tidy All Wheel Drive, great road test. 02 Hyundai Sonata V6 Exec 2.7lt manual, p/s, a/c, electrics, 76,000km. 95 Holden Barina Swing 1.4lt manual, p/s, exceptionally clean. 97 Chrysler Voyager 3.3lt auto, p/s, a/c, electrics, 7 seater. 98 Holden Vectra GL 2.0lt manual, p/s, a/c, 122,000km, VALUE. 97 Daewoo Cielo sedan 1.5lt manual, p/s, a/c, alloys, 148,000km. 95 Mitsubishi Lancer GL 1.5lt manual, p/s, proven reliability. 02 Hyundai Elantra GLS 2.0lt manual, p/s, a/c, electrics, 116,000km. $10,000 00 Hyundai Accent GL 1.5lt manual, p/s, a/c, alloys, 119,000km, must see, SAVE OVER $1000. David Strang 0404 724 986 Mark Patterson 0417 025 936 Rob Sylvester 0418 124 226 (Finance) 91 Ford Fairmont EB 3.9lt auto, p/s, a/c, electrics, alloys, low kms, Reg 5/2010. Easy on-site finance available 97 Honda Civic VTi Auto, p/s, a/c, electrics, 143,000km. 92 Commodore VP wagon 3.8lt p/s, a/c, very honest, 1/2010 rego. 99 Toyota Camry CSi 3.0lt auto, p/s, a/c, 134,000km. www.thecarmart.com.au 14 Derwent Park Rd, Derwent Park 6211 0566 13395Jono Under $5995 $9995 $8995 $4995 $2495 $8995 $1995 $7995 $3995 $3995 $8995 $3995 $9995 $6995
May 16th 2009
May 30th 2009