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The Mercury Cars Guide : June 20th 2009
6— Classifieds 62 300 400 • carsguide.com.au Saturday, June 20, 2009 Big but not much better Notall people moversare the same, as David Fitzsimons discoversonatest drive Y ries. There’s the small, such as the Kia Rondo, Toyota Avensis, Renault Grand Scenic and Citroen C4 Grand Picasso, which really should be considered five-seaters given the lack of real rear legroom and even small- er cargo areas. Then there’s the mid-rangers, the ones whose ads boast of sex-appeal such as the $40,000-plus range includ- ing the Honda Odyssey, Mitsubishi Grandis and the Dodge Journey. In that size too falls the popular Kia Carnival. Above all that are the really big. There’s the luxury machines such as the up to $77,990 Chrysler Grand Voyager and the Toyota Tarago. Somewhere in that mix sit the people movers that started life as vans including the offerings from VW and Mercedes. And then there’s the Hyundai iMax. It’s one of the newest people movers on the market and it’s no shrinking violet. At $39,990 it combines both the price range of the smaller people movers and the van-like conversion capability of the larger movers. And this one is big. So big that the aerial smacks the roof of under- ground carparks, so big that the driver sits high enough to nearly eyeball bus drivers, so big that the huge rear door is a wrench to open and shut and so big that you can almost walk through it. But it is also so big that it offers heaps of luggage space in the rear even when the third row of seating is in operation. That’s something very few people movers, and basically no SUVs that offer third-row seating, can boast. The iMax as tested is a basic machine. Essentially it is a commer- cial vehicle likely to be mainly used OU may think that they can be simply lumped together as as the family bus or van that people with a lot of kids need to buy. The sort of car that would never be anyone’s first choice. Well, as someone who has driven most of them, through both need and interest, I can tell you they’re not. They roughly fall into four catego- BASIC: The Hyundai iMax is essentially a commercial vehicle with seats. On the steering wheel where cars half the price have push-button controls the iMax just has holes where the controls should sit. Aroundtownroad noise is serious- ly noticeable. There’s distinct rattles from the sliding doors as the car hits potholes and Sydney’s damaged roads. It sounds like a van or a minibus, not a car. Having said that the improvement in road noise is significant when it escapes the city and hits the high- way. But this leads to anewproblem. The 2.5-litre 125kW diesel engine is reasonably quiet on startup and on the open flat road but not when hills are encountered. Laden with two adults and four teenagers and their luggage, it roars when it sinks through the automatic five speeds of the gearbox up decent hills. Surprisingly the revs don’t climb significantly as this happens, indicating there’s plenty of torque (392Nm) in the diesel power plant but it is noisy. Apart from independent front and NOISY: The iMax struggles in the city and uphill. as a company shuttle or by basket- ball teams needing head room and walk-through space. But as a family van—as tested as a holiday escape machine ona recent long weekend — it lacks a lot of the features seen in comparatively priced cars. The huge gap between the two front seats cries out for a console where you can put cups and mobile phones. Honda’s Odyssey has for years boasted a neat foldaway tray for this space. Sat-nav and indeed even a display screen with trip information such as average fuel use and so on is also missing here. rear air-conditioning and the CD/ radio player there isn’t much else as far as interior features go for your $40,000. Cloth seats with only manual positioning are standard. This is particularly annoying for the driver who constantly feels as though they are sitting too high. You feel as though you are sitting too upright, which only serves to enhance the idea that you are driv- small torque HyundaiiMaxCRDi Price:$39,990 Engine: 2.5L/4-cylinder turbodiesel 125kW/392Nm Transmission: 5-speed auto Economy:9.8L/100km(claimed) Body: 5-doorwagon Rating:70/100 Rivals: Chrysler Grand Voyager: 75/100, from $57,990 HondaOdyssey 78/100, from $43,990 Kia Grand Carnival: 74/100, from $39,390 DodgeJourney: 73/100, from $36,990 VWCaravelle: 72/100, from$50,490 ing a mini-bus rather than a car. There is a wide range of options including even a fridge but as a standard unit the car lacks a family- friendly feel. Fuel economy in the diesel runs around 10L/100km and it does boast a big (75 litre) tank meaning we didn’t need to think about visiting a petrol station in our four days away. This is the sort of car that will prove ideal only for a niche of the market. Hyundai boasts that is signifi- cantly cheaper than its true compet- itors but comfort and features are also important. If you don’t need to seat eight large people and their goods on a regular basis there are plenty of more suitable options available. It would fit for a purpose that will suit onlyafew families butalotmore companies. ADVERTISEMENT car would normally retail for $42,331 on road. However you can have it for $38,790 drive away! That’s a saving of $3,541! EURO CENTRAL USED Toyota Corolla hatchbacks are only $15,888 driveaway at Euro Central this week, and there are two to choose from. Both cars have Automatic Transmission, Air Conditioning, Power Steering and a CD Player. They have been thoroughly workshop tested at Euro Central and rectifi ed if needed. Purchase one of these Corollas backed by Euro Central’s 3 year, 175,000km warranty and the confi dence of the unique 7-day exchange programme. Test drive today so you don’t miss out at Euro Central Used Cars, 118 Argyle Street, Hobart EURO CENTRAL PEUGEOT This week at Euro Central we have a fantastic saving on a Peugeot 207 CC Convertible. Featuring a 1.6 litre petrol engine and a tiptronic automatic gearbox, the Peugeot 207 is a pleasure to drive. It also boasts an Electric Folding Roof, ABS Brakes, 4 Air Bags, Dual Zone Climate Control and Cruise Control with Speed Limiter. With all of this plus loads more, this 35 Brisbane Street, Hobart 6234 0200 HONDA CENTRAL Honda Central is offering unbeatable Drive Away savings on a manual Honda Civic VTi Demonstrator. This award winning sedan offers more safety than ever including Vehicle Stability Assist, Anti-lock Brakes, and Dual Front and Side Airbags. The list continues with Air Conditioning, Cruise Control, Full Electrics, CD player with Auxiliary input. This great sedan can be yours today for $24,888 Drive Away – Saving $2,300 TILFORD FORD There is a red hot deal on a 2008 Focus Zetec demonstrator this weekend at Tilford. Black Sapphire in colour, with a 2.0 litre Zetec engine and 5 speed Manual Transmission. You get the safety of Dual Front and Side SRS Airbags, ABS Brakes with Emergency Brake Assist, and Dynamic Stability Control. All this adds up to a 5 star ANCAP safety rating. Other features include Air Conditioning, Global Closing, Cruise Control, 17” Alloy Wheels and Bodykit plus much more. With an upgrade model due soon and normally over $31,000 you can drive away in this car today for just $25,990 no more to pay. PRE-OWNED TOYOTA COROLLAS AVAILABLE AT EUROCENTRAL www.tilfordgroup.com.au
June 13th 2009
June 27th 2009