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The Mercury Cars Guide : July 18th 2009
4— Classifieds 62 300 400 • carsguide.com.au Back seat driver tells how to save Sexy, very clever, Italianandhonest to the point of being brutal. KevinHepworth checks out thenewAlfaanditsnewgadget MiTo Sport. M EET ‘‘eco: Drive’’, your personal driving coach that comes with Alfa Romeo’s latest baby, the The eco:Drive function is part of the Windows-based Blue and Me telemat- ics system pioneered by Fiat and now finding its way into the range-topping model of the little MiTo 3-door ‘‘super mini’’ from Alfa Romeo. When prompted, the eco:Drive soft- ware will store key features of a driver’s style including throttle appli- cation, gear changes, clutch behaviour and more over a minimum five-days. ‘‘Essentially the onboard software is a data gatherer which you can then download to a memory stick and transfer to a computer,’’ Alfa Romeo Australia’s Edward Rowe says. ‘‘The software at the eco:Drive website analyses data and recom- mends how to adjust driving style to be more economical.’’ Rowe says that aggragated informa- tion collected from drivers using the software shows that the average sav- ings over more than 10,000 users has been 10 per cent. ‘‘While there is nothing especially new about the driving tips, what the software can do for you is benchmark your starting point and then coach you over time so that you can see an actual return from the changes you make.’’ While Blue and Me and eco:Drive are only a small part of the MiTo whole, the techno-clever systems are just part of the net AlfaRomeohas cast in search of new and younger buyers. Priced from $31,490 for the entry level model and $37,490 for the MiTo Sport the little Alfa is aimed squarely at BMW’s legion of Mini faithful with dreamsof drawing theyoungandwell- heeled away from the German manu- facturer and across the border to Italy. ‘‘I am comfortable with our predic- tion that 80 per cent of MiTo buyers will benewto AlfaRomeowhile 45 per cent of buyers will be under 30 years of age (currently only five per cent of Alfa buyers fall into that demograph- ic),’’ Alfa Romeo Australia general manager Edward Butler says. Alfa is also hoping to swell its ranks of female buyers from the current 12 per cent, but Butler concedes that is NEW BABY: Alfa’s MiTo will take on the Mini. unlikely to happen until the arrival of the robotisedmanual(DSG-style) auto- matic next year. ‘‘At the moment we are calling around 35 sales a month butwhenthat gearbox is available, early next year, I wouldn’t be surprised to see that double,’’ Butler says. From launch the MiTo is available in two trims, both running a turbo- charged 1.4-litre four-cylinder engine, the base car producing 88kW and 206Nm while the Sport is boosted to deliver 114kW and 230Nm. Both cars have the same MacPher- son independent front and torsion beamrear suspension butMiTodrives the front wheels through a 5-speed manual while the Sport gets a slicker 6-speed box. Alfa Romeo is claiming a combined fuel efficiency of 6.1-litres per 100km for the less powerful engine and 6.5 on the same combined cycle for the Sport. From the launch drive experience it is not unreasonable to assume that with careful management they are achiev- able numbers. On the road the MiTo twins are two very different cars. The Sport is as it suggests, a sharper and more agressive character with a the eco:Drive website analyses data and recommend how to adjust driving style to be more economical ‘ willingness to spin up towards the 6000rpm peak before getting breath- less. The car has good, strong mid- range torque and a nice rorty note when booted and Alfa claims a 0-100km/h sprint of eight seconds — not that impressive on paper but it feels nice and agressive on the road. ’ There is good feedback from the steering, even if at times there is a little too much of the road surface imperfections transfered to the steer- ing wheel. The front suspension is a little nervous and can be unsettled by broken surfaces but not to any alarm- ing degree. At the entry level the engine is still a willing worker, if a little less athletic (8.8 seconds for the 0-100km rush), but the softer suspension settings take away a degree of the sportier car’s directness and steering feel. The ride quality from both cars is surprisingly good for what is a small car with very short wheelbase. Less pleasing are the seatswhich are notup to Alfa’s normally high quality. There is little bolstering on both the squab and the back and the fiddly back angle adjustment is an annoyance, although the presence of an anti-whiplash head- rest system is a plus. Saturday, July 18, 2009 The software at HYU HYUNDAI AWAR AI MID-YEAR SA ARD WINN YEAR SALE NNIING C SARCARS If you’re a small business with an ABN, you may be eligible for the Federal Government’s investment allowance. Eligible small businesses can claim up to a 50% investment allowance. Consult your tax advisor to see if you are eligible.† $12,990 DRIVE AWAY FROM GETZ ETZ A 2009 MOST ECONOMICAL LIGHT CAR TO OWN & RUN1 • 6.1L/100KM^ • BLUETOOTH® AUDIO • IMMOBILISER & ALARM • REMOTE KEYLESS ENTRY • POWER WINDOWS • FULL SIZE SPARE WHEEL • AIR CON WITH POLLEN FILTER GETZ 5 DOOR FROM $13,990B DRIVE AWAY $22,990 DRIVE AWAY FROM TUCSON C 2009 MOST ECONOMICAL COMPACT SUV TO OWN AND RUN2 • 2.0 CVVT TWIN CAM ENGINE • 8.0L/100KM^ • ABS WITH EBD • ESP STABILITY CONTROL • TRACTION CONTROL • BLUETOOTH® AUDIO • 16” ALLOYS • AIR CON • FULL SIZE SPARE WHEEL $19,990 DRIVE AWAY FROM D 2008 AUSTRALIA’S BEST MID SIZE CAR UNDER $28,0003 2009 MOST ECONOMICAL SMALL CAR TO OWN AND RUN4 • 7.2L/100KM^ • ABS WITH EBD • AIR CON WITH POLLEN FILTER • ESP STABILITY CONTROL WITH TRACTION CONTROL • POWER WINDOWS • iPOD® & USB CONNECTIVITY • GLOVEBOX DRINKS COOLER • FULL SIZE SPARE WHEEL i30 MOTORS PTY LTD HOBART CNR COLLINS AND BARRACK ST HOBART 6230 7220 Conditions: All cars must be ordered and delivered between 1st and 31st July 2009. Offer valid at participating dealers on existing dealer stock while stocks last. Offers exclude fl eet, rental and govt. buyers and vehicles used for commercial purposes. Hyundai reserves the right to change, supersede or extend these offers. The unlimited kilometre warranty is only applicable to vehicles used for private and domestic use and is not applicable for vehicles used for certain high mileage commercial purposes i.e. courier, security and rental cars. 1. 2009 RACT Operating Cost Survey for Getz 1.4 S. 2. 2009 RACT Operating Cost Survey for Tucson City. 3. Australia’s BestMid Size Car under $28,000 2008 awarded by Australia’s Best Cars to i30 SX. 4.Most Economical Small Car to Own and Run 2009 awarded by RACT to i30 petrol. iPod® is a registered trademark of Apple Computer Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries. Bluetooth®is a registered trademark of Bluetooth SIG, Inc. ^ADR 81/02 fuel consumption will vary depending on a combination of driving habits, road conditions and condition of vehicle. †Offer valid for vehicles purchased before 31st December 2009. A) Recommended sale price for Getz 1.4 3 door manual. B) Recommended sale price for Getz 1.4 5 door manual. C) Recommended sale price for Tucson City SX manual. D) Recommended sale price for i30 SX hatch manual petrol. HMCA316/HM/200x262
July 11th 2009
July 25th 2009