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The Mercury Cars Guide : August 29th 2009
Saturday, August 29, 2009 Classifieds 62 300 400 • carsguide.com.au to Skoda’s model mix Change to fuel needs GOODnewsfor Volkswagenand Skodabuyers with both brands thisweeklowering their minimumrequirements for petrol. Both brands saymostof their current, or inVW’scase its 2010, models cannowrunonpremium unleaded (95RON)fuel. Until nowthe imported vehicles demandedmoreexpensive 98RONpetrol. SkodaAustralia bossMatthew Wiesner says Australian petrol hasbeenreviewedandpremium fuel isnowacceptable for its engines: ‘‘Wehaderredonthe side of cautiondemanding98 octane butwearenowconfident our engines can runonthe lower octance without any loss of performance.’’ AllSkodamodels—the latest Octavia, Octavia RS, Scout, RoomsterandSuperb—can run onthe cheaper fuel. On the safety list you can tick the ON THE MOVE: Skoda hopes the facelifted RS will attract a larger chunk of the market. There’s a balancing act here: the boxes for six airbags, advanced antilock brake system, traction and stability control and onboard tyre pressure monitoring. Luggage space in both the liftback at 560 litres and wagon 580 litres with rear seats up. Options include sunroof, front park sensors, satellite navigation with 30GB hard drive which replaces the CD stacker, Xenon headlamps and leather upholstery. The hardest choice for buyers is picking the petrol or diesel. gap between traditionally slower but more frugal diesels and quicker but thirsty petrols has narrowed. Skoda says the turbo-packing di- rect injection petrol version can hit 100km/h in a claimed 7.3 seconds which is 1.1 seconds quicker than the diesel but, for a diesel, a sprint time of 8.4 seconds for a vehicle which tips the scale just under 1.5 tonnes and is 35kg heavier than the petrol version is no embarrassment. The petrol version delivers peak power of 147kW over a 900rpm band, with maximum torque of 280Nm available from 1800 to 5000 revs, that’s a huge broad band, giving the RS strong and long legs. The petrol version delivers where it counts. For a performance car the RS shows few vices: it feels well balanced, there’sadegree of expected understeer which gets more aggressive as speed rises; only the brakes could benefit from more stopping power. But I just love the diesel alterna- tive as well. It has a different driving dynamic but it probably is the better car to live with, especially if you do a lot of country running, thanks to its massive low- to mid-range torque and good fuel economy. The secret is to keep the revs up. My pick? The diesel is impressive but my choice is the petrol wagon. It offers the best of both worlds — a familysized and versatile load carrier with potent performance. That’s hard to ignore. small torque Provisional Skoda Octavia RS Howmuch:From$37,990 (liftback)and$39,990 (wagon) plus on-road costs. OptionalDSGtransmission adds$2300. Engine: 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol or 2.0-litre turbocharged commonrail diesel. Power:147kWbetween5100 and6000rpm(petrol), 125kWat4200rpm(diesel). Torque:280Nmbetween 1800and5000rpm(petrol), 350Nmbetween 1750and 2500rpm(diesel). Transmission: Six-speed manualor optionalDSG manu-matic sequential auto, front-wheel drive. Howquick:0-100km/h7.3 seconds (petrol liftback), 8.4s (diesel liftback), 7.5s (petrolwagon)8.5s (diesel wagon). Howthirsty: 7.7l/100km combinedcity/highway (petrol), 5.9l/100km (diesel); 179g/kmCO2(petrol) 155g/km(diesel) Suspension:MacPherson front, multi-link axle with torsionbeamrear. Brakes: Four-wheel disc. Body: Liftback or wagon. Seats: Five. Towing:650kgunbraked; 1300kgbraked trailer; downball weight 75kg. —3
August 22nd 2009
September 5th 2009