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The Mercury Cars Guide : October 17th 2009
16--- Classifieds 62 300 400 • carsguide.com.au Saturday, October 17, 2009 Toyota goes for youth SPORTY: The new three-door Toyota Prado that is coming to Australia later this year. TOYOTA is taking aim at the three-door version of the Mit- subishi Pajero with its new Prado when it goes on sale here later this year. The market leader has had three-door model variants of the Prado available in other markets but the fourth- generation Prado will be of- fered in three and five-door models in Australia for the first time since its 1996 debut. The company is presenting the new variant as a ''sporty'' version of the 4WD wagon, which is aimed at younger SUV buyers. Toyota says it wants to attract younger buyers to its medium-4WD ranks, buyers looking for ''recreational off- road fun''. The three-door model is the same as the five-door model from the B-pillar forward, but with unique roof and rear- quarter panels, with the spare wheel retained on the rear tailgate. Toyota says the lighter three-door should offer better performace and fuel economy; it also sits on a shorter wheel- base which gives it the advan- tage of a better ramp-over angle. Despite the model differ- ences, the three-door sur- passes its five-door sibling with a braked towing capacity of three tonnes, half a tonne more than the five-door. The Japanese car maker said the new Prado's four-litre V6 petrol engine --- which makes up just 20 per cent of the current car's sales --- will get variable valve timing on both inlet and exhaust valves to improve fuel economy, as well as generating 10 per cent more power. The company is boasting of fuel consumption improve- ments for the more popular turbodiesel engine, with the combined cycle claimed to fall below nine litres per 100km. The company says electro- nic driver-assistance features will take Prado's off-road abil- ity to new levels, with benefits for handling and ride comfort as well. The Australian-developed kinetic suspension, off-road ''Crawl'' technology and exter- nal cameras are likely to be added to a safety-features list that will include seven air- bags, vehicle stability control, anti-lock brakes and traction control as standard. Alloy wheels and Smart En- try and Start, which provides keyless entry and ignition, will also come as standard fare. The medium SUV segment has grown markedly in recent years with sales more than doubling from 33,468 in 2002 to a record of 75,485 last year. Toyota Australia senior executive director sales and marketing David Buttner said three-door Prado was a valua- ble addition to the local range. ''Prado three-door will be the ideal vehicle for couples who want a vehicle for its sporty styling, as well as Pra- do's legendary towing and off- road abilities. Even more than new five-door Prado, the three- door will definitely attract buyers who previously have not considered a sports utility vehicle,'' he says. STUART MARTIN Jeep maintains its hard edge Jeep claims to have gone soft with its Patriot, but harder with its Wrangler. Mark Hinchliffe reports TRADITION: The 2010 Patriot still maintains the lines of a classic Jeep. JEEP'S Patriot and Wrangler models have had mid-life makeovers that add features, change trim, but keep the mechanicals largely untouched and the price the same. Chrysler Australia sales general manager Brad Fitzsimmons said the value of the Australian dollar had been helpful in keeping prices stable. ''We hedge on currency anyhow, but thankfully it came back in the last couple of months,'' he said. ''We would have been in trouble if it had stayed in the '60s. Now it's in the '90s but it won't be forever. We're OK if it stays in the '80s.'' Patriot adds items to its list of standard features and has substantial cosmetic changes, mainly inside. The cabin, with its one-piece dash- board, is now all matte charcoal instead of a range of shiny greys and blacks and the seats are monotone charcoal instead of two-tone. The silver and aluminium trim is replaced with chrome accents around the air vents and door handles. Fitzsimmons said the plastics in the Patriot had also been softened, espe- cially in the sliding armrests. There is now a choice of three audio systems with MP3 capability, optional Bluetooth mobile connectivity and a satellite navigation system in the top- of-the-range model. Extra sound insulation and a quiet- er exhaust, together with carpet on the back of the rear seats and on the floor of the cargo area have dramatically improved cabin acoustics. There is also an extra suite of airbags available, together with a host of primary safety controls as standard. The engine and mechanicals remain the same, although Jeep has phased out the two-litre diesel because it was only available in manual. Managing director Gerry Jenkins said the new ownership arrangement with Fiat could yield a diesel alterna- tive. ''But we would only want one with automatic,'' he said. Outside it still looks like a tradition- al Jeep with its seven-slot grille, round headlights, trapezoidal wheel arches and high hip line. It now gets slightly darker alloy wheels and two new body colours. The 2.4-litre Sport remains at $29,990 for the five-speed manual Sport, with a $3000 premium for the continuously variable transmission with six-speed shift mode. Fitzsimmons said CVT was ideal for smaller vehicles because it was light- er, smoother and kept the engine in the optimum rev range. The auto gets tinted windows, cruise control and a leather steering wheel with audio controls standard. It is available as a comfort and conveni- ence option for $1500 in the manual. The Limited comes in auto only and costs an extra $3000. Standard features include leather trim seats, heated front seats and manual driver lumbar ad- justment. Patriot options include premium paint ($450), power sunroof ($2000), satellite navigation, Bluetooth and a premium nine-speaker audio system with 30Gb hard drive ($3500) and front side seat airbags ($600). The Wrangler gets some more stor- age bins inside, 50Nm more torque in the auto diesel (460Nm), 17-inch alloys, tyre pressure warning system, a big- ger fuel tank in the Unlimited, two new exterior colours, optional iPod connectivity and the dual top standard on Rubicon. The auto Sports models now get a 3.73:1 axle ratio to replace the 4.10:1 ratio. It has also been toughened up with a $1500 off-road pack now available on the Sport petrol and diesel models. It includes the new axle ratio, electroni- cally disconnected front sway bar and electronically controlled rear axle dif- ferential lock. on the road AT the national launch through wet rural Victoria this week, the Patriot and Wrangler confirmed their sub- stantial credentials with a variety of surfaces from highway to sludgy back roads. Here the electronically controlled Jeep Freedom Drive four-wheel-drive system is infallible in the slippery clay conditions. The Patriot is much quieter in all conditions, thanks to the extra sound- proofing and carpeted rear. The car- pets also stop cargo sliding around, but because it is glued on to the hard plastic removable floor covering the full-size spare, you should be careful it doesn't come unstuck. Interior plastics in all Chryslers are notoriously hard, but the new trim is only marginally softer. The armrests still hurt after a while. The Wrangler seems to thrive on rough roads; the rougher the better, handling ubiquitous dirt road corru- gations just about the best in the business. The drive system for the Patriot remains in front-wheel drive unless slip is detected and then the torque is equally split between front and rear. Rear diff assistance is also provided at high speeds for extra stability. Primary safety systems include electronic stability control, brake as- sist, anti-slip brakes, traction control and electronic roll mitigation. If a rollover cannot be prevented, the curtain airbags are deployed earlier and for longer. www.djmotors.com.au firstname.lastname@example.org Glenorchy 275 Main Road, Glenorchy Phone: 6213 3315 Brian Anning 0418 531 853 Chris Wakefield 0400 635 446 Allan Gebel 0428 729 659 Hobart 1a Brisbane Street, Hobart Phone: 6213 3300 Warren Amos 0417 544 829 Luke Mitchell 0408 545 146 Easy finance available with DJ Financial Services †To approved business clients only, with a $2,500 deposit over five years with a 30% residual payment. Interest rate 10.50%. 06 MAZDA 3 MPS Hatch • 2.3 litre 190kW • 6-speed manual • 4 cylinder turbo • body kit • 18˝ alloy wheels • six airbags • sports seats & suspension • stability & cruise control. Stock No. 321890 ONLY$29,990 DRIVE AWAY DRIVE AWAY -- NO MORE TO PAY at DJ MOTORS $16 .50 per day† 07 MITSUBISHI Lancer • 2.4 litre sports auto • dual airbags • ABS brakes • cruise control • power windows • MP3 CD player • only 38,000km • remainder new car warranty Stock No. 321743 ONLY$15,990 DRIVE AWAY $8.25 per day†
October 10th 2009
October 24th 2009