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The Mercury Cars Guide : April 24th 2010
14--- Classifieds 62 300 400 • carsguide.com.au Saturday, April 24, 2010 Caravan tags along on CarsGuide has just driven an automatic four-wheel drive wagon from Sydney to Melbourne and beat the real-world fuel consumption of most family-sized cars---andwedidit towing a 1.3 tonne caravan and head long into a gale. Keith Didham reports CHALLENGER: The Santa Fe R wagon with Jayco Disovery pop top in tow. Pictures: KEITH DIDHAM MOVING MOTEL: The interior of the Jayco Discovery, top, and the thrifty CarsGuide Santa Fe. IT started with a challenge and ended up with another. Late last year, Hyundai en- tered two of its new Santa Fe R wagons in the Global Green Chal- lenge --- a tough 3136km economy run from Darwin to Adelaide. It was no picnic, with in-car temperatures ex- ceeding 50 deg C. Remarkably, one of the Santa Fes achieved an average fuel consump- tion of just 5.10 litres per 100km, while the CarsGuide entry didn't disgrace itself either, finishing with 5.39-litres. That was achieved by driving smoothly, driving slowly and driving without the use of fuel-robbing air conditioning. While most motorists wouldn't go to such lengths to reduce their fuel bill it did prove the Santa Fe R was the most fuel efficient wagon in its class. Hyundai's official fuel consumption for the turbo diesel is 6.7l/100km for the manual and 7.5l/100km for the automatic, which in real-world stop- start driving means the average owner should be getting between 8 and 9l/100km for a mix of city and rural driving. Anything less they are doing well. At the end of the Global Green event CarsGuide put its own challenge to Hyundai --- to do a more realistic test of the Santa Fe's consumption by towing a mid-sized caravan over a typical grey nomad route. This week we completed a 1200km, four-day test from Sydney to Mel- bourne, hitched to a Jayco poptop --- and we made it using less than two tanks of fuel. The route started at Hyundai Aust- ralia's Sydney headquarters in the northern suburb of Macquarie Park. It then traversed the city with its congested traffic before heading down the South Western highway to Goulburn. It then dropped down to the coast on the often steep Kings Highway to Batemans Bay. The second day followed the undulating Princess Highway to Eden, including a side trip to the delightful sideside town of Bermagui. The third day ended up in Traralgon in Victoria before the run to the finish line at Hyundai's Mel- bourne office in Clayton. The wagon was kept at speeds of between 80 and 90km/h where poss- ible, while the route was planned to take in typical conditions faced by caravanners, including plenty of twisty roads and abundant hills. The unexpected was when Mother Nature played a cruel twist, forcing us to drive into the teeth of a gale-force south-westerly which swept Victoria. The goal was to return an average fuel consumption of between 9 and 10l/100km --- and in New South Wales, in perfect driving conditions, we saw 9.4l/100km. By the half way point the hills had taken their toll and the Santa Fe returned a still remark- able 10.05l/100km. Then disaster. Crossing into Vic- toria we were hit by 40km/h gales and driving rain which immediately shot fuel consumption to high 11s, no matter how hard we tried. The simple solution would have been to stop, but had a time deadline so we pushed on. It was heartbreaking because the Santa Fe is, from our experience, capable of a sub 10/100km, given the right conditions. We battled on and eventually the wind dropped and so did the fuel consumption. We made to Melbourne with the low fuel warning light on and less than five litres remaining. The Sydney to Melbourne drive returned an average consumption of 10.36l/100km or 27 mpg. The best return an impressive 9.4l/100km (in Sydney traffic), the Jayco jaunt starts here IDEAL: Entry level Jayco van. FOR newcomers buying a new caravan can be a nightmare. What size do you get, what features do you need to make life on the road comfortable, how much can you afford, will your vehicle tow it comfortably. Market leader Jayco has a model for every situation. We towed Jayco's 4.7 metre (6.2 metres overall) Discovery pop- top, a popular entry level van for a couple. It weighs 1144kg unladen but our van was fitted with extras, plus water and gas, so the tow weight was closer to 1300kg. The tow ball weight is 113kg. The extras included a rollout awning, roof mounted air con- ditioning unit and a DVD/CD MP3 audio system. In New South Wales, the van costs $31,310 drive away but prices will vary. It may be small but the Dis- covery packs a lot in. The fibreglass roof is easily raised by one person, even with the air conditioning system fit- ted , and extending the awning is also a simple task. Inside, there's an extendable double bed with foam mattress on slatted base (single bed ver- sion is also available) which lifts up on gas struts to provide extra storage. And this van has no shortage of modern looking timber cupboards and drawers --- 20 of them but oddly no hanging space. Stylish lighting including read- ing lamps and a well designed decor all add to making it a comfortable home away from home. Standard features include a small but comfortable two-seat dinette with fold down table, provision for TV, decent size fridge that operates on gas, 12V and 240V power, microwave, dual water system, a 4-plate gas cook top with griller (one plate is electric) and a range hood with fan and light. It also comes with a battery charger. Outside, there's an external water tap and powerpoint, front window stone guard, generous front boot for storage of grey waste and water hoses plus the gas bottle and power cable. Likes: Value for money, easy to tow, decent size fridge, plenty of cupboards, easy to keep clean and reasonable bench space. Dislikes: Bed may be too short for taller people and is on the firm side, some cupboard doors hard to open. Guide to fuel use WORKING out your vehicle's fuel consumption is simple. Fill the vehicle and wait for the nozzle to click and stop pumping. Wait for the fuel to settle then fill to the second click. Set the vehicle's trip metre to zero. Next time you fill up, again fill to the second click and record how many litres you have pum- ped. Also note the number of kilometres travelled between fills from the trip metre. Divide the number of litres by the kilometres travelled then multiple that by 100 to work out how many litres per 100km you have used. For example --- Your car takes 50 litres of fuel and the trip metre shows 397 kilometres. Divide 50 by 397 equals 0.125, multiply by 100 equals 12.59 litres/100km.
April 17th 2010
May 1st 2010