by clicking the arrows at the side of the page, or by using the toolbar.
by clicking anywhere on the page.
by dragging the page around when zoomed in.
by clicking anywhere on the page when zoomed in.
web sites or send emails by clicking on hyperlinks.
Email this page to a friend
Search this issue
Index - jump to page or section
Archive - view past issues
The Mercury Cars Guide : April 24th 2010
Saturday, April 24, 2010 Classifieds 62 300 400 carsguide.com.au ---15 nomad fuel challenge IN TANDEM: The Santa Fe, left, returned remarkable fuel figures while towing a Jayco Disovery pop top, right. 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 worst, thanks to the headwinds, 12l/100km. The Santa Fe covered 1186km with- out a wimper, staying in fifth or sixth gear for most of the journey, such is the tremendous torque from the diesel. We used 122.90 litres; total cost of $159.84, with diesel prices ranging from a high $1.38 a litre in Eden to a low $1.21 a litre in Melbourne. The Santa Fe's fuel economy as a tow vehicle was remarkable consider- ing the gale force head winds and the constant four wheel drive wagon had an automatic transmission, air con- ditioning was used when needed, as was the cruise control. Plus it comes with a five-star safety rating, has a big cabin and adult space in all seven seats. It took less than a day to pick the Santa Fe's best and not so good features. The best was the strong 145kW commonrail turbo diesel, per- fectly matched to the six-speed auto- matic with sequential manual shifting available if needed. The combination is a cracker. It develops 436Nm of torque between 1800 and 2500rpm. The auto delivers more torque than the manual (421Nm) so gives it the edge for towing. We drove the Elite-spec version which comes well equipped for the $43,990 pricetag including dual air conditioning, lockable rear differen- tial, traction and stability control, six airbags, parking sensors, cruise con- trol, push button start, wide-angled interior ''nanny'' mirror, power ad- justment for the front seats, smart entry and iPod and USB connectivity. The worst: the firm front seats which need more support for the base of the spine, although the driver's seat which has electric lumbar control, was more comfortable than the pass- enger's. Even more remarkable was that it towed a caravan weighing in at 1.3 tonnes and fitted with a roof- mounted air condition unit which created extra drag without any is- sues. We have written about the seven- seat Santa Fe before, noting how quiet and ser friendly it is to drive. Thanks to Hyundai, Jayco, Big 4 parks and Ecowash who prepared the Santa Fe. Taking a home on holiday HOME FROM HOME: Caravan touring is booming. THEY are cursed for being slow and cumbersome, big and ungainly. But like it or not, taking your home with you on a life on the road is gaining popularity. How many caravans are on our roads? It's difficult to quantify. According to the Caravan and Camp- ing Industry Association of New South Wales, there are 330,000 recreational vehicles currently registered in Aust- ralia and the industry is booming. Sales over the past decade are up by more than 250 per cent. The Global Financial Crisis it seems was a mere blip, forcing many people to holiday at home, with many early retires caught up in the crisis deciding to buy a van or motorhome rather than travel overseas. The association estimates there are between 70,000 and 80,000 caravans touring every day. Those at the front line of the nomadic movement say they are witnessing a major cultural shift in the RV industry. CarsGuide spoke to two caravan park operators --- one at Batemans Bay the other further south at Eden. They are typical park operators franchised to the major Big 4 holiday park network. The Batemans Bay Beach Resort, owned by the Eurobodalla Shire, is understood to have invested $10 to $12 million in its five-star park in recent years, including a major upgrade of recreational facilities for children. Danny Whitter who manages the park with his wife Vicky, says there has been a big swing to families going on caravan or camping holidays and while there has been a decline in traditional tenting, there has been an upswing in the number of camper trailers and larger caravans. ''We noticed the move to Expanda type caravans (vans with slide out pods) and the number of families using the park.'' And the recent global economic crisis has been a windfall for park operators. ''People are definitely holidaying at home and we've also noticed that if petrol prices rise they tend to stay longer and travel less.'' It's a view supported by Karen and Ed Perry who manage the four-star Twofold Bay Beach Resort just outside Eden. They have been running the park, owned by Aspen Parks, for nearly a decade and before that ran a caravan park at Port Augusta in South Australia. The Eden park, hugging the spectacular Nullica Beach, is already holding book- ings for 85 per cent of its sites for next Christmas. ''And 80 per cent of those were here last Christmas. What we are seeing is a big swing to young families going caravann- ing or camping. It's no longer the retirees filling our parks. People are holidaying at home and many customers are new to camping or caravans --- there's a lot of camping virgins who are booking sites.'' Fundamentals of frugal motoring THERE are three big killers to achieving good fuel con- sumption figures: excessive speed, poor driving habits or poor engine tune. To get the best result: drive smoothly; don't accelerate or brake hard; keep the vehicle moving by anticipating changes to the traffic to avoid delays; reduce your speed on the highway; switch off the engine while waiting for long periods at traffic lights; use the highest gear poss- ible without labouring the engine. Change up a gear in petrol engine vehicles at about 2500rpm, in diesels at about 2000rpm. If vehicle speed drops off select a lower gear sooner rather than later; modern automatics can use less fuel than a manual; reduce the vehicle or trailer's weight by getting rid of unwanted items like roof racks; get your vehicle serviced; avoid peak hour traffic; ensure your tyres are at the manufacturer's maxi- mum recommended level; and on the highway use the air conditioning rather than drive with the windows down to reduce drag; at lower city speeds switch off the air conditioning and open a window. 281 Main Road, Glenorchy Phone: 6213 3315 Hans Kerkvliet 0411 174 411 Robert Heuke 0438 289 277 Hobart Great Wall $24,850. Drive away. The V240 4WD Dual Cab DEMO -- Jewel Red, 2.4 litre engine, 5-speed manual, air conditioning, remote central locking, ABS/EBD, alloy wheels and a 3-year/100,000km warranty... Great. Metallic paint $350 extra. $22,500. Drive away. The V240 2WD Dual Cab DEMO -- Metallic Silver, alloy wheels, air conditioning, leather trimmed seats, dual airbags, ABS/EBD, electric windows and a 3-year/100,000km warranty... Great. Metallic paint $350 extra. Drive away SAVE $1,840 DEMO MODEL SAVE $2,490 DEMO MODEL Mega Sale last day! Go in the draw to win $5000
April 17th 2010
May 1st 2010