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The Mercury Cars Guide : May 22nd 2010
16--- Classifieds 62 300 400 • carsguide.com.au Saturday, May 22, 2010 Fines overtake logic CONFUSION: It is not uncommon for there to be a 10 per cent margin of error in car speedometres. As the recent recipient of a speeding fine incurred during an overtaking manoeuvre on one of our state s single-carriageway, two-lane roads, I say: hear-hear to Doug Mullet. Should we safely and quickly pass by staying on the oncoming side of the road for the shortest time or should we watch our speedo? Graham Wilson , Port Fairy Hear-hear to you. Unnoticed Octavia a real diamond in the rough I was driving through a carpark and noticed a Skoda wagon. Quite a striking car. Can you tell a little about it and how does it compare against the Golf Volkswagen? Wayne McStay, email Skoda is the Czech brand in the Volkswagen family and the car you probably saw is an Octavia, one of the undiscovered gems in today s showrooms. It s bigger than the Golf and, depending on the model, more like a Passat but with better value. Speed issues call for better training and less fines Regarding the recent reader s rant about speeding: it s a shame people like him don t people get as fired up about our pathetic driver licensing system. Decent training gives new drivers an idea of the difference 5 km/h more makes, and gets through way more effectively than an anger-inducing fine in the mail. Trouble is, training costs money, whereas fines produce it. Therefore, our state government has managed to brainwash some simplistic souls into thinking speed is the major problem --- its the biggest con ever perpetuated on the public. Geoff Fickling, Motorvate Young Drivers Suzuki embarrasses Subaru and Toyota with Kizashi In reading various reviews and write-ups of the new Suzuki Kizashi, I have come to realise that companies like Subaru and Toyota are starting to run out of excuses for their average offerings in the mid-size car market. Much to my despair as a big Subaru fan, it irritates me that a company like Suzuki can come up with such an attractive and polished offering in a class it has all-but no experience in competing in. The Subaru Liberty, a long-time favourite of mine, is now a revolting combination of lacklustre American design and an uncharismatic interior; the Toyota is equally bland, average and unexcitable. Granted, the Suzuki does lack the quality of drivetrain the Subaru offers, but it s more than made up by an amazingly low price as well as more standard equipment than in a Liberty costing $15,000 more. I mean, when was the last time you heard of a competent Japanese car costing $34,990 with standard leather seats, Xenon lights, climate, cruise, traction control/ESP, sunroof --- the list goes on? My love for the Subaru has meant me forgiving the foibles of the Liberty on grounds of development costs and the like but now, after Suzuki (who is by no means the biggest car manufacturer around) my sympathy has been lost and it s now just a case of cowardly conservative design and unadventurous model speccing. As for Toyota, they don t even have the excuse of being a small independent company. Rubbish I say. Jordan Katsianis, email The Kizashi is very good but Suzuki is also just getting started, so it has a clean sheet and massive enthusiasm. The Liberty is a great car spoiled by looks but Toyota has lost the plot on anything but A-to-B transport modules. Our review of the Kizashi this week rates it as a solid Car of the Year contender. Cruze not the best, but still a sensible contender I would like to know your thoughts on the Holden Cruze YG manual. Are they duds? Shaun Redman, email The Cruze is not the best in class --- that would be the VW Golf, followed by the Mazda2 --- but it s a solid and sensible contender. We rate it similarly to the Mitsubishi Lancer, although it does not have the rival s five-year warranty. Outback turbo-diesel a good fit for LPG I was looking at buying either a turbo-diesel Outback or the previous 2009 model and fitting LPG. Any advice on how the new turbo-diesel is going, where I could get a good donut LPG conversion and what it would do to the Outback s performance? Mick Noonan, email The Outback diesel is very good, although our experience says it needs kilometres to give its best. And it s only a manual. Subaru is totally against LPG conversions on its engines. DoIspeedordoInotspeed --- that is the question I bought a Subaru Outback in Feb this year and absolutely love it. I was only recently alerted to the fact that the speedo is reading higher than the car s actual speed. I have checked it against several other cars and GPS units and I believe that when it shows 100km/h, I am actually only doing 92km/h and at 60km/h I am only doing 54km/h. After calling Subaru and voicing my concerns, I was told that this is correct and cannot be adjusted and all Subarus are made with this discrepency deliberately. I wonder, firstly, if you have experienced the same error and secondly, your thoughts on this? I might add that at no stage during the test drive or purchase process did anyone ever mention to me that this was the case and I was very disappointed to be told this after I have been driving around holding up traffic for the past three months. Alan Foon, email There is probably a slight misunderstanding, because speedometer error is normal in every car. The world standard is 10 per cent error, plus or minus, but car companies do not deliberately set their speedos wrongly. If you want to correct it there are instrument specialists who can do the job, but you already know the error in your dial. used cars HOT: 2004 Hilux Flat Tray. SCOOP: 2009 Nissan Tiida. Co-Op A LATE 2004 turbo-diesel Hilux dual cab 4x4 flat tray is Co-Op's hot deal today. It is packed with features like air conditioning, CD player, power windows and a side-mounted Lyco loader. It has travelled 98,000km. A rare find at $25,990. Wayne's Car Sales DEAL of the week is a 2006 Rodeo 4x4 flat tray at $20,990. This five-speed turbo-diesel comes with side steps, bulbar, towbar and has travelled 108 ,000km. DJ Quality Used Cars DJ has made a scoop purchase of 2009 Nissan Tiida hatchback and sedans. Each has automatic transmission, dual airbags, ABS brakes, cruise control and under 30,000km on the clock. Remainder of their three-year/100,00km warranty and five to choose from at $15,990 drive away. Motors Glenorchy THERE is a red hot drive away deal on a 2006 Holden Commodore V6 sedan at Motors --- priced at $29,995. It has a high output 190kW alloytec V6 with an active-select five-speed automatic transmission. Then there is the 18-inch five-spoke alloy wheels, body kit including front spoiler with fog lights, side skirts, dual exhaust and rear spoiler. All the looks of an SS without the V8 fuel bill. The interior i soptioned with black leather and it has travelled 51,000km.
May 15th 2010
May 29th 2010