seqa travel | leisure | lifestyle
Issue 2 | Jan - Mar | 2010
from the editor Welcome to the January – March 2010 issue of SEQA – Travel, Leisure and Lifestyle magazine. Firstly let me thank all those readers who took the time to give us feedback on our first issue. It appears that we have struck a nerve, as you overwhelmingly loved the content. SEQA is deliberately aimed at providing some light reading over a coffee. It seems that there was something in the magazine for almost everyone as readers responded with their favourite article and the vote was wide spread. Two readers even rang to tell me that they used the article on Skiing in New Zealand to plan their holiday for next year. There was very positive feedback about just how readers received the magazine. It was sent as a gift from their financial advisor. They felt it was gratifying that their advisor thought enough about them to make the effort to send them a free copy as a thank you for being a client. It’s times like now when people are cautious about their finances that the little extra things help build solid client relationships. Of course, sending a free magazine is absolutely no substitute for excellent service but in an industry where it has been all doom and gloom lately; letting clients know that they are important to a business can only enhance an otherwise strong bond. Now that’s the way to build referrals. In this issue we have a broad array of topics including: Brazil has always evoked the emotions as an exotic travel destination and as host of the football World Cup in 2014 and now the Summer Olympics in 2016, there are even more reasons to explore this Sth American beauty. We give you the rundown on where to go and what to see. 3 www.seqa.com.au
Small and medium sized AWD SUV’s have been the success story of the last 5 years and now almost every manufacturer has one or more in their line up. For many families they have replaced the traditional sedan and in fact have almost killed off the normal station wagon. They are popular because they fill a demand. Drivers want the promise of adventure without sacrificing daily comforts. We look at 6 of the more interesting offerings on the market.
Well enough of my ramblings, I hope you enjoy this issue of SEQA. We are fairly relaxed and laid back here and would love to hear from you what you think about our magazine. After all, this entire magazine is about you. Our aim is to enhance your lifestyle. Without you reading it and getting knowledge or pleasure from it why would we bother.
Let’s face it most of us have either gone on a cruise or longed to take a cruise. Who hasn’t watched that TV Show “The Love Boat” and wished we were on it. Oh how things have changed over the years! We take a look at two spectacular new cruising ships. “Oasis of the Seas” and the sister ship “Allure of the Seas” will be the largest and most revolutionary cruise ships in the world when launched in December 2009 and December 2010, respectively. Architectural marvels at sea, both ships will span 16 decks, encompass 225,282 gross registered tons, carry 5,400 guests at double occupancy, and feature 2,700 staterooms.
The hot summer ahead is perfect weather for going topless while motoring. No I am not advocating causing traffic chaos by sitting topless in your car this summer. Now while this may be interesting on the evening news, I would rather you take advantage of our perfect weather and the increasing number of Coupé Cabriolets that are available on the market. In this issue of SEQA we look at 4 of our favourite Coupé Cabriolet convertibles. In addition to these we have articles on Healthy Living, Part 1 of choosing a Home Theatre system, the latest gadgets that fill our busy lives and a host more to keep you interested.
Happy days and cheers! Rob Fraser Editor
Editor: Rob Fraser e firstname.lastname@example.org m 0434 566 999 Editorial Enquiries: e email@example.com Sub Editors: Vicki Fraser and Chloe Fraser
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Regular Contributors Rob Fraser, Jeff Daniels, Peter Wilson, Stephen Lawson and Susan Kerkin
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contents The latest gadgets that fill but may not fulfill our lives
Going topless for summer
â€œOasis of the Seasâ€? a cruising revolution
Sporty SUVs for the adventurous lifestyle
How to buy a Home Theatre system without going batty
Small business warrior Flying my own kite
The latest gadgets that fill but may not fulfill our lives Nokia E-72 Nokia is set to launch the successor to the popular E71 in December 2009. The E-72 builds on the strengths of the very popular E-71 and the enhancements include a 5-megapixel camera and a 3.5mm headphone jack. These changes are aimed at the recreational user, moving away from a business-only handset. Nokia has also replaced the central navigation key with a new optical track-pad and is promising a faster user experience all-round, including faster internet browsing. In line with other E-Series handsets released this year, the E72 will also come with Nokia Messaging pre-installed, which includes HTML-style message browsing, and the latest version of Nokia Maps with a 10-day turn-by-turn navigation trial. The E-72 is a sleek stylish high performance personal device made for seamless personal and business communication. Nokia continue to improve on already successful models. For more details go to www.nokia.com.au
Navman MY Series GPS If you thought GPS was just about getting from A to B, think again. The new Navman MY series has a host of new features and enhancements that go beyond simple navigation to provide rich information making travel better, safer and more interesting - from live traffic and weather updates as standard across three of its models, the Australian-first inclusion of Lonely Planet and WCities destination guides on GPS and the ability to search Google from your sat. nav. Features include â€œSmart Findâ€?, a tool that allows people to search for a destination, place or address as they would online, safety and speed alerts, multi-trip planner, 3D landmarks, digital logbook and new screens and easy-to-use menu. Available now and with a rrp from $299 for the MY30 through to the MY500XT at $599, the Navman MY series is the result of bringing together the latest technologies to provide the very best and most useful navigational tools available and make them even easier to use. To find out more go to www.navman.com.au
Olympus E-450 dSLR Olympus has released another camera that contends for the title of smallest digital SLR, the E-450 that replaces the E-420. Rather than a rich feature upgrade the E-450 is more of a marginal improvement. It retains the positive features of a lightweight, compact size camera and is inexpensive which will make it appealing to travellers who are looking for flexibility and portability in a 10-megapixel SLR camera. The main improvements are inside where a high-speed imager AF is present which allows for auto focus in live view. Burst shooting speed has been upped to 3.5 frames per second, which is pretty good for this level of camera. It looks pretty similar to the E-420 and with only slight improvements there may be no reason to upgrade. However if you’re in the market for a new camera this is worthwhile looking at. If you’re looking for more features then perhaps the E-620 may be just the thing for you. It is available now with a RRP of AU$999 which includes a 14-42mm lens. For more information go to www.olympus.com.au
IPOD nano Apple has released the 5th generation iPod nano and it’s a ripper. Visually, the major differences are a slightly larger 2.2” screen, built-in video camera on the rear panel and the new, anodised aluminium finish, which provides a huge tactile difference and comes in 9 fabulous colours. Additional features over the 4th generation IPod include FM tuner, microphone, built-in speaker and pedometer for Nike+ support. These only serve to make an already popular model better value. The only comment we have is that the video lens is prone to having fingers over it but because the Nano has a built-in accelerometer you can solve this problem by turning the device upside down and it will still know to film right side up. Otherwise it preserves all of the core functions of the original nano. How can you argue with a feature rich, better-looking nano for the same price and retails from $199 for the 8GB version to $249 for the 16 GB versions? To find out more go to www.apple.com.au
PSP®go Keeping pace with the needs of digital consumers, the PSP® (PlayStation®Portable) evolves in the form of PSP®go to bring you the entertainment power of PlayStation® in a stylish new portable design. Lighter and smaller than before, with an easy sliding display panel, PSP®go has no UMD or disc drive and is designed to be compatible with downloadable content, freeing up space in your pocket.
PS3™ Slimline120Gb From games, to music, videos, web browsing and Blu-ray movies – PS3 offers the biggest range of entertainment options and greater storage capacity all of which are now packed into a significantly smaller, slimline design at the lower price of RRP $499.95. The new unit also consumes one third less power than its predecessor, resulting in more efficient performance and quieter operation. This new look PS3 will appeal to a wider audience who are looking to buy the best entertainment system for their home. The new PS3 boasts all the entertainment and connectivity features of the original, allowing you to play Blu-ray and DVD movies in full HD, stream free music videos via VidZone, browse the internet in the comfort of your living room, play against your friends online for free via PlayStation®Network and connect with your PSP® (PlayStation®Portable) or PSP®go for extra functionality wherever you are in the world. Users will also have access to increased entertainment on demand services and can also look forward to the forthcoming PlayStation Network video delivery service for PS3 and PSP. For more information go to www.sony.com.au
Use it to show your photography portfolio, store your favourite music, watch videos and play games downloaded from PlayStation® Store, all thanks to 16GB of internal flash memory. This storage space is also expandable via a M2 Memory Stick micro slot. The new design makes the PSP®go 43 percent lighter than the existing PSP® (PlayStation®Portable) and enhances the portable entertainment experience with maximum connectivity options via Bluetooth and WiFi. PSP®go also boasts an impressive 3.8 inch colour screen, giving users the best view of their games, movies and images. PSP®go launched on 1 October 2009 with a RRP of $499.95. Further adding to an exciting year for PSP is a raft of new software coming to the platform, including LittleBigPlanet and Gran Turismo® and later this year the new Digital Reader service for PSP. For more information go to www.sony.com.au
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| lifestyle travel | leisure
2 | Jan - Mar | 2010
Brazil has always evoked the emotions as destination an exotic travel and as host of the footba now the Summe ll World Cup r Olympics in in 2014 and 2016, there reasons to explore are even more this South Americ an beauty. You cannot escape the most extraor Brazil: the incomp dinary sights and sounds arable setting in of Rio de Janeiro Carnival and iconic beach with its exuber es right in the ant of the waters heart of the over the Devil’s city, the rush Throat at the of exotic birds Iguassu Falls, and monke the call ys in the steamy Rainforest, the jungles of the samba dance Amazon rs in full flow costumes and in their flambo the tranquillity yant of the coast beaches stretchi with its vast, ng over 7000km golden from north to south. For some, the highlight of their Brazil holiday de Bahia, Brazil’s may be Salvad most lively city or with its colonia and African spirit and also l architecture another great Or perhaps city to catch your perfec Carnival. t Brazil tour is Pantanal wetland wildlife spotting s where animal in the s and birds than in the are more visible jungle due to the less dense vegetation. You could also indulge in that other great catching a Brazilian passion game at Rio’s by Maracana Stadium Brazilian footba , the home ll. Wherever of you choose is a feast to to go, a Brazil be savoured holiday by all the senses incredible array and offers an of destinations for discerning adventure trips travellers from to total relaxat ion in top-cla ss luxury retreats The climate in Brazil ranges . from tempe in the north. rate in the south Planning holiday to tropical s in Brazil often which comes comes down at its heavie to rainfall st at differen the country. t times in differen As a genera t parts of l guide, it rains the southeast, most Novem December-Ma ber-March in rch in the centre the northea st and Marchwest, April-Au May in the north gust in and Amazo Although May-Se nia. ptember is usually though be a pleasa t of as winter, nt time to go, it can often especially in weather is warm the centre and without being south as wet and humid time avoids the busy peak and travellin g at this domestic holiday With an area season of Jan-Fe of just over b. 8.4 million square than Australi kilometres, (slightly a) Brazil occup ies nearly half larger continent and of the South has a popula American tion of 190 million. country that is looking to It is a thriving a bright econom , vibrant ic future.
s The latest gadget t no that fill but may fulfill our lives Nokia E-72
the successor to the Nokia is set to launch 2009. The E-72 builds popular E71 in December the very popular E-71 and on the strengths of the a 5-megapixel camera enhancements include jack. These changes and a 3.5mm headphone user, moving away are aimed at the recreational handset. from a business-only the central navigation Nokia has also replaced track-pad and is promising key with a new optical all-round, including faster a faster user experience with other E-Series handsets internet browsing. In line Nokia E72 will also come with released this year, the , which includes HTML-style Messaging pre-installed the latest version of Nokia message browsing, and navigation trial. The turn-by-turn Maps with a 10-day performance personal E-72 is a sleek stylish high business personal and device made for seamless on continue to improve communication. Nokia For more details go to already successful models. www.nokia.com.au
Navman MY Series GPS
just about getting from If you thought GPS was new Navman MY series A to B, think again. The and enhancements has a host of new features navigation to provide that go beyond simple travel better, safer and rich information making live traffic and weather more interesting - from across three of its models, updates as standard of Lonely Planet and the Australian-first inclusion on GPS and the WCities destination guides from your sat. nav. ability to search Google Find”, a tool that allows Features include “Smart a destination, place people to search for online, safety and or address as they would planner, 3D landmarks, speed alerts, multi-trip screens and digital logbook and new easy-to-use menu.
a rrp from $299 for the Available now and with Navman MY500XT at $599, the MY30 through to the latest of bringing together the MY series is the result the very best and most technologies to provide available and make useful navigational tools go to use. To find out more them even easier to www.navman.com.au
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going topless for summer
by Rob Fraser
The hot summer ahead is perfect weather for going topless while motoring. No I am not advocating causing traffic chaos by sitting topless in your car this summer. Now while this may be interesting on the evening news, I would rather you take advantage of our perfect weather and the increasing number of Coupé Cabriolets that are available on the market. In this issue of SEQA we look at 4 of our favourite Coupé Cabriolet convertibles, the blisteringly fast 2 seat BMW Z4 sDrive35i that reverts back to the halcyon days of the E-Type jag, the Boulevard cruising Lexus IS250C, the stunning Peugeot 308 CC 2.0L HDi and Volkswagen’s extremely popular EOS. There is truly something special about driving around Sydney’s northern beaches on a balmy summer evening with the top down enjoying one of those moments that are remembered long after the night finishes.
BMW Z4 sDrive35i Launched in May 2009 the new generation Z4 is a visual and aural sensory delight. It has that long low look from the famous E-Type Jag all wrapped in a modern two seat Roadster. At first it appears long and slightly bulky which is a feeling reinforced by the fact that you sit lower and further back than most other vehicles. When you first sit in the driver’s seat the huge bonnet bulge becomes apparent however after a short while driving, it becomes smaller. Like most BMWs the more you drive them the more they become a part of you. Technology (and there is heaps in the Z4) that simply works unobtrusively assists the driving pleasure. Sitting in the drivers seat you are comfortably cocooned, start the engine and you hear that muted growl, plant the right foot and the Z4 leaps to life with a loud growl and acceleration that screams FUN! Yes Virginia this is a driver’s car. It handles like a go kart, has power to burn, sounds fantastic and with the top down there are few more pleasurable (and legal) experiences to be had while driving. Sure it has a few shortcomings, but they are all forgiven. Did I mention that this car is all about FUN! The BMW Z4 has always been a dynamic open top two-seater sportscar. It delivers a mouth-watering mix
Car featured: BMW Z4 sDrive35i see front cover ALSO
SEQA : Motoring
Car featured: Peugeot 308 CC S 2.0L HDi
of front-engine, rear-wheel drive layout, close to 50/50 weight distribution, pin-sharp steering and tremendous grip. The bonnet, roof panels and front guards are made from aluminium, as is much of the suspension. The retractable roof stows or unfolds in 20 seconds and reveals the Z4’s sleek design. With the roof down or up there is minor scuttle shake but it is noticeable. Absolutely chock full of goodies the standard equipment includes Kansas leather upholstery equipped with BMW SunReflective Technology, cruise control with brake function, Park Distance Control front and rear, electromechanical parking brake, electronic differential lock, Dynamic Driving Control, Bi-Xenon headlights, heated seats, through loading feature, engine stop/ start button, Bluetooth handsfree technology, AUX-in connection and the handy USB interface. A large array of options and option packages are available reflecting the strong desire to personalise the BMW Z4 by prospective owners. The options list includes BMW Adaptive M suspension, a seven-speed sport transmission with double clutch, light alloy wheels up to 19-inches in diameter, sport seats, power seat adjustment, lumbar support, adaptive headlights, TV function, Professional Navigation, extended leather in the standard ‘Kansas’ seat trim, or the option of the Character Package ‘Design Pure White’ which includes ‘Nappa’ leather trim Ivory white, sport seats and fine-wood trim Fineline Anthracite. Some of these features are standard on some models.
The BMW Z4 sDrive35i is powered a six-cylinder twin turbo 3.0-litre high precision injection engine generating 225 kW of power and 400 Nm of torque. This motor is mated to a seven-speed sports automatic with double clutch. The combination will take the car from 0-100 km/h in just 5.1 seconds. For such a powerful motor it is surprisingly economical using just 9.0L/100km (ADR combined) and produces 210g/km of CO2 emissions. The Green Vehicle Guide rating is 3 1/2-stars. The BMW Z4 sDrive35i has an overall length of 4239mm, wheelbase of 2496mm, width of 1790mm and height of 1291mm. The Tare mass is 1580kg With a MLP of $116,900, it has stunning performance, (I am still smiling), sensual styling, cramped interior and boot space and BMW’s 2 year unlimited km warranty with 3 years 24/7 roadside assist.
Peugeot 308 CC S 2.0L HDi Launched in July 2009 the new 308CC S is a stunning looking vehicle. This four seat Coupé Cabriolet has a high waisted look, rounded rear end sloping from back to front and looks great with the top either up or down. The design means that you are able to seat three in comfort and four if the driver is short or doesn’t mind being slightly cramped. In fact space is a feature overall. The two front passengers could be forgiven for thinking they were in a sedan. The electric seats are big enough for amply endowed butts and there is plenty of head and shoulder room.
Car featured: PEUGEOT 308 cc s 2.0L HDi
Car featured: Lexus IS 250C Sports Luxury
Like most Peugeots it has its quirks and idiosyncrasies. It has possibly one of the biggest boots in its class when the roof is up and yet there is nowhere to put a bottle of water or coffee cup inside. It is full of features and yet lacks some basic luxuries like bluetooth. The radio controls on a stalk next to the light stalk are difficult to use where as the steering wheel controls are way more intuitive and safer. Rather than being an outright driver’s car like the BMW or a pure Boulevard Cruiser like the Lexus the Peugeot 308CC S joins the Volkswagen Eos in being a pleasing sporty drive. It handles, goes and stops with a sporty edge. While not as much fun as the BMW it is nevertheless fun to drive. In fact the more you drive the 308CC the more you like it. This is a Coupé Cabriolet that is very easy to live with and very economical. This is one solid feeling convertible. The car’s structural rigidity, vibration damping and low interior noise levels in coupe mode are a measure of the expertise of its manufacturer with this type of vehicle. The sills have been reinforced to their extreme outer limits to give maximum torsional rigidity. There is absolutely no noticeable scuttle shake with the roof down. The retractable roof stows or unfolds in 20 seconds. The 308 CC S comes standard with six airbags – including the world first side head airbags – ESP, selfdeploying rollover bars, automatic locking glovebox and central storage compartment, electronic rear parking assistance, electric folding door mirrors with welcoming light, MP3, rear LED tail lights, standard leather seats with electric operation, heating and memory, Airwave, windstop, 18” wheels, directional Xenon headlights with automatic height adjustment and headlight washers and electronic front parking assistance. 8 www.seqa.com.au
The Peugeot 308CC is powered by a four-cylinder turbo 2.0-litre HDi FAP engine generating 100 kW of power and 320 Nm of torque. The 2.0-litre unit, which is definitely preferrable to the petrol, is coupled to the proven Aisin 6-speed automatic transmission with tiptronic manual mode currently found in diesel versions of the 308 and 407. The combination will take the car from 0-100 km/h in 11.8 seconds. The 2.0L HDi is economical using just 7.0L/100km (ADR combined) and produces 185g/km of CO2 emissions. The Green Vehicle Guide rating is 3 1/2-stars. The Peugeot 308CC has an overall length of 4400mm, wheelbase of 2605mm, width of 1817mm and height of 1426mm. The Tare mass is 1695kg With a MLP of $59,990, it has excellent pricing, beautiful styling and Peugeot’s 3 year 100,000 km warranty.
Lexus IS 250C Sports Luxury Also launched in July 2009 the new IS250C is the first body variant of the marque’s most successful sedan - IS 250. This four seat Coupé Cabriolet has a low distinctive look that is equally attractive with the roof up or down. It is perhaps the most balanced looking of the four.
Although it has four seats it really is designed for two people. Rear seat accommodation is part time at best. However the front driver and passenger want for nothing. Headroom is a little cramped for taller drivers. Make no mistake about it, you are sitting is a super luxurious Coupé Cabriolet that has all the benefits of a sedan with the added fun of top down motoring. The Lexus IS 250C Sports Luxury is almost perfect and performs faultlessly. Everything is extremely well thought out, plenty of storage and areas for bottles etc. It displays all the qualities that Lexus has become famous for and is very easy to live with. The Lexus is the boulevard cruiser of the foursome. It does have the 2.5L V6 however performance and handling is leisurely not sporty and that suits the prospective buyer perfectly. Just don’t expect it to excite you though. As you would expect this is a solid feeling convertible. Lexus design and construction philosophy means that nothing is overlooked and roof up or down the torsional rigidity is outstanding. There is absolutely no noticeable scuttle shake with the roof down. The retractable roof stows or unfolds in 20 seconds. Boot space is enormous with the roof up and limited but useable with it down.
Inside is extremely comfortable with touch screen satellite navigation and a seven-inch multi-information display, heated seats, electro chromatic rear vision mirrors and side mirrors, 12-speaker Mark Levinson Audio System, Lexus smart entry key card, unique interior trim options, while cooling is added to the seats. The all-alloy Lexus 4GR-FSE D-4 Quad Cam multi-valve direct-injection dual VVT-i V6 engine delivers 153kW of power at 6400rpm and 252Nm of torque at 4800rpm. The 2.5-litre V6 engine is matched to a six-speed electronically controlled automatic transmission with shift paddles on the steering wheel. The combination will take the car from 0-100 km/h in 9.0 seconds. The 2.5-litre V6 uses just 9.3L/100km (ADR combined) and produces 219g/km of CO2 emissions. The Green Vehicle Guide rating is 4-stars. The Lexus IS 250C has an overall length of 4635mm, wheelbase of 2730mm, width of 1800mm and height of 1415mm. The Tare mass is 1750kg With a MLP of $99,990, it is pricey but worth it. Style, grace and class combined with the Lexus 4 year 100,000 km warranty.
VW Eos 147TSi DSG
Like all Lexus vehicles the Sports Luxury is full of features including six airbags (and every safety feature you can fit in a car), reversing camera with guide assist and Lexus’ unique VDIM stability control system, Lexus’ radar Active Cruise Control (ACC) and the Lexus Pre-Collision System (PCS).
Launched in February 2007 the Volkswagen Eos is a perennial favourite of ours and perhaps the most balanced of the four Coupé Cabriolets here. There are faster, better handling and more luxurious vehicles but the Eos has a balance that is hard to match.
From the exterior, the sports luxury features High Intensity Discharge headlamps with AFS, LED tail lamps, fog lights, rain-sensing windscreen and puddle lamps, fivepoke, 18-inch shadow chrome alloy wheels with Dunlop 225/40 R18 tyres front and 255/40 R18 tyres rear, parking sensors and space saver spare.
The Eos is the first car in the world to feature a five-section hard top with an integrated sliding/tilting glass roof. This means that you have the benefit of a sunroof as well as a cabriolet. It’s very cool!
Car featured: VW Eos 147TSi DSG
Car featured: VW Eos 147TSi DSG
VW have done an amazing job of extracting space internally and although a little cramped it will fit four in relative comfort. The driver’s seats are a little tight for the ample butts but driving position is superb. There is also space for drinks and all the little things that seem to accumulate and everything is well laid out.
Standard features include driver and passenger front and side/head airbags, ABS, BA, ESP, front fog lights, remote central locking, alloy wheels (le mans) 17 x 7.5” with 235/45 r17 tyres, low tyre pressure indicator, automatic dimming rear-view mirror, dual zone climate control air conditioning, cruise control, coming / leaving home with automatic headlight function, 6 disc CD changer (mounted in-dash) with 8 speakers, parking distance sensors, rear, sport front seats with height adjustment and easy entry function, 3 spoke multi-function leather steering wheel, multi-function trip computer, aluminium decorative inserts in dashboard and doors, rain sensing windscreen wipers, one touch power windows, front and rear. There is however a long and sometimes expensive options list that can add just about everything you could think of. A fully optioned Eos is a fantastic but expensive vehicle. However compared to the other vehicles here it is excellent value.
Rather than being an outright drivers car like the BMW or a pure Boulevard Cruiser like the Lexus the VW Eos joins the Peugeot 308CC S in being a pleasing sporty drive. It handles and goes and stops with a definite sporty edge. While not as much fun as the BMW it’s nevertheless fun to drive.
The 2.0l 4-cylinder turbo petrol engine delivers 147kW of power at 5100-6000rpm and 280Nm of torque at 1800-5000rpm. The engine is matched to a six-speed Direct Shift Gearbox (DSG) dual clutch transmission with shift paddles on the steering wheel.
In fact the more you drive the Eos you realise it is a bundle of fun. It has heaps of personality and is a Coupé Cabriolet that is very easy to live with and very economical. Unusually for a turbo petrol engine the 2.0L 147kw TSi delivers an abundance of torque at the very low level of 1800rpm, which means easy and economical driving.
The combination will take the car from 0-100 km/h in 7.8 seconds. The 2.0L 147kw uses just 8.2L/100km (ADR combined) and produces 194g/km of CO2 emissions. The Green Vehicle Guide rating is 3 1/2-stars.
Typical of Volkswagen the Eos is well constructed with solid torsional rigidity. There is minor scuttle shake with the roof down. The retractable roof stows or unfolds in 25 seconds. Boot space is ample for weekend luggage for two even with the roof down. 10 www.seqa.com.au
The VW Eos has an overall length of 4407mm, wheelbase of 2578mm, width of 1791mm and height of 1443mm. The Tare mass is 1571kg. With a MLP of $53,490, it represents awesome value. The Eos provides fun, fun, fun combined with the VW 3 year 100,000 km warranty.
beautiful exotic Brazil has always evoked the emotions as an exotic travel destination and as host of the football World Cup in 2014 and now the Summer Olympics in 2016, there are even more reasons to explore this South American beauty.
You cannot escape the most extraordinary sights and sounds in Brazil: the incomparable setting of Rio de Janeiro with its exuberant Carnival and iconic beaches right in the heart of the city, the rush of the waters over the Devilâ€™s Throat at the Iguassu Falls, the call of exotic birds and monkeys in the steamy jungles of the Amazon Rainforest, the samba dancers in full flow in their flamboyant costumes and the tranquillity of the coast with its vast, golden beaches stretching over 7000km from north to south. For some, the highlight of their Brazil holiday may be Salvador de Bahia, Brazilâ€™s most lively city with its colonial architecture and African spirit and also another great city to catch Carnival. Or perhaps your perfect Brazil tour is wildlife spotting in the Pantanal wetlands where animals and birds are more visible than in the jungle due to the less dense vegetation. You could also indulge in that other great Brazilian passion by catching a game at Rioâ€™s Maracana Stadium, the home of Brazilian football. Wherever you choose to go, a Brazil holiday is a feast to be savoured by all the senses and offers an incredible array of destinations for discerning travellers from adventure trips to total relaxation in top-class luxury retreats. The climate in Brazil ranges from temperate in the south to tropical in the north. Planning holidays in Brazil often comes down to rainfall which comes at its heaviest at different times in different parts of the country. As a general guide, it rains most November-March in the southeast, December-March in the centre west, April-August in the northeast and March-May in the north and Amazonia. Although May-September is usually thought of as winter, it can often be a pleasant time to go, especially in the centre and south as weather is warm without being wet and humid and travelling at this time avoids the busy peak domestic holiday season of Jan-Feb. With an area of just over 8.4 million square kilometres, (slightly larger than Australia) Brazil occupies nearly half of the South American continent and has a population of 190 million. It is a thriving, vibrant country that is looking to a bright economic future.
Brazil is more than Rio de Janeiro with its famous beaches and Carnival. There is so much more to see.
A pathway runs through the National Park from the Hotel Das Cataratas that allows you to explore the Falls at close range, ending at the viewing platform below the deafening Devilâ€™s Throat, plummeting 350 feet from above into the Iguassu River.
For the more adventurous, you can take a thrilling speedboat ride up the Iguassu River and get close to some of the lesser Falls or take a stunning panoramic helicopter flight over the Falls.
Bigger than Niagara Falls and more impressive and attractive than Victoria Falls, the Iguassu Falls bridge the borders of Argentina, Brazil and Paraguay. They are one of the most awe-inspiring and stunning wonders of the natural world and are a wonderful inclusion in any itinerary to Brazil. The Devilâ€™s Throat is the largest of the 275 separate Falls and can be seen from both the Brazilian and Argentine sides of the Falls. It is recommended you allow a couple of days in the area to see both sides of the National Park as the viewpoints offer very different perspectives. 14 www.seqa.com.au
experience superb biodiversity and be presented with excellent opportunities to gain a deeper understanding of the rainforest and the most rewarding wildlife experiences. A great way to explore the area is by taking an expedition cruise from Manaus. A cruise is a great option for those who like adventure with all the comfort of an all-inclusive cruise and comfortable air-conditioned cabins.
Amazon Rainforest For most, a trip to Brazil is not complete without a journey into the mighty Amazonian jungle. The Amazon and its tributaries make up the largest water system on the planet, a paradise for birdwatchers and nature lovers. Manaus in northern Brazil is the principal gateway into the rainforest and the capital of the region. Take a journey by road and river and stay in jungle lodges and you will
this page: Iguassa Falls Opposite Page : Copocabana Beach
Brazil’s Beaches Brazil is justifiably proud of its long coastline where a beautiful and quiet sandy beach paradise is not hard to find. Relax at the end of your holiday with a few days unwinding on a delightful stretch of coast. Here we list some of the favourite places to stay along the vast coast. In the far north you could head to Natal for lively beach bars in Pipa or rolling sand dunes at Genipabu, which can be explored by sand buggy. Further down the coast, Recife is the gateway both to the small fishing town of Porto de Galinhas and for flights to the island archipelago of Fernando de
Noronha, a marine haven perfect for diving and snorkeling. Still in the north is the chic bohemian village of Trancoso south of Porto Seguro has fast gained a reputation among Sao Paulo’s wealthier residents for its selection of small boutique houses and hotels. It is a small-relaxed town surrounded by its colonial history, steep cliffs and long sandy beaches. In the south the former small fishing village of Buzios is an elegant summer retreat from the vibrant bustling city of Rio de Janeiro, which is just a few hours drive north of the city. The surrounding peninsula offers some 25 exquisite beaches to choose from.
Another wonderful location between Rio and Sao Paulo is one of Brazil’s prettiest colonial towns, close to the stunning beaches of the Costa Verde (Emerald Coast). Paraty was declared a national monument and bustles with tourists browsing its small boutiques and art galleries at weekends, while the town is quiet and intimate during the week and in low season. The nearby coast with its wonderful beaches, small islands and inlets are just as charming and scenic.
Ouro Preto Located a few hours drive from Belo Horizonte, Ouro Preto is an attractive and well-known colonial town in Minas Gerais. Founded in 1711, this delightful gold-mining town and former state capital is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It has a charming atmosphere characterised by cobbled streets winding up and down steep hills, crowned by colonial churches. Old mansions, fountains, terraced gardens and vivid tiled towers blend to create a calm 18th century gem that is perfect for exploring on foot.
Rio de Janeiro Rio, perhaps the most famous of all Brazilâ€™s attractions, is an extraordinary city, which has long been a favourite tourist destination. It is full of energy and the cityâ€™s incomparable setting of beaches, ocean and mountains, watched over by the iconic Statue of Christ atop Corcovado Mountain, is unforgettable. Copacabana and Ipanema are probably the most famous beaches in South America and the views from the cable car up Sugarloaf Mountain are breath taking. There are some great restaurants, excellent clubs and plenty of places to explore, including the dense forest of Tijuca and nearby small towns such as Petropolis. Along the coast both north and south of the city lay smaller resorts to relax in when you tire of the hustle and bustle of city life with Angra dos Reis, Ilha Grande and Paraty to the south and Buzios to the north. Of course, there is also the famous Rio Carnival, which takes place every February just before Ash Wednesday. The Brazilians celebrate
with drums, singing and dancing in the street in an explosion of colour and music along with lavish and outrageous costumes. Hotels do impose minimum stays of 4-5 nights during Carnival period and early booking is essential as many hotels are booked out months in advance.
Pantanal and Bonito The Pantanal is a vast floodplain that is home to the worldâ€™s largest nature reserve and is arguably the best place in Brazil to view wildlife. Very different to the jungle, the region has more open spaces and far fewer trees thus making it easier to see the abundant birds and animals. This unique ecosystem is a perfect environment for a great number of birds, reptiles and a host of other animals. About 300kms from Campo Grande and on route to the southern Pantanal, Bonito is one of the most complex and fascinating areas of natural water in the world. The area offers hundreds of waterfalls, lakes and crystal clear rivers as well as more than 80 caves, both dry and flooded,
together with an endless variety of wild animal species. The best time of the year to go to the Pantanal is during the drier season - from March to October.
Recife and Olinda Recife is the capital of Pernambuco state and is the gateway to the beach resort of Porto de Galinhas to the south as well as the access point by air to the Fernando de Noronha archipelago. Another popular and charming attraction for visitors is its former colonial capital, Olinda that was founded in 1537 and is now also an UNESCO World Heritage Site. Particularly known for its beautiful churches and a large community of artists, it is a delightful town to explore on foot for a few days.
this page Below: Salvador Opposite page far left: Rio de Janeiro Left: Samba Dancers
Salvador Salvador is where Brazil meets Africa and the Caribbean. Wander through its atmospheric cobbled streets in the old quarter of Pelourinho, another UNESCO world heritage site that has been lovingly restored back to its former glory over the last decade. Several of the old colonial houses have been transformed into luxurious boutique properties right in the heart of this historic city; one is even located in a former convent. Visit magnificent baroque churches and museums and try the delicious Bahian cuisine. Salvador’s stunning coastal setting looks out over the Bay of Todos os Santos and is a great place to discover the colonial heritage of Brazil. Music is part of the culture and you can learn about capoeira, candomble or traditional forro music at different venues throughout the city. This culture means Salvador offers a great alternative but no less lively location than Rio for Carnival in February.
Ten cool things to do in Brazil 1. Experience the spectacle of Carnival. There are a number of choices with Rio the most famous 2. Relax on a river cruise on the Amazon 3. Attend a Fashion show at Sao Paulo 4. Take a speedboat ride up the Iguassu River and walk to the famous Falls
Travelling to Brazil takes a little more planning and thought than many other destinations. For all its natural beauty and splendor it does have a seedier side that travellers need to be acutely aware of. To find out some really useful information on travelling to Brazil, health, safety and general things you need to know I suggest you visit the following Government website for more information – www.smartraveller.gov. au/zw-cgi/view/advice/brazil
5. Learn to Samba 6. Check out girls from Ipanema and relax on the beach 7. Take a cable car ride to Sugarloaf Mountain 8. Visit any of the UNESCO World Heritage listed sites 9. Explore the unique ecosystem of the vast Pantanal floodplain 10. Snorkeling in the rivers at Bonito surrounded by diverse and colourful marine life. Just one more because we can 11. Catch a game of football at Rio’s Maracana Stadium, the home of Brazilian football.
To find out more about travelling in Brazil say hi to our friends at Delfor Pelletti South America Tourism Office Level 1, 178 Collins Street Melbourne VIC 3000 p 03 9654 7977 f 03 9650 8177 e firstname.lastname@example.org www.southamericatourism.com
Oasis of the Seas
a cruising revolution
Let’s face it, most of us have either gone on a cruise or longed to take one. Who hasn’t watched that TV Show “The Love Boat” and wished they were on it. Oh how things have changed over the years. Back in 1970, Song of Norway, Royal Caribbean International’s first ship had a gym in an empty cabin that consisted of a rowing machine and a treadmill. Not many people used the gym, or made any effort to find it. Move forward almost 40 years and the evolution of cruise ships has reached levels of luxury that seem impossible. With the astounding array of choices and amenities being introduced on Royal Caribbean International’s next generation of cruise ships, vacationers will be hard-pressed to find another experience as spectacular.
Oasis of the Seas and the sister ship Allure of the Seas will be the largest and most revolutionary cruise ships in the world when launched in December 2009 and December 2010, respectively. Architectural marvels at sea, both ships will span 16 decks, encompass 225,282 gross registered tons, carry 5,400 guests at double occupancy, and feature 2,700 staterooms. The two ships will sail from their home port of Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale. Royal Caribbean’s newest ships feature the largest fitness centers and spas at sea, overlooking the vast expanses of the oceans. Pools that were once inside the ship and on the lowest level have evolved into entire water parks and poolscapes running the length of the uppermost decks and on some Royal Caribbean ships, guests can actually surf!
Innovative maritime architecture that can deliver ‘WOW’ experiences for guests is a prime directive of the Royal Caribbean brand, and the cruise line’s newest ship, Oasis of the Seas, will continue an evolution that is nothing short of revolutionary. Throughout the 90s and into the early part of this century, Royal Caribbean has unveiled innovation after innovation and set the benchmark by which other cruise ships are measured. These include the “observation deck” concept, the immensely popular and now iconic rock-climbing wall, an indoor ice-skating rink, and in-line skating, the FlowRider surf simulator, H2O interactive water park, cantilevered whirlpools, and a boxing ring, thus living up to Royal Caribbean’s standard of envelope-pushing amenities. In its latest evolution in cruise ship design, Oasis of the Seas now takes the stage as the ultimate expression of Royal Caribbean’s legacy of imagination and innovation. Once again, the global cruise line is introducing elements never before seen on a cruise ship, including the neighbourhood concept – seven main themed areas providing guests with the opportunity to seek out relevant experiences based on their personal style, preference or mood. Within these seven neighborhoods – Central Park, Boardwalk, the Royal Promenade, Pool & Sports Zone, Vitality at Sea Spa and Fitness Center, Entertainment Place and Youth Zone – are extraordinary elements such
as the first living park at sea; a thrilling zip line that races diagonally nine-decks above an openair atrium; an original handcrafted carousel; an amphitheater-style space that serves as a pool by day and a dazzling ocean front theater with professional aquatic acrobatic and synchronized swimming performances by night; and an array of epicurean innovations that allow for new culinary experiences each day of a guest’s cruise vacation. Boardwalk will be a breathtaking space for families. Inspired by the nostalgic seaside piers of yesteryear with eateries, retail outlets, and carnival games. An original, handcrafted carousel – the first at sea – will be the centerpiece of this vibrant neighbourhood. Off the Boardwalk, the first amphitheater at sea, AquaTheatre, will celebrate water with the largest freshwater pool found on a ship offering a full spectrum of activities and performances for guests. Created to offer two unique experiences, AquaTheater will allow guests to swim in the theatre’s magnificent kidneyshaped pool, relax on sun lounges located on tiered platforms surrounding the pool, and even take SCUBA lessons in the afternoon. At night, you will witness the venue come alive with theatrical performances, as well as elaborate fountain shows synchronized to music and lights. Other surprises include two 43-foot rock-climbing walls on either side of the AquaTheater and the first zip-line at sea suspended nine decks above Boardwalk. SEQA Magazine
Enhancements to the cruise line’s signature Royal Promenade, the heart of the ship, will include a mezzanine level that overlooks the main promenade below. The Crystal Canopy sculptured-glass domes will allow natural light to cascade down from the sky. There will be a vast array of shopping, dining and entertainment options including, the Rising Tide bar, the first moving bar at sea, which will traverse three decks and allow cruisers to enjoy a cocktail as they slowly ascend into Central Park, the neighbourhood above. Central Park, a revolutionary design in which the centre of the ship opens to the sky, features lush, tropical grounds spanning the length of a football field. With its serene pathways, seasonal flower gardens and canopy trees, Central Park will evolve from a tranquil and peaceful atmosphere during the day to a gathering space for alfresco dining and entertainment in the evening, where guests will enjoy concerts and street performances. With the introduction of the neighbourhood concept, Oasis of the Seas will debut a new portfolio of 37 categories of accommodation options, many with views unique to the ship. Park View and Boardwalk View balcony staterooms offer inward facing accommodation overlooking the two open-air neighborhoods. The introduction of 28 contemporary two-level loft suites will redefine cruise ship accommodation with vibrant, ocean-inspired colours in a sophisticated and spacious setting. The lofts will be the highest accommodations at sea, offering spectacular views of the ocean, and floor-to-ceiling, double-height windows to ensure the view will be enjoyed from every vantage point. Other features among these coveted 28 lofts will be a unique modern design dotted with abstract, modern art pieces; spacious living areas on the lower level with contemporary detailing; and a private balcony with sun chairs and stunning views to help guests unwind. Each loft, which will measure 545 square feet (51 square meters) or larger when combined, will be fitted in contemporary décor with a Caribbean influence. The impressive design will include an upper-level bedroom that overlooks the living area and extended ocean
views. Beds will be outfitted with white, luxurious duvets complemented by tropical blue and green accents that tie into the loft’s natural surroundings. The lofts will feature LCD televisions, separate vanity areas, a guest bathroom downstairs and an upstairs master bathroom featuring his and her’s shower heads, fog-free mirrors, and limestone mosaic tile accents. “Royal Caribbean continues to evolve, enhance and perfect the cruise vacation experience. Oasis of the Seas is truly an architectural and nautical feat. It offers a new kind of cruise that is personalized with neighborhoods designed around common functions and themes that are sensational yet intimate in nature and provides an immersive ambiance for each guest,” stated Harri Kulovaara, Executive Vice President, Maritime Operations, Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. “This is truly the next step in cruise evolution.” Oasis of the Seas will begin her inaugural season with 19 consecutive seven-night sailings to the Eastern Caribbean, with ports of call at Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas; Philipsburg, St. Maarten; and Nassau, Bahamas. Starting May 1, 2010, Oasis of the Seas will alternate its Eastern Caribbean itinerary with the Western Caribbean itinerary, which will call at Labadee, Royal Caribbean’s private beach destination in Haiti; the new port of Falmouth, Jamaica; and Cozumel, Mexico. Additional information is available at www.oasisoftheseas.com. If however you cannot wait or are unable to travel to the States to cruise on the “Oasis of the Seas” then don’t worry as we have our own cruise ship here in Australia for the summer season. The “Rhapsody of the Seas” has cruises from October 2009 through the first quarter of 2010. To book your cruise for the Australian season call Royal Caribbean Cruises (Australia) on (02) 43315400 or email email@example.com Royal Caribbean International is a global cruise brand with 20 ships currently in service and two under construction. The line also offers unique cruise tour land packages in Alaska, Canada, Dubai, Europe, and Australia and New Zealand. For additional information or to make reservations call your travel agent or visit www.royalcaribbean.com
sporty SUVs for the adventurous lifestyle by Rob Fraser
Subaru started the trend many years ago of the AWD SUV wagon that blends wagon versatility with the safety and flexibility of all wheel drive. Suzuki and Toyota then took up the challenge and between them they have created a buyer’s niche that has taken the market by storm. Small and medium sized AWD SUVs have been the success story of the last 5 years and now
KIA Sorento Kia’s all new 7 seat SUV Sorento is modern and crisp in its styling. Launched in October 2009 the new Sorento loses the superseded models 4wd credentials but significantly lifts the comfort stakes. It comes with a choice of 2.4L petrol or 2.2L diesel motors with a 6-speed manual or automatic transmission. The 4WD is a single ratio (high range) 4WD system, with a default status that delivers 100% of engine torque to the front wheels. ’Lock Mode’ splits the torque 50/50 between the front and rear axles for better stability and maintain that split up to a speed of 30 kmh.
almost every manufacturer has one or more in their line up. For many families they have replaced the traditional sedan and in fact have almost killed off the normal station wagon. They are popular because they fill a demand. Drivers want the promise of adventure without sacrificing daily comforts. Here we choose some of our favourites amongst the many available.
With a 5-Star Euro NCAP rating it is equipped with dual front airbags, dual front side airbags and full-length side curtain airbags (linked to rollover sensors as well as impact sensors) maximise head protection for all occupants.
The ground clearance is 184mm and the Tare mass is 1959kg. Our pick is the high-tech R-series 2.2l turbo diesel engine with 6-speed automatic transmission. It produces 145kW @3,8000rpm and
Inside styling has an entirely new ambience. Immediate impressions are of the cabin’s generous proportions, sweeping dashboard design, high-quality fit, discreet trim accents, leather and the availability of numerous high-tech features. The Sorento has an overall length of 4685mm, wheelbase of 2700mm, width of 1885mm and height of 1710mm. an astounding 436Nm from 1,800 – 2,500rpmtorque. The engine delivers fuel consumption (ADR Combined) of just 7.4L/100km and produces 194g/km of CO2 emissions. The Green Vehicle Guide rating is 3-stars. Sorento has a MLP of $48,990 for the Sorento Platinum ‘R’ Series 2.2L diesel with 6 speed automatic. The Sorento comes with Kia’s great 5 year unlimited km warranty, stylish looks, great performance and interior space.
The X3 comes with a choice of 2 efficient and powerful diesel motors and 2 six cylinder-petrol engines that are engineering brilliance. All motors are mated to a six speed automatic transmission. Internally it is typically BMW in that it is comfortable, somewhat austere but everything works as it should and is designed for unobtrusive ease of use.
Holden Captiva Holden’s Captiva range was introduced in October 06 and was their first stylish modern SUV-style offering in Australia. It is fairly large for a SUV being close in exterior dimensions to the BMW X5 and offers five or seven-seat capacity depending on the model. It comes with a choice of 3.2L V6 petrol or 2.0L diesel motors with a 5-speed manual or automatic transmission. There is even a premium model the Captiva MAXX with European flair. Holden will add a new Captiva five-seater to its popular SUV range in December this year. Captiva 5 will be powered by a 2.4 litre four-cylinder engine and will be available as a 2WD with manual transmission or an AWD with automatic transmission. Internal space is maximised comfortably accommodating five or seven people, depending on the model. Fold flat seating transforms the vehicle from a family-friendly wagon to a versatile and adaptable load carrier. Tinted windows, poweroperated all round, cruise control, power mirrors and air conditioning with particle filter are standard. Captiva boasts a competitive feature and safety list. The Captiva has an overall length of 4637mm, wheelbase of 2707mm, width of 2110mm and height of 1720mm. The ground clearance is 200mm and the Tare mass is 1805kg. Our pick is the 3.2L V6 motor AWD with 5-speed automatic transmission which produces 169kw @ 6600rpm and 297Nm @ 3200rpm. The engine delivers fuel consumption (ADR Combined) of just 11.6L/100km and produces 278g/km of CO2 emissions. The Green Vehicle Guide rating is 3-stars.
The Exclusive Package option includes: BMW light alloy 18” wheels; Walnut light fine wood trim; electric front seats with memory function for driver’s seat; front seat heating; Bi-Xenon headlights including headlight washer system; and, Exterior Lights Package. The X3 has an overall length of 4569mm, wheelbase of 2795mm, width of 1853mm and height of 1674mm. The ground clearance is 200mm and the Tare mass is 1750kg. Our pick is the xDrive 20d exclusive edition with 6-speed automatic transmission which produces 130kw @ 4000rpm and 350Nm @ 1750rpm. The Euro IV-compliant engine delivers fuel consumption (ADR Combined) of just 6.7L/100km and produces 178g/km of CO2 emissions. The Green Vehicle Guide rating is 3 1/2-stars. With a MLP of just under $65,000, for the xDrive 20d exclusive edition it is at the more expensive end of the market. Typically though the more you drive it the more you appreciate it. Often bought just for the BMW badge it is a sophisticated, comfortable and safe SUV for the family. It comes with BMW’s 2 year unlimited km warranty with 24/7 roadside assist.
Captiva has a starting MLP of $27, 990 for the Captiva 5 with 5-speed manual. All Captivas come with Holden’s 3 year 100,000km warranty, stylish looks, great performance and interior space. SEQA Magazine
SEQA : Motoring
The BMW X3 is a stylish smaller SUV that seats 5 and is based on the extremely successful X5. In December 2008 BMW upgraded with two new model designations: Exclusive Edition and Lifestyle Edition.
Hyundai Sante Fe Hyundai’s upgraded MY10 Sante Fe features a muscular look. Already well equipped for the price the MY10 adds enhanced safety features, new styling cues, upgraded interior design and comfort and suspension which has been dynamically optimised for Australian road conditions. It comes with the same ‘R’ series 2.2L diesel motor and 6-speed manual or automatic transmission as the Sorento. The 4WD is a single ratio (high range) 4WD system, with a default status that delivers 100% of engine torque to the front wheels. ’Lock Mode’ splits the torque 50/50 between the front and rear axles for better stability and maintain that split up to a speed of 30 kmh. With a 5-Star ANCAP rating it is equipped with dual front airbags, dual front side airbags and full-length side curtain airbags (linked to rollover sensors as well as impact sensors) to maximise head protection for all occupants.
The Sante Fe has an overall length of 4675mm, wheelbase of 2700mm, width of 1890mm and height of 1795mm. The ground clearance is 203mm and the Tare mass is 1996kg. Our pick is the high-tech R-series 2.2l turbo diesel engine with 6-speed automatic transmission. It produces 145kW @3,8000rpm and an astounding 436Nm from 1,800 – 2,500rpmtorque. The engine delivers fuel consumption (ADR Combined) of just 7.4L/100km and produces 194g/km of CO2 emissions. The Green Vehicle Guide rating is 3-stars. Sante Fe has a MLP of $48,490 for the Highlander ‘R’ Series 2.2L diesel with 6-speed automatic. The Sante Fe comes with Hyundai’s amazing 5 year Unlimited km warranty, stylish looks, great performance and interior space.
VW Tiguan The VW Tiguan is a stylish Euro AWD SUV for the urban jungle with one diesel and two petrol engines available. The 103kw 2.0L diesel, 125kw and 147kw TSi petrol motors all come with either a 6-speed manual or VW’s clever 6 speed DSG transmission. The Tiguan is a 5 seat AWD (4MOTION) SUV with a MLP starting at $33,990. It comes standard with loads of features but like most European vehicles the options list is comprehensive and expensive. The Tiguan combines stylish design, a premium level of comfort and agility, dynamic chassis properties and high levels of both active and passive safety, having a five star Euro NCAP safety rating. All models come
standard packed with safety features. Internal comfort is well catered for with power windows all around, 6 cup holders as well as 1L bottle holders in the front door pockets, semi automatic air-conditioning, MP3 compatible CD player, auxiliary input, audio functions on steering wheel. In addition to this there is an abundance of storage areas and six tie down hooks in the luggage compartment, which is protected by a removable hard cover.
With a MLP of $39,190, it has great performance, stylish looks, plenty of interior space and VW’s 3 year 100,000km warranty
The Tiguan has an overall length of 4427mm, wheelbase of 2604mm, width of 1809mm and height of 1683mm. The ground clearance is 200mm and the Tare mass is 1650kg. Our pick is the 2.0L TDi with 6-speed DSG Transmission which produces 103kw @ 4200 and 320Nm @ 1750 –
the turbocharged Outback 2.0D.
The new generation Subaru Outback is sizing up inside, with a spacious new cabin, refined ride and multiple engineering changes. Widely respected for its Symmetrical AllWheel Drive ability, the Outback is now truly a 5 seat family tourer.
Australia’s original crossover wagon maintains its super-safe status with a five-star ANCAP occupant safety rating. It has all the acronyms you could possibly think of in terms of safety. Vehicle Dynamics Control, Subaru’s electronic stability program, is standard across the range.
With a choice of 4 and 6 cylinder boxer motors and a CVT, 5-speed automatic and 5 speed manual transmission there is ample choice. The range was completed in November with the introduction of Subaru Australia’s first diesel model,
2500. The Euro IV-compliant engine delivers fuel consumption (ADR Combined) of just 7.4L/100km and produces 209g/km of CO2 emissions. The Green Vehicle Guide rating is 3-stars.
Internally the Outback is full of features that you would pay thousands for with some other manufacturers. Suffice to say it is a very comfortable place to sit, with the driver’s position being one of the best I have experienced.
The Outback has an overall length of 4790mm, wheelbase of 2745mm, width of 1820mm and height of 1615mm. The ground clearance is 213mm and the Tare mass is 1536kg. Our pick is the Outback 3.6R boxer with SatNav automatic wagon with 5-speed automatic transmission which produces 191kw @ 5600rpm and 350Nm @ 4400rpm. It delivers fuel consumption (ADR Combined) of just 10.3L/100km and produces 242g/ km of CO2 emissions. The Green Vehicle Guide rating is 3 1/2-stars.
With a MLP of just under $55,990, for the 3.6R Premium it represents awesome value. Subaru continue to produce outstanding quality vehicles that fit their purpose perfectly. It comes with Subaru’s 3 year unlimited km warranty with 24/7 roadside assist. SEQA Magazine
How to buy a Home Theatre system without going batty If you’re like most of us you get totally confused when you go to buy a Home Theatre system by all the jargon that floats around. The stores are full of choices ranging in price and the big question is “What to Buy”? In many cases the salespeople in shops do nothing to help, only confusing you more and you end up either buying nothing or the wrong system. Hopefully in this two part article, we will be able to demystify some of the jargon and guide you in what you need to think about when you go shopping for your Home Theatre, including displays, speakers and audio-video receivers.
What is a Home Theatre? At its most basic, a fully equipped modern home theatre includes: some form of display device like a Plasma or LCD TV, something to play source material like a Blu-Ray or DVD Player, a device to decode and amplify the audio stream and send it to the speakers and last but not least, speakers, ranging from two through to five or more for the 5.1 surround sound systems So why would I want one? Well there are a couple of reasons. Firstly, to recreate the theatre experience at home when you watch movies. It’s actually possible to achieve significantly better imagery and audio fidelity within a small viewing area than in a large viewing area. Secondly, buying a basic home theatre system may be cheaper than going to the cinema regularly. Thirdly, you can put your feet up and relax at home, eat what you want, whenever you want and can pause the movie anytime. However, like everything there are some downsides. If you do it properly you may lose a room to the theatre entirely. It can also be very expensive as you tend to want better and better components and with a quality system you may spend many hours and hours watching movies, as it is addictive. 28 www.seqa.com.au
What are my options? There are really only two general options: • Buy a Home Theatre in a box package (with or without amplifier and DVD player) • Buy everything individually Home Theatre in a box (HTIB) systems are normally reasonably cheap (anything from $200 to around $1,500), they look good, are relatively simple to set up, come complete with everything and are the simplest and cheapest way to get started. However they’re designed to a budget and often have lower quality (not bad though) sound and features and struggle when you decide to “pump out” the sound. Generally with package systems the more you spend the better the system and listening pleasure. If you decide to buy individual components you can get significantly better music and Home Theatre audio quality, picking the type of sound and features you want. Better quality speakers also give richer experience.
You need to be careful though as individual components can quickly add up to be very expensive and may not blend within the room. You will also need to know what you are looking for to ensure components work well together. The choice really comes down to budget and your own thoughts about the quality of the sound you enjoy. Remember before you buy ensure you listen to a quality set up first. In this issue we will look closely at the heart of the Home Theatre system, the audio / video receivers and speakers. Next issue we will look at what type of TV and DVD player to buy. Let’s have a look at the various components.
Receivers An audio-visual receiver is the heart of your Home Theatre system and performs a similar function to an amplifier in a stereo system. It receives the audio/ video signal, and then correctly distributes it to the system components. An amplifier in a stereo system only has to do this for 2 channels; a Home Theatre receiver has to amplify and distribute sound to 5.1, 6.1 or 7.1 channels, and decode different sound standards such as Dolby or DTS. The receiver allows us to connect various input/output devices to the television such as DVD/Blu-Ray players, gaming consoles, microphones, speakers etc. All of these can be run simultaneously from the AV receiver instead of running different set of cables from each of these devices. The ideal receiver will act as a central ‘hub’ for your Home Theatre system: everything will plug into it, and then you run a single connection from the receiver to the display. HDMI cables make this easier to achieve. The limiting factor can be then number and type of connections available. Generally the more expensive receivers have more connections of more types than cheaper receivers.
Speakers What exactly is a speaker? In any sound system, ultimate quality depends on the speakers. The best recording, encoded on the most advanced storage device and played by a top-of-the-line equipment, will sound awful if the system is hooked up to poor speakers. 5.1 channel speakers are the most common implementation of surround sound. In a system with 5.1 channel speakers, there are actually six speakers: left front, centre front, used mainly for dialogue, right front, left rear, right rear and subwoofer for the impact sounds. The first five speakers have a frequency response of 20Hz to 20kHz. The sixth speaker, the subwoofer, has a frequency response of only 3Hz to 120Hz. The subwoofer is the .1 in 5.1. A system’s speaker is the component that takes the electronic signal stored on things like CDs and DVDs and turns it back into actual sound that we can hear. Because each speaker is built differently, each performs differently at different frequencies. A perfect speaker should produce every frequency equally as loudly. In theory that means a reproduced sound should sound exactly the same as the original sound. So, if you record a flute, it should sound exactly like a flute when the recording is played. In practice, speakers perform differently over the frequency range. These differences are also known as colouring the sound. A warm speaker produces low to mid-range frequencies louder than everything else. A bright speaker reproduces high-frequency sounds at higher volumes than everything else. A muddy speaker may have significant variation in volume levels across low, mid-range, and high frequencies. As a general rule, the more expensive the speaker, the less colour it introduces. Once you’ve heard speakers that don’t significantly colour the sound, it’s very hard to go back to lower quality speakers that do colour the sound.
How do I choose which speakers and receiver to buy? A decent starting point is this, in this order: •A re they compatible? 4Ω (ohm) speakers on a 8Ω amplifier is a bad idea •D o they have sufficient power ratings to fill the room with sound? e.g. are they 10W RMS or 100W RMS? •D o they have a reasonably flat frequency-response from around 50 Hz to 20 kHz? •D o they introduce colour that you like into the sound? Are they warm, harsh, clear, sharp, or tinny? •D o they make you feel good? Do they move you? If they don’t, keep shopping. •D o they have good focus? If you play a CD with lots of instruments playing together, can you listen to each instrument individually and literally point to where it was recorded on the soundstage? •D oes it sound like the instruments are physically in the room with you, or does it sound like you’re listening to them through speakers? If you close your eyes, are you there, or are you sitting on a couch listening to a recording? Standard terms and numbers describe the ability of speakers and amplifiers. Of course, manufacturers choose the ones that make their equipment sound good.
Impedance Impedance is measured in ohms (Ω). Impedance measures electrical resistance. The higher the number, the more power needed to run a speaker.
Power Power is measured in Watts (W). The power rating for an amplifier or receiver tells us how much power is available for the speakers. This is something of an over-simplification, but basically, the higher the power rating for an amplifier or receiver, the better the sound will be at lower volumes. The power rating can be expressed in Root Mean Square (RMS) or Peak Music Power Output (PMPO). PMPO is a peak output that can be only maintained by the system for seconds at most. Manufacturers and marketers like it, because it makes their products sound better than they are. Look for the RMS power rating when assessing receivers and speakers. Another favourite trick of manufacturers is to add the power output of all speakers together to give us a figure of Total RMS power. It sounds impressive, but look at the rating for individual channels — that’s more important.
What is HDMI?
Humans can supposedly hear between 20 – 20 000 Hz. Sadly, as we get older or if we suffer hearing damage, that range can reduce. Generally, a larger range means better reproduction.
High-definition multimedia interface (HDMI) is a cable designed to carry the large amounts of data required for high-definition audio and video.
Total harmonic distortion (THD) This figure is shown as a percentage, and tells us how much change to the original sound or distortion is introduced at a given power output. The lower the distortion, the better the sound.
Put it all together For example, if you read the specifications for a HTIB system, it might specify RMS power per channel at 240V with 10% Total Harmonic Distortion for the front channels as 60 W per channel at 4Ω, and the speakers have a frequency response of 75 Hz – 50 kHz. Sounds impressive — but that’s a lot of distortion. It means that system won’t produce fantastic sound at high volume. The less power required to run the amplifier and speakers, the less distortion we get.
HDMI cables can carry audio and video over a single cable, making the task of connecting Home Theatre components easier. It can also transmit control signals, so you can use a single remote to control your Home Theatre if it’s linked by HDMI. There are different versions of HDMI (1.0, 1.1, 1.3 1.4), but typical consumer set-ups aren’t markedly affected by which version you have. One question you will face is - Are expensive cables better? The short answer is ‘yes and no’. The longer answer is, for lengths of less than 5 metres, you generally won’t see a difference between a $30 cable, and a $300 cable. Over longer distances, the more expensive cables are better. Because HDMI is a digital technology, it tends to be an all-or-nothing proposition. Either a signal makes it over the cable, or it doesn’t. There’s usually no middle ground where you get a poor-quality signal as you can with analog connections.
What about Monster Cables? Monster cables are prominently advertised in some retail outlets, and are by all accounts very good products. They’re also not as cheap as other cables. The jury is still out as to whether they are worth it or not. Hopefully this has helped demystify some of the jargon about surround sound systems. Next issue we will look at various options you have for something to play the movies on and view them through. SEQA Magazine
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In this Issue Naturopath Suzie Kerkin looks at simple, effective changes you can make to manage one of the biggest risk factors for heart disease: high cholesterol. Until now, the most well known natural treatments have been DHA fish oil and herbs, such as Globe Artichoke and Hawthorn Berry. These still are fantastic remedies so, in addition to this, Krill Oil is showing in studies to be very effective in quickly lowering cholesterol levels.
keep your heart healthy With 34% of all deaths in Australia and being due to cardiovascular disease, it is vital to do everything you can to keep your heart healthy. There are many factors that may increase your risk of heart disease including eating a diet high in saturated and trans fats, being overweight, not exercising, having high cholesterol, certain health conditions, such as diabetes and smoking
The truth about cholesterol This may surprise you, but cholesterol itself is not bad for you. In fact, cholesterol is a normal component of your body and is needed to keep you healthy. Cholesterol is found in the bloodstream and in all cells of your body. Cholesterol is an important substance, as it is used to produce hormones and other important compounds within the body. It’s normal to have cholesterol, but problems can arise when you have too much cholesterol and/or too much of the “bad” cholesterol.
If you have more of the “bad” cholesterol, it’s not all bad news, as there are many ways to improve your cholesterol. Cholesterol : the good versus the bad There are two main forms of cholesterol: LDL and HDL. LDL is the “bad” cholesterol and with too much of this in the blood, it can clog up your arteries, increasing your risk of heart attack and/ or stroke. HDL is the “good” cholesterol: HDL actually helps lower your risk of developing heart disease.
Cutting the fat Just like cholesterol, not all fat is bad. It’s actually good to have some fat in your diet. Polyunsaturated fats (eg. from fish oil) and monounsaturated fats (eg. from olive oil) are good fats, that may actually help reduce levels of “bad” cholesterol (LDL) and increase “good” cholesterol (HDL). Saturated and trans fats (eg. from deep fried food and margarines) on the other hand are “bad” fats, that can increase cholesterol. Therefore, to keep your heart healthy, it’s better to increase the amount of good fats in your diet and decrease the “bad” fats, rather than cutting out fat all together.
Eggs : they’re not that bad for you Do you remember being told that eggs are bad for cholesterol? A century ago, it was discovered that high cholesterol levels are associated with an increased risk for heart disease. This triggered numerous health warnings to avoid foods naturally rich in cholesterol, like eggs. What we now know is that blood cholesterol levels go up for many different reasons, not just from eating foods, which naturally contain cholesterol. Eggs are in fact a highly nutritious food, containing a good source of protein, omega-3 and vitamins and minerals, making them a good addition to a healthy, balanced diet.
Cholesterol : it’s not all bad news If you have more of the “bad” cholesterol, it’s not all bad news, as there are many ways to improve your cholesterol: •D oing regular exercise has been shown to reduce your risk of heart disease, as it makes your heart work more effectively and helps maintain cardiovascular health. •E at foods high in the good monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, from foods such as avocados, lean meats and oily fish, as these are all sources of “good” fats. •R educe foods high in “bad” saturated and trans fats, including cheese, margarine, fatty meats and fried food, as these are all sources of “bad” fats. • L ose weight. Being overweight is a major risk factor for heart disease, as it raises cholesterol and blood pressure. • Increase foods that are high in soluble fibre, including oat bran and beans, as these have been shown to reduce the risk of heart disease by reducing cholesterol reabsorption. • T ake Natural Medicines to help lower your cholesterol.
Nature’s answer to healthy cholesterol Along with a healthy lifestyle and diet, there are many nutritional supplements that have been shown to be very effective at maintaining healthy cholesterol, including krill oil, red yeast rice extract and policosanols.
Krill oil Krill is a shrimp-like crustacean, found in the ocean. Healthy oils from krill may assist in the management of cardiovascular risk. Krill oil is a great source of omega-3 fatty acids, and is also a great source of antioxidants. Krill oil has been shown to correct the balance of the “good” and “bad” cholesterol, reduce inflammation and also reduce free radical damage, making it a fantastic supplement to keep your heart as healthy as possible.
Red yeast rice extract Red yeast rice extract has been used in China for hundreds of years to regulate cholesterol levels in the blood. The naturally occurring substances in red yeast rice extract inhibit excess cholesterol production.
Policosanols Sugar cane wax alcohols, known as policosanols, have been shown to assist the body in maintaining normal healthy cholesterol levels. Suzie Kerkin is a qualified health professional specialising in Naturopathy and can be contacted on 02 8677 0421
Small business warrior Flying my own kite Do you remember the first career job you had? I do, I was so excited. It was the culmination of 4 years of university and I was going to change the world. I was so passionate that the week wasn’t long enough. It came as a surprise that not all of my colleagues felt the same way! Overhearing lunch conversations about longing for Friday I was determined that would never be me. Guess what? 19 years on and it was me. Surely this was a cruel joke. I began to resent Mondays. The job wasn’t fully to blame. I had just come through a personal crisis. We’ve all had at least one? I needed a lifestyle change and flexibility in my work life. Ideally I needed to work from home and to become my own boss. What was I going to do? As I tend to do, I read lots of books. They told me to work out how much I spent each month. Well this was my first financial crisis. I learned that putting it on credit card and paying it off at the end of the month is not a financial plan. I diligently sat for hours trying to work it out and then gave up.
of peace and stillness enveloped me. I had a sense that this would be one of those defining moments that would change my life. With long lost clarity I decided to turn a part-time passion, into a full time business. I developed a plan. Work for another 18 months, accumulate capital and then take the plunge. However life doesn’t always listen to our plans. So as Sydney prepared for the Olympic Games Opening Ceremony and as the phone company man installed a second phone line for my future full time business, I typed out a resignation letter. Are you having a mid-life crisis? Are you seriously sick? You’ve always been a little eccentric. Maybe this is a phase you’re going through? What wonderful support from many of my friends and colleagues! What was this terrible adventure I was embarking upon? Was it so hard that I would go running back to the ‘safety’ of being employed in a job I had grown to resent? Why do many people define who we are by our occupation?
With long lost clarity I decided to turn a part-time passion, into a full time business.
In the decision-making chapters they told me to analyse both situations. So I did the pros and cons of the status quo and resigning and working from home doing something. Both sets of papers were repeatedly shuffled over the next few months. I also read that you had to go to a quiet place and listen to your inner voice. So I did that but hello where was my inner voice? Where is that inner voice when you need it most? Surely it is not the confused indecision that rambles around in my mind. So, like most of us, I put it in the ‘too hard to cope with basket’. It took a month of wandering the globe to finally settle on my rock in Dartmoor National Park in the south of England to find that inner voice. (Not the cheapest way but who is complaining) An overwhelming sense
Have you ever noticed the questions many ask when meeting someone new? We need to know “what they do for a living” to help paint the identity picture. Interesting! I realised I needed to take a look at those people around me. It has been said by people wiser than me, that the 5 or so people who are closest to you are a reflection of who you are. Now that was a worry. Have you ever noticed that unhappy negative people are often the most resistant to change and want you to stay where you are so you can be miserable with them? The sad part is that those are the people that need change most in their lives. The challenge is now how to turn something that I am good at into a business. And the journey begins. *Vicki Fraser runs a successful home based business SEQA Magazine
Take a look at these 8 simple tips that will save you time, money and your planet!
Use Vodka for everything
We don’t mean quite everything, but the versatile spirit does have an enormous range of money-saving applications around the home, from soothing toothaches and poison ivy rashes to deterring insects, shining surfaces and cleaning clothes.
Do an energy audit
For many, the first step to saving energy around the house is assessing how much you actually use every day. There are many things that will surprise you, as well as easy fixes that will have an immediate impact. You can hire a pro analyst, or go DIY and conduct your own quick energy audit. Go to www.truenergy.com.au/ energy_efficiency/audit.xhtml
Use your computer settings
Did you know that 90% of desktop computers are not optimised for energy efficiency? If yours is the one-in-ten that is, then pat yourself on the back and get back to darning your handknit socks by the flickering light of a candle. If you’re like the rest of us however, check your computer.
Drive smart & get a fuel-efficient car
In an age of high fuel prices and economic turmoil, consumers are flocking away from large gas-guzzling SUVs and are snapping up smaller
cars in record numbers. There’s never been a better time to switch. While next generation vehicles like Toyota’s Prius hybrid and electrics like the Chevy Volt and Tesla Roadster are coming (not to mention fuel cells), you can also do a lot to save fuel today, even with your current ride. For example, take extra junk out of your trunk, pump up your tyres, stick to the speed limit, carpool and combine errands. Skip jackrabbit starts and don’t idle your savings away.
Use rechargeable batteries
It may not sound like much at first but investing in rechargeable batteries can save you some money over time. In general, the less you rely on single-use, disposable items the less money you’ll burn through.
Electricity and gas aren’t the only commodities experiencing sharp price increases in recent years. In many areas, water bills have been rising as well, whilst water tables sink and rivers are drained, diverted or polluted. Therefore it makes eco-sense and dollar cents to conserve water (and remember, the less hot water you use, the less energy you pay). Simple things like turning off the tap while you brush your teeth, water the yard in the morning, use a car wash, fix the leak and install a low-flow showerhead.
Check out the new CFLs
If you’ve read this far, we’re guessing you’ve heard of CFLs before. However you might not be aware of the newest designs from cuttingedge manufacturers, including a new range of pleasant colour temperatures, dimmable CFLs, bug lights, 3-way models, candelabra, flicker tip styles and more.
Buy a power strip (or 2 or 3)
Another cheap hidden investment is the humble power strip. Today’s electronic devices use power even when you’re not using them. Cell phone and other chargers left in the socket draw electricity even if they are done charging, or the phone is no longer attached. This phantom load can be a significant drain on your wallet, eg: $200 a year just for a flat-screen plasma TV according to one estimate. Hooking electronics that get infrequent use into a power strip lets you really turn them off when they’re not in use. A power strip might cost $30, but plugging the TV into it will have it paid off in months. Go one step further and invest in a home energy monitor to see exactly what electronics are using the most electricity.
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