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N O R T H E AST V I C TO R I A

AUGUST 10 - 16 | 2018

> available online - www.nemedia.com.au

BACK TO THE FUTURE: Honda Odyssey is an attractive spacious and economical people mover.

2018 Honda Odyssey review

By ALISTAIR KENNEDY external facelift, an upgraded interior and improved driver assist technology. STYLING Two variants are offered, VTi and VTi-L with the ‘L’ standing for luxury rather than a long wheelbase as used elsewhere. VTi now has the ‘aero’ front fascia design that was previously only available with higher spec VTi-L. It also now has bright chrome surrounds for the new front foglights. The VTi-L steps up to a new Solid Wing Face premium aero package with bolder bumper shaping, LED foglights and a

while the more luxurious VTi-L has seven. The latter features twin buckets in place of the second-row bench in the VTi. The second-row pair have built-in adjustable footrests, reshaped headrests and seatmounted storage compartments. The seatbacks can also be reclined and, when the third row seats are folded flat, the central seats can slide up to 740 mm forwards or backwards as well as laterally. So there’s a huge range of choice. The second and third rows in the eightseater have three-way split seatbacks that provide a variety of seating and cargo options.

dark chrome finish on both upper and lower grilles as well as the door handles. At the rear there’s a revised fascia and a stylish tailgate applique. VTi-L also gets a small sunroof over the front seats as well as rear door LED puddle lights. Deep side skirts soften the appearance of Odyssey’s long sides. Two new paint colours have also been introduced for the MY18 Odyssey, with Cobalt Blue Pearlescent and Platinum White Pearlescent replacing Modern Steel Metallic and White Orchid Pearlescent respectively. The colours are offered on both variants. INTERIOR Odyssey VTi comes with eight seats

„ Continued page 2 21d13123-v7/3218

HONDA Odyssey has been on sale in Australia since 1995 when the people mover was the vehicle of choice for those needing to transport more than five. For most of that period it’s been a three-way tussle between Odyssey, Toyota Tarago and Kia Carnival although the SUV phenomenon has taken many sales away from the segment. Honda made a bit of a gamble in its third and fourth generation model by lowering Odyssey’s height to make it look and perform more like a station wagon but with the arrival of the genfive model in 2014 it’s reverted to its previous height of just under 1.7 metres. The MY2018 Odyssey gave it an

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2

August 10 - 16 | 2018

Mercedes-Benz:

New S Coupe and Cabriolet

By EWAN KENNEDY

THE new Mercedes-Benz S-Class Coupe and Cabriolet are now on sale in Australia. Both feature a long list of standard equipment as seen not only in the Mercedes-Benz S-Class saloon, but also IURPWKHÂłDJVKLSRIWKH*HUPDQSUHVWLJH range, the Mercedes-Maybach S-Class. Mercedes S 560 Coupe and Cabriolet have front Active Multi-contour Seats WKDWXVHLQÂłDWDEOHFKDPEHUVWRSURYLGH adjustable lateral and lumbar support, including a lumbar massage function. Active lateral bolsters adjust to support occupants during cornering. High quality Nappa leather trim is used in both vehicles. Energising Comfort Control combines music, seat controls, temperature and fragrance to create pre-set ‘moods’ for occupants. Ambient interior lighting gives a choice of 64 different colours and 10 colour schemes. They can also appreciate a Burmester sound system with 13 speakers and a total output of 590 watts, a digital TV tuner. Mercedes’ COMAND Online system operates through a 12.3-inch multimedia display and there is full smartphone integration. Occupants of the Mercedes S 560 Cabriolet can enjoy the Warmth Comfort Package that includes heatable armrests and front centre console, and a heated steering wheel. The AIRSCARF provides neck-level heating for both front seat RFFXSDQWVDQGDZLQGGHÂłHFWRUSXVKHVDLU higher over the windscreen 7KH6&RXSHKDVD²[HGJODVV panoramic roof.

„ TOP OF THE RANGE: High quality luxury on the move: The stunning new Mercedes S 560 Coupe and Cabriolet. %RWKYHKLFOHVDUH²WWHGZLWKDQHZ design 4.0-litre biturbo V8 with 345kW of power and 700Nm of torque that works in conjunction with a nine-speed automatic transmission. AMG MODELS Both the S 63 Coupe and Cabriolet have the AMG Driver’s Package which lifts the governed top speed to 300 km/h, and an AMG Performance steering wheel. The new 4.0-litre biturbo V8 has its power and torque increased - to 450 kW and 900 Nm and drives through an AMG SPEEDSHIFT MCT nine-speed automatic. Other standard equipment includes AMG illuminated door sill panels in brushed stainless steel, 20-inch AMG 10-spoke forged wheels in titanium grey, an AMG high-performance composite braking

system, an AMG sports exhaust and red brake calipers. The Mercedes-AMG S 65 Coupe and Cabriolet have a huge 6.0-litre V12 engine making 463 kW and a skyhigh 1000 Nm. It powers through an AMG SPEEDSHIFT PLUS seven-speed automatic to 20-inch AMG multi-spoke forged wheels. The S 65 Coupe also adds a panoramic ²[HGJODVVURRIZLWK0$*,&6.< CONTROL variable transparency. Its entertainment is provided by an impressive Burmester High End 3D Surround Sound System. DRIVING We managed a brief test drive of an S 560 Cabriolet that was brought along by Mercedes-Benz Australia during the launch of the new Merc CLS a few weeks ago.

2018 Honda Odyssey Â&#x201E; From page 1 The dashboard-mounted gearshift together with a pull-out storage tray and drink holders opens up the space between the front seats sufficiently to allow access to the rear rows of seats. Conventional access to the rear seats is made easy through powered sliding side doors that can be operated either by touching the handles or using the key fob. The VTi only has the passenger sides powered, the VTi-L also on the driverâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s side. With all seats in place thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s just 330 litres of rear luggage space, it can expand when the third row of seats are folded (they fold completely into the floor) to 1332 litres and with the centre row down to a van-like 1867 litres. One noticeable omission is the lack of a powered tailgate even in the VTi-L. ENGINE / TRANSMISSION There is only one powertrain; a 2.4-litre four-cylinder petrol unit with peak power of 129 kW and top torque of 225 Nm at 4000 rpm. It drives through the front wheels using the greater efficiency of continuously variable transmission (CVT). There are steering wheel-mounted shift paddles that bring in preset ratios for drivers who donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t trust the automaticâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s computer. Fuel consumption is listed at 7.8 litres per 100 kilometres; at 8.2 L/100 km we came reasonably close during our test. These are impressive figures for a big seven-seater. SAFETY Active safety features (crash prevention)

in the Odyssey VTi include ABS brakes with brake assist and electronic brakeforce distribution; emergency stop signal; stability and traction control; hill start assist; daytime running lights; and tyre deflation warning. Passive features (crash mitigation) are front, side and full-length curtain airbags with whiplash mitigation front seats; and Hondaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Advanced Compatibility Engineering (ACE) structure. To get the majority of the advanced active safety features that are rapidly becoming standard in most cars youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll need to pay the nearly $10,000 surcharge for the VTi-L. For that, youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll get the Honda Sensing package which provides Forward Collision Warning; Collision Mitigation Braking System; Lane Departure Warning; Lane Keep Assist System; Road Departure Mitigation System; and Adaptive Cruise Control. VTi-L also adds blind spot monitoring; IsoFix child seat anchorages in the two second-row bucket seats; Smart Parking Assist; Rear Cross Traffic Alert and LED

This is a large impressively styled machine that can be either a luxurious cruiser or a full-on high-performance sports machine. Engine power is offered up all but instantaneously thanks to the new design biturbo that spools the eight pistons up at the merest suggestion of throttle movement by the driver. Handling is superb and the big Cabriolet held on in demanding bends with never a trace of getting out of control. Obviously the laws of physics will always win in the end, but believe me you should only tempt these laws during track days. Comfort is excellent in the standard setting and even if you do opt for a sporting mode it takes a lot to create any unpleasant sensations for the occupants.

review

active cornering lights. Both variants have a multi-angle reversing camera with the VTi-L adding front, side and 360-degree topdown cameras. INFOTAINMENT The Odysseyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s information and entertainment system uses a dashboardmounted colour touch screen to display its infotainment range. It sits between air con vents and is quite small for a vehicle of its width and itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s not easy to use which results in far more inattention than is safe. Thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s no Apple CarPlay or Android Auto and satellite navigation can only be accessed via a smartphone. DRIVING Getting into and out of the Odyssey is a breeze regardless of your positioning within the car. There was no serious climb up or bending and head scraping, just a nice comfortable slide in. The downside to that is that the relatively low ground clearance does need a bit of caution at times on rough roads or getting on and off some driveways.

With its large glass areas all round Odyssey has a lovely airy feel inside and provides outstanding exterior visibility. Engine start/stop is via a dash-mounted button although the parking brake is the ridiculous old-style foot operated unit. NVH (Noise, Vibration, Harshness) was one of the issues with previous Odyssey models but this has been improved noticeably with the MY18 Odyssey. The 2.4-litre motor revs freely and quietly through the rev range and the Odyssey cruises effortlessly and quietly with its strong torque over a wide rev range. The CVT is smooth with none of the annoying high revving of earlier units. Around town it behaves in a surprisingly sprightly manner, changing direction confidently while it cruises effortlessly on the motorway. The suspension generally copes well, but rough roads can cause it hassles at times. Handling really isnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t the reason you choose a people mover but the big Odyssey is safe and sure at higher than normal cornering speeds. SUMMING UP In this era of crossover vehicles that attempt to be jacks of all trades itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s nice to review a vehicle that has one clearly defined purpose â&#x20AC;&#x201C; to provide spacious, comfortable and economical transport for more than five occupants. Although not necessarily the market leader in sales Honda Odyssey has long been the queen of its class and the MY18 update sees it remaining there.


3

August 10 - 16 | 2018

Renault Koleos S-Edition By EWAN KENNEDY THE Renault Koleos range is becoming increasingly popular in the Australian market segment thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s becoming increasingly crowded. So it makes sense for the importer of these French SUVs to introduce a special edition that is tagged - without a great deal of imagination - the Koleos S-Edition. The Koleos S-Edition is based on the topVSHFL²FDWLRQ5HQDXOW.ROHRV Intens and is sold only with a two wheel driver powertrain. It rides on 19-inch alloys as used on the exclusive Initiale Paris versions sold overseas. Metallic black door mirror housings add a bit of panache. Unique to the model are â&#x20AC;&#x2122;S-Editionâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; sill plates and give access to a bluetrimmed interior, with blue stitching on the blueperforated black leather seats. Renault Koleos S-Edition is offered in four exterior colours, Solid White, Universal White, Meissen Blue and Grey Metallic. It is priced from $44,990 drive-away, which is just below the Koleos Intens 4x4 range-topping model.

Â&#x201E; SOMETHING SPECIAL: Koleos S-Edition features 19-inch alloys and has a real touch of French flair inside and out.

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