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MAY 18 - 24 | 2018

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WORLDLY: The new Holden Commodore, not surprisingly with its German origins, has taken on a more European look.


still good to go the distance FOR close on 40 years, the Holden Commodore, together with sibling Calais, were large sedans and station wagons capable of carting a family and its gear over long distances in comfort, while making good time. So now, how does the Europeansourced, Australian-revised, replacement compare with the traditional Aussie-built icon? What better way to find out than by taking a family trip from the Gold Coast to Sydney and back? We were blessed with a Commodore RS-V V6 AWD Liftback for our big trip. STYLING Approaching the vehicle from all angles,

By DEREK OGDEN Commodore offers a range of restrained decorative treatments to the sleek, yet substantial, European sports body kit with rear lip spoiler and 18-inch alloy wheels. Inside, it’s much the same with softtouch surroundings, leather-wrapped sports steering wheel with paddles, alloy pedals, leather-appointed trim, heated sports front seats, ambient lighting and DAB+ digital radio. INFOTAINMENT Holden was an early adapter of in-car infotainment with its MyLink system. New Commodore has an 8-inch high-resolution colour touchscreen display.

Apple CarPlay and Android Auto phone projection, plus full iPod integration, including Siri, have kept up with trends. Even more so now with colour headup windscreen display and wireless smartphone charging via a centre console unit. However, the embedded satellite navigation system is lagging behind information on the upgrading of the Pacific Highway. It kept giving us directions to turn left or right onto now superseded roads. With the arrow representing the Commodore on the screen, ploughing on through paddocks and bushland. Not a beast in sight…

POWERTRAINS Based on the German made Opel Insignia, the new Holden Commodore comes to the Australian market in two- and all-wheel drive with petrol, turbo-petrol or diesel power. Our test Commodore RS-V was powered by a 3.6-litre V6 petrol engine mated with a new nine-speed automatic transmission and all-wheel drive. SAFETY Auto emergency braking had the windscreen head-up display lighting up and beeping with a warning of another vehicle too close in front, while lane keeping assist gently corrected the steering on any sign of wandering.

„ Continued page 2 k/21d11337-v151/2018


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May 18 - 24 | 2018

Commodore still good to go the distance „ From page 1 The 360-degree / surround-view cameras were a bonus when parking in tight spots, as was rear cross-traffic alert on reversing out from between obstacles. Finally, the seven-year unlimited kilometre warranty will outlast many a trip up and down the Australian east coast. DRIVING The Australian Commodore and Calais package is down to Holden engineers covering more than 200,000 kilometres of testing the drivetrain and suspension on Australian roads and at the Lang Lang proving ground. Pushing the dash-mounted engine start/ stop button unleashes 235 kW and 381 Nm with a note rising to a rorty crescendo. Performance off the mark was all-but instantaneous, while overtaking, even on narrow roads was quick and easy, courtesy of adaptive all-wheel drive with electric limited-slip differential. Official combined urban / highway fuel consumption is 8.9 litres per 100 kilometres on regular 91 RON unleaded, which compares with 10.2 (town) and 7.6 (highway) respectively for the test vehicle. The big boot, 490 litres takes two big suitcases, plus the smaller luggage with room to spare. Storage in the passenger cabin runs to a deep centre-console bin and generous door pockets for bits and pieces. Comfort for the average height is good but could be challenging for a taller person. Leg room in the rear is adequate without being generous. Even with the presence of leather, there’s a feeling of the ordinary all round. Nothing stands out, it’s bland. SUMMING UP The Commodore RS-V shows the way with automotive technology for less than $50,000. European rivals with the same specs would be priced well above. Pity about the sat nav.

At a Glance MODEL RANGE Liftback

LT 2.0-litre turbo $33,690 Calais 2.0-litre turbo $40,990 Calais-V V6 AWD $51,990 RS 2.0-litre turbo $37,290 RS V6 AWD $40,790 RS-V V6 AWD $46,990 VXR V6 AWD $55,990


LT 2.0-litre turbo $35,890 RS 2.0-litre turbo $39,490 RS-V V6 AWD $49,190 Tourer (high-ride) Calais Tourer V6 AWD $45,990 Calais-V Tourer V6 AWD $53,990 NOTE: THESE PRICES DO NOT INCLUDE GOVERNMENT OR DEALER DELIVERY CHARGES. CONTACT YOUR LOCAL HOLDEN DEALER FOR DRIVE-AWAY PRICES.

„ HOT HYUNDAI: Styling of hot Hyundai i30 N certainly separates it from the rest of the i30 range.

Hyundai i30 N


HYUNDAI i30 N is the first hot-hatch from a South Korean marque and is a brilliant initial attempt. Never a company to be afraid to ask for help in any new project, Hyundai employed experts from other brands, with a designer from Audi and an engineer from BMW becoming major assets for the Koreans in recent years. As is the norm these days, Hyundai development work was also done in Australia by Aussies and Koreans. In particular suspension and steering tuning but also hot weather testing where many thousands of kilometres were racked up Downunder. Hyundai’s ’N’ Performance Division is named for both the Namyang R&D Centre in South Korea as well as the famed Nurburgring in Germany where Hyundai has another test centre. The Euro influence is further emphasised by the fact that the i30 N is built in Europe at Hyundai Motor Manufacturing in Nosovice, Czech Republic. STYLING The N styling takes the standard i30 hatch and adds genuine aero aids to improve stability and downforce. A front underbumper, serious side skirts, flics on the rear guards and a rear wing that wraps down the edges of the rear window all play their part. There’s no doubt the styling of Hyundai i30 N certainly separates it from the rest of the i30 range as witnessed by long looks on our test car during the week we had it on the Gold Coast. Car guys and gals in these parts do know their stuff. Hyundai has gone for high-performance Pirelli P-Zero HN 235/35x19 tyres which were developed specifically i30 N. They certainly look the part. Inside the i30 N is a pair of clothupholstered sports front seats, a leathertrimmed steering wheel, alloy pedals, an ’N’ race computer and gearshift lights. POWERTRAINS Such is Australian drivers’ taste for highperformance variants that the i30 N comes to us only in the hottest version. That is the 202 kW ’Performance’ model that is the equivalent to the i30 N ‘Performance Package’ vehicle sold elsewhere. The engine is a 2.0-litre turbo-petrol four-cylinder that delivers 202 kW (270 horsepower), and 353 Nm of torque from 1450 to 4700 revs. Using overboost, maximum torque can be as high as

378 Nm (1750 - 4200 revs) for up to 18 seconds. That’s way longer than the typical overboost time from other makers. (More about this later in the Driving section of this review.) Drive to the front wheels is through a six-speed manual gearbox. The i30 N’s electronically controlled mechanical limited slip differential (E-LSD) is aimed at increasing cornering speeds by up to five per cent. An eight speed double-clutch automatic transmission is under development and is expected to be introduced in late 2019. We can’t say we are hanging out for it, though. INFOTAINMENT The car’s 8.0-inch touchscreen is easy to see and use and doesn’t get in the way of the driver’s vision. Hyundai i30 N is well equipped, with satellite navigation system, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility. A wireless inductive charging pad for mobile phones is part of the Luxury Pack option. DRIVING We have previously tested the hot Hyundai on track and seriously winding country roads, but we had to come down to reality some time. So the i30 N was tested in everyday conditions of traffic, shopping centre car parks and the like. With a couple of blasts along our country roads just for the hell of it. Engine performance is aided by the fact that there is minimum turbo lag. And when maximum boost arrives there’s plenty of push in the back. There’s a touch of tyre shriek if you really do get stuck into the loud pedal in first gear. Love it. Fuel consumption was on the high side, in the 10 to 12 litres per hundred kilometres range in day-to-day driving, over 12 litres when really pushed, but dropping to a reasonable eight to nine litres per 100 km on the motorway.

But why talk about consumption when turning fuel into fun is the name of the game? The gearbox could be better in its feel, it really doesn’t seem any different to us than in the standard car. Perhaps this is something that the engineers are working on and we will see it as part of a midlife update. Stay tuned. Rev matching is appreciated if you’re feeling lazy around town. Note that it is automatically off when you start the engine, so if you don’t like it there’s no need to dismiss it. Sound output can be improved by selecting from several modes on an active variable exhaust system. However, we would have preferred even more noise. Hyundai’s Electronically Controlled Suspension (ECS) independently manages front and rear body-roll, as well as pitch and dive. It can be adjusted by the driver through the 8.0-inch touchscreen, with settings across a wide range, from comfortoriented daily driving to high-intensity track work. The new i30 N also features an Electronic Stability Control (ESC) system with optional ‘Sport’ and ‘Sport+’ modes. Sport+ deactivates ESC altogether and allows for left foot braking. Steering feel is very good and the car really does signal what is happening by way of the steering wheel and the seat of your pants. The sports oriented seats provide good support for someone of my frame, which is about average. I’ve long been in favour of cloth seats instead of leather ones in all cars and particularly appreciated them in the hot Hyundai. Ride comfort is generally good, but it came as no surprise that it can be rather firm at times, which is acceptable in a car in this performance class.


May 18 - 24 | 2018

2018 Jeep


WINNING a war can often happen in fits and starts - advancing for days and capturing strategic posts before the enemy halts your progress with tenacious fighting. Certainly, that was a case in the Second World War when the legendary Jeep, used to mobilise the Allied forces, first came into its own. Those vehicles may have been Spartan and cramped but they were highly functional, their all-round ability and dogged attitude personifying the Allies’ determination and ingenuity in stopping the opposing Axis forces. It is fitting then that as the company negotiates new challenges that it looks to a determined all-rounder to help lead the way. The new Jeep Compass range bears only a passing resemblance to the model it replaces in looks, ability and heart. But that is a good thing. There is a choice of four grades – the front-wheel-drive Sport and Longitude and four-wheel-drive Limited and Trailhawk – starting from $28,850. We took a Jeep Compass Limited home with us for the week. STYLING Given the surfeit of swoops and angles that seem to be instrumental in the exterior design of SUVs, it is refreshing to come across one that prefers to stick closer to the utility part of the SUV moniker. With its wide stance, hefty wheel arches and squarish shape, the Jeep Compass certainly stands out from the rest of the class with the seven-slot grille showing its family allegiance. The interior shows less individuality but a higher level of quality and finish than seen in the outgoing model. Materials are well chosen, switchgear appears more robust and the overall design is appealing. The cabin feels airy and light too which is often difficult to accomplish in a SUV of this size. There is adequate headroom even with the optional sunroof, and space in the back to accommodate a couple of taller than average adults. There are air vents and USB ports in the rear too to enhance comfort and a couple of ISOFIX anchors if you are carrying little children. Apart from the regular-issue cup and bottle holders, there is a lack of incabin storage provisions to carry your essentials. Although the novelty of the storage box under the front passenger seat accessed by tumbling the base forward almost makes up for it. The seats themselves are flatter than we are accustomed to and feel rather firm. This Compass Limited boasts its fair share of other comforts though with Jeep offering standard inclusions like 18-inch alloys, dual-zone climate control, auto headlights and wipers, push button start, bi-Xenon headlights, heated leather seats, digital radio with nine-speaker Beats stereo system and a roof rack. The boot (438-litres) is one of the biggest in the class and easily swallows up the weekly shop or a couple of suitcases. A powered tailgate can be optioned in the Advanced Technology pack. INFOTAINMENT The Compass Limited features an 8.4-inch (up from 5.0-inch in the entry models) colour touchscreen with sat nav, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The system itself is easy to navigate

compass limited

„ IMPROVED: The new Jeep Compass, is better looking and more capable than the model it replaces. with good map graphics and decent response times. Bluetooth connectivity is a cinch while two USB ports allow you to recharge or access other devices. ENGINES / TRANSMISSIONS There are two engines available across the range – a 2.0-litre diesel that offers up 125kW of power and 350Nm of torque and the 2.4-litre four-cylinder petrol (129kW/229Nm) under the hood of our test car. While the petrol engine is more than adequate around town, it needs a fair bit of telegraphing should you want to overtake at highway speeds as quick sharp bursts are not its forte. In the top-range Limited and Trailhawk models, both the diesel and petrol are paired with a nine-speed auto transmission. It is proficient rather than seamless but a breathtaking improvement from the CVT that did duty in the old model. SAFETY With seven airbags, including a kneebag, stability and traction control, front and rear parking sensors, reverse camera and park assist, the Compass Limited has a fair safety package. No Autonomous Emergency Braking as standard though which is a shame. It can be optioned in the Advanced Technology pack ($2450) along with other features that one could argue should really be standard including blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, lane departure warning, adaptive cruise control and auto high beam. While Jeep is not alone here, the quality of the reverse camera is not the best around. The picture is grainy even in daylight which is not a deal breaker but slightly annoying. DRIVING If it is true that the Compass has been charged with lifting Jeep’s recent fortunes, then let’s say that its performance both on and off the bitumen has set its mission on course to a successful end. Because this, on the larger side of small SUV, is an accomplished drive, taking direction easily, settling quickly

over bumps and highly manoeuvrable despite a wide turning circle. It is even well balanced in the corners. Yes, really. The petrol unit’s need for more than a slight nudge when a burst of speed is required is perhaps a chink in the armour as is the steady road and tyre soundtrack but that is easy enough to adapt to. The all-wheel-drive system gives the Limited sureness under foot with traction transferred to the wheels that need it most. It is this trait that makes the SUV such a capable off-road maverick, much better suited to the road less travelled than competitors in this class. Off course the Trailhawk with its higher approach and departure angles and low range transfer case is the best of the range for demanding trails. The Compass Limited is a thirsty little blighter and we found consumption during our week was closer to 11.3 L/100km than the official 9.7 L/100km. Those buyers still wary of Jeep’s recent troubles may find security in a five year / 100,000km warranty, fiveyear capped price servicing program and lifetime roadside assist. SUMMING UP Jeep Compass Limited is a small SUV with big promise. More than just a far cry from the vehicle it is replacing, its all-round performance and much improved interior makes for a classy act.

At a Glance JEEP COMPASS LIMITED PRICING AND SPECIFICATIONS: Price: from $41,250 (plus on-road costs) Engine: 2.4-litre four-cylinder petrol Output: 129kW and 229Nm Transmission: Nine-speed auto, 4WD Fuel: 9.7L/100km (ADR Combined) Warranty: Five years 100,000 kilometres Safety Rating: Five Star ANCAP


May 18 - 24 | 2018

New Mercedes Variant GLC is bargain priced By EWAN KENNEDY

„ WITHIN TOUCH: Mercedes’ midsize GLC SUV is an excellent touring car.



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HOLDEN Commodore VF MY14 SV6 Storm Sportswagon (Special Edition), 62,901km, rego (1CL5UZ), purchased March 2015 (ex Holden Demo 4632km), 1 owner, registered to July QHZW\UHVÂżWWHGDW ~45,000km, full service history, $26,000 ono. FIRST TO SEE WILL BUY. Ph 0429 101 915.

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MERCEDES-BENZ has added a lower cost model to the GLC SUV range. It has a 2.0-litre, turbo-petrol engine (135kW/300Nm), full-time rear-wheel-drive, rides on 19-inch alloy wheels and uses LED headlights. The Mercedes GLC 200 SUV has a recommended retail price of $61,990. This new Mercedes GLC 200 SUV replaces the previous GLC 220 d models, which were significantly more expensive at $67,500 for the GLC SUV and $78,500 for the Coupe. Standard on the new model are Parking Pilot with a 360-degree camera, Audio 20 entertainment system which includes seven-inch colour display, touchpad control, satellite navigation, digital radio, media interface with smartphone integration. Safety features include nine airbags, Pre-Safe crash anticipatory system, Collision Prevention Assist Plus, Attention Assist, and Blind Spot Assist. The first shipment of the Merc GLC 200 SUV wonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t be here till September 2018, but dealers are taking orders now.

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