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Import Aussie! v

German invader takes on Holden’s home-grown hero

Is it worthy of the Commodore badge? R THE ROAD OH WHAT A SHAM MG bolts plates onto Hamilton’s 740kW racer

Inside Toyota’s final days as an Aussie manufacturer


NEXT I FIRST DRIVES

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OCTOBER FEATURES

EVERY ISSUE

10 AMG PROJECT ONE

46 IMPORT V LOCAL

Swaps trails for track days

Wild Benz hypercar puts F1 powertrain tech to the road

VFII Commodore meets its forthcoming ZB replacement

38 VW GOLF GTI Mk7.5

14 ROADSTER REBORN

58 TOYOTA FAREWELL

Hot hatch fine tunes its focus

Suave Z4 Concept signals a BMW design return to form

The milestones and misses from Australia’s ‘other’ car maker, spanning 54 years

7 Ed’s letter 24 Marketplace 26 Inbox 28 InGear 30 Stahl 32 The Insider 44 Head-to-head Infiniti Q60 Red Sport vs BMW 440i 126 Our Garage 136 Showroom 158 Classic Wheels Home-built thoroughbreds 160 Retro Volkswagen Beetle 162 Wheelstories The Brit sports specialist holding the torch for MG

34 JEEP GRAND CHEROKEE TRACKHAWK

40 NISSAN 370Z NISMO Harder Zed finally hits Oz

42 JAGUAR F-TYPE 2.0T Lighter turbo four pot sharpens price and handling

43 MINI COUNTRYMAN JOHN COOPER WORKS ALL4 Ticket to a fast-paced lifestyle

REDLINE

16 FORD RANGER RAPTOR CONFIRMED A new level of tough truck to spark a tradie war

18 DEPRECIATION DEBUNKED Want to know how much your new car really costs?

20 WHICKMAN: FROM THE BLUE OVAL OFFICE How Ford is faring a year on from factory shutdown

22 RENAULT MEGANE RS France tears up the playbook of a hot-hatch hero

23 EXPLAINED: PETROL COMPRESSION IGNITION Sparkless petrol tech set to save the combustion engine

72 ALFA GIULIA v RIVALS Can the mainstream Giulia follow the game-changing QV’s footsteps?

84 GIZ AND DAD The father-son bond that fostered a Supercars champ

94 THE ART OF PHWOAR Will it be presence or polish? That’s the question in the AMG GT C and 911 GTS

104 2017 WHEELS GOLD STAR VALUE AWARDS This year’s best new-car buys for every budget

COUNTRY MATTERS

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@wheelsaustralia 5


For the drive of it.

Experience the RWD V6 Twin Turbo for yourself. Book a test drive at kiastinger.com.au 7 year/150,000km warranty for vehicles used for the following: rental vehicles, hire cars, taxis, courier vehicles, driving school vehicles, security vehicles, bus and tour vehicles. Capped Price Servicing: Maximum payable for specified number of manufacturer’s standard scheduled maintenance services up to 7 years or 105,000kms, whichever occurs first. Complimentary Roadside Assistance for the first year. Renewed yearly by completing scheduled maintenance services at Kia Dealerships (up to maximum 7 years). Terms and conditions for Warranty, Capped Price Servicing and Roadside Assistance can be found at www.kia.com.au KMAU4437/FPC/WHEELS


Editor’s letter ALEX INWOOD

I’M RELIABLY INFORMED THAT PERSPECTIVE AND INSIGHT ARE WONDERFUL THINGS, YET HAVING EXPERIENCED A DOSE OF BOTH THIS MONTH, I’D ARGUE THEY CAN ALSO BE DECIDEDLY UNCOMFORTABLE. MY MOMENT OF ILLUMINATION ARRIVED AS I CONSIDERED THE CLOSURE OF Toyota’s Australian factory and pondered why, try as I might, I didn’t feel as upset as when I thought about the fates of Ford and Holden. The core of my conundrum is simple, of course. Unlike Australia’s own, which produced generations of exciting, lust-worthy performance variants and then threw them around the nation’s racetracks to ensnare new fans with their snarling V8s, I have no emotional connection to the cars produced at Altona. I’ve never owned a Toyota. I’ve never even lusted after one; well, none made in Australia at least, mostly because Toyota’s model range has always been more vanilla. It’s hard to get all hot and sweaty about a Camry, a fact that has long been a thorn in the side of Toyota’s Australian arm. For decades local execs have desperately tried to inject some sizzle and aspiration into their model range, with limited success. MR2s,

The reality is that for Toyota customers, very little will change come closure time on October 3. For decades the brand has been synonymous with reliability and dependability, built around fuss-free engineering and backed up by one of the largest dealer networks in the country. Its hold on the rural market is without peer, its attractiveness to the bean counters who control large company fleets unwavering, and its position atop the Australian sales charts absolute. Where Holden and Ford’s end dates coincide with the death of locally made heroes loved by enthusiasts, Toyota’s transition to an importonly business will be less emotionally taxing, at least in the product sense. Where the Altona closure really hits home is when you consider the human side of the story. Shuttering the factory doors will shed more than 2500 jobs, with the fallout to send shockwaves through the

Try as I might, I just don’t feel as upset as when I think about the fates of Ford and Holden Celicas and 16v Corollas, plus some rallying success, were all (mostly imported) high watermarks, but where Holden and Ford enjoyed a consistent flow of desirable (if imperfect) product, Toyota’s enthusiast appeal has been more sporadic. My days as an impressionable youngster occurred in one of the troughs, but while Toyota missed the chance to capture my interest and loyalty, where I stumbled upon an unwelcome sense of perspective is when I asked myself: is this how most Australians feel about Ford and Holden? Outside of the rustedon enthusiast base, does the average punter care that come November, Australia’s ability to build a car from the ground up will cease to exist? Or will they see a headline on the news, shrug their shoulders and move on? I fear it’s the latter, especially for many young people.

wider 50,000-strong supplier industry. Just like Ford and Holden, Toyota has produced and nurtured generations of innovative engineers and designers who have done an outstanding job of creating cars that haven’t only influenced what we drive in Australia, but the world over. Building cars here has changed the lives of thousands of hard-working Aussies, and given others the opportunity to make it big on the international stage. And that, more than any Crown, Corolla or Camry, has been Toyota’s greatest contribution to this country. I wonder how many people will consider that when they see the news of the closure pop up on their Facebook feeds?

Future designed One silver lining to what is going to be a very dark October is news that just like Ford and Holden, Toyota will retain a design and engineering presence in Australia. Based in Port Melbourne, Toyota will actually increase its local team to around 150 staff (50 more than it was three years ago), with their efforts to focus on global models produced overseas. All three manufacturers have publicly committed to fostering the design and engineering talent emerging from Aussie universities, which is promising for any youngsters with a penchant for cars and a desire to shape future product.

THE SHIP HAS SET SAIL

@wheelsaustralia 7


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NEWS, VIEWS AND A BRUSH WITH THE LIMITER OCTOBER 2017

LEWIS, YOUR ROAD CAR IS READY...

Mercedes-AMG Project One is the closest realisation yet of an F1 car for the road, and yours for $3m

10 wheelsmag.com.au

THE CLAIM of “an F1 race car for the road” is one that has been trotted out plenty of time before; the reality has invariably been a road car that incorporates limited technical elements that happen to be shared with a prototype racer. However when Mercedes-AMG announced it would build a roadlegal hypercar with a drivetrain lifted directly from Formula 1, it was time to take notice. The Mercedes-AMG Project One truly has an F1 heart beating in its carbonfibre chest. The drivetrain’s centrepiece is a mid-mounted 1.6-litre V6 with two electric motors – one


Ferrari’s sexy GT It’s arrivederci to the California T and benvenuto to the Portofino as Ferrari revamps its entry-level model. Packing a worked-over version of the Cali’s 3.9-litre twin-turbo V8, now good for a healthy 441kW/760Nm (up 29kW/5Nm) , the Portofino also gets some

bolted directly to the crankshaft to provide additional torque, the second to eliminate lag for the engine’s massive turbocharger. To allow for the stratospheric maximum engine speed of 11,000rpm, the four overhead cams are gear driven and the valvetrain uses pneumatics rather than conventional springs. Power is delivered to the road through all four wheels: the rears fed by the V6 and its electric motors, while the fronts each have an additional 60kW motor. The purely electrically driven front axle allows individual acceleration and braking of each front wheel,

and this torque vectoring is used to further aid vehicle dynamics. The electric motors also allow the Project One to achieve a claimed 25km pure electric range. Project One’s combined system output is quoted as in excess of 740kW. That’s around the same figure as Lewis Hamilton’s race car, and enough, says MercedesAMG, to hurl the Project One from standstill to 200km/h in less than six seconds. For comparative purposes, the McLaren P1 and LaFerrari hit that mark in closer to seven. On a road long enough, AMG suggests a V-max beyond 350km/h.

trick additions like Ferrari’s latest E-Diff3, electric power steering, and an improved magnetorheological damper system. The 2+2 will nip to 100km/h in 3.4 seconds and run on to a toupee-tearing 320km/h. Order books open here early next year.

0-200km/h Unverified, at this point, but given the power and aero sophistication, completely plausible. Wheels is available for test piloting...

REDLINE Take one small yet V6, add hugely boosted b an electric motor to the crank, then whack electric motors on each front wheel. Bingo

RIGHT: WHEN YOU LOOK THIS GOOD WITH YOUR KIT OFF, WHY WOULDN’T YOU FLAUNT IT?

Claims to be quicker than LaFerrari and McLaren P1, both of which employ engines that are vastly larger in capacity and cylinder count

TOP SPEED Smashes the rev ceiling of every other hypercar engine. Made possible due to pneumatic valve operation

COMBINED OUTPUT


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Rival warfare There’s really only one Project One rival: the Aston Martin Valkyrie. Like the AMG, Aston’s forthcoming hypercar will be brimming with F1 tech thanks to its chief creative force, Formula 1 guru and aerodynamic mastermind Adrian Newey. Power comes from a hybrid

powertrain, headlined by a 6.5-litre Cosworth V12, with Aston claiming Valkyrie will lap Silverstone faster than an LMP1 racer. It also has an uncannily similar interior to the AMG, with both cars using multiple dash-mounted screens and square F1-style steering wheels.

OCTOBER 2017

01

Insider 01 The massive shark fin and cold air tract obscures rearward vision, but a roofmounted camera displays the rear view on a screen in place of a mirror

02

02 One 10-inch screen provides the driver with critical vehicle information while a second displays powertrain status and other applications

03 04

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This is not an ejector handle. The position of the pedal box is adjusted with this switch between the driver’s knees

04 It may have an engine lifted from an F1 car, but Project One is still a Mercedes as highlighted by window switches taken from C-Class

A very good turn The Project One’s steering wheel highlights its F1 connection. Shift lights are incorporated into the upper section, while the other buttons control power boost and drag reduction system functions. The car’s traction control is adjustable in incremental stages via a rotary dial rather than simply on or off. And yes, there is an airbag packaged in there.

12 wheelsmag.com.au


Le Mans Porsche busts auction record A 1970 Porsche 917K, as used in the Steve McQueen movie Le Mans, set a high watermark for the brand when the hammer fell at A$17.73m at Gooding & Co’s Pebble Beach auction in August. The 12-cylinder short-tail 917K model was a test

As for the transmission, AMG describes the all-new eight-speed unit as a “manual”, but you won’t find a conventional lever to swap cogs. The gearbox is electromechanically/hydraulically automated or can be shifted using the steering wheel paddles. The car’s carbonfibre construction and use of the engine and transmission as a structural member and mounting point for the rear push-rod suspension is heavily F1 inspired. Active aerodynamic aids, too, are critical One’s i i l to the h Project j ’ quest for F1-like performance. The large rear spoiler extends in two stages to improve aero efficiency and stability as the air speed increases, while a

car at Le Mans before its Hollywood role, then later mothballed until a recent resto. “Steve McQueen is really at the top of car mythology,” said David Gooding, president and founder of Gooding. “If you’re a car guy, this Porsche is your nirvana.”

Active aero aids are critical to the Project One’s quest for F1-like performance cluster of smaller fins above each front wheel also control air flow according to road speed. A monstrous carbonfibre stabilising ‘shark fin’ incorporates the roof-mounted engine intake tract that feeds air to the turbo, while the LED headlight and tail light designs mimic the AMG badge with three separated rhomboids. A single large-bore exhaust provides id the h visual i l centrepiece i of the tail section and appears to have little in the way of silencers. Turbocharged V6 engines may have muted the F1 field on race day, but it seems safe to predict

the Project One won’t exactly be subtle-sounding. Inside is configured for two, with occupants located in place by carbonfibre seats that are incorporated into the car’s monocoque construction. The seats don’t slide, but adjustable backrests, pedals and steering wheel allow passengers to get comfortable. Mercedes-AMG also deemed that power windo h air-con, i i dows and an audio system were ess sential, along with storage cubbie es behind the seats, and a ce entral compartment with transp parent lid. As Wheels went to pres ss, there

were still plenty of undisclosed technical details hidden under the Project One’s composite skin, like tyre specification and the car’s all-important kerb weight. The benchmarks of hypercar performance, including a Nurburgring lap time, also appear to be on hold until the Project One has turned a wheel in public but, already, the mega Merc looks set to bring records tumbling. Just 275 examples of the Project One will be built, with each selling for around A$3 million. We’re advised that nine are headed for Australia and one for New Zealand. DANIEL GARDNER

Hard chaarger Project One’s lithium-ion cells, th heir arrangement and cell cooling system are the same as used in the Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 drivetrain (pictured leftt), but the charge capacity is much higher for everyday operat ion. The DC/DC converter for charging the 12V onboard elecctrical system is packaged into Project One’s floor beh hind the front axle.

@wheelsaustralia 13


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Dubbo trials digital driver licence Transport for New South Wales has announced that residents of Dubbo will be able to trial digital driver licence technology from November. Accessible via a phone app, the digital licence can be used for proof of identity, proof of age, and to satisfy roadside police checks. The trial is the first of its kind in Australia.

Minister for roads, maritime and freight, Melinda Pavey, claimed the digital licence would provide an extra line of defence against identity theft. “This trial is an opportunity to demonstrate the additional levels of identity security and increased protection against identity fraud that a digital licence provides,” she said.

OCTOBER 2017

Roadster return BMW changes the script with the Z4 Concept BMW’S long-awaited Z4 Concept, unveiled at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, marks a welcome return to a more elegant aesthetic for the company’s opentopped sports model. It also represents a decisive end to the residual styling influences of the Chris Bangle era, mirroring the clean lines of the latest 8 Series Concept. The Z4 debuted in 2003, featuring then-radical ‘flame surfaced’ flanks and jarring body detailing. The softer-edged 2009 replacement was the work

of 32-year old Juliane Blasi, who attempted to introduce a more classical roadster profile and won an internal design competition. The latest Z4 Concept, designed under the auspices of Adrian van Hooydonk, opts for a slightly more cab-forward look, with stacked headlamps, an aggressively undershot front grille, deeply sculpted flanks, broad rear haunches, and a complex, squared-off tail. Naturally many of the details will be toned down for production, but the

fundamentals – to be shared with Toyota’s forthcoming Supra – have received almost universal acclaim. “The sophistication in our mind comes from reduction,” claimed van Hooydonk. “We have fewer and very crisp lines for the exterior, and reductions in the interior as well, with fewer knobs and buttons. The ones we do have are neatly grouped in a couple of islands.” BMW plans to ditch the outgoing Z4’s folding hardtop and return to a simpler and lighter fabric hood, helping to keep weight in the

region of 1400kg, to realise a saving of at least 50kg. Internal BMW documentation seems to suggest three powertrains: a 2.0-litre turbo four with 147kW/320Nm for the sDrive 20i entry-level model and a 195kW/380Nm tune for the 30i variant. The range topper is likely to be a 3.0-litre turbo-six-equipped 250kW/450Nm sDrive M40i. No Z4 M model has yet been announced. BMW’s rationale for leaving us short of a real fire-breathing version was that this would require re-engineering that

DESIGN: SLIM LIGHTS AND LOW-SET KIDNEY GRILLE EVOKES STYLING OF THE Z8

CHASSIS: TIN-TOP FANS WILL HAVE TO LOOK TO TOYOTA’S SUPRA COUPE, WHICH WILL SHARE Z4’S UNDERPINNINGS

14 wheelsmag.com.au


Supra stays stealthy As details coalesce on the Z4, its sister vehicle, the Toyota Supra, is still cloaked in a veil of speculation. We’ve seen camo’ test mules circulating with production lights and bumpers, but engine choices remain a point of contention. A leaked BMW document implies the Supra

will get auto-only 20i, 30i, and 40i versions, suggesting shared engines with Munich, but a persistent rumour surrounds Toyota’s forthcoming ‘943F’ 3.5-litre V6, said to be good for around 300kW, plus a manual option. But we won’t get the Japan-only hybrid.

AWDsome

M5

TOPLESS: Z4 EXPECTED TO FEATURE LIGHTER FABRIC TOP; ‘SPEEDSTER’ DOMES MAY NOT MAKE THE CUT

Lighter next-gen M5 brings same grunt; more grip

would make the car unprofitable if it was targeted as a Boxster S or TT RS Roadster rival. Still, it’s hard to see how a circa-1600kg roadster packaged with the M3 Competition’s 331kW engine wouldn’t have market appeal. Jaguar’s F-Type V6 S would seem to be the proof that there’s a niche for exactly this sort of car. The cabin gets a digital instrument cluster and head-up display. Production of the Z4 commences next year and BMW is looking to see the car priced at a similar level to the outgoing model which starts at around $80K.

ENGINE: NO OFFICIAL WORD ON DRIVETRAINS, BUT TURBO FOURS AND SIXES ARE ALMOST CERTAIN

AND Y EN R IGH T

INSIDE: SOME FAMILIAR CABIN CUES, BUT DEEP-DISH WHEEL AND DUAL-TONE TRIM UNDOUBTEDLY COOL

With the same power output as the current, limited-edition ‘30 Jahre M5’, the sixth-gen BMW M5 sends a clear message to its rivals – work smarter rather than harder. Despite the addition of all-wheel drive, the 441kW M5 is 15kg lighter than its predecessor, and that traction makes it decisively quicker, the 0-100km/h time tumbling to just 3.4 seconds, which is lineball with its arch-nemesis, the Mercedes-AMG E63 S. Keep the throttle pinned to 200km/h and the M5 opens up a 0.3sec advantage on the AMG’s 11.4sec time. In comes a carbonfibre roof and an eight-speed automatic transmission, along with a torquevectoring rear diff and the ability to switch into a rear-drive mode if the standard torque split feels all a bit Ingolstadt to you. Options include carbon-ceramic brakes, identifiable by accompanying gold calipers. Full Aussie prices and specs have yet to be finalised, however, and impatient local customers will have to cool their heels until the middle of next year for first deliveries.

WHEELS: 20-INCH WHEELS MIGHT BE TONED DOWN FOR PRODUCTION, ALONG WITH BLADE-THIN DOOR MIRRORS

@wheelsaustralia 15


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Crush course Of the 2204 vehicles impounded and crushed by Victoria police between July 2015 and December 2016, there was a clear favourite among local crims. Over 25 percent (641 cars) were Holden Commodores, easily outstripping the Ford Falcon (241 cars) in second place, with the Mitsubishi

Magna (76) rounding out the roll of dishonour. The key offence was driving while disqualified or suspended, accounting for over half of all crushings, with attempts to evade police, serious speeding infringements and drug/alcohol driving comprising the lion’s share of the remainder.

OCTOBER 2017

Rapturous confirmation Oz’s most extreme trade-ute is coming CARGO BAY WILL BE REWORKED TO ACCOMMODATE THE WIDER GUARDS AND LARGER WHEEL AND TYRE COMBINATION. EXPECT A SLIGHT REDUCTION IN LOAD CARRYING ABILITY

GETTING RID OF THE LEAF-SPRUNG REAR END FOR A MULTI-LINK SET-UP SHOULD HELP BOTH RIDE AND POWERDOWN TRACTION

16 wheelsmag.com.au

THE MOST highly anticipated ute release of 2018 is finally official: a beefed-up, high-performance Ford Ranger Raptor is coming to Aussie roads. To be sold under the Ford Performance umbrella, the Raptor flagship will showcase Australianled engineering and usher in a host of performance and off-road upgrades to cement its place as Australia’s most extreme trade ute. Key to this will be an upgraded platform and a host of mechanical changes including a new 10-speed automatic gearbox co-developed with General Motors and rear


Use it or lose it, Enzo Ferrari has lost its hold on one of its most desirable names: Testarossa. A German court has handed the famous ‘red head’ moniker to a Nuremberg remote control and slot car maker after finding that while the Testarossa name did grace cars built between 1984 and

disc brakes, the latter being a Ranger first. Raptor specific upgrades will extend to unique sheet metal, flared wheelarches and aggressive front-end bodywork likely to include a redesigned bonnet, bumper and front grille. The rear end, too, will be styled more aggressively and feature a unique cargo bay required to house the Raptor’s wider rear rubber and overhauled suspension, which is tipped to ditch the regular Ranger’s leaf springs in favour of a version of the Everest’s Aussie-developed coil-sprung multi-link set-up.

1996 to celebrate Ferrari’s win in the 1957 World Sportscar Championship, aside from providing spare parts and repairs for old Testarossa models, Ferrari hadn’t used the name on cars, merchandise or other products for more than a decade.

Boosted ground clearance, wider tracks and robust wheels and tyres are also expected to hammer home the Raptor’s place as a variant built for hardcore off-roading and high-speed desert bashing. The key piece of the puzzle yet to be confirmed is what engine will power the Raptor. While the larger F150 Raptor’s 331kW/691Nm 3.5-litre twinturbo EcoBoost petrol V6 will be available in America, it’s unlikely this engine will make

it Down Under. An upgraded version of the Ranger’s current 147kW/470Nm inline five-cylinder diesel is another option, though Wheels understands a new fourcylinder turbo-diesel is also being considered. Also unclear is exactly when the Raptor will land in Australia, though expect it to go on sale in the second half of 2018 where it will inject a welcome dose of excitement to the big-selling Ranger line-up. Ford has sold more than 28,000 Rangers this

year, making it the brand’s most popular model line by a factor of four. And given high-end XLT and Wildtrack variants make up around 60 percent of the current Ranger model mix, there’s clearly a market for an even more expensive flagship. As for what the Raptor will cost, official pricing is yet to be confirmed, though given the Wildtrack retails for around $60,000, expect a price-tag somewhere in the $80K bracket. A LEX INWOOD

NO TWIN-TURBO ECOBOOST V6 FOR OZ; EXPECT HIGHER OUTPUT TURBO-DIESEL FIVE-POT OR BIG-BOOST DIESEL FOUR

WHEELS’ IMAGE

Raptor, what’s in a name? Ford’s bid to bring the Raptor to Australia hasn’t been without a few speedbumps, with the company locked in a legal despute with Toyota over the use of the Raptor name. Hino Motors, the truck division of Toyota, previously owned the Raptor trademark after securing the rights to it in the early 1990s. Though it appears Hino has never used the name, it had ensured its hold over it was regularly updated and refused to relinquish ownership to Ford. The Blue Oval tried to strip Hino of the trademark “on the basis of alleged non-use”, but IP Australia told Wheels, “Hino Motors opposed this request for removal action.” The two companies were understood to be in a “cooling-off period” before further negotiations continued, though Ford has since told Wheels “there are no issues anymore”. How the agreement was reached, given the Ranger is currently locked in an intense sales battle with the Toyota Hilux for trade-ute supremacy in Australia, remains unknown.

@wheelsaustralia 17


Redline

Tesla’s boring referral scheme Elon Musk’s referral program has proven a hugely effective tool in shifting metal. Refer five friends and you can knock a grand off the price of your next vehicle. So far so predictable, but if all five take delivery of their cars, US customers

OCTOBER 2017

Depreciation disasters e

y THE PRICES listed in Showroom from page 136 are what you’ll need to outlay to park a given model in your garage, but they are not the cost of owning that car, as our annual Gold Star Value awards reveal starting on page 104. Running costs such as fuel, insurance and servicing contribute significantly to the cost of ownership. However for most models the cost of depreciation by far outweighs these expenses. Spoiler alert: the Kia Picanto S won the Gold Star Value City Cars category and, with a top score of 93.3 out of 100, it could be considered the overall Gold Star Value Awards winner too. The $14,190 Kia is cheaper to own than the vast majority of new cars, and its 46 percent Glass’s three-year resale is pretty good by class standards. Yes, losing more than half its value is considered a decent result as depreciation goes. This means the Picanto will lose 54 percent of its value in the first three years, or around $7663. In the same time, the average Australian driver will spend about $2243 fuelling the Kia, $1860 on insurance, and $969 on three services, according to Kia’s cappedprice scheme. That’s $5072 in total – a figure that the depreciation over the same period tops by around 50 percent. So the real cost of owning the Kia for the first three

18 wheelsmag.com.au

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years isn’t $14,190, it’s $12,734, or $4245 per year (without factoring in incidentals, such as tyre wear) which almost makes us want to go and buy an Opal/Myki card… This is the cost for someone who has bought the car outright. If there’s a car loan, any nondeductible interest payments should be added too, which can increase overall cost considerably. In a popular medium SUV such as 2017’s $45K category-winning Kia Sportage GT Line, the costs of fuel, insurance and servicing rise to about $7000 over three years, but depreciation based on the Kia’s 53 percent three-year resale figure skyrockets to $21,615.30. The total three-year ownership cost of the Kia is about $30K. And remember, this is for a reasonably priced family wagon that our analysis indicates is the best in its class in terms of minimising your cost of ownership. We hate to say it, but a GoGet is starting to sound ideal. The panels to the right provide the best- and worst-case scenarios of all the cars put through our Gold Star Value analysis, in terms of resale and the dollar cost of depreciation. In the first three years, the best of them will shed roughly the value of a good, used small car, while the worst will burn the equivalent of a house deposit… in Sydney. J A M E S WHITB OU R N

,

get the opportunity to drive an electric tunnel boring machine with The Boring Company in Hawthorne, California. That’s right; spruik Teslas for Elon and you get to dig a hole for him, which he hopes will eventually go to LAX airport.


7845

The number of new vehicle registrations by which Toyota (1st place) has outsold Mazda (2nd) in Australia, year-to-date, if you ignore all of Toyota’s passenger car sales and only count SUVs and light commercials.

$ 7 0 435Y R S *

L O S T IN

LOWEST DEPRECIATION

$ 2 5IN6 ,32Y1R1S *

LOST

HIGHEST

PRECI

MAZDA 2 NEO

MERCEDES - AMG S65 L

Price: $14,990 Glass’s 3yr resale: 53 percent

Price: $492,715 Glass’s 3yr resale: 48 percent

You need look only as far as the winner of Gold Star Value 2017’s Light under $17K category for the lowest depreciation of any of the 2787 cars analysed. The Mazda 2 Neo is among the least costly of any car considered, at $14,990, so although it will lose almost half its value in the first three years, with a 53 percent threeyear resale, that’s only $7K lost to deprecation, which is as good as new cars get.

If you have $500K you need to get rid of real quick, you should consider a Mercedes S65 L. Not only will its $492,715 sticker eat up the best part of your budget, its 48 percent resale will see $256,211 evaporate in three years, with a forecast used value of $236K. No doubt some bargain hunters will see the appeal in a half-price, twin-turbo, 1000Nm V12 limo, but we’d wager they’ll be outnumbered by those who fear the ongoing maintenance costs.

BEST RESALE

WORST RESALE

AUDI TT RS

GREAT WALL V240 4x2

Price: $137,900 Depreciation: $37,233.00

Price: $22,990 Depreciation: $16,322.90

Audi’s TT RS offers more grunt than any car in the $75K-$150K bracket. That it placed third in the category reflects the fact it costs up to $60K more than the hot hatches that beat it. Yet its three-year resale of 73 percent equals the best of any car put through the Gold Star Value wringer, keeping the $137,900 coupe’s expected cost of depreciation within $140 per year of the $78K AMG A45’s (53 percent resale).

It’s a good thing the Great Wall V240 4x2 ute only costs $22,990 given its poor three-year resale. Initially it seems like a bargain for a petrol, manual, rear-drive dual-cab, as it undercuts our category-winning Mitsubishi Triton GLX by $15K ( even in 4x4 form). Yet the Great Wall will actually lose a similar amount in three years courtesy of a Glass’s resale of 29 percent, the worst of any vehicle considered for Gold Star Value in 2017.

T 7 3 APINEERDCVEANL U E RET

T 2 9 APINEERDCVEA LNU E RET

*BASED ON GLASS’S THREE-YEAR RESALE VALUE

Early risers The rise in values of significant cars as they come to be considered classics is usually the work of decades. Yet a recent phenomenon has seen some models, such as Porsche’s 911 R and HSV’s GTS-R W1, seemingly generate instant classic appeal. A virtually new 911 R was offered recently by an opportunistic owner at $1.2m, triple the new price. Build No.35 of HSV’s local muscle sedan swansong, meanwhile, was recently passed in at auction $87,600 above its new price. Could the accelerated rise in the value of significant driver’s cars be the result of the march towards a future where there won’t be any drivers?

@wheelsaustralia 19


Redline

Audi in VIN spin While investigating dieselgate issues, the state prosecutor’s office in Munich has discovered that thousands of Audis exported to China, Korea or Japan may have the same 17-digit vehicle identification number (VIN). It’s not clear how or why this may have

occurred, but both German and EU laws stipulate that each vehicle needs to be clearly identifiable by a unique VIN which will remain uncopied for at least 30 years. “We are not aware of the fact the VIN numbers have been issued more than once,” said Audi.

OCTOBER 2017

E X C L U S I V E

I N T E R V I E W

One year on Ford’s boss on rebuilding after the shutdown “MANY people talk about us in the same breath as Holden, yet we don’t even talk about Holden within these walls,” Ford Australia president Graeme Whickman says matter-of-factly. Think about that. Our motoring lives have been built on a Ford versus Holden rivalry that dates back nearly 80 years and a Falcon versus Commodore rivalry that dates back nearly 40. But just like the assembly lines from which these treasured Aussie nameplates came, so this legendary rivalry is being deconstructed. Nowadays Ford is just one of more than 60 imported brands that fight for a share of Australia’s 1.2 million new vehicle sales. Interviewed by Wheels in the lead-up to the first anniversary of Falcon the en e d o rod r uction of th he Falc F alcon on y, a iss an abo e t nd tea “ “In s me e av o e t a on M or alc

Company’. And whilst that’s a tremendous legacy, it was also a gating function and I think some people couldn’t see past the Falcon,” Whickman ponders. “[Falcon] cast a very large shadow and I don’t think people could see we had other offers in the marketplace… it is interesting to see what’s happening with the Ranger, because over that longer time we are seeing another product get a bit more of the limelight.” Whickman was the bloke in the hi-vis vest standing at the gates of Broadmeadows representing Ford on that last, emotional day of local production on October 2016. Now he believes Ford can reap the benefit of that tough day. He’s talking reconstruction out of the deconstruction. Overall Overall, with Falcon and e lmost completely

out of the mix, Ford registrations are – according to VFACTS – roughly equivalent to 2016. That’s an achievement considering those two models were still worth more than 13,000 registrations last year. You could argue Ford has traded its dependence on Falcon for dependence on the locally developed – but not built – Ranger, which accounts for more than 50 percent of its sales. The other star turn is the Mustang, which dominates the sports car market and has clearly appealed to traditional Falcon ‘XR’ customers. “Our retail sales have grown considerably year-on-year so we are obviously talking to more people and gaining their business. “[But] if you go out and look at who is driving a Ranger I would argue it’s think it s not who you thin ink it iss iin n tterms e s erm of the insinuation itt’s th sa ame m

group of people, because it isn’t,” Whickman asserts. He says the confidential breakdowns show that Ford is capturing a growing share of retail sales and higher profit margins. Yet, by contrast with the success of the Ranger and Mustang, the Focus and Fiesta are bit players in their still-sizeable passengercar segments and Ford has yet to prove it can market an imported SUV successfully, as opposed to the home-grown Territory. Ecosport is down; Escape/Kuga is slightly up on a small base; Everest is showing solid improvement but off a small base. But the figures he alludes to most are rising rates of Ford customer satisfaction. Whickman’s been banging this drum ever since sin nce c he arrived a ive arr ved d iin n Australia as al s chief in 2013. For s strategy is s of the Future’ De l i n des stuff like free s c o cars, auto club rships, iPadm

Just in tim me If 2016 was about the closure and 2017 about firming the foundations for a new future, then 2018 is about that future arriving via a slew of new w machinery. There’s the overhauled Mustang, an all-new Focus, the next-gen Aussie-developed Ranger with a Raptor version, and the Edge five-seat SUV – to be renamed the Endura.

“There is a lot of talk about next year in terms of product actions and some of those are new in the market, and not just replacing vehicles,” Whickman reveals. “Naturally we’re excited, but at the same time our job is to make sure people are aware of those and see them in an aspirational light.”


Straight and narrow An Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) study in the US has shown that lane-departure warnings reduce single vehicle, sideswipe, and headon crashes by 18 percent, as well as lowering injury rates by 24 percent. The sample size was smaller for fatal crashes, which were reduced

by 86 percent. Naturally, cars equipped with a lane-departure warning system will be newer cars that feature state-of-the-art passive protection systems, which will skew the figures somewhat, but the data seems fairly clear. If you have laneassist systems, its best to leave them on.

RETAIL SALES AND PROFITS, LIKE RANGER AND MUSTANG VOLUMES, ARE UP, SAYS WHICKMAN

based service apps, free sat-nav upgrades, and even the motor show-style unveiling of purchases to new owners. “If you can crack that code [customer experience] and do it in an enduring manner, then the fall-out of that is the potential for more sales,” Whickman says. “Success might look like we sell the same number of vehicles we sell at the moment and that we are healthy and sustainable, but we have higher levels of respect and we have customers that are happy. People at barbecues talk about the fact they have a Ford.” Then there’s his desire to better promote the massive engineering and design presence Ford retained in Australia post-manufacturing. “Given what is happening in Australia, the state of the economy and how things are structurally shifting, Ford is a great example of what Australia could be, which is exporting ideas.” So stick that on the job list, along with much more. “Things don’t happen by default, they only happen by design. So if you don’t continue to apply energy; if you don’t continue to generate emotional resilience; if you don’t continue to point the team in a particular way, then you run the risk of staying still or going backwards.” And looking back is something Whickman isn’t contemplating. BRU C E N E W T O N

“We have higher levels of respect and we have customers that are happy” @wheelsaustralia 21


Redline

BMW i3 now a better sport BMW has revealed a sporty addition to its i3 electric car range, with a more driver-focused i3s variant set to join the local line-up as part of a wider mid-life update. Boasting a power boost of 10kW/20Nm over the standard i3 for total outputs of 135kW/270Nm, the i3s shares the

same battery tech as its existing siblings, with the extra grunt liberated through a redesigned and optimised drivetrain and motor controller. Sports suspension, a 40mm wider track, wider 20-inch wheels and tyres, and exterior styling tweaks also feature.

OCTOBER 2017

RS reimagined Renault reveals a twist to the hot Megane plot IS THIS a case of tearing up the formula for what was one of the world’s best affordable driver’s cars? To fans of the outgoing Megane RS hot hatch, its replacement is virtually unrecognisable. The Megane family dropped the three-door bodystyle when the new-generation model launched last year, and the top-tier RS will now be strictly a five-door proposition – though with fatter guards measuring 60mm wider at the front and 45mm wider at the rear, it’ll stand apart from gardenvariety Meganes. Other paradigm shifts include the availability of a six-speed dualclutch automatic transmission

for the first time, as well as a manual, while Renault’s 4Control four-wheel steering hardware, introduced on the Megane GT in 2016, also slips onto the Renault Sport’s spec sheet. Hydraulic bump stops are said to aid on chassis tr m e friendly S a As for from an t turbo 1.8 that’ll be e 110, with g at 6000rp at a stou e between 0 and 5000

Those figures put the Megane RS 22kW and 10Nm behind that other hyper front-driver, the Honda Civic Type R. However, one crucial number is yet to be announced – the Megane RS’s kerb weight. If it can undercut the Honda’s 1393kg e n h R e of e b

four-wheel steering will confer an agility advantage over other hot hatches like the Type R, i30 N, and updated Golf GTI. Expect Renault’s new scorcher to drop into Australian showrooms in early 2018. T

LEFT: WE LOVE THE CENTRAL TACHO; HAPPY TO PASS ON THE DCT AND EMBRACE MANUAL LABOUR

Kia’s ‘extended hot hatch’ remix Just when you thought every possible bodystyle had already been invented, Kia delivered this concept at the Frankfurt motor show, describing it as an “extended hot hatch”. The concept sports distinctly Stinger-esque proportions, with swollen wheelarches and a forwardset front axle that hints at a reardrive (or at the very least, AWD) layout and athletic aspirations.

22 wheelsmag.com.au

However, those traits will likely disappear in the journey to the production line. “Reworked and reimagined for a new generation of driver, it puts forward a bold vision for a potential member of the Cee’d family”, said Kia’s press guff, referencing Kia’s Euro-market hatchback that was briefly sold here between 2013 and 2015 as the Pro_Cee’d GT warm hatch.


EXPLAINED TRICKY TECH IN SIMPLE TERMS

MAZDA

COMPRESSION IGNITION PETROL ENGINE

OCTOBER 2017

What is it?

Why does it matter?

How does it work?

Mazda’s latest interpretation of the petrol engine, which adopts the compression-ignition principle of a diesel engine. Wearing a new SkyActiv-X brand, the family of engines will start appearing under the bonnets of production models within three years.

Like a conventional petrol engine, fuel and air is introduced to the cylinder before being compressed by the rising piston. But where spark-ignition petrols trigger the combustion process with a timed spark, a pure compression ignition system would allow the mixture to spontaneously ignite from the increase in density and heat generated by compression. Many manufacturers have tried this and failed. Mazda’s innovation is to use the spark plug as a controller in the combustion process.

Mazda calls the process Spark Controlled Compression Ignition (SCCI). At lower revs it uses the spark plugs to create a small fireball in the combustion chamber which then raises the pressure elsewhere in the chamber, allowing compression ignition to occur. At higher revs it reverts to good old spark ignition. So don’t strike spark plugs from your list of service items just yet.

Spark ignition

Until now, diesels have maintained an efficiency advantage over petrol engines thanks in part to their ability to burn very ‘lean’ mixtures of fuel (many parts more air to diesel), but Mazda says its SkyActiv-X engine will match a diesel’s efficiency, with a 30 percent improvement over spark petrols without compromising on petrol driving characteristics. While the continual evolution of electric powertrains threaten to make the internal combustion engine redundant, Mazda’s technology could instead extend its relevance.

Homogeneous charge compression ignition

Stoichio-what? When there is sufficient air to completely burn all of the present fuel, the air/fuel ratio is termed stoichiometric. In petrol engines this is about 14.7 parts of air to one part fuel, but Mazda’s compression ignition engine can run a far leaner ratio (up to 37:1) utilising a supercharger to pile in air at lower revs. Taking advantage of predetonation, it also gets better economy on 91 than 95RON fuel. @wheelsaustralia 23


2019 Suzuki Jimny leaked

Redli

Hate complexity? Disillusioned by ever more obese SUVs? Suzuki’s next-gen Jimny, leaked during a manufacturer roadmap presentation, could come as a breath of fresh air. Due on sale in 2019, hard facts are still thin on the ground, but the fundamentals look as if they don’t diverge

too far from the established template. Expect something cheap, practical and rugged, with a dash-mounted touch-screen about the only conspicuous nod to modernity. If it can fuse retro cool with off-road ability, the all-new Jimny should find no shortage of takers.

OCTOBER 2017

AUG 2017

MarketPlace A ’Stang in the tail

HIGHLIGHTS The market grew 1.8 percent compared to this time last year, making this our best August on record. Fuelling this were the Hyundai Tucson, which leapt to second on the best-seller’s list on the back of sharp drive-away deals, and the Ford Mustang; its 748 sales for August makes us the biggest right-hand-drive market globally. And what about Peugeot, up more than 70 percent to 374 sales compared with July after a change of local distributor shook out the cobwebs. C’est bon! LOWLIGHTS Sales juggernaut Toyota Corolla had a softer month, being outsold by Hilux (4126) and Ford Ranger (3436) by big margins. Nissan grew its sales by a single car compared with July, its X-Trail (1008 sales) hit hard by a rapidly ascending, allnew Honda CR-V that overtook it on the charts. Surprisingly, the usually rock-solid Mazda missed a gear in August August, falling fallin 11 percent month-on-month as sales of its staple 3 and reigning COTY CX-9 hit a pothole. WINNER

55.5

INCREASE

C

As

ge

d s d

p e

tf pe

to launch the Velar, Porsche’s to show the Brit et me the boss of the luxur UV segment.

LOSER L

97 7.2%

The number-three premium German bbrand saw overall sales fall dramatically in Aug st. Takin the biggest hit was the A3 sedan and hatch range, down to just 276 units for the m month.

DECREASE

TOP 20

SPARKING CHANGE

73,851

HYBRID — BUSINESS 695

Passenger & SUV sales – August 2017 PASSENGER CARS

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20

Toyota Corolla Hyundai Tucson Mazda 3 Hyundai i30 Toyota Camry Holden Commodore Mazda CX-5 Hyundai Accent Mitsubishi ASX Toyota RAV4 Mitsubishi Outlander Volkswagen Golf Nissan Qashqai Kia Cerato Mazda CX-3 Subaru XV Honda CR-V Honda Civic Toyota Prado Kia Sportage

SALES

2948 2206 2163 2143 2107 2071 2048 1810 1676 1605 1558 1535 1454 1425 1245 1176 1168 1138 1127 1059

24 WheelsMag.com.au

RANK SALES (JUL ’17) (AUG ’16)

1 8 2 6 3 10 4 9 13 7 16 5 14 17 12 18 29 22 15 23

3554 1654 2818 1864 2458 1952 1902 1096 1781 1766 1287 1395 1066 1201 1523 492 703 856 1328 973

Wh ho’s buying all the batterypowered cars in 2017?

ELECTRIC — PRIVATE 46

HYBRID — PRIVATE 221

TOTAL SALES

96,662 August 2017 18,511 8511 7800 6984 6649 6645 4730 4579 4507 4095

Honda Mercedes-Benz Isuzu Ute BMW Suzuki Audi Land Rover Renault Lexus Jeep

OCTOBER-NOVEMBER

Audi Q7 e-tron and Q2 2.0TFSI quattro; BMW M4 CS and M3/M4 Pure, 3 Series update, 6 Series GT and X3; Citroen C3; Ford Focus RS Limited Edition; Honda Civic Type R; Holden Astra Sportwagon; Hyundai Kona, Ioniq hybrid and Sonata facelift; Jaguar F-Type; Kia Sorento facelift; Mercedes-Benz E-Class Cabriolet, GLC350d, C-Class C300, AMG GT S update and E63; Peugeot 308 facelift; Skoda Octavia RS245; Volkswagen Arteon, Golf R Wagon Wolfsburg; Volvo XC60 BMW M4 CS The most extreme member of the regular M4 range will be priced at $211,610 when it arrives this month, making it $56,700 costlier than the existing M4 Competition. The extra spend brings a 7kW/50Nm hike for total outputs of 338kW/600Nm, plus a 35kg weight saving, CS aero package and stickier Michelin tyres on staggered alloys with a unique design. Pure versions of the existing M3/M4 also arrive in October, sporting less equipment and smaller pricetags. DECEMBER-JAN 2018

Audi RS5; BMW i3 facelift; Holden Equinox; Ford EcoSport; Jaguar XF Sportbrake; Jeep Compass and Grand Cherokee Trackhawk; Lexus CT200h facelift; McLaren 570S Spider; Mercedes-Benz S-Class facelift, AMG GT C Coupe; Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross; Porsche 911 GT3; Rolls-Royce Phantom; Toyota Camry; Volkswagen Golf R Grid Edition Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross Mitsubishi’s new compact SUV will take on the likes of the Ford EcoSport, Holden Trax and Toyota C-HR when it arrives in December. Sitting on an updated version of the Outlander platform, the Eclipse Cross is likely to feature LED headlights and taillamps, a colour head-up display, and a multimedia touchscreen. Engine wise, it’ll run a turbocharged direct-injection 1.5-litre four.

ELECTRIC — BUSINESS 67

Toyota Mazda Hyundai Holden Mitsubishi Ford Volkswagen Subaru Kia Nissan

Incoming

3724 2933 2131 2005 1844 1438 1057 914 701 591


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Keep it short and sweet (no more than 200 words) and please include your suburb if via email. You can also have your say on Facebook (search for Wheels Australia)

LETTER OF THE MONTH

TWITTER: @WHEELSAUSTRALIA FACEBOOK: WHEELS AUSTRALIA

EMAIL: WHEELS@WHEELSMAG.COM.AU

ROUGH CALL Who arbitrarily dictated that handling is more important than ride, and aerodynamics more important than style? As a mechanic I’ve driven more cars than most people have had Sunday lunches. Most are from varying eras and most would be classed as “reasonably priced cars”, not the out-of-touch supercars driven by spoiled journos. Two marques spring to mind that offer “sumptuous ride”: early Peugeots and Citroens. Since then it has been mandatory that I have my teeth rattled. Large, expensive wheel and tyre combos, screwed-down suspension, and the endless battle to see what car can be the fastest around the ’Ring seem partly responsible. Yes, times and trends change, and maybe the priority of “apex hunting” over ride comfort will change too. Where have all the comfortable cars gone? Peter Moore, via email

SIGN OF THE TIMES Not sure how Andrew Austin (Inbox, August) claims to be a motoring enthusiast when he says some of our ridiculously low speed limits are faster than they need to be. He may be a competent 54-year-old driver but he wasn’t quite born when I started driving, and in those days we had no open road speed limits. I had no trouble commuting from my country work place to home every couple of weekends sitting on 80mph (about 130). Since then cars,

“Given Robbo’s credentials when it comes to exotica, we can take his appraisal as a given”

tyres, and roads have become infinitely better, yet speed limits have been reduced. Perhaps the skill of drivers has been reduced as well, with more time spent texting and talking on mobile phones than actually driving or “controlling” a car these days. That’s where the real danger is. Peter Tripoli, Forrestfield, WA

ROUND-ABOUT Peter Robinson rates the LC500 Lexus coupe highly: “An oldfashioned grand tourer” no less (A novel concept, August). Given

Robbo’s credentials when it comes to exotica, we can take his appraisal as a given. Despite the trivia night comment and the disclaimer about current models, it must be a little perplexing to note that the original Lexus ‘International Sedan’ (the IS200) that he so often maligned is also fitted with a 365mm diameter steering wheel! Eric Waples, Albion Park, NSW

NO GO, BAE If people are so addicted to their phones (Redline, August) they can’t keep their hands off them while driving, I suggest we give police the power to immediately confiscate their phones if caught using it while at the wheel. Their phones would be impounded for 24 hours, after which they would have to do the walk of shame to the police station to reclaim it. This, on top of a two penalty unit fine and two demerit points.


A comfy read

Letter of the month prize

Peter Moore won’t get his teeth rattled by a crap ride on the way to the shops to buy his copy of Wheels for the next 12 months. We’ll home deliver it for free.

Once a few people are caught, it would be all over social media – the outrage, the injustice, the humiliation! But maybe, just maybe, it might give a moment’s pause to the Phoneys before they reach for their life support smartphone to type their next earth-shatteringly important text message to Bae... Darcy Maynard, Canberra, ACT

EURO SPLASH Just returned from a trip to Europe and spent some time in the UK, where fuel is around $2 per litre. That sounds painful but when you consider relative incomes (UK income average is less than $50K compared with our $80K), at current exchange rates it makes each litre feel more like $3! Consider that the next time you fill up. Brian Wood, Birchgrove, NSW

CIVIC TYPE AAH? I’m confused as to whether John Carey liked the new Civic Type-R (The Fast and the Flawed, August) or not. He was full of praise for its steering and its powertrain combo, all very important in a hot hatch. Yet the article ended on a negative note about how the car’s styling is the least of its ng worries. I agree that the stylin at is not cohesive (particularly a n the rear) as with most modern e Hondas, but surely it’s not the flop that he made it out to be? Nick Whitlam, via Facebook Messem mger

“The styling iss not cohesive, but surely it’ss not the flop that he made e it out to be?”

“I had my first ride in an EV in 1947 – a 30-year-old 1917 Detroit”

SMOKE SCREEN Each time I move interstate my cars are at the mercy of dodgy state compliance rules. While my car is hauled over the coals for its window tint, driving by is some piece of crap with no indicators and smoke billowing out the back, but at least it is registered, hey? Why can’t we have a national approach to registration and licences for our vehicles? Granted, there may be some issues in the commercial transport industry but for the humble private owner, it can’t be that hard! Mark Cooper, Co p , via email e a

MISSED THE BUZZ? I had my first ride in an electric vehicle in 1947 – a 30-year-old 1917 Detroit that is currently stored in the West Australian Museum. In 1917, Sydney Electricity had even installed charging meters to assist EV motorists. A century later we are starting to realise the extreme power, handling ability, efficiency, technology, and economy of limited moving parts of electric cars. It would have been nice to W s keeping ping up with, w , or see Wheels

even advancing on the world’s EVs, their technology and their trends. Do not leave it to the computer magazines. I drove the BMW i3 in the Netherlands in June, as well as a couple of hire EVs in France, but mainly hybrids. I have ordered a Tesla Model 3 but it could be another 15 months away. Terry Huckle, Lisarow, NSW

Wheels regularly reviews electric and plug-in hybrid cars Terry. And don’t forget our 2014 Car of the Year winner: the same electric vehicle you drove in the Netherlands, the BMW i3. – Ed

SEEING THE LIGHT Why choose c a carbonfibre roof ov ver other weight-saving measu ures such as carbonfibre wheells, that would significantly reduce overall weight by a factor of abo out 10 over the 3kg RS5 roof, and a have big benefits on suspen nsion-component wear factorrs and ride? And shave thousa ands off the astronomical $6000 asking price – unless it coulld be more about cabin structural rigidity than weight. Richard Peich, via email

@wheelsaustralia 27


In OCTOBER 2017 O

If a commercial vehicle brand launches a range of merchandise, it’s normally bar towels and Akubras, but not in the case of Volkswagen. The original splitscreen Type 2 might have been a workhorse, but it’s worshipped like an air-cooled deity and VW’s latest branded kit celebrates 68 years of its icon. With spring around the corner, any picnic or camping trip can be brightened up with a range of dub kit from a Kombi ice cube tray to a fourperson tent. VW Commercial merchandise $9.50 – $353 volkswagen-vans.co.uk

Fast cars can be an expensive hobby and if you choose to explore the limits of performance on a public road, it can become really, really expensive. So let’s all thank the people at Bandai Namco for bringing us the second instalment of their Project Cars series. Pick from 170 different cars and more than 120 track layouts on which to hone and thrash your prized machines with almost spookily realistic graphics and game physics. PC users can even wire in a VR headset for the ultimate in automotive immersion. All this for the cost of a Wheels subscription instead of your licence, second mortgage or life. Project Cars 2 $89.95 – $99.95 projectcarsgame.com

28 wheelsmag.com.au

Getting your kids into cars early makes them better drivers and increases their chances of becoming wealthy racing drivers who can get you free F1 tickets, making this McLaren push car a great investment. Your little one will have to wait a few more years before firing up a turbo V8, but the tiny McLaren 570S by Step2 will get them into fast cars as early as possible. It also has a cup holder for the driver and pusher, which is at least one more than the real thing.

Thought a deconstructed latte was the most nauseatingly hipster drink you’ve ever heard of? Think again. The last time a chunk of motorbike was found in someone’s tipple it followed an unfortunate incident at a men’s shed, but a distiller is now doing it deliberately. Immersing vintage Harley Davidson parts in gin does not impart any interesting flavours and probably accounts for a majority of its vicious price. We can’t think of a single reason to buy, but probably will anyway.

Step2 McLaren 570S Push Sports Car $100 step2.com

The Archaeologist Gin $1489 the-archaeologist.com


Seiko’s roots lie in a small clock repair shop opened in Tokyo’s Ginza district by Kintaro Hattori in 1877: it went on to make some of the world’s most radical, innovative, and accurate watches. It beat the Swiss makers for quality and accuracy, triumphed in the Geneva trials of 1968, and then made the world’s firsst quartz watch the following year. Unlike many Swiss names, all Seiko parts are made in-house, including the lubricants. This new automatic diver’s watch is easily a match for Swiss pieces at ten times the price e. Limited to 6000 units worldwide, it traces its roots to o Seiko’s famous 1960’s auto divers’ watches. They werre favoured by US special forces in Vietnam, so Martin Sheen’s Captain Willard wore one in Apocalypsee Now ow. Seiko SRPB09K ‘Blue Lagoon’, oon’, $750 seiko.com.au

Hanhart began making watches in Germany in the 1920s, and was known for its sporting stopwatches and pilot’s watches. Jack Heuer liked them so much he tried to buy the business, and Steve McQueen liked them so much he chose to buy his own. The Heuer Monaco McQueen famously wore in Le Mans came free from the props department. Unlike TAG Heuer, with its vast marketing budget, tiny Hanhart can’t afford the image rights to any of the many pictures of keen pilot McQueen wearing his own Hanhart. This Preventor9 is a simple ‘threehanded’ automatic in the classic German ‘flieger’ pilots’ style. Unusually, the seconds sub-dial is at 9 o’clock, recalling wartime designs in which shortages forced Hanhart to drop the sub-dial on the other side. Hanhart Pioneer Preventor9, eventor9, $1350 (depending on n exchange rate) p pageandcooper.com m

When UK-based Elliot Brown sent us one of their quartz Canfords to test, we couldn’t figure out how they can sell such a highquality watch for less than $1000 and still make a profit. You’d have to spend many multiples of that to get something Swiss that is appreciably better, or more robust (or has a nicer box). Their new Tyneham is more expensive because it has a Japanese Miyota automatic movement – also often found in much pricier watches – and an even higher standard of finish, and thus remains seriously good value. Keep in mind that the sterling prices quoted on their website include a 20 percent UK Value Added Tax, which will be knocked off for shipments to Australia. Elliot Brown Tyneham, $1150 (depending on exchange rate) elliotbrownwatches.com


Stahl

Michael

LIFE ON ICE

THIS WINTER I TOOK MY FAMILY ON A SKIING HOLIDAY IN NEW ZEALAND. I’M STILL PINCHING MYSELF THAT I’VE BECOME THAT GUY WHO TAKES FAMILY SKIING HOLIDAYS, AND THAT’S ONLY PARTLY BECAUSE NONE OF US CAN SKI. But I wanted to tick that box, so we organised accommodation in wonderful Wanaka – nearest to the family-friendly Mt Cardrona – arranged a car, some skiing lessons, and away we flew. The anxiety level that had started humming when I organised the car, stepped up a couple of thousand revs at the rental desk at Queenstown airport. I knew why. I’ve been in this motor-noting caper for 35 years (eeek!) and in that time, I’ve had a whole encyclopaedia of automotive experiences. I’ve driven flat out on a bunch of motor racing circuits around the world, including the Nurburgring, in a variety of mostly fast cars. I’ve even raced at Bathurst. My 100 percent win rate should stay intact, provided I never go back a second time.

helpless as gravity slurps a near-stationary car down the crown of the road. There was one trip across the Jura mountains from Geneva in an Audi A6 Allroad. I can still see the roadside ditches dotted with hatchbacks; others being miraculously well-driven (snow tyres! d’oh!); queueing on gentle inclines with the car ahead wheelspinning and inching backwards; and descending a gentle hill into a village at all of 5km/h, ABS and ESP stuttering madly, speed increasing, me all but powerless at the wheel. New Zealand turned out to be a non-event: the road to Mt Cardrona was gritty and needed no chains on our rented Toyota Highlander (Kluger). But it had caused my mind to leap back to

The thing I was facing in New Zealand – driving on icy mountain roads – truly scares me I’ve driven a Porsche 911 across the Simpson Desert, and driven the Gibb River Road in the Kimberley (the region, not the Austin). Driven a Ferrari at 300km/h on an Italian autostrada, and gone close to that on autobahns, proving grounds, and Targa Tasmania. I’ve driven pre-production prototypes on a frozen lake in Sweden. Done a ton of off-roading, even in my early-teens, thanks to my stepdad’s Sunraysia accessories business. Driven a 1962 Saab 96 works rally car. The 1998 Le Mans-winning Porsche 911 GT1-98. The Mazda suitcase car. I hear the chorus of “big whoop, fatty boom-bah” from Wheels’ tolerant and mature readership, but I am getting to the point. Many of these situations have made my nerves jangle, but that elevated state and interaction with the machine is a big part of why I love cars (and motorcycles). But the thing I was facing in New Zealand – driving on icy mountain roads – has truly scared me for as long as I can remember. It’s like driving with a little turd of kryptonite in my underpants. I’m not talking about driving fast; quite the contrary. This is about being completely

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an even earlier time, when I was maybe 12. We were away with the Sunraysia group on an off-road weekend. My mum’s Range Rover was using a set of road tyres, then a very new-fangled thing for four-wheel-drive wagons. In light rain, slowly climbing a smooth, grassy hill, the Rangie started slewing, then sliding downhill. Mum was tweaking the throttle and the wheel, keeping the nose pointed uphill. I could see that mum was really concerned. We found enough grip to hold station until someone could tow us up. It had hit me hard that there are situations in which no amount of power or skill – or for that matter, applying the handbrake and doing nothing – will prevent an outcome equivalent to a high-speed accident. Compared with a high-speed situation, there’s no time, no traction, no friendly physics. And that, even as I sit in this castorwheeled office chair, really terrifies me.

Glacial progress If ever there’s an automotive arena that technology seems to have passed by – aside from windscreen wipers, anyway – it’s got to be snow chains. Over the years, I’ve seen promising starts with various designs of moulded rubber and plastic webbing or textured ‘socks’ that fit like tyre-warmers. But none seems really to have, er, gained traction, partly because many ski locations insist on the old-school, knuckle-busting steel type for ‘chains required’ areas.

NOT SO COOL WITH THAT


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Insider

The

THE APPROACH OF PEAK VARIANT

NATURE ABHORS A VACUUM, BUT NOT NEARLY AS MUCH AS THE TOP END OF THE CAR INDUSTRY. HOWEVER SMALL AND UNLIKELY THE GAP MIGHT BE, A PREMIUM AUTOMAKER WILL TRY TO FILL IT. EVEN IF THE RESULT – LIKE THE RANGE ROVER EVOQUE CONVERTIBLE – HAS ’EM ROLLING IN THE AISLES. Yet having one of everything makes a huge amount of sense to premium manufacturers trying to increase their volumes beyond longsince saturated segments. In these days of matrix platforms and flexible factories, the costs of creating a different variant have fallen dramatically, hence the Venn Diagram product planning that leads to a proliferation of ungainly SUV coupes. The logic is to have an answer to every question, to enable that slick sales executive to outflank any showroom objection. So if you go in to look at the BMW X5 and then decide it’s a bit too staid, you’ll be shown an X6. If that won’t fit in your garage, how about an X4? Still too tall? Try this 4 Series Gran Coupe on for size. Meanwhile, Audi seems determined to offer a Q-badged crossover for every

electrification. Audi is also looking towards the idea pioneered by Tesla of incremental software upgrades during the life of a car to keep it feeling fresh, or even to unlock new functionality. Why change your car if, for a couple of grand, you can knock a couple of seconds off its 0-100km/h time, or unlock next-level autonomy? Then factor in the car industry’s seemingly widespread belief that electric cars have to be physically different. Mercedes and Audi have both said that their myriad of forthcoming EVs will get distinct sheetmetal so they don’t get confused with old-fashioned internal-combustion models, following BMW’s lead with its i-badged variants. That means the diversion of more design and engineering talents, leaving less resources for mainstream models.

However small and unlikely the gap might be, a premium manufacturer will try to fill it integer between 2 and 8 and, in the CLS Shooting Brake, Mercedes sells a wagon version of a fourdoor coupe that’s spun from a conventional sedan. Yet it looks as if we’re close to peak variant; we may even have passed it. Both BMW and Mercedes have confirmed they are planning to trim their model trees, with slow-selling derivatives set to face the axe – indeed the non-replacement of the previous-gen Mini Paceman, Mini Coupe, and Mini Roadster indicates how brutal a cull can be. Sadly the cars most likely to find themselves in the crosshairs are the slow-selling coupe versions that, although appeal to enthusiasts, don’t work in Asian markets. Model cycles are also likely to be extended, with Peter Mertens, Audi’s newly crowned head of R&D, admitting that cars will have to live for longer as resources are diverted into autonomous tech and

There’s also the increasing problem of buyer fatigue; the sense of seen-it-before that threatens to turn even the esoteric into conservative choices, like the fractional visual differences between an Audi A5 Sportback and an A7. It’s telling that Tesla has taken more than 300,000 deposits worldwide for the Model 3, a car that, beyond its clever EV tech, just looks like a regular hatchback.

Breeding like Mercs Go back to 1980 and the Mercedes family tree looks positively sparse. The company sold just five model lines – the ‘W123’ sedan, S-Class, SL, G-Wagen, and – in microscopic volumes – the 600 Pullman. Between all body styles there were just eight variants. By 2000, that had risen to 10 lines (A-Class, C-Class, E-Class, S-Class and CL, CLK, SLK, SL, ML-Class and G-Wagen) and 13 body versions. In 2017, across all markets we have 15 model lines (excluding trucks) and 29 derivatives. Prizes if you can name them all.

THE ODDBALL CHOP

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Insurance is arranged by Auto & General Services Pty Ltd (ABN 61 003 617 909, AFSL 241411), acting as an agent of the insurer Auto & General Insurance Company Limited (ABN 42 111 586 353). Read PDS available from us to decide if products suit you. Subject to rating/underwriting criteria. Car insurance not available in NT. Home & Contents insurance not available in Northern Qld, NT or Northern WA. Budget Direct, winner of Money magazine’s Insurer Of The Year, 2010, 2015 & 2017.


Firsttdrives T HI S M ON TH’ S FR E SH M E TAL

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NISSAN 370Z NISMO

F IRS T DRIV ES

VW GOLF GTI

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MINI COUNTRYMAN JCW

Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk Finding meaning in the world’s most powerful SUV IF YOU think the old “where do babies come FIRST OVERSEAS from?” question brings a DRIVE challenging conversation

SP EC S

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Model Engine Max Power Max Torque Transmission Weight 0-100km/h Fuel economy Price On sale

to have with a small child, give yourself an uppercut. It’s nothing compared to explaining to a curious kid the rise of the ultra-performance SUV. Dad: “We’ve bought the world’s most powerful SUV, son. We’ve got 522 killa-whatsits under that hood...” Boy: “Oooh goodie, so we can go camping?” Dad: “No, son. It’s not designed to go off-road.” Boy: “Oooh, so can we go to the race track?” Dad: “No son, it weighs two and half tonnes. That’s not so good at the race track.” Boy: “So what will we do with it, dad?” Dad: “Umm…” The correct answer is more like: “Silence, my child! Buckle up and prepare to have your tiny soul

rearranged as I deploy seven hundred of Satan’s most unhinged horses!” Okay, you may not speak in a God-like tone when kicking the Jeep Trackhawk where it loves it most, but I promise you will not sound like your regular self. Things change when you drive Jeep’s beast. Your walk will become a strut. Your head may wobble, just a little. OUR drive starts by pointing the bluff, more air-hungry snout sedately towards the Interstate out of Maine, in the northeast corner of the USA. It’s a chance to see how well the Trackhawk can do the daily stuff, and what compromises come with the transition to the World’s Most Extreme SUV. Not surprisingly, the low-speed ride is pretty lumpy, and the steering, no thanks to the massive 295-section front P Zeros, is a

Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk 6166cc V8 (90°), ohv, 16v, superchar ger 522kW @ 6000rpm 868Nm @ 4800rpm 8-speed automatic 2433kg 3.6sec (claimed) 16.8L/100km (estimated) $140,000 (estimated) December

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As a novelty act, it’s great fun, like ballroom dancing with a silverback bit inert at the straight-ahead, without much nuance or detail just off-centre. The powertrain, though, does docility superbly. There’s a resonator to minimise blower whine on a light throttle, and the exhaust flaps keep things to a peaceful burble as you stroke it around. The shifts in default mode from the reworked eight-speed auto are slurred and unobtrusive, and as we settle into a 120km/h highway lope, the wind noise is well contained, and surprisingly, there’s minimal vocal intrusion from the tyres. This thing does family cruising without an issue. Then we turn off down a gently twisting backroad through the woods heading towards New Hampshire. A chance to bury the throttle, and it’s like we’ve driven into a war zone. The blown Hemi erupts straight off the bottom, and cannons up through the rev range with an enraged fury. There may be blower whine, but

you’ll struggle to hear it over the thundering exhaust note. It’s even more percussive than the sound from HSV’s LS9; more old-school street muscle than the more strident, motorsport-inspired intensity of the GM engine. Pluck gears if you want, but the auto’s mapping, even in Sport (with Race still up your sleeve), is suitably aggressive. This thing may weigh 2433kg, but it forgets that once on the move, so the kick-down acceleration is properly savage. It may not feel quite as demonic in the 80-120km/h zone as an AMG GT C or Porsche 911 Turbo, but I suspect the difference is marginal, and something like BMW’s X5 M now languishes in a performance category below. At a brilliant, wildly undulating private racetrack in New Hampshire, the Trackhawk is a hoot for the handful of laps it will cop before the brakes and tyres start to hate you. Set it to Race mode to almost fully

Monster powertrain’s duality; retains touring ability; equipment

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disarm the ESC, get the adjustable Bilstein dampers nipped down hard, and bring in ultra-fast shift mapping that thumps each ratio home with more back-jolting ferocity than anything this side of a Lambo Aventador S. Then drive it like a giant allpaw hot hatch. Turn in early with plenty of trail-brake to get the rear pivoting and minimise understeer. Then power down hard; there’s 70 percent drive sent to the rears in Race mode, so it hooks up eagerly and bolts with just a hint of squat. The steering comes good on track, and the huge Brembo brakes hang in manfully, up to a point. As a novelty act, it’s great fun, like ballroom dancing with a silverback gorilla. But as dad told son earlier, will anyone actually take the Trackhawk to trackdays? But let’s also be clear: the Trackhawk is no over-engined mutant. It’s more like that very loud band room you first set foot in – your first reaction

PLUS & MINUS

is, “Whoa! Ear bleed!”. But then, after a short acclimatisation, the Trackhawk quickly starts to form a more cohesive whole. Yes, you can mount any number of arguments against Jeep’s flagship, but let me attempt a case “for”. Your partner favours an elevated driving position. You wish you could own a muscle car; maybe a blown Mustang, but your family requirements mean you need five seats and a generous cargo area. You can’t afford a $290,000 Porsche Cayenne Turbo S. Still, plenty of people won’t understand the Trackhawk. But in a world on the verge of being swamped by eco-weeniness; where we’re being worn down by incessant messages of efficiency and autonomy, surely it’s something to celebrate. It’s like one massive middle-finger to the movement that’s sweeping over us; a defiant, supercharged stand of obstinacy and outrageousness that, oddly, elevates it to a position of relevance. So in creating perhaps the world’s most pointless SUV, Jeep has actually delivered a vehicle we need now more than ever. ASH WESTERMAN

Lumpy low-speed ride; weight; thirst; questionable purpose


Unleash Hellcat

Aussie Trackhawks will be loaded with standard equipment that will make the Euro brands squirm in disgust. Extended Nappa leather trim, heated and cooled front seats, premium Harman Kardon audio system with rear screens, and full glass panoramic roof all feature.

Excellent 8.4-inch touchscreen o e multi-media d system t has a Performance Pages section to capture your heroics. Timer showed our 0-60mph time – assisted s by launch control – was 3.6 . seconds. Nuts, but u it’s easy and n repeatable.

Front brakes are 400mm vented discs clamped by six-piston Brembo calipers; rears are 350mm with four-pots. Wheels are 20x10s running 295/45R20 Pirelli P Zero rubber all round. Forged alloys (same sized) are optional, saving around 1.2kg per corner.

OPTIONS? NOT MANY

THE BEAST THAT BOLTS

FORGED IN BATTLE

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Trackhawk’s engine is lifted from the Dodge Challenger Hellcat, so it drips with motorsportderived toughness. It runs a forged-steel crankshaft, forged-alloy pistons, powder-forged conrods, and alloy heads fitted with hollow-stem, sodium-cooled exhaust valves. The supercharger runs at a max speed of 14,600rpm to deliver full boost of 11.6psi. Its twinscrew rotors are coated with a mix of polyamide and other nano resins to enable tighter clearance between the rotors. It’s a beast of a donk; its output comfortably eclipsing the 474kW/815Nm made by the same-size (and also supercharged) GM-sourced LS9 fitted to the GTS-R W1.

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BMW X5 M $186,600

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Was once the class tough-guy, now relegated to also-ran. Gives away about 100kW and over 100Nm to Jeep’s gunslinger, reflected in a 0-100km/h time that’s nearly a second slower. Furthermore, bringing the BMW close in spec to the Jeep would add around $50K.

Porsche Cayenne Turbo S $290,200 Double the money of the Jeep, so a performance rival only, not a marketplace competitor. And even then, the Porsche cedes over 100kW to Trackhawk, even if it is 200kg lighter and way more sophisticated.

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Volkswagen Golf GTI 7.5 Edgier styling, greater choice, additional spice AT A dinner party recently, I ran into a friend who’s poised to buy a hot hatch. He’d been researching for months, he told me, and then, with the wild look of a man who has spent too much time in front of a computer trawling through spec sheets, he exclaimed, “We’re in a hot-hatch boom!” I could see his point. Today’s hot-hatch buyer is spoilt for choice with cutting-edge all-wheel-drive systems, ever-rising outputs, and exotic-sounding modes that start with ‘Drift’ all jostling for position. All of which has had an interesting impact on VW’s iconic Golf GTI. Once the ‘go to’ hot hatch, the GTI now finds itself swamped by more hardcore performance rivals. But don’t think this means it has lost its appeal. Here now in ‘Mk7.5’ guise, like the rest of the updated Golf range, this ‘new’ GTI is effectively a facelift. Tweaked front and rear

FIRST AUSSIE DRIVE

bumpers, new 18-inch alloys, larger exhaust pipes and LED headlights are the extent of the visual changes, while inside, the cabin refresh extends to a new infotainment system and the inclusion of a full-TFT instrument cluster to the options list. The mechanical changes are, if anything, even more subtle. Power from the EA888 2.0-litre turbo is up 7kW to 169kW and torque remains at a meaty 350Nm, though is now available over a wider 1500-4600rpm rev range. Buyers will have the choice of either a slick-shifting six-speed manual or a six-speed dual-clutch, with both transmissions propelling the GTI from 0-100km/h in 6.4sec. Small changes, then, but refining one of the best all-round hot hatches on sale is no bad thing. Point that red lipsticked nose at a winding road and this remains a hugely engaging hatchback. The 2.0-litre engine is gutsy,

Overall polish; all-round ability; rorty performance; broader range

Model Engine Max power Max torque Transmission Weight 0-100km/h Economy Price On sale

Volkswagen Golf GTI 1984cc 4cyl, dohc, 16v, turbo 169kW @ 4700-6200rpm 350Nm @ 1500-4600rpm 6-speed manual 1329kg 6.7L/100km 6.4sec (claimed) $41,490 Now

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smooth and quick enough to feel exciting, the six-speed manual (VW says a full 20 percent of buyers will opt for the stick) is a real highlight, and the traction from the front axle is excellent. Unlike the three-door-only GTI Performance Edition One, which is limited to 150 units and boasts 180kW/370Nm, plus an electrically controlled mechanical limited-slip differential, the regular GTI uses the car’s electronics and brakes to achieve a similar result. Barrel into a bend too quickly and you can feel the brakes nipping away to trim your line, but the progressive variable-ratio steering (2.1 turns lock-to-lock) is communicative enough to ensure it’s easy to tread the line between grip and slip, and eventual ESC intervention. Driven hard, the GTI is lighter on its feet, more playful and arguably more rewarding than its angrier AWD sibling, the R (see sidebar), which feels squarer on the

PLUS & MINUS

road and more hunkered down as it slingshots out of corners. The GTI’s magic lies in its duality of character. Drive it around town or on lumpy country roads and you’ll notice how quiet the cabin is, how amiably the suspension soaks up bumps, and that the cabin is richly trimmed and generously equipped with comfortable and supportive seats in both rows. And while you could argue that Wolfsburg’s engineers haven’t been that busy with the new GTI, VW’s Australian product planners have. Joining an expanded line-up is a sub-$40K variant, dubbed GTI Original, with a lower spec (such as fixed-rate dampers) and a threedoor body. A five-door 180kW GTI Performance is also on its way, and a plug-in hybrid GTE is likely. It means the performance Golf family is now a broad church, but whichever you choose, the GTI remains the master. ALEX INWOOD

Too ubiquitous for some; drive mode button hidden behind gearstick


Harder R

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Three GTI option packs are available: Driver Assistance ($1600), Infotainment ($2300), and Luxury ($3900). The luxe option adds leather, front seat heaters, electric driver’s seat, sunroof and power mirror-fold.

New infotainment screen comes in two sizes: 8.0- and 9.2-inch. But where the smaller version still has physical buttons, the larger screen relies on haptictouch control, which isn’t as easy to use when driving.

Full-LED headlights replace the former xenons and introduce Audi’s ‘Matrix LED’ tech that blacks out LED panels to prevent oncoming traffic from being dazzled, enabling high-beam to be permanently switched on.

WHAT’S YOUR OPTION?

SMALLER IS BETTER

SPECIFIC RIM

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For those who prefer all four wheels doing the driving, the Mk7.5 Golf R ups its game with 213kW (up 7kW) and rortier exhaust theatrics than the base GTI. A new seven-speed wet-clutch DSG debuts with less weight and a broader ratio spread than its six-speed predecessor. VW claims the Golf R DSG can now clock 100km/h in 4.8sec. It also gets VW’s Active Info Display TFT instrument pack standard, as well as mountains of other kit for $52,990-$55,490. Sole options are a Driver Assistance pack ($1300) and a sunroof ($1900). A cut-price Golf R Grid Edition is also on the cards, offering all the mechanical sizzle of its pricier siblings but with fixed-rate dampers and a price tag under $50K.

03 Peugeot 308 GTi $49,990 Manual-only 308 GTi is a more intimate, more involving hot hatch than the Golf but lacks the VW’s allround polish, as well as its five-seat comfort. That said, it’s an admirable return to form for the French.

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Renaultsport Megane $45,000 (estimated)

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Speaking of which, new-gen Megane RS is set to arrive in 2018 sporting four-wheel steering and a choice of both manual and dual-clutch transmissions. Sport and Cup chassis options should ensure Megane retains its dynamic edge.

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Model Engine Max Power Max Torque Transmission Weight 0-100km/h Economy Price On sale

Visual aggression; grippy handling; tactile steering; Recaro seats

PLUS & MINUS

Nissan 370Z Nismo 3696cc V6 (60˚), dohc, 24v 253kW @ 7400rpm 371Nm @ 5200rpm 6-speed manual 1480kg 5.6sec (estimated) 10.6L/100km $61,490 Now

Intrusive road noise; artificial exhaust note; brittle ride

Nissan 370Z Nismo Harder, faster Zed brings the noise THE 370Z notched up eight years in the Australian FIRST market in April, which, AUSSIE in automotive terms, DRIVE qualifies the Zed for a letter from the Queen. So yes, it’s old, but now two things have happened – the standard 370Z received a price adjustment in August that saw the manual coupe dip below the $50K mark for the first time, while the sharper 370Z Nismo, available overseas for the past two years, is now here at $61,490 for the six-speed manual or $63,990 for the seven-speed auto. And the Nismo Zed isn’t just a pensioner sports car in an Adidas tracksuit – it has real-deal mods that hone the standard model into a fitter, meaner vehicle. Not that the basic package was especially lacking. There’s been little in the way of mechanical updates for the 370Z over the past eight years, but the 3.7-litre naturally aspirated V6 has always

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been a linear, fairly torquey unit, with a fat mid-range courtesy of variable valve timing on both intake and exhaust cams and clever infinitely-variable valve lift hardware on the intake. Yet, with only 8kW more peak power and 13kg more weight to lug, the 370Z Nismo doesn’t feel much swifter than the boggo Zed in a drag race. Instead it’s corners that the Nismo is designed to assault, not the quarter mile. Firmer springs and dampers are exclusive to the Nismo, but the ultra-stiff suspension overstays its welcome on choppy backroads. The front tyres skip over nastier pockmarks and there isn’t the compliance necessary to keep traction over rough surfaces. Once the road smoothes out the Nismo feels far more settled, with a fatter wheel and tyre package (245/40 R19 up front, 285/35 R19 out back) delivering superb grip at both axles. Meanwhile, the Zed’s old-school

hydraulic steering is a tactile, fast-ratio delight, and meshes well with its responsive doublewishbone front suspension. Driven hard, there’s the sense that the taut Nismo-tuned undercarriage would work wonders on a racetrack. Free-breathing Nismo exhaust pipes endow the V6 with a gutteral howl at high revs, however there are also electronically generated tones mixed in with the natural note, resulting in a synthetic sound that’s at odds with the 370Z Nismo’s otherwise analogue driving experience. Gearbox whine is also prominent, but is at least in keeping with the Nismo’s posture as a motorsport-inspired road car. Mechanical noises are welcome sometimes, and refinement is overrated in sportscars anyway. That said, road noise on coarsechip may test your tolerance. The only major additions to

the 370Z’s cosy cabin are a pair of excellent Recaro seats, an Alcantara-wrapped steering wheel, and a sprinkling of Nismo badges and crimson highlights. The 370Z Nismo expresses a lot of old-school sports car values in the way it drives, and many of them are traits that are fast becoming extinct. Things like feelsome hydraulically assisted steering, a balanced front-engine/ rear-drive chassis, and a zingy naturally aspirated engine. The 370Z Nismo’s feistier character gives Nissan’s ageing sports car a newfound lease on life. It’s angrier and harder to live with, yes, but its singular focus on handling elevates the oft-forgotten Zed from a biggerengined (and costlier) alternative to the Toyota 86, to a car that encourages owners to hunt down the curviest (and preferably smoothest) section of blacktop they can find and just drive. TONY O’KANE


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Spot the difference A long list of Nismospecific modifications help justify the $11,500 price hike over the regular car. They include the obvious bumpers, skirts, wheels, seats, and spoilers, while bolt-on chassis reinforcements, a unique low restriction dual exhaust, fatter and stickier tyres, stiffer suspension and wider wheels front and rear. The Akebono brake package is identical to the regular 370Z, as are gearbox and diff ratios, but the Nismo gains stronger brake hoses and fluid that cops higher temps to help resist brake fade.

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SITTING PRETTY

POWER STRUGGLE

Recaro seats are exclusive to the Nismo and hold you firmly in place. Manual adjustment and lack of lumbar support aren’t great, and they don’t tip forward to give access to the storage shelf behind them.

Nismo’s grunty 3.7-litre V6 is turbo free, but lower-quality Aussie fuel means the Nismo’s power hike over the standard car is only 8kW, rather than the 16kW boost enjoyed by the American and Japanese versions.

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GOOD VIBRATIONS

OR TRY THESE...

The Nismo’s body-in-white is the same as the standard car, but augmented by extra chassis braces and ‘performance dampers’ mounted just behind the front and rear bumpers that dial out high-frequency vibrations.

Ford Mustang GT $57,490 Ford’s iconic pony car boasts V8 muscle and meaty 306kW/530Nm outputs, but lacks the laser-like handling focus of the Nismo. Some may view that as a good thing.

BMW 230i Coupe $63,000

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A few grand more will get you into BMW’s compact 2 Series with a high-output four-pot under the bonnet. Sweet chassis balance is yours for the taking, but don’t expect the same level of performance.

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Model Engine Max power Max torque Transmission Weight 0-100km/h Economy Price On sale

Engine’s low-end torque and charisma; sharper handling; auto is quick

PLUS & MINUS

Jaguar F-Type Coupe 1997cc 4cyl, dohc, 16v, turbo 221kW @ 5500rpm 400Nm @ 1500-4500rpm 8-speed automatic 1525kg 5.7sec (claimed) 7.2L/100km $107,300 November

Engine not a high-revver; heavy steering lacks feel; no manual option

Jaguar F-Type Coupe Scratching two pots sharpens F-Type’s handling PORSCHE can clearly get away with a four-cylinder FIRST OVERSEAS sports car, but can Jaguar? Based on initial DRIVE impressions of the fourpot F-Type, the answer is yes. Because when you jump in the new entry-level F-Type, it quickly impresses with its agility, performance, and – to a certain extent – even its sound. A four-cylinder F-Type wasn’t in the original plan, but then along came Jaguar Land Rover’s new four-cylinder Ingenium engines. “As soon as we started producing that engine, I knew we had to do this car,” says project boss Erol Mustafa. The on-paper benefits of the allaluminium, direct-injection turbo four are solid: with 221kW/400Nm, it loses out 29kW/50Nm to the base V6, but fights back with a 52kg weight saving – about 90 percent of this down to the engine itself – and promises 16 percent better official economy, at 7.2L/100km.

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After the supercharged response of other Fs, the lack of throttle immediacy detracts a little, but the turbo brings a perky hit of boost low down that makes the rear tyres feel like they’re grafting hard (without the help of an LSD) to transmit power, and there’s a lustiness to the midrange delivery too. It feels natural to shift well short of the 5500rpm power peak, but the tightly stacked, punchy gear changes land you bang in the power band time and again; it’s easy to get in a cross-country flow. Jaguar’s V6 and V8s sound like they’ll drown out a fireworks display with their pops, fizzes, and crackles, and any four was going to have a hard time following those acts. But there’s an energetic friskiness to the four-cylinder sound, and you still get the pops and crackles on the overrun. Avoid hanging onto high revs and the Ingenium 2.0-litre is really quite likeable.

The handling benefits from fewer cylinders too, as does responsiveness, the four-pot F-Type’s lighter nose diving into corners with precision and enthusiasm. There’s also more adjustability off-throttle than the V6 models. Spring rates are dropped four percent front, three percent rear, but perhaps it’s because adaptive dampers are off the menu that this F-Type rolls a little more freely, giving you extra options to play with the weight transfer. Shame the re-tuned electric power steering feels heavier, too keen to self-centre, and communicates so little roadsurface information. A few flaws, rha but it’s hard not to fall for Jaguar’s most affordable e, least powerful F-Type. It’s so promising it makes us wonder how a lighter, more potent ‘clubsport’ version would feel. Improbable, perhaps, but on this evidence it’d be quite a thi BEN BARRY

Stick won’t figure Jaguar offers both manual and automatic gearboxes in V6 F-Types, but the fourcylinder comes only with an auto. This might seem odd given the entry-level pricing and a manual’s suitability for a car that trades outright speed for response and interactivity, but insiders admit the V6 manual sells poorly, undoing the business case for engineering both gearboxes. The auto keeps the same ratios as other F-Types, but its shift calibration is adapted to suit th four’s f ’ power delivery. d li the


Extra firepower for the cross-country ski set THE MINI Countryman JCW is an odd thing. It’s a small FIRST SUV from a brand that AUSSIE continues to cash in on the DRIVE iconic imagery and racing history of the pint-sized ’60s ‘brick’. Yet despite the ham-fisted historical and visual cliches, this range-topping John Cooper Works version of the newgen Countryman is a neat package that treads the line between tuned performance and everyday useability with finesse. The JCW handiwork brings with it a more powerful engine for the Countryman, with an improved cooling package and upgraded four-piston Brembo front brakes, along with reworked styling and a sportified cabin filled to its sweatband with equipment (as you’d hope for $57,900). Powered by the same 170kW 2.0-litre turbo as the regular Mini JCW, but with an extra 30Nm thrown in (for 350Nm), the Countryman JCW disguises its

additional 335kg in the sprint to 100km/h via an on-demand allwheel-drive system and standard eight-speed auto (a six-speed manual is a no-cost option). Mini claims the Countryman JCW is just 0.4sec adrift of its much smaller front-drive auto sibling. The engine is a gutsy unit and delivers its power in a smooth, linear fashion, although it starts to run out of puff beyond 6000rpm. Acceleration is energetic without being anti-social, and the flourishes of turbo whistle and exhaust crackle convey a lighthearted character (even if it’s a bit too muffled in the cabin). While Mini purists will opt for a manual, nine out of 10 Countryman JCW buyers will stick with the automatic. It’s an intuitive unit that neatly syncs with your driving demands. Ratios are swapped surreptitiously, and the two extra cogs over the manual means the JCW auto is a strong performer on a spirited strafe.

Perky performance; well-tuned damper settings; exhaust crackle

Model Engine Max power Max torque Transmission Weight 0-100km/h Economy Price On sale

The adaptive dampers – standard on Countryman JCW – give drivers the best of both worlds. In ‘normal’ the dampin ng is still firm, but capably handles s Aussie surfaces. In ‘sport’, ride is sacrificed for cornering ability as bumps and imperfections make their way through to the cabin. But there is little in the way of bodyroll and the Countryman JCW All4 hangs on well for a tall, tubby thing weighing 1555kg. Its steering, however, lacks the necessary feel to truly round out the package. There is good weight to the wheel in both drive modes, but there is a disconnect at times. You sense the Countryman’s dynamic limit with the seat of your pants, not necessarily by what is transmitted through the wheel. Yet this JCW version brings some much-needed edge to the new-gen Countryman. And until Audi introduces a hotter Q2, it has the market all to itself.

PLUS & MINUS

Fac a treatment A trainspotters’ tip for identifying JCW Minis in the wild is the lack of front fog lights. As part of the John Cooper Works treatment, an improved cooling package is installed, which includes an auxiliary radiator. Located on the lower-right of the front bumper, it requires a redesign of the front fascia and removal of the fog lights to allow air to flow to the additional hardware. The other external hint is Brembo brake calipers.

C AME R ON K IR B Y

Steering lacks feel and consistency; hard seats; hefty kerb weight

Mini Countryman John Cooper Works All4 1998cc 4cyl, dohc, 16v, turbo 170kW @ 5000-6000rpm 350Nm @ 1450-4500rpm 8-speed automatic 1555kg 6.5sec (claimed) 7.4L/100km $57,900 Now

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Headtohead o A F A ST ’ N ’ FUR IOUS FACE -OFF

RED ROCKET

WOR D

J A MES WHITBOU

INFINITI Q60 RED SPORT The premise here is more hi-po coupe grunt and fruit for less, but does the Infiniti Q60 have the talent to take on Germany? The $88,900 Red Sport version starts by undercutting the BMW 440i by $11K, and you get keyless entry/start, sunroof, around-view monitor, collision warning and AEB, adaptive suspension and an extra 58kW. 17/20 It’s easy to get comfy thanks to sumptuous seats and a powered steering column. Dash/console design brings a cocooning feel with high-quality materials and finish. Unique dual-screen layout with nav up top and infotainment functions on a higher res screen below. Some generic-looking switchgear lets the overall image down. 15/20 The six-pack pair align with 3.0-litre cubic capacities and forced induction, but Infiniti’s VR30DDTT engine has its pistons in a vee with twinned turbos. There’s 298kW and 475Nm on offer, 58kW/25Nm more than the BMW. The Q60 is addictively thrusty and good at laying its power down via its seven-speed automatic and rear-drive. 14/20

Having 19-inch tyres isn’t necessarily the bane of ride quality, but the Infiniti’s are run-flats and, despite the ability to relax the adaptive dampers via a comfort mode, the Q60 and a bumpy road never really get on. It’s busy on both patchy urban tarmac and coarse-chip country roads, where the Infiniti is noisier than its rival. 13/20

Common electric steering critiques of being ‘disconnected’ and having ‘no feel’ are more apt of the Q60’s by-wire steering. By design it lets nothing from the road make its way to your hands and although Infiniti has tried to synthesise the sensation, the result doesn’t feel natural. It’s the link missing from the well-balanced Q60 chassis. 12/20

71/100

THLESS FICIENT

W 44 PRICE & EQUIPMENT 20 POINTS

INTERIOR & VERSATILITY 20 POINTS

PERFORMANCE & ECONOMY 20 POINTS

RIDE & REFINEMENT 20 POINTS

STEERING & HANDLING 20 POINTS

POINTS SCORE

The top non-M 4 Series gets sat-nav, reversing camera, head-up display, adaptive dampers, adaptive cruise control, collision warning and city braking systems. There’s also a parking assistant, adaptive LED headlights, high-beam assist, heated front seats, and BMW Connected Drive that offers live traffic information and valet services. 15/20

High tech, such as its digital instruments, lives with straight-edged design and plain plastics where the Infiniti often applies something richer, which gives the 440i a more austere feel. Yet the Q60 feels like a heavily gilded Japanese coupe and the BMW is more consistently ‘premium’, with slick infotainment and slightly roomier rear quarters. 16/20

The 440i plays a modern rendition of the classic BMW straight-six tune and powers via an eight-speed auto to a forceful top end. Its official 6.8L/100km figure is about 30 percent less than the Q60’s thanks to its 259kg-trimmer kerb weight (1525kg). With smaller outputs pushing fewer kilos, the 5.0sec 0-100km/h claim feels right. 16/20

The 440i is more compliant despite being on 19-inch runflats too. Its adaptive dampers strike a sweeter ride/handling compromise that brings composure and comfort over undulations. Fidgety ride over sharp bumps is seemingly the work of shallow, stiff sidewalls. But the 440i is better at isolating its occupants from wind rustle and tyre roar. 14/20

Having an actual steering column in the BMW contributes to making it the pick for driver confidence and involvement. Its feel and the chassis’ innate adjustability becomes more obvious the harder you drive the 440i, and the suspension is better at keeping the tyres glued to the surface when exiting bumpy corners. 16/20

77/100

The Infiniti Q60 Red Sport has in its favour uniqueness, high value, year/100,000km warranty, a year more than BMW’s. If you need twin-turbo thrust, and basically decent dynamics – aloof steering greater practicality, the four-door 440i Gran Sport is available for aside. The lighter BMW, on the other hand, is a known quantity the same money, yet you could also opt for a four-door Q50 Red VERDICT with similar straight-line performance and notably superior Sport for almost $20K less than the BMW. Either way, the official economy, in what’s ultimately a more cohesive driver’s German justifies its price by delivering the key ingredients of package. The Infiniti comes backed by the brand’s foursteering and handling that hit the high-performance coupe mark.

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VFIIandZB

Zeta beater It’s currently the toughest gig in the local car business: make the new German-built ZB Commodore drive as well on Aussie roads as the outgoing car. We road test two pre-production ZBs against a VFII to see how well Holden is rising to the challenge


@wheelsaustralia 47


ZB


ROB TRUBIANI SHOWS PONCH YOU CAN ACTUALLY THROW JUST ONE ARM IN THE AIR, FOR WHEN YOU HALF DON’T CARE

S FAR as new-model build-ups go, the ZB Commodore’s 18-month journey from barely there prototype to full-production glamour model could be the most lengthy in Australian automotive history. Holden’s forthcoming all-new, size-reduced range-topper might be conceptually conceived and built in Germany, but the Aussies are determined to make it known that our next Commodore’s engineering character is very much Australian. Unique suspension tunes, steering calibrations, and even drivetrain configurations can do that to a car. Six months out from the ZB range’s debut, and barely two months before the demise of the rear-drive VFII Commodore line – and Australian automotive manufacturing as a whole – the next significant milestone towards complete range rejuvenation stands before us. Cue an undisguised ZB Calais and a still-camouflaged ZB V6 AWD – the very same prototype we drove in 2016, but with a year’s worth of engineering improvements – on public roads, accompanied by Holden’s mainstay for the past 11 years, a Zeta-platform rear-driver in the form of a VFII Calais V V6. And we have lead vehicle dynamics engineer Rob Trubiani and vehicle development manager Jeremy Tassone along for the drive. The plan is to head east from Melbourne airport via a challenging route through Healesville and the Yarra Ranges, to lunch in the West Gippsland town of Warragul, and overnight in Inverloch. But there’s an elephant in the room, and it’s hiding under the long bonnet of the fully naked ZB Calais. It’s GM’s newgeneration 2.0-litre turbo-petrol four, uniquely mated to a brand new nine-speed automatic in Aussie guise (one ratio up on the Euro version), that’s powering… the front wheels. According to GM, it’s the Commodore we had to have, yet there’s something deeply intriguing about a 191kW/350Nm engine providing the thrust for this

former company fleet stalwart. The turbo-petrol 2.0 is not only the most powerful base Commodore engine of all time but, arguably more importantly, its 350Nm (spread across a broad plateau) puts the torque outputs of its predecessors decidedly on notice. Even the VFII’s big-capacity 3.6-litre V6 churns out the same 350Nm (at 2800rpm), while the existing 3.0-litre makes do with a far less generous 290Nm. Thing is, with all that additional muscle, significantly less weight to pull, and another three gear ratios to play with, the front-drive Calais has the potential to be a tyre-frying fizzer. Yet there’s a smooth sweetness to its keen step-off and decisive progress through its abundant ratio set that reeks of refinement. Almost instantly, there’s the sense that this ZB starter pack offers a world-class drivetrain. Strong and seamless in operation, the four-potarmed Calais feels at least a decade ahead of today’s six-speed V6, possibly more. And it’s quick – almost hot-hatch quick if you take into account a 0-100km/h time somewhere in the low sevens – with a top whack of 250km/h on the European model. Holden’s Nurburgring-qualified chassis bloke, Rob Trubiani, was similarly surprised when he first fanged the 2.0-litre in Germany: “We headed out onto the autobahn and we were blasting along comfortably at 230-240km/h; the car was doing it effortlessly and I thought, shivers, this is an absolutely potent car.” There’s almost no lag off the line, and with impossibly tight gearing between second, third and fourth, the 2.0-litre feels remarkably strong in everyday driving situations. It’s only when I really start hammering this front-drive Calais (wearing one-up-from-base-spec 245/45R18 Continental ContiSportContact 5 tyres) that mild torque-steer makes itself known, countered by an impressively subtle ESC modulation that owes much to Holden’s engineering input. “We’ve been heavily involved in the ESC tuning of the car” says Trubiani, “making sure that any @wheelsaustralia 49


interaction you have with the traction or stability system is quite smooth in its transition, so it’s not really clamping the car and shutting you down. It has this nice feel where it’s still delivering the power, but it is controlled power.” For anyone lamenting the loss of Not the first rear-drive purity, it’s heartening news. Commo 2.0 At the Yarra Valley Type 2 diabetes clinic, I mean Everyone knows chocolaterie, which thankfully also serves caffeine, I there was once a ‘Commodore 4’ (a switch from the almost nondescript white Calais into 1.9-litre nail from the heavily camouflaged V6 AWD. A year on from our 1980-83) but did proving ground drive, the prototype V6 still looks just you know there as outlandish, covered in all manner of plastic bumps was also a VL and confetti-like body wrap, but its pre-production Commodore 2.0? For interior has had its modesty garment removed. NZ and Thailand, Ironically, it’s the camo ZB that punters are drawn Holden produced a to, completely oblivious to the fact that an undisguised downsized 2.0-litre example is parked right next to it. Someone jokes that to sit below the 3.0-litre RB30 sixes. maybe the best way to hide an unreleased model is But the VL 2.0 was to leave it undisguised, though that’s not such a good no ordinary dunger. omen for the Calais. In appliance white with plain Drinking leaded halogen headlights and non-event wheels, it looks fuel, it produced a understated in the extreme. strong 95kW/180Nm In fact, driving tandem with the admittedly higher(compared to grade VFII Calais V, the ZB Calais appears borderline 114kW/247Nm for insipid, lacking the muscular stance, imposing the ULP 3.0). And wheelarches and classically beautiful form of the larger as its RB20 engine designation might VE-VF body. There’s no doubt the ZB’s flush flanks help imply, it packed six contribute to its slick 0.26 drag coefficient, but viewed cylinders, not four. from behind, it lacks the VFII’s undoubted presence. And the liftback-sedan’s tapering tail makes it look

VFII ZB

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considerably smaller than it actually is. There’s a different feel inside too. The base ZB Calais’ relatively standard interior conveys the impression you’re in a XXL Astra trimmed with leather, whereas the more upmarket V6 AWD with its jazzier instruments, more heavily bolstered seats, and perforated-leather wheel rim is clearly on another level. And same goes for its drivetrain. Lusty and refined as the 2.0-litre is, it’s the V6 version – an engine uniquely specified by the Aussies – that provides the most tangible DNA link with the current Commodore. Turned sideways and now featuring cylinder deactivation, our ‘LGX’ 3.6-litre direct-injection V6 features a unique exhaust system for a few extra herbs and a bit more acoustic meat than the US version that’s set to appear in the Buick Regal GS. And while the V6’s 235kW and 370Nm outputs are unlikely to get pulses racing on paper, the reality is an eager, purposeful unit that clearly delivers a higher calibre of performance. It also revs harder than the four-cylinder. Both engines will soar to 7000rpm, but the floored V6 upshifts at seven grand even in Drive (6500rpm in the 2.0-litre) and sounds like it wants to be caned. It’s still not the sweetest V6 in the world, but it produces a keener, less thrashy note than the 210kW/350Nm ‘LFX’ version in the rear-drive VFII and remains impressively vibration-free at all engine speeds. “One thing I’ve absolutely loved working on is the V6 AWD,” says Trubiani. “I think once people live with


TOP LEFT: ZB’S STEERING IS SUPERB. TOP RIGHT: WHEN THE THINNEST A-PILLARS IN THE WORLD (ON THIS HQ SS) WAS A BOAST!

Ironically, it’s the camo ZB that punters are drawn to, completely oblivious to the fact that an undisguised example is parked next to it


Kabine revolution

1 2 3 4 ZB

New-gen multimedia set-up a huge leap over VFII’s ageing system, and betterintegrated into the dash design. Padded upper section features faux stitching for a leather-look effect, and while it’s all rather pleasant, the ZB retains an Astralike feel. Coloured trim options will help. In Germanic fashion, front seats can be ‘dumped on their guts’ (via a crankhandle height adjuster in Commodore and Calais, and electric movement in high-grade models), which is great for tall folk. Thickly padded headrests adjust fore-aft but they’re not very soft. There’s definitely a greater perception of technology in this $40K-ish Calais, though storage appears a bit hit-andmiss. Door pull is simply a large hole (VFII’s can house a wallet or cigarettes) while little section in front of gearlever would see a smartphone rattle around. Rear bench essentially shaped for two, though there’s legroom aplenty and forward vision over the front seats is expansive. The liftback-sedan’s coupeesque shape intrudes on rear headroom a little, but then there’s always the wagon’s extended roofline if that’s an issue.


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4 the AWD system, they’ll see how much traction you can deliver and that’s what has really been outstanding for me. We’re able to do things we haven’t been able to do in Commodores before. The drive that you get out of a corner, particularly on a wet or gravel road… the AWD system gives you awesome drive in any conditions.” While this hand-built prototype still lacks any kind of Sport button, meaning there’s no opportunity to test the ‘Twinster’ AWD system’s extra yaw attitude and more aggressive torque vectoring when switched to Sport, it’s the V6 AWD’s steering that makes the

As much of the first afternoon’s monsoonal misery clears, I begin day two in the old girl, or the “current car” as the boys keep reminding me. Not surprisingly, it’s like nuzzling into your favourite pillow. On the 100km/h-limited country roads heading north-east from Inverloch, the VFII Calais V demonstrates why it remains the pinnacle of the Great Australian Road Car. Planted, supple, and comparatively impervious to road imperfections, it’s a more comfortable car than both ZBs, despite the fact it’s wearing larger 19-inch wheels. Apart from some wind noise around the A-pillars, it’s

The V6 AWD is essentially what the current SV6 is, but smoother & suave strongest initial impression. It’s excellent. Feeding through plenty of information even at straight-ahead, guided by the same delightfully tactile and perfectly sized wheel as in the Astra, it’s a crucial high-point of the ZB Commodore’s dynamic experience. It’s wonderfully light at parking speeds, spanning 2.7 turns lock-to-lock in the V6 (2.8 turns in the four, with its slightly tighter 11.1m turning circle), but utterly seamless in the way it firms up as speeds rise. “Speed blending” is what Trubiani calls it, and they’ve nailed it. Increased hardware and a heavier engine account for the V6’s slightly meatier weight compared to the 2.0-litre, but both deliver beautifully crisp feel, and the V6’s dash of extra heft seems perfectly in keeping with its ballsy personality.

quieter, too, though neither of the new cars have their full “N and V” (noise and vibration) packages installed. And the VFII’s loungier seats somehow suit its more imperious feel. Just near Mirboo North, we divert east on a 36km loop to the town of Boolarra, then along the brilliant Boolarra-Mirboo North Road to just past Darlimurla for proper back-to-back dynamic testing. With Holden engineer Henry Weinlich setting a cracking pace, I bring up the rear in the VFII Calais and start to realise this is all a bit like history repeating itself. If the German ZB is the spiritual reincarnation of the original 1978 VB Commodore, then I’m in a latter-day HZ Premier, the last of the old school before youth and technology take over. It’s a slightly

Tourer of Duty The sweet spot in the ZB range could well be the V6 AWD Commodore Tourer – Holden’s jacked-up, Subaru Outback-style wagon replacement for the long-gone Adventra – due to its combination of the dynamic drivetrain, the sexiest body, and possibly the best ride. But why no turbo-diesel? According to Jeremy Tassone, “If I was to add one extra combination it’s probably what I would go for. But what would I take away? You can’t just add more and more combinations. Maybe we could add one if volumes went berserk but at the moment we’ve limited the options.”

@wheelsaustralia 53


ABOVE RIGHT: V6 AWD SHOWING SLIGHT OVERSTEER AND ACE POWER-DOWN ON DIRT

weird feeling that it’s taken 39 years for this to come full circle, but here we are. Only this time, things are very different. With this in mind, I swap to the front-drive ZB Calais. Seated low in an AGR-certified (Campaign for Healthier Backs) seat, the overwhelming initial impression is that this is a bigger, deeper-set, more polished Astra. The front-drive 2.0-litre instantly feels lighter and more nimble than the VFII, mainly because it is, but you can’t discount the positive effect of its trimmer body, neater steering wheel, and sharper turnin for enhancing that impression. Indeed, if you trail some brake into a corner, the ZB Calais’ nose really dives towards the apex, and the more lock you add, the hungrier its turn-in. This is a highly chuckable car, even when driven close to its limit, with terrific chassis poise. You can feel the multi-link back end (featuring four links, one less than the AWD version) really helping to point the front end in, and it has a pivot to its balance adjustment that makes it feel like an oversized warm hatch. It’ll even wag its tail on a lifted throttle, and yet we’re talking about a Calais here, riding on the ‘luxury’ FE1.5 suspension tune it will share with the base ZB Commodore (wearing 17s, not the Calais’ 18s). There’s surprising grip out of corners, even on these slightly damp roads, and while there’s some torque steer if your right foot is perpetually mashed to the floor, considering the conditions the frontdrive 2.0-litre’s dynamic ability is really impressive. And while its firm ride lacks the loveable suppleness of its rear-drive ancestor, over big, dippy bumps on the Boolarra-Mirboo North Road, its body control is brilliant, befitting the sporty nature Holden has imbued into every ZB model. Next, the V6 AWD. Without the aforementioned

BELOW: IRONICALLY LABELLED ‘NOT AUS’ MEANS ‘EMERGENCY STOP SWITCH’ IN DEUTSCH

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Sport mode available, I test it purely in default mode, and that’s no bad thing. Wearing identical 18-inch rubber to the front-drive Calais but featuring a sportier suspension tune (still dubbed FE2 by Holden engineers; the adaptive-damped VXR’s will be FE3), the V6 AWD is essentially what the SV6 is in the current Commodore range. But smoother, more suave, and more talented. With the surety of AWD, the V6 feels incredibly planted. It’s chuckable, faithful and progressive, with greater dynamic fluidity than the front-driver, but perhaps a little less front-end bite. In the test car’s standard drive mode, the V6 requires a touch more trail-braking to get its nose to turn in quickly, but you can really drive its tyres off and it keeps working with you. If everything Trubiani says about the Sport mode is true, sending more torque to the outside rear wheel to generate a bit more slip angle and make the V6 AWD point more aggressively, then this could be the X-factor the ZB is crying out for. The V6 exhibits that same high-speed damping brilliance as the 2.0-litre, but its Brembo brakes better withstand the test course’s innumerable bends without raising a sweat (the four’s became a little steamy) and its higher-grade AGR seats (with adjustable cushion length, side bolster adjustment, massage function, and two-position memory) are a better fit for its handling ability. The V6 also gets paddles for its delightful perforated steering wheel, removing the confusion of the arse-about tip-shift of GM’s new auto ’box set-up, but with gearing so tight, you’re often in fourth gear in 45km/h-marked corners. It takes some getting used to. But at least the V6’s brilliant head-up display – shamelessly inspired by a BMW M’s layout – includes a gear-position indicator, among other stuff like a cool bar-graph tacho, or even radio and nav info. Climbing back into the VFII Calais V is a bittersweet


ACCORDING TO TRUBIANI: “THE SUSPENSION ITSELF IS VERY FLEXIBLE IN WHAT IT ALLOWS FOR TOE AND CAMBER SETTINGS”, BUT HE’S MOST CHUFFED WITH THE ‘TWINSTER’ AWD SYSTEM: “I LOVE THE FACT THAT IT’S GOT TRUE TORQUE VECTORING. IT SPLITS TORQUE NOT ONLY FRONT AND REAR BUT [ALSO] LEFT AND RIGHT ACROSS THE REAR AXLE”

VFII ZB

ZB lacks the imposing wheelarches and classically beautiful form of the VE-VF body


BORN GRIPPY Rob Trubiani, 42, started his career at Holden in 1996 in the chassis group, tuning the suspension of the VT Commodore. But starting with new-gen Spark development in 2015, Trubiani became Lead Dynamics Engineer, overseeing local tuning of all Holden-badged models, as well as providing input into global General Motors programs.

ZB


experience. The fashion in which this big girl enjoys being thrown around in corners is just so incredibly endearing that you can’t help but become a little mistyeyed. Even this V6 example is really throttle-steerable, combining beautiful balance adjustment from the rear with the joys of uncorrupted steering feel, and yet it’s also more supple than the ZB pair. Sure, the VFII’s brake feel is a bit wooden and its lounge-like seats (with a quaint squeak in the test car) lack lateral support, but there’s loads of cohesion here. Its broad gearing means second and third are all I need on this road, relying on the engine’s torquey elasticity instead of frenetically chasing the right ratio, and somehow this all fits with the Calais V’s loping, lounging character. Warts and all, we’re going to miss this car immensely. On the enthusiastic schlep back to Melbourne airport, I share seat time with vehicle development manager Jeremy Tassone and can’t help but mention my unending admiration for the loveable VFII. “That car has absolutely gone as far as it could go,” comments Tassone. “We’ve brought it further than we thought we ever could. That car has been through years of evolution; now this [the ZB] is the revolution.” Given the shared Commodore and Calais nameplates, that’s exactly what the all-new ZB is. A revolution. Does the front-drive 2.0-litre feel like a Commodore? No, not at all. But that doesn’t mean it isn’t a highly competitive, hugely driveable car. And historically, this is far from the first time where a nameplate has morphed into a different type of car with a different philosophy. Lighter, more efficient, and better packaged, it’s the liftback-sedan (or handsome wagon) that SUV-averse families will probably love. The V6, on the other hand, is the car that really should get people talking. Its strong personality and terrific all-wheel-drive system give it a genuine USP, especially in wagon form, and perhaps especially as the Outback-style Tourer. In a rear-view-mirror test, the ZB’s broad visage definitely has presence, which partly compensates for its less-than-inspiring form elsewhere. And we still haven’t seen the VXR, whose unique bumpers, bright colours, and glitzy 20-inch wheels could be just what the ZB’s styling needs. The new car was never meant to be a large, butch replacement for the VFII. The rear-drivers’ broad stance and masculine flavour might stop traffic at Summernats, but they weren’t creating enough at Holden dealers anymore. So while the ZB may not speak with a strine accent, or a V8 bark, maybe it’s the car Holden needed to have. Only time will tell. @wheelsaustralia 57


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For 54 years, Toyota quietly got on with the job of building the cars that Australia – and the Middle East – needed, if not always wanted WO R D S BY RON M AT H IOU DA K I S

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ITH Holden’s manufacturing closure taking the lion’s share of publicity in 2017, it is easy to overlook the importance of that other, final, manufacturer also pulling up stumps in this country – unless you’re one of the many thousands affected by the demise of the Australian car-building industry, of course. Yet our history with Toyota is utterly profound, the fledgling firm from Aichi not only having chosen us first for exports, but also as the site for its first non-Japanese factory. Australia’s exalted place in Toyota’s history cannot be overstated. The year was 1963 and production of the Tiara – an ageing 1.5-litre Toyota compact car priced beneath the cheapest Holden – commenced alongside various struggling Triumph, Rambler and Mercedes-Benz models at the Australian Motor Industries (AMI) plant in Port Melbourne. Despite Australia’s post-War misgivings and Japan’s reputation at the time for shoddy products, the plucky Tiara struck a chord. Encouraged by such success, Toyota fast-tracked the local assembly of the succeeding Corona just weeks after its homemarket debut in late 1964. With Pininfarina-enhanced lines, sales of the ‘shovel-nosed’ RT40 soared. “(Corona) adds real strength to the Japanese invasion,” Wheels remarked in February 1965. Also in that issue, a Corona finished equal first in a four-way against the Morris 1100 (our reigning Car of the Year), Ford Cortina and Isuzu Bellet. A locally assembled Crown joined the Corona soon after, the first of several unsuccessful attempts by Toyota at breaking the Holden/ Falcon/Valiant nexus. However, it was the Corona’s fiery kid brother, the KE10 Corolla of 1967, that cemented the brand’s reputation. By 1970, Toyota had eclipsed the declining Austin/Morris and Volkswagen brands, and was locked in a seesawing battle with compatriot Datsun for the number four sales spot, behind Holden, Ford and Chrysler. But product-wise, the company began to lose its way as the nervous ’70s wore on. Toyota increased its stake in AMI, yet the

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FAR LEFT: FIRST OZ-BUILT CORONA (1964). MIDDLE: 1982 CORONA. LEFT: CAMRY COPS A HIDING AT COTY

bread-and-butter Corollas, Coronas and Crowns it produced well into the 1980s gained weight but rarely any real advancement, falling behind go-getters like Chrysler’s Sigma and the Ford Laser. Such conservatism alienated enthusiasts as surely as it satisfied fleet company bottom lines, and at times it was up to the imported commercials – namely LandCruiser (which built its reputation on the Snowy Mountains Scheme in the late-50s) and Hilux – to keep sales buoyant. Fortunately, as the 1980s progressed, Toyota set its sights on conquering Europe and America. A belated switch to front-wheel drive brought long-overdue engineering and packaging benefits, starting with the original imported Camry (1983) and consolidated by the knockout ST160 Celica (1985). They were a different, exciting breed, leading to legendary local Toyotas like the AE82 Corolla Twin Cam (1986) and the second-gen SV20 Camry (1987). Australia’s switch to unleaded petrol in 1986 opened the floodgates for image boosters like the mid-engined MR2, joining other Toyota import hits such as the Cressida luxury sedan and Tarago people mover. The brand’s marketing nous played its part, too, finally creating best-sellers out of Corolla and Camry in their respective classes. In 1991, Toyota Oz achieved overall market leadership, ending Ford’s reign. But it was Toyota’s success in identifying the emerging global appetite for lifestyle 4WDs that promptly changed the world. Spearheaded by RAV4, by the turn of the century SUV sales had vanquished the mid-sized segment (still held by Camry). A decade later, once-invincible large sedans were in free-fall, and this year SUV sales surpassed those of regular passenger cars for the first time. Which makes Toyota’s late-90s decision to have yet another crack at the Commodore with the US-market

Avalon an uncharacteristic blunder, particularly as it was a dowdy 1995 design exhumed for Oz. No surprise to learn that sales ran to only a fraction of Toyota’s forecasts. Interestingly, Avalon production usurped Corolla (which ended in 1999) at Altona – another strategic fail in light of the coming surge in small-car demand. What did keep the Aussie plant humming were the huge exports to the Middle East, snaring more than two thirds of Camry production. In 2013 the millionth Camry left Melbourne’s docks, making it Australia’s most successful automotive export of all time. Toyota did give the large-sedan Holy Grail a final go with the Aurion (in 2006), and nearly succeeded, but buyer preferences were shifting inexorably towards smaller cars and SUVs and 4x4s. Luckily for TMCA, that’s exactly what the imported Yaris, Corolla, Prius, RAV4, Kluger, Prado, LandCruiser and Hilux collectively covered. And still do. For Altona, the problem was that the staid local produce was no match for tastier imported cuisine. Fleets accounted for the vast proportion of Camry/Aurion sales volume. And despite posting a profit of $335 million over the past two years, the decision to pull the production plug on Altona was only a matter of time. And economics. It came on 10 February, 2014. The global company president and great grandson of Toyota founder in attendance, Akio Toyoda, reminded the press of Toyota’s deep ties with us. “It is most regretful for Toyota, and for me, personally, simply heartbreaking,” he said quietly. “Since 1963, Australia and Toyota built cars together for 50 years. That represents two thirds of Toyota’s 75 year history.” The final Camry rolls off the Altona production line on 3 October, 2017. Oh what a sadness.

TOYOTA’S ALTONA FACTORY OPENED IN 1995; TIME IS UP ON OCTOBER 3 THIS YEAR

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TIMELINE Aussie-built Toyotas

Tiara T30 Actually the third-gen Coro in Japan, dating back to 196

Corona RT40 Latin for crown; the obsession with w royal headgear continues

Crown S40 Released in 1963, styl after the original Ford Fa co

Corolla KE10 Fun fact: Oz was the first outside Japan to make Corollas

Crown S50 Brought ‘Super Saloon’ variant; separate chassis less than super

Corona RT80 Bigger and roomier, but it was d downhill from here for Corona

Corolla KE20

“By 1970 Toyota was locked in a battle with Datsun for the number four sales spot”

Eager and fun; became world’s second-best sellin car

Crown S60 sign described at the time “like a stranded whale”

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The Good, the Bland and the Avalon A selection of the best – and worst – Toyotas made in Australia WO R D S BY RON M AT H IOU DA K I S

EIGE cardigan? Appliance on wheels? Uninspired? Some Toyotas certainly deserve to cop a serve, but for every Avalon, Nagoya has provided a model that delivers driving nirvana, such as the 86, ’86 Celica and AE86 Levin/Sprinter/Trueno. Not one of these is even remotely Aussie-made, but that’s not to say the Melbourne-based factory didn’t turn out some gems over almost 55 years of operation. Consider the shovel-nosed 1964 RT40 Corona, the best of the locally built series by far. While the Pininfarina-assisted styling made it stand out, the real appeal lay in the Toyota’s dependable and user-friendly engineering, down to a slick manual column shifter and torquey 1.5-litre four-cylinder engine. Or, if you preferred, an incredibly smooth (but performance-sapping) two-speed Toyoglide. That family recipe was scaled down successfully in 1967’s KE10 Corolla. It was relatively quick, affordable and – most of all – a hoot to hurl through corners, at a time when most low-priced alternatives were none of the above. Wheels went gaga for the KE10, revelling in its lusty performance and engaging handling. Sadly, later Aussie-built rear-drive Corollas lost the cheek of the Swinging Sixties original. It wasn’t until nearly a year after the series went front62 wheelsmag.com.au

drive in the mid-80s that the real jewel became apparent, courtesy of the 1986 AE82 Corolla Twin Cam 16. Always eager to scream past 7500rpm, the joyous 4A-GE 1.6 nicked from the MR2 developed a fizzy 86kW and hurled the 975kg hatch from zero to 100km/h in under 10 seconds. And while the steering wasn’t hot-hatch sharp, the chassis entertained. The RT140 Corona from 1983, conversely, was almost the worst Australian-made Toyota ever, despite its angular contemporary styling and appealing dashboard presentation. Poor packaging, gruff engines (especially the agricultural 2.4), wayward handling and a punishing ride sealed the reardrive family car swansong from Toyota as a complete turkey, way off the cracking pace set by Mitsubishi’s TM Magna. Yet the early-80s Corona initially seemed brilliant, compared with the preceding RT130 Corona of 1979, with its turgid Holden 1.9-litre Starfire 4 lump. The final candidate for worst Aussie Toyota ever is still aeons ahead of the later Coronas, the 2002 XV30 Camry. The bloated design sat awkwardly over the narrower-thanintended track, since the Australian version of this American midsizer retained a smaller, earlier platform for cost-saving reasons. This may have also explained the twitchy handling. Meanwhile, extra kilos blunted any sense of oomph from the ageing 2.4-litre engine.


AUSSIE ORIGINALS Unique-to-Oz Toyotas and the models we built for the world

TIMELINE

Crown Utility (1965-71) T Toyota assembled the Crown locally to t take on Holden and Falcon. The body-on-frame construction lent itself brilliantly to workhorse duties. T The redesigned S50 from 1968 was re eportedly created with Oz in mind. But Toyota pushed Crown upmarket in th he 70s, leaving hauling to the Hilux.

Corona RT100 Tight inside and antiquated suspension gave a bouncy ride e. Corona lost its way

Corolla KE30

Avalon Mark III (2003-06) The 2000 original flopped, though the Melbourne design team’s facelift infused some essential earlymillennial attitude. But in the days of the high-flying BA Falcon, the Avalon’s nip and tuck (with local engineering upgrades) wasn’t enough. As you’d expect from a model Toyota stalwart John Conomos described as having buyers “in God’s waiting room”.

Camry Hybrid (2009-17) The Camry Hybrid has gone down in history as the only petrol-electric vehicle to ever be manufactured in Australia, and to date the most successful hybrid commercially. 2012’s re-engineered XV50 version ushered in packaging and efficiency improvements and in 2015 underwent a reskin to arrest falling US sales.

Reliable, frugal, easy… but also slow and bereft of joy

Crown S Final Aussie-made dinosaur d Crown, still on a ladd der-frame

Corona RT130 Anaemic Starfire, dud ride and packaging – Toyota at its laziest

Corolla KE70 Final RWD Corolla slow, dreary and eclipsed by Ford’s Laser

Corona RT140 Outclassed by Magna, Telstar, Camira; old-school Toyota dross

Corolla AE80 Comeback kid with FWD, lively engines, decent chassis

19 967’S KE10 COROLLA (ABOVE) A DELIGHT; 2000’S AVALON (L LEFT) SHARED LITTLE OTHER THAN ITS BODYROLL...

Camry SV20 As sophisticated as the Corona was antiquated

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Aussie Concepts Toyota’s local talent shone brightly, but burned all too briefly

A rambling Triumph Toyota’s local-production demise actually ends 91 years of continuous manufacturing (equalling Ford’s total) from a Melbourne-based organisation that started out assembling Talbots in 1926 (the same year General Motors began building here), before moving on to Standards, Vanguards and Triumphs under a joint venture with the Brits during the 1930s.

The move to greater diversification in the post-war period resulted in the formation of Australian Motor Industries (AMI) in 1958, adding Mercedes-Benz (briefly) to the Port Melbourne roster, as well as American Motors’ Rambler and – from 1963 – Toyota. The Japanese brand flourished partly due to AMI’s vast dealer network.


TIMELINE WO R D S BY RON M AT H IO U DA K I S

HE NEW millennium was a hive of activity at Toyota’s Altona HQ, with no fewer than three concept vehicles designed and engineered to show off the substantial Aussie talent within. First cab off the rank was the 2003 X-Runner Concept. Nobody will argue that it’s the sexiest Avalon ever, this monocoque-bodied coupe utility employed a longer wheelbase than the standard sedan, and featured a 3.0-litre supercharged V6 driving all four wheels via an AWD system nicked from the Lexus RX. The rear suspension was also modified over the donor sedan to incorporate the torsion beam from a Tarago AWD. While the production potential for such a workhorse/ weekend plaything was obvious, the 2004 Sportivo Coupe Concept that followed was truly motor-show flight-of-fancy, albeit a world-class one in terms of design and execution. What it previewed precisely remains a mystery, but this gullwing (or, rather, dihedral-doored) Toyota boasted a carbonfibre body by ex-Ford designer (BA Falcon XR series) Nick Hogios, who had also won a young designer gong involving this magazine. Created in just 30 weeks at a reported cost of only about $1 million, the SCC was also completely driveable, courtesy of its contemporary Camry platform, RAV4 running gear and 180kW 2.4 four-pot turbo powertrain. The third concept, happily, did eventually hit showrooms, though unfortunately sales never met expectations. The 2006 Aurion Sports Concept was meant to show the world that the Camry-in-drag could out-sprint the Commodore SS and Falcon XR8 it was aimed at. The slammed ride height, huge wheels, integrated body kit, fat exhausts and special paint job looked professional enough, while under the bonnet a 3.5-litre supercharged V6 delivered 241kW and 400Nm to the front wheels via a six-speed auto. Modifications were made to the chassis to better cope with the huge leap in performance over the regular Aurion. Thus the TRD Aurion that eventuated became the fastest and most powerful vehicle the Japanese company ever built in Australia, and was priced around the $60,000 mark. Too bad its lousy timing – just as buyers were abandoning large cars in the wake of rocketing fuel prices – saw the feistiest Camry offshoot extinguished so soon. Production ceased in early 2009. Around the same time, Toyota’s Australian team also developed a TRD Hilux, motivated by a 225kW/453Nm 4.0-litre supercharged V6. It too was dropped, at the same time as the TRD Aurion.

Oh What a Holden! Under a government plan to rationalise the Australian car industry, Toyota teamed up with General Moto ors to share locally assembled models such as the Corolla-based Holden Nov va, Camry-clone the Holden Apollo, and the Toyota a Lexcen – a lightly garnished VP-VS Commodore. None of the duplicates sold to expectation ns, and the United Australian Automobile Industries plan dissolved by early 1996.

Corolla AE90 Comfy and dependable but missing predecessor’s charm

Camry/ Vienta XV10 Spacious and over-engineered, so ideal for middle Australia

Corolla AE100 Mature and competent but devoid of personality

amry XV20 As with previous Camry, swift V6 Touring was a gem

Avalon XX10 Deluded Toyota expected 2000 buyers a month – against VX Commodore!

Camry XV30 Fat US styling appeared bloated on previous floorpan

Camry/ Aurion XV40 Much-improved over XV30 and included only Oz-made hybrid

Camry/Aurion XV50 Powertrains modernised, but vanilla design flopped Stateside @wheelsaustralia 65


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The men who made Toyota For three protagonists – Bob Johnston, John Conomos and Bob Miller – turning Toyota Australia into a manufacturing and sales force was more than a job, it was their life’s work

WO R D S P H I L S C O T T

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CONOMOS FLANKED BY FORMER PM PAUL KEATING AND VICTORIAN PREMIER JEFF KENNETT AT 1995 ALTONA RIBBON-CUTTING

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ILLION-dollar Bob will be turning in his grave. After decades of hard work and shuttle diplomacy, the lights are going out on his dream, the one he had for Toyota and Australia. Back in the day, Robert Henry Johnston was the only non-Japanese to run a major Toyota operation, the ramrod-straight man’s man who convinced Eiji Toyoda to part with a billion early-1990s dollars to make cars here. The result was our first new automotive manufacturing plant in 25 years – the gleaming Altona HQ for Toyota’s local manufacturing operations – which opened in April 1995. It was a massive bet and there’s no doubt who made it happen. Bob Johnston was the architect, the chief negotiator, government lobbyist, ministerial confidant and go-between who tipped the notoriously conservative Toyota Motor Corporation, and its founding Toyoda family, into putting cash on the table. By sheer force of personality and backed by all the right numbers, he convinced Prime Minister Keating it would work. And for quite a while, it did. Under Johnston’s watch as chief executive, then chairman, Toyota achieved market leadership in Australia for the first time in 1991 and maintained it. The rest as they say, is history. In the process he recruited and mentored an executive team that were the SAS of the motor industry, a win-at-allcosts culture that seemed to thrive on the sort of division and controversy that would kill most rivals. There were frequent, sometimes famous, outbursts of frustration with Japanese HQ, and spats between the sales and marketing mercenaries in Sydney and the more measured engineering teams in Melbourne. But rock-steady at the top there was always Bob Johnston, a strapping bloke with the military bearing of the Navy officer he’d once been. He was a shrewd student of human nature with the easy manner and approachability of a PR man, but the steel-trap mind of the seasoned industrialist he was. With Bob Johnston, the ease was genuine. There was a touch of Bob Hawke about his ability to relate to all comers from factory-floor sweeper to the Prime Minister. Almost without peer he understood the Japanese and they in turn respected him and trusted his judgement. “A lot of people don’t

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understand the Japanese and don’t try to,” he told Wheels in 1995. For him, “the war ended in 1945 and I don’t even think about it any more.” The Altona investment was the crowning glory in a long career, but perhaps his strongest legacy was the talent he spotted and nurtured. A young diesel fitter called John Conomos would go on to vaunted status as a Managing Officer of Toyota Motor Corp – at the time one of only five non-Japanese to be awarded the honour. The nattily tailored, well-coiffed Conomos was the guy with his finger on the retail pulse, a smooth operator who famously called himself “a poor but humble truck salesman” even when the business card said Executive Chairman of Toyota in Australia. A ruthless, results-driven sales guy, Conomos was charm personified and a dab hand with the media, albeit not averse to leveraging any and every advantage. There was a famous lunch in Kerry Packer’s private dining room on the fifth floor of his Park St, Sydney HQ where Toyota’s spend with Channel Nine on 60 Minutes and as the AFL broadcast sponsor was cited to wonder why Wheels magazine, at then-sister company Australian Consolidated Press, wasn’t delivering cover treatment for the Camry. The concept of editorial independence only went so far with the SAS. It led to a lot of banged heads and lost bark over the decades. Fair to say, Toyota’s Australian team didn’t always respond well to unfavourable coverage. John Conomos’s marketing guru was the unique Bob Miller – he of the ‘ready, fire, aim’ school, inventor of the Camry Chicken, keen student of propaganda techniques, and widely read practical philosopher who despised the status quo. Without doubt he was the most unpredictable and quotable executive to ever flog cars in this country. His 14 years as marketing chief at Toyota coincided with the gaining and maintaining of market leadership, though he was anything but a toe-the-line company man. Miller was an upsetter of applecarts, a marketing insurgent and a handy bomb-thrower, ever ready with a quotable and often incendiary one-liner, hugely combative, competitive and outspoken. No Holden or Ford executive would ever speak ill of world headquarters. Bob Miller made it a sport. Given Toyota’s model line-up was no walk-up start to be number one, Conomos and Miller forced the issue


THE BIG THREE

Bob Johnston 1972–1994 Former Navy man Johnston was the force behind Toyota’s Oz success

John Conomos 1981–2006 Slick Chairman Conomos had the smarts to work the media to Toyota’s favour

Bob Miller 1982–2000 Marketing firebrand Miller helped bring Toyota sustained sales leadership

ON THE BACK OF CAMRY AND AURION, TOYOTA BECAME THE FIRST LOCAL MANUFACTURER TO CRACK ONE MILLION EXPORTS IN 2012


ALTONA PLANT BY THE NUMBERS

2600 Employees

(1995-2017) Years of production

Models built at Altona (Corolla, Camry, Avalon, Aurion and Camry Hybrid)

Biggest production year – 148,931 cars produced, 97,601 for export

Value of export orders each year over the last decade

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CONOMOS (LEFT) WITH RIGHT-HAND MAN MILLER AND (ABOVE) WITH TOYOTA’S 1993 LINE-UP


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with an all-out assault. Dealers were incentivised with prizes that included luxury motor cruisers – the entire boat, not just a ticket with P&O. Media launches were no-expense-spared affairs and the advertising budgets a triumph of courage over finance department pursed lips. They were the Odd Couple but they were joined at the hip to deliver Toyota leadership a long time before natural market forces and product cycles were ever going to do it. Oh What A Feeling! Indeed, that tag line seemed to be everywhere. It originated in the USA but Miller and his team made it their own, setting a record for advertising longevity – close to 30 years. But all good things come to an end. The combination of Conomos, the urbane, and Miller, the bull in the China shop, didn’t survive the 1990s. Miller’s loss was painfully felt when he departed some months after a controversial appearance at the Tokyo Motor Show. Coming off a long overnight flight from Sydney, he offered an audible critique as the chairman of General Motors, Jack Smith, and the boss of Toyota, Dr Eiji Toyoda announced a technical co-operation agreement, surrounded by their company presidents. John Conomos and his long-time public relations consultant John Smailes went into crisis mode, doing one-onone damage-control chats with senior media. But the quotes were there in black and white, and ran big in Melbourne’s Herald Sun and Sydney’s Daily Telegraph. The story transcended the motoring pages and became an international incident. Face was lost. Bob Miller went on to play a part in the cash-for-comment saga on radio and won a swag of marketing awards, an Order of Australia in the honours list and these days is an adjunct lecturer at Sydney’s Macquarie University, when not running his marketing consultancy. Nearly 20 years out of the job, journos still ring him for quotes on Toyota; testament to the job he did with the company and also on his own brand. John Conomos retired at 65 with the custom-made title ‘Emeritus Executive Chairman’. Such was his passion for the business, insiders said it required dynamite to transition him from desk to golf course. Back in Japan the board never really understood why their Australian operation was split between Sydney and Melbourne. Conomos and Miller successfully argued that as California is to Detroit, then Sydney is to Melbourne. Not

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only is it the major market with nearly 40 percent of national sales but a setter of trends for the rest of the country. Thus sales and marketing needed to be more freewheeling and closer to the pulse than attached to a factory in dreary outer Melbourne. Bob Miller used to characterise the difference as this: the warriors fought the wars in Sydney while the farmers grew stuff in Melbourne. Needless to say the farmers never saw it that way. For the front-of-house media appearances it was always the local executives – Conomos, Miller, the encyclopaedic product planner and marketer Peter Evans, engineers Max Gillard and Ray Brown. But there was always a Japanese shadow team reporting back to HQ with a Japanese chairman firmly entrenched in Melbourne. It was no surprise that with the closure of Altona came the announcement that Sydney operations, with the exception of the profit-leading parts division, will head south to be consolidated with the rest of Toyota’s team. Close to 150 years of experience will be left behind in Sydney but Toyota will no doubt play the long game. A drop in market share is inevitable – not just with the loss of volume from the factory but the loss of institutional memory. Toyota has been force-feeding the Camry in Australia for years as customers switched away from traditional sedans into SUVs. At the time Altona was built, the logic said it should make the Corolla and Camry, two of Toyota’s biggest global sellers, to better position the plant for exports. In hindsight, given the engineering expertise on the ground here and the hundreds of thousands of kays Toyota has invested in Australia as a proving ground, perhaps an alternative product strategy could have been a better bet. If Altona was a major plant for building the number-oneselling Hilux, it might still be going. But with the components industry reeling after the closures of Ford and Holden, the logistics for a single, stand-alone manufacturer no longer make sense in Toyota’s global manufacturing matrix. Billion-dollar Bob passed away in May 1995 – just a month after Altona opened – typically while in the US working to promote exports in his role as chairman of Austrade. He ignored the illness that had already cost him an eye and died with his boots on promoting Australia. Prime Minister Keating expressed it best: “I wish to offer the thanks of the Australian people for a life which helped make Australia a more modern and productive place.” As to the future, Keating’s words beg the obvious question.

BOB JOHNSTON (SECOND FROM LEFT) CONVINCED PM KEATING OF THE CASE FOR A NEW TOYOTA PLANT

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ALFA GIULIA v AUDI A4 v BMW 4 SERIES GRAN COUPE

Executive Decision Germany finds itself fighting on two fronts in the medium executive sector. Can it prevail? Or will Alfa Romeo and Jaguar’s pincer manoeuvre prove successful?

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v JAGUAR XE v MERCEDES-BENZ C-CLASS

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N OCCASION, it’s better to forget what you thought you knew; to chuck out all those old tropes, WO R D S heuristics, and pub knowledge A N DY E N R IG H T you’ve accumulated about the cars PHOTOS we’ve assembled here. They’ll do N AT H A N J AC O B S you no good. The game of oneupmanship in the medium executive class has moved at such breathtaking pace that perhaps it’s time to reset the datum and look over the best of 2017’s crop with a fresh set of eyes. The Alfa Romeo Giulia was the catalyst for this comparison. We adored the 375kW Quadrifoglio rocketship, but wondered whether shearing more than 200kW from that figure would leave the Super version feeling a bit overmatched and underbaked in this company. We clearly needed to include the big three German marques, so the Mercedes-Benz C250, Audi A4 2.0 TFSI, and BMW 420i Gran Coupe were joined by the Jaguar XE 25t; a car that had aced an early 2016 comparo. No 3 Series? Not on this occasion. We were curious as to whether the five-door 4 offered something extra, and, as it has just been given a mid-life refresh, it looked to be a solid candidate to pitch into the fray. You’re probably car-mag literate enough to know that these tests usually go one of two ways. The conventional route is to discuss the merits of each vehicle in turn and then award the verdict to something German. Safest that way. The alternate option is to

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cultivate a tasty bit of controversy by naming a leftfielder as the winner, and be forced to doggedly repeat and justify that decision for years to come. What we’re seeing here is something a bit different. As this genre matures, the templates for packaging, ride, handling, and other attributes become better known and easier to replicate. The net effect of this is that what was last year’s class leader can rapidly become this year’s wooden spoon holder. Picking a favourite a priori isn’t easy and that’s a new thing. As indeed is the Alfa Romeo Giulia Super. Like every car here, it’s powered by a 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol engine, in this instance making 147kW. It’s the lightest of this group by some margin and easily feels the most alert, making it that rarest of things in this company; a genuine outlier. As a result of doing more with less, it registered the second quickest time to 400m, being pipped by a mere tenth by the gutsy Benz. It blends refinement and agility like none of the others, bringing a whole stack of Quadrifoglio DNA, if not power, to the party. The Giorgio chassis is genuinely talented, delivering impressive ride absorbency on our fully laden four-up test along a hideously surfaced route, yet wants for little in terms of body control. Its ZF eight-speed transmission can be marshalled by a pair of vast column-mounted paddles, but with the ‘DNA’ drive controller set to dynamic, the software is smart enough to make these largely redundant. The engine isn’t the most vocal or charismatic unit, but 330Nm at 1750rpm ensures that you don’t need to work it too hard, and that delicious lack of inertia to the way


THE ANSWER TO THE CIRCA-$64K PREMIUM SEDAN QUESTION HAS NEVER BEEN LESS OBVIOUS. JUDGEMENT TIME COULD GET HEATED...

THE GAME OF ONE-UPMANSHIP HAS MOVED SUCH THAT IT’S TIME TO RESET THE DATUM

Vorsprung durch… The ‘Technik’ pack for the Audi A4 is a hard box to leave unticked, though our test car didn’t have it (see crisp traditional gauges, left). Technik brings a head-up display and, more importantly, the 12.3-inch widescreen loveliness of Audi’s Virtual Cockpit, the one feature that makes rivals look a bit 20th century. The downside is its massive $2100 cost, or about the same as a decent 65-inch UHD smart TV. If you’re thinking of buying an A4, factor this sum into your calculations. It’s a must-have. @wheelsaustralia 75


JAG GETS ITS CLAWS IN, AS-TESTED, WITH PERFORMANCE, LUXURY AND COSMETIC OPTIONS TAKING THE TALLY TO ALMOST $90K, BUT IF LOOKS COULD KILL...

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THE GRAN COUPE DELIVERS STRONG SUBJECTIVE SCORECARDS, BUT IS UTTERLY FOUND OUT AGAINST THE CLOCK

Giulia changes direction means this is the only one of the bunch that eggs you on to look for the twistiest route home. The lack of a limited slip diff would be an issue with more power at its elbow, but even if you do step up to the more powerful Veloce, you’re then buying a diff with non-switchable ESC, which largely defeats the point, from an entertainment perspective at least. If the Alfa is the great entertainer, the Jaguar XE is the big hitter. With 177kW under the bonnet, it enjoys a significant power advantage over everything else here and feels that way too, though the stopwatch tells a mixed story. This R-Sport car pipped everything to 100km/h before being overhauled further down the track and relegated to a mid-field 400m result, nipped by the slightly gluey progress at the top of its rev range. On adaptive dampers, the ride quality varies from best of the bunch in Normal, to easily the worst when set to the borderline unuseable Sport mode. As a result of this huge variation, you tend to leave the Jaguar in Normal and put up with the slightly lugubrious body control. The steering’s excellent, there is stacks of grip and clever ESC calibration, but there’s a whole welter of ergonomic glitches that ought to have been ironed out of the XE’s interior by now. Changing drive modes is an inelegant grope for tiny buttons, and the motorised gear selector, which rises from the centre

console remains an answer to a question that nobody was really asking. At first, we thought we’d had the wrong Mercedes delivered. Fire the C250 up and you’d swear it was a diesel, the direct-injection engine leaning the fuelling back to such an extent that it clatters away merrily for the first few minutes before loosening up. It’s not what you’d expect of a Mercedes and nor is the ride quality. The waftability that you expect from Stuttgart just isn’t there. On poorly surfaced roads it feels slightly neurotic, never really settling but without ever getting floaty. It tips into a corner sharply, though, and clings on gamely in the twistier sections without delivering much in the way of nuanced feedback. There’s also markedly more wind noise around the mirrors than in any other car here. What the engine lacks in charm, it makes up for in effectiveness, with the 155kW unit ceding nothing to its rivals in the lunge to the redline. By contrast, the BMW 420i Gran Coupe delivers the opposite; strong subjective scorecards, but was utterly found out against the clock. It occupies the middle dynamic ground in virtually every test bar straight-line speed, offering excellent composure at high speed, fine ride quality, decent body control for such a sizeable car, and an electrically assisted steering system that returns a surprising degree of fizz and feedback through the wheel rim. When consulting the other judges’ notes @wheelsaustralia 77


on the cross-country route, the most telling remark of this, the least powerful car on test with just 135kW, was ‘feels fast: is slow’. In a field of rear-drive rivals, the front-drive Audi A4 2.0 TFSI always runs the risk of feeling a bit inauthentic, a gussied-up hatch chassis pretending to be part of an exclusive club. On the road it feels nothing of the sort. Refinement is excellent, front-end grip mighty, turn-in crisp, body control taut, and only on rougher roads does the Audi begin to feel a bit raggedy, despite the fitment of $1700 worth of comfort adaptive suspension. Like the BMW, it feels fairly frothy despite fronting up with a mere 140kW, pipping the Munich liftback, but nothing else on the Heathcote strip. Audi also scores when it’s time to refuel, the A4

leather and chintzy silver dash infills, other selections are available. The lovely frameless rear-view mirror, the slick sweeping rear indicators, and the razorthin shutlines of the clamshell bonnet along with its integration with the full-body swage line are deftly executed details. It seems odd to point out that its 18-inch alloys look a bit malnourished in this company, but the yawning chasm above the A4’s sidewalls hardly smacks of hunkered-down focus. That’s one accusation you’d never level at the Jaguar XE 25t R-Sport – presented here laden down with options that lifted its $68,900 list to an eye-watering $87,590. It’s hard to argue that the combination of 19-inch black Venom alloys, Caesium Blue metallic paint, and gloss black detailing pack doesn’t create a

IF THE ALFA IS THE GREAT ENTERTAINER, THE JAGUAR XE IS THE BIG HITTER returning a test average of just 7.6L/100km, with the BMW scoring next best at 8.9L/100km. The brawny Jaguar XE consumed 42 percent more fuel than the A4, its 10.8L/100km thirst reinforcing that the new Ingenium turbo-petrol engines can’t come soon enough. The A4 also won admirers with its design and packaging savvy. Its rear is the only one of this quintet where a six-footer would be comfortable spending any extended period. Headroom up front is the best too, though it being the only car here without a sunroof certainly helped in that regard. While the dash finish and layout is beautifully executed, the long reach to the Drive Select switches and volume control is evidence of a complacent right-hand drive conversion. The interior trim choices of this particular car aren’t Ingolstadt’s finest hour. However, if you don’t like elephant grey

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compelling visual argument. Lantern-jawed good looks aside, the XE was found wanting inside. The dial pack now looks old, the touchscreen is clunky, the dash materials are far from top drawer in this class, and it has the least rear headroom of any rival here. The test car also began to make some creaking noises over bumps that sounded more like the impending end of a Bond villain’s lair than a car that’s just cost you the better part of 90 grand. The Giulia’s cabin is a game of two halves, good up front, not so special in the back. The pale wood finish on this car worked better than expected, however some features, like the overly loud indicators, the lack of any interior bottle storage, and the bizarre piano black overhead panel that looks like Darth Vader’s helmet didn’t endear the Giulia to testers.


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The driver’s seat is obviously the place to be in the Giulia. Its beige leather and pale wood finish combo is something only the Italians can deftly pull off. Wheel-mounted starter and columnmounted shifters are bold ergonomic choices.

Our A4’s grey interior palette and comfortable fit for all occupants makes it as inoffensive, and handsome, as a tailor-fit business suit. Tick some options beforehand to add more colour, though quality and fine detailing remain in every spec.

Don’t buy a 4 Gran Coupe for rear-seat amenities; get a 3 Series for that. Pinched rear headroom and limited window aperture might induce claustrophobia. Though cabin layout is the oldest here, its ergonomics are still excellent.

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While good-looking on the outside, the XE’s interior doesn’t quite live up to that expectation. Dated instrumentation and touchscreen dull the veneer of modernity the XE tries to project. Comfy on the road, but rear headroom is limited.

Black upholstery and trim punctuated by silver switchgear and accents gives the C-Class a rather brash ambience. Can’t complain about the infotainment features on hand though. It’s so good it might distract you from the lumpy ride.

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Stack ’em high Just a few months into its tenure, Alfa’s Giulia has racked up 348 sales to the end of July, though it’s MercedesBenz that has a stranglehold on the sector, registering 4980 C-Class sales year-to-date. BMW’s 3 Series has clocked up less than half that number at 1633 sales, with the Audi A4 further adrift at 1399, but if you include 4 Series Gran Coupe (442) and A5 Sportback (332) the picture becomes rosier. Jaguar’s XE, on the other hand, is down 44 percent year on year with just 571 registrations.

Neither did the headroom stolen by the $2200 dualpane sunroof improve their disposition. Give that one a miss if you’re anything approaching six foot. In order to provide a valet-safe boot, you can’t fold the Alfa’s rear seats from inside the cabin, instead having to open the boot and pull a lever. Everybody loved the thin-rimmed steering wheel, even if its wheel-mounted starter button wasn’t universally approved. Legroom in the back is disastrous, although the Giulia’s low beltline and windows that drop all the way down offer some recompense for lingering deep vein thrombosis. As the only liftback of the lot, the BMW offers something a little different. It arguably looks better than the 3 Series sedan too, with its power-packed bottle rocket flanks and sleek glasshouse. Whether you see that as worth its $7500 premium is clearly debatable, but the recent Life Cycle Impulse (Munich’s mangled argot for ‘facelift’), has seen the price shaved by $2200 and a stack more kit included as standard. Off the options list and onto the standard equipment sheet come adaptive M suspension, head-up display, auto-dimming mirrors, blind-spot warning, autonomous braking, and a surround-view camera. The beige leather and chrome of this Luxury trim car felt a bit pipe-and-slippers but the ergonomics are hard to argue with. The only real downside to the Gran Coupe’s interior is the slightly pinched rear headroom and the fact that the rear windows only drop halfway. Where things get a bit sticky for the BMW is when you want to step up to the rather lovely 430i version, and net yourself 185kW rather than 135. It’s much the same engine, effectively making the 420i a crippleware version of the 430i, and yet the step up will cost you a swingeing $10,000. For $9000, Audi will elevate you from the 140kW 2.0 TFSI to the 185kW version and include the quattro all-wheel drivetrain, with comparatively better residuals to boot.

Vying with the Jag and the Alfa for the best retained values after three years is the Mercedes-Benz C250, which perhaps partly explains why it has outsold the BMW 3 Series by two and a half to one recently (see sidebar). The exterior styling is low key and lacks the immaculate tailoring of its predecessor. Yet, despite the conservative exterior treatment, the interior is the brashest of the bunch. It’s strangely mismatched in this regard, with swathes of distractingly reflective piano black on the fascia and look-at-me flourishes of contrasting silver and chrome. Yes, it’s undoubtedly expensive looking, but it feels a bit new money in overall execution. There are annoying objective glitches too, like the vast step up from throttle to brake that’ll give you shin splints, the front seats that squash the feet of rear passengers when the driver lowers the seat height, and the rear arches that intrude so far on the rear door aperture that it’s hard to enter the back seat without hitting the frame on the way past. That said, the black leather upholstery feels beautiful, the infotainment system is the best of the lot, and the Burmester stereo delivers the most faithful reproduction of all the sound systems with punchy bass and crisply enunciated treble. Sifting these cars into any semblance of order based on merit is far from a straightforward task. In the end, three strata coalesced. The Mercedes C250 is the first to fall. Strangely for a Benz, this iteration of the C-Class isn’t a particularly cohesive proposition. The engine lacks charisma, the ride (without Air Body Control) isn’t what you’d expect from a Mercedes, and there’s a disconnect between the slightly frumpy exterior and the shouty cabin. This engine has now been replaced with the 180kW C300 9G-Tronic, which could well have punched the Benz back into contention.


Shift strategies All five of the cars here have paddle shifters but only one, the Alfa, mounts them on the column. The others have small shift tabs attached to the wheel. The column shifters are always where you left them, and won’t compromise your grip on the wheel. The Audi’s plasticky tabs in particular require a modification in your grip on the wheel, forcing your hands up high. The Alfa’s theatrical shifters get our vote.

@wheelsaustralia 81


ALFA GIULIA SUPER

AUDI A4 2.0 TFSI

BMW 420i GRAN COUPE

JAGUAR XE 25t R-SPORT

MERCEDES-BENZ C250

$64,195/As tested $70,395**

$60,900/As tested $65,920**

$69,900/As tested $75,857**

$68,900/As tested $87,590**

$69,400/As tested $78,061**

in-line 4, dohc, 16v, turbo front engine (north-south), front drive 1984cc 140kW @ 4200-6000rpm 320Nm @ 1450-4200rpm 7-speed dual-clutch

in-line 4, dohc, 16v, turbo front engine (north-south), rear drive 1998cc 135kW @ 5000rpm 270Nm @ 1350-4600rpm 8-speed automatic

in-line 4, dohc, 16v, turbo front engine (north-south), rear drive 1999cc 177kW @ 5500rpm 340Nm @ 1750-4000rpm 8-speed automatic

in-line 4, dohc, 16v, turbo front engine (north-south), rear drive 1991cc 155kW @ 5500rpm 350Nm @ 1200-4000rpm 7-speed automatic

aluminium/steel, 4 doors, 5 seats 4726/1842/1427/2820mm 1572/1555mm 1480kg 480 litres 95 octane/54 litres 7.6L/100km (test average) Front: multi-links, coil springs, adaptive dampers, anti-roll bar Rear: multi-links, coil springs, adaptive dampers, anti-roll bar electric rack-and-pinion 11.6m (2.7 turns lock-to-lock) ventilated discs (337mm) solid discs (330mm) Pirelli Cinturato P7 245/40R18 93Y

steel, 5 doors, 5 seats 4638/1825/1389/2810mm 1545/1594mm 1520kg 480 litres 95 octane/60 litres 8.9L/100km (test average) Front: struts, A-arms, adaptive dampers, anti-roll bar Rear: multi-links, coil springs, adaptive dampers, anti-roll bar electric rack-and-pinion 11.3m (2.7 turns lock-to-lock) ventilated discs (330mm) ventilated discs (300mm) Bridgestone Potenza S001 225/40R19 (f), 255/35R19 (r)

aluminium/steel, 4 doors, 5 seats 4672/1967/1416/2835mm 1602/1603mm 1520kg 450 litres 95 octane/63 litres 10.8L/100km (test average) Front: struts, A-arms, adaptive dampers, anti-roll bar Rear: multi-links, coil springs, adaptive dampers, anti-roll bar electric rack-and-pinion 11.7m (2.6 turns lock-to-lock) ventilated discs (325mm) solid discs (325mm) Dunlop Sport Maxx RT 225/40R19 (f), 255/35R19 (r)

aluminium/steel, 4 doors, 5 seats 4686/1810/1442/2840mm 1588/1570mm 1480kg 480 litres 95 octane/66 litres 9.6L/100km (test average)

 (Euro)

 (Euro)

 (Euro)

 (Euro)

Power-to-weight: 95kW per tonne Redline/cut-out: 6500/6200rpm Speed at indicated 100km/h: 97 Speed in gears 57km/h @ 6200rpm 82km/h @ 6200rpm 119km/h @ 6200rpm 171km/h @ 6200rpm 238km/h @ 6100rpm* 238km/h @ 4200rpm* 238km/h @ 3200rpm*

Power-to-weight: 89kW per tonne Redline/cut-out: 7000/6800rpm Speed at indicated 100km/h: 97 Speed in gears 58km/h @ 6800rpm 91km/h @ 6800rpm 136km/h @ 6800rpm 170km/h @ 6800rpm 222km/h @ 6800rpm 236km/h @ 5500rpm* 236km/h @ 4500rpm* 236km/h @ 3500rpm* Standing-start acceleration 0-20km/h: 0.9sec 0-40km/h: 2.2sec 0-60km/h: 3.8sec 0-80km/h: 5.9sec 0-100km/h: 8.3sec 0-120km/h: 11.6sec 0-140km/h: 15.7sec 0-160km/h: 21.4sec 0-400m: 16.0sec @ 142.1km/h Rolling acceleration: Drive 80-12Okm/h: 5.6sec Braking distance 10Okm/h-0: 37.9m

Power-to-weight: 116kW per tonne Redline/cut-out: 6400/6500rpm Speed at indicated 100km/h: 94 Speed in gears 52km/h @ 6400rpm 78km/h @ 6400rpm 116km/h @ 6400rpm 146km/h @ 6400rpm 189km/h @ 6400rpm 174km/h @ 4100rpm 250km/h @ 5500rpm* 250km/h @ 4400rpm* Standing-start acceleration 0-20km/h: 1.5sec 0-40km/h: 2.5sec 0-60km/h: 3.7sec 0-80km/h: 5.0sec 0-100km/h: 6.7sec 0-120km/h: 9.1sec 0-140km/h: 12.4sec 0-160km/h: 16.5sec 0-400m: 15.2sec @ 154.2km/h Rolling acceleration: Drive 80-12Okm/h: 4.1sec Braking distance 10Okm/h-0: 38.9m

Power-to-weight: 105kW per tonne Redline/cut-out: 6300/6150rpm Speed at indicated 100km/h: 98 Speed in gears 56km/h @ 6150rpm 86km/h @ 6150rpm 129km/h @ 6150rpm 180km/h @ 6150rpm 210km/h @ 5100rpm* 210km/h @ 4200rpm* 210km/h @ 3800rpm*

Drivetrain Engine Layout Capacity Power Torque Transmission

in-line 4, dohc, 16v, turbo front engine (north-south), rear drive 1995cc 147kW @ 5000rpm 330Nm @ 1750rpm 8-speed automatic

Chassis Body L/W/H/W–B Front/rear track Weight Boot capacity Fuel/capacity Fuel consumption Suspension

Steering Turning Circle Front brakes Rear brakes Tyres Tyre size

steel, 4 doors, 5 seats 4643/1860/1436/2820mm 1557/1625mm 1394kg 480 litres 95 octane/58 litres 9.8L/100km (test average) Front: double A-arms, coil springs, anti-roll bar Rear: multi-links, coil springs, anti-roll bar electric rack-and-pinion 11.4m (2.3 turns lock-to-lock) ventilated discs (330mm) ventilated discs (320mm) Pirelli Cinturato P7 245/40R18 93Y

Front: struts, A-arms, anti-roll bar Rear: multi-links, coil springs, anti-roll bar electric rack-and-pinion 11.2m (2.8 turns lock-to-lock) ventilated discs (318mm) solid discs (300mm) Continental ContiSportContact SSR 225/40R19 (f), 245/35R19 (r)

Safety NCAP rating

 (Euro)

Performance

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8

Verdict

Power-to-weight: 105kW per tonne Redline/cut-out: 5500/6000rpm Speed at indicated 100km/h: 98 Speed in gears 45km/h @ 6000rpm 71km/h @ 6000rpm 105km/h @ 6000rpm 131km/h @ 6000rpm 172km/h @ 6000rpm 226km/h @ 6000rpm 235km/h @ 5100rpm* 235km/h @ 4000rpm* Standing-start acceleration 0-20km/h: 0.8sec 0-40km/h: 1.9sec 0-60km/h: 3.2sec 0-80km/h: 4.9sec 0-100km/h: 7.1sec 0-120km/h: 9.8sec 0-140km/h: 13.4sec 0-160km/h: 18.1sec 0-400m: 15.1sec @ 147.9km/h Rolling acceleration: Drive 80-12Okm/h: 4.8sec Braking distance 10Okm/h-0: 36.7m

Standing-start acceleration 0-20km/h: 1.3sec 0-40km/h: 2.6sec 0-60km/h: 3.8sec 0-80km/h: 5.4sec 0-100km/h: 7.5sec 0-120km/h: 10.1sec 0-140km/h: 13.3sec 0-160km/h: 17.7sec 0-400m: 15.5sec @ 151.2km/h Rolling acceleration: Drive 80-12Okm/h: 4.7sec Braking distance 10Okm/h-0: 37.2m

Standing-start acceleration 0-20km/h: 0.9sec 0-40km/h: 1.9sec 0-60km/h: 3.3sec 0-80km/h: 4.9sec 0-100km/h: 6.9sec 0-120km/h: 9.5sec 0-140km/h: 12.6sec 0-160km/h: 17.0sec 0-400m: 15.0sec @ 150.7km/h Rolling acceleration: Drive 80-12Okm/h: 4.5sec Braking distance 10Okm/h-0: 36.1m

8.5/10

8.5/10

8.0/10

8.0/10

7.0/10

Light weight and talented chassis; refined and entertaining; looks great

Capable all-rounder; superior packaging; fuel-efficient drivetrain

Dynamically impressive; steering feedback; coupe looks and profile

Punchy drivetrain; excellent ride quality and steering; tough looks

Effective power delivery; expensivelooking interior packed with kit

Tight back seat; lacks practical storage; engine could use more fizz

Unadventurous; styling similar to predecessor; expensive options

Malnourished engine in this company; don’t expect sedan space

Outdated cabin and ergonomics; outdated and thirsty engine

Nervous ride; rear seat access; engine sounds coarse

Track: Heathcote dragstrip, dry. Temp: 12ºC. Driver: Byron Mathioudakis. Warranty: 3yr/150,000km. Service interval: 12 months/15,000km. Glass’s 3-year resale: 57%. AAMI Insurance: $2006 * Manufacturer’s claim. ** Includes premium paint ($1300), lighting pack ($1300), dual-pane sunroof ($2200) and 14-speaker Harman Kardon audio ($1400).

Track: Heathcote dragstrip, dry. Temp: 12ºC. Driver: Byron Mathioudakis. Warranty: 3yr/ unlimited km. Service interval: 12 months/15,000km. Glass’s 3-year resale: 56%. AAMI Insurance: $1558 * Manufacturer’s claim. ** Includes premium paint ($1420), assistance package tour ($1900) and adaptive comfort suspension ($1700).

Track: Heathcote dragstrip, dry. Temp: 13ºC. Driver: Byron Mathioudakis. Warranty: 3yr/unlimited km. Service interval: Condition-based. Glass’s 3-year resale: 54%. AAMI Insurance: $1707 * Manufacturer’s claim. ** Includes keyless access ($1100), electric glass sunroof ($2920) and premium paint ($1937).

Track: Heathcote dragstrip, dry. Temp: 13ºC. Driver: Byron Mathioudakis. Warranty: 3yr/ unlimited km. Service interval: 12 months/16,000km. Glass’s 3-year resale: 57%. AAMI Insurance: $1711 * Manufacturer’s claim. ** Includes sat-nav and Meridian audio ($3760), leather sports seats ($2220), adaptive dynamics ($1910), 19-inch alloys ($1850), panoramic roof ($1850), head-up display ($1820), premium paint ($1340), electric bootlid ($880), black pack ($730), electric rear sunblind ($720), heated front seats ($640), DAB+ radio ($560) and InControl apps ($410).

Track: Heathcote dragstrip, dry. Temp: 13ºC. Driver: Byron Mathioudakis. Warranty: 3yr/100,000km. Service interval: 12 months/25,000km. Glass’s 3-year resale: 57%. AAMI Insurance: $1677 * Speed limited. ** Includes vision package ($3838), Comand package ($2300) and seat comfort package ($992).

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The BMW 420i Gran Coupe and the Jaguar XE 25t are harder to separate. The 420i Gran Coupe is a car with precious few vices. Its dumbed-down engine proves its Achilles heel, and the cost to overcome this lack of urge is punitive. Otherwise endearing in so many regards, the BMW is probably the easiest to live with of the lot, and that has earned it significant credit. It’s also a car that rewards you the harder you drive, the chassis initially feeling as if it lacks a bit of personality, but push it hard and you’ll see where the hours of testing have paid dividends. In the final reckoning, despite its overall likeability, the sedan that became a coupe and then became a four-door again asks the most money for the least amount of engine, which proved a hurdle too big to overcome. The Jag is a car we kept coming back to, trying to nail down its enigmatic appeal. Whereas most of the other contenders here lay bare their talents in short order, the XE’s skill set reveals itself gradually. At first acquaintance, it’s easy to be underwhelmed by the nearly-there cabin execution and the dismal fuel economy. Press pause on the impression that the XE lacks the engineering depth required to play in this company, give the car a little longer before locking in a firm impression, and the Jaguar’s talents start to form a critical mass. It’s arguably the best-looking car here, it’s the quickest, has unquestionably the best ride (in Normal mode), and is fun to drive. And it’s only going to get better when the Ingenium petrol engines arrive with the promise of better efficiency and refinement. Separating the Audi and the Alfa could easily be

framed as a head/heart thing, the ruthlessly effective A4 versus the brio and bravado of the Giulia. In bald financial terms, it’s hard to argue against the Audi. It is, in most objective considerations, the best car here. It may not tug your heart strings – one judge dismissing the unremittingly grey Audi as a ‘nothingburger’ – but the longer you spend with it, the more its quietly considered qualities come to the fore. It came within a squeak of winning this year’s Wheels Car of the Year award, losing out only to the genre-changing Mazda CX-9, and it occupies the second step of the podium here once again. Which leaves the Giulia. Nobody saw this coming, not even those among us who got a bit worked up over the Quadrifoglio. Most felt that with the show-stopping engine taken out of the equation, the Alfa would struggle against the unrelenting polish of the premium German marques, but of all the cars here, there’s only one that’s touched by the mark of genius, and it’s the Giulia. The others are very good cars, and none would spark a moment of buyer’s remorse, but there’s a clear superiority about the way the Giulia goes down a challenging road that buys it all manner of credit. Yet it doesn’t actually need to call upon that reserve of goodwill too often. If you’re scrutinising leasing rates and economy figures, or are still unconvinced by Alfa’s reliability prospects, the Audi makes a great Plan B. But if, like us, you’d rather be behind the wheel of a car that delivers so much and asks for so little, the Giulia delivers a wholly convincing argument. Forget what you thought you knew. Press reset. You’re going to like it.

THERE’S A CLEAR SUPERIORITY ABOUT THE WAY THE GIULIA GOES DOWN A CHALLENGING ROAD @wheelsaustralia 83


WO R D S BRUC E N E W T ON P H O T O S N AT H A N J AC O B S

Quick off the old block It takes talent, technique and guts to win Australia’s hardest-fought motorsport category. But for reigning Supercars champion Shane van Gisbergen, he has a real ace up his sleeve... his dad


@wheelsaustralia 85


WHILE SOME MEN HAVE A GENERIC POSTER, ROB HAS ONE OF HIMSELF IN HIS ELEMENT – SIDEWAYS, ON DIRT, AND BEHIND THE WHEEL OF HIS FAVOURED MARQUE (MIDDLE).


OBERT van Gisbergen dances around the Holden Barina rally car and leaps into the air so high there’s no way you would believe the bloke’s got a serious back injury. “F__king awesome,” he shouts into the drizzle. It’s an emphatic reaction made even more startling because he’d been so low-key just seconds before. Then he’d been playing down any chance he had of matching his son’s speed in the Barina. His son just happens to be Shane van Gisbergen, the 2016 Australia Supercars Champion and perhaps the best racing car driver going around in Australasia right now. “It’s pretty close,” Shane had said as the Barina cooled, tinking and tonking, mud and spray camouflaging its signwritten sides. “Well, you do this for a living so I’m glad I gave you a run for your money,” Robert had responded. They had just driven the AP4-spec four-wheel drive Barina up and down a driveway on the family property at Manukau south of Auckland, competing against the stopwatch and each other. It’s a match-race the two of them have staged ever since Shane was old enough to throw a leg over a quad, and it’s been conducted in the past in everything from a front-wheel drive Corolla station wagon to a Mitsubishi Lancer Evo rally car. And in all those years, Shane has never beaten his father. Sure, Robert sets a

time and Shane had gone faster, but then Robert has always gone faster again on the same day. The seeds for today’s match-up were sown at Homebush last December when Shane wrapped up his first Supercars championship, and father and son embraced tearfully after the race. “My dad is a racer himself,” Shane had explained. “He has been a great influence and he has sacrificed a lot.” To celebrate the achievement of this shared dream, the first driveway shoot-out between the two of them for five years became the second part of a video shot by Shane’s team, Triple Eight Race Engineering, and sponsor, Red Bull. Part one took place a few weeks earlier when Robert drove Shane’s Holden Commodore VFII Supercar at Norwell on the Gold Coast. At Norwell, Shane had set a time and Robert then had a crack. Incredibly, after just 12 laps in the 650 horsepower monster, he got within six tenths of his son’s best effort. “It was pretty impressive to just jump in a car that took me a few years to master,” says Shane. “Okay, it’s Norwell, it’s a small track, but it’s still pretty awesome. They are not an easy car to drive. “If he had a proper go, or he was 10 years younger, you’d almost train him up for Bathurst.” Shane says that with a quiet laugh, but there’s also pride tinging on awe. If there’s a rival Shane van Gisbergen truly respects, it’s his father. There’s nothing new or rare about fathers and sons who share a passion for motorsport, but there’s something that distinguishes the relationship between Robert and Shane.

@wheelsaustralia 87


Brap, brap Barina Four time Bathurst champ Greg Four-time Murphy’s 2017 New Zealand Rally Barina AP4 provided the perfect hi-po tool for the latest round of the Giz driveway challenge. AP4 refers to the Asia Pacific rally regulations, which allow a production light car body to be stuffed with AWD and turbocharged grunt which usually comes courtesy of a 1.6 from the same brand, though the Kiwis allow a 1.8.

This delivers a machine with performance at the level of FIA R5 cars without the expense. About $150K-200K is the typical AP4 build cost, around half that of an R5 car. Murph’s Holden NZ-backed hatch uses a 1.8-litre version of GM’s 2.0 Ecotec four, boosted to 260kW and 556Nm, fed to all four via a six-speed sequential ’box. The next meet of the six-round NZRC series is the Waitomo Rally on Oct 14.

A used car wholesaler by trade, Robert loves cars and rallied for years very successfully in New Zealand. He also raced quads, which are a big deal in NZ, and Sprintcars. Shane was literally born, raised, and completely immersed in petrol-head heaven. From as early as he can remember he was watching his dad race, his dad was helping him, or they were going head-to-head; quads, go-karts, cars, simulators, radio-controlled cars, slot cars. They’ve tested each and all of them and Robert has beaten his son plenty of times. “I think he is a better natural driver, he picks things up quicker than me. I have to work at it,” says Shane. This from a bloke whose 2016 Bathurst co-driver, Alex Premat, says he has the talent to be a Formula 1 driver… if he wasn’t built like a lumberjack. Shane started racing a quad when he was six and quarter midgets at Western Springs speedway by the time he was nine. Then it was karts, Formula Vee, Formula Ford, the Toyota Racing Series, and, 10 years ago, Supercars. He was just 17. “I didn’t know he was going to be driving a Supercar. It didn’t come across my mind at all. We just had fun together,” recalls Robert. “That’s why I race, because it’s fun and enjoyable,” adds Shane. “Everything I have gone and done, we have gone and done it because we enjoyed it.” As Shane progressed and his talent became obvious, his father set him challenges. In quad races Shane was so dominant Robert would grid him up facing the wrong way so he would have to turn around and race through the whole field. “He loved passing and he loves passing. When he was nine-years old in quarter midgets he loved passing cars, just outside and inside, and he learned not to hit them,” recalls Robert. “He’d watch and learn how others behaved, find their weaknesses.” He still does. Shane’s ability to place his car and make a pass is the best in Supercars. Robert is more than a petrol-head, he’s a perfectionist. He admits he is wound up far tighter than his son, who inherits a more relaxed demeanour via his mother Karen. The quads and cars Robert prepared for his son to race were always perfectly presented and fast. After all, winning is clearly part of the fun. “For me as a so-called car salesman to be able to get a race-winning car set-up, I was rapt,” says Robert. “I just wanted to beat those full-time engineers and race hot-shots. I worked it out myself – I got a bit of help from my mates – but that was my goal.” Robert’s perfectionist zeal is reflected in the attitudes he has impressed on his son. It’s easy to assume, based on his incredible car control, that Shane can rely on his wits to get him by. Nothing could be further from the truth. His engineer Grant McPherson, who has also worked with elite Supercars drivers Will Davison, Mark Winterbottom, and Craig Lowndes, says Shane is the best he has engineered in terms of studying the data to get the best out of himself and the car. “He knows what he wants from the car, and he is pretty good at communicating it,” McPherson said in 2016. “We just have to make sure we can give it to him to his liking.” The message ‘No mistakes’ is taped on Shane’s fridge at his Gold Coast apartment and in his locker in the race transporter. It is his father’s mantra passed down. That’s exactly what he delivered during his run to the Supercars title.


Robert taught Shane and his mates to drive here, educating them in the gentle art of drifting @wheelsaustralia 89


A PAIR OF PETROL-HEADS, GIZ AND DAD WERE HAPPY AS PIGS IN MUD IN THE LIGHTWEIGHT, 260KW AWD RALLY BARINA

Home ground support At the end of 2012 Shane declared his time in Supercars over, preferring to take a sabbatical rather than race for Betty Klimenko’s Erebus Motorsport and campaign privateer Mercedes-AMG E63s. But Shane ended up returning to the category in 2013, racing for Tekno Autosports in a Triple Eight Holden. It was a controversial transition and the fall-out was spectacular. Klimenko’s legal action was only settled in mid-2014, but late last year she claimed van Gisbergen didn’t want to race for her team because he was sexist.

“The racing was still fun, we had an awesome car and team, but off-track it was shit,” says Shane of 2013-14. “But I had pretty good people around me dealing with it. Dad was awesome for taking most of it off my shoulders.” For Robert, watching on as his son’s Supercars dream died and was reborn, that experience defined his role as manager. “It’s not about money or whatever, it’s his well-being and what he wants to do,” Robert says. “I’ll give him my advice and Shane will always ask for my opinion, but at the end of the day it’s Shane’s decision what he does.”


While his team-mate, Jamie Whincup, the six-time series champion, made a succession of errors, van Gisbergen displayed almost flawless, blazing speed. But Shane does make mistakes, and he does not cope with them well. When he crashed on oil while leading in Tasmania early in 2016, he refused to talk to waiting journalists post-race. He is, for the media, undoubtedly, one of the most opaque personalities to deal with. No driver loves PR and press work, but Shane can just be contrary. At Bathurst last year a New Zealand TV journalist asked him what it would mean to win the Great Race. “300 points” came the reply. Robert had parked the spanners by the time Shane made it to Supercars. Their relationship evolved to one of manager, mentor, adviser, and closest confidant. During practice he stands out on the corners, assessing his son’s lines and speeds against his rivals, jotting his thoughts down in a notebook. In-car cameras have made it clear just how much influence Robert has had over Shane’s driving. Rivals took note when footage first showed Shane dialling the brake balance fore-aft to tackle different corners. Some drivers already did it, but nowadays every driver in Supercars has to do it. Shane got the idea from his father. “I used to always drive the rally car on bias,” Robert explains. “To me each corner has got a different brake attitude and when I was rallying on the fast stuff I’d

adjust the bias and when I came to some tight, windy stuff I’d wind it again. I was always trying to maximise what I had in my rally car.” The arrival of Fox’s multiple cabin cameras curtailed another van Gisbergen trick, driving in socks to improve pedal feel. Robert used to insist that no cameras pointed into the footwell for that very reason. “I did it for years,” Shane laughs. The van Gisbergen property cascades down a ridge. A spectacular multi-storey home sits at the highest point, offering views in all directions. Downstairs is a shrine to Shane’s racing, filled with framed photographs and trophies. The rest of the land is paddocks and bush, interlaced with trails that Shane and Robert spent years racing around. Robert is a Ford fan. A Blue Oval flag flutters outside the house. He rallied Escorts until about five years ago when he broke his back while operating a bobcat on his property. He’s nearly recovered and is building up a Mk2 Escort to go rallying once more. Needless to say, Shane’s success as a Holden driver is a bone of contention. The driveway starts behind the family home, curls deeply downhill between a bank on one side and pine trees and a drop-off on the other, to a small paddock and stables. It then does a 180 and comes straight back up the same hill to the finish line. It’s maybe 1.5km all up. Robert taught Shane and his mates to drive here, educating them in the gentle art of drifting.

Watching them practice is to watch an exercise in egg shells ... the car slithers, slips and slides

WE’RE UNSURE HOW EFFECTIVE THE GO PRO WAS AT CAPTURING THE ACTION, THOUGH IT CERTAINLY PROVED A HANDY TOOL FOR COLLECTING SLUDGE

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“We used to have the fence just there and we just kept taking it out, so we had to move it back,” explains Shane as we take a slow lap of the course. “Every Wednesday we used to have race night. On the big nights there would be 30 people here, then there would be a barbecue afterwards. There were some big crashes.” As the rain has bucketed down, the driveway surface has been churned to the consistency of molasses by practice laps. Kiwi legend Greg Murphy owns the Barina, and he seems, ahem, apprehensive about what’s about to transpire. Watching Robert and Shane practice is to watch an exercise in egg shells. The car slithers, slips and slides, braps, brays, and growls and hunts for traction. Robert gives a fence a whack, but nothing serious. Shane’s working it all out. He’s asking Greg about brake bias and the tyres, takes the car for a quick blat up the public road to get a feel for it. Robert is a step behind. He’s never driven a sequential ’box before and is having trouble heeling and toeing the pedals. This is a cool little device. It’s powered by a 1.8-litre version of the Astra VXR’s turbo engine, produces 260kW/556Nm at the flywheel and sends it to all four

wheels through a six-speed Sadev gearbox, with Aussie Supashock suspension. “The car is brilliant,” enthuses Robert. “The thing is I am used to pulling 9000rpm and this thing here you just pull a gear and it’s a tractor. It just pulls.” Adds Shane: “It’s so muddy out there yet it sticks brilliantly when you get on the throttle with the fourwheel drive.” The build-up to the showdown takes ages. Filming and photographing goes on and on. Robert is getting tense. His competitive instinct is huge and there’s a race to be won. Shane is more relaxed, more likely to laugh when the director calls for a steely stare down the barrel. They interact like a couple of big, boofy mates rather than relations; there’s good-natured digs, a bit of push, and shove, and an obvious sense of rivalry. But Shane defers. His father is top dog, no matter what the result this afternoon. And then, when it happens, it’s all over in minutes. A warm-up run, then the real thing. Shane goes first with Robert timing. It’s hard to see much once the car leaves the line until it appears through the trees, swivelling around and headed back uphill.

They interact like a couple of big, boofy mates... but Shane defers. His father is top dog, no matter what the result this afternoon 92 wheelsmag.com.au


Shane’s 52.1sec practice is the fastest we’ve seen all day. But then when it counts, he slips out of the ruts and records a 52.2. “The road got slipperier and slipperier,” he reports. “I think my run was alright.” Then its Robert’s turn. He completes his practice run without fuss. Then he’s off from the flying start. We listen to the rise and fall of the throttle and then he bursts back in view. Shane looks at the stopwatch and smiles. Moments later he delivers the news. “You’ve done a 51.9.” Robert does his dance and his leap. He’s lost the overall challenge by three tenths but he’s elated to have retained his driveway crown. “I’m pretty proud of that crown,” he smiles. “That was a good day. It was close, very close. Shane had a bit of an off on his money run and went out of the tracks. But he’s been pretty impressive all day.” And then there’s a pause and a thought. “I won’t win it next time.” Shane is not sure about that: “Dad is a pretty awesome driver.” Like father like son.

FOR SVG, WINNING THE SUPERCARS SERIES – NO PROBLEM. BUT BEATING DAD UP THE DRIVEWAY? THAT’S PROVING MORE DIFFICULT...

Mum knows best If Robert is an omnipotent presence in Shane’s life then his mother Karen is the power behind the throne. She isn’t a huge fan of racing, but she loves her son and supports his endeavours. Her influence over his career has been fundamental. It was Karen who pointed Shane towards bitumen when she urged him to try for a scholarship racing Formula Vees. He was fastest on-track but flopped dismally at public speaking. Shane learned from his mistakes, went back the next year and won the scholarship. But Karen knows her son will never be an exuberant public personality and that he is misunderstood because of it. “He’s actually quite shy,” she says. “You can think he’s quite arrogant, but he’s not. He’s always been a great deep-thinker. He’s a great reader and he loves reading biographies and things like that.” “Robert was never a public person either,” she reflects. “Rob was not good at the publicity side and for him to stand in front of a crowd was not the done thing.”


e art of PHOTOS N AT H A N J AC O B S

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MERCEDES-AMG’S GT C ROADSTER WOOS ONLOOKERS WITH ITS STRIKING PRESENCE AND FORMIDABLE TWINTURBO V8, BUT IS IT THE COMPLETE PACKAGE CAPABLE OF BLOWING AWAY ITS ICONIC CROSS-TOWN RIVAL?

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T’S PROBABLY not an adage, but maybe it should be: unless you’re Jason Bourne, don’t bring your fists to a knife fight. And similarly, if you’re Mercedes-AMG, don’t send just ‘any’ GT to a showdown with a 911. Porsche’s rear-engined icon may be in the twilight phase of its 991 model cycle, with an all-new car due in less than two years, yet fact is it’s never been more primed for war than in this 991.2 guise and specced to ultra-desirable GTS level. But before we delve into a full rundown of our combatants, a quick disclaimer: This two-car battle began as a stoush between a couple of Stuttgart-born stormers, but evolved into more of a tag-team tussle when our first Porsche – a PDK-equipped GTS coupe which starts life at $286,390, but was specced up to $339,230 – developed a rare electrical issue. In its place came a Targa 4 GTS, bringing all-wheel drive, an electrically folding roof panel, and

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a base price of $316,000. Our example was comparatively tamely specced to $342,830. Which explains why there are two different Porsche 911 GTS models on these pages, and the challenge being flung at the Mercedes-AMG GT C Roadster. Through no premeditation of our own, Porsche effectively had two cracks at finding the sweet spot in the GTS line-up to take down Merc’s open-top head-kicker. It’s worth a quick recap to understand the GT C’s positioning here, as the uninitiated may confuse the ‘C’ bit as indicating cabrio or convertible, but this isn’t the case. The ‘C’ denotes the spec level sitting a rung above GT S (so two grades above the base GT), but below the ultra-focused GT R. The C (which will also arrive in coupe form next year) gets the wider rear track of the GT R, along with 57mm wider guards to house it, as well as the flagship’s rear-wheel steering and electronically controlled limited-slip differential. The GT C’s 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8, too, is ramped up to 410kW/680Nm, so not far short of the 430/700Nm of the fullhouse GT R.

Being funnelled purely through the rear treads – admittedly vast 305/30R20 Continentals – may have even hardened power junkies deeming 410kW/680Nm as ‘adequate’; factor in streaming wet Victorian roads for our two test days and we may revise that to ‘adequate plus a bit’. But it would be doing the GT C a disservice to jump straight in and spout about its apocalyptic straight-line thrust, and its ability to make your mouth form ‘holy crap’ shapes when that V8 is bellowing up at the business end. What also needs to be appreciated is how linear, docile, and tractable it is when you want to just trundle around. You can still be the first away from the lights and remain aurally unobtrusive without ever exceeding 2000rpm; just modulate the throttle slightly to prompt early upshifts from the seven-speed dualclutch gearbox and surf along on that monster undertow of torque. When the road opens and your restraint evaporates, though, the GT C is capable of acceleration that is vicious, loud, and seemingly unending until you’re into heavy


IT COSTS MONEY TO LOOK THIS RED: $3900, IN FACT, WHICH SEEMS REASONABLE GIVEN THE CARBONFIBRE IN THE MIDDLE IS $4100

A HOTTER VEE THE BUM’S STEER

charged for GT C also bring the four-wheel steering from GT R. The ‘pivotal’ speed (pardon the pun) is 100km/h: below that the rears turn in the opposite direction to the fronts to aid agility. Above 100km/h, the rear wheels are in phase with the fronts to improve stability and steering response.

he G C’s 4.0-litre V8 is effectively a detuned version of the GT R’s engine rather than an uprated version of that in the T/GT S. It features the GT R’s larger turbochargers, with b ost trimmed to bring outputs to 410kW/680Nm – 20k /20Nm below GT R. AMG’s usually extra cost er or ance exhaust also comes standard on GT C.


GTS’s 3.0-litre flat six employs different turbochargers and extra boost to deliver its 22kW increase over the current Carrera S (and a 15kW advantage over the 3.8-litre atmo engine of the previous GTS). Torque climbs by a chunky 50Nm over the regular S, up to 550Nm. GTS spec also brings standard fitment of the otherwise optional (and switchable) sports exhaust, ensuring it sounds wonderful... for a turbo

THE CHATT ABOUT FLAAT

ALL GTS MODELS GET THE SPORT CHRONO FUNCTION AS STANDARD, WITH PDK VERSIONS BRINGING AN OVERBOOST BUTTON IN THE CENTRE OF THE WHEELMOUNTED DRIVE-MODE SELECTOR. PUSH TO PASS, OR JUST FOR THE HELL OF IT


triple digits. There’s something vaguely reminiscent of an offshore powerboat in the way the vast prow of a bonnet that stretches out ahead of you rises slightly when right foot meets firewall, the rear end scrabbles for traction, and the switchable exhaust allows full thunder from the oversized oval pipes. The note doesn’t have the same crisp, unadulterated snap and crackle of the old atmo 6.2-litre unit in the SLS Roadster – there’s no escaping the fidelity-muting nature of the two turbos mounted in the

demands of turbocharging. Outputs in GTS spec are up 22kW and 50Nm over the Carrera S, and yes, you can feel it. Okay, an ardent lover of the old 3.8-litre atmo six (err, that would be me) might mention that the really tingly yowl of that engine has been neutered slightly, and the necessity to wring it to redline has been eroded just a little. But the now-bulging mid-range translates to serious real-world punch, firing the car out of tighter corners with the sort of sting that would have had you in a holding pattern for

911 Turbo we tested recently, and cementing Porsche’s position that GTS owns the zone above Carrera S, but is more liveable and easy-going than the GT3. On a wet strip, the big AMG couldn’t match that, delivering a less-than-awesome 4.0sec. In the dry, though, and aided by its launch-control function, which allows you to adjust the pre-set engine revs up or down via the shift paddles, we have no doubt it would deliver on its 3.7sec claim. So, despite differing approaches, both

DESPITE DIFFERING ENGINE APPROACHES, BOTH CARS ACHIEVE SIMILARLY SCALDING PERFORMANCE engine’s vee – but the shove from low in the rev range and the ferocity of the mid-range is not just in a different ballpark to the old engine, it’s in a different suburb. All of which lulls you into thinking that the Porsche’s downsized flat-six, giving away two pots and around a litre of capacity, is going to struggle to compete with such overt V8 fire and fury. Maybe in theatre, but not in real-world performance. There’s a zingy, elastic quality to the 3.0-litre Porsche engine that is a triumph of maintaining throttle response and driver connection against the opposing

a few moments while the old engine climbed into its boogie pants. So, factor in the Porsche’s 190kg weight advantage over the GT C, plus the powerdown benefits brought about by the rearengined weight distribution, and you have a compact sports car that remains indecently rapid no matter what the weather conditions. At the test strip, the GTS coupe bolted like it had been smacked in the back by a roadtrain, hooking up virtually instantly and hitting 100km/h in 3.4sec, two-tenths quicker than its claim. It smoked through the 400m trap in 11.4sec, a mere 0.2sec slower than a

achieve similarly scalding performance. More significant are the differences in the way each car interacts with its driver, and method in which each goes about doing a demolition job on a quiet back road. The Porsche instantly feels much more compact and intimate; it seems a little ironic that when the 991 generation first launched back in 2011, there were moans that Porsche had taken the 997 design and stuck it on a photocopier and hit the ‘120 percent enlarge’ button. Now, it feels ideally sized; you and your passenger sit with just enough shoulder room between you, the driving

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position is perfect, the glasshouse giving great visibility in all directions. The MercAMG, by comparison, feels big; it sits you lower; legs ahead and staring down the long, slightly phallic bonnet. It also positions the gear selector too far back and puts a bunch of buttons on the console where your left elbow naturally falls. Steering, too, shows some radically different thinking at work. The 911’s system has been further improved with this 991.2 update, and to find an electrically assisted system as feelsome, natural, ideally weighted, and giving you such confidence in the front end, well, you’d open the Porsche catalogue in the Boxster/Cayman section. Again, Porsche enthusiasts went all emojisad-face when the axe fell on the 997’s hydraulically assisted rack, and lamented that the writhing, analogue feel had gone for good. The current car may have a facsimile of that set-up, but it’s a bloody accurate one, and hard to argue if it’s notably inferior. It’s a tactile connection the GT C has no answer to, at least not in moderate driving on sweeping roads that require

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only small inputs. Here the AMG’s wheel feels a little aloof, not really interested in engaging your sense of touch; more intent on filtering out the feedback of surface irregularities that the Porsche is happy to pass on. Only when the corners start to tighten and the demands for more lock are made does the AMG’s steering start to reveal itself, and the speed of the rack, the consistent weighting and the instant, incisive response from the front axle can be appreciated. Yet there’s still a layer of communication missing that’s always there in the Porsche. In the wet, the Merc takes a ‘trust me, I’ve got this’ approach as you go probing for the limits of adhesion, rather than taking you by the hand and actually showing you. There’s no questioning the GT C’s depth of dynamic ability, but you need to have vast confidence in your own abilities, because the car isn’t all that keen to reveal everything until it’s actually pushing the nose or slithering its giant booty. If that isn’t enough to fully focus your attention, just throw some bumps into the

mix. The Comfort setting continues the AMG in-joke of being code for ‘ultra-firm’, while Sport only works on uncommonly smooth roads, leaving Sport Plus effectively limited to a track. This iron-fisted approach to spring and damper tuning makes sense when you hammer the car through fast undulations, where the hand-of-God body control can be appreciated; it’s less welcome in terms of the toll it takes on comfort and the car’s broader GT abilities. The comfort issue isn’t helped by seats with super-firm, thinly padded bases, and insistent road roar on coarse-chip coming from the huge rear tyres. It’s a shame because the cabin’s roof-up insulation is exceptional, with wind noise and ambient racket beautifully zipped out. The 911 suffers from even louder coarsechip roar – surely the engineers can fix this for the next generation? – but is not just a more connected and tactile harddriving experience, it’s also the more comfortable tourer, provided you’re okay with a firm ride and circumspect with the options list. The GTS coupe cops a 20mm


OFF WITH THEIR HEADS

For an open-roof driving experience, the GT C Roadster clobbers the 911 Targa. The AMG’s roof itself is superb; a three-layer design with an acoustic mat sandwiched for sound insulation, and wrapped over a magnesium/steel/aluminium structure. It lifts or stows automatically in 11 seconds at speeds of up to 50km/h, while integrated

rollover bars in the rear bulkhead take care of protection. The Porsche’s Targa takes twice that time to retract or raise, requires the car to be stationary, and the buffeting is like having a pair of cold hair dryers pointed at your bonce. We get the retro-cool vibe, but the 911 Cabriolet (or Boxster S) makes more sense if you’re an open-top type.


MERCEDES-AMG GT C

PORSCHE 911 GTS

$338,711/Tested $353,311**

$286,390/Tested $339,230**

Drivetrain Engine Layout Capacity Power Torque Transmission

V8 (90°), dohc, 32v, twin-turbo front engine (north-south), rear drive 3982cc 410kW @ 5750-6750rpm 680Nm @ 1900-5750rpm 7-speed dual-clutch

flat 6, dohc, 24v, twin-turbo rear engine (north-south), rear drive 2981cc 331kW @ 6500rpm 550Nm @ 2150-5000rpm 7-speed dual-clutch

Chassis Body L/W/H/W–B Front/rear track Weight Boot capacity Fuel/capacity Fuel consumption Suspension

Steering Turning Circle Front brakes Rear brakes Tyres Tyre size

aluminium/steel, 2 doors, 2 seats 4551/2007/1260/2630mm 1678/1695mm 1660kg 165 litres 98 octane/65 litres 14.3L/100km (as tested) Front: double A-arms, coil springs, adaptive dampers, anti-roll bar Rear: double A-arms, coil springs, adaptive dampers, anti-roll bar electric rack-and-pinion 11.5m (2.2 turns lock-to-lock) ventilated discs (390mm) ventilated discs (360mm) Continental ContiSportContact 6 265/35R19 (f), 305/30R20 (r)

aluminium/steel, 2 doors, 2+2 seats 4528/1852/1284/2450mm 1541/1544mm 1470kg 125 litres (f) 98 octane/64 litres 10.9L/100km (as tested) Front: struts, A-arms, adaptive dampers, anti-roll bar Rear: multi-links, coil springs, adaptive dampers, anti-roll bar electric rack-and-pinion 10.7m (2.5 turns lock-to-lock) ventilated discs (350mm) ventilated discs (330mm) Pirelli P Zero 245/35ZR20 (f), 305/30ZR20 (r)

Safety NCAP rating

 (Euro)

 (Euro)

Performance

1 2 3 4 5 6 7

Verdict

Power-to-weight: 247kW per tonne Redline/cut-out: 7100/7000rpm Speed at indicated 100km/h: 98.4 Speed in gears 81km/h @ 7000rpm 114km/h @ 7000rpm 153km/h @ 7000rpm 194km/h @ 7000rpm 242km/h @ 7000rpm 297km/h @ 7000rpm 317km/h @ 6150rpm*

Power-to-weight: 225kW per tonne Redline/cut-out: 7400/7700rpm Speed at indicated 100km/h: 96.6 Speed in gears 69km/h @ 7400rpm 117km/h @ 7400rpm 170km/h @ 7400rpm 228km/h @ 7400rpm 310km/h @ 7400rpm* 310km/h @ 6750rpm* 310km/h @ 5300rpm*

Standing-start acceleration 0-20km/h: 0.8sec 0-40km/h: 1.2sec 0-60km/h: 2.2sec 0-80km/h: 3.1sec 0-100km/h: 4.0sec 0-120km/h: 5.0sec 0-140km/h: 6.2sec 0-160km/h: 7.9sec 0-400m: 11.6sec @ 198.4km/h Rolling acceleration: Drive 80-12Okm/h: 2.0sec Braking distance 10Okm/h-0: 35.7m

Standing-start acceleration 0-20km/h: 0.6sec 0-40km/h: 1.1sec 0-60km/h: 1.8sec 0-80km/h: 2.5sec 0-100km/h: 3.4sec 0-120km/h: 4.6sec 0-140km/h: 5.9sec 0-160km/h: 7.5sec 0-400m: 11.4sec @ 197.5km/h Rolling acceleration: Drive 80-12Okm/h: 2.0sec Braking distance 10Okm/h-0: 33.2m

8.5/10

9.0/10

Ballistic performance; body rigidity; roof sealing; sense of occasion

Eager, elastic engine; steering; intimacy and connection; plus-two seating

Firm ride; roof-up rear vision; tyre roar; ergo of centre controls

Tyre roar; expensive options; fixed-back seats not for everyone

Track: Heathcote dragstrip, wet. Temp:12ºC. Driver: Alex Inwood. Warranty: 3yr/unlimited km. Service interval: 12 months/20,000km. Glass’s 3-year resale: n/a. AAMI Insurance: n/a *Estimated **Includes designo premium paint ($4000); two-tone Nappa leather ($3900); exterior Night package ($1500); carbonfibre interior trim ($4100) and twin-spoke alloy wheels ($1100)

Track: Heathcote dragstrip, wet. Temp:12ºC. Driver: Alex Inwood. Warranty: 3yr/unlimited km. Service interval: 12 months/15,000km. Glass’s 3-year resale: 73%. AAMI Insurance: n/a *Estimated **Includes sports bucket seats ($8290); Alcantara package ($8140); Dynamic Chassis Control ($7690); LED + Dynamic Light System Plus ($6490); front-axle lift system ($5490); rear-axle steering ($5490); sunroof ($4990); keyless entry ($2390); carbon interior package ($1730); rear privacy glass ($1290) and white Sports Chrono dial ($850).

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GTS COUPE (ABOVE) ONLY MADE A FLEETING APPEARANCE; ITS TARGA 4 GTS REPLACEMENT ACTUALLY A BETTER BODY-STYLE MATCH FOR GT C ROADSTER


THE GT C IS AN ‘EVENT’ CAR, THE SORT YOU WISH SOMEONE HAD TAKEN THE 10-YEAR-OLD YOU FOR A BLAST IN drop in ride height; ours was fitted with optional Dynamic Chassis Control, which takes another 10mm out of the ride height in conjunction with active anti-roll bars. In this spec, the coupe delivers a ride that was marginal on bumpy backroads. The Targa 4 GTS, running the standard suspension tune (which is still 10mm lower than a regular Targa 4S) is appreciably more compliant. Message, people: unless you’re in the adult entertainment industry, lower plus stiffer does not always mean extra enjoyment. Besides, all GTS models are fitted with two-stage adaptive dampers if roads and driving conditions encourage a firmer suspension setting. In the wash-up – literally, in terms of our driving conditions – we need to cut the Merc a break, because we know the constantly wet roads during our test didn’t play to its strengths, and we know what the Roadster is capable of on smooth, dry tarmac from our time on American roads at the car’s launch. Its grip levels are neck endangering, the rear steering gives it an agility and pointiness that elevates it to a level above the GT and GT S, and that engine just keeps on making you shake your head and mumble expletives. It’s also one of those ‘event’ cars that sucks people in and somehow makes them feel better for having pored over it. It’s the

sort of car you wish someone had taken the 10-year-old you for a roof-down blast in, just to have blown your tiny mind and got you hooked via the octane vein even earlier. It also works brilliantly with the roof down; praise that can’t be shared with the 911 Targa. Where the AMG minimises cabin turbulence and manages occupant comfort with a gilt edge, Porsche’s Targa drops the ball. Its airflow ‘management’ amounts to turning the rear of the cabin into a windsock, and the buffeting around your ears at highway speeds will have you quickly grabbing for the button to put the roof back where it belongs. The AMG also has the ability to render the 911 near-invisible. This pair is like George Clooney with a bodyguard; people who strolled over for a chat and a drool during stops over the course of our two days were vaguely aware of ‘the other car’, but showed little interest and would have no recollection of it. Which will probably be as relevant to 911 GTS owners as George Clooney’s star sign. They know they’ve bought the world’s greatest all-round sports car; a machine honed to near-perfection, with an unbeatable depth of engineering integrity and real-world useability. The sun may be setting on the 991-generation 911, but light still glints off the GTS’s blade. @wheelsaustralia 103


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WO R D S J A M E S W H I T B O U R N

THE TRUE COST OF A CAR GOES BEYOND THE PURCHASE PRICE. HERE’S OUR DEFINITIVE GUIDE TO THE BEST BUYS IN AUSTRALIA A CAR is the most technically complex consumer product people buy and the second-most costly purchase for most of us. And while dynamic dissection to sort the diamonds from the duds is a Wheels cornerstone, sifting through the new car market to separate the buyer’s picks from the money pits is the work of our annual Gold Star Value awards. The devil (aside from non-deductible car loans) is the insidious depreciation, which makes up the biggest chunk of the cost of owning a car in the initial years from new. A good car will only lose about 30 percent of its new price in three years, while a poor one will only retain 30 percent... Clearly, it’s worth knowing which cars are good at holding their value and which aren’t much chop. Yet a new car doesn’t stop at depreciation in its quest to empty your wallet. There are fuel costs, insurance, servicing

104 wheelsmag.com.au

frequency/cost, and the financial burden of fixing things that cunningly fail just outside the factory warranty. A turbo-diesel will cost more to buy than a petrol but typically use less fuel, though which is less costly to run might depend on the day of the week. Our research indicates that diesel prices remain reasonably stable, whereas unleaded prices vary depending on the day. With an emissions cloud hanging over oil-burners, there’s also the question of which will be worth more at resale time. And can hybrids or electric cars justify their typically higher price tags in energy savings along the way? The answers await on the pages ahead. Read on, then, as we bring you the figures, from a starting grid of the 2500-plus cars on sale in Australia, for more than 60 of today’s best buys, across 21 categories.


In association with

GOLD STAR CRITERIA Class ceiling

Purchase price

There is no upper limit on the price of cars eligible for Gold Star Value analysis. The fact that the money lost in three years on 2017’s biggest depreciator would buy you 19 of the winning sublight car illustrates how the figures tend to take care of themselves at the top end of town.

Most new-car buyers set out with an approximate budget in mind, so Gold Star Value is divided into price brackets. The real cost of owning the car is depreciation, which is where purchase cost is factored into our value equation.

Depreciation

RECOOMMENDS

Insurance

The biggest cost of ownership for most new cars. Of the 2787 cars number-crunched, Glass’s forecast three-year retained value figures ran from 29 percent (the Great Wall V240 ute) to 73 percent (Audi TT RS and Porsche 911 Carrera and GTS).

Annual comprehensive insurance estimates provided by Budget Direct Insurance for a 35-year-old male living in Chatswood, NSW, Rating 1 for life, clear driving history, no finance, private use and vehicle garaged at night. Estimates include 15 percent online discount.

Fuel

Warranty

Annual fuel cost calculation based on ADR combined-cycle consumption figures. These aren’t real-world representative, but they let us compare cars. Annual distance travelled is the ABS Australian average of 13,716km (2015-16) and we used fuel prices on the day.

A seven-year warranty brings greater peace of mind than a three-year warranty, however it’s difficult to quantify the value of extra cover. It only translates into an actual money saving if something fails and it’s fixed free. Warranty accounts for 10 percent of a car’s score.

Real cost

Service

It’s relatively easy to put a representative number on the three-year cost of depreciation, fuel and insurance, so the total of these running costs contributes 80 percent of a car’s score.

The vehicle servicing score is based on frequency. A longer interval may result in less expense – and it will certainly mean less hassle – so takes the maximum 10 percent.

Our choice

Total score

If you have both eyes on the bottom line when you buy, then the car that wins its Gold Star Value category g y is the one for y you. Thank y you,, g good night g and do try the fish. But if you also have a penchant for driver appeal, then our Wheels Recommends pick in each category instead represents the intersection of value and verve.

The addition of the real-cost score out of 80 and the warranty and service interval scores out of 10 gives a total of 100. It’s displayed in each data table and, because each car references the cheapest overall model, the decline in value working up through classes is clear in the spread of scores from more than 90 to less than 30.

aust strali lia 105 @wheelsau @


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City cars

1st

Kia Picanto S Grabbing a bus, an Uber or a GoGet are among the less-costly transport alternatives to a Kia Picanto S. But if you’re intent on new-car ownership and want to do it at minimum cost, with a degree of driver appeal, then the Picanto is king. The model is offered in a single ‘S’ spec (for now) and opting for the five-speed manual

saves you $1500 up front, and a further $120 each year at the bowser compared with the auto. The cost of depreciation here is about $2500/year, which is as good as it gets for a new car, and the Kia kicks goals with the brand’s generous warranty, a handy 12-month service interval and bargain annual insurance.

RECOMMENDS

3rd Fiat 500 Pop

2nd Holden Spark LS

oes A taste for premium fuel und an Itali the of work good the of some retro car’s 4.9L /100km official , but combined-cycle consumption cost a it’s still cheap to own, doesn’t ts solid whole lot to purchase, and boas interval. resale and a sensible serv ice

Holden’s baby Spark is actually a more sophisticated car than the bigger, cost lier Barina, with good tech and equipment, a g. lively engine and keen handlin Undercuts the Picanto on insurance cost at $565/year.

City cars

Price

Economy (L/100km)

Fuel cost/ year

Glass’s resale (%)

Three-year depreciation

Service int. (months)

Insurance estimate*

Three-year o’ship cost

Warranty (years)

Gold Star score/100

Kia Picanto S

$14,190

5.0

$747.52

46

$7662.60

12

$620

$11,765.17

7

93.3

Holden Spark LS

$13,990

5.8

$867.13

44

$7834.40

9

$565

$12,130.78

3

84.0

Fiat 500 Pop

$17,990

4.9

$869.00

54

$8275.40

12

$739

$13,099.41

3

79.6

*In order to purchase insurance you will need to obtain a premium quote and answer underwriting questions. See page 122 for Assumptions and T&Cs

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K 7 1 $ r e d n u t h Lig

2nd Toyota Yaris Ascent The Yaris snags the silver by being reasonably competitive against each value criterion, rather than with any singular standout performance. Yet even if the trustworthy Toyota had a more generous warranty or service interval, it wouldn’t quite be enough for the gold.

3rd Suzuki Swift GL

1st

A sprightly 1.2-litre four pulling a featherweight body gives the Swift its greatest strength – fuel saving. With a 4.6L/100km combined-cycle figure g re, it’s it s thriftier than eve en a 900cc three-pot turbo Renault Clio, and officially uses 35 percent less fuel than a 1.5 Honda Jazz. p J

RECOMMENDS

Mazda 2 Neo The Mazda 2’s Gold Star Value campaign was almost flawless. Among the leastexpensive to buy, with the strongest resale, it’ll lose less to depreciation in the first three years than any other light hatch. It’s not quite the most economical, beaten by smaller-engined rivals, but there’s only a bit more than 100 bucks in it over a year. Elsewhere,

the 12-month service interval (with lifetime capped-priced servicing) and bargain $682 annual comprehensive insurance are highs. The three-year warranty is the norm (for now) and the only rivals that do better – Kia, Renault and Hyundai – aren’t near enough to the e Mazda against other scoring criteria to mount a challenge.

Price

Economy (L/100km)

Fuel cost/ year

Glass’s resale (%)

Three-year depreciation

Service int. (months)

Mazda 2 Neo

$14,990

5.4

$807.32

53

$7045.30

12

$682

$11,513.27

3

89.3

Toyota Yaris Ascent

$15,290

5.7

$852.18

51

$7492.10

6

$633

$11 947 63 $11,947.63

3

83 9 83.9

Suzuki Swift GL

$15,990

4.6

$687.72

51

$7835.10

6

$685

$11,953.26

3

83.8

Light under $17K

Insurance estimate*

r e- e r o’ship cost

arran arra an (years)

Gold Star score/100

Notable classmates: Honda Jazz VTi, Renault Clio Life

Light $17K to $25K

RECOMMENDS

Mazda 2 Maxx

Mazda’s well-established brand appeal is reflected in its 55 percent Glass’s resale figure, which is superior to any rival within cooee. From this cracking start start, the mid-spec mid spec Mazda 2 hatch – which whic gets a negligible 2kW and 2Nm boost over the Neo – powers on nth or with good economy on regular unleaded, a generous 12-mon ance 10,000km service interval, and cheap-as-chips annual insura at $701. The Kia Rio S gave the Mazda a good run on the strength of its warranty, though didn’t quite have the overall mix of value credentials to topple the Japanese hatch.

2nd Suzuki Swift GL Na

3rdKia Rio S

The Suzuki Swift’s long-held value crede entials are stronger than ever in the new model – only the hybrid Toyota Prius C officially uses less fuel than the Swift in this company, how wever the Toyota couldn’t overcome its purcha ase price premium to climb onto the podium m.

Light $17K-$25K

Price

Higher fuel consumption and price, and a lower three-year resale, left the Riio with work to do, but none here can match Kia’s seven-year warranty, and 12 months be etween service intervals matches the Mazda, while easily topping the Suzuki’s six months. m

Economy (L/100km)

Fuel cost/ year

Glass’s resale (%)

Three-year depreciation

Service int. (months)

Insurance estimate*

Three-year o’ship cost

Warranty (years)

Gold Star score/100

Mazda 2 Maxx

$17,690

5.2

$777.42

55

$7960.50

12

$701

$12,395.77

3

83.6

Suzuki Swift GL Navigator

$17,990

4.8

$717.62

52

$8635.20

6

$708

$12,912.06

3

78.1

Kia Rio S

$19,090

6.2

$926.93

46

$10,308.60

12

$641

$15,012.38

7

76.4

Notable classmates: Toyota Prius C, Honda Jazz VTi-S *In order to purchase insurance you will need to obtain a premium quote and answer underwriting questions. See page 122 for Assumptions and T&Cs @wheelsaustralia 107


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Make your car pay its way Financing options

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Before you buy...

Make your car more affordable by turning it into a money spinner. Consider joining a ride-sharing service like Uber; according to comparison site Finder, Uber drivers earn an average of $35 to $40 per hour before Uber takes its 25 percent cut. Your car needs to be less than 10 years old, have air-con and four doors, and be in great shape to register with Uber. Or, become an Airtasker and use your car to earn some coin by delivering parcels or, if you have a van, moving furniture. Airtasker says it’s possible to earn up to $5000 per month.

If you’d rather let the vehicle do the hard yards, rent your car out through sites like Car Next Door, and pocket $25-$40 a day or up to $100 daily for vans, utes and premium cars. According to Car Next Door, it’s possible to earn up to $7000 a year. If your car is a head-turner (for the right reasons) turn star power into spare cash by registering your vehicle with a casting agency. Rates vary but Star Cars agency says it’s possible to earn $1000 or more per day if your car is selected to appear in advertisements, films or television.

Cars depreciate rapidly so it makes sense to minimise finance charges. But paying in cash won’t always score you a discount. Car retailers worked out long ago that they can make more money per customer by offering dealer finance. That said, if you don’t have the folding stuff on hand, head to lenders like Heritage Bank (5.14%) or First Option Credit Union (4.99%) for wafer thin rates on personal loans secured by a term deposit. When it comes to traditional car loans, mutuals like credit unions, building societies and customer-owned banks are highly competitive. Check out the likes of IMB (5.99%) and BCU (5.90%) plus non-bank lenders like carloans.com.au (5.44%) for super-low l rates. t Dealer finance can seem like an easy option however the best deals (we’re talking

near-zero interest rates) tend to be reserved for self-employed borrowers with an ABN. If you’re eligible, watch out for ‘balloon payments’ – a lump sum, often amounting to several thousand dollars, that may fall due at the end of the loan term. Don’t overlook your home loan as a source of low cost car finance. If you’re ahead with repayments, redraw may be an option. Or it may be possible to draw on home equity through a loan top up or by refinancing to a bigger loan. The downside is that you’re using long-term debt to finance an asset, which (unlike your home), will fall in value over time. That can mean paying a solid overall interest charge on the cost of your car. The only way around this is to pump extra repayments into the loan to pay off the vehicle as quickly as possible.


Small under $24K

1st

Kia Cerato S While our light- and sub-light champs represent good driving and top value, in the small class the law of diminishing returns is yet to set in. Yes it will cost more to own a Kia Cerato than a Picanto or Rio, but even compared with the littlest Kia, the step to the Cerato in terms of depreciation cost is only about $1000/year. Is the extra expense justified by a

roomier body, perkier 2.0-litre engine, an available six-speed manual and extra features? We’ll let you decide. Either way, you get Kia’s excellent seven-year warranty and a 12-month or 15,000km service interval, and it’s not as though the insurance premium goes through the roof in the upsize, at a very reasonable $635 per annum.

2nd Hyundai i30 Actiive CRDi

dMitsubisshi Lancer ES Sport

ve The new-gen Hyundai i30 Acti turbo-diesel six-speed manual pips its petrol sibling despite t, cost ing an extra $250 0 up fron recouping the difference at the six fuel bowser at a rate of about dollars per week.

s What the ancient Lancer lack in freshness it makes up via cabin space, equipment for your y dollar, and a five-year war rant to t topple Japanese and most Euro (but not Korean) rivals.

RECOMMENDS Small under $24K

Price

Economy (L/100km)

Fuel cost/ year

Glass’s resale (%)

Three-year depreciation

Service int. (months)

Insurance estimate*

Three-year o’ship cost

Warranty (years)

Gold Star score/100

Kia Cerato S

$19,990

7.1

$1061.48

47

$10,594.70

12

$635

$15,684.14

7

73.7

Hyundai i30 Active CRDi

$23,450

4.5

$773.99

54

$10,787.00

12

$733

$15,307.98

5

72.3

Mitsubishi Lancer ES Sport

$19,500

6.9

$1031.58

46

$10,530.00

12

$755

$15,889.74

5

70.1

Notable classmates: Mazda 3 Neo, Honda Civic VTi, Subaru Impreza 2.0i *In order to purchase insurance you will need to obtain a premium quote and answer underwriting questions. See page 122 for Assumptions and T&Cs @wheelsaustralia 109


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Small over $24K

1st

Hyundai i30 Active CRDi DCT The arrival of the PD series has seen the Hyundai i30 come of age, bringing newfound style, quality and driver appeal, while our analysis suggests the model’s long-held value credentials carry into its new chapter. The stout 54 percent three-year resale reflects the i30’s – and Hyundai’s – broad appeal and hard-earned reputation for reliability, and it no doubt helps real-world values that a three-year-old i30 still has two years’ warranty left. With a sharp $26K price tag for an Active CRDi with a seven-speed dual-clutch ’box, the i30 is off to a flying start. Can rivals compete with the 4.7L/100km 1.6-litre turbo-

diesel Hyundai? Well, they could if they offered an equivalent engine… As it stands, only the petrol/electric Corolla Hybrid can put up a fight at the bowser, though the Toyota falters elsewhere. The Hyundai surges ahead on the back of its fiveyear, unlimited-kay warranty, 12-month/15,000km service interval and low-cost $772 annual Budget Direct insurance. And if a diesel-drinking hatch doesn’t tickle you, the good news is the sporty 1.6-litre turbo-petrol i30 SR is a near match on the value front, thanks to 7.5L/100km economy on regular unleaded.

RECOMMENDS

2nd Kia Cerato Sport

33rdd HHonda Civic VTi-S

ranty Kia’s enviable seven-year war nd seco to to Cera the ers pow nth place, with help from a 12-mon nual serv ice interval and a $673 ann le insurance premium. Acceptab y livel a and g, dlin han and ride a 2.0-l itre petrol four make for age. a likeable, if conservative, pack

Small over $24K

A shar p sticker price and solid retained value ensured the one-up-f rom-base Civic stayed in the podium hunt, despite an o school 1.8 four that delivers oldnt economy but not thrills – d dece need a Civic RS or VTi-LX to y you get Honda’s strong 1.5 turbo.

Price

Economy (L/100km)

Fuel cost/ year

Glass’s resale (%)

Three-year depreciation

Service int. (months)

Insurance estimate*

Three-year o’ship cost

Warranty (years)

Gold Star score/100

Hyundai i30 Active CRDi DCT

$25,950

4.7

$808.39

54

$11,937.00

12

$772

$16,678.18

5

67.4

Kia Cerato Sport

$24,790

7.3

$1091.38

49

$12,642.90

12

$673

$17,936.05

7

66.4

Honda Civic VTi-S

$24,490

6.4

$956.83

54

$11,265.40

12

$808

$16,559.88

5

65.8

Notable classmates: Subaru Impreza 2.0L, Toyota Corolla Hybrid *In order to purchase insurance you will need to obtain a premium quote and answer underwriting questions. See page 122 for Assumptions and T&Cs

110 wheelsmag.com.au


In association with

Medium under $45K

1st Mazda 6 Sport

RECOMMENDS

The Mazda 6 Sport completed a near clean-sweep of the scoring ring criteria, starting with the least amount lost to depreciation in the first three years among podium players, and backing that with a lowest annual fuel cost and a sensible 12-month/10,000km service interval. In fact, the only area where th he entry-level midsize Mazda did not beat both placegetters is in warranty, with its three years of cover trumped by the Kia’s seven n-year guarantee.

To live with, the base Mazda ticks boxes with wit its standard satnav and reversing camera, slick six-speed auto, gutsy four and tidy dynamics. If you long for leather, LED bling and Bose audio, the Touring spec above boasts similar value credentials, and brings the option of a thrifty turbo-diesel that could pay off if you do lots of kays or keep cars for the long haul, as will the brand’s lifetime capped-price servicing scheme.

2ndKiaa Optima Si 3rdToyota Camry Altise The Optima Si de efines whitegoods on wheels and stick king to pragmatics sees it stay a convincing course for value. The brand’s b seven-year warranty earrns it points, and a 12-month service 12-m e interval and lowcost ins insurance se eal it second place.

Medium under $45K

Price

Economy (L/100km)

You may not need a value analysis to suggest a base Camry is a lowcost proposition, but crunching the numbers shows why – it’s largely via a low purchase price, decent three-year resale and fuel economy, and reasonably priced insurance.

Fuel cost/ year

Glass’s resale (%)

Three-year depreciation

Service int. (months)

Insurance estimate*

Three-year o’ship cost

Warranty (years)

Gold Star score/100

Mazda 6 Sport

$32,490

6.6

$986.73

53

$15,270.30

12

$1098

$21,524.49

3

52.1

Kia Optima Si

$34,490

8.3

$1240.89

44

$19,314.40

12

$754

$25,299.06

7

51.4

Toyota Camry Altise

$26,490

7.9

$1181.08

42

$15,364.20

9

$833

$21,406.45

3

51.1

Notable classmates: Toyota Camry Altise Hybrid, Hyundai Sonata Active, Subaru Liberty 2.5i

K 5 4 $ r e d n u Large

Commodore 1st Holden Evoke

2nd Skoda Superb 162 TSI For our local Lion, going out at the top of its game beats fading into obscurity hands down. Not only is the VFII a superbly honed version of a locally developed legend that’s been around for more than a decade, it still stacks up as great value. The entry-level Evoke V6 starts by being a bit less costly than it di its podium mates, and backing that with slightly better resale. Predicting the actual of the last Aussie-built, rearfuture values o dores is potentially tricky. Will drive Commod ump when the new model used values slu arrives? We W think so. But will they rise again long-term? Ditto, though haps more for a mint SS-V perh an a base car. Then again, a tha sing tide lifts all boats... or, ris er m, cars. Meantime, the big olden’s strengths lie in low--cost Ho insurance, reasonable annua al el cost, and an odd nine-mo fue onth serv ice interval that matches tthe A ion but b not the Superb.

The Skoda Superb is a small fish in sales terms, yet represents The New Guard. This is today’s way of doing big cars, based on modular engineering, frontdrive and a downsized turbo engine, the latter helping it do its best work in the fuel-cost column.

3rdToyota Aurion AT-X A Toyota sedan remains a rock-solid ownership proposition, though big cars have never nev been great g at holding their value, as the Aurion’s 31 percentt threethr year Glass’s resale figure illustrates. The $776 annual insu urance is 11 bucks le ess than the Commodore Evoke’s.

Price

Economy (L/100km)

Fuel costt/ year

Glass’s resale (%)

Three-year depreciation

Holden Commodore Evoke

$35,490

8.3

$1240.89

36

$22,713.60

9

$787

$28,797.26

3

40.0

Skoda Superb 162 TSI

$39,990

6.4

$1135.03

33

$26,793.30

12

$862

$32,784.38

3

37.4

Toyota Aurion AT-X

$36,490

9.3

$1390.39

31

$25,178.10

9

$776

$31,677.27

3

37.1

LLarge under d $4 $$45K 5K

Service int. (months)

RECOMMENDS

Insurance estimate*

Three-year Three y o’ship cost

Warranty (years))

Goldd Star score/100 cor

*In order to purchase insurance you will need to obtain a premium quote and answer underwriting questions. See page 122 for Assumptions and T&Cs @wheelsaustralia 111


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K 5 6 $ r e d n u Large

1st Hyundai Genesis

Hyundai’s ‘base’ luxo-barge costs substantially more than the two cars it beat for the gold, yet its superior threeyear resale figure illustrates again how important future value is in the total running cost of a car car. Granted Granted, large cars

RE COMMENDS

as a whole are not great, but 52 perc cent, or almost $30K lost in three years, sstill beats 37 or 41 percent. Hyundai’s fiveyear warranty is an asset, as always, but the old-school 3.8-litre V6 is a liability, drinking 11.2L/100km 11 2L/100km m on the of offic official ficial ial combined cycle (at least it’s happy on 91 RON). The Genesis proved pricier to insure than its key riv vals, at $1055 per year, but out-did d the Holden with a 12-month ser vice interval.

2ndHolden Calais V

We still can’t get our head around the brand’s unusual nine-month service interval, but that’s it for nit-picking because there’s plenty else to love about the V6-powered flagship version of our home-grown Holden.

3rdSkoda Superb 206 TSI Poor forecast resale figure reflects the fact that Skoda is yet to cement its reputation in Australia. Stuffing a Golf R 2.0-litre turbo, all-paw drivetrain in the roomy, value-packed Superb 206 TSI should help change that.

Price

Economy (L/100km)

Fuel cost/ year

Glass’s resale (%)

Three-year depreciation

Service int. (months)

Insurance estimate*

Three-year o’ship cost

Warranty (years)

Gold Star score/100

Hyundai Genesis

$61,500

11.2

$1674.45

52

$29,520.00

12

$1055

$37,708.35

5

36.6

Holden Calais V

$48,750

9.5

$1420.29

41

$28,762.50

9

$856

$35,591.38

3

33.9

Skoda Superb 206 TSI

$50,990

7.3

$1294.64

37

$32,123.70

12

$830

$38,497.62

3

33.2

Large under $65K

Notable classmate: Chrysler 300 C

RECOMMENDS Just as downsizers stepping from big early-century homes in the suburbs are choosing flash inner-city apartments and townhouses, those stepping from medium and large cars are opting for designer babies such as the Audi A1 Sportback rather than pedestrian small hatches. With a chirpy 1.0-litre turbo triple, Ingolstadt’s smallest model uses just 4.2L/100km which makes it the least costly to fuel of any Gold Star Value award recipient. The insurance cost is reasonable for a premium hatch at $776, while the 12-month service interval will save hassle and a few bucks.

2ndMini 2 dMi i Cooper C

33rdBMW dBMW 118i SSport LiLine

Condition-based servicing means the cheeky three-door Cooper will tell you when it needs a trip to see the spannerman, and it could go up to two years between visits, according to Mini..

The $36,990 BMW 118i will hold 57 percent of its new value after three years, compared with 46 percent for the $9500-cheaper Mini Cooper – a de epreciation difference of just $360/year.

Premium compact under $50K

P Price

Economy (L/100km)

Fuel cost/ year

Glass’s resale (%)

Three-year depreciation

Service int. (months)

Insurance estimate*

Three-year o’ship cost

Warranty (years)

Gold Star score/100

Audi A1 Sportback 1.0 TFSI

$27,300

4.2

$744.86

55

$12,285.00

12

$776

$16,847.58

3

64.0

Mini Cooper 3dr

$27,400

4.7

$833.54

46

$14,796.00

24

$720

$19,456.61

3

61.6

BMW 118i Sport Line

$36,900

5.2

$922.21

57

$15,867.00

24

$768

$20,937.63

3

58.3

Notable classmates: Audi A3 1.0 TFSI Sportback, Alfa Romeo Giulietta Super *In order to purchase insurance you will need to obtain a premium quote and answer underwriting questions. See page 122 for Assumptions and T&Cs

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BMW 318i Sport Line You might think a 1.5-litre three-cylinder BMW 3 Series sedan would kill the premium medium class on fuel economy alone, but that doesn’t allow for the fact Munich’s Munich s cross-town cross town rival has a formidable foe in its entry-lev vel Audi A4 1.4 TFSI. Despite identical 56 percent three-year re esale forecasts, it was on depreciation that the BMW landed its first blow, because it’s $600 less costly to buy. At 5.4L/100km m the 318i is also

2nd AAudi A4 1.4 TFSI

officially 0.1L/100km more economical than the A4 – negligible in the grand scheme, but another win all the same. The pair progressed with identical three-year, three year unlimited-kilometre warranties and 12-month service inttervals, while the Audi costs $101 more to insure for a year, at $1082. A photo finish, then, which might leave brand and m model preference as the real reasons to choose one over the other. o

RECOMMENDS

3rd Peugeot 508 Allure HDi

Despite stat ing similar value the front-drive, fours th cases, pot, dual-clutch entr y Audi A4 represents a fundamentally different mechanical package to the rear-drive, three-pot, . conventional automat ic BMW

Premium medium $45K-$60K K

ase price offsets 46 percent A $10K-lower purcha le, resulting in similar dollar e-yearr resale three th while a ure deprecat ion for the Peugeot, figu s it in the robust 2.0-l itre turbo-diesel keep economy hunt, with grunt.

Price

Economy (L/100km)

Fuel cost/ year

Glass’s resale (%)

Three-year depreciation

Service int. (months)

Innsurance esstimate*

Three-year o’ship cost

Warranty (years)

Gold Star score/100

BMW 318i Sport Line

$54 900

54

$957 68

56

$24 156 00

12

$981

$29,972.04

3

40.0

Audi A4 1.4 TFSI S-Tronic

$55,500

5.5

$975.41

56

$24,420.00

12

$1082

$30,592.24

3

39.4

Peugeot 508 Allure HDi

$45,990

5.7

$980.39

46

$24,834.60

12

$1254

$31,537.78

3

38.5

Notable classmates: Volvo S60 T4 Kinetic, Mercedes-Benz C200 *In order to purchase insurance you will need to obtain a premium quote and answer underwriting questions. See page 122 for Assumptions and T&Cs @wheelsaustralia 113


e g r a l m u i m e Pr

1st

Mercedes-Benz E200 The battle for premium large honours proved an old-fashioned fight between Germany’s big three, with Mercedes-Benz ultimately presenting a sharper ownership proposition than BMW or Audi could. The entry-level Benz E200 started on the right foot with a lower purchase price and slightly stronger resale than the BMW 520d, to shed about $1000 less of its value in each of the first three years. The total lost

per year? About $15,500... Ouch. But that’s big luxo cars for you. The E200’s 135kW 2.0-litre turbo-petrol sees it strike a happy middle ground of driver appeal and economy, with an official usage claim of 6.5L/100km. Condition-based servicing could let the Merc (like the BMW) go two years between check-ups, but whether it will actually go much beyond the Audi’s scheduled 12 months will depend on the sort of driving you do.

RECOMMENDS

3rddAudi A6 1.8 TFSI

2nd BMW 520d

e he front-drive base A6 is mor Th than $10K cheaper than its y rrear-drive rivals, and its livel little 1.8-l itre turbo-petrol four split s them in terms of economy while out-powering the Mercedes E200.

ryAudi and Benz don’t offer ent W 520d level oiler s so pitting the BMW w against petrols is fair game, we iesel o-di turb itre 2.0-l The on. reck th wi ck wha m 400N a gives you it 4.8L /100km economy to bring gold. within a bee’s appendage of g

Premium large

Price

Economy (L/100km)

Fuel cost/ year

Glass’s resale (%)

Three year depreciation

Service int. (months)

Insurance estimate*

Three-year o’ship cost

Warranty (years)

Gold Star score/100

Mercedes-Benz E200

$91,100

6.5

$1152.76

49

$46,461.00

24

$1343

$53,948.28

3

31.4

BMW 520d Luxury Line

$93,900

4.8

$825.59

47

$49,767.00

24

$1107

$55,564.78

3

30.9

Audi A6 1.8 TFSI

$80,355

5.7

$1010.88

46

$43,391.70

12

$1072

$49,640.35

3

27.8

*In order to purchase insurance you will need to obtain a premium quote and answer underwriting questions. See page 122 for Assumptions and T&Cs

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Negotiating a better price Novated leases

Getting a good deal on your next car can come down to a blend of good timing and smart negotiating. Peak times of the year for great deals include the end of the month when salespeople can be keen to reach monthly sales targets, and the New Year when dealers are keen to shift cars built the previous year. The release of a new model can also offer opportunities to negotiate savings on the outgoing version. The end of financial year has been busier than usual recently, as small business owners rushed to take advantage of the

Where businesses want to offer an extra incentive to employees, salary packaging is a popular solution. Mark Chapman, director of tax communications at H&R Block, explains the typical way to salary package a car is by way of a novated lease. This is a way for an employee to buy a new or used car and have their employer take care of the cost of the lease repayments. The employer makes repayments to the leasing company out of the employee’s pretax salary in a salary-sacrifice arrangement which reduces the employee’s taxable income figure. The end result is that the employee takes delivery of the car, and their employer agrees to make the lease repayments to the

$20,000 instant write down on new capital and equipment, yet dealers generally remain hungry for business at this time of year. Save too by skipping add-ons like premium paint colours (particularly in a lairy hue that may appeal to you but not future buyers), paint protection, and extended dealer warranties. Consumer group Choice says in most cases the standard manufacturer’s warranty is enough. Do your homework on aftermarket accessories such as roof racks and window tinting. It’s possible to organise these yourself for a lower price.

financier as a condition of employment. “Unfortunately, such arrangements also give rise to a car benefit under the fringe benefits tax (FBT) rules and employers typically look to pass some or all of this cost on to employees. As the current FBT rate is 47 percent, there may be little benefit in salary packaging a car unless you pay tax at the highest rate,” says Chapman. “Note however that you can usually make post-tax contributions to your employer in respect of the running costs of the car which reduces the FBT; that can change the value benefit for some employees on lower tax rates. A novated leasing specialist, or your employer’s HR department, will usually be able to crunch the numbers for you.”

@wheelsaustralia 115


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SUV

RECOMMENDS OMMENDS

Suzuki Ignis GL The fact depreciation is by far the biggest component cost of ownership of any car allowed the Suzuki Ignis manual to ride its class-low $15,990 purchase price all the way to the top step of the podium. You see, despite its 45 percent three-year resale being out-done by most key rivals, being between $4500 and $11,000 less costly to buy in the first place means it will only lose about $8800 over the first three years, about $1500 less than the Mazda CX-3. None can beat

the 820kg, 1.2-litre Suzi’s 4.7L/100km official consumption – and only the 200kg-heavier three-pot Citroen C4 Cactus matches it – yet having saved plenty on the dealership and petrol station forecourts, the Ignis set about resting on its laurels, with an unremarkable three-year, 100,000km warranty and none-too-generous six-month/10,000km service interval. As long as the 271-litre boot is big enough, this is officially the value pick of the baby SUV set.

2ndMaazda CX-3 CX 3 Neo 3rdRenault Captur Expression We like the Mazda CX-3 for its stout resalle and 12-month service interv val, but we love its style, quality, han ndling and 2.0/six-speed manual verv ve. It’s the driver’s baby SUV, as long as you can fit your stuff in the 264-litre cargo bay. Fuel cost/ year

Glass’s resale (%)

Gallic cabin flair an nd flexible cargo capacity – 377 to 45 55 litres, with help from a rear be ench on sliders – are the Renault Cap ptur’s aces, along with turbo-triple parsimony and charm, a 12-month h service schedule and a five-year warranty.

Small SUV

Price

Economy (L/100km)

Three-year depreciation

Service int int. (months)

Insurance estimate*

Three year o’ship cost

Warranty (years)

Gold Star score/100

Suzuki Ignis GL

$15,990

4.7

$702.67

45

Mazda CX-3 Neo

$20,490

6.3

$941.88

50

$8794.50

6

$650

$12,852.51

3

78.4

$10,245.00

12

$685

$15,125.63

3

Renault Captur Expression

$23,500

4.9

$869.00

48

$12,220.00

70.2

12

$782

$17,173.01

5

65.8

Notable classmates: Suzuki Vitara RT-S, Citroen C4 Cactus Exclusive

Medium SUV under $45K

2ndMazda CX-5 Maxx

Sharp pricing and 56 percent threeyear resale set the Mazda CX-5 Maxx’s Gold Star Value campaign off to a terrific start. And its 6.9L/100km combined-cycle economy and reasonable annual insurance bill seal a deserved silver.

RECOMMENDS

3rdMitsubishi Outlander LS

1st Kia Sportage Si

The automatic-only, entry-level petro ol 2.0-litre front-drive Sportage and the e manual Mazda CX-5 go virtually head dto-head on price – and power output,, at 114kW apiece – but the latter’s slighttly better three-year Glass’s resale mean ns the Kia needs to work harder elsewhere. A neat interior, tidy dynamics and

good refinement,, with a pleasingly g p gy low annual insurance premium and a 12-month service interval, ensure the driving and value fundamentals are sound. But it’s the Korean brand’s seven-year, unlimited-kay warranty that springboards it to the top of the Medium SUV podium.

Mitsubishi’s medium SUV is the least costly to fuel among the placegetters, and most models considered for the class, while the brand’s five-year warranty matches Renault and Hyundai while elevating it above e Japanese e rivals.

Price

Economy (L/100km)

Fuel cost/ year

Glass’s resale (%)

Three-year depreciation

Service int. (months)

Insurance estimate*

Three-year o’ship cost

Warranty (years)

Kia Sportage Si

$28,990

7.9

$1181.08

52

$13,915.20

12

$647

$19,399.45

7

62.5

Mazda CX-5 Maxx 2.0

$28,690

6.9

$1031.58

56

$12,623.60

12

$895

$18,403.34

3

59.3

Mitsubishi Outlander LS (4x2)

$30,500

6.6

$986.73

48

$15,860.00

12

$821

$21,283.19

5

55.4

Medium SUV under $45K

Notable classmates: Hyundai Tucson Active X, Honda CR-V VTTi, Renault Koleos Life *In order to purchase insurance you will need to obtain a premium quote and answer underwriting questions. See page 122 for Assumptions and T&Cs

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Gold Star score/100


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Medium SUV $45K to $60K

Kia Sportage GT Line CRDi We can see the benefit of spending up on a highly equipped medium SUV. The typical owne er spends plenty of time ferrying the kids in wagons of tthis breed, so they might as well enjoy it, and in kitted-out form these mid-size, highrise wagons are a nice place to be. More importantly, the upper versions get all the safet y fruit, such as autonomous

emergency braking. The Kia’s $45,990 sticker is typical and its 53 percent three-year resale about average. The T standout performances, meanwhile, include the brand’s g generous warranty, the pleasingly low insurance premium m, and the 12-month service interval. The oiler isn’t the mo ost economical, but 6.8L/100km is decent and 400Nm breeds efffortlessness.

o Highlaander 2nd Hyundai Tucson

RECOMMENDS

3rd MazdaaCX-5 GT

d el-drink ing The well-equipped, dies D lets you enjoy Mazda CX-5 GT AWD ue (420Nm) and turbo-diesel torqu the thrift (6.0L /100km) at virtually p ol top-spec same price as the petr ch doesn’t have Akera version, whic quite so much of either.

its The top Tucson has something ll rivals don’t – an efficient, sma ualdu turbo-petrol engine tied to a hy ch pun is lt resu The . ’box h clutc performance and 7.7L /100km he th economy to take on diesels at bowser and the traff ic light s.

Price

Economy (L/100k (L/100km))

Fuel cost/ year

Glass’s resale l (%)

Three-year ddepreciation i ti

Service int. ((months) th )

Insurance estimate* ti t *

Three-year o’ship ’ hi costt

Wa ranty ((years)

Gold Star score/100

Kia Sportage GT Line CRDi AWD

$45,990

6.8

$1169.59

53

$21,615.30

12

$783

$27,473.07

7

48.5

Hyundai Tucson Highlander 1.6T

$45,450

7.7

$1151.18

53

$21,361.50

12

$894

$27,497.05

5

45.6

Mazda CX-5 GT AWD Diesel

$47,390

6.0

$1031.99

59

$19,429.90

12

$1064

$25,717.88

3

45.1

Medium SUV $45K-$60K

Notable classmates: Mitsubishi Outlander Exceed, Range Rover Evoque Td4 150 Pure, Volvo XC60 D4 Kinetic *In order to purchase insurance you will need to obtain a premium quote and answer underwriting questions. See page 122 for Assumptions and T&Cs @wheelsaustralia 117


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SUV 7-seater under $60K

Mitsubishi Outlander LS Pricier larger seven-seat SUVs were edged out by more affordable entry-level variants in this category, with the Nissan X-Trail and Honda CR-V just falling short of earning a place on the podium. This year which at j percent t

convincing retained-value case. Sure, the Hyundai Santa Fe can match its five-year warranty, and the Kia Sorento’s seven-year guarantee trumps it, while new seven-seat player, the fifth-gen Honda CR-V, can 0km combined-cycle economy. together the wide-ranging cashthe Outlander.

3rd Hyundai Santa Fe Active

2nd Kia Sorento Si

the The Kia’s $41K price-tag is at upper end of the seven-seat SUV thrreeplayers, but with a 54 percent costt tion ecia depr the le, resa year K. remains on the right side of $20K

dle cour se, The Santa Fe steers a value mid resale, with typical pricing, upper-end war rant y, rous gene a and , omy econ okay ly low before finishing with an enticing . $755 annual insurance prem ium

RECOMME ND Price

Economy (L/100km)

Mitsubishi Outlander LS (4x2)

$30,500

Kia Sorento Si (4x2)

$40,990

Hyundai Santa Fe Active 2.4 AWD

$39,350

SUV 7 seater under $60K

Fuel cost/ year

Glass’s resale (%)

Three-year depreciation

Service int. (months)

Insurance estimate*

Three-year o’ship cost

Warranty (years)

Gold Star score/100

6.6

$986.73

48

$15,860.00

12

$821

$21,283.19

5

55.4

9.9

$1480.09

54

$18,855.40

12

$735

$25,500.68

7

51.1

9.4

$1405.34

56

$17,314.00

12

$755

$23,795.02

5

50.9

Notable classmates: Honda CR-V VTi-L, Nissan X-Trail ST *In order to purchase insurance you will need to obtain a premium quote and answer underwriting questions. See page 122 for Assumptions and T&Cs

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Large SUV/4WD

1st Hyundai Santa Fe Active CRDi

A mix of ute-derived separate-chassis machines and upsized monocoque SUVs makes up the Large SUV/4WD grid, and it’s the latter style of big family wagon that fills the top two spots. The Hyundai Santa Fe is a flash machine in its upper spec levels, however the value case is at its strongest in the entry-level Active. The good build quality, decent dynamics and highly functional cabin come standard across the range. The 440Nm

RECOMMEND

turbo-diesel uses just 6.6L/100km on the official combined cycle – less than any rival within striking distance, and enough to offset the cost of diesel, which is higher, on average, than unleaded. The base manual Santa Fe also sheds less to depreciation than its competitors, by being a bit cheaper, with a superior three-year resale than most. A generous five-year warranty and Budget Direct insurance of $795 per year seals the win.

ro Sport GLX 2nd Kia Sorento Si CRDi 3rdMitsubishi Pajero T The turbo-diesel base Sorento uses a bit more fuel than its immediate ean rival (which has virtually the sa ame engine), but the standard auto co ontributing to this extra thirst will make for a nicer urban drive.

Mitsubishi’s base-spec, body-ons frame wagon has the value basics sorted, with sound 57 percent threeyear resale, a crude but economical o, turbo-diesel with eight-speed auto and a five-year warranty.

La e SUV/4WD

Price

Economy (L/100km)

Fuel cost/ year

Glass’s resale (%)

Three-year depreciation

Service int. (months)

Insurance estimate*

Three-year o’ship cost

Warran (years)

score/100

Hyundai Santa Fe Active CRDi AWD manual

42,350

6.6

$1135.19

56

$18,634.00

12

$795

$24,424.57

5

49.9

Kia Sorento Si CRDi AWD

$44,490

7.8

$1341.59

54

$20,465.40

12

$756

$26,758.17

7

49.4

Mitsubishi Pajero Sport GLX 5-seat

$45,000

8.0

$1375.99

57

$19,350.00

12

$795

$25,862.97

5

47.8

Notable classmates: Mazda CX-9 Sport AWD, Isuzu MU-X LS-M

K 0 6 $ r e d n u s r e v o m le Peop

RECOMMENDS

2nd Kia Carnival S CRDi Kia’s other podium player settles on silver thanks to keen pricing ($43,990), stout resale (59 percent), and a strong turbo-diesel that delivers 7.7L/100km economy and a meaningful 440Nm.

3rdHonda Odyssey VTi

1st

Kia Rondo Si

A proper three-row MPV for mid-spec hatchback money – that’s the Kia Rondo in a nutshell. The underpinnings are familiar from a hatch too, with an atmo 2.0-litre allied to a six-speed auto driving the front wheels. At 1520kg, the 122kW/213Nm Rondo is a modest performer that manages decent 7.8L/100km official economy. The Kia family wagon’s three-year resale

People movers under $60K

forecast is nothing special, at 46 percent, but that matters little in the context of its $31,490 sticker, which is $6K less than the Odyssey and undercuts its Carnival sibling by more than $10K. Elsewhere, the e Rondo’s value vitals look healthy, includin ng a 12-month service interval, low $740 insurance bill and, of course, the brand’s superb seven-year warranty.

A sharp price and sound resale saw the dowdy Odyssey VTi charge ahead initially by shedding less value than its nearest rivals, but then it stumbled with a relativel short three- ear warrant and h service i inter i rval. d a sixi -month

Price

Economy (L/100km)

Fuel cost/ year

Glass’s resale (%)

Three-year depreciation

Service int. (months)

Insurance estimate*

Three-year o’ship cost

Warran (years)

Gold Star score 55.

Kia Rondo Si

$31,490

7.9

$1181.08

46

$17,004.60

12

$740

7.85

7

Kia Carnival S CRDi

$43,990

7.7

$1324.39

59

$18,035.90

12

$826

$24,487.07

7

52.

Honda Odyssey VTi

$37,610

7.6

$ 1136.23

58

$15,796.20

6

$1004

$22,216.90

5

49.1

Notable classmates: Citroen Grand C4 Picasso Intensive, Toyota Prius V i-Tech *In order to purchase insurance you will need to obtain a premium quote and answer underwriting questions. See page 122 for Assumptions and T&Cs @wheelsaustralia 119


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Before you buy...

Tax: the right sort of write-off If you use your car for work or business, you can claim for the costs that you incur. It could also be possible to claim the cost of the car itself. If you run your own business, you may be able to immediately write off the cost of a car costing less than $20,000. More expensive vehicles (and all vehicles used by employees) are depreciated over several years. There are two ways to work out your claim – cents per kilometre and logbook: ◆ Cents per kilometre. Claim a flat rate of 66c per kilometre for every business kilometre you cover. You’ll need to keep a diary of all work-related journeys so you

can work out how many kilometres you’ve travelled for work. This method can only be used for claims up to 5000km per vehicle. Logbook. Claim the actual expenses you’ve incurred in running your vehicle for work or business, such as fuel, servicing, insurance and depreciation. To work out your claim, you’ll need to keep a logbook for a representative 12-week period, in which you record all your work journeys in order to calculate your work-related use percentage. You’ll also need to keep receipts and invoices for everything you spend on your car.

Car insurance – five things you should know

1 2 3

Find out what’s included as part of the cover at no extra cost. Examples are free car rental for up to 14 days if your car is stolen, cover for personal property in the car, and accom/travel expenses if you’re over 100km from home. Understand the exclusions. For example, if the car is driven by an unlicenced driver or someone under the influence of drugs or alcohol, you might not be covered. If you are insuring a brand new car, ask whether you get new-for-old replacement in the event of total loss. This will mean that if your car is written off in the first 12 (or 24) months of its original registration, the insurer will replace it with a new one including all the on-road costs.

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4 5

If you’re paying monthly, ensure you keep your payments up to date. If you don’t it could jeopardise any claim that might arise.

Understand the difference between agreed- and market-value. With an agreed-value policy your car is insured for a set amount. So if the agreed value is $32,000 and your car is a total loss/write-off (ie. stolen and never found or damaged beyond repair) the insurer will pay you $32,000. With a market-value policy the value of the car is determined based on what it would cost to buy a car of the same make and model in similar condition at that point in time.


Dual-cab 4x4 utes

1st

Mitsubishi Triton GLX If a dual-cab ute represents your ideal work/family rig, you’re not alone – this increasingly popular segment regularly contributes some of the country’s best sellers outright. Some of these models win sales through refinement approaching a car, loads of equipment and a butch image, while others, such as the Mitsubishi Triton, generate their appeal by delivering a hefty value payload. The diamondstar ute starts with a sub-$40K price tag which, with sound 52 percent three-year resale, means less lost to depreciation than any key rival. What the turbo-diesel four-cylinder lacks

R 2nd Nissan Navara RX

in capacity (and refinement), it makes up with better than average 7.6L/100km official combined-cycle economy. A five-year warranty is a standout in this class (matched only by the Isuzu D-Max) and the 12-month service interval is surely often enough for a rugged workhorse. The average dual-cab ute costs more to insure than most family car alternatives, but happily the Mitsu is among the least-costly of the breed, at $859 per annum. Provided you’re talking value and not road manners, the Triton GLX is head and shoulders above the rest.

RE COMMENDS

tly The Nissan Navara RX has a sligh ed smaller, thriftier and more refin he er th engine than the Triton to deliv -cab dual key the all of cost lowest fuel 0km 00 players, and has a 12-month /20,0 rs who serv ice interval to please buye of kays. do an above-average number

Dual-cab 4x4 ute

3rd Volkswagen Amarok TDI420 Core Edition

t It’s pleasing to see that the mos in the ute -cab dual shed poli y ingl appeal too. The land stacks up on pure value auto itre turbo-diesel, eight-speed 2.0-l 2 t rok delivers a series of consisten A Ama performances rather than third. any one standout to seal a solid

Price

my Econom (L/100k km)

Fuel cost/ year

Glass’s resale (%)

Three-year depreciation

Service int. (months)

Insurancce estimatee*

Three-year o’ship cost

Warranty (years)

Gold Star score/100

Mitsubishi Triton GLX

$39,500

7.6

$1307.19

52

$18,960.00

12

$859

$25,458.57

5

48.3

Nissan Navara RX

$42,490

7.0

$1203 99 $1203.99

52

$20 395 20 $20,395.20

12

$870

$26,617.17

3

43.9

Volkswagen Amarok TDI420 Core Edition

$44,990

8.3

$1427.59

52

$21,595.20

12

$892

$28,553.97

3

41.5

Notable classmates: Holden Colorado LS, Toyota Hilux Workmate, Ford Ranger XLS *In order to purchase insurance you will need to obtain a premium quote and answer underwriting questions. See page 122 for Assumptions and T&Cs @wheelsaustralia 121


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Performanc under $75K

RECOMMENDS

1st

Mazda MX-5 The broad ‘performance’ categories typically see a variety of machines battling in the value arena and Gold Star Value 2017 was no different, with Mazda’s MX-5 holding back a gaggle of turbo hot hatches and a Japanese coupe with a penchant for drifting (Toyota 86). The one thing they had in common was a circa-$30K price tag. However it was MX-5’s 65 percent three-year resale that effectively gave it the

win from the outset, helping it hold onto between $2K and $4K more than key rivals over the first few years. The 1.5’s 6.1L/100km combined cycle was about average and the MX-5’s taste for premium fuel typical. The Mazda, like most, calls for a 12-monthly service, and the $826 insurance premium is between $67 and $159 more than key rivals – no deal breaker. Hiroshima’s evergreen sports roadster is a star.

3rd Abarth 595

w gen Polo GTI 2nd Volkswa

The Abarth version of Fiat’s retro-inspired baby is a rort y liittle bulldog of a hot hatch that ’s also good at g bucks, on the back saving off good economy and low-cost insurance.

olished and The Polo GTI is a po hatch and capable junior hot h the all-rounder among the top and more b trio. Less cost ly to buy t -sea two t the than tical prac Mazda, the Volkswagen is also $759. cheap to insure at $

Price

Economy (L/100km)

Fuel cost/ year

Glass’s resale (%)

Three-year depreciation

Service int. (months)

Insurance estimate*

Three-year o’ship cost

Warranty (years)

Gold Star score/100

Mazda MX-5

$31,990

6.1

$1081.82

65

$11,196.50

12

$826

$16,919.97

3

63.7

Volkswagen Polo GTI

$27,690

6.1

$1081.82

52

$13,291.20

12

$759

$18,813.67

3

58.2

Abarth 595

$27,500

6.0

$1064.09

48

$14,300.00

12

$667

$19,493.26

3

56.5

Performance under $75K

Notable classmates: Renaultsport Clio 200 Sport, Peugeot 208 GTi, Toyota 86 GT *Annual Comprehensive Insurance estimate provided by Budget Direct Insurance for a 35-year old male living in Chatswood, NSW, Rating 1 for life, clear driving history, no finance, private use vehicle garaged at night. In order to purchase insurance you will need to obtain a premium quote and answer underwriting questions. Estimate includes 15% online discount. Insurance is arranged by Auto & General Services Pty Ltd AFSL 241 411, 13/9 Sherwood Rd, Toowong QLD 4066 trading as Budget Direct on behalf of Auto & General Insurance Company AFSL 285571. Because we don’t know your financial needs, we can’t advise if this insurance will suit you. You should consider your needs and read the Financial Services Guide and the relevant Product Disclosure Statement available at www.budgetdirect.com.au/car-insurance before making a decision to buy insurance. Insurance not available in NT.

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In association with

Performanc $75K to $150K

RECOMMENDS

2nd Mercedes-AMG A45

The A45’s 53 percent resale isn’t bad in the grand scheme but it can’t match either Audi. The Benz fights back with a $75K sticker, some $10K less than the RS3 and $60K less than the TT.

3rdAudi TT RS Pricey TT, but a b considering th R pe p hree year resale forec ke eep the A45 in its crosshairs.

1st Audi RS3

German compacts and a coupe worked up to a seriously high-performance state made up the entire $75K-plus podium for 2017. In this pricey realm, bulk grunt happened to pip dynamic purity, with the Lotus Elise and Alfa Romeo 4C sitting just outside the top three. The Audi RS3, a bit like the TT RS in third, puts big outputs in an all-paw

Performance $75K-$150K

Price

package to place point-to-point pace ahea ad of ultimate driver involvement. But there e’s no arguing with its impressive mix of low wfours to 100km/h and fuel economy insid de the 10s (in all three medallists). Yet the RS3 R delivers it for less dough than the TT, and d with significantly stronger resale than its s arch-rival, the A45.

Economy (L/100km)

Fuel cost/ year

Glass’s resale (%)

Three-year depreciation

Service int. (months)

Insurance estimate*

Th o’ship cost

Warranty (years)

Gold Star score/100

Audi RS3 quattro

$84,900

8.3

$1471.99

67

$28,017.00

12

$1188

$32,432.96

3

37.7

Mercedes-AMG A45 4Matic

$78,315

6.9

$1223.70

53

$36,808.05

12

$1179

$40,479.15

3

32.0

Audi TT RS quattro

$137,900

8.4

$1489.72

73

$37,233.00

12

n/a

$41,702.17

3

31.4

Notable classmates: Lotus Elise Sport 220, Alfa Romeo 4C

0 Pop Cabrio Meet the car th Me hat beat its nearest rival by a greater margin than any other in Go old Star Value 2017. The Fiat 500 Pop Cabriolet amassed 50 percent more points than its nearest rival, most of these on the e back of a $22,000 purchase price that makes it the least-costly y drop-top in the land, and some $17,000 more affordable than n the Mini Convertible. The Fiat’s three-year resale is dec decent ent, at at 54 54 percent, and sees it lose around $10K in the initial years – a around half what key rivals shed. A little atmo 1.2 e 945kg kerb weight to deliver 5.0L/100km official works with the fuel-cost front, and the economy, to un ndercut all comers on the t Fiat boasts the cheapest annual insurance, too.

2ndMini Cooper conv

3rdBMW 220i convertible

Lopping the roof lets the Mini’s 1.5-litre triple’s characterful warble into the cabin n. The engine also helps the Cooper achieve e 5.5L/100km economy to score good pointss against the fuel-cost criterion.

Convertible under $60K

Price

RECOMMENDS Economy (L/100km)

Fuel cost/ year

Glass’s resale (%)

Three-year depreciation

A very solid 61 percent three-year resale helps th he BMW 220i offset a purchase price sign nificantly higher than the cars that beat it, and the 220i delivers 2.0-litre turb turbo appeal to justify the outlay.

Service int. (months)

Insurance estimate*

Three-year o’ship cost

Warranty (years)

Gold Star score/100

Fiat 500 Pop Cabrio

$22,000

5.0

$886.74

54

$10,120.00

12

$739

$14,997.22

3

70.7

Mini Cooper convertible

$38,900

5.5

$975.41

51

$19,061.00

12

$832

$24,483.24

3

46.9

BMW 220i Sport Line convertible

$58,300

6.4

$1135.03

61

$22,737.00

12

$1013

$29,181.08

3

40.8

Notable classmate: Audi A3 1.4 TFSI cabriolet *In order to purchase insurance you will need to obtain a premium quote and answer underwriting questions. See page 122 for Assumptions and T&Cs @wheelsaustralia 123


Showroom

T HE C O MP L E T E L I S T I N G OF N E W P ASSE N G E R CAR S IN AUSTR AL IA

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ABBREV. INDEX Data columns explained here

Your shiny y Showroom navigation guide

TICK & CROSS

The things we

Fuel RON included in data love, and bits we don’t columns; ‘issue tested’ dates include First Drives; long-termers park in Our Garage; Incoming NEW and Marketplace live ARRIVALS up front in Redline New models for the month highlighted

ALFA TO VOLVO Pages tagged by marque for easy flip/find


OurGarage Getting the show rolling

My start-up process in the Mustang is as follows: clutch in (bless her cotton socks, she’s a ‘stick’), depress the start button, electrically unfold the mirrors, flick the Drive Mode toggle to Sport (for superior throttle response), then flick the

Horse’s hoof Ponch finally joins the Pony club, to the benefit of his manliness

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steering toggle to Normal. Sounds laborious, and it is compared to simply jumping in and blasting off, but it’s a ritual that has become part of my Mustang experience, and will be until this baby goes back in six months time.

AN ‘EVERYMAN’S’ car (or ‘every-person’ in 2017) is something that harbours appeal in all sectors of society, oblivious to race, gender, social status or upbringing. The original Mini was one. The Type 1 Volkswagen was another. And you can add the sixthgeneration Ford Mustang to that list. Even in brash Triple Yellow, beefed up with black multi-spoke 19s, this Mustang GT makes people happy. Kids take photos of it, adults want to talk about it, and other motorists regularly give me the thumbs up when I’m driving it.

Hell, it even makes me happy. There’s something about sitting behind the Mustang GT’s vast, bulging bonnet and hearing the rumble of its enthusiastic V8 that acts like a tonic for a rubbish day. It’s a good-time companion; a bit rough around the edges, sure, but always up for some fun. And literally impossible to hate. While this 4784mm-long coupe is the polar opposite of my old Holden Spark longtermer for manoeuvrability – 12.2-metre turning circle anyone? – the Mustang’s size somehow isn’t really an issue. A wheeltwirling ‘Comfort’ setting for the electric steering certainly helps when trying to wedge it against the gutter (without kerbing rims) in Newtown’s narrow back streets, but its rear


F RD MUS USTA TANG TA NG GT Date acquired: July 2017 Price as tested: $57,990 This month: 1077km @ 16.5L/100km Overall: 1077km @ 16.5L/100km

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Driven to drink

Parsimony is not the Mustang’s forte. A fuel consumption average of 16.5L/100km for its first 1000 kays disguises the fact that its first urban tank yielded a manly 24.8L/100km. Some highway cruising while on holidays brought the next

wheels are easy to place relative to those chunky muscle-car hips and decent-sized exterior mirrors help, though they don’t autofold when the car is locked (via touch points on the handles). Unless there’s a setting I’m yet to discover, the mirror-fold switch on the driver’s door needs to be manually pressed every time the Mustang is parked. You do need to get used to the Mustang’s girth though. Unlike my other Ford – a gargantuan 1963 Galaxie with more glass than Centrepoint’s viewing platform – its proximities are hidden far from the driver’s eye line, and because you sit deep in the Mustang’s confines, at the mercy of its protruding front end, there’s definitely an initial feeling of intimidation that must be overcome. But once you learn to trust the

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tank down to 13.2L/100km, though I’ve rarely seen the Mustang’s trip computer drop into the 10s. A smallish 61-litre fuel tank also reduces range, though a very tall sixth gear (not really useable until at least 70km/h) attempts to compensate.

Mustang’s agility, and the purchase of its ‘integral link’ independent rear end (providing the 255/40R19 rear tyres are warm), it really does shrink around its driver. It’s a pity the Mustang’s steering wasn’t developed by Ford’s European arm. It has three settings – Comfort, Normal, and Sport – and so far I’ve used all three. The first suits parking, the second is the most ideal for urban driving, and the third gels best when spanking the Mustang through corners, yet all three deliver a muffled feel that’s weirdly lacking in crispness and proper connection. I have a few other disappointments too. The ‘Shaker’ stereo sounds a little confused, lacking in clear staging and genuinely meaty bass, and the Mustang’s six-speed Getrag ’box is a gritty, reluctant thing when cold

(though quick and positive when primed). There’s also a fat chance of carrying adultsized people in the rear ‘seats’ for more than a few minutes. Despite Ford’s claims, the Mustang isn’t a four seater – it’s a twoplus-two at best – though thankfully the rear backrests fold, usefully extending the Stang’s rather generous boot. So for two people willing to embrace the Mustang GT’s likeable personality, there’s so much to like here. And in the coming months, perhaps more so when the sports exhaust, short-shift gearchange, and a few other Ford Performance extras now available through Ford dealers get fitted. But we’re off to a good start. And I don’t even mind the yellow anymore. N ATHAN PONCHARD

AMERICAN BEAUTY V8 is a gutsy, lusty thing while cabin is simple and userfriendly, spoiled by cheap finishes

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OurGarage Untimely advice U

Th he head-up display is great in that it shows speed zones; the on nly problem is its software is sometimes wrong. Anything that is a 40km/h zone during school hours is always a 40 0km/h school zone; the Volvo is convinced there are kids

wandering the road at 10pm on a Sunday night. Meanwhile, on the Bradfield Expressway after crossing the Harbour Bridge, the car advises the 80km/h zone is actually 30km/h; guidance that would see you rear-ended if you took it.

Swede child o’ mine In a world where the SUV rules, is a high-riding, body-clad wagon relevant anymore? The Volvo V90 Cross Country is here to make a stand BACK in around 2002, I used to cycle past a Volvo dealership not far from where I lived on Sydney’s lower north shore. I swear if the wind was blowing right, you could hear the morose howls from the dealer principal as he surveyed his ghost-town forecourt, and you could just about watch the cobwebs growing around the mirrors of the undesired C70s and S80s. Amazing how a change of ownership can reinvigorate a brand. Chinese giant Geely bought Volvo from Ford in late 2009, and immediately set about giving the Swedes access to Chinese finance, paid for a new Chinese manufacturing base and generally gave them the resources they needed to revitalise the line-up and produce relevant, competitive cars. Global sales last year were 534,127, almost exactly 200,000 units more than Volvo shifted in 2009. And while the all-new XC60, due here soon, is primed to be the brand’s volume model, the wagon lover in me was keen to try the V90, the car Ben Oliver drove to Sweden’s most remote restaurant in our July issue. “No can do,” said Volvo Australia. It turns out a decision as to whether the regular V90 will join the local range is yet to be made. Instead, I was offered this; the high-riding Cross Country version of the V90, jacked up by 60mm, armed with underbody and sill protection, and sold here only with the 2.0-litre twin-turbocharged four-cylinder diesel making 173kW and 480Nm, rather than the 2.0-litre petrol that’s turbo- and supercharged (for 235kW/400Nm) that can be fitted to the S90/V90, as well as the XC90 and forthcoming XC60. So, I’m now the proud custodian of a large all-wheel-drive wagon, built to handle lightduty off-road driving, and priced at $99,900. It’s worth noting that figure is about 10 percent sharper than its rivals like Audi’s A6 Allroad ($112,855) and the new Mercedes-Benz E-Class All-Terrain at $109,900. The options list for my car has been given a nudge, but not to an abnormal degree for this

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class. Mine is fitted with the $3000 Technology Pack, which adds head-up display, 360-degree camera, digital radio tuner, and Apple CarPlay/ Android Auto smartphone integration. Then there’s the Lifestyle Pack at $2000, which includes perforated charcoal-coloured Nappa leather, heated front seats, a vast sunroof, and tinted rear glass. Added to this is front-seat ventilation for $1200, power cushion extensions for the front seats at $650, and 20-inch Tech Grey machine-finished wheels with Pirelli P Zero rubber for $2850. Finally, there’s the black metallic paint at $1900. That brings the total to $111,500 plus onroads, but does leave a significant option bundle called the Premium Pack unchecked. There is no drive-mode selector, for example. You get in, you drive; one mode fits all. But I suspect I’ll miss drive modes less than a couple of other bits of equipment. The standard sound system is reasonable but not a patch on the 1400-watt Bowers & Wilkins system also included in the Premium Pack. Perhaps the most noteworthy exclusion, though, is the rear air suspension which is also part of this elusive bundle. Without it, the V90 runs a transverse, composite leaf-spring rear suspension system. First impressions, with the car on those plus-one 20-inch wheels, is the ride does not deliver the suppleness, refinement or comfort one could reasonably expect in this class. The wheels and Pirellis do look great, but they sit as a slight spec anomaly on a Cross Country model, seeming about as well-suited to mud ’n’ guts adventures as Graham Norton in a pair of Tom Ford brogues. There’s no questioning the strength of the engine for a four-pot, however, while the cool, minimalist Scando interior design has won me over, and has me reaching for my black turtleneck sweater and wire-rim glasses. And did I mention the size? I can hear my own voice echo, it’s so cavernous inside. Actually, maybe I should just stop singing along to Roxette. ASH WE STE R MAN


VOLV VO LVO LV O V9 V90 0 CR CROS OSS OS S CO COUN UNTR UN TRY TR Y Date acquired: July 2017 Price as tested: $111,500 This month: 274km @ 8.7L/100km Overall: 274km @ 8.7L/100km

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Unscheduled stoppage

I’m wondering if Volvo sources its AEB sensor equipment from the same supplier as Mercedes-Benz, because my car exhibits the same false-alarm and braking intervention as that which has affected Ryan’s E-Class. Sometimes you know why the

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WEEK 6 MOTORWAY

system has triggered; it may be a pedestrian island up the road that the car thinks you’re on course to hit. But there have been other times where I’m at a loss to explain what the car has sensed to spook it. How do I convince the Volvo to relax?

SCANDO LUST Twin-turbo diesel (left) has real twist; the wheel (right) can do its own twist, thanks to Pilot Assist

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OurGarage Tell in-built nav where to go

Among the Picanto’s list of standard features you’ll notice a glaring omission: sat-nav. In fact, you can’t even order it on the Picanto as an option. For the majority of the population this won’t be a problem as the little Kia comes with Apple

CarPlay/Android Auto smartphone connectivity as standard, meaning its screen integrates with your phone’s in-built guidance. Once you go Google Maps, which is smarter and faster than most others, you won’t go back.

He has the Kia to the city Picanto arrives with the promise of urban domination THE KEYS to Kia’s cheapest and smallest offering, the Picanto, have only been in my frost-bitten Queenslander mittens for a couple of weeks, and I’m already warming to this plucky little car. The name Picanto seems to be derived from the Spanish word picante, which translates roughly to mean ‘spicy’ or ‘zesty’ in English. And so far, my little orange spice pot has put plenty of zest into my daily commute. When fitted with a five-speed manual gearbox, the Picanto is a very keen $14,190. My car has just one option fitted: Pop Orange metallic paint costing $520. It should be noted the only paint colour not charged for is the Kelvinator-inspired Clear White. That manual gearbox has me high-fiving myself, especially after my panning of the transmission in my last long-termer, the autoonly Suzuki Baleno GLX. I think I’m in safe company to say this: a manual ’box should be the first choice for any discerning enthusiast. However, the stark reality is manual sales are on a crash course for rock bottom, and modern autos are now so good that even ardent car lovers defend and support their choice. The perception is an auto is easier live with day-to-day, but let me, and the Picanto, offer a counterpoint. Not only is the manual gearbox in this little hatch $1500 cheaper than the auto – around 10 percent of the purchase price, so it’s significant – but it’s a genuinely likeable set-up thanks to a light, progressive clutch action, and an easy, positive shift feel. You can simply breathe on the lever and the Kia will pluck another gear. I have several more months with the Picanto to see how the transmission improves or hinders my day-today commute, but so far so good. It’s only been on our fleet for a few weeks but the Picanto has already attracted plenty of attention from the rest of the Wheels team, many of whom are accustomed to driving much quicker and significantly pricier metal. A combination of annual leave and the need

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for a larger vehicle for my social plans has meant requests for a steer have been obliged for the most part. But not anymore, for their desire to get a taste of the Picanto is only outstripped by my infatuation with it. My recent move has provided a longer, and much more interesting commute to work that has allowed me to lap up the extra layer of involvement the Picanto’s manual ’box provides. Inside the cabin, my expectations were for more austere drunk tank than well-trimmed grand tourer, but the Picanto surprises. It’s not a world of luxury but for the class and price point, it’s a rather pleasant place to spend time. The 7.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system is a sleek unit, and despite the prevalence of plastic, it’s not the shiny, scratchy stuff that can plague this segment. On-road impressions have been relatively brief so far, but overwhelmingly positive. Kia’s efforts to tune the suspension for Aussie roads have paid off, with the Picanto feeling both nimble and chuckable, with a ride that the Aussie team can be proud of – there are no light-car jitters here. CHEERS! But the real joy so far has been Good-looking cabin the engine. The 1.2-litre naturally is practical too, with aspirated four cylinder might deep central cupholders sound uninspiring on paper – and roomy door bins it makes just 62kW and 122Nm that swallow large – but it’s rev-happy and plenty water bottles gutsy enough to whip the sub-tonne hatch up to speed. Sure, it’s not going to break any records, but it never feels sluggish or underpowered. I’m eager to delve deeper into the ownership experience of the Picanto in the coming months to see if the buzz from our first few weeks can be sustained. C AME R ON K IR B Y


KIA KI A PICANT NTO O Date acquired: July 2017 Price as tested: $14,710 This month: 511km @ 6.4L/100km Overall: 511km @ 6.4L/100km

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Parking joys

The new Chateau de Kirby is — like any good millennial dwelling — an inner-city apartment building. This means regularly navigating an underground carpark. Throw in a rather obtrusive cement pillar and a neighbouring SUV, and my daily parking routine has become quite

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a test of the Picanto’s manoeuvrability. Happily, the light steering, great vision, minimal overhangs, crisp rear camera, and diminutive stature make it a breeze. Fits like a glove, every time. Attempting the same move in a Kia Carnival? Not so much…

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ara Taking a swipe

In last month’s update I vented my frustration after a wayward street sweeper took a swipe at the E43’s front-right corner. Since then the innocent AMG has suffered further, this time from the carelessness of a ham-fisted driver who grazed its rear bumper

during a bungled reverse parallel park. The car was tucked away as safely as possible in a leafy South Melbourne suburb one quiet Saturday morning, and while the damage is only cosmetic, the guilty party left without a trace. This is why we can’t have nice things.

Under the radar Subtly brilliant E43 proves it’s much more than the E63’s less shouty brother

MY FATHER-in-law has never understood this job. He’s certainly never been impressed by it. Our relationship has been tense since I married his only daughter and transplanted her from Sydney to the greener pastures of Melbourne before the family could protest. He visits relatively often, probably to keep an eye on me, and the string of new metal parked in the garage has never elicited more than an acerbic remark about how modern vehicles ride too firmly. Any car conversation invariably comes back to the 1968 Jaguar 420 he once owned and adored, and was forced to sell when the realities of a life with four kids became too much. My wife and I became parents ourselves this month, and her dad came to see us again. Maybe it was the tiny mush of newborn in

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my arms that softened him, but for the first time he was genuinely curious about the Mercedes-AMG E43 in the driveway; the car I have been treating like my first-born for almost six months now, while waiting for the real thing to arrive. From the beginning of my custody I’ve been self-conscious about the E43’s appeal to a more mature target audience and my position relative to it. The E-Class is stately, distinguished and specifically tailored to the landed gentry; not a 30-year-old bloke who still likes Japanese imports. But I have welcomed every day the E43 has been in my possession. I get this car. And in a few days’ time when I hand back the keys and wave auf wiedersehen to the ’bahn-storming sedan, I will be sorry to see it go.

A trip to Baby Bunting with my wife’s old man and his bevy of questions gave rise to a basic E43 explanation including the many pros and few cons I’ve spoken about here previously. He knew more than I expected about its angrier brother, the E63, but there is a wrong way to look at the E43 and that’s as a watered-down version of this deranged beast. Incredible as it is, the E63 is borderline unsuitable for daily use. AMG’s carefully enhanced E43, meanwhile, is perfect for it. Then again, so is a regular E400 4matic, which ultimately raises a value question. Is AMG’s E43 halfway-house worth the extra $20,000 spend over an E400? Pragmatically, for the average E-Class buyer, probably not. The excellent E400 will satisfy their every whim. But for any E-Class


MERC ME RCED RC EDES ED ES-A AMG E43 Date acquired: April 2017 Price as tested: $159,900 This month: 528km @ 14.0L/100km Overall: 3973km @ 13.0L/100km

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Nosy parker

Of all the high-tech gizmos I’ll miss most when the E43 departs, its surround-view camera set-up is going to be the hardest to live without. The E-Class defies its large dimensions when manoeuvring into tight spaces with mirrors that dip to show proximity to gutters

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WEEK 20 MOTORWAY

and high-resolution cameras that capture every other angle for display on a gorgeous widescreen monitor. It makes parking a doddle and is the one part of the E43’s advanced skill set that I have found most practically useful.

INNER GLOW It’s strange how gimmicks become nice-to-haves over time, like ambient lighting with selectable colours

FAREWELL

faithful who enjoy driving, I absolutely think the E43’s existence is justified. Its steering is sharper, its engine livelier, and the credibility of its AMG education and the heritage of its badge do more for inner smugness than you might think. It’s important to feel good about driving a car that costs this much. The E43’s firmer suspension may turn some away, yet its tight control didn’t rate a mention from my overly sensitive dad-in-law. Given the chance (and a $160,000 stimulus package) younger blokes impressed by noisy things will probably choose the similarly priced C63 S from AMG’s line-up, but the less sophisticated (though faster) C-Class isn’t necessarily the better choice. Dealership intelligence says there are customers who have indeed cross-shopped

the two and found in favour of the larger, more advanced E-Class. And in my opinion, that decision checks out. The E43 is supremely liveable, and that’s its magic. It adapts its character like few others can. Comfort mode says what it does and does what it says. Sport and Sport+ awaken accessible performance I’ve never felt tentative about delving into. It sounds good without shouting. It’s smart and grown-up. And it is decidedly not a big C-Class, even if your neighbours can’t tell the difference. I think I understand what it’ll be like to grow older and still enjoy cars, and if I’m fortunate enough to drive one of these when my son is ruffling the feathers of his own father-in-law, I’ll be a happy bloke indeed. R YAN L E WIS

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SUBARU U IMPREZA 2 2.0i-S 0i S

OurGarage

Date acqu uired: July 2017 Price as ttested: $28,990 This mon nth: 2167km @ 8.0L/100km Overall: 2 2663km @ 8.2L/100km

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Five into four won’t go

The top-spec Impreza sedan comes with four USB ports as standard; two located awkwardly deep in the centre console and another pair in the storage space under the front seat armrest. The front two link up to the multimedia head unit, while the rear ones just provide juice

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WEEK 8 MOTORWAY

for hungry electronic devices. So what do you do when there are only two charging points and three kids in the rear quarters? It’s somewhat traditional that the youngest, sitting in the worst seat in the house – the middle – misses out.

TRUE BLUE

The fast (reactions) lane

Baz is loving his long-termer’s colour, called Dark Blue Pearl. It’s definitely the pick of Subaru’s palette

Subaru’s EyeSight proves itself in the real world THE STENCH of burning rubber is unmistakable. Acrid and sulphurous, and filling the Impreza’s cabin, pulled in by the air conditioning system. Moments before, I’m travelling along the freeway at 80km/h. Traffic is heavy but moving well as everyone tries to get home at the end of another busy week. Suddenly, without warning, the dash lights up red and the car beeps urgently as it automatically jumps on the brakes, quickly bleeding speed as the car in front slows hard. The brake pedal, when my foot reaches it but a heartbeat later, feels wooden under my foot, but still the Subaru keeps pulling up, coming to a complete stop with a good half a car’s length of extra stopping room remaining. Welcome to my first-ever real-world

134 wheelsmag.com.au

demonstration of Subaru’s EyeSight. It’s the Japanese car maker’s autonomous emergency braking system and has just done for me exactly what it’s designed to do. The reason the Impreza reacted soon becomes clear; four damaged vehicles are stalled in the fast lane, the drivers out and exchanging details as they survey the aftermath of the peak-hour nose-to-tail conga line. The Impreza was able to register the flash of brake lights in front of me and grab the brakes more quickly than I could. But what I liked about the autonomous braking was that it pulled up smoothly, the Impreza bleeding off speed calmly and giving the car behind enough time to do the same. I don’t know if I could have done it with the same calmness and control as the EyeSight system.

It’s an electronic safety net I really appreciate. To set the cruise control and let the Impreza handle the tension of keeping a safe distance to the car in front makes a big difference to my long daily commute. In contrast, though, I’ve kept the lanekeep assistance system off. I find it way too sensitive, beeping even if I stray slightly off centre. Combine it with the beep from the cruise control every time a car jumps in or out of its range, and it can become irritating. More helpful, though, is the system that watches out for passing traffic as you reverse out of a parking space. A trip to Bunnings, where there’s a sea of SUVs and trade utes, highlighted this. But why is it a feature only on the most expensive Impreza? BARRY PARK


MINI MI NI COU OUNT NTRY NT RYMA RY MAN MA N COOPER SD ALL4 Date acquired: July 2017 Price as tested: $56,900 This month: 1335km @ 7.3L/100 0km Overall: 2630km @ 6.5L/100km

0 0 7 6 8 0 URBAN

Kerb your enthusiasm

I knew that discussing the dangers of kerbed alloys last month would act as some sort of gypsy curse on the Countryman and, sure enough, after being lent to a colleague, the car was returned with both front and rear

COUNTRY

SPORTS

FAMILY

WEEK 8 MOTORWAY

offside alloys having kissed a bluestone kerb somewhere. Said miscreant has been duly tarred and feathered, and I’m now trying to figure out how I can avoid being terminally blackballed by BMW.

A less filthy weekend Enright turns his back on a life of grime I’VE COME to the conclusion that you’re either a clean car person or you aren’t. I know of colleagues who take an almost disturbing pleasure in getting all hot and sudsy with their vehicle, and others who prefer to wear constellations of bug splats and baked-on brake dust as badges of honour. I thought I was in the latter camp. I used to love seeing Le Mans cars arrive at Goodwood, still scarred with rubber streaks, oil stains, and with bits of pheasant stuck in their grilles. Now I think I’m turning to the other side and becoming a regular at the jet-wash. I enjoy getting the Countryman dirty, but

among the acres of gleaming metal in the Wheels car park, I’m getting filth-shamed. Despite being grey, the Countryman is a hard car to hide in. It’s noticeably bigger than most Golf-sized hatches and on a cold morning, the diesel engine doesn’t do its stealth credentials any favours. Once warmed up, it’s a bit smoother but it’s never going to be one of those cars that has people surprised that it drinks from the black pump. Talking of pumps, this month I’ve been using the sport mode more often and I’ve seen a bit of a dip in fuel economy, from 6.3L/100km last month to 7.3 this month. The sport mode keeps the transmission one gear lower, making it feel a good deal more responsive. I also discovered late in the month that the tyre pressures were uniformly 3psi below placard. With a bit more air and a lighter right boot, I’m aiming to bring the fuel economy back into the sixes. The adaptive cruise control has been a boon on the freeway, but it is prone to the odd moment of indecision

LIGHT MY WAY

and, like Ryan’s AMG E43 long termer, is occasionally prone to dropping the anchors with a perfectly clear road ahead. As with most semi-autonomous systems, it’s a case of getting to know its idiosyncrasies and in such situations, a little manual intervention pays dividends. The head-up display, which keeps you informed of the speed limit at all times, is something that, once sampled, I’ll find hard to live without. The Countryman has been pressed into use as a hauler of garden waste this month and has seen countless Ikea bags rammed with dead buffalo grass and soilencrusted roots destined for the local green tip. This, and a boot load of disintegrating polystyrene, has tested my cleaning skills to the max, and researching the most effective Dyson attachments has become my life. Thankfully, the car’s looking pretty schmick after a bit of elbow grease and exposure to the V8 Animal cordless stick. Clean cars, eh? Call me a convert. ANDY ENRIGHT

Batman-style puddle lamp a neat touch, but, weirdly, it’s only fitted to the driver’s side

@wheelsaustralia 135


Eng type

Price

Kerb Eng size Power Torque Trans. weight

0-100 km/h

0-400 metres

Giulia

F= Frontdrive,R=Reardrive, A=All-wheeldrive

When we drove it

Glass's predicted resale rating, retained after 3 years

Recommended octane rating

Fuel consumption in Litres/100km

Fuel Resale cons. RON %

Issue tested

Italy rebooted

4C

Alfisti rejoice!

Lightweight carbonfibre body; exciting dynamics; bucketloads of charisma Firm seats; turbo whoosh overpowers exhaust in cabin; unassisted steering won’t suit all  The Pick: The Spider delivers more of an aural return, but both will entertain $89,000 L4T 1.7 177 350 S6 1025 4.5 — 6.8 95 64 R $99,000 L4T 1.7 177 350 S6 1035 4.6 12.8 6.8 95 67 06/15 R

Coupe Spider

3yr/200,000km alpinaautomobiles.com.au

Alpina

B3/B4/B7 For anyone who finds an M badge too common

B3 Sedan B3 Touring B4 Coupe B4 Convertible B7 Sedan

Rarity; persuasive blend of comfort and speed; striking looks M-car pricing; no manual gearbox  The Pick: If you’re going to go rare, go all the way with the Touring $155,900 L6T 3.0 301 600 A8 1560 4.3 — 7.6 $160,900 L6T 3.0 301 600 A8 1615 4.4 — 7.7 $160,900 L6T 3.0 301 600 A8 1537 4.3 — 7.6 $170,900 L6T 3.0 301 600 A8 1790 4.4 — 7.7 $369,720 V8TT 4.4 447 800 A8 2110 4.2 — 9.6

Aston Martin Vantage

V8 Coupe V8 Coupe V8 Roadster V8 Roadster V8 S Coupe V8 S Coupe V8 S Roadster V12 S Coupe V12 S Roadster

Coupe

R R R R R

3yr/unlimited astonmartin.com

Superstar styling, not long for this world

R R R R R R R R R

1.0 TFSI 1.0 TFSI 1.4 TFSI Sport 1.4 TFSI Sport 1.8 TFSI S-Line S1 quattro

A3 Sedan

A3 Cabriolet

WE’RE SOCIAL!

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Fuel Resale cons. RON %

Issue tested

Drive

Baby got ’back

Less conservative than before

F F F A A A F

Practicality and looks

Manscaped sun-seeker

Sedan-based styling much more masculine; strong body; lovely finish; 2.0 engines Adults won’t love the rear seat; Ikea fans may need a bigger boot; price increases  The Pick: The 2.0 TFSI front-driver delivers the best mix of grunt, gear, and value 1.4 TFSI CoD $49,000 L4T 1.4 110 250 S7 1380 8.9 — 5.1 95 52 2.0 TFSI Sport $55,000 L4T 2.0 140 320 S7 1430 7.2 — 6.0 95 53 2.0 TFSI quattro S’ln $58,600 L4T 2.0 140 320 S7 1540 6.9 — 6.4 95 53 S3 $72,000 L4T 2.0 213 380 S7 1620 5.3 — 6.8 95

A4

F F A A

Familiar face hides class-leading tech

Terrific interior; class-leading tech; refinement; plush ride; silky diesel; zingy petrols Conservative styling; dual-clutch ’box better, not brilliant; lots of tech is optional  The Pick: The 2.0 TFSI quattro is smooth and muscular, with a rorty exhaust note 1.4 TFSI $55,500 L4T 1.4 110 250 S7 1450 8.5 — 5.5 95 59 F 2.0 TFSI $60,900 L4T 2.0 140 320 S7 1480 7.5 15.5 7.6 95 59 10/17 F 2.0 TFSI Avant $63,900 L4T 2.0 140 320 S7 1505 7.5 — 5.6 95 60 F 2.0 TDI quattro $66,900 L4TD 2.0 140 400 S7 1650 7.2 — 4.6 D 60 A 2.0 TFSI quattro $69,900 L4T 2.0 185 370 S7 1585 6.3 14.4 6.3 95 60 04/16 A 2.0 TFSI q’ttro Avant $72,900 L4T 2.0 185 370 S7 1610 6.0 — 6.6 95 60 A S4 $104,610 V6T 3.0 260 500 A8 1630 4.7 — 7.7 98 05/17 A S4 Avant $108,110 V6T 3.0 260 500 A8 1675 4.9 — 7.8 98 A

A4 Allroad

2.0 TFSI 2.0 TDI quattro 2.0 TFSI quattro S5

Four-door coupe with five seats

Liftback versatility with still-great styling; nice cabin; slick engines; lusty and lively S5 Not the last word in steering feedback  The Pick: 2.0 TFSI quattro is a sleeper. Turbo S5 stronger than supercharged predecessor $69,900 L4T 2.0 140 320 S7 1565 7.5 — 5.6 95 64 F $73,900 L4TD 2.0 140 400 S7 1720 7.4 — 4.8 D 57 A $81,500 L4T 2.0 185 370 S7 1645 6.0 — 6.5 95 64 A $105,800 V6T 3.0 260 500 S7 1745 4.7 — 7.7 98 56 A

A5 Coupe

2.0 TFSI 2.0 TDI quattro 2.0 TFSI quattro S5

All the SUV you’ll ever need

Terrific drivetrains featuring quattro Ultra; cabin quality and finish; overall usefulness Runs out of grip earlier than A4 wagon; diesel a bit gruff at high revs  The Pick: As above: 2.0 TFSI is livelier, lighter on its feet, and frugal in real-world driving $71,400 L4TD 2.0 140 400 S7 1640 7.8 — 5.2 D 47 A $74,400 L4T 2.0 185 370 S7 1580 6.1 — 6.7 D 47 A

A5 Sportback

DBS replacement is a stunner

wheels

0-400 metres

All the highlights of the A3 Sportback, plus elegant three-box styling Chopped rear roofline restricts headroom; added expense over equivalent Sportback  The Pick: 2.0 TFSI is punchy and frugal, and available in front or all-wheel drive 1.4 TFSI CoD $41,500 L4T 1.4 110 250 S7 1250 8.2 — 4.9 95 57 F 2.0 TFSI Sport $47,500 L4T 2.0 140 320 S7 1320 6.9 — 5.8 95 58 F 2.0 TFSI quattro S’ln $51,100 L4T 2.0 140 320 S7 1390 6.2 — 6.1 95 58 A S3 $64,500 L4T 2.0 213 380 M6 1430 5.4 — 7.1 95 60 A S3 $64,500 L4T 2.0 213 380 S7 1460 4.8 — 6.5 95 60 A RS3 $84,900 L5T 2.5 294 480 S7 1515 4.1 – 8.4 95 67 A

R

Super sedan

0-100 km/h

Design; dynamics; cabin presentation; safety update Muted steering; new 1.0 TFSI noisy when extended; torsion beam on 1.0  The Pick: Go for the rorty 2.0 TFSI in either FWD or more talented quattro form 1.0 TFSI $35,900 L3T 1.0 85 200 S7 1200 9.9 — 4.8 95 56 1.4 TFSI CoD $38,500 L4T 1.4 110 250 S7 1240 8.2 — 5.0 95 52 2.0 TFSI Sport $43,100 L4T 2.0 140 320 S7 1315 6.8 — 5.9 95 58 2.0 TFSI quattro S’ln $46,100 L4T 2.0 140 320 S7 1385 6.2 — 6.2 95 58 S3 $62,900 L4T 2.0 213 380 M6 1405 5.4 — 7.1 95 56 S3 $62,900 L4T 2.0 213 380 S7 1430 4.8 — 6.6 95 56 e-tron $62,490 L4TH 1.4 150 350 S6 — 7.6 — 1.6 95 48

2.0 TDI quattro 2.0 TFSI quattro

Gorgeous Aston ‘sedan’ makes its Porsche Panamera rival look overfed and frumpy It may look sexy but getting any in its cramped rear quarters would be an achievement  The Pick: Good luck securing one – only a handful are coming here and the queue is long $378,500 V12 5.9 411 630 A8 1990 4.9 — 12.9 95 59 R

Kerb Eng size Power Torque Trans. weight

Five-door practicality; cute styling; slick interior; ballsy S1; thrummy turbo three-pot 1.8 TFSI is more than $10K dearer than a Polo GTI with the same donk  The Pick: A 1.0-litre turbo-triple manual is where it’s at, with charm, spirit and polish $26,900 L3T 1.0 70 160 M5 1060 11.1 — 4.2 95 58 F $28,600 L3T 1.0 70 160 S7 1090 11.6 18.2 4.4 95 58 03/16 F $27,750 L4T 1.4 92 200 M6 1105 8.9 — 5.1 95 59 F $30,500 L4T 1.4 92 200 S7 1140 8.9 — 4.9 95 58 F $40,400 L4T 1.8 141 250 S7 1205 6.9 — 5.6 95 61 F $49,990 L4T 2.0 170 370 M6 1340 5.9 — 7.1 95 59 12/14 A

A3 Sportback

Daimler tie-up boosts interest

Arguably the most beautiful modern Aston; still with tingly V12 and now eight-speed auto Lardy kerb weight; hefty consumption; more a GT than a genuine sports car  The Pick: In white, thanks, with black wheels and a Ben Sherman Union Jack pillow $484,995 V12 5.9 421 620 A8 1739 4.1 — 14.4 95 58 R $521,995 V12 5.9 421 620 A8 1849 4.3 — 14.4 95 55 R

Rapide

S

52 56 56 56

Design as sexy as ever; new V12 twin turbo; sweet chassis set-up; interior fit-out High-speed wind noise; cramped rear seats; small boot due to transaxle; heavy  The Pick: It’s the most convincing Aston Martin in years and a fine grand tourer $395,000 V12TT 5.2 447 700 A8 1770 3.9 — 11.4 95

Vanquish

Coupe Volante

95 95 95 95 95

Stunning looks, spectacular-sounding engines, much rarer than a 911 Cabin dated and pretty tight; purists will prefer its sharper, newer rivals  The Pick: V12 from the Vanquish provides serious shove with little weight penalty $231,000 V8 4.7 313 470 M6 1630 4.9 — 13.8 95 63 08/07 $246,900 V8 4.7 313 470 S7 1630 4.9 — 12.9 95 63 $260,000 V8 4.7 313 470 M6 1690 4.9 — 13.8 95 63 $273,800 V8 4.7 313 470 S7 1690 4.9 — 12.9 95 63 $251,700 V8 4.7 321 490 M6 1610 4.8 — 13.8 95 63 $267,600 V8 4.7 321 490 S7 1610 4.5 — 12.9 95 63 $280,600 V8 4.7 321 490 M6 1690 4.8 — 13.8 95 63 $354,300 V12 5.9 421 620 S7 — 3.9 — 14.7 95 63 $383,525 V12 5.9 421 620 S7 1745 4.1 — 14.7 95 63

DB11

Eng type

A1 Sportback

Sweet twin-turbo V6’s atmo-like top end; Italian brio; individual style; loves oversteer Some minor controls feel a bit parts-bin; QV’s brakes difficult to modulate at low speed  The Pick: QV an accomplished left-field alternative to the German muscle establishment $59,895 L4T 2.0 147 330 A8 1394 6.6 — 6.0 95 R $64,195 L4T 2.0 147 330 A8 1394 7.1 15.1 9.8 95 10/17 R $65,895 L 4TD 2.1 132 450 A8 1410 7.1 — 4.2 D R $71,985 L4T 2.0 206 400 A8 1490 5.7 — 6.1 95 R $143,900 V6TT 2.9 375 600 A8 1585 4.4 12.3 8.2 95 04/17 R

Super Super Veloce Quadrifoglio

Price

Drive

F F F

3yr/unlimited audi.com.au

Audi

New names; more gear

Engines; steering; suspension; cabin space; improved value Cabin lacks storage; visual update can’t hide ageing basics; no Veloce manual  The Pick: Top-spec Veloce. Manual Super also promises fun with torquey 1.4 $29,000 L4T 1.4 110 250 M6 1269 8.2 — 5.5 95 41 $34,900 L4T 1.4 125 250 S6 1284 7.7 — 4.9 95 42 $41,900 L4T 1.7 177 340 S6 1299 6.0 — 6.8 95 47

Super Super TCT Veloce

Get new car advice from the experts. whichcar.com.au

3yr/150,000km alfaromeo.com.au

Alfa Romeo Giulietta

0-400m acceleration, in sec s (Wheels tested figures in italics)

Kilograms

0-100km/h acceleration, in secs (Wheels tested figures in italics)

M=manual, A=automatic, S=sequential, C=CVT

Newton metres

Kilowatts

Litres

Recommended Retail Price at time of publication (* indicates driveaway)

New models for the month highlighted

L=in-line,V=vee,F=flat,R=rotary. Numberofcylsorrotors. T=turbo, S= s'charged,D=diesel,H=hybrid

ALFA RO M EO – B M W

NEW ARRIVALS

Appeal more than skin deep

Typical top-quality Audi interior; strong engine line-up; gutsy S5 performance Pricey options; no manual option; fiddly gear selector  The Pick: S5 takes the stonking performance of the S4 and wraps it up in sportscar looks $69,900 L4T 2.0 140 320 S7 1420 7.3 — 5.5 95 F $73,900 L4TD 2.0 140 400 S7 1640 7.2 — 4.6 D A $81,500 L4T 2.0 185 370 S7 1490 5.8 — 6.5 95 A $105,800 V6T 3.0 260 500 S7 1690 4.7 — 7.5 98 A


POWE RE D

Showroom Price

Eng type

A5 Cabriolet

1.8 TFSI 2.0 TDI 2.0 TFSI quattro 3.0 TDI quattro 3.0 TFSI quattro S5

Kerb Eng size Power Torque Trans. weight

0-100 km/h

0-400 metres

Fuel Resale cons. RON %

Issue tested

Ageing soft top for smooth roads

Usual A5 class and style, mixed with excellent drivetrains and high-quality roof Showing its age until it’s updated to align with the rest of the range  The Pick: Unless you’re getting a deal, wait. The replacement arrives next month $81,155 L4T 1.8 125 320 C 1655 8.9 — 6.2 95 55 $83,255 L4TD 2.0 130 380 C 1680 8.3 — 5.0 D 57 $90,955 L4T 2.0 165 350 S7 1735 7.2 — 6.9 95 57 $110,555 V6TD 3.0 180 500 S7 1845 6.3 — 5.9 D 57 $111,010 V6S 3.0 200 400 S7 1850 6.3 — 8.5 95 57 $132,616 V6S 3.0 245 440 S7 1880 5.4 — 8.5 98 64

A6

Drive

3.0 TDI quattro

F F A A A A

Finely crafted, improved value

Q7

A8

A A A A

TT

R8

R8 Spyder

GTC V8 GTC V8 S GTC W12 GT Speed Supersports

— —

Mulliner Mulliner

Drive

A A

Mothership Q7 finally seats seven

3yr/unlimited bentleymotors.com

Successfully fights 2.3-tonne heft with mountains of continent-shifting grunt Suspension tries desperately hard to be dynamic, but it doesn’t quite win that one  The Pick: Arguably the lighter, almost-as-swift V8 S over the monster W12 $381,000 V8TT 4.0 373 660 A8 2320 4.8 — 10.5 98 63 02/13 $405,600 V8TT 4.0 389 680 A8 2320 4.5 — 10.6 98 63 $408,870 W12TT 6.0 423 700 A8 2333 4.6 — 16.5 98 63 07/11 $461,300 W12TT 6.0 467 820 A8 2320 4.2 — 14.5 98 64 09/14 $569,522 W12TT 6.0 522 1017 A8 2280 3.4 15.7 04/17 Pedestrian plebs can see the gorgeous cabin; top-down access to W12 decibels Doesn’t quite handle like a land yacht but does drink like a sailor  The Pick: Less than half the cost of a Phantom Drophead? We’ll take two $419,100 V8TT 4.0 373 660 A8 2485 5.0 — 10.9 98 62 $446,000 V8TT 4.0 389 680 A8 2485 4.7 — 10.9 98 62 10/14 $449,500 W12TT 6.0 423 700 A8 2505 4.7 — 14.9 98 63 07/12 $507,400 W12TT 6.0 460 800 A8 2495 4.4 — 14.9 98 64 $626,474 W12TT 6.0 522 1017 A8 2455 3.7 — 15.9 98

A A A A A

Speed

Upper-crust urgency

Captain capitalism

Fuses contemporary tech with old-world craftsmanship; stonking twin-turbo V8 Ride on optional 21s not quite in keeping with ultra-luxe vibe; weight and fuel use  Pick: This new-age Arnage or a Rolls-Royce Ghost? We prefer the hipster Benters $662,857 V8TT 6.8 377 1020 A8 2711 5.3 — 15.0 98 54 07/10 $733,387 V8TT 6.8 395 1100 A8 4.9 — 15.0 98

Bentayga

Diesel

118i 118d 120i 125i M140i

Because you can

3yr/unlimited bmw.com.au The rear drive continues

The last rear-drive hatch, and all the better for it; excellent engines and transmissions Cabin quality and space can’t match Audi’s A3; barely a manual transmission to be seen  The Pick: Punchy 125i is a good match for a Golf GTI. However, the M140i is a cracker $39,990 L3T 1.5 100 220 A8 1320 8.7 — 4.8 95 59 R $43,900 L4TD 2.0 110 320 A8 1375 8.1 — 3.8 D 59 R $45,900 L4T 2.0 135 270 A8 1320 7.1 — 5.8 95 60 R $49,900 L4T 2.0 165 310 A8 1375 6.1 — 5.9 95 61 R $59,900 L6T 3.0 250 500 A8 1430 4.6 — 7.1 95 62 R

2 Series

220i 230i

R R

Effortless, serene, powerful, and plush; competent on the road and off it; quick, too We’re still not sold on the looks; the price; at this money, it should have more gear  Pick: Brilliant if you want to stand out, but a Range Rover also does a decent job of that $355,000 V8TTD 4.0 320 900 A8 2499 4.8 — 8.0 D A $427,300 W12TT 6.0 447 900 A8 2440 4.1 — 13.1 98 A

1 Series Hatch

A

A A A A A

Exquisite interior; jaw-dropping style, complete with muscle-car hips; high-speed calm All that heft ahead of the front axle line hampers its chances of being a driver’s car  The Pick: Doesn’t handle like a 7 Series, but looks and feels a million bucks $378,197 V8TT 4.0 373 660 A8 2350 5.2 — 10.9 98 58 A $388,715 V8TT 4.0 373 660 A8 2350 5.2 — 10.9 98 58 A $423,160 W12TT 6.0 460 800 A8 2400 4.6 — 14.7 98 58 07/13 A $448,820 W12TT 6.0 460 800 A8 2400 4.6 — 14.7 98 59 A

Mulsanne

Fashionably fetching

First in Q to challenge X1

Issue tested

D 56 95 58 04/14

Style utility vehicle

BMW

Excellent 2.0-litre fours; classy cabin; surprisingly agile dynamics; amusing base model AWD variants are significantly heavier; lumpy ride; small rear doors; compact boot  The Pick: Probably the base 110kW 1.4 turbo-petrol. Or a Q2 1.4 TFSI $42,900 L4T 1.4 110 250 S6 1405 8.9 — 5.9 95 55 F 2.0 TDI quattro $48,500 L4TD 2.0 110 340 S7 1605 9.3 — 5.2 D 56 A 2.0 TFSI Sport qttro $52,900 L4T 2.0 132 320 S7 1540 7.6 — 6.7 95 56 A

Fuel Resale cons. RON %

5.4 8.8

Sublime ride on optional air suspension; silky 3.0; grunty 4.0 in SQ7; elegant interior Storage up front is light-on; lots of options on base; gearbox not as lag-free as SQ7 grunt  The Pick: The 3.0 TDI is a great engine, though we’d tick the box for air suspension $96,855 V6TD 3.0 160 500 A8 2135 7.3 — 5.8 D 63 A $104,855 V6TD 3.0 200 600 A8 2135 6.5 — 5.9 D 63 02/16 A $153,616 V8TTD 4.0 320 900 A8 2330 4.9 — 7.2 D A

Flying Spur

Less roof, more exhaust noise!

Interesting styling; well packaged; efficient drivetrains; instantly dates the ageing Q3 Not a big cost saving compared with the larger Q3; tyre noise; the fully optioned price  The Pick: The sweet 1.4 TFSI turbo-petrol with its sharp threads and new-generation donk 1.4 TFSI Design $41,100 L4T 1.4 110 250 S7 1405 8.5 16.4 10.6 95 55 07/17 F 2.0 TDI Sport quattro $47,900 L4TD 2.0 110 340 S7 1605 9.3 — 5.2 D 56 A

Q3

0-400 metres

Continental GTC An open display of wealth

Lambo on a budget

Takes the R8’s supercar sex appeal and turns it up Additional 100kg and reduced body rigidity affect dynamics, but only slightly  The Pick: There’s only one, for now, so focus on what hat to wear instead $388,500 V10 5.2 397 540 S7 1720 3.6 — 11.7 98 53

Q2

GT V8 GT V8 S GT W12 GT Speed Supersports

TT take three, done better

Sharper, lighter, and better than the excellent original; V10 is a great supercar engine Not as flamboyant inside as rivals; is that evolutionary styling a tad too subtle?  The Pick: If money’s no object go the Plus. If it is, the V10 is all the supercar you need Coupe V10 quattro $354,616 V10 5.2 397 540 S7 1640 3.5 — 11.4 98 53 A Coupe V10 Plus qttro $389,616 V10 5.2 449 560 S7 1580 3.2 — 12.3 98 53 04/16 A

0-100 km/h

1625 7.9 1655 5.2

Continental GT Enough grunt to go Continental drifting

Refining first-class travel

Engine flexibility; sweet six-speed manual; quattro’s all-paw traction; that interior! TT S’s brutal rough-road ride; roof-up rear-three-quarter vision in Roadster  The Pick: The manual Sport is tempting but the traction and pace of the quattro wins out Sport $73,950 L4T 2.0 169 370 M6 1230 6.0 — 5.9 95 56 04/15 F Sport $74,950 L4T 2.0 169 370 S6 1260 5.9 — 6.3 95 56 F Sport quattro $80,355 L4T 2.0 169 370 S6 1335 5.3 — 6.4 95 56 04/15 A Sport quattro Rdster $83,905 L4T 2.0 169 370 S6 1410 5.3 — 6.4 95 56 A S-Line $81,005 L4T 2.0 169 370 M6 1230 6.0 — 5.9 95 56 F S-Line $82,450 L4T 2.0 169 370 S6 1260 5.9 — 6.3 95 56 F S-Line quattro $87,855 L4T 2.0 169 370 S6 1335 5.5 13.8 6.4 95 56 06/15 A S-Line quat. Rdster $91,405 L4T 2.0 169 370 S6 1410 5.3 — 6.4 95 56 02/16 A S quattro $100,855 L4T 2.0 210 380 S6 1385 4.7 — 6.8 98 56 02/16 A S quattro Roadster $104,616 L4T 2.0 210 380 S6 1500 5.0 — 6.9 98 56 A RS quattro $137,900 L5T 2.5 298 480 S7 1440 3.7 — 8.4 98 56 A RS quattro Rdster $141,900 L5T 2.5 298 480 S7 1530 3.9 — 8.6 98 56 A

S7 S7

Bentley

Mix of A6 and A8, plus panache

Beautifully made luxury-sedan interior; S8’s astonishing thrust S-Class and 7 Series make the A8/S8 feel dynamically uninvolving and a bit last-decade  The Pick: Twin-turbo V8 diesel offers a seductive blend of quality, economy and grunt 3.0 TDI quattro $198,855 V6TD 3.0 190 580 A8 1880 5.9 — 5.9 D 47 07/14 A 3.0 TDI quattro LWB $210,855 V6TD 3.0 190 580 A8 1935 6.1 — 6.0 D 47 A 4.2 TDI quattro $252,616 V8TTD 4.1 283 850 A8 2040 4.7 — 7.4 D 47 12/13 A S8 $282,616 V8TT 4.0 382 650 A8 1990 4.1 — 9.6 98 47 12/13 A S8 Plus $330,500 V8TT 4.0 445 750 A8 — 3.8 10.2 98 A

V10 quattro

3.0 TDI quattro 3.0 TDI quattro SQ7

A6 goodness, elevated

Adds hatchback versatility, A8-rivalling space and rakish rear styling over an A6 S7 is all about fast motorways, not tight mountain passes; sizeable premium over A6  The Pick: Twin-turbo diesel delivers on torque and presence, and comes nicely loaded 3.0 TDI quattro $115,855 V6TD 3.0 160 500 S7 1825 6.8 — 5.2 D 47 06/15 3.0 TDI Biturbo qttro $144,855 V6TTD 3.0 235 650 A8 1895 5.2 — 6.1 D 42 06/15 S7 $180,716 V8T 4.0 331 550 S7 1955 4.6 — 9.3 95 51 06/15 RS7 Perf $258,000 V8TT 4.0 445 750 A8 1920 3.7 — 9.7 98 51

Kerb Eng size Power Torque Trans. weight

2.0 135 380 2.5 228 420

Class and quality with SUV space and versatility; torquey turbo diesel Needs adaptive suspension to ride; doesn’t like getting its skirts wet off-road  The Pick: The petrol 2.0 is sweeter, swifter, and doesn’t drink much more than the oilers 2.0 TDI qttro Design $65,900 L4TD 2.0 140 400 S7 1845 7.9 — 5.5 D 63 A 2.0 TDI qttro Sport $70,700 L4TD 2.0 140 400 S7 1845 7.9 — 5.4 D 63 A 2.0 TFSI qttro Sport $73,500 L4T 2.0 185 370 A8 1795 6.3 — 7.3 95 63 A SQ5 3.0 TFSI quattro$99,900 V6T 3.0 260 500 A8 1935 5.4 — 8.7 95 63 A

Handsome; gorgeous cabin; lush ride quality; strong and silky turbo-diesel V6 Ride height blunts on-road dynamics; definitely not an off-roader; depreciation  The Pick: Still expensive despite price drop, but A6 Allroad is one of our favourite Audis $112,855 V6TD 3.0 160 500 S7 1890 7.3 — 5.6 D 46 07/15 A

A7 Sportback

L4TD L5T

Q5

Great cabin presentation; strong and efficient engines; thrusty bi-turbo TDI, S6, and RS6 Base wagons deleted; steering still not its strong suit; front-driver is a dynamic dullard  The Pick: Fiery RS6 is tempting but either of the quattro diesels fit the bill 1.8 TFSI $80,355 L4T 1.8 140 320 S7 1570 7.9 — 5.7 95 52 06/15 F 3.0 TDI quattro $102,355 V6TD 3.0 160 500 S7 1765 6.6 — 5.1 D 52 A 3.0 TDI Biturbo qttro $124,855 V6TTD 3.0 235 650 A8 1835 5.0 — 6.1 D 52 06/15 A S6 $170,716 V8T 4.0 331 550 S7 1895 4.4 — 9.4 95 44 06/15 A RS6 Avant Perf $245,116 V8TT 4.0 445 750 A8 1935 3.7 — 9.6 98 44 A

A6 Allroad

Eng type

Price

2.0 TDI Sport qttro $57,500 RS Q3 $84,216

BY

Rear-drive fun machines

Great body control and handling; superb M2 signals a return to form for the M Division Tight rear seats; some cabin plastics not up to the price tag; prices creeping up  The Pick: M2 howls a delicious straight-six wail, and has the grunt to match $52,900 L4T 2.0 135 270 A8 7.2 — 5.8 95 R $63,000 L4T 2.0 185 350 A8 5.6 — 5.9 95 R

@wheelsaustralia 137


$76,800 $90,500 $99,500

2 Series Conv

220i 230i M240i

F= Frontdrive,R=Reardrive, A=All-wheeldrive

Fuel Resale cons. RON %

— 7.0 13.4 12.1 — 7.9

When we drove it

Glass's predicted resale rating, retained after 3 years

0-400 metres

Recommended octane rating

0-100 km/h

A8 1485 4.6 M6 1495 5.1 S7 1495 4.3

Fuel consumption in Litres/100km

Kilograms

M=manual, A=automatic, S=sequential, C=CVT

Newton metres

Kilowatts

Litres

Kerb Eng size Power Torque Trans. weight

3.0 250 500 3.0 272 465 3.0 272 465

0-400m acceleration, in sec s (Wheels tested figures in italics)

Eng type

L6T L6T L6T

0-100km/h acceleration, in secs (Wheels tested figures in italics)

Price

M240i M2 Pure M2

L=in-line,V=vee,F=flat,R=rotary. Numberofcylsorrotors. T=turbo, S= s'charged,D=diesel,H=hybrid

New models for the month highlighted

Recommended Retail Price at time of publication (* indicates driveaway)

BMW – FERRA RI

NEW ARRIVALS

Issue tested

Drive

95 95 57 SUM 95 57

A fresh breeze

Decent punch from M240i’s turbo six; flexible four-pots; clever roof folds neatly Not particularly light; manual gearboxes notably lacking; ride tending towards firm  The Pick: The coupe if you want performance, otherwise be happy in the look-at-moi 220i $59,900 L4T 2.0 135 270 A8 1540 7.7 — 6.1 95 61 R $73,000 L4T 2.0 185 350 A8 1570 5.9 — 6.2 95 67 R $85,800 L6T 3.0 250 500 A8 1630 4.7 — 7.4 95 67 R One of the more athletic front-drive hatches on sale; BMW cabin quality, fit and finish Late-to-the-party B-Class rival doesn’t feel like a BMW; slightly frumpy looks; lumpy ride  The Pick: The three-pot petrol, for its thrummy elasticity and its best-case-scenario ride $44,400 L3T 1.5 100 220 A6 1360 9.2 — 5.2 95 58 02/16 F $47,800 L4TD 2.0 110 330 A8 1410 8.9 — 4.2 D 58 10/14 F $54,900 L4T 2.0 170 350 A8 1430 6.6 — 6.1 95 59 10/14 F

i3

COTY-winning electric wunderkind

Stunning design; instant torque delivers grunty performance; it was our 2014 COTY winner Only seats four, with a similarly compact boot; road noise; entry price  The Pick: While going full EV is commendable, the Range Extender is worth the extra coin $63,900 E 125 250 A1 1195 7.2 — 53 09/13 R 94Ah $67,100 E 125 250 A1 1245 7.3 — R Range Extender $69,900 L2H 125 250 A1 1315 7.9 — 0.6 95 53 01/15 R 94Ah Range Ext’er $73,100 L2H 125 250 A1 1365 7.9 — 0.6 95 R

3 Series

318i 320i 320i Touring 320d 330i 330e 330i Touring 340i M3 Pure M3 M3 M3 Competition M3 Competition

Now you can have your 3 with a triple

Mid-life update brings new engines with outstanding efficiency and performance Optional ‘Variable Sport’ steering adds cost and confusion, without dynamic gain  The Pick: 330i delivers a fine performance/value blend, but M3 brings proper thrills $57,300 L3T 1.5 100 230 A6 1475 8.9 — 5.4 95 59 04/16 $63,400 L4T 2.0 135 290 A8 1505 7.2 — 5.8 95 60 $67,500 L4T 2.0 135 290 A8 1585 7.5 — 5.9 95 57 $65,800 L4TD 2.0 140 400 A8 1505 7.3 — 4.4 D 59 $70,900 L4T 2.0 185 350 A8 1545 6.1 14.3 5.8 95 60 04/16 $73,900 L4T 2.0 185 420 A8 1636 6.1 — 2.1 95 60 $75,000 L4T 2.0 185 350 A8 1615 6.0 — 6.1 95 60 $91,200 L6T 3.0 240 450 A8 1605 5.2 — 6.8 96 60 $129,900 L6TT 3.0 331 550 S7 1560 4.0 – 8.8 98 $139,900 L6TT 3.0 317 550 M6 1520 4.3 — 8.8 98 54 $139,900 L6TT 3.0 317 550 S7 1560 4.3 12.2 8.3 98 54 06/16 $144,900 L6TT 3.0 331 550 M6 1520 4.2 — 8.8 98 54 $144,900 L6TT 3.0 331 550 S7 1560 4.2 12.2 8.3 98 54 04/17

Cue Protonic

Price

Eng type

3 Series GT

R R R

2 Active Tourer Mini in a muumuu

218i 218d 225i

Get new car advice from the experts. whichcar.com.au

320i 320d 330i

0-100 km/h

0-400 metres

Fuel Resale cons. RON %

Issue tested

Drive

The 3 crosses over

Riding on a 3 Series platform but with a higher driving position and a stack more space It’s not what you’d call classically good looking, though at least it isn’t an SUV  The Pick: The top-spec 330i – it’s much faster, yet barely any thirstier than the 320i $68,100 L4T 2.0 135 270 A8 — 7.9 — 6.2 95 60 R $70,900 L4TD 2.0 135 380 A8 1575 7.9 — 4.9 D 60 R $78,900 L4T 2.0 180 350 A8 1620 6.1 — 6.5 95 59 09/13 R

4 Series Coupe Two-door 3 becomes 4

420i 430i 440i M4 Pure M4 M4 M4 Competition M4 Competition

Wide stance and adaptive dampers make 4 Series a proper driver’s car – especially M4 Electric steering doesn’t feel fluent in Sport mode; styling has lost some elegance  The Pick: The excellent 430i is the sweet spot, but the M4 manual is addictively involving $69,900 L4T 2.0 135 270 A8 1465 7.3 — 5.8 95 50 R $79,900 L4T 2.0 185 350 A8 1470 5.8 14.1 5.8 95 51 R $99,900 L6T 3.0 240 450 A8 1525 5.0 — 6.8 95 51 R $139,900 L6T 3.0 331 550 S7 1537 4.0 – 8.8 98 51 R $149,900 L6TT 3.0 317 550 M6 1497 4.3 — 8.8 98 51 11/14 R $149,900 L6TT 3.0 317 550 S7 1537 4.1 13.0 8.3 98 51 09/14 R $154,900 L6TT 3.0 331 550 M6 1497 4.2 — 8.8 98 51 R $154,900 L6TT 3.0 331 550 S7 1537 4.0 — 8.3 98 51 R

4 Series Gran Coupe Yet another niche plugged

420i 430i 440i

Liftback practicality; slick drivetrains; frameless doors; Audi A5-smashing dynamics Neither coupe-ish enough to be cool, or elegant enough to be beautiful  The Pick: For the same money as the two-door, a 430i Gran Coupe kinda makes sense $69,900 L4T 2.0 135 270 A8 1480 8.3 16.0 8.9 95 54 10/17 R $79,900 L4T 2.0 185 350 A8 1580 6.0 — 5.8 95 54 R $99,900 L6T 3.0 240 450 A8 1575 5.1 — 6.8 95 54 R

4 Series Conv R R R R R R R R R R R R R

Kerb Eng size Power Torque Trans. weight

Inherits coupe’s dynamism

Elegant rear deck enhances styling; as quiet as the coupe; velvety petrol drivetrains Much heavier than the coupe, to the detriment of performance; small rear seat  The Pick: 430i has everything most people could ever need, except for the 440i’s six-pot 420i $87,900 L4T 2.0 135 270 A8 1660 8.2 — 6.2 95 61 R 430i $97,900 L4T 2.0 180 350 A8 1700 6.4 — 6.3 95 61 R 440i $117,900 L6T 3.0 240 450 A8 1750 5.4 — 7.2 95 51 R M4 Convertible $161,900 L6TT 3.0 317 550 M6 1750 4.6 — 9.1 98 51 R M4 Convertible $161,900 L6TT 3.0 317 550 S7 1790 4.4 — 8.7 98 51 11/14 R M4 Competition Conv $165,900 L6TT 3.0 331 550 M6 1750 4.3 — 9.1 98 51 R M4 Competition Conv $165,900 L6TT 3.0 331 550 S7 1790 4.1 — 8.7 98 51 R

5 Series

520i 520d 530i 530e 530d 540i

Promises lots, mostly delivers

Hard-driven handling poise; superb drivetrains; interior design and quality Remote steering; unsettled ride on big wheels; confusing array of dynamic options  The Pick: Until we try the optional four-wheel steering, a lusty 530d without the M Sport kit $92,900 L4T 2.0 135 290 A8 1540 7.8 — 6.2 95 R $93,900 L4TD 2.0 140 400 A8 1560 7.5 — 4.3 D 47 R $108,900 L4T 2.0 185 350 A8 1540 6.2 — 5.8 95 47 R $108,900 L4TH 2.0 185 420 A8 1770 6.2 — 2.3 95 R $119,900 L6TD 3.0 195 620 A8 1640 5.7 — 4.7 D 47 R $136,900 L6T 3.0 250 450 A8 1595 5.1 — 6.7 95 47 R

6 Series Coupe Swings with drivers

640i 650i M6

640i boasts one of the world’s greatest six-cylinder engines; improved styling Not a car for driving enthusiasts, but the bigger boot will fit more drivers  The Pick: Turbo-six is so good it renders the twin-turbo V8 almost irrelevant $179,500 L6T 3.0 235 450 A8 1685 5.3 — 7.4 95 49 $232,900 V8TT 4.4 330 650 A8 1795 4.6 — 8.6 95 49 $292,900 V8TT 4.4 441 700 S7 1850 3.9 — 9.9 98 50

6 Series Conv

640i 650i M6

R R R

Six in drop-top form

Shark-nosed presence, plush cabin, and superb engines to blow your toupee off Dull dynamics will disappoint drivers; zero rear legroom will disappoint passengers  The Pick: More noise in 330kW V8, but peachy six is the default pick $195,500 L6T 3.0 235 450 A8 1820 5.5 — 7.6 98 49 R $248,900 V8TT 4.4 330 650 A8 1930 4.6 — 8.9 98 49 R $308,900 V8TT 4.4 441 700 S7 1980 4.0 — 10.3 95 48 R

6 Series Gran Coupe Six plus two doors

640i 640d 650i M6

Sexier than a 5 Series; better to drive than a 7 Series; can fit five (at a pinch) Still not as dynamic as a BMW should be; poorly packaged rear seat  The Pick: The six is lovely but huge premium over a 540i makes it questionable value $186,500 L6T 3.0 235 450 A8 1750 5.4 — 7.5 98 49 $186,500 L6TTD 3.0 230 630 A8 1810 5.4 — 5.4 D 49 $239,900 V8TT 4.4 330 650 A8 1865 4.6 — 8.6 98 49 $299,900 V8TT 4.4 412 680 A8 1875 4.0 — 9.9 98 46

7 Series

As if BMW’s i8 wasn’t already a rare enough sight on Australian roads, the German car maker is bringing an even more exclusive version to local customers. Following the Protonic Red special that was added last year, a new

138 wheelsmag.com.au

option is available in Protonic Black or Protonic Yellow, and tempted customers are advised to act fast. The more desirable versions cost the same as a standard i8 – $299,000 – but are strictly limited to five black examples and just one yellow.

730d 740i 740e 740Li 750i 750Li M760Li AWD

R R R R

All-new 7 is a stunner

Interior space and quality; powerful and economical engines; driving dynamics; ride Semi-autonomous steering is flawed; high prices now higher; gimmicky gesture tech  The Pick: 730d makes plenty of sense for its smooth, torquey diesel, and lowest price $219,000 L6TD 3.0 195 620 A8 1840 6.1 — 4.7 D 41 R $224,900 L6TT 3.0 240 450 A8 1825 5.5 — 7.0 95 41 02/16 R $229,000 L4TH 2.0 240 650 A8 — 5.4 — 2.2 95 R $238,900 L6TT 3.0 240 450 A8 1845 5.6 — 7.0 95 42 R $289,900 V8TT 4.4 330 650 A8 1940 4.7 — 8.1 95 41 R $314,500 V8TT 4.4 330 650 A8 1960 4.7 — 8.3 95 42 R $419,000 V12TT 6.6 448 800 A8 2195 3.7 — 12.6 A


POWE RE D

Showroom Price

i8

Eng type

Kerb Eng size Power Torque Trans. weight

0-100 km/h

0-400 metres

Fuel Resale cons. RON %

Issue tested

Drive

Hybrid performance hero

X1

sDrive 18d sDrive 20i xDrive 20d xDrive 25i

X3

xDrive 20i xDrive 20d xDrive 30d

xDrive20i xDrive20d xDrive30d xDrive35i xDrive35d

Eng type

DSport

DS3 Cabriolet

DSport

Mum’s SUV goes large

DSport

Seven 275 Seven 355 Seven 485 S

C C Luxury SRT Core SRT

French eccentricity returns!

French fun, warts and all

Part hatch, part SUV, MPV genes

3yr/unlimited ferrari.com

Ferrari Turbo charger

More exciting, more engaging, more Ferrari; modern Ferrari turbo is a ripper Roofless cruising carries a weight penalty; not as sharp as other Ferraris  The Pick: Wait. Cali T now superseded by stunning Portofino, due here soon $409,888 V8TT 3.9 415 755 S7 1730 3.6 — 13.1 98 66 08/14

488 GTB

The thrill of simplicity

R

Join an enormous queue

Staggering acceleration; mountains of torque; brilliant roadholding and handling You’ll be waiting years to get one; new turbo V8 doesn’t quite sound like a Ferrari should  The Pick: Toss a coin between this and a McLaren. Heads buys the Ferrari $469,888 V8TT 3.9 492 760 S7 1475 3.0 — 11.4 98 R

488 Spider

Drop-top motoring at its fastest

Stellar performance and handling; supple ride; standout design; coupe/cabrio versatility Sports seats very firm; slight vibration through steering; less theatre than atmo V8  The Pick: Hard top or drop top – it doesn’t matter – getting hold of one is the challenge $526,888 V8TT 3.9 492 760 S7 1525 3.0 — 11.4 98 02/16 R

3yr/100,000km chrysler.com.au

Bold Yank with extra bling

Raised coupe-esque hatch

Head-turning style; space-age cabin; cracker diesel; sharp dynamics; six-year warranty Essentially a five-plus-two; back row only for adults under 180cm; seven-up boot space  The Pick: This stunning new-generation Citroen MPV over any of the turgid alternatives $44,990 L4TD 2.0 110 370 A6 1440 9.6 16.9 4.5 D 50 10/16 F

2yr/50,000km caterhamcars.com.au

Styling presence; tight chassis; slick instruments; cranking sound system; SRT’s grunt Firm ride on 20s without adaptive dampers; interior not cohesive; 300C deserves a V8  The Pick: Costly as it is, the range-topping SRT with adaptive dampers is the best 300 $55,000 V6 3.6 210 340 A8 1838 — — 9.4 91 40 R $60,000 V6 3.6 210 340 A8 1862 — — 9.7 91 40 R $65,000 V8 6.4 350 637 A8 1946 — — 13.0 98 41 R $75,000 V8 6.4 350 637 A8 1965 — — 13.0 98 45 R

French vanilla

Grand C4 Picasso Pregnant supermodel

Ridiculously fast and fun; unassisted steering a joy at speed; smokes GT3s at track days Quality and reliability doubts; unforgiving ride; no ABS; heavy steering; tight cabin  The Pick: Price reductions increase overall appeal, but the Seven 355 is a blast $64,000 L4 1.6 100 160 M5 590 — — 6.2 95 64 R $76,600 L4 2.0 127 177 M5 615 4.8 — 95 64 R $103,700 L4 2.0 127 206 M6 600 3.9 — 7.7 95 64 R

300

Rooflessly French

Quirky style; functional and elegant interior; impressive fuel efficiency; fine dynamics Fairly pricey for what is effectively a spacious hatchback; will people get it?  The Pick: See below if you want a kid carrier, though this five-seater has Tardis-like room $40,990 L4T 1.6 121 240 A6 1310 9.3 — 5.6 95 59 04/15 F

Decently executed, shame about the idea

Chrysler

Drive

Distinctive design; clever packaging; turbo triple’s brilliance; dares to be different Odd drivetrain combos – manual-only petrol, semi-auto diesel; tilt-only steering adjust  The Pick: Zingy three-pot turbo delivers simple pleasures, with charm and flair $26,990 L3T 1.2 81 205 M5 1020 9.9 — 7.0 95 48 09/16 F $29,990 L4TD 1.6 68 230 S6 1085 11.2 — 3.4 D 48 F

California T

Seven

Issue tested

Design nous; uniqueness and ability to stand out; cabin quality and attention to detail Depressing ride quality; average performance; relatively high price; not special enough  The Pick: Interesting interior let down by sub-standard ride, which is galling in a DS $56,990 L4TD 2.0 133 400 A6 1540 9.2 — 4.5 D 47 F

C4 Picasso

Staggering on-road ability; muscular engines; slightly less repulsive than the old one Big, heavy, and dubious in concept; agitated ride of M50d; hideous steering  The Pick: If you really have to, the beaut-sounding 50i with an M Performance bodykit $120,500 L6TD 3.0 190 560 A8 2065 6.7 — 6.0 D 61 A $122,615 L6T 3.0 225 400 A8 — 6.4 — 8.6 95 63 A $131,900 L6TD 3.0 230 630 A8 — 5.8 — 6.3 D 63 A $153,900 V8TT 4.4 330 650 A8 2170 4.8 — 9.7 98 56 A $159,900 L6TTTD 3.0 280 740 A8 2185 5.2 — 6.6 D 56 A $195,400 V8TT 4.4 423 750 A8 2265 4.2 — 11.1 95 56 06/15 A

Caterham

Fuel Resale cons. RON %

Lifts C4’s presence and ride height; refreshed styling suits DS4’s interesting shape Steering and handling aren’t to DS3 (or Golf) standards; ageing dash same as C4’s  The Pick: You’d really want to love its shape to fork out $47K driveaway, but it’s unique $46,990* L4TD 2.0 133 400 A6 1420 8.6 — 4.3 D 52 F

C4 Cactus

Exclusive Exclusive

0-400 metres

Perky three-pot turbo; elegant and well-equipped interior; decent ride and handling No manual gearbox; bland hatchback shape; we’d prefer a Pug 308 or Golf for this money  The Pick: Freshened C4 is appealing, particularly the Exclusive, but a 308 is better $29,990 L3T 1.2 96 230 A6 1240 10.9 — 4.9 95 42 F $33,990 L3T 1.2 96 230 A6 1240 10.9 — 5.1 95 42 10/15 F

DS5

DSport

0-100 km/h

Citroen finds form

Fold-back roof retains the DS3’s cool lines and retracts at up to 120km/h When folded back the roof blocks the driver’s rear vision  The Pick: Unless you’re utterly obsessed with seeing sky, stick with the DSport hatch $36,590 L4T 1.6 121 240 M6 — — — 5.6 95 51 06/15 F

C4

Seduction Exclusive

Kerb Eng size Power Torque Trans. weight

Brilliant anti-retro styling; peppy turbo four; excellent handling; impressive ride quality Recent price rise, although it does get more gear; road noise; 1.2 turbo auto not here yet  The Pick: DSport is the only choice, but why not a hot DS3 with the Pug 208 GTI’s engine? $33,990 L4T 1.6 121 240 M6 1140 7.5 — 5.6 95 50 06/15 F

DS4

Huge cabin with room for seven; excellent drivetrains and handling; mega M50d Clearly styled for Americans; dead steering; third-row seats unconvincing; feels heavy  The Pick: That’ll be the xDrive30d with its smoother, punchier, more economical diesel six $87,900 L4TD 2.0 168 450 A8 1995 8.2 — 5.8 D 63 06/14 R $91,155 L4TD 2.0 168 450 A8 2040 8.2 — 6 D 63 A $106,500 L6TD 3.0 190 560 A8 2070 6.5 14.7 6.2 D 63 01/15 A $109,615 L6T 3.0 225 400 A8 2030 6.5 — 8.5 95 63 A $122,500 L6TD 3.0 230 630 A8 2110 5.9 — 6.2 D 63 A $122,500 L4T 2.0 230 450 A8 2165 6.8 — 3.3 95 A $136,900 V8TT 4.4 330 650 A8 2175 5.0 — 10.5 95 61 A $149,900 L6TTTD 3.0 280 740 A8 2190 5.3 — 6.7 D 58 A $186,600 V8TT 4.4 423 750 A8 2275 4.2 — 11.1 95 56 06/15 A

X6

xDrive 30d xDrive 35i xDrive 40d xDrive 50i M50d M

X6’s prettier baby sister

Less bulk than chunky X6 makes X4 a more socially acceptable coupe-SUV thingy Deserves the 180kW turbo-four; cheaper X3 more practical; 4 Series Coupe is sexier  The Pick: Probably the 30d, since it weighs the same as the 35i but is much more frugal $71,900 L4T 2.0 135 270 A8 1735 8.1 — 7.2 95 61 A $75,900 L4TD 2.0 140 400 A8 1745 8.0 — 5.2 D 61 A $84,200 L6TD 3.0 190 560 S8 1820 5.8 — 5.9 D 61 A $89,900 L6T 3.0 225 400 S8 1815 5.5 — 8.3 95 61 09/14 A $89.900 L6TD 3.0 230 630 A8 — 5.2 — 6.0 D 61 A

X5

sDrive 25d xDrive 25d xDrive 30d xDrive 35i xDrive 40d xDrive 40e xDrive 50i M50d M

Quick and crisp SUV ... in the right spec

Superb optional vario-ratio steering and sharp dynamics; 30d a thrifty torque monster Styling as bland as the standard cabin is basic; milkshake ride with standard dampers  The Pick: Newer alternatives such as Audi’s Q5... or wait for the imminent next-gen X3 $62,900 L4T 2.0 135 270 A8 1720 8.5 16.2 7.5 95 63 08/15 A $66,900 L4TD 2.0 140 400 A8 1725 8.1 — 5.2 D 63 A $79.900 L6TD 3.0 190 560 A8 1800 6.2 — 6.0 D 63 A

X4

Price

DS3

Space, style, and sports ... shaken

Aussie styling DNA; terrific engines; interior space and quality; keen handling Flat standard seats; agitated and uncomfortable ride; steering kickback on bad roads  The Pick: If you value ride quality, please option adaptive dampers. Or buy something else $49,000 L4TD 2.0 105 320 A8 1495 9.2 — 4.3 D 56 F $52,900 L4T 2.0 135 270 A8 1510 7.7 — 5.9 95 56 F $56,500 L4TD 2.0 140 400 A8 1575 7.6 — 4.9 D 56 02/16 A $59,900 L4T 2.0 170 350 A8 1595 6.5 — 6.6 95 57 02/16 A

6yr/100,000km citroen.com.au

Citroen

Head-turning styling; scissor doors; throaty three-cylinder sound; potent performance Twice the price of an M4; undignified entry and egress; purists will shit-can the three-pot  The Pick: If you’re in IT, is there any other choice? $299,000 L3TH 1.5 266 570 A6 1485 4.4 — 2.1 95 36 02/16 A

BY

GTC4Lusso

T

Fancier name than the FF it steps in for

FF replacement has great interior; atmo V12 power; noise; steering and handling Price; a little too quiet and refined for some tastes; expensive options  The Pick: Ferrari pace with more space than we’ve come to expect makes it a fantastic GT $503,888 V8TT 3.9 442 760 S7 1840 — 98 R $578,888 V12 6.3 507 697 S7 1920 3.5 — 15.3 95 A

812 Superfast

Maranello’s best-ever Berlinetta

Ferrari flagship integrates tech with emotion to deliver truly stunning speed and ability The infinitely long waiting list (the 812 is already sold out)  The Pick: The Superfast brings a staggeringly broad breadth of ability and is without peer $610,000 V12 6.5 588 718 S7 1630 2.9 — 14.9 95 — 08/17 R

@wheelsaustralia 139


F= Frontdrive,R=Reardrive, A=All-wheeldrive

When we drove it

Glass's predicted resale rating, retained after 3 years

3yr/100,000km fiat.com.au

Fiat Price

Recommended octane rating

Fuel consumption in Litres/100km

0-400m acceleration, in sec s (Wheels tested figures in italics)

Kilograms

0-100km/h acceleration, in secs (Wheels tested figures in italics)

M=manual, A=automatic, S=sequential, C=CVT

Newton metres

Kilowatts

Litres

L=in-line,V=vee,F=flat,R=rotary. Numberofcylsorrotors. T=turbo, S= s'charged,D=diesel,H=hybrid

New models for the month highlighted

Recommended Retail Price at time of publication (* indicates driveaway)

FIAT – H S V

NEW ARRIVALS

Eng type

500

Kerb Eng size Power Torque Trans. weight

0-100 km/h

0-400 metres

Fuel Resale cons. RON %

Issue tested

Drive

Evergreen 500 still a cutie

Updated with new TFT screen; all non-Abarth prices are driveaway; S model’s verve Awkward driving position; ‘Dualogic’ robotised ’box is appalling, cabin lacks storage  The Pick: Feisty 500 S six-speed manual for its combination of sports and comfort Pop $18,000* L4 1.2 51 102 M5 905 14.1 19.2 5.1 95 54 06/15 F Pop $18,500* L4 1.2 51 102 S5 940 12.9 — 5.0 95 54 F S $20,000* L4 1.4 74 131 M6 970 10.5 — 6.1 95 54 10/14 F S $21,500* L4 1.4 74 131 S5 980 10.5 — 5.8 95 54 F Lounge $21,000* L2T 0.9 63 145 S5 980 11.0 — 3.9 98 56 F Abarth 595 $27,500 L4T 1.4 103 206 M5 1042 7.9 — 6.0 98 48 07/16 F Abarth Turismo $34,000 L4T 1.4 118 230 M5 1035 7.4 — 5.4 98 48 F Abarth Turismo $34,000 L4T 1.4 118 230 S5 1070 7.6 — 5.3 98 48 F Abarth Competizione $37,000 L4T 1.4 118 230 M5 1035 7.4 — 5.4 98 50 10/14 F Abarth Competizione$40,000 L4T 1.4 118 230 S5 1070 7.6 — 5.3 98 51 F Abarth Biposto 695 $65,000 L4T 1.4 140 250 M5 997 5.9 — 6.5 98 62 F

500 C

Pop S Lounge Abarth 595 Abarth Compet. Abarth Compet.

500X

Pop Pop Pop Star Lounge Cross Plus

The lid peels off this one

Essentially a 500 with a massive (easy to use) sunroof, and well-priced for a cabriolet Paying nearly $4000 to put the 500’s roof down, and the body flex when you do  The Pick: The new S model, which is now cheaper than the base Cabrio used to be $22,000 L4 1.2 51 102 S6 945 12.9 — 5.0 95 54 F $24,000 L4 1.4 74 131 S5 1010 10.5 — 5.8 95 54 F $25,500 L2T 0.9 63 145 S5 970 11.0 — 3.9 98 58 F $31,500 L4T 1.4 103 206 M5 — — — 5.8 98 48 07/16 F $39,000 L4T 1.4 118 230 M5 1085 7.4 — 5.4 98 50 F $41,000 L4T 1.4 118 230 S5 1085 7.6 — 5.3 98 51 F

Fashionable charge

Stylish exterior; quality interior; nimble dynamics; decent level of optional safety tech Stiff-legged ride; absent-minded nine-speed auto; all that style doesn’t come cheap  The Pick: Mid-level Pop Star treads a good middle ground, although still at a premium $25,000* L4T 1.4 103 230 M6 1295 — — 6.0 91 52 02/16 F $30,000* L4T 1.4 103 230 S6 1295 — — 5.7 91 52 F $32,000* L4T 1.4 103 230 S6 1295 — — 5.7 91 52 02/16 F $37,000* L4T 1.4 125 250 A9 1405 — — 6.7 95 53 02/16 A $38,000* L4T 1.4 125 250 A9 1405 — — 6.7 95 53 A

Get new car advice from the experts. whichcar.com.au Eng type

Price

Trend hatch Trend TDCi hatch Trend TDCi wagon Titanium hatch Titanium TDCi hatch Titanium TDCi wgn

$37,790 $40,990 $42,840 $44,790 $47,490 $49,840

L4T L4TD L4TD L4T L4TD L4TD

Mustang

Kerb Eng size Power Torque Trans. weight

0-100 km/h

0-400 metres

2.0 2.0 2.0 2.0 2.0 2.0

7.9 8.6 8.7 7.7 8.6 9.1

— — — 15.5 — 16.6

177 132 132 177 132 132

345 400 400 345 400 400

A6 S6 S6 A6 S6 S6

1629 1683 1713 1690 1744 1782

Fuel Resale cons. RON %

8.2 5.1 5.3 8.5 5.1 5.3

95 D D 95 D D

Issue tested

48 06/15 49 50 49 09/16 50 50 07/15

Drive

F F F F F F

America’s ‘Pony car’ muscles in

Responsive and characterful atmo V8; rear-end purchase; retro-modern styling; price Feels heavy, especially on direction changes; mismatched interior; convertible shake  The Pick: The GT Coupe by a mile. EcoBoost is punchy but the V8 feels the real deal EcoBoost Fastback $44,990 L4T 2.3 233 432 M6 1629 6.0 14.3 8.5 91 63 04/16 R EcoBoost Fastback $47,490 L4T 2.3 233 432 A6 1627 — — 9.3 91 63 R EcoBoost Convert. $53,990 L4T 2.3 233 432 A6 1685 — — 9.4 91 64 R GT Fastback $54,990 V8 5.0 306 530 M6 1701 — — 13.1 98 67 R GT Fastback $57,490 V8 5.0 306 530 A6 1709 5.0 13.2 12.6 98 66 04/16 R GT Convertible $66,205 V8 5.0 306 520 A6 1773 — — 12.7 98 67 R

EcoSport

Ambiente Ambiente Trend Trend Titanium

Escape

Ambiente FWD Ambiente FWD Ambiente AWD Trend FWD Trend AWD Trend TDCi Titanium Titanium

Fiesta in a leotard

Brilliant 1.0-litre turbo triple; impressive steering and handling; compact size; Fiesta DNA Low-grade interior plastics; ugly spare wheel placement; gutless 1.5-litre; average tyres  The Pick: The 1.0-litre manual – smooth, characterful, and effortless. Unlike the atmo 1.5 $20,790 L4 1.5 82 140 M5 1242 13.3 — 6.5 95 44 F $22,790 L4 1.5 82 140 S6 1267 14.1 — 6.5 95 44 F $22,290 L3T 1.0 92 170 M5 1275 12.7 — 5.7 95 44 F $24,290 L4 1.5 82 140 S6 1276 14.1 — 6.5 95 45 F $27,790 L4 1.5 82 140 S6 1289 14.1 — 6.5 95 41 02/14 F

Kuga does a runner

Handling and steering; room; more sensible line-up; performance from 2.0-litre EcoBoost Not as frugal as some rivals and prefers premium unleaded; average rear seat  The Pick: New FWD Trend 1.5 turbo is great value and one of the better-performing SUVs $28,490 L4T 1.5 110 240 M6 1559 — — 6.3 95 F $29,990 L4T 1.5 134 240 A6 1590 — — 7.2 95 F $33,990 L4T 1.5 134 240 A6 1668 — — 7.5 95 A $32,990 L4T 1.5 134 240 A6 1607 9.6 16.8 10.5 95 56 06/17 F $35,990 L4T 2.0 178 345 A6 1719 — — 8.6 95 A $38,490 L4TD 2.0 132 400 S6 1746 — — 5.5 D A $44,990 L4T 2.0 178 345 A6 1751 — — 8.6 95 A $47,490 L4TD 2.0 132 400 S6 1779 — — 5.5 D A

Abarth 124 Spider Much more than a rebadged MX-5 Character; handling; performance; price and equipment; Japanese build quality No steering reach adjustment; not as pure as an MX-5; priced against top-shelf MX-5  The Pick: It’s gotta be the manual, but also visit a Mazda dealer to try the car it’s based on $43,500* L4T 1.4 125 250 M6 1060 6.8 — 6.4 95 01/17 R $43,990 L4T 1.4 125 250 A6 1080 6.9 — 6.6 95 R

3yr/100,000km ford.com.au

Ford Fiesta

Ambiente Ambiente Trend Trend Sport Sport ST

Trend hatch Trend hatch Trend sedan Sport hatch Sport hatch Titanium hatch Titanium sedan ST RS

The driver’s light hatch

Superb handling – especially ST; great steering; effervescent three pot; ST is a legend Lacks the space and versatility of Jazz, and the cabin class of just about every rival  The Pick: Rorty-sounding, brilliant-handling ST is sensational – both for ability and value $15,825 L4 1.5 82 140 M5 — — — 5.8 91 48 F $17,825 L4 1.5 82 140 S6 — — — 5.8 91 48 F $17,825 L4 1.5 82 140 M5 — — — 5.8 91 48 F $19,790 L4 1.5 82 140 S6 1128 11.3 18.11 5.8 91 50 03/15 F $20,525 L3T 1.0 92 170 M5 1127 10.3 17.3 4.9 91 50 07/14 F $22,525 L3T 1.0 92 170 S6 — 5.3 50 F $25,990 L4T 1.6 134 240 M6 1197 7.0 14.9 6.2 95 52 02/14 F

Focus

Extra class, more character

ride q f Trend d Spor quipment Inherent driver appeal; vastly imprroved New 1.5 Ecoboost lacks efficiency w when pus d; firm 18s; expe e nsive e ry ket  The Pick: Sport with grippier tyres and extra equuipment, manuual or auto a $23,390 L4T 1.5 132 240 M6 — — — 5.8 95 51 F $24,390 L4T 1.5 132 240 A6 1393 8.3 — 6.2 95 51 01/17 F $24,390 L4T 1.5 132 240 A6 — — — 6.2 95 51 F $26,490 L4T 1.5 132 240 M6 — — — 5.8 95 52 F $28,190 L4T 1.5 132 240 A6 1380 8.8 16.4 4 6.2 95 52 12/15 F $32,690 L4T 1.5 132 240 A6 — — — 6.4 95 53 F $32,690 L4T 1.5 132 240 A6 — — — 6.2 95 53 F $38,990 L4T 2.0 184 360 M6 — — 7.3 98 54 07/15 F $50,990 L4T 2.3 257 440 M6 1524 4.9 13.3 7.7 98 SUM A

Mondeo

Sha

Dynamic and a comfort benchmark

Superb chassis; vast and quiet inteerior; seats; Top-spec Titanium interior not special e ; cabin  The Pick: Mid-level Trend delivers eaasily t est com Ambiente hatch $33,190 L4 2.0 149 345 A6 1605 — — Ambiente wagon $35,040 L4 2.0 149 345 A6 1649 — — Ambiente TDCi hatch $37,190 L4TD 2.0 132 400 S6 8.6 Ambiente TDCi wag $39,040 L4TD 2.0 132 400 S6 8.7

140 wheelsmag.com.au

petrols sel fru y; value s below W level eigh ht on of dyynam mism a comffort 8.2 95 47 06/15 F 8.5 95 48 F 5.1 48 F 5.3 48 F

Ford’s effervescent Focus RS has been treated to a run of 500 Limited Edition specials. It’s not quite the rumoured RS500, but still a mouth-watering enhancement thanks Quaife h h k to a Q if

front LSD, 19-inch wheels with sticky Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 rubber, wafer-thin Recaro buckets with Nitrous blue leather accent, and black exterior detailing. Yours ffor $56 $56,990 d ili Y 990


POWE RE D

Showroom Eng type

Price

Kerb Eng size Power Torque Trans. weight

Everest

0-100 km/h

0-400 metres

Fuel Resale cons. RON %

Issue tested

Ranger-based SUV chases Prado

Off-road dynamics and braking ability; cabin refinement; clever tech; excellent ESC Utilitarian dash; separate-chassis antiquity, with all its comfort and packaging limitations  The Pick: Titanium too exxy and Ambiente skinnily equipped, so best stick with the Trend $47,990 L5TD 3.2 143 470 A6 2305 --8.4 D R $54,990 L5TD 3.2 143 470 A6 2370 — — 8.5 D 59 02/16 A $55,990 L5TD 3.2 143 470 A6 2305 --8.4 D R $60,990 L5TD 3.2 143 470 A6 2407 11.6 18.0 8.5 D 59 02/16 A $76,705 L5TD 3.2 143 470 A6 2495 — — 8.5 D 60 09/15 A

Ambiente Ambiente Trend Trend Titanium

Dealer Quick Finder DEALER DIRECTORY

58 Nepean Highway, Mentone 3194 Sales: 03 9581 2525 DL:5199

VIC

5yr/100,000km haval.com.au

Haval H2

Premium 2WD Premium 2WD Premium 4WD Luxury 2WD Luxury 2WD Luxury 4WD

Cheap, but is it cheerful?

Entry point for a new Chinese brand doesn’t look too bad on paper, engine included Drinks premium unleaded; AWD models manual-only; same name as a huge Hummer  The Pick: Instinct says stick with Mazda CX-3 or Honda HR-V, and it’s justified $23,990* L4T 1.5 110 210 M6 1529 — — 8.2 95 43 F $23,990* L4T 1.5 110 210 A6 — — — 9.0 95 43 F $25,990* L4T 1.5 110 210 M6 1609 — — 8.5 95 43 A $25,990* L4T 1.5 110 210 M6 1529 — — 8.2 95 43 F $35,990* L4T 1.5 110 210 A6 — — — 9.0 95 44 03/16 F $28,490* L4T 1.5 110 210 M6 1608 — — 8.5 95 44 A

H6

Premium Lux

Six and out

Roomy interior; sprightly 2.0 turbo; decent design; Euro feel to elements of interior Choppy ride; laggy dual-clutch auto; flat front seats; wants PULP; no sat-nav  The Pick: Stick to the Premium because there’s less to lose with questionable resale $29,990* L4T 2.0 145 315 A6 1715 10.0 17.2 13.3 95 50 06/17 F $33,990* L4T 2.0 145 315 A6 — — — 9.8 95 52 F

H8

Premium 2WD Premium 4WD Luxury 4WD

Decent cabin presentation complete with Aussie leather; looks quite handsome Only five seats; heavy and thirsty; patchy track record of other Chinese brands here  The Pick: A lot of money for an unknown – we’d be looking at a Kia Sorento $38,990* L4T 2.0 160 324 A6 2051 — — 12.2 95 49 R $41,990* L4T 2.0 160 324 A6 2128 — — 12.2 95 50 A $44,990* L4T 2.0 160 324 A6 2128 — — 12.2 95 50 03/16 A

China’s serious off-roader

ZF gearbox with dual-range transfer case for decent off-road ability; seven seats It looks old-school Chinese, with an old-school separate chassis and sub-par dynamics  The Pick: If you must go there, grab an H9 Premium – it’s cheaper $46,490* L4T 2.0 160 324 A6 2206 — — 12.1 95 52 A $49,990* L4T 2.0 160 324 A6 2236 — — 12.1 95 52 A

3yr/100,000km holden.com.au

Holden Spark

LS LS LT

LS LS LT

Getting serious again with small cars

Space and comfort; infotainment interface; quality and refinement; grunt of 1.6 turbo Tall gearing hurts driveability in 1.4; hatch’s small cargo bay; 1.6 could do with an LSD  The Pick: Skip the sedan and head for the RS hatch with the good engine and decent gear $20,490 L4T 1.4 110 240 M6 1275 — — 5.8 95 50 F $21,490 L4T 1.4 110 240 A6 1283 — — 6.1 95 50 F $21,490 L4T 1.4 110 240 M6 1283 7.8 — 5.5 95 50 F $22,490 L4T 1.4 110 240 A6 1304 8.0 — 5.5 95 50 01/17 F $22,740 L4T 1.4 110 240 A6 1283 — — 6.1 95 50 F $25,790 L4T 1.4 110 240 A6 1294 — — 6.1 95 52 F $26,240 L4T 1.6 147 300 M6 1325 6.6 — 6.1 95 52 F $27,240 L4T 1.6 147 300 A6 1344 6.6 — 6.1 95 52 09/17 F

$29,790 $30,740 $31,740

Eng type

L4T L4T L4T

Commodore

Kerb Eng size Power Torque Trans. weight

1.4 110 240 1.6 147 300 1.6 147 300

0-100 km/h

A6 1318 — M6 1344 6.6 A6 1363 6.6

0-400 metres

— — —

Fuel Resale cons. RON %

6.1 6.1 6.1

Issue tested

95 52 08/17 95 52 95 52

Drive

F F F

The V8s are bloody great

Fantastic V8 grunt and sound; brilliant body control and balance; practicality and value Evoke still plain; chunky A-pillars; sedans miss out on wagon’s split-fold rear seats  The Pick: SS-V Redline for its superb chassis, arresting performance, and Brembo brakes Evoke $35,490 V6 3.0 185 290 A6 1622 8.1 15.9 8.3 91 39 07/13 R Evoke Sportwagon $37,490 V6 3.0 185 290 A6 1717 — — 8.6 91 40 R SV6 $40,490 V6 3.6 210 350 M6 1688 — — 9.0 91 42 R SV6 $41,490 V6 3.6 210 350 A6 1685 6.6 14.7 9.0 91 42 09/16 R SV6 Sportwagon $42,490 V6 3.6 210 350 A6 1776 6.9 15.0 9.3 91 42 04/14 R SS $47,490 V8 6.2 304 570 M6 1729 4.9 — 12.6 95 42 R SS $48,490 V8 6.2 304 570 A6 1744 5.0 — 12.9 95 42 R SS Sportwagon $51,690 V8 6.2 304 570 A6 1849 5.0 — 12.9 95 42 R SS V Redline $54,490 V8 6.2 304 570 M6 1766 4.9 13.0 12.6 95 43 11/15 R SS V Redline $56,190 V8 6.2 304 570 A6 1780 5.3 13.4 12.9 95 43 04/16 R SS V Redline S’wgn $59,190 V8 6.2 304 570 A6 1851 5.0 — 12.9 95 43 R Calais $41,290 V6 3.6 210 350 A6 1702 7.1 15.1 9.0 91 41 02/15 R Calais Sportwagon $43,290 V6 3.6 210 350 A6 1798 — — 9.3 91 42 R Calais V $48,750 V6 3.6 210 350 A6 1730 — — 9.0 91 42 R Calais V $56,750 V8 6.2 304 570 A6 1778 5.0 — 12.9 95 43 R Calais V Sportwagon $50,750 V6 3.6 210 350 A6 1808 — — 9.3 91 43 R Calais V Sportwagon $58,750 V8 6.2 304 570 A6 1866 5.0 — 12.9 95 44 R

Ute

Evoke SV6 SV6 SS SS SS V SS V SS V Redline SS V Redline

V

Ready for its retirement, not yours

Simplified range uses larger Captiva 7 body; sharp pricing; great standard connectivity Commodore-derived 3.0 thrashy; old basic design, and showing it; average dynamics  The Pick: LT diesel is affordable, torquey, and benefits from AWD, but Captiva is past it $26,490 L4 2.4 123 230 M6 1712 — — 9.5 91 43 F $28,690 L4 2.4 123 230 A6 1737 — — 9.5 91 44 F $30,490 L4 2.4 123 230 A6 1762 — — 9.5 91 46 F $33,490 L4TD 2.2 135 400 A6 1873 — — 8.1 D 46 F $36,490 V6 3.0 190 288 A6 1844 8.9 16.5 10.1 91 44 10/16 A $37,490 L4TD 2.2 135 400 A6 1974 — — 8.1 D 45 A $40,490 V6 3.0 190 288 A6 1934 — — 10.1 91 45 A $41,490 L4TD 2.2 135 400 A6 1984 — — 8.1 D 45 A

Trailblazer

LT LTZ

Baby rhinoplasty

Fresh nose sharpens looks; steering and handling; excellent auto; value for money Hemmed-in rear seat; 1.8’s raucous manners; LTZ’s vinyl trim; autos drink premium fuel  The Pick: Entry-level LS auto with its torquey boosted engine and capable dynamics $23,990 L4 1.8 103 178 M5 — — 91 F $26,490 L4T 1.4 103 200 A6 — — 6.7 95 F $28,890 L4T 1.4 103 200 A6 — — 6.7 95 F $30,490 L4T 1.4 103 200 A6 1422 — — 9.0 95 05/17 F

Captiva

LS LS LS 7-seat LS 7-seat LT LT LTZ LTZ

The world’s best-value limo

Loads of rear-seat leg room; tough elegance; great value for money; nice ride; grunt Badge snobs won’t like it; exterior unchanged for years despite Commodore updates  The Pick: WN Caprice has always been great and LS3 V8 raises the bar $61,490 V8 6.2 304 570 A6 1851 5.0 — 12.9 95 44 R

Trax

LS LS LTZ LTZ

Aussie two-door muscle

Great dynamics for a car with such a huge boot, especially Redline; mega-strong LS3 V8 No passenger overhead grab handle; V8 noise not as pronounced as in sedan  The Pick: SS for its V8 value, though the superb Redline (even on 20s) is where it’s at $33,490 V6 3.6 210 350 A6 1656 — — 9.0 91 39 R $33,990 V6 3.6 210 350 M6 1680 — — 9.0 91 42 R $36,190 V6 3.6 210 350 A6 1681 — — 9.0 91 42 R $40,990 V8 6.2 304 570 M6 1720 4.9 — 12.6 95 42 R $43,190 V8 6.2 304 570 A6 1733 5.0 — 12.9 95 42 R $44,490 V8 6.2 304 570 M6 1736 4.9 — 12.6 95 42 R $46,690 V8 6.2 304 570 A6 1749 5.0 — 12.9 95 43 R $50,490 V8 6.2 304 570 M6 1739 4.9 — 12.6 95 43 11/15 R $52,690 V8 6.2 304 570 A6 1753 5.0 — 12.9 95 43 R

Caprice

Much older than it looks

Handsome new nose; standard rear camera; decent handling; torquey LS manual Ancient 1.6L donk way beyond retirement age; uncomfortable seats; scratchy plastics  The Pick: LS manual - it’s the cheapest, best-riding spec with a pleasant gear change $14,990 L4 1.6 85 155 M5 1229 — — — 91 42 F $17,190 L4 1.6 85 155 A6 1256 — — — 91 42 F $20,390 L4 1.6 85 155 A6 1256 — — — 91 44 F

Astra

LS sedan LS sedan R hatch R hatch LS+ sedan LT sedan RS hatch RS hatch

Leads the small Holden fightback

Fresh interior; punchy engine; classy dynamics; Apple Carplay/Android Auto standard Not as cheap as some, but at least this is offset with features; no manual on top-spec LT  The Pick: A far more polished car than the larger Barina, and surprisingly fun to drive $13,990 L4 1.4 73 124 M5 — — — 5.2 91 44 F $15,690 L4 1.4 73 128 C 990 10.8 17.7 5.5 91 44 07/16 F $18,990 L4 1.4 73 128 C — — — 5.5 91 45 F

Barina

LTZ sedan RS-V hatch RS-V hatch

Size and presence

H9

Premium Luxury

Price

Drive

BY

Facelifted Colorado 7 with a new name

Rugged and capable off-roader; solid value; torquey engine; progressive steering More 4x4 than car; no steering adjustment; middle-row seats don’t slide  The Pick: What a difference a new name makes (and some major engineering updates!) $47,990 L4TD 2.8 147 500 A6 2194 — — 8.6 D A $52,490 L4TD 2.8 147 500 A6 2203 — — 8.6 D A

HSV Gen-F2

3yr/100,000km hsv.com.au Australia’s best muscle car. Ever

Brilliant LS9 in W1 with spot-on gearing and superb brakes; regular GTS-R a great, too Some interior finishes a bit budget at these prices; blown V8’s thirst; finding a W1  The Pick: GTS-R W1 is an instant classic and a superb car. Good luck finding one, though C’Sport R8 30 Years $82,990 V8S 6.2 410 691 M6 1890 — — 15.3 98 44 R C’Sport R8 30 Years $84,490 V8S 6.2 410 691 A6 1907 — — 15.0 98 44 R C’Sprt R8 Tourer 30 $88,990 V8S 6.2 410 691 A6 1974 — — 15.0 98 44 R Senator Sig 30 Years $95,990 V8S 6.2 410 691 M6 1885 — — 15.3 98 45 R Senator Sig 30 Years $95,990 V8S 6.2 410 691 A6 1902 — — 15.0 98 45 R GTS 30 Years $98,990 V8S 6.2 435 740 M6 1886 — — 15.3 98 47 R

@wheelsaustralia 141


GTS 30 Years GTS-R GTS-R

$100,490 V8S $109,490 V8S $111,990 V8S

A6 1903 — M6 — 4.8 A6 — —

F= Frontdrive,R=Reardrive, A=All-wheeldrive

Fuel Resale cons. RON %

When we drove it

Glass's predicted resale rating, retained after 3 years

0-400 metres

Recommended octane rating

0-100 km/h

Fuel consumption in Litres/100km

Kilograms

M=manual, A=automatic, S=sequential, C=CVT

Newton metres

6.2 435 740 6.2 435 740 6.2 435 740

Maloo

R8 LSA 30 Years R8 LSA 30 Years GTS-R Maloo GTS-R Maloo

Kilowatts

Litres

Kerb Eng size Power Torque Trans. weight

0-400m acceleration, in sec s (Wheels tested figures in italics)

Eng type

0-100km/h acceleration, in secs (Wheels tested figures in italics)

Price

L=in-line,V=vee,F=flat,R=rotary. Numberofcylsorrotors. T=turbo, S= s'charged,D=diesel,H=hybrid

New models for the month highlighted

Recommended Retail Price at time of publication (* indicates driveaway)

HSV – JA GU A R

NEW ARRIVALS

Issue tested

Drive

— 15.0 98 47 12.8 17.1 98 — 07/17 — — 98 —

Get new car advice from the experts. whichcar.com.au

Business up front, party out back

Price

Unique take on a two-door sports car; feels premium inside; strong supercharged V8 Hard tonneau cover looks bulky; it’s not particularly good at carrying heavy things  The Pick: First-ever GTS-R Maloo could be a collector’s item. Loads of arse-out fun, too $79,990 V8S 6.2 410 691 M6 1704 — — 15.5 98 49 R $82,490 V8S 6.2 410 691 A6 1721 — — 15.8 98 49 R $96,990 V8S 6.2 435 740 M6 1825 — — 98 R $99,490 V8S 6.2 435 740 A6 1842 — — 98 R

Accent

Sport hatch Sport hatch Sport sedan Sport sedan

Honda Jazz

VTi VTi VTi-S VTi-L

City

VTi VTi VTi-L

Booted Jazz, re-booted

NSX

VTi VTi-S VTi-L

CR-V

VTi VTi-S VTi-S AWD VTi-L VTi-LX AWD

Sonata

Active Elite Premium

Genesis

Odyssey becomes a breeder bus

Tall, ungainly body makes Odyssey a true Tarago alternative; improved economy Everything great about the old Odyssey no longer applies – this one’s a van with seats  The Pick: Besides a vasectomy, probably the VTi for its additional seats and lower price $37,610 L4 2.4 129 225 C 1776 10.2 17.5 7.6 91 64 10/16 F $46,490 L4 2.4 129 225 C 1819 — — 7.8 91 65 04/14 F

142 wheelsmag.com.au

Issue tested

Drive

F F F F

Driving and ownership ease

Newfound maturity and appeal

Sensory Ultimate

SR Turbo SR Turbo

Active Active Active X Active X Elite Elite Elite CRDi Highlander Highlander CRDi

F F F F F

Euro-flavoured Korean

F F F F F F

Competent, conservative

Hyundai's first true luxury car

Excellent quality; luxury levels of refinement; impressive ride/handling mix; cabin space Ageing V6 is thirsty and a bit thrashy; expensive option packs undermine its value  The Pick: Either the base Genesis or the $71K Sensory model with premium leather $61,500 V6 3.8 232 397 A8 1890 6.5 — 11.2 91 52 R $71,000 V6 3.8 232 397 A8 1890 6.5 — 11.2 91 51 12/14 R $82,000 V6 3.8 232 397 A8 1890 6.5 — 11.2 91 53 R

Brave two-plus-one-door coupe

Innovative design, keen pricing, individual styling, and Korea’s first-ever dual-clutcher Can’t match the steering and handling excellence of 86/BRZ; atmo 1.6 struggles  The Pick: Kids and fashionistas will love it. Enthusiasts will wish they shopped elsewhere $29,590 L4 1.6 103 167 M6 1180 9.8 — 6.4 91 63 F $32,090 L4 1.6 103 167 S6 1215 — — 6.4 91 62 F $30,650 L4T 1.6 150 265 M6 1265 6.5 — 6.9 91 64 F $33,990 L4T 1.6 150 265 S7 1305 — — 7.1 91 63 F

Tucson F F A F A

Fuel Resale cons. RON %

Smart styling; excellent road manners; generous rear seat and boot space Well-built cabin lacks sophistication; doesn’t have the safety kit of some rivals; thirsty  The Pick: Elite, which gets the turbo donk and a decent amount of kit $30,590 L4 2.4 138 241 A6 1500 — — 8.3 91 44 F $38,350 L4T 2.0 180 350 A6 1560 — — 9.2 91 45 04/15 F $45,490 L4T 2.0 180 350 A6 1645 7.0 15.0 9.2 91 46 09/16 F

Veloster

Now with turbo and seven-seat option

Roomy cabin and luggage bay; new turbo engine brings efficiency and power Price increases for almost all variants; will wait to pass full judgement until we drive it  The Pick: VTi-L brings seven seats but VTi-S appears to offer the best value $30,690 L4T 1.5 140 240 C — — — 7.0 91 52 $33,290 L4T 1.5 140 240 C — — — 7.3 91 54 $35,490 L4T 1.5 140 240 C — 9..9 — 7.4 91 54 $38,990 L4T 1.5 140 240 C — — — 7.3 91 55 $44,290 L4T 1.5 140 240 C — 9.9 — 7.4 91 56

Odyssey

VTi VTi-L

Best small SUV for space

Coupe-esque styling; generous equipment; ‘magic seat’ packaging; okay dynamics Limited range (no 4WD, no manual); flimsy luggage cover; anaesthetised steering  The Pick: Entry-level VTi offers a tempting package for a tasty price $24,990 L4 1.8 105 172 C 1328 — — 6.6 91 50 03/16 F $27,990 L4 1.8 105 172 C 1366 — — 6.9 91 50 F $33,340 L4 1.8 105 172 C 1366 10.2 17.5 6.9 91 52 05/15 F

0-400 metres

Mixes Euro style and space with decent dynamics and effective drivetrains Ultimately not that quick; Premium’s ride quality and price; no petrol sedan  The Pick: An Active Tourer turbo-diesel, with Hyundai’s seven-speed dual-clutch ’box Active sedan CRDi $33,690 L4TD 1.7 104 340 S7 1524 — — 5.1 D 44 Active Tourer $33,090 L4 2.0 121 203 A6 1483 — — 7.5 91 44 Active Tourer CRDi $35,090 L4TD 1.7 104 340 S7 1539 — — 5.1 D 44 Premium sedan CRDi $42,850 L4TD 1.7 104 340 S7 1524 — — 5.1 D 45 Premium Tourer $42,250 L4 2.0 121 203 A6 1483 — — 7.5 91 45 Premium Tourer CRDi $43,990 L4TD 1.7 104 340 S7 1539 — — 5.1 D 46

It’s been a while

Accessible supercar performance and dynamics; intriguing tech; refinement; brakes Can’t choose your own dynamic settings; flat seats; cabin hardware not special enough  The Pick: At this money it’s tempting to go for a Porsche 911 Turbo – with change $420,000 V6TTH 3.5 427 646 S9 1780 — — 9.7 A

HR-V

Active Active Elite SR Turbo SR Turbo

The car that can (sort of) steer itself

Freshened nose stands out; very refined; plenty of punch from V6; rear seat space A car for those who begrudgingly drive; dated five-speed auto; hybrid is no longer  The Pick: Keep it cheap and go for the VTi, which at least has the space, if not the pace $32,990 L4 2.4 129 225 A5 1510 — — 8.0 91 53 F $43,990 L4 2.4 129 225 A5 1572 — — 8.2 91 55 F $52,590 V6 3.5 206 339 A6 1667 — — 9.2 91 55 F

0-100 km/h

Picks up where i20 left off

Willing, efficient engine – more so as the turbo; dynamics; refinement; space; value Bland interior; mild suspension boom; auto tranny lacks intuition; no AEB  The Pick: SR Turbo is great value, otherwise be more sensible with the Elite $21,950 L4 2.0 112 192 M6 1255 — — 7.1 91 48 $23,790 L4 2.0 112 192 A6 1275 9.0 — 7.2 91 49 01/17 $26,990 L4 2.0 112 192 A6 1355 — — 7.2 91 50 $28,990 L4T 1.6 150 265 M6 1360 — — 7.7 91 12/16 $31,290 L4T 1.6 150 265 S7 1390 7.0 15.1 7.2 91 12/16

i40 F F F F F F F F F F

Kerb Eng size Power Torque Trans. weight

New chassis is huge fun; 1.6-litre turbo talks the SR language; sweet steering; Euro look Interior quality hasn’t stepped up to meet the other improvements; SR sounds a bit dull  The Pick: Independent rear suspension and fine turbo engine give SR the edge Active 2.0 GDi $20,950 L4 2.0 120 203 M6 1251 — — 7.3 91 52 F Active 2.0 GDi $23,250 L4 2.0 120 203 S7 1276 — — 7.4 91 54 F Active 1.6 CRDi $23,450 L4TD 1.6 100 280 M6 1312 — — 4.5 D 54 F Active 1.6 CRDi $25,950 L4TD 1.6 100 300 S7 1339 — — 4.7 D 54 F SR 1.6 T-GDi $25,950 L4T 1.6 150 265 M6 1315 — — 7.5 91 54 F SR 1.6 T-GDi $28,950 L4T 1.6 150 265 S7 1344 7.3 — 7.8 91 55 09/17 F Elite 1.6 CRDi $28,950 L4TD 1.6 100 300 S7 1339 — — 4.7 D 55 F Premium 1.6 CRDi $33,950 L4TD 1.6 100 300 S7 1339 — — 4.7 D 56 F SR Premium 1.6 T-GDi $33,950 L4T 1.6 150 265 S7 1344 — — 7.5 91 56 F

Elantra

A classic comeback

Sparkling performance from 1.5 turbo; supple ride; refinement; steering; space No manual option; unnecessary growth of exterior proportions; underwhelming 1.8  The Pick: The 1.5 is the better engine option and the VTi-L gets more than enough gear $22,390 L4 1.8 104 174 C 1289 — — 6.4 91 $22,390 L4 1.8 104 174 C 1261 — — 6.4 91 56 07/16 $24,490 L4 1.8 104 174 C 1289 — — 6.4 91 $24,490 L4 1.8 104 174 C 1261 9.2 — 6.4 91 56 01/17 $27,790 L4T 1.5 127 220 C 1364 — — 6.1 91 $27,790 L4T 1.5 127 220 C 1331 — — 6.0 91 56 07/16 $32,290 L4T 1.5 127 220 C 1364 — — 6.1 91 $31,790 L4T 1.5 127 220 C 1331 7.4 15.4 6.0 91 58 12/16 $33,590 L4T 1.5 127 220 C 1364 — — 6.1 91 $33,590 L4T 1.5 127 220 C 1331 — — 6.0 91 58 07/16

Accord

VTi VTi-L V6L

F F F F

Riding on an all-new platform, new-gen City is far from the putrid drive we expected Not pretty, but it’s better in the flesh; VTi-L’s wheels introduce some ride harshness  The Pick: VTi manual if you have to, though the CVT ain’t too bad if you don’t like cars $15,990 L4 1.5 88 145 M5 1082 — — 5.8 91 48 F $17,990 L4 1.5 88 145 C 1103 10.7 17.7 5.7 91 48 10/14 F $21,590 L4 1.5 88 145 C 1107 — — 5.7 91 50 08/14 F

Civic

VTi hatch VTi sedan VTi-S hatch VTi-S sedan VTi-L hatch VTi-L sedan RS hatch RS sedan VTi-LX hatch VTi-LX sedan

Lower price, greater class

Ripper entry price for all-new Jazz; polished interior; superb packaging flexibility Messy styling; vague steering; numb handling; value dissipates at the top end  The Pick: Either the entry-level VTi or possibly the neatly equipped VTi-S CVT $14,990 L4 1.5 88 145 M5 1048 — — 6.2 91 55 $16,990 L4 1.5 88 145 C 1053 10.2 17.3 5.8 91 53 03/15 $19,990 L4 1.5 88 145 C 1095 — — 5.8 91 56 $22,990 L4 1.5 88 145 C 1130 — — 5.8 91 57 10/14

Eng type

Space, equipment, and pricing; move to Sport-only range boosts appeal Gluggy steering and restless chassis dull the shine for drivers  The Pick: Sport manual for some fun or something else entirely ... like an i30 $15,490 L4 1.6 103 167 M6 1150 — — 6.3 91 45 $17,490 L4 1.6 103 167 A6 1170 — — 6.6 91 45 $15,490 L4 1.6 103 167 M6 1150 — — 6.3 91 46 $17,490 L4 1.6 103 167 A6 1170 — — 6.6 91 46

i30

5yr/unlimited honda.com.au

5yr/unlimited hyundai.com.au

Hyundai

R R R

ix35 replacement steps up

Muscular design looks the business; broad model range with flexible 1.6 turbo-petrol Front-drivers only available with atmo 2.0 engines; Highlander the only Tucson with AEB  The Pick: Elite AWD with new turbo engine, seven-speed dual-clutch, and sharp pricing $28,590 L4 2.0 114 192 M6 — — — 91 52 F $30,490 L4 2.0 114 192 A6 — — — 91 50 F $31,150 L4 2.0 121 203 M6 1484 — — 7.8 91 52 F $32,990 L4 2.0 121 203 A6 — 10.5 17.3 10.7 91 52 06/17 F $36,750 L4 2.0 121 203 A6 1569 — — 7.9 91 52 F $39,750 L4T 1.6 130 265 S7 1575 — — 7.7 91 53 02/16 A $41,750 L4TD 2.0 136 400 A6 1622 — — 6.4 D 52 A $45,450 L4T 1.6 130 265 S7 1690 8.1 16.0 7.7 91 53 11/15 A $47,450 L4TD 2.0 136 400 A6 1744 — — 6.8 D 53 A


POWE RE D

Showroom Eng type

Price

Santa Fe

Active Active X Active CRDi Elite CRDi Highlander CRDi

Kerb Eng size Power Torque Trans. weight

0-100 km/h

0-400 metres

Fuel Resale cons. RON %

Issue tested

Grunty diesel engine option; more equipment with Series II update; functional interior Petrol four struggles; interior presentation nothing special; firm ride on Highlander  The Pick: Highlander CRDi is expensive but brings lashings of gear and AEB $41,850 L4 2.4 138 241 A6 1743 — — 9.4 91 56 A $40,990 V6 3.3 199 318 A6 1844 — — 10.5 91 F $44,850 L4TD 2.2 147 440 A6 1857 — — 7.8 D 57 A $51,990 L4TD 2.2 147 440 A6 1857 — — 7.8 D 58 A $57,090 L4TD 2.2 147 440 A6 1857 — — 7.8 D 58 09/15 A

iMax

3.0d S Premium 5.0 S Premium

Dealer Quick Finder DEALER DIRECTORY

41 Lonsdale Street, Dandenong 3175 DL:3415 Sales: 03 9771 9400

VIC

MU-X

LS-M LS-U LS-M 4WD LS-T LS-M 4WD LS-U 4WD LS-U 4WD LS-T 4WD

QX30

GT GT Premium

Q50

2.0 GT 2.0 S 2.0 S Premium 2.2d GT 2.2d S 2.2d S Premium 3.0tt S Premium 3.0tt Red Sport 3.5h S 3.5h S Premium

R R R

20t Prestige 20d Prestige 25t Prestige 20t R-Sport 20d R-Sport 25t R-Sport 25t Portfolio S

Show-stopping style

Roomy, luxurious, and powerful soft-roader; plenty of grip and grunt; unique appearance Cargo capacity and visibility suffer for its style; intrusive tyre roar drowns out the V8  The Pick: Diesel for torque, V8 for grunt, any of them for QX’s stand-apart styling $75,900 V6 3.7 235 360 A7 1893 6.8 — 12.1 98 50 11/12 A $82,900 V6 3.7 235 360 A7 1893 6.8 — 12.1 98 50 A $85,900 V6 3.7 235 360 A7 1908 6.8 — 12.1 98 52 A $77,900 V6TD 3.0 175 550 A7 2036 8.3 — 9.0 D 50 A $84,900 V6TD 3.0 175 550 A7 2036 8.3 — 9.0 D 50 11/12 A

0-400 metres

— —

Fuel Resale cons. RON %

9.0 13.1

Issue tested

D 52 98 52

Drive

A A

Patrol V8 hit with a (big) ugly stick

5yr/130,000km isuzuute.com.au Ute with a kid-friendly boot

Ready for adventure; big towing capacity; interior kitted out with family in mind Bulletproof Isuzu engine lacks Colorado 7’s grunt; lumbering separate-chassis ride  The Pick: Range-topper adds a roof-mounted DVD player that will mute the kids $42,800 L4TD 3.0 130 430 A6 2000 — — 7.9 D 52 $45,100 L4TD 3.0 130 430 A6 2000 — — 7.9 D 52 $48,000 L4TD 3.0 130 430 M6 2040 – – 7.9 D $48,800 L4TD 3.0 130 430 A6 2000 – – 7.9 D $50,100 L4TD 3.0 130 430 A6 2040 — — 7.9 D 53 $50,300 L4TD 3.0 130 430 M6 2040 – – 7.9 D $52,400 L4TD 3.0 130 430 A6 2040 – – 7.9 D $56,100 L4TD 3.0 130 430 A6 2040 – – 7.9 D

Prestige 20d Portfolio 25t Portfolio 35t R-Sport 20d R-Sport 25t R-Sport 35t S 30d S XFR XFR-S

R R A R A A A A

3yr/unlimited jaguar.com.au Gunning for C-Class and 3 Series

Great steering; well-sorted chassis (especially R-Sport); frugal Ingenium diesel Interior lacks glamour and sparkle; auto not always in sync with the driver; storage space  The Pick: New diesel is a cracker but 25t R-Sport gets our vote for its chassis/performance $60,400 L4T 2.0 147 280 A8 1530 7.7 15.6 7.5 95 59 10/15 R $62,800 L4TD 2.0 132 430 A8 1565 7.8 — 4.2 D 60 R $64,615 L4T 2.0 177 340 A8 1530 6.8 — 7.5 95 59 R $64,119 L4T 2.0 147 280 A8 — 7.7 — 7.5 95 59 02/16 R $66,800 L4TD 2.0 132 430 A8 — 7.8 — 4.2 D 59 R $68,615 L4T 2.0 177 340 A8 — 6.7 15.2 10.8 95 60 10/17 R $70,115 L4T 2.0 177 340 A8 — 7.1 15.1 7.5 95 60 04/16 R $105,065 V6S 3.0 250 450 A8 1665 5.1 — 8.1 95 60 02/16 R

XF

Strong contender in the exec sedan battle

Engaging handling; crisp steering; supple ride; rear-seat space; sweet 2.0-litre diesel Lacks class-leading tech; interior good rather than great; expensive options list  The Pick: New 20d is great to drive and relatively affordable; torquey 30d is tempting, too $82,754 L4TD 2.0 132 430 A8 1556 8.1 — 4.3 D 45 R $97,515 L4T 2.0 184 365 A8 1543 7.0 — 7.5 95 45 R $112,515 V6S 3.0 250 450 A8 1662 5.4 — 8.3 95 45 R $88,754 L4TD 2.0 132 430 A8 1556 8.1 — 4.3 D 45 R $89,515 L4T 2.0 184 365 A8 1543 7.0 — 7.5 95 45 R $104,515 V6S 3.0 250 450 A8 1662 5.4 — 8.3 95 45 R $121,804 V6TTD 3.0 221 700 A8 1712 6.2 — 5.5 D 45 R $129,065 V6S 3.0 280 450 A8 1662 5.3 — 8.3 95 45 R $189,075 V8S 5.0 375 625 A8 1842 4.8 12.9 11.6 95 55 04/12 R $222,075 V8S 5.0 404 680 A8 1987 4.4 – – 98 55 09/13 R

XJ

Flagship from British India

Traffic-stopping presence; sharp dynamics; stunning cabin; not a pipe or slipper in sight LWB models are getting expensive, S/C models can get thirsty; low-speed ride on 20s  The Pick: Price no object? It has to be the long-wheelbase supercharged Supersport 3.0S Premium Lux $201,615 V6S 3.0 250 450 A8 1755 5.9 — 9.6 95 39 R 3.0S Prem Lux LWB $201,615 V6S 3.0 250 450 A8 1765 5.9 — 9.6 95 39 R 3.0D Premium Lux $201,854 V6TTD 3.0 202 600 A8 1775 6.4 — 6.1 D 41 R 3.0D Prem Lux LWB $201,854 V6TTD 3.0 202 600 A8 1825 6.4 — 6.1 D 41 R 3.0S Portfolio $228,580 V6S 3.0 250 450 A8 1755 5.9 — 9.6 95 39 R 5.0 S/C S’sport LWB $299,990 V8S 5.0 375 625 A8 1915 4.9 — 11.6 98 41 R 5.0 S/C XJR $299,990 V8S 5.0 404 680 A8 1880 4.6 — 11.6 98 45 R

F-Pace

Japan’s 5 Series? Not quite

Pacey, efficient hybrid; tail-happy V6; engaging handling; superb cabin quality Super-light and strangely geared steering; Hyundai Genesis is a better luxury sedan  The Pick: GT has punch and class but can’t quite equal the Germans $68,900 V6 3.7 235 360 A7 1652 6.2 — 10.2 98 41 R $78,900 V6 3.7 235 360 A7 1702 6.2 — 10.8 98 41 R $82,900 V6H 3.5 225 350 A7 1785 5.3 — 6.9 98 42 R

QX70

3.7 GT 3.7 S 3.7 S Premium 3.0d GT 3.0d S

Fine looks, heaps of kit, keen pricing

Coupe’s driver appeal; standard equipment; terrific seats; great vision Foot-operated parking brake  The Pick: S Premium coupe delivers BMW-style thrills for considerably less $62,900 L4T 2.0 155 350 A7 1698 5.9 — 7.7 95 48 $70,900 L4T 2.0 155 350 A7 1742 6.1 7.7 95 53 $88,900 V6TT 3.0 298 475 A7 1784 6.4 — 8.9 95 53

Q70

GT S Premium 3.5h Premium

Shoots for Europe, and falls short

Thrusty Red Sport power; slick build quality; plush seats; rarity Ill-conceived electronic systems and fly-by-wire steering spell dynamic confusion  The Pick: Red Sport or one of the new 2.0-litre turbo-petrol fours minus the techno stuff $51,900 L4T 2.0 155 350 A7 — 8.5 — 7.3 95 40 R $56,900 L4T 2.0 155 350 A7 — 8.5 — 7.3 95 40 R $61,500 L4T 2.0 155 350 A7 — 8.5 — 7.3 95 40 11/14 R $52,900 L4TD 2.1 125 400 A7 1729 8.5 — 5.2 D 40 R $57,900 L4TD 2.1 125 400 A7 1729 8.5 — 5.2 D 40 R $62,500 L4TD 2.1 125 400 A7 1729 8.5 — 5.2 D 40 R $69,990 V6TT 3.0 224 400 A7 1784 — — 9.2 95 R $79,990 V6TT 3.0 298 475 A7 1784 — — 9.3 95 R $68,900 V6H 3.5 268 546 S7 1775 5.4 13.7 6.8 95 41 12/14 R $74,400 V6H 3.5 268 546 S7 1853 5.4 — 7.2 95 41 R

Q60

GT S Premium Red Sport

High-riding Q30, at a premium

More suspension compliance than Q30; punchy Mercedes-sourced turbo four Dynamics slightly mushier than Q30; price premium over Q30; limited range  The Pick: Regular GT model keeps it further away from the price of the GLA it’s based on $48,900 L4T 2.0 155 350 A7 1505 — — 6.9 95 49 05/17 A $56,900 L4T 2.0 155 350 A7 1505 — — 6.9 95 49 A

0-100 km/h

2051 8.3 1992 5.8

Jaguar

Infiniti look, Mercedes mechanicals

Striking styling; hushed and refined cabin; perky (Benz) petrol engines; decent handling Stilted ride; no reversing camera on GT and Sports; grumbly diesel engine  The Pick: The 2.0 Sports Premium for its engine – and reversing camera 1.6t GT $38,900 L4T 1.6 115 250 A7 1413 8.9 — 6.0 95 48 F 2.0t Sports $44,900 L4T 2.0 155 350 A7 1455 7.3 — 6.3 95 49 F 2.2d Sports $46,900 L4TD 2.1 125 350 A7 1521 8.3 — 5.2 D 49 F 2.0t Sports Premium$52,900 L4T 2.0 155 350 A7 1455 7.3 — 6.3 95 49 F 2.2d Sports Prem $54,900 L4TD 2.1 125 350 A7 1521 8.2 — 5.2 D 49 F

A7 A7

Isuzu

XE Q30

Kerb Eng size Power Torque Trans. weight

3.0 175 550 5.0 287 500

Loaded with gear; willing V8 makes for decent performance; cheaper than its Lexus rival Big, heavy, and thirsty; no diesel option; 22-inch wheels not suited to off-roading  The Pick: Check out a Y62 Patrol. Or a diesel LandCruiser $110,900 V8 5.6 298 560 A7 2770 — — 14.8 98 58 A

4yr/100,000km infiniticars.com.au

Infiniti

Eng type

$87,900 V6TD $104,400 V8

QX80

Value-packed eight-seater

Keenly priced; plenty of fruit, including twin sliding side doors and rear parking sensors It’s an LCV with extra seats, so feels basic in some areas; more about seats than driving  The Pick: The diesel is a much better option, although it ramps the price up significantly $40,790 L4 2.4 129 228 A4 2128 — — 10.6 91 52 R $44,290 L4TD 2.5 100 343 M6 2215 — — 8.1 D 59 R $46,490 L4TD 2.5 125 441 A5 2230 — — 9.0 D 59 R

2.4 2.5 CRDi 2.5 CRDi

Price

Drive

The value seven-seater

BY

20d Prestige 20t Prestige 20t Prestige 20d Prestige 20d R-Sport 20t R-Sport 20d R-Sport 20t R-Sport 30d Prestige 30d R-Sport 30d Portfolio 35t Prestige 35t R-Sport

Big cat heads off-road

Styling; fluid handling and steering; comfy and roomy; rasp of supercharged V6 S Front headrests block view from rear seats; some erroneous cabin trims; gear selector  The Pick: It’s difficult to go past the twin-turbo V6 diesel, and the R-Sport trim looks good $72,510 L4TD 2.0 132 430 A8 1775 8.5 — 5.1 D 61 R $73,540 L4T 2.0 184 365 A8 1760 6.8 — 7.1 95 61 R $76,315 L4T 2.0 184 365 A8 1760 6.8 — 7.4 95 61 A $75,860 L4TD 2.0 132 430 A8 1775 8.7 — 5.3 D 61 A $78,255 L4TD 2.0 132 430 A8 1775 8.5 — 5.1 D 61 R $79,285 L4T 2.0 184 365 A8 1710 6.8 — 7.1 95 61 R $81,565 L4TD 2.0 132 430 A8 1760 8.7 — 5.3 D 61 A $82,075 L4TD 2.0 184 365 A8 1820 6.8 — 7.4 95 61 A $86,325 V6TTD 3.0 221 700 A8 1884 6.2 — — D 61 A $92,085 V6TTD 3.0 221 700 A8 1884 6.2 — — D 61 A $93,085 V6TTD 3.0 221 700 A8 1884 6.2 — — D 61 A $85,605 V6S 3.0 250 450 A8 1820 5.8 — — 95 61 A $91,365 V6S 3.0 250 450 A8 1820 5.8 — — 95 61 A

@wheelsaustralia 143


$92,375 $101,675 $104,995

F-Type

— — —

F= Frontdrive,R=Reardrive, A=All-wheeldrive

Fuel Resale cons. RON %

— — —

When we drove it

Glass's predicted resale rating, retained after 3 years

0-400 metres

Recommended octane rating

0-100 km/h

A8 1820 5.8 A8 — 6.2 A8 1861 5.5

Fuel consumption in Litres/100km

0-400m acceleration, in sec s (Wheels tested figures in italics)

Kilograms

M=manual, A=automatic, S=sequential, C=CVT

Newton metres

Kilowatts

Kerb Eng size Power Torque Trans. weight

V6S 3.0 250 450 V6TTD 3.0 220 700 V6S 3.0 280 450

0-100km/h acceleration, in secs (Wheels tested figures in italics)

Eng type

Price

35t Portfolio S S

Litres

L=in-line,V=vee,F=flat,R=rotary. Numberofcylsorrotors. T=turbo, S= s'charged,D=diesel,H=hybrid

New models for the month highlighted

Recommended Retail Price at time of publication (* indicates driveaway)

JAGUAR – LA ND RO V ER

NEW ARRIVALS

Issue tested

Drive

95 61 D 61 95 61

A A A

The E-Type’s true successor

Looks stunning, drives superbly, sounds incredible, and has an addictive feel-good factor All-aluminium construction but a bit tubby compared to a Porsche; small boot  The Pick: The mid-level V6 S has the best balance; only real power junkies need the V8 S Coupe $119,545 V6S 3.0 250 450 M6 1577 — 9.8 95 53 R Coupe $124,080 V6S 3.0 250 450 A8 — 5.3 — 8.8 95 53 R Convertible $138,425 V6S 3.0 250 450 M6 — — 9.8 95 53 R Convertible $142,780 V6S 3.0 250 450 A8 1597 5.3 — 9.0 95 53 R V6 S Coupe $152,165 V6S 3.0 280 460 M6 — — — 9.8 95 53 R V6 S Coupe $156,380 V6S 3.0 280 460 A8 — 4.9 — 8.8 95 53 R V6 S Convertible $176,105 V6S 3.0 280 460 A8 1614 4.8 13.1 9.1 95 53 11/13 R V6 S AWD Coupe $173,065 V6S 3.0 280 460 A8 1674 — — 8.9 95 53 A V8 R Coupe $228,905 V8S 5.0 404 680 A8 1650 4.2 — 11.1 95 53 R V8 R Convertible $247,795 V8S 5.0 404 680 A8 1665 4.2 — 11.1 95 53 R V8 R AWD Coupe $244,765 V8S 5.0 404 680 A8 1730 4.1 — 11.3 95 53 A V8 R AWD C’tible $263,645 V8S 5.0 404 680 A8 1745 4.1 — 11.3 95 53 A V8 SVR AWD Coupe $298,590 V8S 5.0 423 700 A8 1705 3.7 — 11.3 95 53 A V8 SVR AWD C’tible $308,470 V8S 5.0 423 700 A8 1720 3.8 — 11.3 95 53 02/17 A

5yr/100,000km jeep.com.au

Jeep Renegade

Sport Sport Longitude Limited Trailhawk

Wrangler

Sport 2dr Sport 2dr

Small SUV, big price

Spacious for a small SUV; design attention-to-detail; decent handling and AWD system Sticker shock; fiddly open-roof system; flawed steering; where’s the 125kW 1.4 turbo?  The Pick: For its price, a Cherokee makes sense. Or a Renegade Longitude if you must $26,000 L4 1.6 81 152 M5 1295 — — 6.0 91 50 F $28,000 L4T 1.4 103 230 S6 1295 — — 5.9 91 50 02/16 F $32,000 L4T 1.4 103 230 S6 1295 — — 5.9 91 52 F $35,000 L4T 1.4 103 230 S6 1295 — — 5.9 91 52 02/16 F $39,000 L4 2.4 129 230 A9 1550 — — 7.5 91 52 02/16 A

Get new car advice from the experts. whichcar.com.au

$39,000 $49.990 $43,000 $38,000 $39,000 $42,990 $44,000 $53,990 $53,990

Sport Longitude Limited Limited Trailhawk

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F I R S T D R I V E S & G R E AT D R I V E S

Kerb Eng size Power Torque Trans. weight

0-100 km/h

2.8 2.8 3.6 3.6 3.6 2.8 2.8 3.6 3.6

— — — 8.6 — 11.1 — 8.6 —

147 147 209 209 209 147 147 209 209

410 460 347 347 347 410 460 347 347

M6 A5 A5 M6 A5 M6 A5 A5 A5

1858 2000 1919 2073 2053 1998 1978 2053 2053

0-400 metres

— — — — — — — — —

Fuel Resale cons. RON %

8.0 8.6 11.3 11.8 11.7 8.3 9.5 11.9 11.9

D D 91 91 91 D D 91 91

Issue tested

49 49 54 59 59 60 59 54 53

Drive

A A A A A A A A A

Avant-garde Italo-American

Striking appearance; strong drivetrains; off-road ability of Trailhawk; unique appeal Limited rear-seat headroom under full-size sunroof; ninth gear too tall for Australia  The Pick: Limited’s appointments and performance, unless you need Trailhawk’s low range $36,000 L4 2.4 130 229 A9 1738 — — 8.3 91 53 08/14 F $42,000 V6 3.2 200 316 A9 1834 — — 10.0 91 54 A $49,000 V6 3.2 200 316 A9 1834 — — 10.0 91 55 A $49,000 L4TD 2.0 125 350 A9 1854 — — 5.8 D 55 12/14 A $52,000 V6 3.2 200 316 A9 1862 — — 10.0 91 56 08/14 A

Grand Cherokee Split personality

Laredo Laredo Laredo CRD Limited Limited CRD Trailhawk Overland SRT

Solid off-road ability made awesome in Trailhawk; decent on-road; equipment Rear-seat packaging; feels its weight around town; position of foot-operated park brake  The Pick: Trailhawk if you want to go off-road, otherwise grab some Limited leather $47,500 V6 3.6 213 347 A8 1998 — 9.9 91 54 R $52,500 V6 3.6 213 347 A8 2084 — 10.0 91 55 A $59,000 V6TD 3.0 184 570 A8 2267 — 7.5 D 56 A $62,500 V6 3.6 213 347 A8 2169 — 10.0 91 56 A $69,000 V6TD 3.0 184 570 A8 2281 — 7.5 D 56 A $74,000 V6TD 3.0 184 570 A8 2340 — 7.5 D 56 A $80,000 V6TD 3.0 184 570 A8 2327 — 7.5 D 56 A $91,000 V8 6.4 344 624 A8 2289 — 14.0 98 58 A

7yr/unlimited kia.com.au

Kia Picanto

S S

S S Si SLi

Anonymous, but plenty to like

Conservatively done (again)

Cabin a huge step up; decent dynamics; rear-seat space; long warranty; equipment Small model range; firm ride on GT; heavy steering; 2.4 engine somewhat knackerless  The Pick: Optima Si still an appliance, so save up and go for the turbocharged GT $34,490 L4 2.4 138 241 A6 1540 — — 8.3 91 44 02/16 F $44,490 L4T 2.0 180 350 A6 1605 6.9 14.9 8.3 91 46 09/16 F

Rondo

S Si

More rhythm, less blues

Ride and handling; perky engine in most affordable models; long list of tech and gear No auto braking as part of upgraded safety kit; no camera in base S; lacks finesse  The Pick: Go for the base model S, but get $500 option for a bigger screen with camera $19,990* L4 2.0 112 192 M6 1280 — — 7.1 91 48 F $19,990* L4 2.0 112 192 M6 1301 — — 7.1 91 47 F $22,290* L4 2.0 112 192 A6 1280 — — 7.1 91 48 F $22,290* L4 2.0 112 192 A6 1301 — — 7.1 91 47 F $22,450* L4 2.0 112 192 A6 1309 — — 7.1 91 49 F $24,450* L4 2.0 112 192 A6 1332 — — 7.1 91 49 F $28,990* L4 2.0 112 192 A6 1309 — — 7.1 91 48 F $28,990* L4 2.0 112 192 A6 1332 — — 7.1 91 49 F $32,490* L4 2.0 112 192 A6 1309 — — 7.1 91 50 F $32,490* L4 2.0 112 192 A6 1332 — — 7.1 91 50 F

Optima

Si GT

Euro style, but doesn’t beat Euro rivals

Second-gen Soul maintains the original’s look; improved handling; individual appeal Engine crying out for a bottom-end; firm ride; uninvolving steering; so-so performance  The Pick: We’d opt for a used Skoda Yeti, though Soul II is way better than it used to be $24,990 L4 2.0 113 191 A6 1405 10.2 — 8.4 91 45 11/14 F

Cerato

S sedan S hatch S sedan S hatch Sport sedan Sport hatch Si sedan Si hatch SLi sedan SLi hatch

F F

Crisp styling; classy and roomy interior; handling poise; fluid steering No 1.0-litre turbo option; dated 1.4 has less power than before; four-speed auto; price  The Pick: Stick with the S manual – the new-gen Rio at its most competitive $16,990 L4 1.4 74 133 M6 1137 — — 5.6 91 F $19,090 L4 1.4 74 133 A4 1162 — — 6.2 91 F $21,490 L4 1.4 74 133 A4 1162 — — 6.2 91 F $22,990 L4 1.4 74 133 A4 1162 — — 6.2 91 F

Soul

Si

Simplicity and value, plus fun

Styling; agility; dynamics; seven-year warranty; proper torque converter auto Weight gain for 2017 version harms fuel economy; no AEB  The Pick: Manual shifter is the most fun but auto is probably the sensible choice $14,190 L4 1.2 62 122 M5 976 – – 5.0 91 $15,690* L4 1.2 62 122 A4 995 11.7 – 6.9 91 08/17

Rio

The history of Wheels now at your fingertips!

L4TD L4TD V6 V6 V6 L4TD L4TD V6 V6

Cherokee

Tow it to wherever you want to go off-road

Strong outputs of Pentastar V6 and CRD oiler; worthy for off-road enthusiasts... ...but not for driving (or quality) enthusiasts; loose steering and cumbersome handling  The Pick: Sport if you frequent sand dunes; Rubicon if you want to climb Uluru $38,990 V6 3.6 209 347 M6 1913 — — 11.2 91 58 A $42,500 V6 3.6 209 347 A5 1924 — — 11.3 91 58 A

Eng type

Price

Sport CRD 2dr Sport CRD 2dr Rubicon 2dr Sport Unlimited 4dr Sport Unlimited 4dr Sport Unlimited 4dr Sport Unlimited 4dr Overland 4dr Rubicon U’ted 4dr

Big space at a modest price

Sharp price and decent smattering of equipment; ride/handling balance on 16s; spacious Petrol engine lacks torque; third row of seats in the Si best left to the small (or flexible)  The Pick: Base model S brings space and value; shame the diesel engine is no longer here $26,990 L4 2.0 122 213 A6 1520 — — 7.8 91 F $31,490 L4 2.0 122 213 A6 1546 — — 7.9 91 F


POWE RE D

Showroom Eng type

Price

Carnival

S S CRDi Si Si CRDi SLi SLi CRDi Platinum Platinum CRDi

Kerb Eng size Power Torque Trans. weight

0-100 km/h

0-400 metres

Fuel Resale cons. RON %

Issue tested

Eight is enough

Vastly more refined and better built than the old heap; eight seats; strong diesel; styling Still drives like a bus; thirsty V6; at 5.1m long, you’ll need a McMansion to park it  The Pick: A diesel Si, which adds sat-nav and a reversing camera over the base S $41,490 V6 3.3 206 336 A6 2048 8.3 16.1 11.6 91 59 10/16 F $43,990 L4TD 2.2 147 440 A6 2092 — — 7.7 D 59 F $45,490 V6 3.3 206 336 A6 2048 — — 11.6 91 59 F $47,990 L4TD 2.2 147 440 A6 2092 — — 7.7 D 59 F $49,990 V6 3.3 206 336 A6 2048 — — 11.6 91 60 F $52,490 L4TD 2.2 147 440 A6 2092 — — 7.7 D 60 F $58,790 V6 3.3 206 336 A6 2048 — — 11.6 91 61 F $61,290 L4TD 2.2 147 440 A6 2092 — — 7.7 D 61 F

Sportage

Added polish, surprisingly good drive

Interior design and equipment; capable dynamics; refinement; potent diesel engine Petrol 2.0 only just enough; auto braking limited to Platinums; upper range not cheap  The Pick: Any of the diesels; the Platinum brings plenty extra but the SLi is better value $28,990 L4 2.0 114 192 A6 1559 — — 7.9 91 52 F $33,990 L4TD 2.0 136 400 A6 1590 — — 6.4 D 54 A $30,990 L4 2.0 114 192 A6 1559 — — 7.9 91 52 F $34,690 L4 2.0 114 192 A6 1499 10.4 17.3 11.2 91 54 06/17 F $39,690 L4TD 2.0 136 400 A6 1590 — — 6.4 D 55 A $43,490 L4 2.4 135 237 A6 1590 — — 8.5 91 53 A $45,990 L4TD 2.0 136 400 A6 1590 — — 6.4 D 53 A

Si Si Si Premium SLi SLi Platinum Platinum

Sorento

Holiday, celebrate

Diesel refinement; equipment; build quality; practicality; safety; handling; warranty Getting pricey for a Kia; badge snobbery means buyers may overlook this excellent SUV  The Pick: SLi diesel gets a decent donk and plenty of kit, including leather and better audio $40,990 V6 3.3 199 318 A6 1921 8.0 15.8 9.9 91 54 10/16 F $44,490 L4TD 2.2 147 441 A6 2036 — — 7.8 D 54 A $45,990 V6 3.3 199 318 A6 1921 — — 9.9 91 52 F $49,490 L4TD 2.2 147 441 A6 2036 — — 7.8 D 53 A $56,990 L4TD 2.2 147 441 A6 2036 9.5 16.8 7.8 D 54 09/15 A $58,490 L4TD 2.2 147 441 A6 2036 – – 7.8 D 54 A

Si Si SLi SLi Platinum GT Line

Dealer Quick Finder

SD4 SE SD4 SE Si4 SE TD4 HSE TD4 HSE SD4 HSE SD4 HSE SD4 HSE Luxury SD4 HSE Luxury

X-Bow

3yr/unlimited simplysportscars.com Race track (only) hero

Closest thing to a four-wheeled motorbike; lightweight philosophy boosts performance There’s no windscreen, radio, roof, or boot; it’s a lot of money for a toy  The Pick: Sure, if you’ve got other more sensible wheels. If not, consider a Cayman $169,900 L4T 2.0 220 420 M6 790 3.9 — 8.7 95 5/17 R

Lamborghini Huracan

LP 580-2 LP 580-2 Spyder LP 610-4 LP 610-4 Spyder

S Roadster

2yr/unlimited lamborghini.com.au

Front up to the bull bar

Broad range offers something for everyone More expensive than Gallardo; lack of a manual; rear vision in the coupes  The Pick: Rear-driver is the purist’s choice, and the real embodiment of the brand $390,000 V10 5.2 426 540 S7 1389 3.4 – 11.9 98 57 12/16 $429,000 V10 5.2 426 540 S7 1509 3.6 12.1 98 57 $428,200 V10 5.2 449 560 S7 1422 3.2 — 12.5 98 57 08/14 $470,800 V10 5.2 449 560 S7 1524 3.4 — 12.3 98 57

Aventador

R R A A

Italian flagship

4WS, power hike, and suspension overhaul give glorious V12 supercar a new lease on life Not quite as savage as previous Lambo flagships; tall people get ready to duck down  The Pick: Just buy one. Blue flames come out the exhaust. Flames! $789,425 V12 6.5 544 690 S7 1575 2.9 — 16.0 98 57 03/17 A $795,000 V12 6.5 515 690 S7 1575 3.0 — 16.0 98 57 11/12 A

Land Rover

3yr/100,000km landrover.com.au

Discovery Sport Freelander replacement scores

TD4 SE TD4 SE

L4TD L4TD L4T L4TD L4TD L4TD L4TD L4TD L4TD

Styling; interior design, space, and flexibility; dynamics and traction; competitive prices Diesel engines now use J-LR’s new Ingenium family; third-row seats’ poor vision  The Pick: Grab an SD4 with the nine-speed and choose between five or seven seats $53,300 L4TD 2.2 110 400 M6 1765 11.7 — 6.1 D 61 A $56,355 L4TD 2.2 110 400 A9 1775 10.3 — 6.1 D 61 02/16 A

Kerb Eng size Power Torque Trans. weight

2.2 2.2 2.0 2.2 2.2 2.2 2.2 2.2 2.2

140 140 177 110 110 140 140 140 140

420 420 340 400 400 420 420 420 420

M6 A9 A9 M6 A9 M6 A9 M6 A9

1765 1775 1744 1785 1805 1785 1805 1785 1805

0-100 km/h

0-400 metres

10.4 8.9 8.2 11.7 10.3 10.4 8.9 10.4 9.9

— — — — — — — — 17.1

Fuel Resale cons. RON %

6.1 6.1 8.0 6.1 6.1 6.1 6.1 6.1 6.1

D D 95 D D D D D D

Issue tested

61 61 61 02/16 61 61 61 61 61 61 08/15

Drive

A A A A A A A A A

Fantastic looks; premium cabin; lovely ride and refinement – it’s a proper Range Rover Compromised rear seat; pricey options; rear visibility; 150 diesel down on torque  The Pick: TD4 180 SE – best-value spec teamed with the sweetest drivetrain of the range eD4 Pure $51,995 L4TD 2.0 110 380 M6 1608 11.2 — 4.3 D 60 F TD4 150 Pure $56,050 L4TD 2.0 110 380 M6 1665 10.8 — 4.8 D 61 A TD4 150 Pure $57,995 L4TD 2.0 110 380 A9 1674 10.0 — 5.1 D 61 A TD4 150 SE $63,120 L4TD 2.0 110 380 A9 1674 10.0 — 5.1 D 61 A TD4 180 SE $67,160 L4TD 2.0 132 430 A9 1674 9.0 — 5.1 D 61 03/16 A Si4 SE $67,995 L4T 2.0 177 340 A9 1658 7.6 — 7.8 95 61 A TD4 180 HSE $74,230 L4TD 2.0 132 430 A9 1674 9.0 — 5.1 D 61 A TD4 180 HSE Coupe $73,495 L4TD 2.0 132 430 A9 1674 9.0 — 5.1 D 61 A Si4 HSE $77,085 L4T 2.0 177 340 A9 1658 7.6 — 7.8 95 61 03/16 A Si4 HSE Coupe $77,085 L4T 2.0 177 340 A9 1658 7.6 — 7.8 95 61 A TD4 HSE Dynamic $77,719 L4TD 2.0 132 430 A9 1674 9.0 — 5.1 D 61 A TD4 HSE D’mic Coupe$77,719 L4TD 2.0 132 430 A9 1674 9.0 — 5.1 D 61 A Si4 HSE Dynamic $81,125 L4T 2.0 177 340 A9 1658 7.6 — 7.8 95 61 03/16 A Si4 HSE D’mic Coupe $81,125 L4T 2.0 177 340 A9 1658 7.6 — 7.8 95 61 A

Range Rover Evoque Conv’ Makes a BMW X4 seem sensible

Si4 SE Dynamic TD4 SE Dynamic Si4 HSE Dynamic TD4 HSE Dynamic

Better than expected body rigidity; smooth and refined Ingenium oiler Top-hinged tailgate; porky; polarising; pricey  The Pick: Any other SUV with utility. Or perhaps a cabriolet with style and grace $84,948 L4T 2.0 177 340 A9 1936 8.6 — 8.6 D 60 $85,343 L4TD 2.0 132 430 A9 1967 10.3 — 5.7 D 61 $93,195 L4T 2.0 177 340 A9 1936 8.6 — 8.6 D 61 $92,800 L4TD 2.0 132 430 A9 1967 10.3 — 5.7 D 61

Discovery

1190 Nepean Hwy Cheltenham VIC 3192 DL: 1715 Sales: 03 9581 8200

KTM

$56,500 $59,995 $59,990 $57,900 $61,000 $61,100 $64,635 $66,500 $70,690

Range Rover Evoque Baby of the Range

DEALER DIRECTORY

VIC

Eng type

Price

Drive

BY

TD4 S TD4 SE TD4 HSE TD4 HSE Luxury SD4 S SD4 SE SD4 HSE SD4 HSE Luxury TD6 S TD6 SE TD6 HSE TD6 HSE Luxury

A A A A

Softer on the outside

Clever packaging; stylish interior; price reductions; more efficient four-cylinders Seven-seat interior costs between $3400-6400 extra; V6 weak against new diesels  The Pick: New Disco kills Prado for polish and dynamics. SD4 worth the step up $65,960 L4TD 2.0 132 430 A8 2174 10.5 – 6.2 D 61 $77,050 L4TD 2.0 132 430 A8 2174 10.5 – 6.2 D 61 $87,150 L4TD 2.0 132 430 A8 2174 10.5 – 6.2 D 61 $100,950 L4TD 2.0 132 430 A8 2174 10.5 – 6.2 D 61 $71,560 L4TTD 2.0 177 500 A8 2184 8.3 – 6.4 D 61 $83,450 L4TTD 2.0 177 500 A8 2184 8.3 – 6.4 D 61 $93,550 L4TTD 2.0 177 500 A8 2184 8.3 – 6.4 D 61 $107,350 L4TTD 2.0 177 500 A8 2184 8.3 – 6.4 D 61 $78,271 V6TD 3.0 190 600 A8 2298 8.1 – 7.2 D 61 $90,161 V6TD 3.0 190 600 A8 2298 8.1 – 7.2 D 61 $100,261 V6TD 3.0 190 600 A8 2298 8.1 – 7.2 D 61 $114,061 V6TD 3.0 190 600 A8 2298 8.1 – 7.2 D 61

Range Rover Sport

A A A A A A A A A A A A

Today, the school run; tomorrow, the world

Weight loss brings real dynamic cohesion; cabin feels special; great off-road Needs Terrain Response to really shine off-road; third row seats tight  The Pick: The V8S if your wallet can handle it; otherwise the swift and accomplished SDV6 S TDV6 $90,900 V6TTD 3.0 190 600 A8 2115 7.6 — 7.3 D 61 A SE TDV6 $103,900 V6TTD 3.0 190 600 A8 2115 7.6 — 7.3 D 61 01/14 A SE $108,410 V6S 3.0 250 450 A8 2144 7.2 — 11.3 95 61 A SE SDV6 $114,800 V6TTD 3.0 215 600 A8 2115 7.4 15.4 7.5 D 61 01/15 A HSE $130,300 V6S 3.0 250 450 A8 2144 7.2 — 11.3 95 61 A HSE SDV6 $132,000 V6TTD 3.0 215 600 A8 2115 7.2 — 7.5 D 61 A HSE TDV8 $147,300 V8TTD 4.4 250 740 A8 2398 6.9 — 8.7 D 61 A HSE Dynamic TDV8 $153,600 V8TTD 4.4 250 740 A8 2398 6.9 — 8.7 D 61 A HSE SDV6 Hybrid $146,900 V6TTDH3.0 250 700 A8 — 6.7 — 6.4 D 61 A HSE Dynamic $169,100 V8S 5.0 375 625 A8 2310 5.3 — 13.8 95 61 A Autobiography SDV6$169,800 V6TTD 3.0 215 600 A8 2115 7.2 — 7.5 D 61 A A’biog SDV6 Hybrid $187,900 V6TTDH3.0 250 700 A8 — 6.7 — 6.4 D 61 A Autobiography Dyn’ $196,800 V8S 5.0 375 625 A8 2310 5.3 — 13.8 95 61 A SVR $218,500 V8S 5.0 405 680 A8 2350 4.7 — 12.8 95 A

Range Rover

The rock star’s 4WD

Hard to beat off-road; brilliant interior; superb engines; sumptuous ride Bloody expensive; petrol still thirsty; big Rangie still a bit cumbersome round corners  The Pick: 4.4-litre SDV8 and eight-speed auto a superb combo, but all are desirable TDV6 HSE $170,400 V6TTD 3.0 190 600 A8 2160 7.9 — 6.9 D 61 A 3.0 SC HSE $170,400 V6S 3.0 250 450 A8 2330 7.4 — 11.5 95 61 A TDV6 Vogue $181,549 V6TTD 3.0 190 600 A8 2160 7.9 — 6.9 D 61 A TDV6 Vogue LWB $189,100 V6TTD 3.0 190 600 A8 2301 8.3 — 7.5 D 61 A 3.0 SC Vogue $193,500 V6S 3.0 250 450 A8 2330 7.4 — 11.5 95 61 A SDV8 Vogue $202,330 V8TTD 4.4 250 740 A8 2360 6.9 — 8.7 D 61 A SDV8 Vogue LWB $206,400 V8TTD 4.4 250 740 A8 — 7.2 — 8.7 D 61 A SDV8 Vogue SE $224,550 V8TTD 4.4 250 740 A8 2360 6.9 — 8.7 D 61 05/13 A SDV8 Vogue SE LWB $225,600 V8TTD 4.4 250 740 A8 — 7.2 — 8.7 D 61 05/13 A

@wheelsaustralia 145


A8 A8 A8 A8 A8 A8

2360 — 2330 2413 2330 2413

7 seater 9 seater

When we drove it

F= Frontdrive,R=Reardrive, A=All-wheeldrive

Glass's predicted resale rating, retained after 3 years

Recommended octane rating

D D 95 95 95 95

Issue tested

Drive

61 61 61 61 61 61

A A A A A A

China’s latest budget arrival

More seats than you’ll ever need; decent interior presentation; VW-inspired details Resale question mark on this unknown brand; 2.0-litre turbo drinks premium unleaded  The Pick: The nine-seater has a genuine USP, if carrying people on the cheap is everything $29,990 L4T 2.0 165 345 A6 2057 — — 11.7 95 46 F $32,990 L4T 2.0 165 345 A6 2107 — — 11.7 95 46 F

4yr/100,000km lexus.com.au

Lexus CT200h

Luxury F-Sport Sports Luxury

Fuel Resale cons. RON %

8.7 8.7 13.8 13.8 13.8 13.8

3yr/100,000km ldvautomotive.com.au

LDV G10

— — — — — —

Fuel consumption in Litres/100km

Kilograms

0-400 metres

6.9 7.2 5.4 5.8 5.4 5.8

740 740 625 625 625 625

M=manual, A=automatic, S=sequential, C=CVT

0-100 km/h

250 250 375 375 375 375

Newton metres

Kerb Eng size Power Torque Trans. weight

4.4 4.4 5.0 5.0 5.0 5.0

Kilowatts

0-400m acceleration, in sec s (Wheels tested figures in italics)

V8TTD V8TTD V8S V8S V8S V8S

0-100km/h acceleration, in secs (Wheels tested figures in italics)

Eng type

Price

SDV8 A’biography $242,425 SDV8 A’biog LWB $254,345 5.0 SC Vogue SE $231,900 5.0 SC Vogue SE LWB$238,400 5.0 SC A’biography $257,300 5.0 SC A’biog LWB $269,200

Litres

L=in-line,V=vee,F=flat,R=rotary. Numberofcylsorrotors. T=turbo, S= s'charged,D=diesel,H=hybrid

New models for the month highlighted

Recommended Retail Price at time of publication (* indicates driveaway)

LAND R O V ER – M A ZDA

NEW ARRIVALS

More appealing than Prius

Lexus quality and efficient hybrid tech in concentrated form Electric steering is disappointing; far from dynamic; clumsy styling; tight back seat  The Pick: Luxury is the best value, if Valium on wheels is your thing $38,750 L4H 1.8 100 142 C 1465 10.3 — 4.1 95 51 06/11 $48,440 L4H 1.8 100 142 C 1465 10.3 — 4.1 95 53 $56,090 L4H 1.8 100 142 C 1465 10.3 — 4.1 95 54

IS

F F F

Takes fight to BMW

Brilliantly balanced; crisp chassis and steering; excellent quality; likeable Hybrid; value Heavier than rivals; tight rear seats; manual mode in autos not manual enough  The Pick: 200t F-Sport is great to drive, but 300h Luxury offers unexpected appeal 200t Luxury $59,340 L4T 2.0 180 350 A8 — 7.0 — 7.5 95 50 R 200t F-Sport $67,480 L4T 2.0 180 350 A8 — 7.0 — 7.5 95 50 R 200t Sports Luxury $78,040 L4T 2.0 180 350 A8 — 8.9 16.4 7.5 95 51 04/16 R 300h Luxury $61,890 L4H 2.5 164 221 C — 8.5 — 4.9 95 50 R 300h F-Sport $70,310 L4H 2.5 164 221 C 1720 8.5 — 4.9 95 51 R 300h Sports Luxury $81,160 L4H 2.5 164 221 C 1720 8.5 — 4.9 95 51 R 350 Luxury $65,390 V6 3.5 233 378 A8 — 5.9 — 9.7 95 51 R 350 F-Sport $73,540 V6 3.5 233 378 A8 — 6.6 14.6 9.7 95 51 09/13 R 350 Sports Luxury $84,160 V6 3.5 233 378 A8 1685 5.9 — 9.7 95 51 R

RC

500 500h

GS

NX

Pleasant, but outclassed

Excellent drivetrains and much-improved dynamics; GS-F’s unexpected character Lifeless steering; one-dimensional handling hobbled by intrusive ESC  The Pick: Base 200t F-Sport arguably the sweetest package; GS-F pricey but likeable 200t Luxury $76,220 L4T 2.0 180 350 A8 — 7.3 — 8.0 95 52 200t F-Sport $84,380 L4T 2.0 180 350 A8 — 7.3 — 8.0 95 52 03/16 300h Luxury $79,520 L4H 2.5 164 221 C 1820 — — 5.2 95 46 300h F-Sport $87,680 L4H 2.5 164 221 C 1820 — — 5.2 95 46 350 F-Sport $95,600 V6 3.5 233 378 A8 1740 6.3 — 9.7 95 46 350 Sports Luxury $107,330 V6 3.5 233 378 A8 1740 6.0 — 9.7 95 46 450h F-Sport $108,080 V6H 3.5 254 — C 1910 5.9 — 6.3 95 46 450h Sports Luxury $119,810 V6H 3.5 254 — C 1910 5.9 — 6.3 95 46 F $151,490 V8 5.0 351 530 A8 1865 4.9 13.1 11.3 95 52 06/16

146 wheelsmag.com.au

R R R R R R R R R

Kerb Eng size Power Torque Trans. weight

0-100 km/h

0-400 metres

Fuel Resale cons. RON %

Issue tested

Drive

Smooth-sailing flagship

Goes better than it looks

Eye-catching (if polarising) design; quality interior; punchy turbo-petrol four-cylinder A 2005 RAV4 in drag, with packaging compromises; smaller than its rivals  The Pick: New 2.0-litre turbo brings better performance, with F-Sport the sharpest 200t Luxury $53,550 L4T 2.0 175 350 A6 1700 7.3 — 7.7 95 53 F 300h Luxury $56,100 L4H 2.5 147 210 C 1740 9.1 — 5.6 95 56 F 200t Luxury $58,140 L4T 2.0 175 350 A6 1755 7.1 — 7.9 95 56 A 300h Luxury $60,690 L4H 2.5 147 210 C 1800 9.1 — 5.7 95 56 A 200t F-Sport $64,390 L4T 2.0 175 350 A6 1755 7.1 — 7.9 95 57 A 300h F-Sport $67,320 L4H 2.5 147 210 C 1800 8.9 16.4 5.7 95 59 08/15 A 200t Sports Luxury $73,270 L4T 2.0 175 350 A6 1860 7.1 — 7.9 95 53 A 300h Sports Luxury $76,500 L4H 2.5 147 210 C 1895 9.1 — 5.7 95 59 A

RX

Edge of the wedge

Cabin space, particularly in the rear; ambience; presence; quality; sweet turbo four Steering lacks feel; handling lacks excitement; busy ride; part-time AWD; only five seats  The Pick: Eager RX200t makes the most sense, and it’s the most affordable 200t Luxury $74,540 L4T 2.0 175 350 A6 1890 9.2 — 8.1 95 61 03/16 F 200t F-Sport $86,840 L4T 2.0 175 350 A6 1890 9.2 — 8.1 95 61 F 200t Sports Luxury $92,990 L4T 2.0 175 350 A6 1890 9.2 — 8.1 95 61 F 350 Luxury $81,710 V6 3.5 221 370 A8 1980 8.0 — 9.6 95 61 A 350 F-Sport $94,010 V6 3.5 221 370 A8 1980 8.0 — 9.6 95 61 A 350 Sports Luxury $100,160 V6 3.5 221 370 A8 1980 8.0 — 9.6 95 61 A 450h Luxury $90,160 V6H 3.5 230 335 C 2105 7.7 — 5.7 95 61 A 450h F-Sport $102,460 V6H 3.5 230 335 C 2105 7.7 — 5.7 95 61 A 450h Sports Luxury $108,610 V6H 3.5 230 335 C 2105 7.7 — 5.7 95 61 A

LX

570

LandCruiser by Lexus

Clever suspension and crawl-control broaden LX’s skill set; bigger V8 and six-speed auto Massive and truck-like to drive; gauche styling; no diesel option; expensive  The Pick: A LandCruiser Sahara – better value, diesel engine, and same off-road ability $143,030 V8 5.7 270 530 A8 2510 7.7 — 14.4 95 61 A

2yr/unlimited lotuscars.com.au

Lotus Elise

Club Racer S S Club Racer

S S S Roadster S Roadster

Race car for the road

Blown Toyota V6 gives the Exige the performance to match its brilliant handling Not for claustrophobes, conservatives, or anyone into the tactility of interior plastics  The Pick: Go the Roadster – it’s a proper sports car and getting in with the roof down is easier $132,990 V6S 3.5 258 400 M6 1176 4.0 – 10.1 95 64 R $137,990 V6S 3.5 258 400 A6 1182 3.9 – 10.1 95 64 R $132,990 V6S 3.5 258 400 M6 1166 4.0 – 10.1 95 64 R $137,990 V6S 3.5 258 400 A6 1172 3.9 – 10.1 95 64 R

Evora

S Coupe S Coupe IPS 400 Coupe 400 Coupe IPS 410 Coupe 410 Coupe IPS

Fast and fun, but wildly impractical

Cool looks; telepathic steering (at speed); suspension and brakes a joy (at speed) Cramped and noisy for day-to-day driving; definitely intended as a track-day weapon  The Pick: If you live next to a racetrack, the S. If you want peace and quiet, look elsewhere $74,990 L4 1.6 100 160 M6 876 6.5 — 6.3 91 64 R $74,990 L4 1.6 100 160 M6 852 6.5 — 6.3 91 64 R $84,990 L4S 1.8 163 250 M6 880 4.6 — 7.5 95 64 R $84,990 L4S 1.8 163 250 M6 880 4.6 — 7.5 95 64 R

Exige

Retiree’s Lexus out of mothballs

Typical Lexus build quality combined with golf bag-friendly boot and refined drivetrains Front-drive ES is the antithesis of the sporty IS and GS; hybrid’s smaller boot  The Pick: The IS or GS, or buy Australian-made and go for a Camry/Aurion 300h Luxury $63,750 L4H 2.5 151 213 C 1685 8.5 — 5.5 95 51 01/14 F 300h Sports Luxury $71,910 L4H 2.5 151 213 C 1705 8.5 — 5.5 95 51 F 350 Luxury $64,700 V6 3.5 204 346 A6 1630 7.4 — 9.5 95 51 F 350 Sports Luxury $72,650 V6 3.5 204 346 A6 1665 7.4 — 9.5 95 51 F

Eng type

Mind-blowing tech; flawless fit and finish; eerily-quiet cabin; silky eight-speed auto Doesn’t sound like a V8 until you get stuck into it; lacks personality  The Pick: 600hL – uninspiring, but a 7 Series with this much kit would cost your first-born 460 F-Sport $185,980 V8 4.6 285 493 A8 2020 5.9 — 10.7 95 39 R 460 Sports Luxury $191,080 V8 4.6 285 493 A8 2080 5.9 — 10.7 95 52 R 600h F-Sport $214,030 V8H 5.0 290 520 A8 2340 5.7 — 8.6 95 41 R 600hL 4-seat $245,140 V8H 5.0 290 520 A8 — — — 8.6 95 41 R 600hL 5-seat $245,140 V8H 5.0 290 520 A8 — — — 8.6 95 41 R

Halo sportscar takes the baton from LFA

Concept car looks conceal a choice of V8 or V6 hybrid performance; V8 noise Weak hybrid soundtrack; droning CVT in 500h  The Pick: Hybrid offers respectable performance but plays second fiddle to red-blooded V8 $190,000 V8 5.0 351 550 A10 1970 4.5 — 10.7 98 R $190,000 V6H 3.5 264 348 C 1970 5.0 — 5.5 95 R

ES

Price

LS

Two-door with punch – and thirst

V8 sounds fantastic when pushed; nice chassis balance; styling has presence Heavy and thirsty for a sporty two-door; on-centre play in steering; interior lacks sparkle  The Pick: 350 F-Sport – much of the F’s performance and appearance without the price tag 200t Luxury $65,090 L4T 2.0 180 350 A8 1675 7.5 — 7.3 95 56 R 350 Luxury $68,060 V6 3.5 233 378 A8 1680 6.1 — 9.4 95 56 R 200t F-Sport $74,180 L4T 2.0 180 350 A8 1700 7.5 — 7.3 95 56 R 350 F-Sport $77,240 V6 3.5 233 378 A8 — 6.1 — 9.4 95 56 02/16 R 200t Sports Luxury $84,890 L4T 2.0 180 350 A8 1725 7.5 — 7.3 95 56 R 350 Sports Luxury $87,950 V6 3.5 233 378 A8 1740 6.1 — 9.4 95 56 R F $135,490 V8 5.0 351 530 A8 1780 4.5 — 10.9 98 53 02/16 R F Carbon $149,770 V8 5.0 351 530 A8 1860 4.5 — 10.9 98 53 R

LC

Get new car advice from the experts. whichcar.com.au

Chassis smarts now with blown brawn

Exotic looks; individual appeal; one of the best chassis on the planet Start ticking options and price can soar past $200K; a Porsche is a smarter bet  The Pick: Brilliant dynamics, but $200K is secondhand Carrera S money $180,600 V6S 3.5 258 400 M6 1375 4.6 — 9.1 95 64 $187,600 V6S 3.5 258 400 A6 1395 4.6 — 9.7 95 64 $184,990 V6S 3.5 298 410 M6 1395 4.2 — 9.7 95 64 $194,990 V6S 3.5 298 410 A6 1410 4.2 — 9.7 95 64 $199,990 V6S 3.5 306 420 M6 1325 4.1 — 9.7 95 64 $209,990 V6S 3.5 306 420 A6 1336 4.1 — 9.7 95 64

Mahindra XUV500

W8 W8 W8 AWD W8 AWD

R R R R R R

3yr/100,000km mahindra.com.au

It’s all about the price

Simple range with decent gear; seven seats; it’s won rallies in India! Light-on for active safety; questionable resale; average dynamics and ride  The Pick: Go the whole hog and get the AWD. Or push for a seven-seat Nissan X-Trail $29,900 L4TD 2.2 103 330 M6 — — — 6.7 D 46 $31,900 L4TD 2.2 103 330 A6 — — — 7.4 D 46 $32,900 L4TD 2.2 103 330 M6 — — — 6.7 D 46 $33,900 L4TD 2.2 103 330 A6 — — — 7.4 D 46

F F A A


POWE RE D

Showroom Maserati Eng type

Price

Kerb Eng size Power Torque Trans. weight

Ghibli

S

Turbo Diesel

Fuel Resale cons. RON %

Issue tested

Drive

Maserati finally heads off-road

nside and smo sel; e gines not lable diesel  The Pick: Start S lobb bying for a V8 turb bo V6TD 202 A8 59,9 V6TD 202 A8 V6TD 202 A8

ical an ’t delive 6.9 6.9 6.9

GranTurismo

The name says it all

ely capab sion lack  The Pick Stradale b V8 V8 ,000 V8

and to namic s Ital 338 338 338

FORD MUSTANG

eat; oo ght-ten ir with a 4.7 4.8 4.5

of exci ment

7.2 7.2 7.2 yle and d need dtrack t 15.5 14.3 15.5

A A A racter ore gru e (or k for 48 48 48

R R R

5967 The unprecedented demand for the pony car goes on and a dusting of Ford Performance tuning options will likely buoy its popularity through to a facelifted version due in 2018.

HYUNDAI VELOSTER BMW 2 Series

usefu ve bey permo A6 A6 S6

ed rati lev

1359 It might lack monstrous power, but Australians still love the Veloster. A vast majority are sold in automatic form, and its unusual styling and everyday usability keep customers coming.

1125 Once a brand for the more well-heeled driving enthusiast, BMW coupe ownership is now more attainable thanks to the 2 Series range. Even the entry 220i, as a coupe or convertible, is swift and engaging.

TOYOTA 86 MAZDA MX-5

1118 It might have launched way back in 2012, but the combination of a sharp price and a ridiculously fun chassis still attracts keen drivers. Some may still insist it needs more poke, but that hasn’t stopped demand. 951 Sales for Mazda’s iconic two-seater may have dropped off since its 2015 launch, but it still ranks fifth in its class. Tin-topped RF has boosted interest, and expect special edition variants to follow. *Source: VFACTS data January through July 2017

Kerb Eng size Power Torque Trans. weight

Sport MC

0-100 km/h

0-400 metres

Issue tested

3yr/unlimited mazda.com.au Freshly updated baby

Sensational manual gearshift; stunning engine tractability; classy dash; fun handling Laggy infotainment system; noisy engine; firm ride The Pick: Maxx manual hatch with red trim option and extra safety kit – a superb little car $14,990 L4 1.5 79 139 M6 1025 — — 5.4 91 51 F $16,990 L4 1.5 79 139 A6 1043 10.7 17.5 5.5 91 51 03/15 F $14,990 L4 1.5 79 139 M6 1035 — — 5.4 91 51 F $16 990 L4 1.5 79 139 A6 1059 — — 4.9 91 51 10/15 F $16,990 L L4 1.5 81 141 M6 1035 — — 5.4 91 52 F $17,690 L L4 1.5 81 141 A6 1047 — — 4.9 91 52 F $19,690 L L4 1.5 81 141 M6 1045 — — 5.4 91 52 F $17,690 L L4 1.5 81 141 A6 1060 — — 4.9 91 52 F $19,690 L 1.5 81 141 M6 1035 — — 5.4 91 54 F $20,690 L4 L 1.5 81 141 A6 1047 — — 4.9 91 53 10/14 F $22,690 L4 L L4 1.5 81 141 M6 1035 — — 5.4 91 54 F $21,680 L 1.5 81 141 A6 1047 — — 5.5 91 54 F $23,680 L4 L L4 1.5 81 141 M6 1045 — — 5.4 91 54 F $21,680 L 1.5 81 141 A6 1060 — — 5.5 91 54 F $23,680 L4 L

3

The popular choice

Safety; dyynamics; performance; value; smoothness; efficiency; economy; choice Still a bitt rrowdy with road noise; dour rear-seat ambience; no hot hatch option  The Pick: Th he SP25 GT manual – a fun, cool, sharp-handling, nicely kitted sporty hatch Neo hatch $20,490 L L4 2.0 114 200 M6 1262 9.2 16.5 5.9 91 54 2.0 114 200 A6 1296 — — 5.8 91 52 Neo hatch $22,490 L4 L L4 2.0 114 200 M6 1258 — — 5.8 91 54 Neo sedan $20,490 L L4 2.0 114 200 A6 1291 — — 5.7 91 52 Neo sedan $22,490 L 2.0 114 200 M6 1262 — — 5.9 91 54 Maxx hatch $22,890 L4 L 2.0 114 200 A6 1296 — — 5.8 91 54 Maxx hatch $24,890 L4 L 2.0 114 200 M6 1258 — — 5.8 91 54 Maxx sedan $22,890 L4 L 2.0 114 200 A6 1291 9.1 Maxx sedan $24,890 L4 L — 5.7 91 54 01/17 2.0 114 200 M6 1280 — — 5.9 91 54 Touring hatch $25,290 L4 L L4 2.0 114 200 A6 1308 — — 5.8 91 54 Touring hatch $27,290 L 2.0 114 200 M6 1276 — — 5.8 91 54 Touring sedan $25,290 L4 L L4 2.0 114 200 A6 1306 — — 5.7 91 54 Touring sedan $27,290 L 2.5 138 250 M6 1302 7.9 15.5 6.5 91 54 SP25 hatch $25,690 L4 L L4 2.5 138 250 A6 1328 — — 6.1 91 54 SP25 hatch $27,690 L 2.5 138 250 M6 1294 — — 6.5 91 54 SP25 sedan $25,690 L4 L L4 2.5 138 250 A6 1324 — — 6.0 91 54 SP25 sedan $27,690 L 2.5 138 250 M6 1302 — — 6.5 91 56 SP25 GT hatch $29,990 L4 L L4 2.5 138 250 A6 1328 7.9 15.7 6.1 91 54 SP25 GT hatch $31,990 L 2.5 138 250 M6 1294 — — 6.5 91 56 SP25 GT sedan $29,990 L4 L SP25 GT sedan $31,990 L4 2.5 138 250 A6 1324 — — 6.0 91 54 $31 990 L SP25 Astina hatch $33,490 L4 2.5 138 250 M6 1314 — — 6.5 91 56 SP25 Astina hatch $35,490 L4 2.5 138 250 A6 1341 — — 6.1 91 56 SP25 Astina sedan $33,490 L4 2.5 138 250 M6 1307 — — 6.5 91 56 SP25 Astina sedan $35,490 L4 2.5 138 250 A6 1336 7.7 15.5 6.0 91 56 12/16

6

Sport sedan Sport wagon Touring sedan Touring sedan Touring wagon Touring wagon GT sedan GT sedan GT wagon GT wagon Atenza sedan Atenza sedan Atenza wagon Atenza wagon

F F F F F F F F F F F F F F F F F F F F F F F F

Style and (subdued) sports

Looks good and handles well; stunning diesel; great economy; vastly improved interior 19s spoil the ride a bit; shallow boot in sedan; dynamically not quite a match for Mondeo  The Pick: A wagon – any of ’em – due to its smarter packaging and athletic style $32,490 L4 2.5 138 250 A6 1462 8.2 — 6.6 91 55 03/13 F $33,790 L4 2.5 138 250 A6 1484 8.2 — 6.6 91 55 F $37,290 L4 2.5 138 250 A6 1471 7.6 15.5 6.6 91 57 02/15 F $40,140 L4TTD 2.2 129 420 A6 1541 8.4 — 5.4 D 57 F $38,590 L4 2.5 138 250 A6 1494 8.2 15.9 6.6 91 57 04/14 F $41,440 L4TTD 2.2 129 420 A6 1561 8.4 — 5.4 D 57 F $42,690 L4 2.5 138 250 A6 1501 7.7 15.5 6.6 91 58 09/16 F $45,540 L4TTD 2.2 129 420 A6 1571 8.4 — 5.4 D 57 F $43,990 L4 2.5 138 250 A6 1524 8.2 — 6.6 91 58 F $46,840 L4TTD 2.2 129 420 A6 1591 8.2 16.1 8.4 D 57 07/15 F $45,390 L4 2.5 138 250 A6 1503 8.2 — 6.6 91 58 04/15 F $48,240 L4TTD 2.2 129 420 A6 1573 8.4 — 5.4 D 58 F $46,690 L4 2.5 138 250 A6 1626 8.2 — 6.6 91 58 F $49,540 L4TTD 2.2 129 420 A6 1594 8.5 — 6.0 D 58 F

MX-5

1.5 Roadster 1.5 Roadster

Drive

Open air Italian V8 symphony

Mazda

Neo hatch Neo hatch Neo sedan Neo sedan Maxx hatch Maxx hatch Maxx sedan Maxx sedan Genki hatch Genki hatch GT hatch GT hatch GT sedan GT sedan

Fuel Resale cons. RON %

Cloth lid doesn’t add too much extra weight; glorious flood of V8 decibels with roof down Expensive and doesn’t look great roof-up; dynamics still more cruiser than bruiser  The Pick: An Italian supermodel with her top off? Hell, yeah! $338,000 V8 4.7 338 520 S6 1980 5.0 — 14.5 95 50 R $355,000 V8 4.7 338 520 S6 1973 4.9 — 14.5 95 49 R

2

R R R R

Eng type

GranCabrio

Luxo style at its finest

Brilliant chassis balance; twin-turbo V6 a decent replacement for the previous V8 New blown engines sound dull compared with old V8; Chrysler cabin bits; ride flaws  The Pick: GTS remains the pinnacle of Italian luxury motoring $210,000 V6TD 3.0 202 600 A8 1885 6.4 — 6.2 D 50 10/14 $215,000 V6TT 3.0 243 500 A8 1860 6.2 — 9.1 95 $240,000 V6TT 3.0 301 550 A8 1860 5.1 — 9.6 95 49 06/14 $331,000 V8TT 3.8 390 650 A8 1900 4.7 — 10.7 98 49 03/14

Levante

Spor

0-400 metres

Look out, Germany!

Quattroporte

S GTS

0-100 km/h

Finally, a talented, beautiful, and fast Italian alternative to the default German luxo sedans Heavy; misses out on active safety tech of German rivals; no classic Maser V8 sound  The Pick: Surely the throaty Ghibli S, though the thrifty diesel offers tempting value $138,990 V6TD 3.0 202 600 A8 1835 6.3 — 5.9 D 55 R $143,990 V6TT 3.0 243 500 A8 1810 5.6 — 8.9 98 55 R $179,990 V6TT 3.0 301 550 A8 1810 5.0 — 9.6 98 55 R

Diesel

Price

3yr/unlimited maserati.com.au

BY

Mazda makes them like they used to

All-new MX-5 channels original NA’s simplicity; great steering and grip; zippy 1.5 No steering reach adjust; 2.0-litre engine note not as sweet as 1.5’s and the ride is busier  The Pick: The big block’s punch is tempting but 1.5 is the go, with a manual ’box $31,990 L4 1.5 96 150 M6 1009 8.3 — 6.1 95 64 09/15 R $33,990 L4 1.5 96 150 A6 1032 8.3 — 6.4 95 62 R

@wheelsaustralia 147


$37,990 $39,990 $34,490 $36,490 $38,550 $40,550 $39,550 $41,550 $43,890 $45,890

CX-3

L4 L4 L4 L4 L4 L4 L4 L4 L4 L4

M6 A6 M6 A6 M6 A6 M6 A6 M6 A6

1009 1032 1033 1057 1080 1106 1033 1057 1080 1106

6.1 6.4 6.9 7.1 7.0 7.4 6.9 7.1 7.9 7.4

95 95 95 95 95 95 95 95 95 95

F= Frontdrive,R=Reardrive, A=All-wheeldrive

Fuel Resale cons. RON %

When we drove it

Litres

Glass's predicted resale rating, retained after 3 years

— — — — — — — — 15.2 —

150 150 200 200 200 200 200 200 200 200

Recommended octane rating

8.3 8.3 7.3 7.3 — — 7.3 7.3 7.3 —

96 96 118 118 118 118 118 118 118 118

Fuel consumption in Litres/100km

1.5 1.5 2.0 2.0 2.0 2.0 2.0 2.0 2.0 2.0

Kilograms

0-400 metres

M=manual, A=automatic, S=sequential, C=CVT

0-100 km/h

Newton metres

Kerb Eng size Power Torque Trans. weight

Kilowatts

0-400m acceleration, in sec s (Wheels tested figures in italics)

1.5 Roadster GT 1.5 Roadster GT 2.0 Roadster 2.0 Roadster 2.0 RF 2.0 RF 2.0 Roadster GT 2.0 Roadster GT 2.0 RF GT 2.0 RF GT

Eng type

0-100km/h acceleration, in secs (Wheels tested figures in italics)

Price

L=in-line,V=vee,F=flat,R=rotary. Numberofcylsorrotors. T=turbo, S= s'charged,D=diesel,H=hybrid

New models for the month highlighted

Recommended Retail Price at time of publication (* indicates driveaway)

MAZDA – M ERC EDES

NEW ARRIVALS

Issue tested

Drive

65 64 02/16 64 02/16 64

65 09/15 65 05/17

R R R R R R R R R R

Big range, with sweet spots

Striking styling; broad range; AWD’s involving chassis; update brings extra safety Front-drive diesel misses the dynamic mark; noisy petrol engine; rear-seat side vision  The Pick: Either an sTouring or Akari petrol manual, or one of the great-handling AWDs Neo $20,490 L4 2.0 109 192 M6 1193 — — 6.3 91 50 F Neo $22,490 L4 2.0 109 192 A6 1226 — — 6.1 91 50 F Maxx $22,890 L4 2.0 109 192 M6 1193 — — 6.3 91 52 02/16 F Maxx $24,890 L4 2.0 109 192 A6 1226 — — 6.1 91 50 F Maxx Diesel $27,290 L4TD 1.5 77 270 A6 1262 — — 4.8 D 52 05/15 F Maxx AWD $26,890 L4 2.0 109 192 A6 1294 — — 6.7 91 52 A sTouring $26,990 L4 2.0 109 192 M6 1193 — — 6.3 91 52 05/15 F sTouring $28,990 L4 2.0 109 192 A6 1226 8.9 16.4 6.1 91 52 05/15 F sTouring AWD $30,990 L4 2.0 109 192 A6 1294 — — 6.7 91 54 02/16 A sTouring AWD Diesel $33,390 L4TD 1.5 77 270 A6 1356 — — 5.1 D 52 A Akari $31,490 L4 2.0 109 192 M6 1219 — — 6.3 91 54 F Akari $33,490 L4 2.0 109 192 A6 1252 — — 8.3 91 52 05/17 F Akari AWD $35,490 L4 2.0 109 192 A6 1332 — — 6.7 91 54 05/15 A Akari AWD Diesel $37,890 L4TD 1.5 77 270 A6 1368 — — 5.1 D 54 02/16 A

CX-5

Maxx FWD Maxx FWD Maxx Maxx Sport FWD Maxx Sport Maxx Sport Touring Touring GT GT Akera Akera

CX-9

Sport FWD Sport AWD Touring FWD Touring AWD GT FWD GT AWD Azami FWD Azami AWD

New and improved family favourite

Driver appeal carries over; improved comfort, space, refinement, finish. We could go on Extra weight brings fuel consumption increases  The Pick: Maxx Sport turbo-diesel has all the equipment and engine you really need $28,690 L4 2.0 114 200 M6 1511 — — 6.9 91 F $30,690 L4 2.0 114 200 A6 1556 — — 6.9 91 F $33,690 L4 2.5 140 251 A6 1633 — — 7.5 91 A $34,390 L4 2.0 114 200 A6 1556 10.4 17.4 10.4 91 06/17 F $37,390 L4 2.5 140 251 A6 1633 — — 7.5 91 A $40,390 L4TTD 2.2 129 420 A6 1708 — — 6.0 D A $38,990 L4 2.5 140 251 A6 1633 — — 7.5 91 A $41,990 L4TTD 2.2 129 420 A6 1708 — — 6.0 D A $44,390 L4 2.5 140 251 A6 1670 — — 7.5 91 A $47,390 L4TTD 2.2 129 420 A6 1744 — — 6.0 D A $46,990 L4 2.5 138 250 A6 1670 — — 7.5 91 A $49,990 L4TTD 2.2 129 420 A6 1744 — — 6.0 D A

McLaren

3yr/unlimited cars.mclaren.com

650S

R

More than just a baby 650S

S Coupe S Spider

Even better than 12C

Same brutal twin-turbo V8 as 12C, with even finer ride, handling, and steering Arguably not as pretty as the 12C  The Pick: Always the coupe, for its purity and greater sporting focus $464,000 V8TT 3.8 478 678 S7 1330 3.0 10.5 11.7 98 61 $511,000 V8TT 3.8 478 678 S7 1370 3.0 10.5 11.7 98 61

A180 A200 A200d A250 Sport A45 AMG

GLA180 GLA220d GLA250 GLA45 AMG

R R

Kerb Eng size Power Torque Trans. weight

3yr/unlimited mercedes-benz.com.au 0-100 km/h

0-400 metres

Fuel Resale cons. RON %

Issue tested

City almost meets country

Bigger, comfier, more practical than A-Class Not a proper SUV by any means, with tight rear seat room; turbo-diesel a bit gruff  The Pick: The GLA250 4matic is a superb jacked-up driver’s hatch $43,900 L4T 1.6 90 200 S7 1435 9.2 — 5.7 95 61 $51,200 L4TD 2.1 130 350 S7 1535 7.7 — 4.5 D 61 $60,700 L4T 2.0 155 350 S7 1505 7.1 — 7.0 95 63 $89,500 L4T 2.0 280 475 S7 1585 4.8 — 7.5 98 63

CLA-Class

B-Class

C200 C250d C300 C43 AMG C63 S AMG

F F F F A A A A

Still not quite A-grade

Spacious mini-MPV now with quality and class; competitive drivetrains; grippy 4matic Jiggly ride quality on standard run-flat tyres; slightly odd styling; uninspiring dynamics  The Pick: A reasonable effort, but ride quality lets it down. Try a BMW 2 Active Tourer $42,400 L4T 1.6 90 200 S7 1425 9.1 — 5.5 95 50 F $48,900 L4T 1.6 115 250 S7 1425 8.6 — 5.5 95 51 06/12 F $49,400 L4TD 2.1 100 300 S7 1505 9.8 — 4.2 D 51 06/12 F $55,900 L4T 2.0 155 350 S7 1505 6.7 — 6.8 95 51 A

C-Class

C200 C200 Estate C200d C200d Estate C250 C250 Estate C250d C250d Estate C300h C350e C350e Estate C43 AMG C43 AMG Estate C63 S AMG C63 S AMG Estate

F F A A

A-Class with a tail

Frameless doors give it a coupe feel; quality interior; big boot; feisty AMG Tight in the back seats; price premium over A-Class  The Pick: CLA45 is a riot but the all-paw CLA 250 Sport does loads for the money CLA200 $52,500 L4T 1.6 115 250 S7 1430 7.9 — 5.6 95 59 CLA200 S-Brake $54,000 L4T 1.6 115 250 S7 1460 8.2 — 6.1 95 59 CLA220d $53,900 L4TD 2.1 130 350 S7 1525 7.7 — 4.2 D 59 CLA220d S-Brake $55,400 L4TD 2.1 130 350 S7 1555 7.8 — 4.4 D 59 CLA250 Sport $67,600 L4T 2.0 160 350 S7 1550 6.4 — 6.9 95 60 CLA250 Sport S-B $68,600 L4T 2.0 160 350 S7 1565 6.7 — 7.0 95 60 CLA45 AMG $92,215 L4T 2.0 280 475 S7 1585 4.2 — 7.4 98 60 CLA45 AMG S-Brake $92,215 L4T 2.0 280 475 S7 1615 4.3 — 7.4 98 60

B180 B200 B200d B250 4Matic

Drive

Baby Benz goes hipster

Great driver (and youth) appeal; attention to detail; fiery A45 AMG; lots of equipment Tight rear seat; no manuals for Oz; more compliant ride still firm; prices creeping up  The Pick: A250 Sport is terrific, though if you can stretch to the ballistic A45, do it! $38,400 L4T 1.6 90 200 S7 1320 8.6 — 5.8 95 49 F $44,000 L4T 1.6 115 250 S7 1320 7.8 — 6.1 95 50 F $44,500 L4TD 2.1 100 300 S7 1410 8.8 — 4.0 D 50 F $54,800 L4T 2.0 160 350 S7 1380 6.3 — 6.7 95 51 A $78,315 L4T 2.0 280 475 S7 1480 4.2 — 6.9 98 53 1/16 A

GLA-Class

S-Class goes compact

Aerodynamic style; punchy petrol engines; superb cabin; fine dynamics; stonking AMG Rear seat comfort not great; coil-sprung models don’t ride like the Airmatic versions  The Pick: C250 with optional Airmatic for practical types; either AMG for petrolheads $61,400 L4T 2.0 135 300 A7 1465 7.7 15.4 6.0 95 59 10/15 R $63,900 L4T 2.0 135 300 A7 1525 7.5 — 6.2 95 56 R $62,900 L4TD 1.6 100 300 A7 1505 10.2 — 4.6 D 60 R $65,400 L4TD 1.6 100 300 A7 1580 10.6 — 4.7 D 56 R $69,400 L4T 2.0 155 350 A7 1480 6.7 14.8 6.0 95 60 04/16 R $71,900 L4T 2.0 155 350 A7 1545 6.8 — 6.9 95 56 10/14 R $70,900 L4TD 2.1 150 500 A7 1595 6.6 — 4.5 D 60 R $73,400 L4TD 2.1 150 500 A7 1660 6.9 — 4.8 D 56 R $75,300 L4TDH 2.1 150 500 A7 1715 6.4 — 4.0 D 57 R $75,300 L4TH 2.0 205 600 A7 1780 5.9 — 2.4 95 60 R $77,800 L4TH 2.0 205 600 A7 1840 6.2 — 2.6 95 60 R $101,900 V6TT 3.0 270 520 A9 1615 4.7 — 8.2 98 57 04/17 A $104,400 V6TT 3.0 270 520 A9 1735 4.8 — 8.3 98 57 A $155,615 V8TT 4.0 375 700 A7 1580 4.2 12.2 8.6 95 60 04/17 R $158,115 V8TT 4.0 375 700 A7 1650 4.1 — 8.7 95 60 10/15 R

No longer a two-door sedan

Sharp pricing and equipment; rorty 2.0 turbo for C300; Airmatic suspension ride Steering not as sharp as other dynamics; base drivetrains not particularly sporty  The Pick: C63 coupe is one of the truly great AMGs, but even the C200 is a sweetheart $65,900 L4T 2.0 135 300 A7 1505 7.7 — 6.0 95 57 $74,900 L4TD 2.1 150 500 A9 1645 6.7 — 4.4 D 57 $83,355 L4T 2.0 180 370 A7 1565 6.0 — 6.6 95 57 $105,615 V6TT 3.0 270 520 A9 1660 4.7 — 7.8 98 57 $162,115 V8TT 4.0 375 700 A7 1800 3.9 — 8.7 98 55

R R R A R

C-Class Cabriolet The first drop-top C-Class

C200 C300 C43 AMG C63 S AMG

Styling; body strength; minimal wind noise and buffeting, even at freeway speeds Extra weight dulls handling; price premium over Coupe; boot space is limiting  The Pick: The C300 has decent poke, but the C43 AMG is a significant step up $85,900 L4T 2.0 135 300 A9 1645 8.2 — 6.8 95 57 $99,900 L4T 2.0 180 370 A9 1690 6.4 — 7.2 95 57 $119,900 V6TT 3.0 270 520 A9 1870 4.8 — 8.5 98 57 $179,900 V8TT 4.0 375 700 A7 1925 4.1 — 9.4 98 55

SLC

SLC180

148 wheelsmag.com.au

Eng type

C-Class Coupe

Not as terrifyingly rapid as 650S; proper supercar looks; great steering Still doesn’t sound great; interior quality a little hit-and-miss  The Pick: The 570S is genuinely useable everyday, with fantastic cross-country chops $379,000 V8TT 3.8 419 600 S7 1400 3.2 — 10.7 98 R $406,800 V8TT 3.8 419 600 S7 1450 3.4 11.1 10.7 98 R

S GT

Price

A-Class

A McLaren, for less

Cheapest McLaren still scores V8TT, but in a friendlier, more usable package V8 sounds merely functional; no rear camera; manual seats seem cheap  The Pick: Great in isolation but is it better than the cheaper 911 GT3? Stay tuned $325,000 V8TT 3.8 397 540 S7 1350 3.5 — 10.7 98 07/16

570

Mercedes-Benz

Our 2017 COTY winner

Smart looks and classy interior; driveability of new turbo engine; excellent refinement No air vents in the third row; boot packaging compromised by roofline; no diesel option  The Pick: Touring spec makes plenty of sense, as does the all-wheel-drive system $43,890 L4T 2.5 170 420 A6 1845 7.7 15.6 8.4 91 54 10/16 F $47,890 L4T 2.5 170 420 A6 — — — 8.8 91 55 A $50,290 L4T 2.5 170 420 A6 — — — 8.4 91 55 F $54,290 L4T 2.5 170 420 A6 — — — 8.8 91 56 A $58,790 L4T 2.5 170 420 A6 — — — 8.4 91 56 F $62,790 L4T 2.5 170 420 A6 — — — 8.8 91 56 A $60,790 L4T 2.5 170 420 A6 — — — 8.4 91 56 F $64,790 L4T 2.5 170 420 A6 — — — 8.8 91 56 A

540C

Get new car advice from the experts. whichcar.com.au

R R A R

SLK gets a name change

Versatility; SLC is cheaper than SLK it replaces; performance of 43; looks the business 43 can’t match performance or sound of SLK55; ageing interior; more cruiser than sporty  The Pick: The 300 offers plenty in performance and gear, or go for the cruisier 200 to save $70,900 L4T 1.6 115 250 A9 1428 8.1 — 6.2 95 R


POWE RE D

Showroom Eng type

Price

SLC200 SLC300 SLC 43 AMG

$83,855 $99,855 $134,615

L4T L4T V6TT

E-Class

E200 E220d E300 E350d E350e E400 E43 AMG 4Matic E63 E63 S

Kerb Eng size Power Torque Trans. weight

2.0 135 300 2.0 180 370 3.0 270 520

A9 A9 A9

0-100 km/h

1509 6.9 1512 5.8 1591 4.7

0-400 metres

— — —

Fuel Resale cons. RON %

6.2 6.3 7.9

Issue tested

95 95 98

Drive

R R R

Finally based on an E-Class

Spacious coupe cabin; beautiful interior and attention to detail; supple ride Weight dulls performance; lacks cornering sizzle; semi-autonomous tech overhyped  The Pick: Go the whole hog and get the E400, which brings AWD. Or wait for the AMG six $96,000 L4TD 2.0 143 400 A9 1735 7.4 — 4.9 D R $110,900 L4T 2.0 180 370 A9 1685 6.4 — 6.4 95 R $145,900 V6TT 3.0 245 480 A9 1845 5.3 — 8.1 95 A

E220d E300 E400

o E-Class Carbriolet

E-Class’s lid lopped

Airscarf and Aircap-equipped for top-down winter warmth; terrific top-up refinement No rip-snorting V8 in the line-up anymore; it’s a Benz for cruisers, not drivers  The Pick: As with the Coupe, the E400 is hard to go past if you like convertibles $123,500 L4T 2.0 180 370 A9 1780 6.6 — 6.8 95 53 $157,500 V6TT 3.0 245 480 A9 1935 5.5 — 8.3 95 53

E300 E400

E-Class All-Terrain

CLS

CLS 250d CLS 250d S-Brake CLS400 CLS500

S300e S350d S350d L S400 L S500 S500 L S500e S600 L S600 Maybach S63 AMG S63 AMG L S65 AMG L

S-Class Coupe

S500 S63 AMG S65 AMG

R R

E-Class with go-anywhere guts

SL400 SL500 SL63 AMG

GT GT Roadster GT S GT C Edition 50 GT C Roadster GT R

Kerb Eng size Power Torque Trans. weight

4.7 300 600 5.5 430 800

A9 A7

0-100 km/h

1815 4.9 1795 4.3

0-400 metres

Fuel Resale cons. RON %

Issue tested

— 8.9 95 46 12.2 10.0 98 44 10/14

Drive

R R

Arguably the world’s best sedan

Two-door German powerhaus

Interior presentation; nine-speed debut for base V8 (E<6<A: C?HF G;8 6BFG B9 E84E GLE8F 4A7 CEB545?L <AFHE4A68 4A7 <F G;8 .  JBEG; <G  The Pick: Twin-turbo V8s promise better economy with still-brilliant performance $327,215 V8TT 4.7 335 700 A9 1955 4.6 â&#x20AC;&#x201D; 8.6 95 64 02/16 R $414,715 V8TT 5.5 430 900 A7 1995 4.2 â&#x20AC;&#x201D; 10.2 98 53 R $502,216 V12TT 6.0 463 1000 A7 2110 4.1 â&#x20AC;&#x201D; 12.0 98 48 R

Sports luxury, maybe. Not light

New nine-speed and upgraded engines deliver worthy performance improvements Looks odd from some angles; heavy and thirsty; more cruiser than sporty  The Pick: The V8 AMG is a great way to build pace, but even the base SL400 has loads of go $218,715 V6TT 3.0 270 500 A9 1735 4.9 â&#x20AC;&#x201D; 7.8 95 51 R $278,715 V8TT 4.7 335 700 A9 1795 4.3 â&#x20AC;&#x201D; 9.1 95 51 R $368,715 V8TT 5.5 430 900 A9 1845 4.1 â&#x20AC;&#x201D; 10.2 98 51 R

AMG GT

Credible four-door coupe

Still-pretty looks; lovely cabin; brilliant steering and Airmatic ride (even on CLS63 AMG) (8GEB? . 64AG @4G6; G;8 B<?8E $+ % J<?? A8I8E E8GHEA $

>@ BA?L F84GF 9BHE  The Pick: 350 CDI over an A7 3.0 TDI; storming AMG a coin-toss away from Jaguar XF R $115,355 L4TD 2.1 150 500 A7 1710 7.5 â&#x20AC;&#x201D; 5.4 D 44 R $125,355 L4TD 2.1 150 500 A7 1790 7.8 â&#x20AC;&#x201D; 5.6 D 44 R $140,115 V6TT 3.0 245 480 A7 1815 5.3 â&#x20AC;&#x201D; 7.8 95 46 R $171,115 V8TT 4.7 300 600 A9 1815 4.8 â&#x20AC;&#x201D; 6.8 95 46 R

Eng type

V8TT V8TT

Incredible combination of agility, ride comfort, and silence; superb seats; keen steering Some trim combinations are putrid â&#x20AC;&#x201C; money canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t buy taste; expensive  The Pick: The SWB S500 with 20-inch wheels because the brilliant ride still works $199,455 L4TDH 2.1 150 500 A7 2015 7.6 â&#x20AC;&#x201D; 4.5 D 48 08/14 R $220,955 V6TD 3.0 190 620 A7 1880 6.8 â&#x20AC;&#x201D; 6.0 D 48 02/14 R $228,340 V6TD 3.0 190 620 A7 1900 6.8 â&#x20AC;&#x201D; 6.0 D 48 R $234,716 V6TT 3.0 245 480 A7 1920 5.3 â&#x20AC;&#x201D; 7.9 95 50 R $294,715 V8TT 4.7 335 700 A7 1920 4.8 â&#x20AC;&#x201D; 9.2 95 45 02/14 R $319,715 V8TT 4.7 335 700 A7 1940 4.8 â&#x20AC;&#x201D; 9.2 95 45 09/13 R $317,715 V6TH 3.0 325 650 A7 2215 5.2 â&#x20AC;&#x201D; 2.8 95 R $419,715 V8TT 6.0 390 830 A7 2110 4.6 â&#x20AC;&#x201D; 11.3 98 46 R $448,325 V12TT 6.0 390 830 A7 2260 5.0 â&#x20AC;&#x201D; 11.7 98 45 R $392,715 V8TT 5.5 430 900 A7 1970 4.0 â&#x20AC;&#x201D; 10.2 98 55 11/13 R $404,715 V8TT 5.5 430 900 A7 2095 4.5 â&#x20AC;&#x201D; 10.2 98 45 R $492,715 V12TT 6.0 463 1000 A7 2175 4.3 â&#x20AC;&#x201D; 11.9 98 45 R

SL

All-wheel drive versatility; refined, comfortable package; typical Merc safety standard Just one variant for now, which could use a little more grunt; petrol version would suit Aus O ,;8 (<6> ,;8 J4<G 9BE 4 F86BA7 I4E<4AG @<:;G 58 ?BA: 5HG G;8 <A<G<4? 7<8F8? <F 4A 4?? EBHA78E $109,900 L4T 2.0 143 400 A9 1920 8.0 â&#x20AC;&#x201D; 5.2 D â&#x20AC;&#x201D; A

E220

$181,115 $251,115

S-Class

Look mum, no hands

Cutting-edge tech; luxurious interior; oodles of standard kit; pleasing road manners Australia misses out on some of the fancy tech; mild wind noise; prices have gone up  The Pick: The E400 is a ripper; all-paw E43 even better. Ballistic E63 is ferociously fast $89,990 L4T 2.0 135 300 A9 1530 7.7 â&#x20AC;&#x201D; 6.4 95 46 R $92,900 L4D 2.0 143 400 A9 1605 7.3 â&#x20AC;&#x201D; 4.1 D 46 R $107,900 L4T 2.0 180 370 A9 â&#x20AC;&#x201D; 6.2 7.1 95 R $134.900 L6TD 3.0 190 620 A9 1725 5.9 â&#x20AC;&#x201D; 5.6 D 46 R $131,600 L4TDH 2.1 210 550 A9 1850 6.2 â&#x20AC;&#x201D; 2.4 95 R $139,900 V6TT 3.0 245 480 A9 1745 5.2 â&#x20AC;&#x201D; 8.4 95 A $159,900 V6TT 3.0 295 520 A9 1765 4.6 â&#x20AC;&#x201D; 8.4 98 A $209,900 V8TT 4.0 420 750 A9 1875 3.5 â&#x20AC;&#x201D; 9.3 98 A $239,900 V8TT 4.0 450 850 A9 1880 3.3 11.3 15.9 98 07/17 A

E-Class Coupe

Price

CLS500 S-Brake CLS63 AMG S

BY

All grand, more sport than tourer

Brilliant new twin-turbo V8; arresting styling; cohesive chassis; drama; GT Râ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s polish Some ergonomic issues inside cabin; driver communication at the limit; taut suspension  The Pick: New GT R is hugely entertaining on the track but still highly capable on the road $258,711 V8TT 4.0 350 630 S7 1540 4.0 â&#x20AC;&#x201D; 9.4 98 R $283,711 V8TT 4.0 350 630 S7 â&#x20AC;&#x201D; 4.0 â&#x20AC;&#x201D; â&#x20AC;&#x201D; 98 R $298,711 V8TT 4.0 384 670 S7 1570 3.8 â&#x20AC;&#x201D; 9.4 98 67 09/15 R $335,211 V8TT 4.0 410 680 S7 â&#x20AC;&#x201D; â&#x20AC;&#x201D; â&#x20AC;&#x201D; 98 R $338,711 V8TT 4.0 410 680 S7 1660 â&#x20AC;&#x201D; â&#x20AC;&#x201D; 98 R $348,711 V8TT 4.0 430 700 S7 1555 3.6 â&#x20AC;&#x201D; 11.4 98 R

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GLC-Class

GLC220d GLC250 GLC250d GLC43 AMG

When we drove it

F= Frontdrive,R=Reardrive, A=All-wheeldrive

Glass's predicted resale rating, retained after 3 years

Recommended octane rating

Fuel consumption in Litres/100km

Kilograms

M=manual, A=automatic, S=sequential, C=CVT

Newton metres

Kilowatts

Drive

Merc’s answer to the X6

Core Soul Essence

Ray Ray Cooper Cooper Cooper D Cooper D Cooper S Cooper S JCW JCW

Fuel Resale cons. RON %

Issue tested

Drive

Soft-roading mediocrity

F F F A

Army truck for the road

Ray Ray Cooper Cooper Cooper D Cooper D Cooper S Cooper S

S S JCW

6yr/unlimited mgmotor.com.au

Mini attempts a high-five

Longer wheelbase and additional rear doors broaden the Mini’s family-hatch appeal Betrays the Mini’s DNA; rear doors look piddly; isn’t this what a Countryman is for?  The Pick: A Cooper or Cooper D auto with the smallest wheels. The S doesn’t deserve this $30,500 L3T 1.2 75 180 M6 — — — 5.0 95 50 F $33,000 L3T 1.2 75 180 A6 — — — 5.0 95 50 F $27,750 L3T 1.5 100 220 M6 1145 8.2 — 4.7 95 48 F $30,400 L3T 1.5 100 220 A6 1175 9.1 16.5 4.8 95 48 03/16 F $32,900 L3TD 1.5 85 270 M6 1190 9.4 — 3.6 D 48 F $35,550 L3TD 1.5 85 270 A6 1205 9.5 — 3.8 D 50 F $38,850 L4T 2.0 141 280 M6 1220 6.9 — 5.9 95 50 F $40,700 L4T 2.0 141 280 A6 1240 6.8 — 5.4 95 50 F Characterful three-cylinder turbo; functional folding soft-top; accurate steering Decent price premium for the drop-top; rear visibility not helped by fabric top  The Pick: Let’s face it, the convertible is all about the looks, so stick to the base model $37,900 L3T 1.5 100 220 M6 1205 8.8 — 5.1 95 62 $37,900 L3T 1.5 100 220 A6 1230 8.7 — 5.3 95 63 $45,400 L4T 2.0 141 280 M6 1275 7.2 — 6.2 95 64 $45,400 L4T 2.0 141 280 A6 1295 7.1 — 5.8 95 64 $54,900 L4T 2.0 170 320 A6 — 6.5 — 5.2 95 51

Clubman

Budget big Benz

New name, new cabin, new engine

Best New Mini ever

Cooper Convertible Fun and functional drop-top

S in the name the main change for GL

R

3yr/unlimited mini.com.au

Brilliant handling and super-sharp turn-in; Cooper S’s great acoustics; improved cabin Bottom-feeder front end; thicker pillars; three-pot should sound fruitier  The Pick: The excellent Cooper S manual on 17s with optional adaptive dampers $29,000 L3T 1.2 75 180 M6 1090 9.9 — 4.9 95 50 F $31,500 L3T 1.2 75 180 A6 1120 10.2 — 5.0 95 50 F $26,650 L3T 1.5 100 220 M6 1085 7.9 — 4.7 95 48 06/14 F $30,100 L3T 1.5 100 220 A6 1115 7.8 — 4.9 95 48 F $31,800 L3TD 1.5 85 270 M6 1135 9.2 — 3.7 D 48 F $34,150 L3TD 1.5 85 270 A6 1150 9.2 — 3.9 D 48 F $37,750 L4T 2.0 141 280 M6 1160 6.8 — 5.9 95 50 06/14 F $39,300 L4T 2.0 141 280 A6 1175 6.7 — 5.5 95 50 F $47,400 L4T 2.0 170 320 M6 1205 6.3 — 6.7 95 61 F $49,950 L4T 2.0 170 320 A6 1220 6.1 — 5.7 95 61 F

5-door

Cooper Cooper S Cooper JCW

Cooper Cooper D Cooper S Cooper SD All4 JCW

F F F F F

Mini at its best

Quirky styling; spacious interior; zingy engines; still handles like a go-kart; lots of doors Lacks the dartiness of its shorter-wheelbase siblings but that somehow makes it better!  The Pick: If the Clubman will fit in your garage, any of them. It’s the best Mini you can buy $34,900 L3T 1.5 100 220 A6 1320 9.1 — 5.4 95 53 02/16 F $42,900 L4T 2.0 141 280 A8 1390 7.1 — 5.9 95 54 F $53,900 L4T 2.0 170 350 A8 6.3 — 7.2 95 57 A

Countryman

A large-Mini paradox

Plenty of driving fizz and Mini character in a more practical SUV-ish body Sweet triple loses some sparkle hauling the larger Countryman; styling a little overdone  The Pick: A front-drive Cooper S if you aren’t swayed by the VW Tiguan’s practical sense $39,900 L3T 1.5 100 220 A6 9.6 — 6.0 95 F $43,900 L4TD 2.0 110 330 A8 8.8 — 4.8 D F $46,500 L4T 2.0 141 280 A8 7.4 — 6.5 95 F $51,500 L4TD 2.0 140 400 A8 7.4 — 5.2 D A $56,900 L4T 2.0 170 350 A8 6.5 – 7.4 95 A

Chinese, cheap, not so cheerful

Cheap hatchback that stands out from a design perspective The last thing people expect from a once-storied sports car brand; no auto; unproven  The Pick: There are plenty of hatchbacks likely to do a better job at this end of the market $13,990 L4 1.5 78 137 M5 1103 — — 5.8 48 F $14,990 L4 1.5 78 137 M5 1103 — — 5.8 48 F $15,990 L4 1.5 78 137 M5 1103 — — 5.8 49 F

MG6 Plus

0-400 metres

Umm ... decent cabin space, strong warranty, 162kW grunt from 2.0-litre turbo Poor cabin finish; lacklustre steering, handling, flimsy build  The Pick: A Nissan Qashqai, Suzuki Vitara, Honda HR-V or any other small SUV $23,990 L4T 1.5 119 250 M6 1432 – – 7.4 91 56 $25,990 L4T 1.5 119 250 S7 1432 — — 7.4 91 56 $27,990 L4T 1.5 119 250 S7 1420 — — 7.4 91 56 $34,990 L4T 2.0 162 350 S6 1614 – – 9.6 91 57

Hatch

Enormously roomy, complete with limo-style face-to-face rear seating; frugal diesel four Sheer size makes it difficult to manoeuvre and park, which kinda defeats its purpose  The Pick: A centre captain’s chair in a fully stocked V250 with Jeeves in the hot seat $85,455 L4TD 2.1 140 440 A7 2145 9.1 — 6.3 D 53 R

MG3

0-100 km/h

Mini

New name, familiar body

MG

Core Soul Essence

Vivid Core Soul Essence

Kerb Eng size Power Torque Trans. weight

It’s all about the look

A cheaper way to get into an eight-seat Benz (and out of a VW Multivan or Tarago) Like the new-gen V-Class, it’s essentially a commercial van with seats  The Pick: This over its VW Multivan and Toyota Tarago rivals $58,100 L4TD 2.1 120 360 A7 2155 — — 6.3 D 54

V-Class

Eng type

GS

Third-row seat actually comfortable and almost roomy; engines; decent off-road ability Gargantuan-Class more like it – it’s big; AMG not as athletic as some through the bends  The Pick: Torquey V6 diesel makes most sense, and new Sport pack adds dynamic helpers $117,950 V6TD 3.0 190 620 A9 2455 7.8 — 7.7 D 63 A $136,950 V6TD 3.0 190 620 A9 — — — 7.7 D 63 A $163,950 V8TT 4.7 320 700 A9 2445 5.3 — 11.5 95 63 A $219,950 V8TT 5.5 410 760 A7 2580 4.6 — 12.3 98 63 A

Valente

V250d

Price

Million-dollar baby

Tough-as image; AMG’s ultra-cool side tailpipes and burly new twin-turbo V8 donk G-Class BlueTec name is paradoxical; live front axle; woeful steering; bucking ride  The Pick: The outrageous AMG has perverse appeal, but only the diesel makes any sense $163,615 V6TD 3.0 155 540 A7 2300 9.1 — 11.2 D 50 A $167,510 V8 5.5 285 530 A7 2530 6.1 — 14.9 98 50 A $233,615 V8TT 5.5 400 760 A7 2550 5.4 — 13.8 98 52 05/14 A

GLS-Class

GLS350d GLS350d Sport GLS500 GLS63 AMG

Issue tested

Vision; excellent cornering grip; refinement; decent room despite lower-than-GLE roof Thousands more than GLE for less space; busy ride; high loading lip for boot  The Pick: AMG-tweaked turbo six in the GLE43 makes a great noise and feels strong $121,615 V6TD 3.0 190 620 A9 2175 7.0 — 7.2 D 63 A $143,616 V6TT 3.0 270 520 A9 2145 5.7 — 9.4 95 61 A $198,615 V8TT 5.5 430 760 A7 2275 4.2 — 11.9 98 61 A

G-Class

G350d G500 G63 AMG

Fuel Resale cons. RON %

Superb V6 diesel; premium cabin; decent ride quality; frugal for its size; beefy AMG V8 Can’t escape its sheer size; not particularly well packaged; still far from sexy  The Pick: Feels more expensive than it is, with the GLE400 arguably the sweet spot $86,855 L4TD 2.1 150 500 A9 2075 8.6 — 6.0 D 63 A $104,855 V6TD 3.0 190 620 A9 2100 7.1 — 6.6 D 63 A $109,615 V6TT 3.0 245 480 A7 2055 6.1 — 9.3 95 63 A $127,615 V8TT 4.7 300 600 A7 2160 5.3 — 11.0 95 63 A $124,900 V6TH 3.0 325 650 A7 2465 5.3 — 3.3 98 63 A $133,616 V6TT 3.0 270 520 A9 — 5.7 — — 98 A $189,615 V8TT 5.5 430 760 A7 2270 4.2 — 11.8 98 61 A

GLE Coupe

GLE350d GLE43 AMG GLE63 S AMG

0-400 metres

Get new car advice from the experts. whichcar.com.au

Exterior and interior styling; sharp dynamics; decent performance; comfortable Turbo-diesels are a bit gruff; compromised headroom, practicality, and vision  The Pick: Either of the 250s makes sense, or you could save dough with the regular GLC $77,100 L4TD 2.1 125 400 A9 1845 8.3 — 5.8 D 61 A $80,100 L4T 2.0 155 350 A9 1785 7.6 — 7.4 95 62 A $82,100 L4TD 2.1 150 500 A9 1845 7.6 — 5.8 D 61 A $108,900 V6TT 3.0 270 520 A9 — 4.9 — — 98 A

GLE-Class

GLE250d GLE350d GLE400 GLE500 GLE500e GLE43 AMG GLE63 S AMG

0-100 km/h

Styling; outstanding interior; class-leading space; all-round ability on air suspension... ...which is optional but mandatory in our opinion; 250d not as sweet as lazier 220d  The Pick: Refined, relaxed nature of 220d makes it a winner, if you tick Air Body Control $65,990 L4TD 2.1 125 400 A9 1845 8.3 — 5.6 D 61 02/16 A $68,705 L4T 2.0 155 350 A9 1735 7.3 — 7.2 95 62 02/16 A $70,990 L4TD 2.2 150 500 A9 1845 7.6 — 5.7 D 61 02/16 A $101,400 V6TT 3.0 270 520 A9 — 4.9 — — 98 A

GLC Coupe

GLC220d GLC250 GLC250d GLC43 AMG

Kerb Eng size Power Torque Trans. weight

0-400m acceleration, in sec s (Wheels tested figures in italics)

Eng type

0-100km/h acceleration, in secs (Wheels tested figures in italics)

Price

Litres

L=in-line,V=vee,F=flat,R=rotary. Numberofcylsorrotors. T=turbo, S= s'charged,D=diesel,H=hybrid

New models for the month highlighted

Recommended Retail Price at time of publication (* indicates driveaway)

MERCEDES – NI S S A N

NEW ARRIVALS

Mitsubishi Mirage

Mid-sizer returns years after failed start

Brand cachet; distinctive design; rear air vents; cheap Model doesn’t live up to that cachet; questionable resale; lacklustre turbo engine  The Pick: It didn’t impress years ago and there’s not much to suggest it’s worth a punt $21,990 L4T 1.8 118 215 A6 1534 — — 7.8 48 F $23,990 L4T 1.8 118 215 A6 1534 — — 7.8 48 F $25,990 L4T 1.8 118 215 A6 1534 — — 7.8 49 F

150 wheelsmag.com.au

ES ES LS LS

5yr/100,000km mitsubishi-motors.com.au

Cheap, cheerless mini

Better-equipped than you’d expect at the price; long warranty; should be reliable Leisurely pace; bouncy ride; tight rear seat  The Pick: A Holden Spark or Kia Picanto if you want new. Or a secondhand Mazda 2 $12,250 L3 1.2 57 100 M5 865 — — 4.6 91 41 04/13 $13,490 L3 1.2 57 100 C 890 — — 4.6 91 41 $12,990 L3 1.2 57 100 M5 865 — — 4.8 91 41 $15,250 L3 1.2 57 100 C 890 — — 4.9 91 41

F F F F


POWE RE D

Showroom Price

Eng type

Lancer

ES Sport ES Sport LS sedan GSR Sportback GSR Sportback GSR sedan GSR sedan

Fuel Resale cons. RON %

Issue tested

Drive

Price

F F F F F F F

GLX GLX GLS Exceed

0-400 metres

Fuel Resale cons. RON %

Issue tested

Drive

2yr/100,000km morgancars.com.au

As weird as it gets

It’s a good way to stand out; there’s nothing else like it; character personified It’s a good way to get laughed at; thirsty; lacking useful features like a windscreen  The Pick: Something (anything!) with four wheels, unless you have a really big garage $92,300 V2 2.0 60 140 M5 550 6.0 — 9.3 95 61 R

Aero 8

One for the road

As conventional as Morgan gets; distinctive styling blends modern with retro V8 doesn’t make a whole lot of power comparatively; nose looks like it’s been startled  The Pick: It’s a lot of money and there are many fine alternatives for the price $270,000 V8 4.8 270 450 M6 1200 — — — 95 R

Classic F F A F A A A A A A

0-100 km/h

Mitsu’s staple family workhorse

Tough family transporter is also a proper off-roader; undercuts serious 4WD rivals Feels old (it is) and creaky; noisy diesel; ponderous dynamics; heavy  The Pick: The thrifty diesel, but unless you venture off-road often, think Territory or CX-9 $50,990 L4TD 3.2 147 441 M5 2273 — — 8.4 D 51 A $53,990 L4TD 3.2 147 441 A5 2263 — — 8.6 D 51 A $58,990 L4TD 3.2 147 441 A5 2314 — — 8.6 D 51 A $65,990 L4TD 3.2 147 441 A5 2335 — — 9.2 D 57 A

3 Wheeler

You got seven seats in that?

R4/4 Plus 4 Roadster Plus 8 Plus 8

From Challenger to challenging

A synonym for ’old-gen’

Fabulously raw and lightweight roadsters; relatively affordable Forget about cabin ergonomics or ride quality; definitely not practical  The Pick: This or a Caterham if your house backs onto a racetrack $89,900 L4 1.6 82 131 M6 868 8.0 — 6.3 95 $103,500 L4 2.0 115 201 M6 877 7.5 — 7.0 95 $139,775 V6 3.7 209 352 M6 950 5.5 — 9.8 95 $225,000 V8 4.8 270 490 M6 1100 4.5 — 12.1 95 $225,000 V8 4.8 270 490 A6 1100 4.5 — 12.1 95

Leaf

67 61 67 50 50

R R R R R

3yr/100,000km nissan.com.au

Nissan

Clever on-demand 4WD system; eight-speed transmission; rugged Strictly a five-seater; old-school Triton chassis hurts dynamics; gobsmacking styling  The Pick: Base GLX offers plenty for the money, but Toyota Fortuner is much prettier $45,000 L4TD 2.5 133 430 A8 2045 — — 8.0 D 52 A $48,500 L4TD 2.5 133 430 A8 2060 — — 8.0 D 53 A $53,000 L4TD 2.5 133 430 A8 2070 — — 8.0 D 53 03/16 A

Driveaway electric

Purpose-built electric, with loads of torque; supremely smooth; classy, techy interior Regenerative braking, steering and handling all a bit weird-burger and/or artificial  The Pick: Um, the Leaf – especially at its $39,990 driveaway price $39,990 E 80 280 A1 1525 11.9 — — 45 09/11 F

370Z

Nismo Nismo

Nissan’s cut-price Cayman ...

Fast and sharp; big-hearted V6; sweetly balanced; trick auto-blip manual on downshifts Engine still coarse; manual shift a tad clunky; ride quality on rough roads  The Pick: It’s no son of Godzilla, but a tyre-fryin’ hoot on smooth hotmix $49,990 V6 3.7 245 363 M6 1471 5.6 13.8 10.5 95 51 06/09 R $52,490 V6 3.7 245 363 A7 1485 5.7 13.8 10.5 95 52 12/09 R $61,490 V6 3.7 253 374 M6 — — — — 95 — R $63,990 V6 3.7 253 374 A7 — — — — 95 — R

370Z Roadster … and Nissan’s cut-price Boxster Same virtues as the coupe, but the V6 should sound sweeter top-down 137kg extra weight is like having a Biggest Loser contestant on board, all of the time  The Pick: Auto is slick and intuitive, but we’d still opt for the manual $60,990 V6 3.7 245 363 M6 1608 — — 11.2 95 64 01/10 R $63,490 V6 3.7 245 363 A7 1618 — — 11.2 95 64 R

GT-R

Premium Premium Luxury Track Edition Nismo

ST ST Ti-S Ti-S

Still a head-turner

Brings individuality to small crossovers; punchy 140kW turbo; chirpy new ST manual Busy urban ride; noisy CVT; heavy Ti-S AWD; styling a compilation but no best-of  The Pick: Ti-S with torque-vectoring AWD is a wannabe Godzilla, but go for the 1.2 turbo ST $23,490 L4T 1.2 85 190 M5 1163 — — 5.6 95 52 06/13 F $24,490 L4 1.6 86 158 C 1205 — — 6.3 95 52 F $29,790 L4T 1.6 140 240 M6 1300 — — 6.0 95 50 F $33,490 L4T 1.6 140 240 C 1431 — — 6.5 95 52 A

Qashqai

ST ST ST N-Sport Ti Ti TS TL

Biggest update to Godzilla in a decade

Finally, Nismo is here!; boosted six grunt; improved interior; rear-biased AWD Occasional driveline clunk; turbo lag; higher prices of latest update; cramped back seats  The Pick: Track Edition delivers on cornering without mega price and stiff set-up of Nismo $189,000 V6TT 3.8 419 628 S6 1765 — — 11.7 98 55 A $195,000 V6TT 3.8 419 628 S6 1765 — — 11.7 98 55 A $227,000 V6TT 3.8 419 628 S6 1760 — — 11.7 98 55 A $299,000 V6TT 3.8 441 652 S6 1739 — — 11.7 98 A

Juke

The arrival of Nissan’s second Nismo model, this time based on the 370Z, is the big news in the Japanese sports coupe camp, but the range addition coincides with a price chop for existing Z variants, and the entry manual 370Z coupe now starts at under $50,000. It might be older than the hills but a sub-$50k Z-car is all over Ford’s runaway Mustang fastback.

Kerb Eng size Power Torque Trans. weight

Morgan

Better (looking) with age

Generation

Eng type

Pajero

Needs an update

A compact-ish SUV that squeezes in seven seats; quieter and smoother; equipment Crappo infotainment functionality; about as American as a facelift can get  The Pick: Either a base LS manual or an XLS 4WD turbo-diesel with six-speed auto $28,750 L4 2.0 110 190 M5 1410 — — 7.0 91 48 $30,500 L4 2.0 110 190 C 1430 — — 6.7 91 48 $33,500 L4 2.4 124 220 C 1500 10.8 17.8 10.8 91 48 06/17 $32,000 L4 2.0 110 190 C 1430 — — 6.7 91 48 $35,000 L4 2.4 124 220 C 1535 11.0 17.9 7.2 91 50 06/15 $39,500 L4TD 2.3 110 360 A6 1630 — — 6.2 D 50 $44,000 L4 2.4 124 220 C 1535 — — 7.2 91 51 $47,500 L4TD 2.3 110 360 A6 1630 — — 6.2 D 51 $50,490 L4H 2.0 120 332 A1 1810 — — 1.7 91 42 $55,490 L4H 2.0 120 332 A1 1871 — — 1.7 91 42

Pajero Sport

GLX GLS Exceed

0-400 metres

Increasingly attractive with each facelift; keen pricing; torquey turbo-diesel Interior smaller than SUV rivals; lacks refinement; Peugeot 4008 clone handles better  The Pick: 2WD is appealingly priced, so stay at the bottom end $24,990 L4 2.0 110 197 M5 1335 — — 7.6 91 48 F $26,990 L4 2.0 110 197 C — — — 91 48 F $31,490 L4 2.0 110 197 C 1375 — — 7.4 91 46 F $31,990 L4TD 2.2 110 360 A6 — — — 5.8 D 46 09/13 A $36,490 L4TD 2.2 110 360 A6 1515 — — 5.8 D 48 09/13 A

Outlander

LS LS LS 4WD LS Safety Pack LS Safety 4WD LS Safety 4WD DiD Exceed 4WD Exceed 4WD DiD PHEV PHEV Aspire

0-100 km/h

Neat styling; decent value; Um... Lots! Dynamics are rubbish; cheap interior; poor front seats; droning CVT...  The Pick: A competitor – even a Korean one. $19,500 L4 2.0 110 197 M5 1285 9.6 — 6.9 91 47 $21,000 L4 2.0 110 197 C 1315 10.3 — 7.4 91 47 $23,500 L4 2.0 110 197 C 1355 10.5 — 7.4 91 48 $22,500 L4 2.4 125 226 M5 1370 — — 8.8 91 48 $24,000 L4 2.4 125 226 C 1400 — — 8.9 91 49 $22,500 L4 2.4 125 226 M5 1345 9.1 — 8.8 91 48 $24,000 L4 2.4 125 226 C 1375 9.8 — 8.5 91 49

ASX

LS LS XLS LS 4x4 XLS 4x4

Kerb Eng size Power Torque Trans. weight

BY

Dualis takes a back seat with new model

Clever packaging combined with a sharp price; handles like a jumped-up hatchback Performance not its forte, though both engines try hard; no rear-seat air vents  The Pick: Base petrol ST with CVT auto, even if it misses out on the clever boot partitions $25,990 L4 2.0 106 200 M6 1372 9.9 — 7.7 91 50 F $28,490 L4 2.0 106 200 C 1408 10.1 — 6.9 91 50 09/14 F $28,690 L4 2.0 106 200 C 1408 10.1 — 6.9 91 50 F $32,890 L4 2.0 106 200 M6 1421 9.9 — 7.7 91 54 F $34,490 L4 2.0 106 200 C 1457 10.1 — 6.9 91 54 F $33,990 L4TD 1.6 96 320 C 1556 11.1 — 4.9 D 52 F $39.990 L4TD 1.6 96 320 C 1605 11.1 — 4.9 D 53 09/14 F

@wheelsaustralia 151


X-Trail

ST ST ST 7-seat ST 4WD TS 4WD ST-L ST-L 7-seat ST-L 4WD Ti 4WD TL 4WD

F= Frontdrive,R=Reardrive, A=All-wheeldrive

Fuel Resale cons. RON %

When we drove it

Glass's predicted resale rating, retained after 3 years

Recommended octane rating

0-400 metres

Fuel consumption in Litres/100km

Kilograms

M=manual, A=automatic, S=sequential, C=CVT

Newton metres

Kilowatts

Litres

0-100 km/h

Issue tested

Drive

208

Active Allure GT Line

Active Allure Allure HDi Allure Touring HDi GT BlueHDi GTi 270

Pretty, well-priced

Return to French form

Best Pug this century

Classy, Gallic CX-5 alternative

Now a genuine SUV built on excellent 308 underpinnings; cabin flair; agility; equipment Ride could be calmer; small 53L tank; AEB not standard  The Pick: We’re yet to sample the line-up but Allure feels to strike a nice value equation $36,990 L4T 1.6 121 240 A6 1371 9.9 — 7.0 95 — — F $39,490 L4T 1.6 121 240 A6 1371 9.9 — 7.0 95 — 09/17 F $43,490 L4T 1.6 121 240 A6 1371 9.9 — 7.0 95 — — F $49,490 L4TD 2.0 133 400 A6 1433 8.9 — 4.8 D — — F

508

Active Allure HDi Allure HDi Touring GT HDi GT HDi Touring

3yr/100,000km peugeot.com.au

Smart styling; entry-level triple is a belter; terrific dynamics; well equipped for the money Torsion-beam rear felt at times; ride on big wheels; ventilation controls in touchscreen  The Pick: 1.2 turbo triple is a rip-snorter (although price of entry steep) as is diesel wagon $27,990 L3T 1.2 96 230 A6 1150 8.9 — 5.1 95 52 01/17 F $32,990 L3T 1.2 96 230 A6 — 95 F $36,990 L4TD 2.0 110 370 A6 1310 8.6 — 4.1 D 53 F $39,490 L4TD 2.0 110 370 A6 1420 8.9 — 4.2 D 53 F $42,990 L4TD 2.0 133 400 A6 1320 8.4 — 4.0 D 54 05/15 F $49,990 L4T 1.6 200 330 M6 1205 6.0 — 6.0 95 55 F

3008

Active Allure GT-Line GT

A A

S S

152 wheelsmag.com.au

F F F F F

0-100 km/h

0-400 metres

Fuel Resale cons. RON %

Issue tested

Drive

Mitsubishi ASX puts on a beret

Improved styling and suspension damping over the Mitsubishi ASX on which it’s based Steering and handling; refinement; plasticky Mitsu’ interior; not remotely French  The Pick: A better-looking ASX, but lacks the dynamics of a Qashqai or Subaru XV $27,990 L4 2.0 110 197 M5 — — — 7.7 95 54 F $30,990 L4 2.0 110 197 M5 1440 — — 7.9 95 54 08/12 A $33,490 L4 2.0 110 197 C 1470 10.9 — 8.1 95 51 A $38,490 L4 2.0 110 197 C 1470 10.9 — 8.1 95 51 08/12 A

3yr/unlimited porsche.com.au

Cayman goes all sensible

Finally, it’s more affordable than the drop-top it’s based on; performance of turbo fours Cayman engines now identical tune to Boxsters’; difficult to replace the zing of atmo six  The Pick: Suddenly the Cayman is looking a lot more tempting thanks to new pricing $115,600 F4T 2.0 220 380 M6 1335 5.1 — 7.4 98 57 R $117,172 F4T 2.0 220 380 S7 1365 4.9 — 6.9 98 57 R $145,800 F4T 2.5 257 420 M6 1355 4.6 — 8.1 98 57 R $150,790 F4T 2.5 257 420 S7 1385 4.3 12.4 10.6 98 57 05/17 R

718 Boxster

Six into four does go

Power, torque and efficiency of new four-pots; clever engineering; usability and styling Six’s acoustic magic gone; personality changed; prices creeping north  The Pick: Plenty of punch and a better sound from the base 2.0 makes it the pick $118,400 F4T 2.0 220 380 M6 1335 5.1 — 7.4 98 61 $119,972 F4T 2.0 220 380 S7 1365 4.9 — 6.9 98 61 $148,600 F4T 2.5 257 420 M6 1355 4.6 — 8.1 98 61 $153,590 F4T 2.5 257 420 S7 1385 4.4 — 7.3 98 61 06/16

911

R R R R

Driver appeal for the ages

Potent performance and dynamic depth; practical as a daily driver; GT3 manual is back! Carrera’s adoption of snails has dulled the flat six mill’s sweet delivery and aural magic  The Pick: The GTS coupe marks the sweet spot between the S and the GT3 Carrera $221,200 F6TT 3.0 272 450 M7 1430 4.6 — 8.3 98 67 R Carrera $227,150 F6TT 3.0 272 450 S7 1450 4.4 — 7.4 98 67 R Carrera S $256,300 F6TT 3.0 309 500 M7 1440 4.3 — 8.7 98 67 R Carrera S $262,250 F6TT 3.0 309 500 S7 1460 4.1 — 7.7 98 67 R Carrera GTS $282,700 F6TT 3.0 331 550 M7 1450 4.1 — 9.4 98 R Carrera GTS $290,090 F6TT 3.0 331 550 S7 1470 3.7 — 8.3 98 R Carrera Cabriolet $242,700 F6TT 3.0 272 450 M7 1500 4.8 — 8.5 98 67 R Carrera Cabriolet $248,650 F6TT 3.0 272 450 S7 1520 4.6 — 7.5 98 67 R Carrera S Cabriolet $277,800 F6TT 3.0 309 500 M7 1510 4.5 — 8.8 98 67 R Carrera S Cabriolet $283,750 F6TT 3.0 309 500 S7 1530 4.3 — 7.8 98 67 R Carrera GTS Cab $304,200 F6TT 3.0 331 550 M7 1520 4.2 — 9.4 98 R Carrera GTS Cab $311,590 F6TT 3.0 331 550 S7 1540 3.8 — 8.4 98 R Carrera 4 $237,300 F6TT 3.0 272 450 M7 1480 4.5 — 8.7 98 57 A Carrera 4 $243,250 F6TT 3.0 272 450 S7 1500 4.3 — 7.7 98 57 A Carrera 4S $272,400 F6TT 3.0 309 500 M7 1490 4.2 — 8.9 98 57 A Carrera 4S $278,350 F6TT 3.0 309 500 S7 1510 4.0 — 7.9 98 57 A Carrera 4 GTS $298,900 F6TT 3.0 331 550 M7 1495 4.0 — 9.5 98 A Carrera 4 GTS $306,290 F6TT 3.0 331 550 S7 1515 3.6 — 8.5 98 A Carrera 4 Cabriolet $258,800 F6TT 3.0 272 450 M7 1550 4.7 — 8.9 98 57 A Carrera 4 Cabriolet $264,750 F6TT 3.0 272 450 S7 1570 4.5 — 7.9 98 57 A Carrera 4S Cabriolet $293,900 F6TT 3.0 309 500 M7 1560 4.4 — 9.0 98 57 A Carrera 4S Cabriolet $299,850 F6TT 3.0 309 500 S7 1580 4.2 — 8.0 98 57 A Carrera 4 GTS Cab $320,400 F6TT 3.0 331 550 M7 1565 4.1 — 9.7 98 A Carrera 4 GTS Cab $327,790 F6TT 3.0 331 550 S7 1585 3.7 — 8.7 98 A Targa 4 $258,800 F6TT 3.0 272 450 M7 1570 4.7 — 8.9 98 57 A Targa 4 $264,750 F6TT 3.0 272 450 S7 1590 4.5 — 7.9 98 57 A Targa 4S $293,900 F6TT 3.0 309 500 M7 1580 4.4 — 9.0 98 57 A Targa 4S $299,850 F6TT 3.0 309 500 S7 1600 4.2 — 8.0 98 57 A Targa 4 GTS $320,400 F6TT 3.0 331 550 M7 1585 4.1 — 9.7 98 A Targa 4 GTS $327,790 F6TT 3.0 331 550 S7 1605 3.7 — 8.7 98 A GT3 $327,100 F6 4.0 368 460 M6 1488 3.9 — 12.9 98 R GT3 $327,100 F6 4.0 368 460 S7 1505 3.4 — 12.7 98 R Turbo $390,300 F6TT 3.8 397 710 S7 1595 3.0 — 9.1 98 57 A Turbo S $461,900 F6TT 3.8 427 750 S7 1600 2.9 — 9.1 98 57 A Turbo Cabriolet $411,800 F6TT 3.8 397 710 S7 1665 3.1 — 9.3 98 57 A Turbo S Cabriolet $483,400 F6TT 3.8 427 750 S7 1670 3.0 — 9.3 98 57 A

Panamera

Mid-size for non-conformists

Price and equipment; roomy, quality interior; GT’s punch and capable dynamics Regular models lack the handling of the GT; all lack the serene ride of Peugeots past  The Pick: GT HDi is semi-sporting and a valid premium-Japanese alternative $37,990 L4T 1.6 121 240 A6 1410 8.4 16.1 5.6 95 48 09/16 $45,990 L4TD 2.0 120 340 A6 1520 9.2 — 5.4 D 50 $48,990 L4TD 2.0 120 340 A6 1540 9.5 — 5.5 D 50 $59,990 L4TD 2.0 133 400 A6 1540 8.6 — 4.4 D 51 $62,990 L4TD 2.0 133 400 A6 1676 8.6 — 4.6 D 51

Kerb Eng size Power Torque Trans. weight

Porsche

S S

Terrific three-pot; supple ride; adjustable handling; great packaging; commendably light Auto is an ancient four-speed; instrument location  The Pick: Go for the mid-spec Allure and gain AEB as standard $25,490 L3T 1.2 81 205 A6 1188 11.3 — 4.8 95 F $29,990 L3T 1.2 81 205 A6 1188 11.3 — 4.8 95 F $31,500 L3T 1.2 81 205 A6 1188 11.3 — 4.8 95 F

308

Eng type

718 Cayman

Charming three-pot turbo; sharper value and extra gear; plush seats; GTi great to drive Lacks a 308’s polish and panache; polarising driving position; no turbo-triple manual  The Pick: Three-pot turbo makes plenty of sense below $20K in the Access auto $22,190 L3T 1.2 81 205 A6 1070 10.9 — 4.5 95 45 F $24,990 L3T 1.2 81 205 A6 1070 10.9 — 4.5 95 42 F $26,990 L3T 1.2 81 205 A6 1070 11.0 17.6 4.5 95 43 03/16 F $29,990 L4T 1.6 153 300 M6 1160 6.8 — 5.4 95 47 F

2008

Active FWD Active AWD Active AWD Allure AWD

My dear, how you’ve blossomed

Peugeot

Active Allure GT-Line GTi

F F F A A F F A A A

Plays on new tech; chassis tune

Posh V8 Patrol has graduated from uni and is living in the eastern suburbs At 2.8 tonnes, it’s the heaviest ‘car’ on sale in Australia; V8 loves a binge drink  The Pick: Base Ti offers plenty, but is this really necessary? $69,990 V8 5.6 298 560 A7 2800 — — 14.5 95 58 $86,990 V8 5.6 298 560 A7 2829 — — 14.5 95 58

Ti Ti-L

Price

4008

Strong V6 engine; in-cabin technology; handling stepped up with 2017 facelift... ...but still off the pace of the class best; safety gear missing in ST variants  The Pick: ST-L V6 with the all-wheel-drive system, which better channels those extra kW $41,990 V6 3.5 202 340 C 1920 — — 9.9 91 F $45,490 V6 3.5 202 340 C 1985 — — 10.1 91 A $44,490 L4SH 2.5 188 330 C 1969 — — 8.6 91 F $53,690 V6 3.5 202 340 C 1960 — — 9.9 91 F $57,690 V6 3.5 202 340 C 2025 — — 10.1 91 A $60,690 L4SH 2.5 188 330 C 2073 — — 8.6 91 A $62,190 V6 3.5 202 340 C 2000 — — 9.9 91 F $66,190 V6 3.5 202 340 C 2065 — — 10.1 91 A $69,190 L4SH 2.5 188 330 C 2073 — — 8.6 91 A

Y62 Patrol

Get new car advice from the experts. whichcar.com.au

Latest model a huge improvement

Less gawky looks; extra stretch adds third-row option; quiet, luxurious, and roomy Engine and CVT uninspiring; foot-operated park brake; ultimately lacking in finesse  The Pick: Sharp pricing on the front-drive ST auto looks the goods $27,990 L4 2.0 106 200 M6 1425 — — 8.2 91 – $30,490 L4 2.5 126 226 C 1458 — — 7.9 91 – $31,990 L4 2.5 126 226 C 1508 — — 8.1 91 – $32,490 L4 2.5 126 226 C 1514 — — 8.3 91 – $35,490 L4TD 2.0 130 380 C 1614 — — 6.0 D – $36,590 L4 2.5 126 226 C 1493 — — 7.9 91 – $38,090 L4 2.5 126 226 C 1534 — — 8.1 91 – $38,590 L4 2.5 126 226 C 1549 – – 8.3 91 – $44,290 L4 2.5 126 226 C 1562 — — 8.3 91 – $47,290 L4TD 2.0 130 380 C 1664 — — 6.1 D –

Pathfinder

ST 2WD ST 4WD ST Hybrid 2WD ST-L 2WD ST-L 4WD ST-L Hybrid 4WD Ti 2WD Ti 4WD Ti Hybrid 4WD

Kerb Eng size Power Torque Trans. weight

0-400m acceleration, in sec s (Wheels tested figures in italics)

Eng type

0-100km/h acceleration, in secs (Wheels tested figures in italics)

Price

L=in-line,V=vee,F=flat,R=rotary. Numberofcylsorrotors. T=turbo, S= s'charged,D=diesel,H=hybrid

New models for the month highlighted

Recommended Retail Price at time of publication (* indicates driveaway)

NISSAN – RO LLS - RO YC E

NEW ARRIVALS

4 4 E-Hybrid 4S 4S Diesel Turbo Turbo S E-Hybrid

Atones for the sins of the original

Fab interior; improved design; powerful engines, even in the Hybrid; ride and handling Price; big and heavy on the road; understeer at the limit; Hybrid refinement needs work  The Pick: If you’re going to spend this much go the whole hog for the Turbo $215,100 V6T 3.0 243 450 S8 1815 5.5 — 7.6 98 57 R $225,500 V6T 3.0 243 450 S8 1850 5.3 — 7.8 98 57 A $248,500 V6TTH 2.9 340 700 S8 2170 4.6 — 2.5 98 57 A $310,800 V6TT 2.9 324 550 S8 1870 4.2 — 8.2 98 57 A $318,600 V8TTD 4.0 310 850 S8 2050 4.3 — 6.8 D 57 A $384,800 V8TT 4.0 404 770 S8 1995 3.6 — 9.4 98 57 A $460,100 V8TTH 4.0 500 850 S8 2310 3.4 — 2.9 98 57 A


POWE RE D

Showroom Price

Eng type

Kerb Eng size Power Torque Trans. weight

Macan

S Diesel S GTS Turbo

S S Diesel S E-Hybrid GTS Turbo Turbo S

0-400 metres

Fuel Resale cons. RON %

Issue tested

Price

Drive

Koleos

Porsche’s most popular model

Stuttgart’s smallest tractor is also its cheapest; not a clone of its Audi Q5 cousin Hefty twin-turbo V6 power lost on a high-riding SUV; sports pedigree is marketing spin  The Pick: The diesel, as the V6 talks the torquey talk without attempting the sporty walk $80,410 L4T 2.0 185 370 S7 1770 6.5 — 7.4 95 A $95,300 V6TD 3.0 190 580 S7 1880 6.3 — 6.3 D 63 08/14 A $96,200 V6TT 3.0 250 460 S7 1865 5.4 — 9.0 98 63 A $114,000 V6TT 3.0 265 500 S7 1895 5.0 — 9.2 98 A $133,800 V6TT 3.6 294 550 S7 1925 4.8 — 9.2 98 63 A

Cayenne

Diesel

0-100 km/h

Life Zen 4x2 Zen 4x4 Intens Diesel

Rolls-Royce Ghost

Black Badge EWB

5yr/150,000km proton.com.au

Proton

GX GXR

Fuel Resale cons. RON %

Issue tested

F F

Australia’s most affordable 7-seater

Silent coupe assassin

Subtly flamboyant styling; super-smooth and effortlessly powerful; rarity; presence At 5.3m long and nearly 2.4 tonnes, there’s a limit to the Wraith’s dynamic credentials  The Pick: Just the one Sir (or Madam), but no coupe on earth will make life so easy $645,000 V12TT 6.6 465 800 A8 2360 4.6 — 14.0 95 53 R $745,000 V12TT 6.6 465 870 A8 — 4.5 — 95 R

Vintage speedboat on wheels

Unique ambience and serious presence; majestic power; effortless but resolute handling Unwieldy in town; blustery rear cabin; average roof-up vision; a touch pricey  The Pick: The Wraith is sportier, although it’s harder to be seen in $749,000 V12TT 6.6 420 820 A8 2560 4.9 — 14.2 95 R

Phantom

EWB Coupe Drophead

Perennial land-yacht still magnificent

Powerful, stately engine; jaw-dropping presence; ultra-luxe cabin; suicide doors Sheer size hugely intimidating for all concerned, as is Phantom’s million-dollar pricetag  The Pick: Any; the sedan is as palatial as they come, coupe dials up the sex factor $855,000 V12 6.7 338 720 A8 2649 5.9 — 14.8 95 61 05/04 R $990,000 V12 6.7 338 720 A8 2670 5.9 — 14.9 95 61 R $995,000 V12 6.7 338 720 A8 2629 5.6 — 14.8 95 61 R $1,075,000 V12 6.7 338 720 A8 2630 — — 14.8 95 61 R

5yr/unlimited renault.com.au Fashionable and fun, especially the RS

Targeting the mainstream

Roadholding and chassis competency; performance of GT; torquey 1.2 Cabin lacks premium finishes; GT’s synthetic engine sound; tyre roar on coarse bitumen  The Pick: GT is the pick for those wanting a sporty drive, but the Zen is good for everyday $22,490 L4T 1.2 97 205 M5 — — — 5.5 95 F $24,990 L4T 1.2 97 205 S7 — — — 5.6 95 F $27,490 L4T 1.2 97 205 S7 1265 9.5 — 5.6 95 52 01/17 F $27,490 L4T 1.2 97 205 S7 1321 — — 6.1 95 50 F $28,490 L4T 1.2 97 205 S7 1337 — — 6.2 95 50 F $31,990 L4T 1.2 97 205 S7 1321 — — 6.1 95 50 F $32,490 L4T 1.2 97 205 S7 1265 10.3 — 5.6 95 53 F $33,490 L4T 1.2 97 205 S7 1337 — — 5.6 95 51 F $38,490 L4T 1.6 151 280 S7 1392 7.1 — 6.0 95 54 F $39,490 L4T 1.6 151 280 S7 1430 — — 6.0 95 51 F

Captur

F F A A A

’Baby’ of the range Rolls on

Charming Clio blends dynamic excellence with terrific new turbocharged engines 1.2 turbo dual-clutch only; some (optional) colour-coding looks cheap; no rear airbags  The Pick: The Expression three-pot manual, or the superb Renaultsport in Sport trim $15,990 L3T 0.9 66 135 M5 1019 12.2 — 4.5 95 43 F $17,990 L3T 0.9 66 135 S6 1019 12.2 — 4.5 95 47 F $19,990 L4T 1.2 88 190 S6 1104 9.4 – 5.2 95 47 F $22,990 L4T 1.2 88 190 S6 1104 9.4 — 5.2 95 49 F $22,990 L4T 1.2 88 190 S6 1120 9.4 — 5.2 95 49 F $30,990 L4T 1.6 147 240 S6 1218 6.7 14.9 6.3 95 51 F $32,490 L4T 1.6 147 240 S6 1218 6.7 14.9 6.3 95 51 F $39,990 L4T 1.6 162 260 S6 1270 6.6 — 5.9 95 51 05/16 F

Megane

Drive

4yr/unlimited rolls-roycemotorcars.com

Driveaway pricing; solid after-sales service; spacious and flexible interior Four-star ANCAP safety; lacking performance; no cruise control on GX; no curtain airbags  The Pick: Exora GXR gains useful kit including leather, reverse camera and cruise $25,990* L4T 1.6 103 205 C 1475 — — 8.2 91 56 F $27,990* L4T 1.6 103 205 C 1485 — — 8.2 91 56 F

Clio

Life hatch Life hatch Zen hatch Zen sedan Zen wagon Intens sedan GT-Line hatch GT-Line wagon GT hatch GT wagon

0-400 metres

Presence and grace, without arrogance; stonking V12; suicide (sorry, ‘coach’) rear doors Shares plenty of mechanicals with 7 Series, but who cares when it’s this impressive?  The Pick: You’ve decided on the Roller, so money is no object – go the long wheelbase $595,000 V12TT 6.6 420 780 A8 2360 4.9 — 13.6 95 63 08/10 R $695,000 V12TT 6.6 450 840 A8 — 4.8 — 14.6 95 R $675,000 V12TT 6.6 420 780 A8 — — — 13.7 95 63 R

Dawn

S is for sport, we’re told

Renault

Life Life Zen Intens GT-Line RS200 Sport RS200 Cup RS220 Trophy

Black Badge

Heaps of standard gear; safety gear; better looker than already sharp Preve sedan Preve turbo is slightly faster to 100km/h; manual gearbox option not here yet  The Pick: Wait for the Super Premium before doing anything rash $17,990* L4T 1.6 103 205 C 1355 9.9 — 8.8 95 39 $20,990* L4T 1.6 103 205 C 1370 9.9 — 8.8 95 41

Exora

GX GXR

Last shot at success

Smart looks; keen pricing; five-year service package; Lotus-developed suspension Underwhelming engine; poor cabin quality; lack of overall appeal; resale values  The Pick: Proton’s five-star support package has appeal, if you treat cars as appliances $15,490 L4 1.6 80 150 M5 1305 12.0 — 7.2 95 38 F $17,990 L4 1.6 80 150 C 1325 12.5 — 7.4 95 38 F $22,990 L4T 1.6 103 205 C 1356 9.6 — 8.6 95 40 F

Suprima S

0-100 km/h

Nissan genes in French skin

Solid value courtesy of sharp pricing; interior presentation; new diesel adds choice Ancient atmo drivetrain; slow steering; lacks body control  The Pick: Koleos looks smart but there are better alternatives in this busy segment $29,990 L4 2.5 126 226 C 1552 — — 8.1 95 50 $33,990 L4 2.5 126 226 C 1611 9.5 — 8.1 95 51 $36,490 L4 2.5 126 226 C 1608 9.8 — 8.3 95 51 $43,490 L4 2.5 126 226 C 1608 9.8 — 8.3 95 52 $46,990 L4TD 2.0 130 380 C — — — 6.1 D 52

Wraith

GX GX GXR

Kerb Eng size Power Torque Trans. weight

Now larger, lighter and less ugly

Drives like a Porsche on road, and decent off road; rousing atmo V6 and stonking TT V8s Hybrid more exxy and thirsty than Diesel (at least it’s quicker), and feels a little artificial  The Pick: Greenies won’t like you anyway, so give ’em good reason with the 382kW Turbo $109,200 V6TD 3.0 193 580 A8 2110 7.2 — 6.6 D 63 A $110,400 V6 3.6 220 400 A8 2040 7.6 — 9.2 95 63 A $144,800 V6TT 3.6 309 550 A8 2085 5.4 — 9.5 95 63 01/15 A $150,600 V8TTD 4.2 283 850 A8 2215 5.3 — 8.0 D 63 A $145,500 V6H 3.6 306 590 A8 2350 5.9 — 3.4 95 63 12/14 A $158,000 V6TT 3.6 324 600 A8 2110 5.1 — 9.8 98 63 A $237,800 V8TT 4.8 382 750 A8 2185 4.4 — 11.2 98 63 A $290,200 V8TT 4.8 419 800 A8 2235 4.1 — 11.5 98 63 A

Preve

Eng type

BY

Très chic

Brings high style to the baby SUV segment; supple dynamics; plush seats; packaging 100kg weight gain takes the shine off Clio’s drivetrains; laggy dual-clutch gearbox  The Pick: Reduced price and weight of charming TCe90 three-pot manual earns our vote Expression TCe90 $23,990* L3T 0.9 66 135 M5 1134 13.0 — 4.9 95 48 F Expression TCe120 $25,990* L4T 1.2 88 190 S6 1215 10.9 — 5.4 95 51 F Dynamique TCe120 $30,000 L4T 1.2 88 190 S6 1215 11.1 18.0 5.4 95 50 05/15 F

Until now, Renault’s all-new Koleos has been hobbled in Australia’s hyper-competitive medium-SUV market with a petrol-only line-up, but a diesel version is now available at the top of the pile. It might

be the most expensive model in the Koleos stable at $46,990, but it packs the same kit as the previous Intens range-topper, pumps out 130kW/380Nm, and is more economical. @wheelsaustralia 153


Price

Fabia

66TSI 66TSI wagon 81TSI 81TSI wagon 81TSI Monte Carlo 81TSI M’ Carlo wgn

Kerb Eng size Power Torque Trans. weight

0-100 km/h

0-400 metres

F= Frontdrive,R=Reardrive, A=All-wheeldrive

When we drove it

Glass's predicted resale rating, retained after 3 years

Recommended octane rating

Fuel Resale cons. RON %

Issue tested

SX

More personality than a Polo; classy interior; tractable engines; safety and equipment Cruise not standard; sports suspension lacks suppleness; low-speed steering feel  The Pick: Practicality of the wagon makes it a winner, and stick with the base 66TSI $16,490 L4T 1.2 66 160 M5 1042 10.9 — 4.8 95 48 F $17,640 L4T 1.2 66 160 M5 1066 11.0 — 4.8 95 48 09/15 F $19,490 L4T 1.2 81 175 S7 1087 9.4 — 4.8 95 50 09/15 F $20,640 L4T 1.2 81 175 S7 1111 9.6 — 4.8 95 50 F $23,490 L4T 1.2 81 175 S7 1087 9.4 — 4.8 95 F $24,640 L4T 1.2 81 175 S7 1111 9.6 — 4.8 95 F Expanded and brilliantly packaged Polo platform; gutsy 92TSI turbo four Dark and dull interior reflects its budget status; not a handling hero; old-gen VW tech  The Pick: The cheaper, the better, because the Rapid is a long way from Skoda’s best $18,190 L4T 1.2 81 175 M6 1155 10.2 — 5.4 95 40 08/14 F $21,190 L4T 1.4 92 200 S7 1210 9.4 — 6.0 95 41 F $23,190 L4T 1.2 81 175 M6 1155 10.2 — 5.4 95 42 F $25,990 L4T 1.4 92 200 S7 1210 9.4 — 6.0 95 42 08/14 F

Yeti

F F A

Unbeatable space for your dollar

Spacious interior; enormous luggage capacity; eager and efficient engines; great value Only upper-spec models get multi-link IRS; restless ride of torsion-beam base models  The Pick: Definitely the Golf GTI’s girthy, value-packed sister, the RS, in vast wagon form 110 TSI $23,490 L4T 1.4 110 250 M6 1219 8.1 — 5.4 95 40 F 110 TSI $25,990 L4T 1.4 110 250 S7 1234 8.2 — 5.2 95 41 F 110 TSI wagon $24,990 L4T 1.4 110 250 M6 1251 8.2 — 5.5 95 41 F 110 TSI wagon $27,490 L4T 1.4 110 250 S7 1266 8.3 — 5.2 95 42 F Sport 110 TSI $29,990 L4T 1.4 110 250 S7 1234 8.2 — 5.2 95 44 F Sport 110 TSI wagon $31,490 L4T 1.4 110 250 S7 1266 8.3 — 5.2 95 45 F RS 169 TSI $38,890 L4T 2.0 169 350 M6 1397 6.7 — 6.4 98 44 F RS 169 TSI $41,390 L4T 2.0 169 350 S6 1417 6.8 — 6.6 98 44 F RS 169 TSI wagon $40,390 L4T 2.0 169 350 M6 1438 6.8 — 6.4 98 45 F RS 169 TSI wagon $42,890 L4T 2.0 169 350 S6 1458 7.0 — 6.6 98 45 F RS 135 TDI $42,490 L4TD 2.0 135 380 S6 1462 8.2 — 5.2 D 45 F RS 135 TDI wagon $43,990 L4TD 2.0 135 380 S6 1503 8.3 — 5.3 D 46 F

Superb

Suave and quirky

Proportions; impressive space; quality; sweet turbo petrols; refinement; ride; solidity Not as dynamically poised as Passat; adaptive dampers part of expensive options pack  The Pick: 162TSI’s sharp pricing difficult to look past, otherwise shoot for the 206TSI 162TSI $40,690 L4T 2.0 162 350 A6 1463 6.6 14.7 6.4 95 39 09/16 F 162TSI wagon $42,390 L4T 2.0 162 350 A6 1490 7.1 — 6.4 95 39 F 140TDI $44,690 L4TD 2.0 140 400 A6 1513 7.7 — 4.8 D 39 05/16 F 140TDI wagon $46,390 L4TD 2.0 140 400 A6 1540 7.8 — 4.8 D 39 F 206TSI 4x4 $51,790 L4T 2.0 206 350 A6 1573 5.8 — 7.3 95 40 A 206TSI 4x4 wagon $53,490 L4T 2.0 206 350 A6 1600 5.8 — 7.3 95 40 05/16 A Sportline $56,790 L4T 2.0 206 350 A6 1600 5.8 — 7.3 95 41 A Sportline wagon $58,490 L4T 2.0 206 350 A6 1600 5.8 — 7.3 95 41 A

Kodiaq

132TSI 4x4

Tiguan’s engorged cousin

Ssangyong Korando

S SX AWD

S S SPR

2.0i sedan 2.0i hatch 2.0L sedan 2.0L hatch 2.0P sedan 2.0P hatch 2.0S sedan 2.0S hatch

2.0i 2.0i-L 2.0i Premium 2.0i-S

Premium Premium STi STi Premium STI spec. R

2.5i 2.5i Premium 3.6R Premium

Drive

A

3yr/unlimited subaru.com.au Impreza now impressive again

A A A A A A A A

Impreza in active wear

A A A A

New-generation icon

Ugly no longer

Classy SUV alternative

Better riding than Liberty; neat styling; extensive equipment; impressive CVT tranny No petrol manuals; weirdly weighted steering; flat six is so smooth it lacks character  The Pick: Arguably better than its Liberty stablemate in all drivetrain variations $36,240 F4 2.5 129 235 C 1597 10.2 — 7.3 91 54 03/15 A $42,240 F4 2.5 129 235 C 1628 10.2 — 7.3 91 55 A $35,740 F4TD 2.0 110 350 M6 1630 9.7 — 5.7 D 54 A $38,740 F4TD 2.0 110 350 C 1684 9.9 — 6.3 D 55 A $42,240 F4TD 2.0 110 350 M6 1668 9.7 — 5.7 D 55 A $45,240 F4TD 2.0 110 350 C 1723 9.9 17.0 6.3 D 56 07/15 A $48,740 F6 3.6 191 350 C 1702 7.6 — 9.9 95 56 02/15 A

Levorg

1.6 GT 1.6 GT Premium 2.0 GT-S 2.0 STI Sport

Issue tested

Massive price cuts and a big lift in style; classy interior; smooth refinement; AWD grip Numb steering; unsettled ride; no manuals or GTs; 2.5i doesn’t sound like a flat four  The Pick: Not the driving experience it once was, but if you can stretch to it, the 3.6R $30,290 F4 2.5 129 235 C 1542 9.6 — 7.3 91 55 03/15 A $36,240 F4 2.5 129 235 C 1568 9.2 16.7 7.3 91 57 09/16 A $43,190 F6 3.6 191 350 C 1645 7.3 15.3 9.9 91 57 02/15 A

Outback

2.5i 2.5i Premium 2.0D 2.0D 2.0D Premium 2.0D Premium 3.6R Premium

Fuel Resale cons. RON %

Subie icons now with fluid handling and a great cabin; midlife updates add value and appeal WRX misses out on excellent STI seats; defining STI wing is optional  The Pick: Despite WRX’s all-new engine, the sharply focused STI is worth the extra coin $39,240 F4T 2.0 197 350 M6 1469 6.0 — 9.2 95 55 A $42,240 F4T 2.0 197 350 C 1527 6.3 — 8.6 95 55 08/14 A $45,640 F4T 2.0 197 350 M6 1504 6.0 — 9.2 95 55 05/14 A $48,840 F4T 2.0 197 350 C 1562 6.3 — 8.6 95 55 A $50,890 F4T 2.5 221 407 M6 1525 4.9 — 10.4 98 66 A $55,940 F4T 2.5 221 407 M6 1537 5.3 13.6 10.4 98 67 09/14 A $57,690 F4T 2.5 221 407 M6 1537 4.9 — 10.4 98 67 A

Liberty

The softer side to a WRX

WRX performance and all-paw dynamics; stylish wagon body; big load capacity; value Body roll through corners; low-speed ride; tyre roar; lacks aural excitement; CVT only  The Pick: If you’re buying something this late in its product cycle, go for the cheap one $35,990 F4T 1.6 125 250 C 1579 8.9 — 7.4 95 A $42,890 F4T 1.6 125 250 C 1620 8.9 — 7.4 95 A $49,140 F4T 2.0 197 350 C 1622 6.6 — 8.7 95 A $51,990 F4T 2.0 197 350 C 1631 6.6 — 8.7 95 A

BRZ

Brilliantly engineered by Subaru

Superb steering, balance; engine above 4500rpm; driveaway pricing; free servicing Sounds like a Forester at low revs; not as rapid as a WRX; same wheels as the Toyota  The Pick: Same as Toyota 86, but slightly less oversteery. Your choice $37,150 F4 2.0 147 205 M6 1256 7.8 — 9.0 98 61 05/17 R $39,730 F4 2.0 147 205 A6 1286 8.2 15.5 7.1 98 62 R

Forester

Frankenstein with lipstick

154 wheelsmag.com.au

0-400 metres

Cool colours, black alloys, and extra ground clearance; more fun than an Impreza Firm ride on 18s; deserves the Forester’s 2.5; Small boot  The Pick: 2.0i Premium thanks to plenty of equipment and active safety gear $27,990 F4 2.0 115 196 C 1420 10.7 — 7.5 91 — $30,340 F4 2.0 115 196 C 1435 10.7 — 7.5 91 — $32,140 F4 2.0 115 196 C 1440 10.7 — 7.5 91 — $35,240 F4 2.0 115 196 C 1445 10.7 — 7.5 91 —

WRX

It actually stands for ’Korea can do’

Cheap road to seven seats; standard equipment list from a much higher price bracket A generational leap forward, yet the rear end still looks like unfinished business  The Pick: A vasectomy. Or a secondhand Honda Odyssey. If you must, the base S $29,990 L4TD 2.0 114 360 M6 1968 — — 7.6 D 50 R $31,990 L4TD 2.0 114 360 A5 1992 — — 7.8 D 50 R $36,990 L4TD 2.0 114 360 A5 1992 — — 7.8 D 51 R

0-100 km/h

A rough-and-ready 4x4

Quality interior finish; cabin space and refinement; polished chassis Performance of revised flat four only average; base 2.0i misses active safety gear  The Pick: 2.0S with torque vectoring is a lot of car for the money, or be happy in a 2.0L $22,400 F4 2.0 115 196 C 1386 — — 6.6 91 — — $22,600 F4 2.0 115 196 C 1399 — — 6.6 91 — — $24,490 F4 2.0 115 196 C 1409 — — 6.6 91 — — $24,690 F4 2.0 115 196 C 1417 — — 6.6 91 — — $26,290 F4 2.0 115 196 C 1409 — — 6.6 91 — — $26,490 F4 2.0 115 196 C 1417 — — 6.6 91 — — $28,990 F4 2.0 115 196 C 1433 — — 7.2 91 — — $29,190 F4 2.0 115 196 C 1438 — — 7.2 91 — —

XV

Equipment for the asking price; inoffensive looks; decent fuel economy Sloppy steering; laggy diesel; anaemic petrol; third-world image  The Pick: Base S is priced too close to other A-grade medium SUVs for us to recommend it $25,990 L4 2.0 110 197 A6 1599 — — 7.9 91 44 F $27,990 L4TD 2.0 129 360 A6 1747 — — 7.5 D 44 A

Stavic

Kerb Eng size Power Torque Trans. weight

Switchable 4WD with high and low range, and a 2.6-tonne braked towing capacity Separate-chassis structure adds weight and kills agility; it’s outdated and ungainly The Pick: A second-hand Toyota 4WD of some description. Or even a Pajero $39,990 L4TD 2.0 115 360 A5 1985 — — 7.8 D 38

Impreza

Value; space; refinement; primary ride; handling; ‘surprise and delight’ Low-speed ride niggles on 19s; no manual shift paddles  The Pick: The loaded 132TSI, as the only variant available until a turbo-diesel lobs later $42,990 L4T 2.0 132 320 S7 1677 8.2 — 7.6 95 54 07/17 A

3yr/100,000km ssangyong.com.au

Eng type

Subaru

Not at all abominable

Ultra-compact MPV/SUV that prioritises cabin and drivetrain efficiency; fun 81TSI No diesel option; 4x4 is almost Tiguan money; small boot; some NVH issues  The Pick: Light, roomy front-drive 1.2 turbo is great value 81TSI $24,690 L4T 1.2 81 175 M6 1298 10.9 — 5.6 95 43 81TSI $26,990 L4T 1.2 81 175 S7 1318 11.4 — 5.7 95 44 Outdoor 110TSI 4x4 $32,990 L4T 1.4 110 250 S6 1449 8.9 — 6.6 95 45

Octavia

Price

Rexton

Drive

A Polo with more

Rapid Spaceback Space, the family frontier

81TSI Ambition 92TSI Ambition 81TSI Monte Carlo 92TSI Monte Carlo

Get new car advice from the experts. whichcar.com.au

5yr/unlimited skoda.com.au

Škoda Eng type

Fuel consumption in Litres/100km

0-400m acceleration, in sec s (Wheels tested figures in italics)

Kilograms

0-100km/h acceleration, in secs (Wheels tested figures in italics)

M=manual, A=automatic, S=sequential, C=CVT

Newton metres

Kilowatts

Litres

L=in-line,V=vee,F=flat,R=rotary. Numberofcylsorrotors. T=turbo, S= s'charged,D=diesel,H=hybrid

New models for the month highlighted

Recommended Retail Price at time of publication (* indicates driveaway)

SKODA – T O YO T A

NEW ARRIVALS

2.0i-L 2.5i-L 2.5i-S 2.0D-L

Subtly satisfying

Spacious cabin; fluid handling; impressive ride and refinement; XT’s impressive pack Engines don’t really sound like flat fours any more; full-size spare robs boot space  The Pick: 2.0D-L has enough grunt coupled with excellent efficiency and kit levels $30,240 F4 2.0 110 198 M6 1500 10.6 — 7.2 91 52 A $33,240 F4 2.5 126 235 C 1530 9.9 17.1 11.8 91 54 06/17 A $39,740 F4 2.5 126 235 C 1567 9.9 — 8.1 91 55 A $33,740 F4TD 2.0 108 350 M6 1571 10.2 — 5.9 D 54 06/13 A


POWE RE D

Showroom Eng type

Price

v2.0D-L 2.0D-S 2.0D-S XT XT Premium

$35,740 $39,490 $41,740 $41,240 $48,240

F4TD F4TD F4TD F4T F4T

Kerb Eng size Power Torque Trans. weight

2.0 2.0 2.0 2.0 2.0

108 108 108 177 177

350 350 350 350 350

C M6 C C C

0-100 km/h

0-400 metres

— 10.2 — 7.5 7.0

— — — — 15.1

1635 1588 1643 1643 1657

Fuel Resale cons. RON %

6.3 5.9 6.4 8.1 8.1

54 55 55 55 56

Issue tested

Drive

11/15

A A A A A

3yr/100,000km suzuki.com.au

Suzuki Celerio

D D D 95 95

Price

75D 90D 100D P100D

Drive-away pricing; peppy and thrifty three-pot; impressive urban ride; fun handling Looks geeky; steering a bit vague; CVT slippage at full throttle; only seats four  The Pick: Sweet manual gearbox makes Suzuki’s toaster-on-wheels better than it looks $12,990 L3 1.0 50 90 M5 830 12.9 18.6 4.7 91 46 06/15 F $13,990 L3 1.0 50 90 C 860 13.4 19.5 4.8 91 46 07/16 F

Quiet achiever

Trim kerb weights help little engines deliver flexibility and efficiency; refined, roomy cabin Base GL manual misses out on lots of kit; AEB only in top two variants; no manual turbo  The Pick: GL Navigator safety represents decent value GL $15,990 L4 1.2 66 120 M5 870 — — 4.6 91 55 F GL Navigator $17,990 L4 1.2 66 120 C 900 — — 4.8 91 44 F GL Navigator safety $18,990 L4 1.2 66 120 C 900 — — 4.8 91 47 F GLX Turbo $22,990 L3T 1.0 82 160 A6 915 — — 5.1 91 55 F

Baleno

S-Cross

Turbo Turbo Prestige

Neatly straddles two small-SUV classes; new turbo engine ups torque nicely Reshuffled range ups price; like a Swift inside; AWD model gone; no Android Auto  The Pick: Base Turbo keeps the price down, which is what the S-Cross should be about $27,990 L4T 1.4 103 220 A6 1170 — — 7.9 95 05/17 F $29,990 L4T 1.4 103 220 A6 1170 — — 5.9 95 F

Lives on with stability control

Surprisingly capable off-road; proven mechanicals; cheapest way to go bush bashing Bouncy ride and poor handling; unrefined; gutless engine means you’ll be revving it  The Pick: A pair of live axles ensures this is it, if you want a scaled-down 4x4 $20,990 L4 1.3 63 110 M5 1060 — — 7.1 91 46 A $22,990 L4 1.3 63 110 A4 1075 — — 7.4 91 46 A

Ignis

Funky styling, funky dynamics

Cool SUV styling and functionality with small-hatch pricing; brilliant packaging Viscous and low-geared steering; abrupt ride; tedious CVT transmission  The Pick: Without doubt, the GL manual. Or the 1.0-litre turbo if it ever gets here $15,990 L4 1.2 66 120 M5 820 — — 4.7 91 $16,990 L4 1.2 66 120 C 865 — — 4.9 91 $18,990 L4 1.2 66 120 C 865 — — 4.9 91

GL GL GLX

Vitara

RT-S RT-S S-Turbo S-Turbo AWD RT-X Diesel AWD

Ascent Ascent SX SX ZR YRS sedan YRS sedan YRX sedan

i-Tech

Altise Altise Atara S Atara S Atara SX Atara SL Atara SL

Tesla Model S

75 75D 90D 100D P100D

i-Tech

8yr/unlimited teslamotors.com/en_AU

i-Tech

3yr/100,000km toyota.com.au X-factor on face value

Hybrid Yaris by another name

Finally, a Corolla with substance

AT-X Sportivo Presara

Finally, a nice driving Prius!

Avensis Verso painted green

Still a Camry with extra pots

Lovely 3.5-litre V6 delivers superb performance; Sportivo’s sharper chassis and styling Ride quality of Presara and Sportivo; average steering; power-down issues  The Pick: Despite its ride issues, the upgraded Sportivo with its tougher style $36,490 V6 3.5 200 336 A6 1525 6.1 14.2 9.3 91 33 08/12 F $43,990 V6 3.5 200 336 A6 1555 — — 9.3 91 34 06/12 F $50,440 V6 3.5 200 336 A6 1550 — — 9.3 91 34 06/12 F

86

GT GT

New metal, sharp pricing

Voracious breeders will love the wallet-saving hybrid tech, and the extra seats Being part of the Prius family means forfeiting driver enjoyment; zero boot with seats up  The Pick: Be financially frugal and stick with the base $35,400 L4H 1.8 100 142 C 1565 — — 4.4 95 55 07/12 F $45,380 L4H 1.8 100 142 C 1565 — — 4.4 95 57 F

Aurion

Space-age electric celebrity

Multiple global awards; incredible mega-tablet centre stack; modernity Charging time; some interior finishes a bit hit and miss  The Pick: As a triumphant single-finger salute to the Europeans, any Model S you choose $118,600 E — 235 440 A1 — 5.8 — 0 — 55 R $126,200 E — 245 525 A1 — 5.4 — 0 — 55 A $141,300 E — 311 660 A1 — 4.4 — 0 — 54 A $145,900 E — 311 660 A1 — 4.4 — 0 — 54 A $209,800 E — — — A1 — 2.7 — 0 — A

A A A A

Frugal hybrid drivetrain; classy interior; newfound maturity to driving dynamics Rear headroom; hybrid pioneer still runs old-school Ni-MH batteries  The Pick: Put up with the puny 15-inch tyres and save some money with the base Prius $35,690 L4H 1.8 72 142 C 1775 — — 3.4 95 48 F $43,850 L4H 1.8 72 142 C 1775 — — 3.4 95 50 F

Prius V

33 Lonsdale Street Dandenong VIC 3175 Sales: 03 9794 5455 DL: 8846

VIC

Drive

Space and value; sweet hybrid drivetrain blends grunt and economy; SX’s handling Dull petrol four; six-speed auto not particularly intuitive; low-speed ride issues  The Pick: SX looks decent and handles well, but an Atara S Hybrid makes the most sense $26,490 L4 2.5 133 231 A6 1460 — — 7.8 91 43 F $30,490 L4H 2.5 151 270 C 1575 7.9 15.7 5.2 91 44 07/15 F $29,490 L4 2.5 135 235 A6 1460 — — 7.8 91 44 F $32,490 L4H 2.5 151 270 C 1575 — — 5.2 91 47 F $33,490 L4 2.5 135 235 A6 1460 8.8 16.4 7.8 91 44 07/15 F $37,440 L4 2.5 135 235 A6 1460 — — 7.8 91 45 F $40,440 L4H 2.5 151 270 C 1575 8.0 15.8 5.2 91 45 09/16 F

Prius hatch

Dealer Quick Finder DEALER DIRECTORY

Issue tested

Roomy and well-built; strong body; decent dynamics; attractive front end; reliability Heavier and slower than the previous model; unexciting drivetrain; snoozy sedan  The Pick: Ascent Sport manual, but both Mazda 3 and Golf are more polished small cars Ascent hatch $20,190 L4 1.8 103 173 M6 1255 — — 6.7 91 56 F Ascent hatch $21,790 L4 1.8 103 173 C 1275 — — 6.1 91 54 F Ascent Sport hatch $21,210 L4 1.8 103 173 M6 1270 — — 6.7 91 56 F Ascent Sport hatch $22,790 L4 1.8 103 173 C 1275 9.5 — 6.1 91 54 01/17 F Ascent sedan $21,240 L4 1.8 103 173 M6 1250 — — 7.0 91 48 F Ascent sedan $23,490 L4 1.8 103 173 C 1280 — — 6.6 91 47 F SX hatch $26,000 L4 1.8 103 173 C 1310 — — 6.1 91 56 F SX sedan $23,820 L4 1.8 103 173 M6 1255 — — 7.0 91 49 F SX sedan $26,070 L4 1.8 103 173 C 1285 — — 6.6 91 45 F ZR hatch $30,020 L4 1.8 103 173 C 1275 10.1 17.3 6.1 91 58 12/15 F ZR sedan $31,920 L4 1.8 103 173 C 1295 — — 6.6 91 50 F Hybrid hatch $27,530 L4H 1.8 73 142 C 1365 — — 4.1 95 56 F

Camry

F F F A A

Fuel Resale cons. RON %

Diesel-beating fuel efficiency in a sub-$25K light hatch package Dull dynamics true to Prius tradition; budget plastics; C-grade in more than just name  The Pick: A Polo Urban+ and Mazda 2 Genki are miles better, unless you’re eco-obsessed $24,040 L4H 1.5 74 169 C 1120 — — 3.9 91 57 F $26,540 L4H 1.5 74 169 C 1140 — — 3.9 91 58 F

Corolla

F F F

Iconic nameplate returns

Smart packaging; neat styling; competent dynamics; excellent ‘Boosterjet’ 1.4 turbo Econo-car cabin plastics really stand out in more expensive variants; pricey Diesel  The Pick: Front-drive RT-S has value on its side, but we’d go for the punchy S-Turbo $21,990 L4 1.6 86 156 M5 1075 — — 5.8 91 49 02/16 $23,990 L4 1.6 86 156 A6 1120 — — 6.0 91 50 02/16 $28,990 L4T 1.4 103 220 A6 1160 — — 5.9 95 50 $32,990 L4T 1.4 103 220 A6 1235 — — 6.2 95 52 $35,990 L4TD 1.6 88 320 S6 1325 — — 4.9 D 52

0-400 metres

Updated Yaris gains striking new face, refinement improvements, and fresh multimedia Ancient drivetrains; below-average fuel economy; flawed driving position  The Pick: Hatch now 5dr only and best as a manual. Avoid the decade-old Yaris sedan $15,290 L4 1.3 63 121 M5 1025 — — 5.7 91 53 F $16,490 L4 1.3 63 121 A4 1035 13.7 19.3 6.3 91 55 03/15 F $17,330 L4 1.5 80 141 M5 1045 — — 5.8 91 56 F $18,490 L4 1.5 80 141 A4 1055 — — 6.3 91 55 F $22,470 L4 1.5 80 141 A4 1055 — — 6.3 91 57 F $17,490 L4 1.5 80 141 M5 1030 — — 6.1 91 46 F $18,990 L4 1.5 80 141 A4 1045 — — 6.7 91 46 F $20,990 L4 1.5 80 141 A4 1045 10.6 — 6.7 91 47 F

Prius C

Crosses over to modernity

Jimny Sierra

0-100 km/h

Model S tech in an SUV body

Off-the-line performance; clever interior with 5, 6 or 7 seats; futuristic design Those doors seem more gimmick than game changer; prices add up with options  The Pick: P100D makes a high-performance statement $135,000 E — 241 525 A1 — 6.2 — 0.0 — $150,300 E — 310 657 A1 — 5.0 — 0.0 — $154,900 E — A1 — 5.0 — 0.0 — $211,200 E — 310 830 A1 — 3.1 — 0.0 —

Yaris

Charm on a budget

Performance from turbo triple; fuel economy; packaging; value; ride and handling No manual for the Boosterjet 3cyl; cheesy interior details; remote, low-geared steering  The Pick: GLX Turbo offers the zestiest engine and most kit $15,990 L4 1.4 68 130 M5 — — — 5.1 91 45 F $16,990 L4 1.4 68 130 A4 — — — 5.4 91 44 F $21,990 L3T 1.0 82 160 A6 — — — 5.2 91 46 F

GL GL GLX Turbo

Kerb Eng size Power Torque Trans. weight

Toyota

Cheap seats ain’t so bad

Swift

Eng type

Model X

BY

Superb, and not just for a Toyota

Driving purity and overall value; brilliant rear-drive balance; worthy interior updates Auto misses out on minor engine update; price rises across range dilute great value  The Pick: GT manual because it brings all the DIY gearbox fun and more power for less coin $30,790 F4 2.0 152 212 M6 1257 — — 8.4 98 60 R $33,090 F4 2.0 147 205 A6 — 8.2 — 7.1 98 60 R

@wheelsaustralia 155


$36,490 $38,790

F4 F4

Tarago

GLi GLX GLi GLX Ultima

When we drove it

F= Frontdrive,R=Reardrive, A=All-wheeldrive

Glass's predicted resale rating, retained after 3 years

Recommended octane rating

Fuel consumption in Litres/100km

0-400m acceleration, in sec s (Wheels tested figures in italics)

Kilograms

M=manual, A=automatic, S=sequential, C=CVT

Newton metres

Kilowatts

Issue tested

Drive

98 61 98 51

R R

The legendary family bus

Get new car advice from the experts. whichcar.com.au Price

GXL GXL VX VX Sahara Sahara

$83,730 $88,830 $92,216 $97,216 $113,216 $118,216

F F A F A

Seven-seater 4WD with real off-road ability

Urban Urban Urban+ Urban+ GTI GTI

WorkMate GXL

LandCruiser

GX

King of the outback, not the road

Wonderful cruise comfort and exceptional refinement; go-anywhere ruggedness It’s a tank; cabin entry/egress difficult; brakes easily waterlogged; lumbering dynamics  The Pick: Outstanding diesel V8; opt for the VX with the tricky KDSS suspension $76,216 V8TTD 4.5 200 650 A6 2635 — — 9.5 D 61 A

156 wheelsmag.com.au

2585 2630 2640 2705 2640 2705

0-400 metres

— — — — — —

— — — — — —

Fuel Resale cons. RON %

13.4 9.5 13.4 9.5 13.4 9.5

91 D 91 D 91 D

Issue tested

Drive

A A A A A A

YARRA VALLEY TOYOTA 35 Hewish Road, Croydon 3136 Trust. Value. Excellence. Since 1968 Sales: 03 9725 5555

DL:1541

110TSI 110TSI 110TSI Trendline 110TSI Trendline 110TSI Comfortline 110TSI Highline 110TDI Highline GTI GTI GTI Performance R R

Ageing compact contender

Updated Golf stays above small-car par

Golf Mk7.5 aces the competition; stunning interior and refinement; brilliant GTI All-wheel-drive R not as dynamic as GTI Performance; no manual GTI Performance  The Pick: The all-round excellent 110TSI. Or the fabulous GTI in any specification $23,990 L4T 1.4 110 250 M6 1209 9.1 — 5.3 95 54 $26,490 L4T 1.4 110 250 S7 1233 9.1 — 5.1 95 54 $24,990 L4T 1.4 110 250 M6 1209 9.1 — 5.3 95 54 $27,490 L4T 1.4 110 250 S7 1233 9.1 — 5.1 95 54 $28,990 L4T 1.4 110 250 S7 1233 9.1 — 5.1 95 54 $34,490 L4T 1.4 110 250 S7 1265 8.2 — 5.1 95 58 $36,990 L4TD 2.0 110 340 S7 1326 8.3 — 8.5 D 59 09/17 $41,490 L4T 2.0 169 350 M6 1313 6.5 — 6.2 98 60 $43,990 L4T 2.0 169 350 S6 1324 6.4 14.5 6.6 98 60 $47,990 L4T 2.0 180 370 S6 1364 6.4 14.6 6.6 98 60 $52,990 L4T 2.0 213 380 M6 1476 5.2 7.1 98 62 $55,490 L4T 2.0 213 380 S7 1495 5.0 13.2 6.9 98 61

Golf wagon

110TSI Trendline 110TSI Comfortline 110TSI Highline 110TDI Highline

Go anywhere Golf

Firmly suspended soft-top

Drives like a (Mk6) Golf; neatly packages four seats into a compact, relatively light body Increased steering vibration over hatch; dated design; won’t be replaced until Golf Mk8  The Pick: For not that much extra coin, Audi’s new-gen A3 Cabriolet is a much better bet $43,990 L4ST 1.4 118 240 S7 1443 8.4 — 6.5 95 50 01/12 F

Jetta

118TSI Trendline

Lots of VW for the money

Twincharger punch for $23K; huge boot; plenty of room; efficient engines; slick cabin Bland styling; Mk 6 Golf platform and interior architecture; folk will think you play bowls  The Pick: A base 118TSI over any Corolla, Lancer, Elantra, Cerato or Cruze sedan $23,990 L4ST 1.4 118 240 M6 1315 8.3 — 6.5 95 46 01/12 F

C a l c u l a t e yo u r c a r ’s C O 2 o u t p u t HOW TO:

F F F F

Golf 7.5 updates in an all-paw wagon for more adventure potential Excellent diesel only offered in exxy Premium spec; road noise on coarse chip  The Pick: Diesel is pricey but offers the best economy with more towing-friendly torque $34,490 L4T 1.8 132 280 S7 1491 7.8 — 6.8 95 57 A $38,490 L4T 1.8 132 280 S7 1491 7.8 — 6.8 95 56 A $40,990 L4TD 2.0 135 380 S6 1526 7.8 — 5.4 D 58 A

Golf Cabriolet

118TSI Exclusive

F F F F F F F F F F A A

COTY winner with cargo

Stacks of space plus all of Golf 7.5’s polish and class No manual gearbox or high-performance variant until R arrives  The Pick: 110TSI Trendline wagon packs all the equipment and engine you really need $28,990 L4T 1.4 110 250 S7 1312 9.5 — 5.2 95 56 $30,490 L4T 1.4 110 250 S7 1312 9.5 — 5.2 95 58 $35,990 L4T 1.4 110 250 S7 1312 8.6 — 5.1 95 58 $38,490 L4TD 2.0 110 340 S6 1326 8.9 — 4.6 D 59

Golf Alltrack

132TSI 132TSI Premium 135TDI Premium

3yr/unlimited volkswagen.com.au

Slick and fresh with recent update; lively 81kW 1.2 turbo; rapid GTI Class-leading active safety kit is optional; rivals have closed in on Polo’s quality lead  The Pick: Providing you tick the (standard for MY16) adaptive dampers, a GTI manual $16,990 L4T 1.2 66 160 M5 1032 10.8 — 4.8 95 47 F $19,490 L4T 1.2 66 160 S7 1064 11.3 18.0 4.8 95 46 F $19,990 L4T 1.2 81 175 M6 1060 9.3 — 4.9 95 47 F $22,490 L4T 1.2 81 175 S7 1088 9.3 — 4.8 95 46 F $27,490 L4T 1.8 141 320 M6 1234 6.4 14.7 6.1 95 55 10/15 F $29,990 L4T 1.8 141 250 S7 1242 6.7 — 5.7 95 55 F

Golf

LandCruiser 70 Hopeless on-road, brilliant off-road Immensely capable in the rough stuff; borderline unkillable; strong V8 diesel Lacks refinement; ordinary dynamics; spartan interior; missing basic safety gear  The Pick: Forget the frills and go for the WorkMate; just make sure you take it off road! $57,990 V8TD 4.5 151 430 M5 2295 — — 10.7 D 58 A $61,990 V8TD 4.5 151 430 M5 2295 — — 10.7 D 69 A

A6 A6 A6 A6 A6 A6

0-100 km/h

61 69 61 61 61 61

Polo

Hilux spawns an SUV

More torque from new diesel; grunty petrol V6; great off-road; massive 150-litre fuel tank Separate chassis and live rear axle hobbles handling; swing-out tailgate  The Pick: Go for the refined diesel; VX with kinetic suspension option offers best handling $54,050 L4TD 2.8 130 420 M6 2150 — — 8.8 D 61 A $54,990 L4TD 2.8 130 450 A6 — — — 8.8 D 61 A $55,490 L4TD 2.8 130 420 M6 — — — 8.8 D 61 A $57,490 L4TD 2.8 130 450 A6 2290 13.5 18.7 8.8 D 61 02/16 A $61,190 L4TD 2.8 130 420 M6 2290 — — 8.8 D 61 A $63,230 L4TD 2.8 130 450 A6 — — — 8.8 D 59 A $62,210 V6 4.0 207 381 A6 2290 — — 13.0 91 61 A $74,170 V6 4.0 207 381 A6 — — — 13.0 91 61 A $75,190 L4TD 2.8 130 450 A6 — — — 8.8 D 61 A $84,880 V6 4.0 207 381 A6 2355 — — 13.0 91 57 A $85,900 L4TD 2.8 130 450 A6 2435 — — 8.8 D 61 A

227 439 200 650 227 439 200 650 227 439 200 650

Volkswagen

Is bigger really better?

Tougher looks, better manners

4.6 4.5 4.6 4.5 4.6 4.5

DEALER DIRECTORY

VIC

F F F F A A A A A A A A

Kerb Eng size Power Torque Trans. weight

Eng type

V8 V8TTD V8 V8TTD V8 V8TTD

Dealer Quick Finder

More than the look

Genuine off-road ability; rugged and durable; interior space; black steelies on base cars Vague steering; choppy ride; sluggish six-speed auto; lacks equipment of some rivals  The Pick: Grab a GXL with the sinister black wheels, and stick with the manual $47,990 L4TD 2.8 130 420 M6 2110 — — 7.8 D 60 A $49,990 L4TD 2.8 130 450 A6 2110 — — 8.6 D 60 A $52,990 L4TD 2.8 130 420 M6 2110 — — 7.8 D 61 A $54,990 L4TD 2.8 130 450 A6 2110 — — 8.6 D 60 A $59,990 L4TD 2.8 130 420 M6 2135 — — 7.8 D 62 A $61,990 L4TD 2.8 130 450 A6 2135 — — 8.6 D 61 A

Prado

GX 5-seat GX 5-seat GX GX GXL GXL GXL VX VX Kakadu Kakadu

Fuel Resale cons. RON %

8.4 7.1

Practical and roomy; quieter and more dynamically polished; strong engine; nice price Lack of a diesel narrows its appeal; average cabin plastics; no longer made in Japan  The Pick: GX front-drive, with its standard seven seats and Australian suspension tune $43,550 V6 3.5 201 337 A6 1935 8.3 — 10.2 91 54 F $47,550 V6 3.5 201 337 A6 2005 7.8 15.7 10.6 91 55 10/16 A $53,550 V6 3.5 201 337 A6 1950 8.3 — 10.2 91 55 F $57,550 V6 3.5 201 337 A6 2020 8.7 — 10.6 91 56 A $65,935 V6 3.5 201 337 A6 1990 8.3 — 10.4 91 56 F $69,906 V6 3.5 201 337 A6 2060 7.9 15.7 10.6 91 57 09/15 A

Fortuner

GX GX GXL GXL Crusader Crusader

— —

Lots of room; decent versatility; capable performance; CVT works well with 2.0-litre Bulky dashboard an ergonomic malaise; engine needs revs; not very good off-road  The Pick: A CX-5, X-Trail, Kuga or Forester, though the roomy RAV4 has its appeal $28,550 L4 2.0 107 187 M6 1465 — — 7.7 91 52 $29,990 L4 2.0 107 187 C 1500 — — 7.0 91 52 $31,990 L4 2.0 107 187 M6 1475 — — 7.7 91 54 $35,390 L4 2.0 107 187 C 1510 — — 7.0 91 54 $33,650 L4 2.5 132 233 A6 1590 — — 8.5 91 54 $36,710 L4TD 2.2 110 340 M6 1620 — — 5.7 D 54 $37,490 L4TD 2.2 110 340 A6 1630 — — 6.7 D 55 $38,450 L4 2.5 132 233 A6 1590 11.5 18.2 10.4 91 54 06/17 $39,990 L4TD 2.2 110 340 M6 1630 — — 5.7 D 55 $43,550 L4TD 2.2 110 340 A6 1630 — — 6.7 D 55 $45,400 L4 2.5 132 233 A6 1600 — — 8.5 91 56 $50,500 L4TD 2.2 110 340 A6 1635 — — 6.7 D 56

Kluger

GX GX GXL GXL Grande Grande

0-400 metres

Bold design; capable chassis; well specified; generous active safety gear standard Demand likely to outstrip supply; engine could use more pep; Koba is pricey  The Pick: Base C-HR front-driver represents good value and is fun to drive $26,990 L4T 1.2 85 185 M6 1375 — — 91 $28,990 L4T 1.2 85 185 C 1385 — — 91 $30,990 L4T 1.2 85 185 C 1460 — — 91 $33,290 L4T 1.2 85 185 C 1440 — — 8.0 91 05/17 $35,290 L4T 1.2 85 185 C 1510 — — 91

RAV4

GX 2WD GX 2WD GXL 2WD GXL 2WD GX GX GX GXL GXL GXL Cruiser Cruiser

0-100 km/h

M6 1275 — A6 — 8.2

This is the people mover of people movers with a refined and updated interior Won’t do much for your sex appeal; lacks the innovation of the 1990s ‘egg’ Tarago  The Pick: If you can stretch the budget, get the GLi V6 and gain good sprog-hauling torque $45,490 L4 2.4 125 224 C 1795 — — 8.9 91 52 F $47,990 L4 2.4 125 224 C 1795 — — 8.9 91 53 F $50,490 V6 3.5 202 340 A6 1870 — — 10.2 95 53 F $55,990 V6 3.5 202 340 A6 1870 — — 10.3 95 53 F $65,600 V6 3.5 202 340 A6 1930 — — 10.3 95 54 F

C-HR

Koba Koba

Kerb Eng size Power Torque Trans. weight

2.0 152 212 2.0 147 205

0-100km/h acceleration, in secs (Wheels tested figures in italics)

Eng type

Price

GTS GTS

Litres

L=in-line,V=vee,F=flat,R=rotary. Numberofcylsorrotors. T=turbo, S= s'charged,D=diesel,H=hybrid

New models for the month highlighted

Recommended Retail Price at time of publication (* indicates driveaway)

TOYOTA – V O LV O

NEW ARRIVALS

Take ADR fuel economy and multiply it by the relevant factor below to give grams of CO2 per km. Petrol: 23.8 Diesel: 26.5 LPG: 16.1 For example, if a car does 8.4L/100km and runs on petrol, CO2 produced is: 8.4 x 23.8 = 199.9g/km See, it’s easy when you know how…


POWE RE D

Showroom Eng type

Price

118TSI Trendline $25,490 118TSI Comfortline $30,290 118TSI Highline $34,290 103TDI Highline $36,490 155TSI Highline Sport$40,290

L4ST L4ST L4ST L4TD L4T

Passat

Kerb Eng size Power Torque Trans. weight

0-100 km/h

0-400 metres

1.4 1.4 1.4 2.0 2.0

8.3 7.5 8.3 9.5 7.2

— 15.1 — — —

118 118 118 103 155

240 240 240 320 280

S7 S7 S7 S6 S6

1335 1335 1335 1454 1446

Fuel Resale cons. RON %

6.2 6.2 6.2 5.5 7.8

95 95 95 D 95

Issue tested

45 12/11 47 03/12 46 43 48

F F F F F

Predictable but pleasing

Suprisingly sporty chassis; slick interior; excellent seats; sweet 1.8 turbo petrol Diesel’s inconsistent response; no performance engine variant to suit R-Line suspension  The Pick: Comfortline wagon, combining space, equipment, class, and driving fun 132TSI $34,990 L4T 1.8 132 250 S7 1450 7.9 — 6.0 95 48 F 132TSI wagon $36,990 L4T 1.8 132 250 S7 1483 8.1 — 6.0 95 48 02/16 F 132TSI Comfortline $39,990 L4T 1.8 132 250 S7 1450 7.7 15.7 6.0 95 49 09/16 F 132TSI C’line wagon $41,990 L4T 1.8 132 250 S7 1483 8.1 — 6.0 95 49 F 140TDI Highline $45,990 L4TD 2.0 140 400 S6 1517 7.7 — 4.8 D 50 02/16 F 140TDI H’line wagon $47,990 L4TD 2.0 140 400 S6 1562 7.9 — 4.8 D 50 F 206TSI R-line $57,990 L4T 2.0 206 350 S6 — 5.5 — — 95 A 206TSI R-line wagon $59,990 L4T 2.0 206 350 S6 — 5.7 — — 95 A Alltrack $49,290 L4TD 2.0 140 400 S6 1671 8.0 — 5.4 D 50 A

Tiguan

150TDI V6 TDI V8 TDI R-Line

Cut-price class

Top-class compact people mover

Room, ride quality, and refinement all top-notch; excellent diesel drivetrains Not exactly sexy; primitive leaf-sprung rear suspension; no rear airbags  The Pick: Seven-seat Maxi with torquey 2.0-litre makes for a versatile kiddy hauler 250TDI Trendline $32,890 L4TD 1.6 75 250 M5 1460 — — 5.8 D 48 250TDI Trendline $35,390 L4TD 1.6 75 250 S7 1510 — — 5.8 D 48 250TDI Maxi C’line $38,390 L4TD 1.6 75 250 S7 1541 — — 5.9 D 49 320TDI Maxi C’line $42,290 L4TD 2.0 103 320 S6 1561 — — 6.5 D 50 05/11 320TDI M C’line 4M $45,790 L4TD 2.0 103 320 S6 — — — 6.8 D 50

Caravelle

TDI340 LWB

F F F A A A A

Slick and upmarket interior design; great drivetrains; vice-free handling; burbly R-Line Third row seats would be nice; pricey option packages; fatty-fatty fat kerb weight  The Pick: 150TDI rivals a top-spec Pathfinder on price, V8 R-Line is a cut-price Cayenne $67,990 V6TD 3.0 150 450 A8 2146 8.5 — 7.2 D 63 09/11 A $81,990 V6TD 3.0 180 550 A8 2159 7.6 — 7.4 D 63 09/11 A $114,990 V8TTD 4.1 250 800 A8 2287 5.8 — 9.2 D 63 A

Caddy

F F F F A

The workhorse people mover

Brilliantly basic and humble nine-seater; new model sheds some unwanted kilos 2.0-litre turbo-diesel is honest but pretty knackerless when fully laden  The Pick: There aren’t many other options if you need to carry nine people $50,990 L4TD 2.0 103 340 S7 1857 — — 7.7 D 60 03/16

Multivan

V40

T4 Kinetic D4 Kinetic

Kerb Eng size Power Torque Trans. weight

0-100 km/h

2.0 2.0 2.0 2.0 2.0 2.0

— — — — — —

140 140 180 180 228 270

300 400 350 350 430 470

S6 A8 A8 A8 A8 A8

1486 1744 1664 1664 1687 1686

0-400 metres

— — — — — —

Fuel Resale cons. RON %

5.8 4.2 6.4 6.4 7.0 7.8

95 D 95 95 95 95

Issue tested

— — — — 46 60

Drive

F A F F F A

Volvo thinks outside the box

S90

T5 Momentum D4 Momentum D5 Inscription T6 Inscription

Finally, a credible 5 Series rival

Elegant, functional cabin; fine powertrain refinement; confident dynamics Bundled options that should be standard; keen drivers may want a sharper dynamic edge  The Pick: T6 Inscription has the traction, pace and refinement to satisfy $79,950 L4T 2.0 187 350 A8 1838 6.8 — 6.7 95 61 F 4.7 D 61 F $82,400 L4TD 2.0 140 400 A8 1872 8.2 — 5.1 D 61 A $96,900 L4TTD 2.0 173 480 A8 1945 7.0 — $98,900 L4ST 2.0 235 400 A8 1915 5.9 — 7.5 95 61 A

V90

Cross-country wagon goes large

Punchy new twin-turbo four; more hauling space than the average big SUV Expensive; would you really take your $100K premo wagon off sealed surfaces?  The Pick: The potent, if pricey D5 Inscription, as the sole offering D5 Inscription C’Ctry $99,990 L4TT 2.0 173 480 A8 1894 — — 5.7 95 47

XC60

D4 Kinetic D4 Luxury T5 Kinetic T5 Luxury D5 Luxury D5 R-Design T6 Luxury T6 R-Design

All the traditional Volvo SUV virtues, appealingly executed Ride turns brittle on busted Aussie tarmac; lacks body control and steering feel  The Pick: D4 and T5 hold appeal, but forthcoming new-gen might be worth waiting for $55,765 L5TTD 2.4 140 420 A6 1819 9.7 — 6.3 D 57 $60,765 L5TTD 2.4 140 420 A6 1819 9.7 – 6.3 D 58 $57,990 L4T 2.0 180 350 A8 1766 7.2 — 7.0 95 55 $58,765 L4T 2.0 180 350 A8 1766 7.2 — 7.0 95 60 $69,990 L5TTD 2.4 162 440 A6 1819 8.2 — 6.3 D 56 $71,990 L5TTD 2.4 169 470 A6 1819 8.0 — 6.3 D 56 $72,600 L4ST 2.0 225 400 A8 1862 6.9 — 8.1 95 56 01/14 $75,835 L4ST 2.0 228 480 A8 1846 7.0 — 10.5 95 56

XC70

A

The punters’ favourite Volvo

A A F F A A A A

Swedish take on a Subaru Outback

Third-gen ‘crossover’ brings a choice of turbo-diesel or petrol six-pack power It’s unlikely ever to leave upper-class suburbs; still with soggy handling  The Pick: Not great on bitumen, but fine for fire trails, farms, and the Snowies. Go the diesel $58,990 L5TD 2.4 158 440 A6 1890 8.3 — 6.9 D 56 A 6.9 D 56 A $60,290 L5TD 2.4 158 440 A6 1890 8.3 — 10.2 95 56 A $69,900 L6T 3.0 224 440 A6 1870 7.4 —

XC90

It’s still about the safety

Faster and more frugal than its predecessor; attention to detail inside; great drivetrains Average dynamics with below-par handling; excessive body roll; German-level price tag  The Pick: T6 engine has plenty of punch and makes the most sense in Momentum trim D5 Momentum $91,900 L4TTD 2.0 173 480 A8 1970 7.8 — 5.9 D 63 A 8.5 95 63 02/16 A T6 Momentum $94,900 L4ST 2.0 235 400 A8 1965 6.5 — 5.9 D 63 02/16 A D5 Inscription $97,900 L4TTD 2.0 173 480 A8 1970 7.8 — 5.9 D 63 A D5 R-Design $97,910 L4TTD 2.0 173 480 A8 1970 7.8 — 8.5 95 63 A T6 Inscription $100,900 L4ST 2.0 235 400 A8 1965 6.5 — 8.5 95 63 A T6 R-Design $101,670 L4ST 2.0 246 440 A8 1965 6.5 — 2.1 95 63 A T8 Inscription Hybrid$120,900 L4STH 2.0 235 400 A8 2296 5.6 — T8 R-Design $122,910 L4ST 2.0 235 400 A8 2296 5.6 — 2.1 95 63 A

3yr/unlimited volvocars.com.au Focus-based and better for it

Focus underpinnings; classy interior; terrific D4 and T4 drivetrains; sweet manual ’box D2 struggles; T5 has terrible ride; big turning circle; cramped back seat; autos expensive  The Pick: D4 Inscription manual offers torque aplenty with sub-5.0L/km economy T3 Momentum $36,500 L4T 1.5 112 250 A6 1536 8.3 — 5.6 95 53 F D2 Momentum $37,900 L4TD 2.0 88 280 A6 1578 12.1 — 4.1 D 53 F T4 Inscription $43,500 L4T 2.0 140 300 A6 1558 6.9 — 5.6 95 54 F D4 Inscription $41,990 L4TTD 2.0 147 440 A8 1561 7.1 — 4.5 D 53 F T5 R-Design $48,990 L4T 2.0 180 350 A8 1580 6.3 — 6.1 95 55 F CrossCntry T4 Mom $42,990 L4T 2.0 140 320 A8 — 7.4 — 6.5 95 54 A CrossCntry D4 Insc $46,990 L4TTD 2.0 140 400 A8 — 7.5 — 4.5 D 53 F CrossCntry T5 Insc $40,990 L4T 2.0 180 350 A8 — 6.1 — 6.9 95 55 A

S60

Eng type

L4T L4TD L4T L4T L4ST L4ST

Even more stylish than S60 sedan; versatile 40/20/40 split-fold rear seat and 430L boot Won’t swallow packing crates like Volvos of old; lacks composure on rough roads  The Pick: Just as in the S60 range, the T5 is the all-rounder – great value, punchy and thrifty D4 Luxury $57,695 L4TD 2.0 140 400 A8 1744 7.7 — 4.5 D — A T5 Luxury $59,990 L4T 2.0 180 350 A8 1714 6.4 – 6.8 95 — F T5 R-Design $61,990 L4T 2.0 180 350 A8 1663 6.4 — 6.8 95 49 F C.Ctry D4 Inscription $63,375 L4T 2.0 140 420 A6 1785 7.5 — 4.5 D 47 A T6 R-Design $72,990 L4T 2.0 225 400 A6 1757 6.0 — 7.6 95 48 A Polestar $102,600 L4ST 2.0 270 470 A8 1796 4.8 — 8.1 95 48 A

F

Tarago meets its match

$54,990 $56,675 $58,990 $62,990 $69,990 $89,990

V60

D5 Kinetic D5 Luxury T6 Luxury

Hugely spacious and well-built cabin; grunty and efficient diesel; great active safety gear Range-topping models are expensive; base models only get single-turbo engine  The Pick: Crank the Rammstein and the eight-seater Highline morphs into the mosh bus C’line TDI340 SWB $52,990 L4TD 2.0 103 340 S7 2174 13.4 19.0 7.7 D 61 10/16 F C’line TDI340 LWB $57,990 L4TD 2.0 103 340 S7 2238 — — 7.7 D 60 F Highline TDI450 $79,890 L4TTD 2.0 150 450 S7 2303 — — 6.5 D 53 03/16 F H’line TDI450 4Mot’ $83,390 L4TTD 2.0 150 450 S7 2413 — — 6.8 D 53 A Executive TDI450 $83,390 L4TTD 2.0 150 450 S7 2332 — — 6.5 D 73 F

Volvo

T4 Luxury D4 Luxury T5 Luxury T5 R-Design T6 R-Design Polestar

On the right track

Refinement and technology; fit and finish; practicality in bigger body; boot space Price increases on some models; metallic paint costs another $700  The Pick: 132TSI hits a nice sweet spot, albeit at a high-ish price. Otherwise the 110TSI 110TSI Trendline $31,990 L4T 1.4 110 250 M6 1430 9.2 — 6.0 95 50 110TSI Trendline $34,490 L4T 1.4 110 250 S6 1450 9.1 16.7 9.5 95 52 06/17 110TSI Comfortline $36,990 L4T 1.4 110 250 S6 1450 7.7 — 6.3 95 53 132TSI Comfortline $41,490 L4T 2.0 132 320 S7 1600 — — 7.5 95 53 110TDI Comfortline $42,990 L4TD 2.0 110 340 S7 1647 9.3 — 5.9 D 56 162TSI Highline $48,490 L4T 2.0 162 350 S7 — — — — 95 140TDI Highline $49,990 L4TD 2.0 140 400 S7 1691 7.9 — 5.9 D 58

Touareg

Price

Drive

BY

New face, and now new fours

Handsome facelift with punchy engines and a plush interior; Polestar is nicely balanced Handling of the rest isn’t 3 Series-grade; all-new fours don’t warble like the old fives did  The Pick: Front-drive T4 is quick, frugal, and terrific value $49,990 L4T 2.0 140 300 S6 1486 — — 5.8 95 — F $51,675 L4TD 2.0 140 400 A8 1744 — — 4.2 D — A

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INSURANCE DISCLAIMER

Based on a 35-year-old male, location Chatswood 2067, Rating 1 For Life, No Finance, Private Use. All prices are subject to AAMI’s underwriting guidelines and conditions.

@wheelsaustralia 157


Classic

PETER ROBINSON’S

E P I C TA L E S F R O M O U R A R C H I V E S

FIRST PUBLISHED MARCH 1983

The Dino that Sam built SAM JOHNSTON’S FIRST CAR – THE JWF MILANO – LOOKED LIKE NOTHING LESS THAN A SMALL FERRARI MONZA, MARANELLO’S CLASSIC 1950s RACER. EXCEPT, INSTEAD OF THE LAMPREDI 3.0-LITRE FOUR-CYLINDER ENGINE, JOHNSTON’S COPY OF THE PININFARINA BEAUTY SAT OVER THE CHASSIS AND RUNNING GEAR OF A HUMBLE 1930s AUSTIN SEVEN.

After selling around 200 Milanos, JWF moved on to build-ityourself Holden-powered sports cars, before Johnston sold the by-then much-diversified business in 1979. Sam Johnston, however, always had the idea of building a single-seat racing car. He’d considered building a Maserati 250F around a Maser Sebring engine, “but the 250F had a combined gearbox and differential and there was no way I was going to build that.” At the time his garage contained a 246 Dino GT and a 308 Dino. Why not build a Grand Prix Dino, the 2.5-litre V6 from 1959/60? Not the stumpy 1958 Dino that took Mike Hawthorn to the world championship, but the later, more elegant, Formula Two model complete with disc brakes and wishbone independent suspension, one of the last front-engine Grand Prix cars. However, Johnston discovered that only one chassis was built and the car no longer existed. The late Graham Howard’s Wheels story details how Johnston went about finding the basic dimensions by examining in detail any photographs of the car and eventually made scale drawings of the chassis. In 1980, on an overseas

trip, he visited JCB Bamford in England, the firm having commissioned four replica Dinos that were built by Greypaul Motors. “I took a couple of rolls of photographs and measured the cars all over,” Johnston told Howard. “When I got home and compared all the JCB measurements against what I’d built, I was bugger-all out.” With the help of dedicated and talented friends, Johnston recreated the Dino. He searched the world for an engine and gearbox before Maranello Concessionaires, then the Ferrari distributors for the UK and Australia, miraculously found a new Dino 246 V6, still in its box. This engine went into Sam’s 246 GT, the road car’s transverse mounted V6 then had to be modified to sit “more or less” longitudinally in the racing car. The body was fibreglass and not the original’s hand-beaten alloy, though visually you can’t pick the difference. Johnston’s Dino first appeared in public at the 1982 Amaroo Park Historic race meeting where it created both disbelief and delight. During demonstration laps, it looked and sounded magnificent, even if the 135kW engine didn’t quite match the performance of the circa-215kW of the real GP car.

“JOHNSTON WENT ABOUT FINDING THE BASIC DIMENSIONS BY EXAMINING ANY PHOTOGRAPHS OF THE CAR AND EVENTUALLY MADE SCALE DRAWINGS OF THE CHASSIS”

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Next issue

GM’s outspoken design guru, Leo Pruneau THE WAY IT WAS

’83 Take the right turn… turn Fate of the Dinos In the early 2000s, Sam Johnston finally sold the Dino to three Ferrari enthusiasts who ran the car at the Australian Grand Prix demonstration in 2002. It was then bought by Maher Algardie, who moved it on to Rusty French in 2007. French, whose car collection numbers 70 – including four Porsche 935 sports racers and two 1979 Le Mans 935 K3s – raced the car in New Zealand and in AGP Ferrari demonstrations at Albert Park. Today, the Dino, a Porsche 550, and a special Mini Cooper S are on display in the foyer of French’s Skye Sands business in Melbourne. Johnston wasn’t finished with Ferrari: his next project was building a replica Dino 206S, the scaled down version of the mighty Ferrari 330 P3 competition car. After five years’ work, the beautiful 206S was completed in 1996 and on-sold four years later to Franco Belgiorno Nettis of Transfield fame. It now belongs to Philip Lewis and most recently was raced at the Philip Island historic meeting in March.

ALSOIN WHEELS,March1983 Spyshots of Holden’s second-gen Gemini in development make our cover; Robbo drives the Mercedes 190E and declares it’s destined to be Merc’s most successful car ever; we reveal the secrets of Leyland Australia’s stillborn P82 light car and its potential if it had made production; Ford’s engineers detail new V8-replacing EFI straight six.

President Reagan authorises the development of GPS for civilian use after the Soviets shoot down a Korean Airlines jet. End in sight for in-car arguments over poor map-reading skills

Backtracking in style Michael Jackson debuts his signature ‘moonwalk’ on a television special. The groovy move sparks a youth craze who emulate his style to woo the opposite sex and confuse their elders.

Printing the future American engineer Chuck Hull creates the first 3D printed object; sows the seed for rapid prototyping and the manufacturing of highly complex parts.

READ THIS STORY AND HEAPS MORE CLASSICS AT wheelsmag.com.au/classic

@wheelsaustralia 159


RetroSeries VOLKSWAGEN BEETLE

1957

95

WOR DS MICHAEL STAHL

Volk hero From a regime’s tool to globally adored icon, the Beetle has had a storied past FERDINAND Porsche is rightly hailed as a genius engineer and a key automotive figure. In 1898, aged just 23, he designed an all-wheel-drive, petrol-electric hybrid; later came the Mercedes-Benz SSK, the radical Auto Union rear-engined racers, and, proving his versatility, some of Germany’s most fearsome WW2 tanks. Then there’s the small matter of the Volkswagen ‘Beetle’ Type 1, whose 21.5 million units make it still the world’s biggest selling car (rather than nameplate). In 1931, in conjunction with Zundapp, Porsche began developing an economical, rear-engined car, the Porsche Type 12. Porsche had already designed an air-cooled, horizontally opposed four-cylinder engine. At the 1934 Berlin motor show, German chancellor Adolf Hitler challenged car makers to produce a car to sell at 1000 Reichsmarks, about half the typical price for a car at the time. His transport ministry drew up the specs: up to five passengers, a 100km/h top speed, fuel consumption of seven litres per 100km, and easy to convert to military use and mount a machine gun. The RDA, the German car makers’ industry body, approached Porsche’s engineering firm in 1934 (although Porsche was already known to Hitler through the Auto Union racing program). Over the next three years, Porsche developed the Volkswagen (people’s car), then known as the

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Radio star Hitler’s ‘people’s car’ dream was prompted by the volksempfanger, a state-produced affordable family radio

KdF-wagen (Kraft durch Freude, ‘strength through joy’ car). In truth, the Volkswagen had several parents, including oft-overlooked body engineer Erwin Komenda and – most controversially – Hans Ledwinka of Tatra (Czechoslovakia), whose 1933 V570 might well have set the template for the Volkswagen. Only a handful of consumer cars were built in 1939 before the outbreak of WW2, when production switched to military variants. After the war, British Army officer Ivan Hirst was ordered to take command of the heavily damaged Wolfsburg factory. He enlisted former employees and slowly reignited production. The minimally revised pre-war design was launched to the public at the 1947 Hannover Fair – and the rest is history. The popular perception (cultivated by a legendary US advertising campaign) was that the ‘beetle’ never changed. In fact, among constant refinements, there were noticeable evolutions in 1949 (cabriolet version), 1953 (oval window), 1954 (1.2-litre engine), 1966 (1.3-litre and ball-joint front suspension), 1968 (1.5-litre engine and front disc brakes), 1972 (MacPherson struts, near doubling boot capacity), and ’73 (curved screen). The last beetle was built in Mexico on 30 July 2003, bearing the chassis number 21,529,464.

2

Top Bug Autonomous cars? Pfff t! Herbie the Love Bug’s been doing it since ’69. One oof the (many) original movie cars sold in 2015 for US$1266,500


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Holden FJ

issue

In detail

Changing with the times Rear-mounted engine helped make the Vee-Dub’s front cabin feel spacious, in a similar context to contemporary ‘people’s cars’ like the Fiat 600, Citroen 2CV, and Renault 4CV. Painted steel dash wasn’t just economy spec, but common practice up to the 1970s. Flat screen, upright seating, and floor-hinged pedals provided a quaint drive. Rear cabin space was hampered by curved roof. Rearward vision improved only slightly with the introduction of a 23-percent larger rectangular window (1958-’72).

Light and right The VW engine pursued simplicity with air-cooling, horizontally opposed cylinders and pushrod OHV, but materials (alloy crankcase and cylinder heads, cast iron cylinders, forged steel crankshaft) made it light and durable. Engine’s initial 982cc went to 1131cc (with 18kW/65Nm) for post-war production, with a final increase to 1584cc in 1971. Four-speed manual ’box initially lacked synchro on first. Threespeed semi-auto offered here with heavily revamped 1500 in ’68.

Keep it simple The chassis itself was simple enough, with a central backbone supporting a near-flat pressed steel platform. Front suspension comprised of two parallel torsion beams with kingpins and telescopic dampers. Rear was by swing-axles with transverse torsion bar and telescopic dampers. Superbug (1971) brought semi-trailing arm IRS, then MacPherson strut fron ’72

Hoodwinked In 1961, Volkswagen was ordered to pay Tatra DM3 million in settlement of the long-running, patent infringement case; Hans Ledwinka received nothing

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After WW2, Ford was offered the entire VW enterprise free; top Ford exec Erne t Breech advised Henry II it “isn’t worth a damn!”

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Its versatile latform was a kit-car staple, underpinning everything from beach buggies to pseudo Speedsters to faux Ferraris

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‘BRAND’ NEW AGE Geoff Morse has been fixing MGs since the early-1970s. So how does he feel about the brand’s new era? “It’s still hard to think that a Chinese company owns such a classic British marque,” he says. “But then, an Indian company owns Jaguar... It’s progress, and if the brand name is out there, I think it’s probably good, because it will stay in people’s minds.”

WH EEL STOR IES MI C HA E L S T A HL

Torchbearer of Beacon Hill The MG specialist keeping the Brit sports car dream alive THERE’S an old line about complimenting someone on their antiques – “what antiques?” – that comes to mind as Geoff Morse explains his field of specialty. As does another old line: choose a job you love and you’ll never have to work a day in your life. When Morse, 68, started repairing cars in his original service station 43 years ago, Leyland Australia was still manufacturing cars like the P76 and Mini, and a significant number of cars on the road were British. That was especially true among sports cars, with dominant 1960s machines like the MGB and Austin Healey Sprite, by then even more affordable on the used market. Morse’s servo in Sydney’s Beacon Hill gained a good reputation because he put his money where his mouth was. He raced Group S (classic sports cars) for more than 35 years, only letting his CAMS licence lapse last year. “Back then I had various race cars; an early [Lotus] Clubman, a Sunbeam Tiger, MGs. I always put them out the front of the service station because I see it as a good way to attract new business.” Business expanded to two service stations and there was no shortage of interesting stuff to work on. “We used to work on a P76 Targa

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Florio, an ex-works car, that belonged to Evan Green. He lived just down the road from us.” Almost unnoticed over the first 17 years, the regular Pommy shitters fell away, but sports car business at Morse’s servos just kept on keeping on. In 1991, he bought the Morris Minor Centre in nearby Manly Vale and moved everything, including similarly experienced mechanic Richard Caller, over there. In 2001, the business was rebranded as Peninsula Sports Cars. Today, Morse and Caller also work on modern sports cars and they still get a “dribbling” of Morrises, Minis and the like. But 75 percent of the business is MGs, going back to pre-war P and T types, but mostly As and Bs. Asked to describe the typical MG customer, Morse says, “Old folks like me! Probably 70 percent are in their 60s or older, probably owned an MG before the kids and mortgage came along. Or they lusted after one and they’re getting it as a retirement toy. “We’re restoring a ’71 B for a customer whose had it since brand new, but the last 10 years it’s sat in a carport with rats living in it. It’s a full restoration; it’s taken us a year to do it. “We would do three or four full restos a year,” he continues. “We send out the bodywork and paint, but we do all the mechanical, trim,

and electricals in-house. But the majority of our work is maintenance and improvements. We do five-speed gearbox conversions, brake upgrades, that kind of stuff. “A lot of our customers keep things totally original, but we have another section that wants a car that’s reliable and fun to drive. They want cars that are better on the road, but with period parts in them so they look right when you open the bonnet.” Sometimes, old and new worlds collide: Morse is currently building an MGB Mk1 with complete MX-5 running gear. There’s a lively industry in reproduction MG parts and Peninsula is an agent for one such, Moss Motors, from the US. A few canny businesses in the UK and Australia years ago cornered stashes of genuine BMC spares. “We’re working on a pre-war TA at the moment, and we’ve managed to get everything we need.” What most concerns Morse is that nobody’s reproducing the likes of him and Caller. “That’s the biggest problem. My youngest mechanic here is 51. It really does make me worry, because there’s no young blokes coming along to learn the older cars and they don’t teach that stuff at tech. You hand them a carburettor or a distributor, they don’t even know what it is.”


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