Kia’s sevenyear pitch

Herald Sun - Cars Guide - - ROADSIDE ASSIST -

I find it cu­ri­ous that you con­stantly award The Tick to cars, and man­u­fac­tur­ers, that of­fer a pif­fling 3 year/ 100,000km war­ranty, es­pe­cially in light of Kia of­fer­ing a seven-year/ un­lim­ited war­ranty. This is ex­actly the main rea­son we bought our Kia Sportage Si last week. It’s high time the mo­tor­ing press, you in­cluded, de­mand man­u­fac­tur­ers start to get com­pet­i­tive in this area, es­pe­cially con­sid­er­ing you’re only too happy to con­grat­u­late Toy­ota, Mazda, Subaru etc on their im­pec­ca­ble re­li­a­bil­ity. In that case, isn’t it time they stand be­hind their prod­ucts to a sim­i­lar tune? Scott Daw­son, email Did you re­ally buy the Sportage, a car that gets The Tick and is con­stantly rec­om­mended by Cars­guide, just be­cause of the war­ranty? I wouldn’t agree that three years is pif­fling — I can still re­mem­ber the stan­dard cov­er­age be­ing 12 months/ 20,000km. The rea­son Kia has a seven-year war­ranty is noth­ing to do with re­li­a­bil­ity, but as a mar­ket­ing tool that gives shop­pers per­mis­sion — and brag­ging rights — to buy a chal­lenger brand.

WEIGH IT UP

Re your ar­ti­cle about the BMW M4 GTS at Bathurst. I am glad you liked the car but it is close to 300kg lighter than the stan­dard M4, not 30kg. You list all those ex­pen­sive bits like ce­ramic brakes, car­bon-fi­bre bon­net etc to achieve just 30kg? A half-full tank of petrol will save you more than 30kg. Also, on-road cost of this car is $345,000 so none of the “25 happy en­thu­si­asts” parted with “just” $295,000. Rafal Pi­etrzak, email We quote rec­om­mended re­tail prices be­cause on-road costs vary so much de­pend­ing on where you live. On the weight front, of­fi­cial BMW num­bers have the kerb weight of the reg­u­lar M4 at 1537kg and the M4 GTS at 1510kg.

CARBOLIC

Jim But­ter­worth’s dealer ex­pe­ri­ence re­minds me of my younger days when my car was a work-re­lated ex­pense and I could ex­pect a phone call from my dealer at mid­day, telling me that they had found some­thing that needed ur­gent at­ten­tion in ad­di­tion to the rou­tine ser­vice. At that time of day I was al­most cer­tain to be very busy and would say yes to any­thing just to get him off my back. Lately I have no­ticed that “Dis­in­fec­tion of air­con­di­tion­ing unit and re­place pollen fil­ter” could be added to the ex­tras to bulk up the fixed-price ser­vice. Ed­ward Owen, email Yes, that’s an­other of the new money-mak­ing schemes at some deal­er­ships.

ON HIS ROCKER

The new Opel-based Com­modore is a great­look­ing car. I have owned a 2006 Opel-based Holden Vec­tra ZC V6 since new and it is a very well built and re­li­able car. As the car is age­ing, though, I’m find­ing a cou­ple of things that in­di­cate the car is a Euro­pean car and not an Aus­tralian car. For ex­am­ple, re­cently I needed to re­place the plas­tic rocker cov­ers that had even­tu­ally warped due to Aussie heat. Fur­ther to the ques­tion of im­ported parts pric­ing for the new Com­modore, I bought two re­place­ment rocker cov­ers on­line from Vaux­hall in the UK and had them de­liv­ered to my door for much less than the price of one from my lo­cal Holden dealer. Gerry Bakker, email Holden is promis­ing the nextgen­er­a­tion Com­modore will live up to the rep­u­ta­tion set by its pre­de­ces­sors and we’re hop­ing they do the job right for Aus­tralia.

TANK TRAPS

Re read­ers hav­ing trou­ble fill­ing their tanks and the dis­tance to empty read­out. First, few car man­u­fac­tur­ers quote the “wa­ter ca­pac­ity” of the tank and in­let pipes — in my car the wa­ter ca­pac­ity is 78.5L and the quoted tank ca­pac­ity is 75L. Sec­ond, the dis­tance-toempty cal­cu­la­tions are done from the car’s mem­ory, so if your last tank was city stop-start in hot weather with the air­con on and some idling, you will get an ini­tially pes­simistic read­ing. Af­ter 100km-odd in dif­fer­ent con­di­tions, the read­ing will change. Third, it is as­sumed the av­er­age driver can’t un­der­stand that run­ning low or out of fuel can cause prob­lems, so the car warns you to fill up when the tank is down to one-third to one-quar­ter of its ca­pac­ity. Just to con­fuse you fur­ther, when the gauge drops to un­der one half, the nee­dle ap­pears to plum­met. Peo­ple should get to know the ve­hi­cle’s cor­rected speedo read­ings, ac­tual fuel con­sump­tion com­pared to the read­out, and how the dis­tance to empty is cal­cu­lated. Doug Mul­lett, email Thanks for a com­pre­hen­sive run­down, which should help a lot of read­ers.

Kia Sportage: War­ranty is a mar­ket­ing tool

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