LET­TERS

Herald Sun - Motoring - - Special Report -

FUEL FOR THOUGHT

I KNOW it sounds like a silly ques­tion, but do you have any idea how much oil is left in the world?

I’m ask­ing be­cause that af­fects what type of en­gine I should buy in our (live with el­derly mum) next car.

My think­ing is a diesel can eas­ily be tuned to cope with bio-fu­els, whereas petrol-pow­ered cars can­not.

Also, I’m 47 and my mum is 77 (and has had a hip re­place­ment and doesn’t drive) and we both find it dif­fi­cult to get in and out of a 2000 model Toy­ota Corolla (great car) be­cause the seats are too low.

Cars that ap­pear high so mum could swivel her back­side with­out hav­ing to climb up into or stoop down into in­clude a small four-wheel drive such as a Toy­ota RAV4 or Honda CR-V.

Cameron Syme Mount Waverley I could write a book on this one, be­cause no one re­ally knows the fu­ture of oil. Some ex­perts say we have al­ready reached the peak of oil sup­ply and are on the down­ward slope, oth­ers say more is still be­ing cre­ated. And the sit­u­a­tion will con­tinue to change be­cause ex­plo­ration of ar­eas that were un­eco­nomic when oil was $50 a bar­rel be­come worth­while at more than $100 a bar­rel. So the short an­swer is not to let fuel sup­ply dic­tate your choice, but to go for some­thing that makes the best use of the fuel avail­able to­day. As for car choice, look first at a Subaru Forester be­cause it is a car with a slightly higher rid­ing po­si­tion. If that’s not enough, the CRV and RAV4 are good if you’re not go­ing into the bush.

Ed

ON THE WAGON TRAIL

I NEED to buy a new wagon soon and saw the Holden Sport­wagon at the Melbourne Mo­tor Show. Holden wouldn’t tell me if a diesel en­gine would be avail­able.

What do you think of the Pas­sat diesel wagon? Colin Paine

email

FLUSH WITH RE­QUIRE­MENTS

I AM­look­ing to buy a four-cylin­der sedan with the fol­low­ing re­quire­ments: au­to­matic; front, side and cur­tain airbags; elec­tronic sta­bil­ity con­trol; pollen-fil­tered air­con­di­tion­ing; runs on un­leaded petrol; re­verse sens­ing warn­ing sys­tem; enough head and leg room for a tall driver; a full-sized spare tyre in the boot.

What brands/mod­els would you rec­om­mend for less than $35,000? Ed­ward

email Go straight to a Toy­ota show­room and choose the car that ticks all the boxes; you will prob­a­bly want a Camry but the bud­get may mean a Corolla.

Ed

HYUNDAI SALES PITCH

I HAVE a 2004 Hyundai auto sedan with 55,300km, ser­viced books etc. I’m look­ing at the Hyundai i30. Do you think I should trade it in or sell pri­vately, and what is it worth? It’s im­pos­si­ble to value your car with­out know­ing the model, so go to the Glass’s Guide or Red Book web­sites. The Hyundai i30 is good, but you are al­most cer­tain to do a bet­ter deal if you can sell pri­vately. Ed

SPORTIVO RE­PLACE­MENT

Vic Dey email I AM­look­ing to re­place my 2004 Camry V6 Sportivo soon and spend up to $40,000.

I travel about 45,000km a year in­clud­ing 130km, mostly coun­try, a day to work and back.

I like the look of the new Mon­deo tur­bod­iesel but am a bit wor­ried that a four-cylin­der en­gine would strug­gle with the num­ber of kilo­me­tres.

I amalso con­sid­er­ing a six-cylin­der Toy­ota Au­rion. Colin Henry

Rom­sey There is no rea­son to ques­tion the abil­ity or longevity of the tur­bod­iesel in the Mon­deo. Do not buy the Au­rion just be­cause it is a V6. A proper test drive will prove the point. Ed

Diesel dust: there are no plans for a diesel Holden Sport­wagon.

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