UNFIT TO DRIVE
NEIL McDonald (Dealer delivery charges, carsGuide, April 4) might be better understood if it were more widely known that carmakers routinely dispatch vehicles from the factory unsaleable and even unroadworthy. Retailers often do much more than just ‘‘a quick wash and fitting the rego plates’’.
‘‘New’’ cars are often unfinished, which allows carmakers to advertise them at lower prices than they should. And retailers believe profit margins are too small to cover the rectification needed before a vehicle leaves the showroom.
In a perfect world a regulatory body, such as the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, could prosecute what is essentially component pricing, otherwise unlawful.
As for Parliament, consider the years of unanswered phone calls for motor car ‘‘lemon’’ laws. Peter Boardman
IT’S about time someone had the courage to investigate the hidden costs of new vehicles.
One of my hates is the extra cost of so-called prestige paints. What a load of rubbish. They are all painted on the same line and no extra work is applied to metallics. This is just another way to drag extra cash from the buyer.
Onroad charges are indeed negotiable. For a new Holden Calais, the profit amounts to about $6500 plus whatever the dealer can bleed from the buyer.
They certainly are not interested in cash because they receive kickbacks from finance companies. Yeah, we are being conned and ripped off.
AFTER handing over almost $60,000 for a VE SSV with a few extras, including just over $1500 in dealer delivery, I was surprised to find one of the rear-door trims was from an Omega. So much for the dealer delivery charge covering a full inspection of the car. Probably doesn’t say much for Holden’s quality control either.
Neither the dealer nor Holden could explain it. Both simply apologised, the dealer replaced the trim and offered to fit headlight or bonnet protectors free, not supply them free, just fit them, and there was certainly no offer of any refund on the dealer delivery charges.
X MARKS THE SPOT
Rob email HAVE you any comments or have you reviewed the current BMW X5 diesel model? I would be grateful for some information, or your thoughts. Matt McArdle
email The X5 is the benchmark in luxury four-wheel drives and the diesel is our personal choice, not just because it is lighter on fuel than the V8 but also because it is slightly more nimble with less weight in the nose and its torque is more available. The only shortcoming is that it is not a serious off-roader, unlike the Toyota LandCruiser, which rules in the bush. Ed
WHAT is the formula for converting fuel consumption? Example is 277km with 22.3 litres of fuel used.
THANKS FOR THE HELP
Robin email In your example, divide 22.3 litres by 2.77 (the number of 100km) and the result is: 8.05 litres/100km, a good result. Ed THANKS for your follow-up with GM on my fuel-gauge problem. I now have a successful conclusion after some drama with the service manager of my local dealer. They fitted a new fuel-sender assembly, which is working OK. Len Booth
email Glad I could help, but I’m still hearing from people who have faulty fuel gauges in their Commodores.
Pick of the bunch: the BMW X5 diesel is nimble and fuel-efficient.