Fun or fam­ily?

Herald Sun - Motoring - - Readers Write -

I WOULD like your opinion on our next car pur­chase. Cur­rently we are driv­ing a 2002 Holden Com­modore Ac­claim wagon. We have two young chil­dren and travel both to the coun­try and beach. We have looked at the lat­est Holden wagon and also the Nis­san Murano ST. Apart from cost and the look of the car, we are not sure which car we should re­ally con­sider buy­ing.

Sonja Musig, email The Com­modore is the choice if you love driv­ing, other­wise the Murano is def­i­nitely the one— for full-on fam­ily use, it will be roomier and more prac­ti­cal. DAN­GER­OUS CHOICE I am17 years old, cur­rently com­plet­ing Year 12, and I am look­ing for my first car. I have my eye on a 2006 Holden SV6 VZ Com­modore. I’d like a few tips about what to look for, as this car will be sec­ond hand. I’ve come to the con­clu­sion that this car is one of the best buys, as well as the most af­ford­able.

Trent, email

A sporty Com­modore is def­i­nitely not the sort of car you should have as a P-plater. Far bet­ter to start on some­thing smaller, eas­ier to han­dle and lighter on fuel. We’d rec­om­mend some­thing like a Toy­ota Corolla or per­haps a Mit­subishi Lancer. REAL COM­PE­TI­TION I couldn’t agree more with Mark Skaife on the Car of the Fu­ture, which is bet­ter late than never. As my son grew up, we watched the V8s race on TV as we did the World Rally Cham­pi­onship, but now that he’s 28 we gave up watch­ing the Fal­codore taxi rac­ing years ago. Par­tic­u­larly on those ‘‘street’’ cir­cuits, which are too nar­row for edge-of-seat rac­ing. The sooner the suits at V8 HQ dan­gle car­rots in front of BMW, Mercedes, Lexus, Audi and any­one else with a com­pet­i­tive V8, the bet­ter.

Raykelly, email TIMELY WARN­ING Could you please send out a warn­ing to all own­ers of NP se­ries Mit­subishi Pa­jero DIDS to have the top tim­ing chain guide checked? My 2004 diesel had a cat­a­strophic en­gine fail­ure due to the guide wear­ing out the tim­ing chain. Mit­subishi has an up­graded part which sells for about $100, a small cost con­sid­er­ing a new DID mo­tor costs about $10,000 plus fit­ting.

John Stone, email MAT­TER OF SPACE My hus­band and I are think­ing of up­dat­ing our car and would like your opinion on which is the bet­ter car. We are look­ing at a Honda Ac­cord Euro (Lux­ury nav­i­ga­tor) or the new Ford Fo­cus (Sport or Ti­ta­nium but Ger­man-built, and we’d need to pur­chase be­fore the end of Jan­uary 2012). We re­alise they are dif­fer­ent-sized ve­hi­cles but are about the same price, $35,000. Any thoughts or sug­ges­tions would be ap­pre­ci­ated, es­pe­cially if you don’t re­ally rate ei­ther.

He­len Cook, email Both cars are very good, so it comes down to space. If you need more room, the Ac­cord is the one; if not, the Fo­cus is an ex­cel­lent car. MINIA­TURE FUN Have you test driven ei­ther of the new Minis, the Coupe or the Road­ster? What’s your opinion of their per­for­mance and would you rec­om­mend any other road­ster for the same dol­lars?

Lucy Vas­sallo, email Both of the new Mini mod­els are a hoot and the Cars­guide team says the Coupe is a fun choice if you only need two seats. Any drop-top is a far more per­sonal choice, be­cause it’s about sun­shine and not just driv­ing en­joy­ment. LIMP DIESEL We have a 2008 Nis­san Navara 2.4 turbo diesel with fivespeed au­to­matic trans­mis­sion. At about 50,000km the car was drop­ping off into limp-home mode and this would hap­pen when trav­el­ling at 80km/h in over­drive go­ing up a slight in­cline, in­stead of drop­ping back into fourth gear. Af­ter stop­ping the car, turn­ing off the en­gine and a short wait we could restart the car and drive off. Af­ter go­ing back to Nis­san about 15 times over 18 months, with two wiring looms and 10 elec­tri­cal tests, Nis­san fi­nally re­placed the fuel rail and in­jec­tors and the car has been fine now for 15,000km.

Grant Vick­ery

For the fam­ily driver: Com­modore Sport­wagon

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