Fun or family?
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.
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.
For the family driver: Commodore Sportwagon