Reality check on a dream
MGs from 2002 and 2003 are my car. Is it true they have gone bust and have been bought out? Would you still recommend buying one or would I be up for extremely costly services for parts, etc?
Melisa Giovino, email The new MGs were rubbish cars, not particularly well engineered or built, and did not sell well in Australia. After the company went bust it was bought by the Chinese. You’d be far, far better off to buy a Mazda MX-5 and enjoy life. CARBON EFFECT Will the new carbon tax affect car prices on July 1 or only cars manufactured afterwards? Should I buy before July 1? Also, how much will the price be affected? I aminterested in buying a car such as Mazda3, Ford Focus or Toyota Corolla.
Vicki Bowles, email We’re working up a detailed story but the carbon tax is unlikely to affect prices. The Corolla is our choice in the small-car class and you can check a recent comparison test at carsguide.com.au. MINI STEP UP Is it a good idea to buy a Subaru XV 2.0iS to replace a 2006 Mini Cooper Park Lane which is in excellent condition with only 44,000km on the clock?
Janene Anderson, email If you have a Mini, it will be a great choice. The XV looks good, is quiet and nice to drive. Shortcomings? Not much punch from the engine and the IT’S TIME, MARIE I bought a new Hyundai Accent Active on February 8 and I was told that my first service would be at 1500km or four weeks, whichever comes first. To date I have only done just on 600km as I do a lot of short trips and there is no way I would do 1500km in four weeks. Should I have my car’s first service now or wait until I’ve done 1500km?
Marie, email You should always go with the recommendation on distance and time. Why? Because short trips are far worse for a car, since components do not get up to their correct operating temperatures and oils do not lose the contaminants that cut their life considerably. WHICH4WDFOR ME? I want a four-wheel drive to take a camper trailer up some bush tracks but not heavy offroad work and maybe tow small horse floats in future. I’ll drive about 130km a day, so fuel efficiency is important, and I don’t want a huge vehicle because I need to drive it in town and it needs to suit female driving. Which 4WD do you suggest I get?
Gaylene Phillips, email Towing a horse float is the big no-no for smaller fourwheel drives. Go for a test drive in a Kia Sportage because it’s a ripper, good value with a fiveyear warranty, and should suit your needs.