Re­al­ity check on a dream

Herald Sun - Motoring - - Readers Write -

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.

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