Toy­ota DNA is by far the bet­ter bet

Herald Sun - Motoring - - Readers Write -

I want a used car to re­place the six-cylin­der Ford LTD my wife, in her mid-50s, drives about 50km a week to work at school and for week­end shop­ping. She doesn’t want a small car so I’m con­sid­er­ing ei­ther an X-type Jaguar or Lexus IS250, from about 2005 on­wards. I note that most Jags are 2.1-litre, but some are 2.5 or 3.0. Are there any rea­sons to favour one en­gine over the other?

Jack Krech­man, email Don’t buy the Jag. It’s just a Ford Mon­deo with a Jaguar badge, not a real cat car. The Lexus also has Toy­ota DNA, but it’s a much, much nicer car. POWERRANGER I amjust about to do a deal on an Toy­ota HiLux SR5 4x4 which you have al­ways rated very well but I be­lieve Carsguide now says the Ford Ranger is a bet­ter ve­hi­cle. What’s new that I should know about?

Phillip Devlin, email Yes, the Ranger is now No.1, together with the badge­copy Mazda BT50. Why? It’s all-new, it was de­signed and de­vel­oped in Aus­tralia, has a five-star ANCAP safety rat­ing and it’s usu­ally also cheaper than the HiLux. GET INNOW My hus­band is keen to buy a Mazda MX-5 but can’t find out from deal­ers or the in­ter­net the new model’s re­lease date. Should he wait or is the cur­rent model the way to go?

De­bFrench, email We know the next MX-5 will even­tu­ally be cloned by Fiat but don’t know the on-sale date for the Mazda in Aus­tralia. It could be late 2013 or even later, so go with the cur­rent car. PRAGUE-MATIC What is your opin­ion of a Skoda Oc­tavia RS Wagon, auto with the petrol 147KW en­gine? I’ve a four-year-old son and I en­joy a car with a bit of go with­out break­ing the bank. I drove one and was very im­pressed and the stan­dard fea­ture list is sen­sa­tional, par­tic­u­larly as I have man­aged to get the dealer down to about $40,000 with a five-year war­ranty.

An­drewA­nasta, email Skoda is part of theVW Group, so the Oc­tavia has all you expect on that front, but its body de­sign comes from the com­mon-parts bin. The Oc­tavia is a good car, and the RS is a rip­per car. It gets a tick. PUL­SAR RAC­ING I have heard that the Nis­san Pul­sar is on its way this year or early next year. When will the sedan will be re­leased in Aus­tralia? I’m ready to up­grade my 2004 Pul­sar. Should I wait? Will it have the old Pul­sar look in­stead of the ugly Ti­ida look?

An­nFabre, email

The Pul­sar sedan will come a lit­tle later than the hatch, most likely in the fi­nal quar­ter of this year. It’s not the same style as your car but still a vast im­prove­ment over the Ti­ida.

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