Toyota DNA is by far the better bet
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?
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.