Cost is the main factor
We are looking at buying a new car and notice a number of cars are available only with diesel. We have recently read with some concern about the possible dangers of diesel and that it may cause cancer and respiratory diseases. We would appreciate your thoughts on the pros and cons of petrol v diesel, taking into consideration the (possible) health risks of diesel and the continued supply of petrol (we plan to keep our new car indefinitely). John and Jenny Treloar, email
There is much talk about noxious stuff from diesels. The World Health Organisation recently warned that regular exposure to diesel fumes is as likely to cause cancer as passive smoking. But few people stand behind a vehicle when it’s running, so most choose between petrol and diesel based on the finances. A diesel costs more and is more expensive to service, but goes further on each litre. Generally, a diesel is more cost-effective for going more than 30,000km a year. They are also stronger on torque for heavy-duty towing and off-road work in an SUV. RETURN SERVICE I have bought a Nissan Pathfinder 2.5-litre turbo diesel and I amvery happy with it so far. My six months/10,000 km service is due, but I have only done 5600km to date. I am eligible for the six service/ 120,000km capped-price service program, but my question is whether I am obligated to go to a Nissan dealer. Or can I use another service centre, say Ultratune, when nearer to the 10,000km?
RayWilliams, email You can use any service company, provided it’s a full-book service with Nissan-quality parts. But if you’re in the cappedprice program you might still get better value through a Nissan dealer. Servicing is on both distance and time, so don’t think you’re saving money when the vehicle might need attention. TOPPED AT LAST How do you rate a Mazda MX-5 against a Toyota 86?
Jim Gascoigne, email We’ve been MX-5 fans since it first lobbed in 1989. But the new 86 is way ahead in almost every way, unless you want to have a convertible roof. SPORTAGE LIFE I have had two Honda-CRVs for the past 10 years and, while happy, I’m ready for a change. I have up to $37,000 to spend and like SUVs. I have test driven a new Mazda CX-5 sport and, while happy with most of it, I’m concerned with the lack of grunt. I just want to use it for city driving with my wife and kids. What are your thoughts of the Mazda CX-5? Or perhaps you can suggest another make or model for that money.
MatthewHore, email The CX-5 is very good and the engine will ‘‘ free up’’ and give more go over time, but the car you need to shop it against is the Kia Sportage. We did a four-car SUV comparison last month and it was the winner, beating the CX-5 into second place. GOVERONROVER I have read heaps about Land Rover unreliability, but am thinking of buying a secondhand 2010 HSE with 65,000 on the clock. I like the idea of the power, the luxury and the offroad capability, but am concerned about reliability, given some of the comments on the net. How do you rate this, the Discovery SE — even the SE 2009 model with low kilometres — or should I just forget Land Rover? What is the best alternative? I have considered the Toyota LandCruiser Kakadu 2010 as a second-hand alternative. I currently have a 2004 GU Patrol and, after two of these, can’t really consider even a new current version.
RonKnoester, email We also wonder about Land Rover, despite the luxury and brilliant off-road ability. The LandCruiser is a safe choice but it’s worth enlisting a Land Rover specialist to help get a good one. SIXMEUP We have a 2008 Mazda 6 wagon and we are waiting for the new model to come out before we buy. We had a look
This is the only official Toyota line, from product planning chief Greg Gardner a fortnight ago, pointing to late in 2014: ‘‘ There will be a bit of a tweak to the HiLux at the end of next year. At that time we’ll have the necessary changes to get five-star ANCAP on the 4x4 model,’’ he says.
David Farrall, email For the design of the coming replacement for the Mazda6, look at pictures of the Mazda Takeri concept car. Carsguide will have a first drive of the new car in Europe in September, so we reckon the new Mazda6 will be in Australia in the first quarter of next year. STAR-CROSSED Could you please tell me when the 5-star ANCAP HiLux will be released in Australia. I’m specifically after the dual-cab SR5 diesel. I have searched to try and find an answer, but have had no luck.
Jason Morris, email
Diesel doer: Hyundai’s i40 oiler is a good prospect for
big annual distances