Cost is the main fac­tor

Herald Sun - Motoring - - Readers Write -

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

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