Any colour as long as it shines
I read with interest about the preference for white cars and have to agree that in our climate this seems to be the most practical colour. It is also interesting to note that on any given day on the road, the predominant colours are white, silver, black and red. The main reason I suspect this is so is the lack of alternatives available to makers. Varieties, including pastels, would give buyers more choice and make driving a less sober experience, if nothing else. Some makers — take Audi — do make these colours but they are ‘‘not available in Australia’’. I’ve always mainly bought white but would love a light blue or green just for a change. But if it’s not a Ford, I go without.
Many car companies have unusual colours and Holden has a long history of a ‘‘ hero’’ colour each year for the Commodore, from gold to green, pale blue and purple. Restricting yourself to Fords probably isn’t helping but the bold black-and-red look on the latest FPV GT shows even the blue oval can go wild.
I tested the Toyota Prius C last week and it’s brilliant but for the lack of some form of suspension. Surely with today’s technology a ride something better than solid could be achieved. What sort of feedback do other readers have? Do other countries have roads so much better that they only need that sort of set-up? Also, with a hybrid, why can’t we have a solar panel on the bonnet or roof? It could charge when your car sits all day at work, as most do. Perhaps we need to jump up and down more about what we want in Australia.
James Scott, email
Hybrids often ride firmly because they have low-rollingresistance tyres, which have very hard sidewalls and transmit a lot of shocks into the suspension. There have been solar panels on cars in the past but buyers weren’t prepared to pay for them, and the trend now is for plug-in hybrids with batteries boosted from a socket.
COROLLA THE PICK
I drive an ’89 Camry — but don’t laugh because it’s been a good car. You recently gave the Corolla hatch a great report and I wonder if the improvements were made to the sedan as well? I think there is a new Corolla hatch due this year, so will there be a new sedan as well? Would you recommend a Corolla manual sedan or should I look at something else? I will also look at the current Camry and superseded Aurion (both autos and possibly too big for what I need) so which would you recommend?
Pat Pitson, email
There will be a Corolla sedan, probably about the same time as the hatch. The Corolla is still recommended as a manual sedan and the new Camry is definitely preferable to the older Aurion.
Last month I ordered a new Toyota 86 with an anticipated build date of October 2012. Then I had a phone call from the dealer advising that, as of September production, a spare tyre was no longer being provided, with a repair kit supplied in lieu. The dealer also confirmed there was no option of a spare tyre and jack. As a country motorist, I find this unacceptable. The last two punctures I had resulted in the tyre being irreparable, so a tyre repair kit is no way of resolving the problem. I voiced my concern to the dealer, contacted my local motoring association and have also written to Toyota Australia to see if the boot space modification precludes carrying a spare elsewhere. I contacted a Subaru dealership about the BRZ, and they confirmed that it is provided with a full-size spare and are more than willing to take my money — but the waiting list is nine months. I would love Toyota to reverse this decision.
Reg Jones, email
Looks as if you’ll be buying a BRZ because Toyota will not reverse the spare tyre decision. It’s apparently being dropped because of complaints about insufficient boot space with the full-sized spare in place.
I recently called in to the Ford Museum at Geelong. It was the last day open. Staffed by volunteers, not properly supported by Ford, not supported at all by the Geelong council, it was really a shame. It was in a Deakin University building and the uni wanted the premises back. Lots of long faces and people are really worried Ford will sell some very collectable cars.
John Austin, email
Seems like yet more bad news on the Ford front.
Perfect Blue: Holden isn’t colour-shy — this is last year’s cool tribute to