Honda: throw me a phone

Herald Sun - Motoring - - Readers Write -

I re­cently bought a 2012 Honda Euro Lux­ury and am ex­tremely happy with the qual­ity of fitout and ride but there is one real peeve with my $40,000 car. With the amount of hi-tech but­tons and gad­gets, Honda fit­ted a Fred Flint­stone Blue­tooth phone sys­tem. It only stores 10 num­bers and is fully man­ual with no voice ac­ti­va­tion. Cheaper lit­tle city cars at about $15,000 have more ad­vanced sys­tems. I would love to hear if you can get any sense out of Honda.

Phill Dare, email Honda says it’s do­ing its best, even if it’s not nearly good enough for you. This model is six years old. GET FULL How ac­cu­rate do you think the com­puter dis­play for fuel con­sump­tion is on new cars these days? On a mixed trip in the coun­try and driv­ing in traf­fic, my Mazda BT-50 shows an av­er­age of 8.2L/100km, which is pretty good.

Dougie, email The ac­cu­racy of com­puter read-outs varies wildly be­tween brands but a 10 per cent er­ror is com­mon. Cal­i­brate yours with a full-tank to full-tank run, which will also give you the real econ­omy fig­ure. HEAVY THIRST I re­cently bought a 2004 Mit­subishi Out­lander. I am get­ting 12.0L/100km — is this ex­ces­sive? I expected bet­ter from the four-cylin­der 2.4.

Mick Rinke, email That’s about right for some­thing as big and heavy as the Out­lander. To get a han­dle on the best-case sce­nario, take a coun­try run on the high­way. GLASS’SWINDOW My mother bought a Mazda3 SP23 in 2005 and since then it has lit­er­ally only been driven to shop­ping and church. She ul­ti­mately needs to get the best money pos­si­ble for her own on­go­ing care. The prob­lem is that when look­ing on­line or in Glass’s Guide, they give prices based on the car trav­el­ling rou­tine kilo­me­tres but the car only has 14,000km on it. We were won­der­ing whether the dis­tance trav­elled will be a sig­nif­i­cant ad­van­tage when sell­ing.

Philip Hills, email A new app avail­able from iTunes gives prices and de­tails for more than 70,000 cars. It al­lows ad­just­ment for the kilo­me­tres trav­elled and ve­hi­cle con­di­tion and costs 99c for each val­u­a­tion. IN­NER LIGHT When the time came to re­place my 2004 Kia Rio, I looked for a shop­ping cart that could also cope with rea­son­able in­ter-city runs. The front-run­ners were the Hyundai i30 and the Kia Cer­ato hatches, and I had al­most closed a deal when I re­alised that the in­te­ri­ors of both these ve­hi­cles were an un­re­lieved coal black. The Kia dealer told me that it was pos­si­ble to spec­ify a lighter in­te­rior colour­ing — but only in Korea. The Hyundai dealer could not be even that help­ful. This meant that I bought nei­ther of these ve­hi­cles when I would have oth­er­wise been a cer­tain buyer.

David Keyes, email With­out de­fend­ing the Kore­ans, light in­te­rior colours are not pop­u­lar in Aus­tralia with any brand. i30 HAS IT I would like your opin­ion on a cou­ple of new ve­hi­cles in the $20,000-$25,000 bracket. I mainly drive in the lo­cal sub­urbs with oc­ca­sional 45-minute trips, with an au­to­matic and mainly in day­light. I have seen and heard good re­ports on the Hyundai i30 Tro­phy, I also like the Suzuki SX4, and you have men­tioned the new Toy­ota Corolla which is prob­a­bly dearer. If I get a good deal on the Hyundai I would like to put a good set of al­loys and tinted win­dows on it.

Phil Bort­noski, email Don’t dis­miss the Corolla, be­cause the pric­ing is sharp, but the new i30 is a good thing. The SX4 is off the pace against those ri­vals. COSTLY COLT How ironic it was to be sit­ting in a Sydney Mit­subishi dealer wait­ing to have my 2009 Colt ser­viced and read­ing your col­umn. Some­one had writ­ten in com­plain­ing about the high cost of the ser­vice and I was there for 21/ hours and it cost me $600, and my car is still un­der war­ranty. Ev­ery time I ques­tioned the price I could feel the ser­vice staff’s pas­siveag­gres­sive at­ti­tude. Can some­one jus­tify that price?

Deb­o­rah, email You should never preap­prove any work. Don’t pay for fuel sys­tem checks or cleans. And get the deal­er­ship to ex­plain ev­ery item on a de­tailed in­voice. PLAGUEONCVT I would ap­pre­ci­ate it if you could tell me the dif­fer­ence be­tween an au­to­matic gear­box and a CVT. Is one bet­ter than the other? Does one re­quire more ser­vic­ing than the other? Will one last longer than the other? Does the CVT re­quire a dif­fer­ent driv­ing style to a stan­dard au­to­matic?

Si­mon Mullard, email With­out get­ting too tech­ni­cal, con­ven­tional au­tos mimic a man­ual gear­box while a CVT has ad­justable pul­leys that con­stantly vary the gear­ing to suit load and con­di­tions. So a CVT should al­ways have the ideal set­ting and they are great for fuel econ­omy. They are go­ing to spread like the flu in com­ing years but are as pop­u­lar with driv­ers as brussels sprouts. 86 THE DEALER We or­dered a Toy­ota 86 GT man­ual in June with a five­month wait and de­liv­ery on Novem­ber 1. I’ve now been told the car will be man­u­fac­tured in Jan­uary with de­liv­ery in March. We are sick of be­ing mis­led and would love to hear your ad­vice.

Ross Bar­den, email There are more than 1500 ex­tra 86s on the way from Ja­pan so your wait should come down. If you can’t get straight an­swers, try an­other dealer.

Bad call: The Honda Euro’s phone sys­tem has one buyer set to hang up

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