DIY: the only way to drive

Herald Sun - Motoring - - Readers Write -

Con­grat­u­la­tions on ex­press­ing your dis­like for the grad­ual au­to­ma­tion of driv­ing (‘‘No way, I’ll drive my­self’’ by Paul Gover). A great ar­ti­cle. I learned to drive when the only real safety mea­sures were seat belts and your abil­ity. My late fa­ther in­stilled in me the need to ‘‘feel’’ the car and al­ways an­tic­i­pate road con­di­tions, ve­hi­cles around and ahead of you. Th­ese lessons have never been for­got­ten. The bot­tom line in driv­ing will al­ways be if the learner has an affin­ity with driv­ing a ve­hi­cle. Sadly we see to­day many driv­ers who don’t. Cou­pled with this is the per­ceived be­lief that tech­nol­ogy will save me and we see on a daily ba­sis that many driv­ers have ab­ro­gated their re­spon­si­bil­ity to tech­nol­ogy. Maybe there should be manda­tory 10 hours driv­ing a nar­row-wheeled, drum-braked car on a cir­cuit to teach new driv­ers the art of feel­ing or driv­ing by the seat of their pants be­fore they com­mence lessons in a new buzz box.

Guy Hunt­ley, email

TRAIN­ING 101 I agree 100 per cent with your col­umn and I feel that driver aids should be banned. The an­swer is to train driv­ers prop­erly, not de­sen­si­tise the driv­ing ex­pe­ri­ence. If ev­ery­one knew an ounce of car con­trol and were tested on it, fa­tal­i­ties would di­min­ish. In ad­di­tion, reg­u­lar test­ing would re­mind folks of the re­spon­si­bil­ity they bear on the road. There was a dou­ble fa­tal­ity (last week) in coun­try Vic­to­ria as the re­sult of two peo­ple run­ning off the road into a tree. Road­side speed cam­eras wouldn’t have been much use but, un­doubt­edly, speed is to blame. The log­i­cal ex­ten­sion of this thought bub­ble from govern­ment is sim­ple: If they had stayed at home they would have been fine.

Alexan­der Corne, email

It’s good to know our read­ers also care about the real roots of road safety.

DATE’S UP I looked at the Mazda3 yes­ter­day and found that all Maz­das have those space­saver tyres. That puts me off for a start. But can I ask you the dif­fer­ence be­tween the build date and the com­pli­ance date on a car?

Robyn, email

The build date is the ac­tual day the car came down the pro­duc­tion line, the com­pli­ance date is the day it was cer­ti­fied for sale in Aus­tralia. The dif­fer­ence is very im­por­tant as the build date is the car’s birth­day and the one used for re­sale cal­cu­la­tions.

CRUISER CON­TROL I am toss­ing up whether to buy the Jeep Chero­kee Over­lan­der or the Land Cruiser Sa­hara to pull a van which weighs over three tonnes to travel around Aus­tralia. We travel on a lot of rough, out­back roads

Helen O’Keefe, email

For that job we’d only get a Toy­ota Land Cruiser. It’s proven over decades in the out­back and Toy­ota has the best ser­vice back-up in the bush.

MIR­ROR CLEARER I have bought a Hyundai i30 and it has the con­vex mir­rors. I was won­der­ing if you know where you can get nor­mal mir­rors for th­ese as I am hav­ing so much trou­ble with them.

Glenice O’Meara, email You can prob­a­bly get it changed at a lo­cal glass shop. Hyundai will only have con­vex glass re­place­ments.

JEEP’S CHEAPER Just wanted to know about the cur­rent-model Jeep Grand Chero­kee SRT8. Af­ter look­ing at the spec­i­fi­ca­tions com­pa­ra­ble to the Benz ML63 and BMWX5M, it’s a fair bit cheaper and has a fair amount of op­tions. I be­lieve the cur­rent Grand Chero­kee is the first one you would rec­om­mend.

Dim Riz, email Jeep made a steep change on qual­ity and re­fine­ment with the lat­est Grand Chero­kee and the SRT8 is a hoot to drive. It’s not as re­fined as the Ger­man SUVs but is way cheaper.

TO THE SWIFT I’ve started look­ing for small cars for my daugh­ter. She likes the Yaris, Swift and Mi­cra, four doors and has a bud­get of about $10,000. Which of th­ese would you rec­om­mend or is there an­other we should be look­ing at?

Graeme Lowry, email We would go for the Swift, which is a top car and not as costly as a used Toy­ota. The Mi­cra is eco­nom­i­cal but a class smaller and you will feel hap­pier with her in the Suzuki.

Fun to drive: The Jeep Grand Chero­kee SRT8

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