Lo­cal loss, writ­ten large

Herald Sun - Motoring - - Readers Write -

The large Aussie car was al­ways the best choice for Aus­tralia, as it coped well with our in­fe­rior coun­try roads, its long wheel­base soaked up the bumps, it was roomy in­side, car­ried am­ple lug­gage and was re­lax­ing to drive for long pe­ri­ods. Smaller cars have im­proved greatly in their abil­ity to han­dle our roads but you still can­not beat a good larger car. So Aussies have turned to SUVs, which in al­most ev­ery way are usu­ally in­fe­rior to our larger sedans and wag­ons. They have a high cen­tre of grav­ity, poorer han­dling and drive­abil­ity, their weight means they lack equiv­a­lent per­for­mance and econ­omy com­pared to a sim­i­lar-sized car or wagon. Vi­sion may be good from in­side but pity the poor mo­torist try­ing to see around one. Why gov­ern­ments did not tax th­ese in­fe­rior ve­hi­cles at a dif­fer­ent rate is a mys­tery. Many peo­ple re­fer to our fu­ture as be­ing the smart coun­try. Sadly we have a very very long way to go. Per­haps we need a large lo­cal car for that jour­ney.

Bar­ney Rum­ble, email

We can­not ar­gue with any of that.


Can the day­time run­ning lamps on the VF Com­modore be dis­abled? It’s a shock­ing bit of fash­ion that hope­fully won’t be around too long.

Philip, email

Day­time lamps are a safety item and make a very pos­i­tive con­tri­bu­tion. They are not go­ing away since they are be­com­ing manda­tory in most coun­tries and have be­come a sig­na­ture shape for a lot of brands in their frontal iden­ti­fi­ca­tion.


I am writ­ing in re­sponse to your ar­ti­cle about the 2013 Holden Cruze. I find it laugh­able that you still don’t think it stands up to the Volk­swa­gen Golf. You see, such com­ments don’t sup­port the lo­cal in­dus­try. Tell it like it is and be fair to the in­dus­try in the cur­rent cli­mate. The in­dus­try has had to work damn hard on an un­even play­ing field to stay alive.

Margie Jacobs, email

So you want us to say the Cruze is bet­ter, when it’s not, to help the lo­cals? Holden has lifted its game with the 2013 Cruze, which is bet­ter than plenty of im­ports but just not as good as the Golf.


I couldn’t agree with you more about the dis­ap­point­ing Cruzes. We have two. This could be a six-page state­ment but here are some bul­let points: bat­tery leak­ing, fuel line re­call, sec­ond fuel line re­fit, steel spare to be re­placed with CDX al­loy, gear­box re­placed, new tyres needed af­ter only 30,000km.

Paul Ros­setto, email

We should give you Margie Jacobs’s num­ber.


I had to drop you a line about your piece re­gard­ing the new elec­tric sin­gle-seat rac­ers. Can you imag­ine watch­ing a field of 20 ‘‘whis­per quiet con­tenders’’ do­ing bat­tle on a race track? Cue ghost town tum­ble­weed rolling across the cir­cuit. As you know, one of mo­tor sport’s big­gest at­trac­tions has al­ways been the roar of rac­ing en­gines. The FIA’s big­gest chal­lenge will be in­vent­ing a de­vice that makes them sound good.

Mark Oastler, email

They’re likely to sound like gi­ant slot cars. The sound of the fu­ture.


There is a new Chevy diesel Cruze be­ing re­leased in the United States with a Fiat-based 2.0 litre diesel ca­pa­ble of 5.1L/100km. Is it in the pipe­line

for Aus­tralia, as an up­grade or to re­place the cur­rent Cruze?

Bob Dev­ers, email

An­drea Matthews of Holden replies: ‘‘ There are no plans to re­place the diesel engine in the Holden Cruze.’’


In your com­par­i­son of the VW Golf and Mazda3 SP20 you failed to men­tion re­li­a­bil­ity and this is where the Ja­panese and Korean cars win hands-down over the Ger­mans, and in par­tic­u­lar VW. In the JD Power ini­tial qual­ity sur­vey re­sults from the US in 2012, VW is at the bot­tom and the Ja­panese are at the top. I have owned Maz­das, an SP20 and cur­rently an SP23, and at 60,000km had never put a span­ner on them. Paul Gover hits the nail on the head in his anal­y­sis and Aus­tralian car buyer sen­ti­ment sup­ports this.

Tony Power, email


I read the foot­note on Golf ver­sus Mazda3 with in­ter­est and couldn’t agree more. I have no first-hand ex­pe­ri­ence with VW but at my gym I over­heard two own­ers dis­cussing the DSG trans­mis­sions in their red GTIs. They were talk­ing about a hes­i­ta­tion they con­sid­ered danger­ous in cer­tain sit­u­a­tions, such as busy in­ter­sec­tions. One said his dealer had up­graded the soft­ware, im­prov­ing but not fix­ing the sit­u­a­tion.

Ste­wart Eldridge, email

We love the all-new Golf but hear hor­ror sto­ries about VW own­er­ship al­most weekly.


I’m look­ing to buy a new four­wheel drive diesel ute. I’m only go­ing about 10,000km a year and not car­ry­ing huge weight. Based on price, I’m con­sid­er­ing the Great Wall ute. Would you con­sider this to be a mis­take, or do you think they stack up all right for the price?

Carlo Mazella, email

The Great Wall lags well be­hind the best utes but it is cheap. If your only pri­or­ity is price, it makes some sense.

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