Local loss, written large
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.
SEE THE LIGHT
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.
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.
WITH A BULLET
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.
AM PIT UP
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.
NO OILER IN PIPE
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.’’
RELY ON IT
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
HE WHO HESITATES
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.
IT STACKS UP
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.