Lexus low­ers de­sign bar

Herald Sun - Motoring - - Readers Write -

We don’t want lower cars. The Lexus ES300 de­signer heard ‘‘space and com­fort’’, then bug­gered this up by mak­ing his own in­ter­pre­ta­tion lower and rigid. Com­fort in­volves get­ting in and out of the car, which de­sign­ers seem to dis­re­gard. Ev­ery house­hold, or at least neigh­bour, has one SUV so Lexus buy­ers al­ready know the in-out ease of higher-rid­ing cars. They also know their yacht club drive­way has speed moun­tains and their shop­ping cen­tre car park has its own ob­sta­cles of dips, ramps, me­tal hump-overs, sharp high kerbs and, worst of all, the kerb-stop con­crete sleeper. Citroen did it in 1956 with height-ad­justable sus­pen­sion. I sug­gest Lexus de­cides on all-fluid sus­pen­sion, then it could em­brace speed-con­trolled ride height. When parked and up to 20km/h, the car is al­ways at high clear­ance. Be­yond that, ride height re­duces as speed in­creases.

Shane Quinn, email

You might not like lower cars but a lot of peo­ple do. And Lexus is try­ing to get younger peo­ple into its cars, not just re­tirees.

GOLF HAZ­ARD With all that go­ing on with the VW Golf do you think it’s still a safe car? Or should I be hold­ing off at the mo­ment?

We still think Golf Mark VII is a bril­liant car but cau­tion against any­thing built ear­lier with a DSG.

GOLF HAZ­ARD PART II I am days out from buy­ing a used Golf Mark VI, a 118TSI, so should I be con­cerned about the news? I thought all the DSG is­sues had been ironed out in this model.

Clearly, and sadly, that’s not the case. We get emails al­most daily from un­happy Golf own­ers, par­tic­u­larly DSG driv­ers. But Volk­swa­gen Group Aus­tralia boss John White, says:

For 60 years the safety and peace of mind has been our high­est pri­or­ity and we stand by the qual­ity of our cars. We are

‘‘

Hazel, email

Nathan Fer­nan­des, email tak­ing se­ri­ously all re­ports of driv­ers who have ex­pe­ri­enced prob­lems with their ve­hi­cles and we have put in place mea­sures to pro­vide cus­tomers with peace of mind.’’

FUEL AND FRANK I have been us­ing 98 oc­tane fuel in my Ford Per­for­mance Ve­hi­cles F6 but do you think 95 would be OK?

Ge­orge, email

We be­lieve all FPV cars are fine on 95, al­though the com­pany says its torque fig­ures are ob­tained us­ing 98 and that points to a per­for­mance ben­e­fit with the higher-oc­tane fuel.

PARISH PUMP I have just re­turned from a trip to Canada. The avail­able petrol was 87, 89 and 91 oc­tane and all the Euro­pean cars seemed quite happy. Can you ad­vise if their petrol is even crap­pier than ours or is it rated on a dif­fer­ent scale?

Don, email

There are two ways to mea­sure fuel— us­ing the Re­search Oc­tane Num­ber and Mo­tor Oc­tane Num­ber. MON num­bers are typ­i­cally 8-10 points lower than theRON fig­ures used in Aus­tralia. As for the Euro­pean cars, it’s a lot cooler in Canada and that af­fects the fuel re­quire­ments.

ROAR OF AP­PROVAL Re the Nis­san Al­tima that will be com­ing to Aus­tralia. I have driven Max­i­mas for the past 13 years but was hop­ing you could give me some ad­vice on choos­ing from the VF Com­modore Calais, Mazda6 and Al­tima. In which or­der would you put them? I am lean­ing to­wards the new Com­modore.

Rob Reid, email

We have yet to drive the Al­tima but it will need to be mas­sively good to trump the Red Lion’s VF. For us, it’s Com­modore No.1 on your list.

DOESN’T COM­PUTE I re­cently bought a new Ford Fo­cus which came with an in­car GPS sys­tem. When us­ing the sys­tem it be­came ap­par­ent the maps were quite out of

DaveGee, email

We have been told about many com­pa­nies with sim­i­larly dated in­for­ma­tion in their sat­nav sys­tems, which the man­u­fac­tur­ers say is down to the de­lay in up­dat­ing the in­for­ma­tion in a way that’s com­pat­i­ble with their in­built de­vices. The likes of Nav­man, TomTom and Garmin do it so much quicker.

JEEP THRILLS I am wait­ing for news on the 2014 Jeep Grand Chero­kee. Some clients have been wait­ing for 10 months.

Rob Brad­bery, email

Jeep spokes­woman Karla Leach tells Cars­guide: The first ar­rivals are this month, ready for the launch in early July. In the com­ing weeks we will be re­leas­ing de­tailed pric­ing, specs for the re­freshed model range, and be able to con­firm ar­rival dates with cus­tomers.’’

SU­PER SU­BIE

‘‘ I have a 2001 Subaru Out­back Limited and in 12 years it has never let me down and ev­ery­thing still works per­fectly. It has 140,000km and never needs to top up the oil be­tween ser­vices. Apart from sched­uled ser­vice items, the only things that have needed re­place­ment in the past few years have been hy­draulic steer­ing pump, wa­ter pump, ra­di­a­tor and air conditioning re­gas. The ve­hi­cle has done a few long trips one to Cook­town and one to Perth.

Steve Clark, email

That’s one to Subaru. date. I re­moved the SD map card from my car and, based on the dates on the files on the card, it ap­pears the maps would be about Novem­ber 2010. This means the maps would be at least two years old on a brand­new car. Is it com­mon for GPS sup­pli­ers to use maps so far out of date? Is there any other way of get­ting up­dates? I would also sug­gest any­one buy­ing a new car with GPS should ask the dealer about the ages of the maps and how of­ten up­dates are re­leased.

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