In neu­tral about Swe­den’s car

Herald Sun - Motoring - - Inbox @ Pg - PAUL GOVER CHIEF RE­PORTER

I am a proud owner of two Volvos, so I’m sur­prised that some­one in a se­nior po­si­tion like your­self can be so ar­ro­gant as to slag off the Volvo as you did re­cently in the Cars­guide. Sure there is a per­cep­tion through­out the coun­try about bowls hat and Volvos, but Volvo has moved on from the box­like mod­els. It’s neg­a­tive peo­ple like you that have the mind­set that the mod­ern­day Volvo is the same as the past edi­tions. The per­cep­tion a Volvo car has in the mar­ket does have one bonus, they don’t get stolen. Steve Fell, email There are some Volvo mod­els we re­ally like, but we have to rate them against their ri­vals. We’re never dis­mis­sive, but we do on oc­ca­sion use hu­mour that an owner doesn’t ap­pre­ci­ate. We also worry about the fu­ture of Volvo un­der Chi­nese own­er­ship.

MONARO MEA CULPA

I was sur­prised to read in your item in­clud­ing the Holden Monaro that: “The two-door coupe was born from the pas­sion and com­mit­ment of for­mer Holden hon­cho Peter Ha­nen­berger”. I seem to re­mem­ber it was Mike Sim­coe and his band of great tal­ents in Holden De­sign. Peter did some great and omigosh things but the birth of the coupe wasn’t one of them. Later, as manag­ing direc­tor, he presided over the pro­duc­tion re­lease. Tony Hyde, email As the head of en­gi­neer­ing at Holden dur­ing the Monaro era you ob­vi­ously know more than any jour­nal­ist. Thank you for the cor­rec­tion.

ON THE DODGE

I read Cars­guide’s story on the Dodge Du­rango with in­ter­est. I had a look on the Dodge web site, where the top-of-the-line Du­rango Citadel starts at $40,995 and, with a few op­tions cost­ing an ex­tra $3785, turns out to be one hell of a great buy. But that’s in the States, so it will be in­ter­est­ing to see how much ex­tra we will have to pay here in Aus­tralia. David Camil­leri, email We’re ex­pect­ing the Du­rango to be less than $5000 more than an equiv­a­lent Jeep Grand Chero­kee, since the two ve­hi­cles share the same me­chan­i­cal plat­form.

DATE WITH A V8

I’m up­dat­ing to a Com­modore VF SS-V Red­line sedan and wanted your thoughts on the car it­self and also your thoughts on me adding a Walkin­shaw 310 pack to the car. Have you test driven a Red­line with this pack what’s your thoughts? John Ciantar, email The ba­sic Red­line is a rip­per thing and it re­ally kicks hard with the 310 pack. If this is your cel­e­bra­tion of the last Aus­tralian car then you should go all the way.

PRADO AND JOY

Should I up­grade my 2008 Toy­ota Prado GXL? It was bought to pull a car­a­van and travel through­out Aus­tralia and it has been fan­tas­tic. It has now done 195,000km and has been ser­viced ev­ery 10,000km. While we oc­ca­sion­ally go off-road we are not se­ri­ous four-wheeldrivers and only go along dirt roads. Has the lat­est Prado had any ma­jor me­chan­i­cal up­grades since mine? Jan Banks, email The lat­est Prado has been hit with the ugly stick, but there are some worth­while im­prove­ments. More im­por­tantly, if you’re do­ing car­a­van trips I’d rec­om­mend a change be­fore 200,000km.

A PLUS 45

I wrote to you about five years ago be­fore I bought a Mit­subishi Lancer EVO X. I am now think­ing of buy­ing a Mercedes-Benz A45 AMG. How do you rate it? Tom, email We rate the A45 Cars­guide’s Pres­tige Car of the Year. It’s fan­tas­tic fun and ad­dresses all the short­com­ings of the Evo, in­clud­ing the ba­sic qual­ity.

COM­PACT KING

We’re con­sid­er­ing buy­ing ei­ther a Honda CR-V, Mazda CX-5, Mit­subishi Out­lander, Toy­ota RAV4 or some­thing along those lines. It will be used to pull a small car­a­van. Which would you think is the bet­ter one or do you have an­other sug­ges­tion? We’re look­ing to spend about $30,000. Geral­dine, email The CX-5 diesel is the top pick on your list, but shop and drive against the Subaru Forester.

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