Euro’s in the twi­light zone

Herald Sun - Motoring - - In Box @ Pg -

I am won­der­ing about the fu­ture of the Honda Ac­cord Euro. We have had var­i­ous Hon­das in the fam­ily for over 10 years and not one of the cars has been near a dealer for war­ranty work. Noth­ing has bro­ken or fallen off. On check­ing the re­leases from 2014 Detroit Mo­tor Show I found an ar­ti­cle on a new Honda Acura which is a to­tally new de­sign shape. I read where this Acura is to be a re­place­ment for both the Euro and Ac­cord mod­els in the US so one can only as­sume that this car will come to Aus­tralia as ei­ther the new Ac­cord or Euro. Is there any way you can con­firm that this will be the case? Peter Cobb, email I called Honda Aus­tralia from Detroit when I saw the new Acura, hop­ing like you that it was the new Euro. Sadly, it’s not. And there is def­i­nitely no plan for a new Euro.

ROLLING GOLD

I think Ford should build 596 of the new GT 351 Fal­cons, which is the same as the first XR. With a Fal­con badge, of course. T. Fay, email And XR gold paint to com­plete the link to 1968?

LEFT­IST SUB­VER­SION

For what­ever rea­son I am see­ing many more left-hand drive cars on Mel­bourne’s sub­ur­ban streets. Would it re­ally mat­ter if we had left­hand drive in gen­eral in Aus­tralia? It can­not be any more dif­fi­cult to obey road laws. Ian God­sil, email Gen­er­ally, left-hand drive cars must be more than 30 years old to be im­ported and left that way, which ac­counts for see­ing more clas­sics about. As for us all driv­ing left-hook­ers, it’s never go­ing to work for far too many rea­sons to get into here, al­though it all boils down to a lack of com­mon sense.

MERCI MIS­SION

Thanks for your help in get­ting a re­duced price to re­place a dam­aged fog lamp on my Peu­geot 4008. The orig­i­nal quote from the dealer was $1161, with $876 for the lamp unit and the other $286 for labour. Thanks to you, it’s now come down to $620 and, this ex­pe­ri­ence apart, I think the car is bril­liant. Deb­bie, email You are most wel­come.

3 FOR ME

We would be grate­ful for any ad­vice you could give us re­gard­ing Toy­ota Corolla ver­sus Mazda3. I am driv­ing an au­to­matic 2003 Peu­geot 307 hatch and only drive around the suburbs do­ing less than 10,000 kilo­me­tres a year. We have looked at the Corolla ZR and Mazda3 Tour­ing and pre­fer the Mazda and we note it is also a lot cheaper than the Corolla Julie Mil­lar, email You didn’t need me. Your choice of the Mazda is cor­rect and it gets The Tick.

SUV LIKE ME

I would like to buy a four­wheel drive, but not an of­froad one. I cur­rently drive a Hyundai i30, which is great. I do a few in­ter­state trips ev­ery year and once a year from Mel­bourne to Noosa — when it gets buf­feted a bit at high speeds and by on­com­ing trucks. I need some­thing larger than what I have, that is sta­ble and steady for longdis­tance driv­ing. Richard, email An SUV will be worse for buf­fet­ing and far worse for fuel econ­omy than a classy com­pact car. But if you’re fix­ated on an SUV you should go for the class of the Mazda CX-5 or the value of the Hyundai ix35. Both get The Tick.

RACE TO THE SWIFT

I’m look­ing at a 2009 Suzuki Swift RE4 and a 2006 Mini Cooper for my daugh­ter. What would be your pref­er­ence and why? Ge­orge, email

The Swift gets The Tick. It’s a far more sen­si­ble choice, even though it’s not as trendy, and will be bet­ter value and cheaper to run.

GRIP GRIPE

I have re­cently traded a wellloved Toy­ota Avalon on a new Au­rion and, liv­ing in East Gipp­s­land where all the roads are rough coarse bi­tu­men and 100km/h, I no­tice the ride is a lot harder and there is more noise. The Avalon had Bridge­stone tyres on it, whereas the Au­rion has a set of Miche­lin Pri­macy, and I was won­der­ing if you could point me to­wards a smoother rid­ing, qui­eter tyre. Neil Roberts, Pay­nesville It’s not just the tyres, as the Au­rion has a more sporty sus­pen­sion set­ting than the Avalon. The Avalon was cushy but most Au­rion driv­ers pre­fer some­thing with more grip and taut­ness.

TOW THIS LINE

I have a Mit­subishi Tri­ton which has a claimed three­tonne tow­ing ca­pac­ity. But what does that mean? How much can I re­ally tow? As it hap­pens, I re­cently towed a 2.5-tonne boat trailer to Bal­larat in Vic­to­ria and the hills al­most killed it. I have the five-speed auto model and sev­eral times the gear­box al­most revved-out and got stuck in se­cond.

Dave Trad­ing, email Guy Free­man from the Cars­guide crew has the same dilemma, so we turned to our en­gi­neer Graeme Gam­bold. He says more grunt is al­ways the an­swer for tow­ing. “Where most peo­ple get caught is that the pub­lished tow­ing fig­ure isn’t re­ally a gauge of what you’re tow­ing. A big boat has quite some frontal area, while the static weight of the trailer sit­ting on flat ground is your pub­lished tow­ing weight. We’ve all seen that big guy pulling a Boe­ing 747 with his teeth, but see how he copes with a onede­gree gra­di­ent or a 1km/h head wind,” Gam­bold says.

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