Euro’s in the twilight zone
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.