It surprises me in reading your pages that people still do not know how to buy a new car. It is not a game and it is not about screwing the dealer for some form of misguided sense of winning, it’s about getting the best deal. If you want to buy a new car for the best deal the recipe is simple: 1. Pick the car; 2. Write down all inclusions and options you require; 3. Print off three copies; 4. Actually go to three dealers and ask for a price; 5. Tell them that horse trading and second bites at the cherry do not exist; 6. Best deal gets the business. It’s simple. I have even paid $600 more for a car because the dealer threw in unlimited car washes for three years with his onsite auto wash. Get off the dealers’ backs — their kids need shoes too. Andrew, email No one’s on the dealers’ back, Andrew. If some were more forthcoming with a transaction price from the getgo, they would sell more cars — an outcome of which we’re all desirous.
I’m wondering whether you can provide any information as to when Mitsubishi will release a new Lancer. The current shape has existed from 2007 and talking to dealers gets nowhere as they do not seem to know. Any information would be appreciated. John, email I spoke to the global president of Mitsubishi Motors last week and asked about the Lancer. It won’t be for at least another three years, as the car is being developed in partnership with Nissan and Renault.
I drive a 2009 Honda Jazz which I plan to replace in the next year with a small SUV. I have always driven a manual and would prefer to buy another but am concerned about resale value when I keep reading that most Australians prefer automatics. I’m looking for good fuel efficiency as well as decent handling, which keeps bringing me back to manuals. But, if I buy another manual, am I going to regret it in four years when I want to upgrade? Kay Cooper, email The current generation of six‒speed automatics is generally more economical than manuals as these cars do a better job than most drivers in picking the right gear. Many also have a manual override for driving fun.
We’re waiting anxiously for the arrival of our new 2014 Honda Odyssey and want to know whether there is still a requirement to run engines in for new cars. I remember seeing people putting signs on the rear window that read “Running in new engine”. I’m not sure what is best for the new generation of engines with improved metal technology and more precise tolerances. Is it best to take it easy for the first few thousand kilometres trying not to rev too high or put it in second gear and drive up and down the road to “loosen” a new engine? Jason Low, email Most engines now require minimal running-in. Check your owner’s manual. It should be fine by the time of the first oil change.
My local Holden dealer has a nice looking 2013 Opel Astra 2.0‒litre turbo diesel, with all the add-ons including satnav, in their lot. It’s priced about $15,000 below the original recommended retail of $39,000 so I was wondering whether this might be considered a reasonable buy at this price. I don’t see any problems from either the quality or service points of view, and I don’t suppose it can depreciate much more at the moment. Do you reckon I should try haggling further? There seem to be a few Astras still in stock around Australia. Greg, email The Astra is a reasonable car
Halted evolution: Mitsubishi Lancer