Raw dealer

Herald Sun - Motoring - - Roadside Assist -

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.

BLUNTED LANCER

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.

AUTO SUG­GES­TION

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.

RUN­NING IN

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.

OPEL GEM

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

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