Riv­et­ing van yarn

Herald Sun - Motoring - - ROADSIDE ASSIST -

Re the lat­est, one-off ver­sion of the Sand­man panel van (pic­tured). The first Holden panel van went on sale in De­cem­ber 1956, two months after the FJ sedan. My dad, a trav­el­ling black­smith and welder, had an FB panel van. He bought it sec­ond-hand to re­place his Fargo truck and, by the time I bar­rel-rolled it and fi­nally killed it (my five mates and I sur­vived), it had over 300,000 miles on the dial. It’s big­gest prob­lem was rust which Dad would cut out, then re­place with a piece of stain­less steel pounded to fit and pop riv­eted. He wouldn’t bother with duco. He’d also, for­tu­nately, strength­ened the body and sus­pen­sion to take the weight of his gear, in­clud­ing oxy bot­tles and so on. I reckon that’s why the six of us walked away but to say he was an­noyed is the orig­i­nal un­der­state­ment. Roger Branch, email I knew there would be lots of peo­ple with a panel van story.

SPORT’S A WIN­NER

I am buy­ing a mid-size SUV and keen on the CX-5 Mazda based on reviews, par­tic­u­larly the Sport as it has the fea­tures I need in satnav and Blue­tooth. The Jeep of­fers good deals and the fea­tures are per­haps bet­ter than Mazda’s but I am not sure. I have seen the Chero­kee and Lon­gi­tude. Which of the two brands would you sug­gest, based on bet­ter me­chan­i­cal fea­tures, lower main­te­nance costs, lower fuel con­sump­tion, and rea­son­able in­te­ri­ors? The ve­hi­cle is mainly for work. Teresa Kho, email The CX-5 gets The Tick and is a clear win­ner.

NEW SUVs ON BLOCK

My fa­ther has a six-year-old Volk­swa­gen Tiguan which he has had from new and which he loves driv­ing, among other rea­sons for the pas­sen­ger legroom, higher driv­ing po­si­tion and a small foot­print for park­ing. It has de­vel­oped an is­sue which turns out to be an un­usual man­u­fac­tur­ing prob­lem, but which VW head of­fice won’t of­fi­cially ac­knowl­edge be­cause of the age of the ve­hi­cle. So it needs to be re­placed. What would you sug­gest he looks at please, with a sim­i­lar foot­print and pas­sen­ger com­fort? Or should he stick with the Tiguan de­spite feel­ing let down by Volk­swa­gen. Gail Bas­tian, email That Tiguan is get­ting old and a cus­tomer com­plaint is not un­usual for Volk­swa­gen. If he wants the best car then, like Teresa, it’s the CX-5 but the Hyundai ix35 and Kia Sportage also get The Tick and are the value cham­pi­ons.

THREE STAND­OUTS

Do you rate a new Mazda2 against Polo and Jazz? Jan and Ian Frazer, email All three get The Tick, which is un­usual for me. The Polo is slightly bet­ter as a car but the Mazda2 beats it on value thanks to re­li­a­bil­ity and dealer back-up. The Jazz, in third, isn’t dis­graced.

RE­LI­ABLE RE­PLACE­MENT

My trusty Toy­ota Corolla from 2002 is up to 252,000km and I’m look­ing at re­plac­ing it, with a bud­get up to $24,000. You seem to rec­om­mend the Mazda3 above the new Corolla and there is also a Mazda2 Neo Sport as a runout spe­cial about $18,000. My pri­or­i­ties are re­li­a­bil­ity, ease of driv­ing, safety and af­ford­able parts and main­te­nance. The Toy­ota has al­ways been low-cost, trou­ble-free driv­ing. Sue Stubbs, email

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