I’M deciding between the Nissan Qashqai ST and VW Tiguan 118TSi, both new and about the same price for the autos. My preference is the VW but my concerns are: first, if the good deal is a clearance price, given there’s a new model on the horizon; second, if the hi-tech twincharge VW engine with sixspeed DSG has had its problems. Tom, email The Tiguan is getting old and the Qashqai is brandspanking, the latter also with much better warranty and service back-up. Neither is my favourite in the class but I’d go for the Qashqai. I am undecided what to buy: Honda Accord, Mazda6 sedan or another make of the same calibre. What would you recommend?
Our class favourite is the Mazda6 but the Toyota Camry, which is often overlooked despite getting The Tick, is great value at the moment and would be a smart choice.
READY THE STABLE
Do you have any update when Ford’s Mustang will be available in Australia? Robert Matty, email There is already a big waiting list but the first Mustangs should be in Australian homes by November. Pricing has just been confirmed from $44,990 for the manual EcoBoost Fastback to $63,990 for the auto 5.0-litre V8 convertible.
HILUX WORTH WAIT
I was wondering if you had any news on the Toyota HiLux update. I contacted Toyota and they gave me nothing. I am going to upgrade my current HiLux and was considering the Holden Colorado but I may wait if the HiLux is getting a power upgrade. Also, my last three utes have been manuals and I was wondering if modern autos are up to towing, as I have a 1.5-tonne van. Mal Bevan, email The HiLux is all new and should be here around the middle of the year, perhaps a bit later. It’s definitely worth the wait and I’m certain the auto will handle a relatively light load such as yours.
I have a Toyota 100 Series LandCruiser and I’m thinking about updating. So, can you advise me between a LandCruiser 200 Series or a Land Rover Discovery diesel? I’ll be towing a 2.8-tonne van and doing off-road use, say on the Canning Stock Route, Birdsville Track or Simpson Desert. John Kalbarczyk, email It’s the LandCruiser (pictured) every time if you’re heading into the outback. The truck itself is just about bulletproof and gets The Tick from me. Toyota’s service and support in the bush is legendary and could make all the difference if you strike trouble.
The auto gearshift lever on our Nissan Dualis will not move unless we push the
shift-release button. We have been quoted $800$900 to fix it. I have been told it is a common problem on the Dualis. Has Nissan had a recall on this problem?
John Sheffield, email Nissan spokesman Peter Fadeyev replies: “Nissan Australia has encountered only a handful of episodes where the Dualis shifter has been broken but these have been observed in rental cars and cars with certain aftermarket accessories fitted. The cause of the breakage is excessive force applied to the shifter to engage the car into gear without the driver applying sufficient force to the brake pedal to allow the car to be disengaged from the Park position. This matter hasn’t involved recall.”
We have a Holden Commodore SV6 Series II, which has been serviced by the Holden dealership but only does short trips. As time has gone on, the odometer reading has been far below the nominal kilometres for the scheduled service times. The car is overdue for the 45,000km service but has only 12,292km on the clock. I’m capable of carrying out the service requirements but don’t know whether to use the monthly time frame or the kilometres travelled. We also have a Ford XR6 2006 which does some long trips but I service it at 10,000km intervals.
Robert Hill, email The reason for distance and time on services is that short trips put just as much strain, sometimes more, on a car. If you go outside the recommendations, or do it yourself, you risk voiding the warranty and that could be expensive if something big goes wrong.
Some comments about Subaru: My last service cost $292 but the dealer attempted to double the invoice with a cabin filter for $115 and injectors “flushed” for another $150. Subaru has service intervals that are half of the rest of the industry, at double the cost. All Subaru speedos are set 10 per cent below actual speed and dealers refuse to rectify this. It means at 100,000km you have only done 90,000km and paid for an additional service. Also, you hold up traffic on the open road. I have two Subarus, a 2008 Liberty wagon and 2014 Forester.
Marcus Weber, email Subaru spokesman David Rowley replies: “If the customer can supply the details of their car and the particular service, we would like to investigate on their behalf. Under Subaru’s capped price service program, the cost of each service is transparent and clearly spelled out on our website, and can be checked at the time of booking, vehicle dropoff or pick-up. Speedometers on all new vehicles sold in Australia, including on all Subarus, have to meet Australian Design Rules. However, the speedometer reading is not directly linked to the odometer reading and therefore won’t generate any variances.”
You often note the reputation Toyota has for reliability, strength, longevity etc. Many other commentators do too. Do you think there are other companies that equal or better Toyota’s reputation in the same areas? And any that might be at the other end of the spectrum?
Rod Grant, email Reputation is one thing, reality is another. There was a time when Toyota stood alone but those days are gone and you pay too much for a T badge on the bonnet, although it still has easily the best aircon in the business. For me, Hyundai and Kia match Toyota in almost every area, plus they have a far better value package.
Nissan Qashqai: Appealing warranty and service