Fresher op­tion

Herald Sun - Motoring - - Roadside Assist -

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?

Ger­maine, email

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.


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.


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

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