Oils go the dis­tance

Herald Sun - Motoring - - Roadside Assist -

We bought a Skoda Oc­tavia RS late last year and are very happy with this great car. My only con­cern so far is the long ser­vice in­ter­vals at 15,000km com­pared to our pre­vi­ous cars which were ser­viced at a much shorter in­ter­vals. So far we have run up about 7500km and it feels as if I should be get­ting the oil changed. What do you think of the “yearly” ser­vice? Are the oils and fil­ters re­ally good enough to go the longer dis­tance? Bob, email The lat­est-gen­er­a­tion oils are truly good for 15,000km or a year. If you are con­cerned you could get the oil changed more reg­u­larly but, pro­vided you keep an eye on the level in the en­gine, there is no rea­son to worry.


I want to buy a ba­sic model Toy­ota Camry Al­tise dur­ing the plate sale and there is now limited stock avail­able. Are end of fi­nan­cial year sale prices sim­i­lar or should I ex­pect more for the same car then? It’s cur­rently $26,459. Karin Maru­sicz, email The Camry is a very good, un­der-ap­pre­ci­ated car. It’s lo­cally made, great on re­sale and that price is very sharp.


I’m look­ing for a com­par­i­son or any other re­views cov­er­ing the Subaru XV. Ian Frith, email Our ear­lier com­par­isons are out of date with the ar­rival of new XV op­po­nents in­clud­ing the Mazda CX-3, Honda HR-V and Re­nault Cap­tur. The XV is now trail­ing those three, at least.


My wife and I want a sedan for long trips and for car­ry­ing around grand­kids. I am think­ing of a 2013 model Mercedes Benz C-Class, 250 CDI or CGI, or maybe a sim­i­lar age and size Lexus. We’d aim to keep the car for a long time if pos­si­ble. John Tsoukas, email A sec­ond-hand C-Class is a great choice but, if you can, stretch to the lat­est C200. It’s a land­mark car, gets The Tick from me and was an easy win­ner in our 2014 Car of the Year.


We re­cently bought a 2015 Q3 Audi (pic­tured right) with the be­lief that it could tow up to 2000kg as in Audi’s brochures. The sales­man said this was cor­rect as we want to tow a 1500kg pop-top. We or­dered a tow bar, which they could not sup­ply, so we in­quired of Hay­man-Reece, which could sup­ply. But the Q3 has a tow­ball load of only 80kg (suit­able for a 6x4 trailer). We have asked the dealer and tried to find a con­tact at Audi but have had no luck. Could you please help? No one else can. Gary Pitcher, email Audi spokesman Shaun Cleary says the ball weight for the Q3 is much lower than ei­ther the Q5 or Q7 as it’s not de­signed in Europe for tow­ing. Sorry.


My wife wants an SUV and has her eye on a Holden Cap­tiva but I’m con­cerned be­cause I’ve read mixed re­views. She was set on a Jeep Wran­gler but af­ter a test drive went right off them. I’ve sug­gested Hyundai but she can’t get past the badge/look of the cars. She likes the Cap­tiva’s size and the seven seats are a win­ner what with age­ing par­ents and be­ing able to drive to­gether. Shan­non McCormick, email I wouldn’t rec­om­mend a Cap­tiva. The qual­ity is not great, nei­ther is the driv­ing or fuel econ­omy, and the Holden war­ranty does not come close to Korean-badged cars. If she’s against a “cheap Korean car” point out that the Cap­tiva is ac­tu­ally a Dae­woo, from Korea.


I’ve a tight bud­get and I want a peo­ple-mover. What do you think about the Ssangyong Stavic? It fits the bud­get and seems to be roomy enough for my fam­ily of five (two lit­tlies will be in car seats for a while and I have an 11-year old). Steve, email I would not rec­om­mend a Ssangyong of any type, with­out wor­ry­ing about the ug­li­ness of the Stavic. You’ll be far bet­ter served by a sec­ond-hand Kia Car­ni­val.


An au­to­mo­tive jour­nal­ist’s road test re­port th­ese days in­cludes a de­scrip­tion of the driver and ve­hi­cle aids which have pro­lif­er­ated in re­cent times. But some re­quire sig­nif­i­cant driver in­puts fol­lowed by the mon­i­tor­ing of the re­sult­ing out­puts when th­ese op­tions are utilised. Maybe to­day’s driv­ers need a timely re­minder of the cardinal rule for air­line pi­lots: don’t be con­sumed with in­stru­ment read­ings to the point of caus­ing detri­ment to the fly­ing of the air­craft. Eric Waples, email Thanks for the re­minder. It’s not just the giz­mos, ei­ther, as far too many peo­ple drive around with both eyes on the speedometer in­stead of the road to avoid a speed cam­era fine.


I’m not sure what Holden did to you but I’ve had a strong be­lief for years now that you have a strong bias against Holden, seem­ing to place them down around the cheap­est of the Chi­nese brands in your hi­er­ar­chy ex­cept for the VF, which you grudg­ingly ad­mit is a good car, but ig­nore when­ever you can. Ev­ery week in Carsguide there’s more ev­i­dence sup­port­ing my be­lief and I’m cer­tainly not alone. Ev­ery­one I know who reads it has men­tioned that you guys ob­vi­ously hate Holden — much more than some medi­ocre mod­els such as the Cap­tiva 5 and 7 would seem to jus­tify. Last week’s Carsguide is no ex­cep­tion. In the Santa Fe ar­ti­cle “its only seven-seater price ri­vals are the Ford Ter­ri­tory, Nis­san Pathfinder, Toy­ota Kluger and Kia Sorento”. Not Cap­tiva 7? Wayne, email We call them as we see them, and we cur­rently see a Holden range — apart from the bril­liant Com­modore and classy Colorado — which is noth­ing re­motely spe­cial. The Cap­tiva 7 is not a ri­val be­cause I wouldn’t re­motely rec­om­mend it.


On a re­cent trip to Surfers Par­adise from Syd­ney, with two pas­sen­gers and lug­gage, even with the road works, I was sur­prised that my fuel econ­omy was 9.2L/100km. I drive a 2009 VE SSV 6.0litre man­ual Com­modore and I won­der if this fig­ure is con­sis­tent with other driv­ers? I was glad to see that it didn’t use much more than a tank. Dar­ren, email The six-speed Com­modore V8 has very tall gear­ing, which helps the econ­omy on a trip. That’s a good num­ber for your car, but I’ve done the same run is smaller-ca­pac­ity cars and re­turned 6.2 litres/100km.

No rea­son to worry:

Skoda Oc­tavia RS

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