Cir­cle the wagon

Herald Sun - Motoring - - Roadside Assist - Phil Charl­ton, email A well-de­signed seat should not need ex­tra lum­bar ad­just­ment. I’ve spent the past week in an Out­back and found the seats ex­cel­lent in their shape, sup­port and pad­ding.

I’ve had my sights set on a Subaru Levorg, but Subaru keeps de­lay­ing an an­nounce­ment on whether it will come to Aus­tralia. What do you think Subaru is up to? Ray Mills, email Your in­quiry couldn’t have been bet­ter timed, Ray. Subaru has just an­nounced that the Levorg is com­ing to Aus­tralia, with the first de­liv­er­ies ex­pected in the mid­dle of next year. And if you can’t wait that long, the com­pany has three sports-fo­cused lim­ited edi­tions be­tween now and the end of the year.


I or­dered and paid a de­posit on a Mus­tang last Oc­to­ber so I’d be among the first to or­der. My Ford dealer says it will ar­rive in Jan­uary 2016. I know it is a few months away yet, but could you con­tact Ford and ob­tain an ac­cu­rate de­liv­ery date? Alan Lane, email We can­not give an ex­act date for your car but Ford Aus­tralian main­tains that the first Mus­tangs will be with their own­ers in Novem­ber.


You made men­tion a while back that the Dodge Du­rango may be re­leased here in Oz later in the year, so is there any more news in re­gard this even­tu­at­ing? Noel Watts, email

We’ve been hear­ing Du­rango ru­mours for more than five years, but that’s all. The only firm plans are for large-scale im­ports of Ram pick-ups from the US, with con­ver­sion by Walkin­shaw Per­for­mance in Mel­bourne.


I will trade in my 2008 Mazda3 at the end of the year. I had my mind set on the Mazda3 but now I like the Mazda CX-3 as well. I don’t do much trav­el­ling so which model do you think is bet­ter? Which one would be a good choice for me? And if I were to buy the Mazda3 again should I wait for 2016 model in­stead of the 2015 run out mod­els? Mary P, email The most im­por­tant thing to re­mem­ber is that the CX-3 is based on the Mazda2, which means it is con­sid­er­ably smaller than the Mazda3. If it has enough space for your needs then go ahead, as it’s best of the new baby SUVs, gets The Tick, and leads the class on value.


What’s your opin­ion of the 2015 Re­nault Clio? Maria Sal­las, email It’s a nice lit­tle car and gets The Tick from me, although there are plenty of cheaper choices in the baby car class.


The Volvo XC90 is about 12 years old and to my knowl­edge has never fea­tured in your Cars­guide liftout. We get a model of BMW or Mercedes al­most ev­ery week, so now that the all-new bench­mark XC90 model is about to hit our shores could we have a com­pre­hen­sive re­port on this stand­out qual­ity and safety of the 2015 model? It’d be of in­ter­est to many. Vern Verhagen, email We have been re­port­ing the long-over­due new XC90 since Volvo first be­gan the trickle feed of in­for­ma­tion, in­clud­ing a dou­ble-page spread on the car in our Fe­bru­ary 20 edi­tion. We also high­lighted it as a po­ten­tial Car of the Year con­tender in last week’s edi­tion. As for words like “bench­mark”, “stand­out” and “qual­ity”, we are wait­ing for a ver­dict when we drive it lo­cally in early Au­gust. Watch out for our re­view.


I am con­sid­er­ing buy­ing a sec­ond-hand Volvo S40 from 2007 with 95,000km on the clock. Have any ma­jor me­chan­i­cal prob­lems arisen with these types of

ve­hi­cles? Also, what should I specif­i­cally look for in its ser­vice history? It has been ser­viced ev­ery 10,000km.

Dianne, email It sounds like a good choice and I’ve no bad news. Al­ways check that the ser­vices have been done cor­rectly and it’s worth get­ting a full re­port from a mo­tor­ing club be­fore com­mit­ting to a car.


I’m think­ing of up­dat­ing my 2002 Honda CR-V to the latest CRV-L. Your thoughts? I'm a sales rep and like the high seat­ing po­si­tion.

Jim Tren­tos, email The CR-V is a good car, and gets The Tick, but it’s still beaten in its class by the Mazda CX-5 so take a com­par­a­tive drive be­fore you com­mit.


I en­joy the Road­side As­sist col­umn and I ap­pre­ci­ate The Tick. I want to re­place my 2002 Kia Sportage and I’m think­ing of a new Mazda CX-9 or Ford Mon­deo Ti­ta­nium wagon as I need to carry kit for cricket. Are these ve­hi­cles a good choice or is there some­thing you would sug­gest? I like the Ti­ta­nium for the boot space. Noel, email For me, the CX-9 is get­ting old and it’s thirsty. The Mon­deo is very roomy and has plenty to like, and would be my choice.


I went to look at the Subaru Forester and Out­back a week or so ago, be­cause I like the look of both and they in­ter­est me, but found out that nei­ther has lum­bar sup­port in the driver`s seat, and I was look­ing at the top of the range in both mod­els. Why would a com­pany make a top-of-the-range model with no lum­bar sup­port? Many peo­ple have bad backs, and back sup­port on long trips helps with sore backs in grey no­mads. The Toy­ota RAV4 and Honda CR-V have no prob­lems with lum­bar sup­port.

Subaru’s Levorg con­cept: A pro­duc­tion ver­sion is due

in Aus­tralia in 2016

Eclipsed Tick: Honda’s Tick win­ning CR-V is beaten in its class by the Maxda CX-5

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