Give yourself a Sportage chance
I have a Mazda CX-5 with 40,000km that I am looking to change for something with less road noise. I am so over turning the radio up when driving, then lowering the volume when stopped. The new Hyundai Tucson was looking good until I read your review in The Tick where you said the Highlander misses some of the quietness and general refinement of the Mazda. Could you recommend the best from the Tucson, upgraded CX-5 or the new Kia Sportage for the least road noise and the best to drive.
John Croysdale, email
The best thing you can do and the cheapest solution is to change tyres, not cars. Australian roads are notorious for generating excessive tyre noise from our coarse-chip bitumen and a tyre specialist — for example, Bob Jane TM arts — can probably advise on rubber that will reduce your problem significantly. Otherwise, wait until we see what the new Sportage is like (overseas model pictured), based on the impressive work by Kia on its latest Sorento.
HARD TO FATHOM
I can’t comprehend that Volkswagen would intentionally doctor the engine management system on the diesel engines. With today’s innovative diagnostics, they would have to know that someone would eventually discover the trick. The crushing question must be how on earth could anyone ever trust VW again? And, will this reduction in overall trust see a dramatic loss of sales across the globe of their complete range? Could this destroy VW and leave Toyota as the clear leader in the world? I’m struggling to comprehend all this.
Colin Bockman, email
The “defeat device” that VW appears to have knowingly installed on many diesel cars from 2009 to 2015 shows utter contempt by the company for government and the entire population.
Ian Wallace, email
There is a lot to play out on this massive scandal. But VW did it and is now paying the massive price at all levels of the business.
Re the reader who has had
his Mustang ordered since October, 2014. I have had my deposit in since September 14 last year. It’s a waste of time asking Ford about delivery dates as they told me to go to my nearest Ford dealer. It takes 64 days after being built in the US to get to Melbourne. It looks like next year at the moment but it is not even in transit so it will be interesting to see who gets what first and when they ordered.
Wayne Calaby, email Ford Australia spokesman Neil McDonald says: “Mr Calaby is a priority customer and his order is definitely in the system and in the first batch of cars that have been built. Therefore, it should be one of the first Mustangs to arrive into the country once we start shipping, which is imminent.”
SPORTS THE LOT (NOT)
I have a 2013 Suzuki Swift Sports bought new and I was wondering if they do a turbo for this car.
Rose Wilske, email No. The Sports label is all about some dress-up gear.
What is your evaluation of the Skoda Fabia? I am thinking of the auto with the added sports pack, extra warranty and three free services. The total is just over $25,000.
Gary Rossiter, email It’s a car that gets The Tick but be careful with the fine print covering the extra warranty, as you often must have it serviced only at the selling dealer.
WE’VE GOT IT COVERED
What is your opinion on the new twin-cab, top-of-therange Toyota HiLux due out in November? I am looking at the top-of-range Mitsubishi Triton as well.
George Decelis, email Sorry, no personal opinion until I drive it. See the cover story for this week’s previews.
CHECK THE SCHEDULE
I recently had my Ford Escape in for a 50,000km service at my local dealership. I was told I needed to have the coolant and brake fluid replaced for $280. Is this necessary? I am the original owner of the car and I don’t drive it on long distances, only locally to and from work.
Julie Sutton, email If it’s not on the service schedule, in the owner’s manual, then it’s not necessary. Lots of dealers are trying to fluff-up on their servicing to improve their profits, including replacing the likes of coolant and brake fluid at inflated prices.
I bought a 2015 Volkswagen Polo GTI 1.8T DSG in May. The transmission developed a fault in mid-June with only 1500km — when changing between second and third gears in Tiptronic mode, there was a “clunk” and the car jerked. The initial advice was to have the transmission replaced, after a 12-day wait for it to be shipped from Germany. Then VW Germany said a replacement transmission would not fix the problem and a software update was required. After four weeks’ waiting for the update from VW Australia, I was told the software update was available but might not solve the problem — and advised not to drive in Tiptronic mode. I’m concerned there is no
urgency to fix the fault.
Tim Hill, email I contacted VW Australia and got a result you will like. Spokesman Karl Gehling says: “We have been in touch with this customer and, based on his experience, we have offered to buy back his car. He has accepted this offer and plans to buy a new Polo GTI.”