Give your­self a Sportage chance

Herald Sun - Motoring - - ROADSIDE ASSIST -

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.

PONY EX­PRESS

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.

AB­SO­LUTELY FABIA

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.

POLO RE­SULT

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.”

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