A WARNING to Toyota LandCruiser 200 Series turbo diesel owners. Toyota says you only need to replace the fuel filter when the warning light comes on — we shouldn’t think that this will be part of a normal service. It’s not even mentioned in the service schedules. It will stop the vehicle if not attended to within 300km-500km. This happened to me in the middle of nowhere with no phone reception. Before you start a big trip around Australia, spend $30 on a new fuel filter and carry a spare. John Calder, email Toyota Australia spokesman Stephen Coughlan says a filter change is part of the 40,000km service. He also says the most likely cause of your problem is dirty fuel, which is common in remote areas, and agrees a spare filter is a good precaution for any vehicle tackling a long run in the Outback.
SHARE THE PAIN
Toyota is way behind on industry standards on service intervals and the updated LandCruiser 200 is a good example, with service intervals of six months/ 10,000km, which is well behind other vehicles in the same class. Many of the European diesel rivals have had 12 month/20,000km service intervals for well over 15 years with no issues. I am wondering whether Toyota is over-servicing the vehicles, or if their vehicle technology is out of date. I have a fleet of Toyota work vans and the 10,000km service intervals are a real pain. Some of the diesel Iveco commercial vehicles have service intervals over 30,000km. Paul Barry, email Toyota’s super-conservative service intervals — like its tow ratings — are a pain but the company is not money grabbing. They have just about the cheapest cappedprice servicing plan in the business and in many cases will give you six services for less money than you’ll spend for three with another manufacturer. They also have a better reputation for reliability than the Europeans and the parts are cheaper.
THE WHOLE TOOTH
I am surprised at your assessment of the Hyundai Bluetooth in your Car of the Year judging. I have owned two Hyundai vehicles with Bluetooth radios and they paired easily with no problem each time and with no sound issues. In defence, I have to say they are excellent. Bill Suckling, email Even Hyundai admits there are shortcomings in its Bluetooth setup so, although it works fine for you, perhaps you have not had the opportunity for a back-to-back test with 10 other vehicles including the super-impressive Mercedes-Benz GLC.
I hope you all applauded the Ford XF Fairmont Ghia which had a nice big digital speedo. Why this sudden obsession with the device? Ian Thresher, email The plague of speed cameras on Australian roads means a large, accurate speedometer is essential and the latest digital models do the job. A head-up display is even better.
GLASS FULL ... ISH
I have a Nissan Pulsar turbo, a 2014 model with just 30,000km on the speedo. If I’m having a hassle with the fuel gauge do you believe I should be able to have it replaced on warranty? If I fill it up within 100km the gauge shows ¾, then almost full, then ¾ again. Jim, email It should definitely be replaced. Nissan spokesman Peter Fadeyev says: “This matter can be checked and, if needed, rectified by a trained
technician at any authorised Nissan dealer.”
I’d like some help on buying a small SUV for about $25,000-$27,000. I’ve test driven the Mitsubishi ASX and Mazda CX-3. I’m not sure about the new Honda HR-V so would like your views. I like the Mazda but I think that the engine stopstart is just another thing to go wrong.
Karen, email There’s nothing to worry about with start-stop technology. It’s been around for years and everybody has it. As for your choices, I’d put the CX-3 well ahead of the ASX and just in front of the HR-V but I wouldn’t buy either. For me, a mid-level Mazda3 is bigger than the CX-3, has more power, more room and is better to drive.
I need a new car and I think I’m down to two choices. It’s either the Honda HR-V VTI-s or Hyundai i30 Premium. Some people are suggesting Hyundai cars are still throwaways after five years. Any thoughts?
Shane Beckinsale, email The i30 gets The Tick from me, is definitely not a throwaway, and is a better choice than the smaller and less refined HR-V, despite the flexibility of the Honda’s cabin.
MATTERS OF IMPORT
An airconditioner compressor for a 2000 Hyundai Accent costs $620 in Australia yet the internet price delivered from the US is $179. The Toyota price for a V8 diesel fuel injector is $800 but Toyota New Zealand price is $220. Mack truck owners tell me they can import parts from the US for a third of the Australian price. Please tell the readers why Australian vehicle spare parts are so expensive.
Bob Charters, email We’re not about to defend the car companies but do the import prices include the same fees and taxes a factory operation charges, or the warehousing costs? Also, the much higher volumes in the giant US market allows companies to keep their margins down.
I’m in the market for a dual- cab ute and I am looking at the new Ford Ranger and the Nissan Navara NP300. I’ve heard that both have some mechanical issues — is this true?
Rick Dal Ben, email The Ranger gets The Tick, having made our Car of the Year final field, and would be my choice. I’ve heard no complaints about it from owners.
THE 208 RATES
My wife and I have the opportunity to use a Peugeot 208 (with 1.2-litre three-cylinder turbo and sixspeed transmission) when we are travelling from Paris to Lisbon for about 20 days. We would greatly appreciate your thoughts.
Leon J. Comodromos, email The little 208 should be great for your trip, with great comfort and economy. I’ve just had one on test and it gets The Tick.
Fuel aforethought: Pack a spare
filter for your LandCruiser
Hyundai i30: Definitely no throwaway: