Why so much negativity toward continuously variable transmissions? We bought a Mitsubishi Outlander in December and, while I agree the CVT takes a bit of getting used to, the car is a dream to drive. If there is ever an issue I use the paddle shifts. My main concern is that I have struggled to get Mitsubishi’s fuel economy figures after almost 15,000km and multiple tests. I have hit the 7.2L/100km mark only twice in eight months. Martin Jones, email The negativity is mostly from readers, including a lot who own CVT-equipped cars. It’s not unusual to struggle to achieve claimed economy figures, unless you do longdistance driving with a light right foot.
Does someone in Subaru have a warped sense of humour? While I do not doubt your explanation of the naming of the Levorg, have you spelled it backwards? It’s grovel. Andy Bevan Jones, email I’m sure they didn’t even know until people started to point it out. As a reminder, Subaru says the name is a tip to the previous-generation Liberty (called Legacy in Japan and elsewhere) and made up from: Legacy, Revolution and touring.
You were a little hasty to jump on Hyundai’s back about its warranty on stereos. Before jumping on Hyundai you may want to check with all makers about the stereo warranties. You may find they’re all similar. Gavin Kennedy, email It’s not jumping on Hyundai when their cars have a comprehensive five-year warranty but the audio is covered only for three years. A three-year stereo warranty is fine when it matches the rest of the car.
TICKET TO RIDE
I noted you have driven over 100,000km a year for five years without a flat. You’d better buy yourself a casket ticket with your luck. Tom Murray, email No lottery tickets but I sometimes drive on gnarly roads with my fingers crossed.
All those readers bashing space-saver spares need to chill out — they have probably never used one. They’re fine, I’d rather have boot space. As a sales rep I did 1200-1500 country kilometres a week on all road surfaces and had my share of punctures. My 2011 Ford Falcon EcoLPi XR6 originally came with only a repair-inflation kit which proved completely useless so I discarded it and threw a spacesaver in the boot. Despite being rated at 80km/h maximum, I regularly had it on for a week at a time, at 110km/h, and it never failed. Obviously don’t corner like Craig Lowndes if it’s fitted to the front. Ninety-nine per cent of drivers would have fewer punctures than me and also have the spare on for only a short time. Brett Cameron, email
I’m trying to locate a manual gearbox for a Hummer H3. I’ve had no success and the dealer says the manual is no longer available. I wondered if you could assist? Frank Goodwin, email I’m putting out the call to Carsguide readers and hope to get a positive reply for you.
Armed with your advice on
Ford’s EcoSport DSG transmissions I went to the Ford dealer in Coffs Harbour. I was told Ford has extended the warranty on my transmission until 2020 and my car is booked in for repairs. Thanks for your help. Allan Cresswell, email That’s the right result when Ford Australia is clearly aware of problems. NEUTRAL OPINION Regarding the article on flat towing for the gent whose wife would prefer an automatic vehicle. They should try buying a small auto 4x4 that has high and low range, as between H and L is a natural neutral selection. If you put the 4x4 in the N position, then the auto disengages via the transfer gearbox. Do some research on the correct vehicle and it will be happy flat towing of your auto. Pete Freeth, email CONSTANT CRITICISM Re the road toll increase. When I learned to drive one of the basics you were taught was to keep your eye on the traffic four to five cars ahead so you were aware of what was happening. But now, with the big increase in four-wheel drives, SUVs, and — worst of all — double cab pick-ups, when you are behind any of these vehicles and you are driving a sedan you have no vision past the rear end of the vehicle in front of you. Therefore your vision is cut off from what is happening on the road ahead. And the poor motorcyclists are a lot worse off than the car as their vision is blocked and they are hard to be seen behind these over-large vehicles. To be safe on the roads the most important thing is to have good vision of what is going on around you but frequently today your vision is obscured by these large vehicles making unsafe driving conditions. Also, on narrow country roads the large external rearview mirrors can block all vision of oncoming traffic. Some might say bigger is better but it is certainty not safer for those still happy to drive cars and not trucks. Robert Scott, email In the early days of SUVs it was good to sit high for a view ahead, but now it’s almost everyone who is sitting high and blocking the view. FLU BLUE Just looking at your Roadside Assist column and a question you were asked by Jim Cowan about our Suzuki Vitara. The Vitara has a six-speed auto with paddle shift, not a CVT as you suggested. Perhaps you could let Jim know. Andrew Moore, Suzuki Australia Sorry. I’m blaming confusion brought on by flu. I’ve advised Jim and he is happy and now planning a Vitara purchase.
Transmission take-out: Mitsubishi Outlander and, right, Hummer H3