Va­garies con­tinue


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.


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

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