Infiniti figures prominently
We’re seriously considering a vehicle from the Benz, BMW, Audi, Volvo, Lexus and Jaguar stables. They have a magnificent crop of enjoyable motor vehicles but there is one I keep coming back to — the Infiniti Q30. It looks good with very swoopy styling, good size and economy. The price asked is also where I feel comfortable, along with that Japanese-standard quality. Before I sign my cheque, what are your observations? Ronald Lee-Harris, email There is a lot to like, although the car is built in Britain and not Japan. The Q30 gets The Tick from me.
There seems to be a significant disparity in newcar warranty periods. The majority of makers give you a three-year warranty but quite a few do five, six and seven years. I’d have thought makers of expensive luxury cars would be the first with long warranties to back the promoted quality of their products but, no, Kia did that. What would be the monetary value of an extra four-year warranty? About $2000? If so, in terms of warranty, a Kia product gives an extra benefit worth about $2000. I think at some stage there will be a tipping point when the makers with long warranties put real pressure on others with a paltry three years. I hope that tipping point is not too far off.
Alexander Aich, email
Three-year warranties are a significant advance on the original 12 months/12,000 miles coverage, which later became 12 months/20,000km. It is usually “challenger” brands such as Kia that offer longer warranties, to build trust and provide the essential “permission” for people to buy a car they might not otherwise consider.
Thank you for all of your assistance in getting an owner’s manual for my Hummer H3.
Frank Goodwin, email
Carsguide readers come through again.
FLOW AND TELL
You advised Dennis Whitten about filling up using a hiflow diesel bowser at the truck stop and said it would do his vehicle “a power of no good”. I own a 200 Series diesel Toyota LandCruiser and on a number of occasions have used these hi-flow bowsers with no illeffects. Could you please explain the difference in hiflow diesel and the standard diesel pump as I always assumed diesel was diesel. Peter Wolbers, email .
Can you please tell me why you say high-flow diesel pumps will do damage to injectors? I have just bought a Ford Ranger and wonder if I should start using the small pump. John Catchpole, email
Can you ask VW to elaborate on how highflow diesel would adversely affect an engine? I assume it all comes out of the same underground tanks and, in some locations, if you are towing a van you have to go into the “truck bowsers” which often have both high and normal flow. Is diesel for trucks a lower quality?
John Calder, email
VW’s suggestion was that some high-flow diesel pumps might damage vehicles but Caltex spokesman Sam Collyer says the fuel from high-flow and normal bowsers is exactly the same. “All diesel sold — whether via regular bowsers or highflow — must meet minimum standards. Pumping the diesel into a small tank via a highflow nozzle won’t damage the engine.” Caltex doesn’t recommend using a high-flow pump on a passenger vehicle, though, because the fuel flows much faster and there’s a risk the diesel will spill. For most cars the point is moot, as the high-flow nozzle simply doesn’t fit.
THIRST FOR KNOWLEDGE
I am always particularly interested in the “thirst” information on test cars. Would you consider including tank capacity to assist calculations of the distance between refills? I realise this would vary
between city and country driving. However, with that information we could quickly calculate approximate range.
Don Casey, email
There’s a lot we’d like to include in the specs panel but it’s designed as a quick reference only. Also, with so many variables affecting range (terrain, driving styles, type of fuel) we’re not sure it would deliver an accurate guide.
MIND THE GAP
Re SUVs obscuring your view of the road ahead. I was taught to look at the cars ahead but there was more than only one principle involved. The easiest solution for road-ahead vision is to lift your right foot. Back off and increase your gap, so it’s then no different to following a much larger vehicle such as a truck or bus. You can see and gain significantly more reaction time in the event there is an obstruction or emergency. If you can’t see their mirrors, they can’t see you, so SUVs are not anything special in that regard. Sitting high isn’t always the great thing people are led to believe. It comes with other driver risks and changing vehicle characteristics, such as higher centre of gravity and risk of rollover.
Andrew Rose, email
Leaving space to the car in front is the right idea but my safety space is often taken by an impatient driver keen to get 10 metres closer to a crash and fill my buffer zone.
SEEING IS DISBELIEVING
Unfortunately these SUV behemoths are here to stay and, as a motorcyclist, they are a blight on our road system. You can’t see over them or around them or even through them. The enemy of a motorcycle rider used to be a Morris 1100 or a Volvo but now it’s these monsters that are usually driven like a sports car. They are even worse in a convoy driven by the grey nomad set towing vans. I’m 66 and have seen it all on our socalled restricted nanny state highways. Thankfully my bike can dispatch them pretty easily but, in my Mazda2, one has to be very patient.
Warren West, email
Re car names. Some of them are ridiculous. I’m convinced either the makers are illiterate or they’ve just played Scrabble and have used the leftover letters. I wonder which company will be the first to use Homer Simpson’s favourite car name, The Persephone?
Colin Hadden, email
The Persephone was actually a compact car developed by Homer’s long-lost brother Herb, head of the Powell car company, in an episode of The Simpsons. Homer designed the Homer. And let’s not forget the Canyonero.
A lot to like: Infiniti Q30
Riders’ ruin: Morris 1100