Fonder of the Honda
A year ago we were looking at which small SUV to get to help avoid back pain. The Mazda CX-3 wasn’t too easy to get into, due to bad leg joints as well, and it also has a very low seat — which is only sedan height, no good for back pain and not really a SUV. We then compared the Honda HR-V and Subaru XV, as we also have a Forester which we consider the best car we have ever had. In the end the HR-V won as best for us. It has 12-month/ 10,000km servicing against six months on the XV and we only do 6000km a year. The HR-V’s spare wheel well takes a full-size job, also ruling out your favourite Mazdas. We found the inside of the HR-V about the same as your very favourite CX-5, which has no full-size spare. Peter Diprose, email
I am waiting on a Ford Mustang. I’d been holding out for the supercharged version. I am told by the dealer that its release has been delayed by red tape, specifically Australian Design Rules. Is there an update on this and the extent of the likely delay as I would prefer not to fit the aftermarket kit? Mark McDermott, email Ford spokesman Wes Sherwood says: “Mustang is one of the most customised cars in the world and these kinds of upgrades are part of the overall global strategy. In Australia, we’re still in the early phases of launch and are concentrating on fulfilling the substantial order bank due to the enthusiasm and demand for Mustang. Over time, we will take advantage of what’s available to keep Mustang on top of customer shopping lists.” The full story is that the car currently does not pass drive-by noise regulations in Australia but there are solid plans for an official factory supercharged version in 2018.
GET YOUR GEAR ON
Two weeks ago we bought a Toyota LandCruiser Sahara 200 Series and have done 1000km of long-distance highway driving. We have noticed that it doesn’t want to change into sixth gear by itself when set on cruise control and travelling at 100km/h on flat roads. Our dealer informs us that you need to be doing 110km/h for sixth gear to engage. When cruise control isn’t engaged, you can get it to select sixth by using the throttle. We wouldn’t have thought that this was a normal situation for cruise control. Do you know of this issue and, further, has Toyota supplied a programming change for the transmission which changes the shift pattern? It also seems to change down very quickly at the slightest hill. We are not yet towing our 21-foot caravan. Christine and Leigh Smith, email The LandCruiser has been like this since the arrival of the 200 Series and Toyota says it’s because the car is geared for use in Europe and also for fuel economy. I’ve received a lot of complaints since it was launched on this topic with no real help from Toyota Australia.
DIDN’T HOLD WATER
Good luck to your reader in getting compensation for the cracked sunroof on her Range Rover Evoque. My 2012 Evoque Prestige was found to have a leaking windscreen washer container, less than four years old but months out of warranty. I was advised by Customer Care that, even if the problem was found to be a manufacturing fault, there would still be no compensation. When removed, the plastic container was found to have a hole caused by it rubbing against engine parts. I would call that bad design but I was left to pay $500 to replace it. Shane Grigg, email That’s not a good outcome for anyone.
I’m in the market for a new vehicle and if the new Nissan Murano that we saw in New York a couple of weeks back was on the cards for Australia I’d be keen to test drive. It is possibly the smartest looking SUV l’ve seen in recent times. In fact it’s a stunner. Maybe you could ask Nissan because they were less than forthcoming to this humble writer. I’m only sorry I did not take photographs, as I’m sure other readers would be equally intrigued. George Beattie, email Unfortunately it’s the same answer as for the Nissan Maxima, which excited another Carsguide reader. Nissan Australia spokesman Peter Fadeyev replies: “No
Well, well: High-set HR-V gets full-size spare; Commodore Sportwagon fits babies and gear