Stars out of alignment
I hope you can clarify a couple of things for me about the Ford Mustang’s two-star ANCAP rating, as I have a 2016 Mustang and a 2016 Toyota Prado. The Mustang lost a lot of points due to not having rear seat belt reminders, lane departure warning, blindspot monitoring, auto braking etc, yet my Prado has none of these features either but scores five stars. How does this stack up? I understand the concern about the passenger airbag but I also have read the cabin on the Mustang scored four stars, so can you shed some light on this? Allan McHattie, email ANCAP scores can vary according to when the vehicle is tested, as requirements are tightening all the time and more active safety systems — such as lane-departure warning — are now needed for a maximum five-star score. Toyota says the Prado was last rated by ANCAP in 2013 after a mild facelift but it was last crashed for testing in 2010.
I need some advice as I have a 2017 Mustang GT auto fastback on order. Should I cancel and reorder the 2018 model due to the two-star ANCAP safety rating and the release of a new model? Rick Camuncoli, email You will have a long wait as the 2018 Mustang is not coming until the second half of next year. Ford spokesman Martin Gunsberg confirms a safety upgrade: “The MY2018 Mustang will arrive in Australia standard with driver assistance technologies including automatic emergency braking (with pedestrian detection, precollision assist and forward collision warning) as well as lane-keeping aid.”
BACK TO BASICS
To your correspondents expressing misgivings about Mustang safety I can only say, “Go and buy an up-todate SUV or Merc with all the trimmings” as you don’t want a Mustang. After waiting 15 months for delivery, I’ve now had mine for eight months and knocked out a thoroughly enjoyable 7000km. The Mustang is not the best car I’ve owned but definitely the most exciting. It’s totally impractical as a daily driver and, as for no rear seat belt reminders, you’d be regarded as a sadist if anybody was confined for any length of time in the back seat. Andrew Yeend, email
OIL BETTER NOW
Mazda Australia is replacing the automatic transmission in my 2016 Mazda6 and hopefully this will rectify my problem. It sometimes takes a few seconds to engage when shifting from reverse to drive. It revs really high, then takes off fast, which is a safety issue as far as I’m concerned. After initially saying they could not replicate the fault and that it is not a known problem, they have found streaks in the oil, although I’m not sure what this means. Thanks for your help. Greg Pisani, email Anything foreign in the gearbox oil is not a good sign, so a salute to Mazda Australia for moving promptly when I advised them of your problem.
Re dealers advising the need for new tyres. I replaced the tyres on my Toyota Aurion last year. One month later I had the car serviced and was told how dangerously low my tyre tread was getting. I don’t think they even look at them. Steve Tetlow, email Some dealers will do anything to keep the money coming.
Joshua Dowling indicated in Carsguide the Mitsubishi ASX was going to return to its $25,000 drive-away deal soon. How reliable is that information and does he know when it will happen? I want to buy a new model auto ASX very soon. Janet Howlett, email No one has better connections in dealer land than Dowling and he says the price should drop this month as Mitsubishi has been selling the ASX at $25,000 as a drive-away auto for the better part of the past two years.
BEST OF THE BREED
We have a 50th-anniversary Ford Falcon, with 170,000km on the clock, which we are thinking of replacing. We would like to get something with similar specifications, such as space for five adults, comfortable for longer trips, reasonable luggage space and similar handling, towing capacity and performance. What would you suggest? Jim Langford, email If you’re talking about a new car, it has to be the Holden Commodore. It’s the best of its breed and you can still get one, unlike a new Falcon, before the factory closes. Unless you’re a rusted-on Ford fan, of course.