Last or­ders for Cruiser

The Weekend Post - Motoring - - ROADSIDE ASSIST -

Holden Com­modore pro­duc­tion ends in 2017 and last week you told a reader want­ing a new Com­modore not to de­lay “as they are likely to sell out”. Toy­ota has now ad­vised pro­duc­tion of the FJ Cruiser will cease in Au­gust this year, so would you of­fer the same ad­vice in this case? Al­ter­na­tively, is there an ar­gu­ment for wait­ing in the hope the sec­ond-hand mar­ket for late model FJs will be­come more at­trac­tive? Bill O’Lough­lin, email It’s a dif­fer­ent sit­u­a­tion as the FJ is a global model but you should prob­a­bly move even more quickly as Toy­ota Aus­tralia will have to con­firm soon on its fi­nal or­ders. FJ own­ers gen­er­ally have made an emo­tional choice so it’s un­likely the used-car val­ues will be drop­ping soon.

THE RIDE STUFF

The late Bill Tuckey was a story teller with an in­cred­i­ble pas­sion for cars and motorsport. He had the amaz­ing abil­ity to sit you along­side him when he was writ­ing about cars. He didn’t write road tests, he wrote sto­ries. He also had a great sense of hu­mour and was never lost for a quick quip. Cre­at­ing the Car of the Year award en­sures his place in his­tory but I will al­ways re­mem­ber the man who took me along for the ride. Mark Hig­gins, email

GOLF RANGE GREAT

We own a 2010 Subaru Forester and would like to down­size. We are look­ing at the Subaru 2.0-litre XV or the Volk­swa­gen Golf 1.4litre turbo. What do you think? We do a lot of high­way trips and we’re not sure how the Golf will per­form on long runs. Is there an­other car we should look at? Sam O’Boyle, email My choice would def­i­nitely be the Golf, for com­fort and the range and econ­omy on the high­way. The XV is all right but not great, with a tiny boot, so the VW gets The Tick.

HARD SELL

Jeep own­ers write say­ing the love their four-wheel drives and that’s well and good but wait un­til they try to sell one af­ter more than three years. Without hes­i­ta­tion the Toy­ota Land­Cruiser would be my favourite, hands down. They are strong, tough, re­li­able and you are able to get parts any­where in Aus­tralia. Dave Miles, email The Land­Cruiser is bul­let­proof and the top choice for tow­ing and out­back travel. That also means you have to spend more to get one.

FAULT LINE

I bought a Jeep Grand Chero­kee Laredo diesel in Fe­bru­ary and at least, af­ter 3700km, it has only to­tally failed once. Af­ter talk­ing to a num­ber of own­ers and look­ing at var­i­ous blogs, it is clear Fiat Chrysler Aus­tralia has been the main prob­lem, not the deal­ers. Fiat Chrysler builds the prod­uct and there­fore should take full re­spon­si­bil­ity for all the faults the Jeeps have suf­fered. The big is­sue seems to be, when some­thing goes wrong and parts are needed, these are near im­pos­si­ble to get from FCA or take weeks to ar­rive at the deal­ers. They were sell­ing that many Jeeps a cou­ple of years ago they for­got about cus­tomer and dealer ser­vice. As with most things how­ever, that poor ser­vice and lack of sup­port for their deal­ers has come home to roost. We all know good rep­u­ta­tions take years to build but a bad rep­u­ta­tion, like FCA and Jeep have, will linger for years. Peter Gre­gory, email Your ex­pe­ri­ence has gone straight to Pat Dougherty in the big of­fice at FCA. He’s the one work­ing hard to turn things around.

CVT NOT A-OK

My 2015 Subaru XV is great, ex­cept for the con­stantly vari­able trans­mis­sion, which I think is dan­ger­ous. On round­abouts, when nearly stopped or at low speed in town traf­fic it is nowhere up to the job when want­ing to ac­cel­er­ate. I have been very close to side-on crashes at round­abouts af­ter plant­ing my foot and hav­ing noth­ing hap­pen. I had lost all con­fi­dence in the ve­hi­cle and was about to trade it on a bet­ter per­form­ing make when, at a ser­vice, I got an up­date on the trans­mis­sion and it im­proved the CVT by 200 per cent. But it still flat­lines oc­ca­sion­ally. From re­ports on the new Out­back and Forester their CVT is fine, so per­haps the XV en­gine is un­der­pow­ered. Chris Hannabus, email The XV is un­der­pow­ered, as well as hav­ing a very dozy CVT. If you are that wor­ried I would def­i­nitely sug­gest a brand swap to some­thing with a reg­u­lar au­to­matic.

OUT OF SIGHT

I am think­ing of buy­ing a new or near-new Subaru Out­back. I was won­der­ing if you have any re­ports on the CVT gear­box or any other is­sues with them. Trevor Mar­mont, email I’ve just driven the lat­est Lib­erty and Forester and can re­port Subaru’s CVT is vastly bet­ter than past ver­sions. The cars are also a step up in qual­ity and re­fine­ment. I rec­om­mend get­ting the Eye­Sight safety pack­age.

KEEPS ON KEEP­ING ON

In 2004 I got a new Mercedes-Benz C-Class (like the one pic­tured above). Two years later there was a bat­tery re­call, and a re­place­ment was fit­ted free. Twelve years later, the bat­tery hasn’t missed a beat. Is this some kind of record? Chris Adams, email Prob­a­bly not a record but en­cour­ag­ing news for our read­ers who have re­cently com­plained about bat­ter­ies last­ing for just a few years.

LOOK LIVE­LIER

My 2008 Toy­ota Prius has al­ways had an an­noy­ing hes­i­ta­tion be­fore start­ing off. I have read both CVT and stop-start run­ning con­trib­ute but won­der if this is so? I’m about to re­place the Prius and am in­clined to avoid cars with ei­ther, which lim­its my op­tions. An­ton Breinl, email The early Prius was a bit dozy from the lights but be­fore you de­fect you should try the new model, which is more lively.

KEEP ’EM AT BAY

I and many friends have great dif­fi­culty at shop­ping cen­tres with SUVs park­ing in car spa­ces. When leav­ing a space in a nor­mal sedan, with the high rear body­work of an SUV, it is im­pos­si­ble to see an on­com­ing ve­hi­cle and this risks a col­li­sion. SUVs should have sep­a­rate park­ing ar­eas, prefer­ably away from nor­mal ve­hi­cles. John Kelly, email It doesn’t help that park­ing spa­ces are be­ing down­sized to fit more ve­hi­cles and boost rev­enue. Mak­ers are ad­dress­ing your con­cern with the lat­est cross traf­fic alert tech­nol­ogy, some with auto brak­ing, which helps SUVs. How­ever, noth­ing beats turn­ing your head to look for on­com­ing traf­fic. Al­ter­na­tively, re­verse into a slot so you can drive out with for­ward vi­sion.

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