Weekend Gold Coast Bulletin - - MOTORING -

Af­ter a year of re­search, and ini­tially dis­miss­ing Euro­pean cars as a re­place­ment for my VZ Com­modore, I ended up buy­ing a Volk­swa­gen Golf 110TSI de­spite your wari­ness of the dual-clutch gear­box. My short list of cars with all the equip­ment con­sisted of Subaru Im­preza, Holden As­tra, Ford Fo­cus, Mazda3 Astina and Hyundai i30. The Golf won for its quiet­ness and ride qual­ity. Us­ing 95 oc­tane fuel is a pain, and au­to­mat­i­cally dip­ping head­lights would have been handy. The adap­tive cruise con­trol is a dis­ap­point­ment, as I find it fol­lows too close for com­fort even on the max­i­mum dis­tance set­ting. Ge­orge Joyce, email

The Golf is a great car and al­ways gets The Tick – but has had some trou­bles in Aus­tralia


I am think­ing about trad­ing my wife’s 2012 Toy­ota Corolla hatch, which has 37,000km on it, on a new-model Corolla. I am con­cerned about your ar­ti­cle which says some peo­ple strug­gle with its con­stantly vari­able trans­mis­sion. Would you sug­gest I stay away from this model?

Ernie We­ston, email

The CVT is not a deal-breaker for me and the one in the Corolla is not as of­fen­sive as many oth­ers. The cur­rent $22,990 drive-away deal on the car means it def­i­nitely gets The Tick.


I felt weak at the knees pay­ing $600 for a re­place­ment stop-start bat­tery for my Mazda6. Af­ter a good bit of ask­ing and shop­ping around, I had my lo­cal servo sup­ply and fit an Enirgi brand 80Ah 800CCA cal­cium bat­tery for $385. I don’t know how long it’s go­ing to last, but it eased the pur­chase pain. It cer­tainly pays to shop around.

Peter Davis, email

I am a con­tracted NRMA pa­trol­man. If the CX-5 owner fac­ing a $600 spend on the bat­tery had checked the NRMA price it is $261 for the petrol model and $349 for the diesel, with a two-year war­ranty. I have re­placed only a cou­ple – they were four to five years old, mean­ing they had cost $50-$70 a year. I haven’t changed a diesel’s bat­tery yet but al­low­ing for $80-$90 year is fine. The Sky­ac­tiv Mazda doesn’t use the starter mo­tor but fires a cylin­der to restart the en­gine for the smoothest tran­si­tion. A reader re­ferred to the stop-start tech as fuel sav­ing, which is true, yet it also is im­por­tant to re­duce emis­sions, es­pe­cially to meet Euro stan­dards. Your road tester Bill McKin­non wrote of the flat bat­tery in an Alfa Romeo and hav­ing no ac­cess to it in the boot. Most Euro ve­hi­cles have jump-start points un­der the bonnet where bat­tery volt­age can be checked and used to start ve­hi­cle.

Greg Bell, email

Great ad­vice from both of you.


A driver’s at­ti­tude, as other read­ers say, is im­por­tant but good driv­ing is also about ap­ti­tude. If peo­ple had this qual­ity, com­bined with the safer cars of to­day, we’d all be bet­ter off. In­stead, the roads are full of peo­ple with no real un­der­stand­ing of their ve­hi­cle’s dy­nam­ics, let alone how to drive. Why don’t peo­ple have an in­ter­est in their car, like they do with their iPhones? Mick Wil­liams, email

Far too many peo­ple treat driv­ing as a right, not a priv­i­lege, and re­gard a car only as a way to get from A-to-B.


I have just bought the new Camry V6 and, for nearly $49,000, I am a lit­tle dis­ap­pointed in a cou­ple of things. When you stop the en­gine the driver’s seat doesn’t move back to give more room to exit the ve­hi­cle and the mir­rors don’t fold in – but the big­gest con of all is the ex­haust sys­tem. From the rear they look to be quad out­lets but they are only twin out­lets. About 10 cen­time­tres in from the rear there is another pipe in the shape of an el­bow welded on to the other ex­haust pipe giv­ing the quad look. Not good for Toy­ota’s rep­u­ta­tion. Ken Doo­nan, email

If they are the only fail­ings then the Camry is do­ing well. Toy­ota is not the only com­pany to have fake ex­haust tips to give their cars a vis­ual boost.


Re rust in the Hyundai fuel tank. It’s not un­heard of for peo­ple to get com­pen­sa­tion. Older, long-es­tab­lished ser­vice sta­tions have steel un­der­ground tanks that shed rust – un­leaded fuel is cor­ro­sive and steel tanks at­tract water from con­den­sa­tion. Newer ser­vos, built in about the past 20 years, have fi­bre­glass tanks and are un­likely to dis­pense dirty fuel. Seek out newer types of servo and stick with one if pos­si­ble.

Tony Baeck, email

Top ad­vice for ev­ery­one.


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