Light side of life, Ford Kuga-style

Sunday World - - Motoring - Send your mo­tor­ing ques­tions to Ed­ or @Naidu1 on Twit­ter. Lis­ten to Ed­win on Capri­corn FM on Fridays at 7.20am.

DEAR Ed­win I need a larger ve­hi­cle for my fam­ily. Based on fuel con­sump­tion, my choices are a Kia Sportage 2.0 EX and a Ford Kuga 1.6 Eco Boost Trend. I have a baby on the way and a daugh­ter at school. I travel a great deal I work in the Free State and go to Dur­ban at least once a month. I travel roughly 180km ev­ery other Sun­day. I be­lieve the Kuga is more eco­nom­i­cal, but the diesel model for both cars is be­yond my reach. As for the Sportage, I m drawn by the war­ranty and how com­plete a pack­age it is.

I am look­ing for the best value for money. I am wor­ried about the smaller fuel tank (55 litres) of the Sportage. I also found the boot space on it no big­ger than that of a Polo Vivo. Them­balethu Dladla Dear Them­balethu I be­lieve you have not yet taken the ve­hi­cles for a test drive.

Fuel con­sump­tion is crit­i­cal given your trav­els, and the Kuga has an edge be­cause of its big­ger tank. The Sportage’s boot is smaller. But give or take, there are fea­tures that you would gain or lose depend­ing on your fi­nal choice.

I pre­fer the peace of mind of the longer war­ranty of­fered by Kia, which is not due for a new model un­til 2016, whereas the Kuga had a re­vamp last year. In terms of pric­ing, a range-top­ping Kuga 2.0 TDCi AWD Ti­ta­nium will cost you R435 900, and the the Sportage 2.0 CRDi AWD au­to­matic is worth R415 885. Dear Ed­win I bought a new Mazda 3 1.6 Orig­i­nal in 2010. As a new Mazda cus­tomer, I did not know that the ve­hi­cle came with a stan­dard ser­vice plan. I was ad­vised to pur­chase one if I needed it. Since I did not want to pay from my pocket for the ser­vices, I pur­chased a 90 000km ser­vice plan for R25 000.

When a friend told me that his Mazda came with a stan­dard man­u­fac­turer ser­vice plan of up to 90 000km, I con­tacted Mazda South Africa to ver­ify. They con­firmed that my ve­hi­cle had a stan­dard man­u­fac­turer ser­vice plan. I have writ­ten to the dealer prin­ci­pal, who of­fered me R5 000. What can I do be­cause I was sold some­thing that came stan­dard with the ve­hi­cle? Tumelo Malatsi Dear Tumelo At the time of pub­lish­ing, Thys de Kock, the dealer prin­ci­pal of Galac­tic Auto Polok­wane, had not re­sponded to your com­plaint about the ir­reg­u­lar charge. He re­ceived my e-mail and replied, ask­ing: And you are?” Given that con­sumer credit laws re­quire le­gal ac­tion within three years, I fear that time may have lapsed.

But there is no ex­cuse for poor cus­tomer ser­vice like that shown by De Kock, who in one of your e-mail ex­changes even had the au­dac­ity to ask you to call him. It’s bad man­ners and a con­temp­tu­ous at­ti­tude to cus­tomers.

Thank­fully, Mazda South Africa has con­firmed re­ceipt of this com­plaint, and pledged to help re­solve the mat­ter. Dear Ed­win I drive a Nis­san Hard­body 3.3 V6. When I fill up, the petrol gauge goes up. But af­ter driv­ing about 100m, it shows empty and the petrol light does not go off. What might the prob­lem be? Robert Nkuna Dear Robert It sounds like a burnt fuse. An auto elec­tri­cian should check it out within min­utes.

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