Mercury (Hobart) - Motoring



Do you know when the new model Kia Stinger will be available in Australia?

Gaye Schneider, email

New model? What new model? No talk of one, but rumours persist the Stinger will cease production later this year and not be replaced. It was facelifted in December 2020, and 2022’s changes begin and end with Kia’s new badge on its bonnet, rump and steering wheel. If you want one, buy one now. The twin-turbo V6 model is an underrated and underbough­t big performanc­e car.


We’ve just bought a Haval H6 and I asked the dealer could I order a dash mat. They said no as they are classed as unroadwort­hy as they’re not a permanent fixture. It shocked me as they’re readily available in auto stores and online.

Bob Adamthwait­e, email

I spoke to the mechanic who does my roadworthy tests and he said he’s never heard of this. He said as long as the dash mat is the correct custom fit to your model car so its doesn’t block your heater vents or dashboard airbag he’d not classify it unroadwort­hy. Most he sees have Velcro fittings so are fixed in position. The major auto stores and many online sites stock dash mats, including for your H6. Your phone, drink bottle, coins or packet of smokes aren’t permanent fixtures either… surely they’re allowed in a car? To be fair to your Haval dealer, I can’t find any car companies selling OEM dash mats, so they may well be restricted.


I’ve been a loyal Holden buyer for over 50 years but feel let down and treated with utter disrespect. I bought a Holden VF Calais V8 in 2016 and it failed last December after 115,000km. A spring in a cylinder had shattered, sent a piston down the cylinder and put a hole in the bottom of it. Customer service were sympatheti­c and I was loaned the parts ute while my car was assessed. My car was six months and 15,000km out of warranty so was told it would be close to $4000 to repair. I was told I’d missed the 60,000km service and was late on a couple of others so it wouldn’t be covered under warranty. If a missed service was the cause, why wasn’t the issue picked up on subsequent services? Gary Taylor, email

While it’s an early failure, warranty terms insist you’re only covered if the service schedule is adhered to. Missing a service gives Holden grounds to deny a warranty claim, plus yours has also expired on date and kilometres, if only by a little. You’d be relying on a goodwill fix even if you hadn’t skipped a service. You’ve nothing to lose by asking for goodwill assistance – offer to pay labour if they pay parts – but it’s unlikely. A Holden specialist should be able to do the work cheaper if you have no joy.


I hate the road and tyre noise from my 2021 Mazda6. Are there wagons or large hatchback alternativ­es under $50,000 that are really

quiet with cheap servicing, reliable and not with a CVT or DCT auto gearbox?

Paul Bishop, email

I also found the Mazda6 suffered marked road noise on my highway tests, but it’d be drastic to sell without trying to resolve it. Michelin’s Primacy 4 tyres are often recommende­d by readers to reduce road noise. If not, used cars are in such demand you’ll probably get your money back on your Mazda. I’d look at the new Skoda Octavia wagon with its eight-speed torque converter automatic, but the waiting list is long and ex-demo dealer prices are well over list price. Lowkilomet­re Peugeot 508 GT wagons are in budget and graceful, quiet things but are stupidly expensive to service. May be easiest just to turn your radio up.


I own a Jaguar XE and am thinking of driving it around Australia. I have Jaguar roadside assist, but should I join RACQ? I’ve never used roadside assist so don’t know how reliable they are.

Terry Bullen, email

Great road trip car. You roadside assist is compliment­ary if you service at Jaguar dealers, so don’t pay extra for RACQ coverage. Jaguar uses Assist Australia, the leading provider of roadside assistance services to OEMs. It’s partnered with NRMA, RACQ, RACV and more, so coverage is extensive. Have a chat with Jaguar assistance to ensure there are no specific exclusions, and when planning your odyssey factor in which Jaguar service centres you’ll use to ensure you maintain your free roadside assist.


Re spare wheels for Toyota RAV4s, my Toyota Yaris Cross Hybrid has only an inflation kit. I’m going on a long trip so sought a spare wheel from Toyota. They offered me a steel wheel only (no tyre) for $1373! I went to an auto wrecker and bought a brand-new full-size wheel from another marque for $100 with tyre.

Jim Tasney, email

Good grief. Was the steel wheel gold plated with diamond wheel studs? Comical quote for a steel spare wheel, the dealer should be ashamed. I’m glad you took your business elsewhere; I hope the $1273 saved covers all your road trip fuel and fancy lunch bills.

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