Off the road again
I believe Jeep customer care is copping out on classifying my 2016 Grand Cherokee as MA (passenger vehicle) instead of MC (off-road passenger vehicle). Last October I traded my 2006 Nissan Pathfinder for the Jeep, choosing it over a Toyota Prado based on its greater towing capacity — I tow a caravan. The Jeep was advertised as an off-road vehicle and, of course, has Terrain Select for off-road use. But now I am very disappointed and angry. I was going to replace the highway tyres with allterrain but now I learn that I can’t really do that under Australian Design Rules. I asked whether, as Ford did with the Everest, they would backdate my vehicle’s MC classification. I was directed to my dealer but believe Jeep is the manufacturer and therefore should be answering this question. Tony Killingback, email It’s taken a while but I have good news from Fiat Chrysler spokesman Glenn Butler: “Jeep Australia is pleased to confirm that it has applied for, and been granted, MC certification for all new Grand Cherokees, and for Grand Cherokees previously sold with MA certification. It is illegal to modify a vehicle’s compliance plate, so the Australian Motor Vehicle Certification Board has authorised Jeep to provide letters on request to owners of Grand Cherokees previously certified as MA, confirming that their vehicle does in fact meet MC certification.”
TAKE SAFE OPTION
I am looking to buy a new Toyota Camry to travel between home and work with a bit of driving inbetween. My average daily travel will be about 50km. I am comparing Camry RZ and Atara as they have some extras such as front and rear sensors. What do you recommend? Mahmoud Ali, email Best to avoid the 18-inch alloys if you want a comfortable ride, which eliminates the RZ. Otherwise you should get as much safety equipment as you can afford. The Atara comes in three specifications so there will be one that works with your budget.
Re daytime running lights on the Mitsubishi ASX. The topic raised at least a wry smile from me. I have owned Volvos for the past 48 years, and a couple of them in the 1970s had “day notice” lights fitted. I received numerous derisive comments about them, plus oncoming drivers flashing their headlights, yet now they are being hailed as a great safety feature. The answer from Mitsubishi’s Karl Gehling shows he has a future in politics. He did not answer the question but got across his sales pitch. David Backstrom, email For me, as someone who also rides motorcycles with headlamps wired for daytime visibility, the set-up on the Volvo 240 models was always a good idea.
SHED SOME LIGHT
I reckon Mitsubishi told you a porky about the DRLs. I think it is pretty well mandatory to have them on cars for Europe. In Britain, the ASX runs LED versions. Vince Bagusauskas, email Karl Gehling from Mitsubishi has updated his reply: “Your reader is correct, it is mandatory to have the DRLs in Europe. DRLs were not available to our market at the launch of the Model Year 2017 ASX. However, we have asked for them to be included in future updates.”
I have a late-2010 Kia Sportage six-speed auto with 110,000km and I’m confused about the fluids. It says no check and no service required but there is also advice to empty and refill. I’m told all the old oil can't be drained completely so new oil will be mixing with old — I’m not sure what to do. Wayne O’Rourke, email Kia spokesman Kevin Hepworth replies: “If the vehicle is an SL model and is fitted with the six-speed transmission, the gearbox is fill-for-life as per the owner’s manual info. If the car is a KM model then the transmission fluid should be replaced every 60,000km as per the owner’s handbook.”
KEEP IT SIMPLE
I am 18, in my last year of school and in the process of choosing my first car. I have narrowed the choices down to two vehicles: 2012-14 Suzuki Swift Sport CVT or 2012-13 Skoda Fabia RS. I am looking for a vehicle that is not only fun to drive but good on fuel and reliable. Noah Chara, email Both cars get The Tick from me but, at the risk of sounding like a fuddyduddy, I think you should start with something simple and easy to drive. That means taking the Suzuki today, as there will be plenty of time for Skoda-style fun in the future.