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.”


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.


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.”


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.

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