Mazda needs to see the light
I read an article about the Mazda CX-5 faults and I have had a lot of issues with mine since I bought it 18 months ago. We live in the country and we need headlights with good coverage. My wife hit a kangaroo as she did not see it until the last minute due to the poor illumination and range. The lights may be good in the city but they’re no good in the country. I know of two others who have complained about this. Steven Schache, email As a headlight zealot I’m well acquainted with sub-par Japanese headlights. Many even have excellent xenon low beams and useless halogen highs. It’s because no one in Japan drives on high beam, a point I’ve made numerous times to engineering bosses from Subaru and Toyota.
SPEEDO ALWAYS OUT
My wife and I bought a Holden 2013 Malibu about two months ago and I noticed the speed of the car, according to the speedometer, was about 10 per cent slower than my GPS speed alarm. When I hit 110km/h on the GPS I had 120 on the speedometer. In a 60 zone when I reached 68 to 70 on the speedo the GPS alert showed 60km/h. The speedo on my 2003 Toyota Camry Sportivo works fine with the same GPS. It is frustrating when driving to not know exactly what speed you’re doing. I mentioned it to the dealership at the first service and there is nothing they can do. But I expect the speedometer of a new car to be accurate. Jorge Soriano, email By law, speedometers only have to be accurate within 10 per cent. Most cars have some degree of error and companies set them to err on the side of generosity so you won’t be nabbed for speeding. It’s always been like this but GPS now gives far greater accuracy.
THE WAR’S NOT OVER
Thank you for your recent help with our Jeep Patriot. The front wishbones were independently tested and the ball joints were found to have failed prematurely. Jeep reimbursed us the full cost of replacement, including the labour and tyres that had scrubbed out. Darren Mudge, email I’m glad we got a result for you but the battle continues with Fiat-Chrysler Australia for a number of other owners with faulty cars and complaints, especially Grand Cherokee drivers with noisy shock absorbers.
FORESTER FOR FUN
I am contemplating trading in my 2007 Subaru Impreza on a new Forester XT Premium, looking for something with a bit more room that would still be fun to drive. I’m after your thoughts, first on the car and then whether I should be concerned about the combination of a turbo engine and constantly variable transmission. Georgie Lolis, email The Forester definitely gets The Tick. The CVT, even though I’m not a fan, keeps the turbo engine working in its best performance band.
GIVE ME GREY ANY DAY
I nearly choked on my Weeties when I read your story on grey imports. Australian new-vehicle buyers are sick to their back teeth with being blatantly ripped off with extortionate new vehicle overpricing. Since the GFC, our dollar has appreciated from US60 cents to, at its peak, $1.10, yet what has happened to reduce the price of newvehicle imports here in that same time? Absolutely nothing. How stupid do you, and your FCAI mates, think Australian new-vehicle consumers are? Well, the good times are rapidly drawing to a close. Australians, including our national government, are now prudently looking at how the rest of the world’s “impoverished” nations have overcome the problem of eliminating the pricing stranglehold on their local economies of the newvehicle sales pricing cartels. Adopting the “grey-imports” model, one mechanism for doing this, has been successful overseas. Bill, email It’s a fact that new cars in Australia has never been more affordable. Some exotic imports are still overpriced but even Rolls-Royce dropped its stickers last year — by more than $100,000. The grey