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The Weekend Post - Motoring - - Front Page - nick dal­ton Ed­i­tor cars­guide

LAP OF LUX­URY

FANCY a new car, but can’t stretch the bud­get enough to buy one? The Cairns Post and Far North­ern Mit­subishi deal­ers are giv­ing one lucky reader the chance to win a new car worth $40,000.

Read­ers will have a choice be­tween a Mit­subishi Out­lander LS 7 seat wagon auto or a Mit­subishi Tri­ton GLX dou­ble cab 4x4 ute man­ual.

And if fuel prices are adding to your bud­get prob­lems, we can help too.

Each day dur­ing the pro­mo­tion, The Cairns Post will give read­ers a chance to win $100 worth of fuel a day.

Sim­ply log onto www. cairns.com.au and en­ter the code num­ber found on the pro­mo­tional ad each day.

Look for de­tails of the com­pe­ti­tion inside to­day’s The Week­end Post. IN this fast-paced world of tech­nol­ogy where flat screen TVs and MP3 play­ers are be­com­ing ne­ces­si­ties, the mo­tor­ing in­dus­try has not been left be­hind.

More than 97 per cent of driv­ers ex­pect to have at least three of what used to be con­sid­ered lux­ury items in­cluded in a medium-priced car and they feel duped when hav­ing to pay ex­tra for them, says re­search con­ducted by dis­trib­u­tors of the Mahin­dra Pik-Up util­ity ve­hi­cle.

TMI Pa­cific chief op­er­a­tions of­fi­cer Claire Ty­nan said an av­er­age of 90 per cent of par­tic­i­pants thought items such as air­con­di­tion­ing, power steer­ing, re­mote cen­tral lock­ing, CD/MP3 player and power win­dows should come stan­dard in new.

“The days of get­ting RSI from wind­ing your win­dows up and down or turn­ing a heavy steer­ing wheel are long gone,” she said. “Less than 3 per cent of those sur­veyed said they wanted a ba­sic car for a ba­sic price with no ex­tras in­cluded. The bar has cer­tainly been lifted.”

When asked what the one fea­ture Aus­tralian driv­ers couldn’t live with­out, the an­swer was air­con­di­tion­ing for 45 per cent of peo­ple.

Power steer­ing came next, with 25 per cent say­ing they would strug­gle with­out it over and above any other item.

Next were safety fea­tures, which gained more of the votes than true crea­ture com­forts such as re­mote cen­tral lock­ing, a CD/MP3 player and power win­dows.

“Aussie driv­ers are dis­cern­ing con­sumers who un­doubt­edly ex­pect value for money propo­si­tions,” Ms Ty­nan said.

“Even within the util­ity ve­hi­cle cat­e­gory, which has tra­di­tion­ally ap­pealed to farm­ers and tradies due to their ba­sic work­horse ap­peal and prac­ti­cal func­tion­al­ity, we’re see­ing con­sumers grav­i­tate to­wards a ve­hi­cle which of­fers much more.”

RAIS­ING THE BAR HIGHER

CHRYSLER has an­nounced it is de­vel­op­ing new tech­nol­ogy for cus­tomer con­ve­nience.

Ex­pect an in-ve­hi­cle wire­less in­ter­net con­nec­tiv­ity sys­tem, rear Cross path and blind spot mon­i­tor­ing sys­tems and a host of in-ve­hi­cle con­nec­tiv­ity and en­ter­tain­ment sys­tems as op­tional ex­tras.

Chrysler LLC ex­ec­u­tive vice pres­i­dent of prod­uct de­vel­op­ment Frank Kle­gon said the fea­tures would be in­tro­duced to the line-up in 2009.

“In to­day’s mar­ket, Chrysler’s mis­sion is to bring in­no­va­tion to mar­ket more quickly, ul­ti­mately re­sult­ing in more cus­tomer sat­is­fac­tion and con­ve­nience. Each of th­ese unique Chrysler tech­nolo­gies de­liv­ers on that mis­sion,” he said.

The in-ve­hi­cle wire­less sys­tem will pro­vide high-speed data trans­fer and con­ve­nience, com­bin­ing WiFi and 4G con­nec­tiv­ity to trans­form the ve­hi­cle into a “hot spot” to de­liver in­ter­net and email ac­cess, plus movie and mu­sic down­load ca­pa­bil­ity.

Voice com­mands can in­put ad­dresses to the nav­i­ga­tion sys­tem and ac­cess voice mail with Chrysler’s UCon­nect Blue­tooth hands-free sys­tem which recog­nises more than 100,000 words and is ca­pa­ble of learn­ing new words.

Chrysler’s rear cross path sys­tem warns driv­ers re­vers­ing of traf­fic mov­ing to­ward their ve­hi­cle, but out­side the driver’s field of vi­sion, via an il­lu­mi­nated icon on the side­view mir­ror and with an au­di­ble chime.

The blind spot mon­i­tor­ing sys­tem aids driv­ers when chang­ing lanes if be­ing passed by ve­hi­cles or when ve­hi­cles are po­si­tioned in the blind spot zone.

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