Weekend Gold Coast Bulletin

SURF AND TURF WAGON

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THE QUESTION

I want to replace my 2008 Subaru Tribeca. I transport surfboards and bikes inside with rear seats down and the Tribeca’s been sufficient. What modern models – brand’s not important – have comparable space? New is fine as I keep cars a long time, but I like value and mod cons. Budget’s between $35-80,000. Craig Clark, email

ANSWER

Your healthy budget and the fact that you keep cars a long time means buying a new car makes sense. Your 4865mm-long Tribeca has a 450L boot, or 1495L with all but the front seats folded. SUVs clog the market, but a wagon also fits your needs. Genuine accessory cabin protection against your active lifestyle will preserve your plush new purchase.

CHOICES

SKODA OCTAVIA AMBITION WAGON, $34,490 DRIVE-AWAY

Skoda’s talented all-new Octavia has just landed. The entry-level Ambition wagon has plenty of mod cons for a sharp price. Gear includes a 10-inch infotainme­nt screen, a digital dashboard, wireless Apple CarPlay/Android Auto, a power tailgate, radar cruise control and good safety features. It’s 4689mm long, while it has more boot space than your Tribeca with 640 litres or 1700L with seats down. The 110kW 1.4-litre turbo petrol engine punches above its weight and sips only 5.9L/100km. Warranty is five years and a service pack across that time is a cheap $1400. Skoda sells a double-sided boot mat for your boards and bikes for $298 fitted. Supply is tight, so you may have to wait for one.

TOYOTA RAV4 CRUISER 2WD HYBRID, ABOUT $47,700 DRIVE-AWAY

Another you’ll have to wait for: our 2019 Car of the Year is in huge demand due to its all-round talents. You can spend more on an AWD version or the more off-road specific Edge grade, but the leather-lined hybrid Cruiser is the pick if bitumen driving’s the norm. Consumptio­n is a frugal 4.8L/100km, its combined 160kW power is ample and you can creep along in traffic using battery power only. It’s 4600mm long and the boot is massive at 580L or 1690L with rear seats down. It looks tough, drives very well for an SUV and goodies include wireless phone charging, dual-zone climate control and excellent active safety. The warranty is five years and five services are a bargain $1075 in total. Grab an all-weather cargo mat ($109) and four rubber floor mats ($103) for your sport gear.

SUBARU FORESTER 2.5I-S AWD, ABOUT $48,400 DRIVE-AWAY

Your Tribeca’s served you well, so how about Subaru loyalty? If you seek more remote surf or mountain bike spots, the Forester’s all-wheeldrive, 220mm ground clearance and smart XMode for varied terrains make it more capable than practicall­y any other medium SUV. But it’s pricey to run. The 136kW 2.5-litre petrol uses 7.4L/100km and services cost $2385 for the first five years, with warranty also lasting that long. It’s 4625mm long and the boot’s 498L, or a

massive 1740L with rear seats down. You’re spoiled inside, with leather seats, Harman Kardon audio, a sunroof, power tailgate and excellent safety. Unlike the others, there’s a fullsize spare. It’s not thrilling to drive, but comfortabl­e and competent. A cargo tray and rubber mat set cost about $400.

WILDCARD

AUDI A4 ALLROAD QUATTRO, ABOUT $78,000 DRIVE-AWAY

Niche, luxurious and stylish, the Audi Allroad is the spoil-yourself choice. The Allroad’s 4762mm long, and seats-down space is a Tribeca-matching 1495L (495L seats up). It’s business class inside with power leather seats, a 10-inch touchscree­n, digital dashboard, Apple CarPlay/Android Auto, wireless charging and excellent safety. The drive experience eclipses the others: its 2.0-litre turbo offers 183kW and 370Nm for 0-100km/h in just 6.1 seconds. Economy isn’t great at 7.4L/100km and it needs pricier 95 RON petrol. Warranty’s a poor three years, while five services cost $2920. But hey, you’re in the prestige club now.

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