GO AHEAD, TELL US WHAT YOU REALLY THINK
MAKE US A LEMON AID
I’VE USED Wheels magazine as a reference guide for all things automotive for over 40 years – back when Robbo was young and we could both do the 100 metres in under 12 seconds (shanks’s pony, that is).
Here’s an idea for Wheels to keep its spot as a hard-copy reference guide to the 60-years-plus brigade: with the class action against Toyota’s 2.8-litre diesel DPF system, the petrol and oil dilution problem in Honda’s 1.5 turbo, VW Dieselgate and so on, it would be great if Wheels could have a ‘lemon’ column which identifies current automotive issues and the manufacturers’ actions to correct or clarify them.
Not only could we be more knowledgeable about our next purchase, but the car companies would also not be able to imitate a bunch of ostriches and give us the mushroom treatment.
Keep up the good work, and I look forward to being buried with my thousands of back copies of Wheels.
Doug Croker, Butler, WA
Good suggestion, Doug. Consider it added to the next meeting’s agenda – Ed
MANUFACTURERS WOULD NOT BE ABLE TO IMITATE A BUNCH OF OSTRICHES “
I WAS FASCINATED by the excellent article by Peter Robinson on the Audi Quattro allwheel-drive system ( Wheels, September 2019). One could be forgiven for getting the idea that Audi was the first manufacturer to engineer, develop and market such a system but that would be a big misconception. You see, most journalists and historians overlook one of the minnows of the auto industry, Subaru, who were the first on the market with a sensible all-wheel-drive system.
Until the release of the AWD Leone wagon in 1972/73, all previous AWD systems were massive in size, very heavy and rather crude in operation. The Subaru system, while not permanent AWD at first, was simple in design and use, light (it only added 60kg to the car) and was driver-selectable on the move. The Audi system, whilst sophisticated as far as its engineering was concerned, was very expensive to manufacture.
In June 1982, Subaru introduced its Touring Wagon here, which was the world’s first car with an automatic gearbox and press-button 4WD engagement. What the small Subaru team achieved was groundbreaking, but they have never received the accolades they so richly deserve.
Gavin Farmer, Bridgewater, SA
They have now, Gavin. Well played – Ed
AUSSIE CARS? AU YES WE CAN!
THE RECENT STORY in the news on bringing back the AU Falcon gave me a chuckle. But then I thought, what if it were taken seriously and we actually brought together as many people as possible to crowd-fund reactivation of one of the many local car production facilities? I realise there‘s a lot involved, but we still have all the right people and expertise, all the right infrastructure, and clearly still a reasonable level of demand for Aussie-built cars. If aimed at a smaller sales target and with sufficient private and government backing, I reckon building a locally designed and manufactured range would be a goer.
Darcy Maynard, Canberra
We admire your optimism, Darcy, but sorry, you’ll have to consider us non-starters for that particular crowd-funding project – Ed
A POINT OF STYLE
THANKS FOR PUBLISHING Andy Enright’s wonderfully controversial claim that the early’90s RX-7 was a high-water mark in styling for Japanese cars ( Wheels, August 2019). Love it! I can only suggest you step off the sushi train, Andy. Even within the Mazda pantheon the MX-5 NB2 is a better-proportioned and styled car (I have to say this, because I own one!). Then there’s the early-‘70s RX-3 coupe, but best of all there’s the cirac-1967 1500 sedan as styled by Bertone, and I’ve got a funny feeling that the short-lived 1800 that followed looked even better.
Fraser Faithfull, email
Sound points, Fraser – however, this is sounding like a debate for which the old phrase ‘beauty is in the eye of the beholder’ was perfectly coined – Ed
CADDY’S NO COMMODORE
I SEE FROM YOUR website that Wheels is getting all excited about a new Cadillac arriving for testing, and the possibility of it replacing the current Commodore.
Fact is, the world has moved on since the demise of the Aussie-made Commodore. The latest import has been a sales disaster.
Since 1948, Holden has told the public that you must have six cylinders and rear-drive. No one knows why. Then it had the stupidity to try and sell a 2.0-litre four-cylinder front-driver as a Commodore. (Yes, I know there is a V6 AWD.) Well, guess what: you’d be better off with a Camry, which also offers the option of state-ofthe-art hybrid technology.
I note that the base Caddy is also a 2.0-litre turbo, but RWD, so that won’t cut it as a Commodore. Then there’s the small issue of price. If it’s $40K in the USA, just do the conversion: about $70K-plus starting price here, which puts it in Genesis, Lexus territory.
What I think you can be certain of is that if they market it here, it will be as a Cadillac.
Lindsay Taylor, Sorrento, WA THE RAGGED EDGE
YOUR REPORT DISCUSSING the Toyota RAV4 vs the Subaru Forester 2.5i-s ( Wheels, September 2019) doesn’t address any driving beyond tarmac. Given there are a lot of soccer mums who push the boundaries when driving around the grassy verges of school yards and suburban sports fields, it would be nice to know which of these two can handle the light off-road action. There is more to all-wheel-drive SUVS than urban fuel consumption figures.
Paul Collinson, Camira, Qld
Fair enough, Paul. Both Forester and RAV4 are off-road capable, but it would take very specific terrain to separate them in terms of ability. The Forester has a theoretical advantage due to slightly greater ground clearance and constant all-wheel drive – Ed
I ENJOY Wheels’ car tests and objective reviews. I always use the pricing and specification tables at the back of the magazine to look at the section related to the vehicle I’m considering, and see in which issues over the past few years you have reviewed that vehicle or something similar.
It seems that this specific information is no longer included in those tables. Please advise where this crucial information is available. Without it, of course, I would have to go trawling through all older magazines one by one in the hope of finding relevant road tests – what a ridiculous nightmare!
Greg Mortimer, via email
We’re all about creating dreams, not nightmares, Greg, so you’ll find the newly expanded Databank section in the back of this issue. Enjoy – Ed
“STEP OFF THE SUSHI TRAIN, ANDY