Territory Stories

The Northern Territory news Sat 10 Sep 2011



The Northern Territory news Sat 10 Sep 2011

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NT news


The Northern Territory news; NewspaperNT




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Community newspapers -- Northern Territory -- Darwin; Australian newspapers -- Northern Territory -- Darwin

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Nationwide News Pty. Limited

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Nationwide News Pty. Limited



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www.ntnews.com.au CARSguide NT NEWS. 9 P U B : N T N E W S D A T E : 1 0 -S E P -2 0 1 1 P A G E : 3 0 9 C O L O R : C M Y K Vehicles must be purchased and delivered before 30th September 2011 to be eligible for this offer. This offer only available at participating Suzuki automobile dealers. Drive away includes 6 months rego. Pictures are for illustration purposes only. Not available in Queensland or Northern NSW. Metallic paint $475 extra m g 1 0 0 6 0 4 WE WANT YOUR TRADE, TOP PRICES PAID ntnews.com.aul l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l CARS GUIDE Gaming link to cuts in real-life Grand Theft Auto By MARK HINCHLIFFE GRAND Theft Auto and similar computer games could be contributing to a dramatic slide in the number of car thefts. National Motor Vehicle Theft Reduction Council executive director Ray Carroll says the number of car thefts has plummeted 65 per cent from a peak of 129,923 in 2000-01. One of the reasons I believe is that youth culture has changed over the last dec ade, he says. Where stealing a car on a Friday or Saturday night used to be the thing to do for bored youths, now they have moved on to a more electronic world and are just as likely to be home playing Grand Theft Auto on the Xbox than out doing the real thing. Its one of those things we think is happening; we cant be definitive. But a lot of car theft was spontaneous theft for joyriding by young people. Now they are doing a lot less physical things. The latest National Motor Vehicle Theft Reduction Council report shows most stolen and recovered vehicles are still taken by local thieves for short-term purposes, such as joy rides. The most dramatic falls have been in short-term thefts for joyriding (down 70 per cent from 114,766 in 2000-01 to 34,155 last year), rather than profit-motivated thefts by professional crooks (down 23 per cent from 15,157 to 11,659). In the past financial year, more than 60 per cent of cars were recovered within 10km of where they were stolen and 45 per cent were located in the same suburb. Cars stolen and dumped in the same suburb were more likely to be recovered within one day and two out of 10 after 14 days. Local joyriders target cheaper cars which are easier to steal, the research found. Mr Carroll says vehicles have also been made more difficult to steal with the introduction of immobilisers in all new cars from 2001. You cant hot-wire a mod ern vehicle, so thieves have had to get smarter by stealing keys and transponders. Mr Carroll says most stolen and non-recovered cars are taken for profit so crooks will modify their behaviour to find a way around the legislative barriers. They are shifting to new methodology such as theft for scrap or parts, he says. While car theft has decreased, theft of motorcycles has increased over the past five years with the growing popularity of two-wheeled transport, Mr Carroll says. They are particularly difficult to deter crooks because half of the bikes stolen are offroad bikes and not registered, he says. Theyre also particularly open to dismantling and selling for parts. People can dismantle one in their loungeroom if they want to. Mr Carroll says light trucks, vans and trailers are greater theft targets than big prime movers. Very few prime movers are stolen and not recovered, he says. Extra punch at a price Looks great, goes like a scalded cat and sips fuel. So whats the catch? NEIL DOWLING reports The Audi A5s diesel rumble at idle is so muted that it sounds more like a big-bore petrol AUDI A5 3.0TDI QUATTRO Price: $91,900 Economy: 6.6 litres/100km; 174g/km CO 2 Safety: Six airbags, ESC, ABS, EBD, EBA, TC Technical: Engine 176kW/ 500Nm3.0-litre V6 turbodiesel Body: 2-door, 4 seats Dimensions: 4625 (L); 1854mm (W); 1372mm (H); 2751mm (WB) Star: 4 out of 5 OR . . . BMW 330D COUPE Star: 4 Price: $95,600 Engine: 3.0-litre, 6-cyl turbo-diesel, 180kW/520Nm Body: 2-door coupe Thirst: 6.2 litres/100km, CO 2 164g/km OR . . . MERCEDES C-COUPE C250 CDI Star: 4.5 Price: $69,900 Engine: 2.1-litre, 4-cyl biturbo-diesel, 150kW/500Nm Body: 2-door coupe Thirst: 5.1 litres/100km, CO 2 134g/km OR . . . VOLVO C70T5 Star: 3.5 Price: $69,950 Engine: 2.5-litre, 5-cyl turbo-petrol, 169kW/320Nm Body: 2-door convertible Thirst: 9.8 litres/100km, 95 RON, CO 2 234g/km ECONOMY motoring as a genre doesnt have a sleek two-door body and a $100,000 price tag. It will, however, probably have a diesel engine. Though seemingly at odds with each other, the three ingredients arent uncommon in Europe. BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Audi are generous providers. The primary reason for their success in Europe is buyer demand for a stylish car that has the long fuel range of the frugal diesels. The car makers are equally as pragmatic they put diesel engines into anything that moves because the low carbon-dioxide emissions reduce their fleet emission penalty. Australians are more emotive they like the prestige diesels because they go like stink. Thats where the Audi A5 3.0 TDI comes in. VALUE: Straight up you dont have $100,000 in your pocket and then buy a car for economy. At $91,900 the A5 Coupe 3.0 TDI is all panache. It turns a lot of heads and sparks a lot of questions. This V6 diesel-engined model is $4000 cheaper than its 3.2-litre V6 petrol sister. It has the same gear leather, all-wheeldrive quattro system, auto and sweet audio but aside from saving on the purchase, its quicker to 100km/h than the petrol and gets 6.6 litres/ 100km against the petrols 9.3 litres/100km. Thats about a 1000km range compared with the petrols 700km. DESIGN: Beautiful. Despite the rather heavy-handed near-vertical grille, the A5 Coupe is both balanced and head-swivelling. It looks aggressive from the front, almost dainty in profile and purposeful at its tail. Driver visibility is actually quite good, but if you want to regularly cart four people, go for the A5 Sportback and its five doors. Boot space is excellent and fold-down rear seat makes it almost cavernous, but space-saver tyre mounted on a plinth (to save money on a full-size spare) looks cheap. Instruments, quality of finish and design of the dashboard are spot-on. TECHNOLOGY: Hmmm. Big V6 turbodiesel driving all wheels through a seven-cog dual-clutch automated manual gearbox pretty much says it all. The electric-hydraulic steering is better than similar systems. Putting a heavy V6 ahead of the front axles invites understeer but theres a lot of trickery with metal rods and springs and relocated components to minimise the handling disadvantages of a heavy nose. Having all-wheel drive also helps. SAFETY: Five stars when you hit the concrete and six airbags with all the (now) expected chassis and brake electronics. Its the full suite and that complements the Audis feeling of solidity on the road. DRIVING: Forget traditional diesel engine noise the Audis diesel rumble at idle is so muted that it sounds more like a big-bore petrol. Thats outside the car. Inside its just a faint growl at idle; inaudible at cruising and only present again when the accelerator is mashed. Acceleration is brilliant and absolutely seamless in the way it rapidly ditches one ratio and picks up the next. Fantastic punch at the mid-corner also creates eyewatering slingshot exits. Its also very comfortable (if youre sitting in the front) and has a supple ride. VERDICT: Unexpectedly good. The chassis and the drivetrain layout defies physics but really works well. I think you get more driving thrills out of this diesel than the equivalent petrol model. But still not a cheap car and while the five-door Sportback may make more sense, its nowhere near as pretty.