Territory Stories

The Northern Territory news Sat 23 Apr 2011



The Northern Territory news Sat 23 Apr 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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302 NT NEWS. CARSguide Saturday, April 23, 2011. www.ntnews.com.au P U B : N T N E W S D A T E : 2 3 -A P R -2 0 1 1 P A G E : 3 0 2 C O L O R : C M Y K CARS GUIDE 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 ntnews.com.au Honda best non-luxury car HONDA has topped the list of best non-luxury brands for retained value compiled by USwebsite Edmunds.com. The Japanese brandwon the gong with an average projected retained value of 50.4 percent. The USmotoringwebsite says Hondas are highly regarded by US car buyers because of an excellent reputation for reliability and quality. Four of the brands most popular models took out category wins the Civic, Accord, CR-V and the Odyssey. Forester overtakes Impreza The Forester has passed the Impreza as the bestselling Subarumodel in Australia. The compact SUV the segment sales leader for the past three years recently passed the 150,000 salesmark and overtook the Impreza, which has racked up 138,000 sales since it went on sale in early 1993. The Forester wagonwas launched in 1997 andwas the first in Subarus range to achieve a five-star ANCAP safety rating. Driverswant to keep it simple VOICE-based navigation is safer than other methods including printedmaps, according to a US study. The Virginia Tech Transportation Institute study compared a smartphone app, satnav, satnavwith turn-by-turn directions, destination downloads and printedmaps and directions. It found nearly 87 per cent of drivers preferred simple, quick instructions, andmore than 80 per cent said theyd opt for the least-complicated navigation option. Mazda offers somuch fun By PAUL POTTINGER A SHINY-scalped, middle-aged bloke biffs through the traffic in a roof-down roadster. Not a good look, is it? And I should know. Pity, because at a time when some states seem po ised to levy fines and demerit points for so as much mentioning fun in the same sentence as driving, the MX-5 remains an unadulterated dose of jollies. If its become easily the worlds most popular roadster largely because of its affordability, this perennial Mazda is also a dynamic classic and an almost unique experience among new cars. If youve the least drop of petrol in your veins, you must drive one at least once. Nothing to touch it at this price. The alternatives we suggest arent entirely com parable except in so far as they can get their tops off. The base soft-roof Touring, which really is all the MX-5 you need, starts at $42,460. The Roadster Coupe range with its foldaway hard top of lightweight composite materials begins at a price of $47,200. Our limited edition gets nice silver paint (metallic blue or black if you prefer), beige seats and grey stitching on the wheel and handbrake with Bilstein shocks. Otherwise its stock. Its also a gift that will keep giving. Wellmaintained MX-5s with more than 150,000km on the clock are not uncommon. TECHNOLOGY Simplicity is the key. Although the folding hardtop folds up or away at a buttons touch, still it needs to be manually latched. The revable, willing and able 2.0-litre atmo four is driven through a short throw six-speed manual. There are auto MX-5s and these are not bad, but they remove some of the interaction which is central to the roadster experience. For once classic isnt a misnomer. The MX-5 remains a (still fairly) lightweight, low slung, rear-wheel-drive two-seater that exists to be driven for the sake of it. STYLE Generation three has been with us for six years, but the diminutive shape shows no sign of ageing. Thats what comes of being (sorry) a classic. Time has been less kind to the inside which is looking distinctly last decade. Some of the plastics serve to remind this is a budget sports car. If you want opulence, by all means spend at least twice the money on a German roadster for nothing like the return in terms of sheer driving pleasure. SAFETY Four stars is not top drawer but acceptable. Antiskid brakes bolster discs, ventilated up front, solids on the rear. While the limited slip differential allows you to burst out of corners, its equally a measure for the distribution of power to the driving wheels. Dynamic Stability Control, Mazdas take on an electronic stability program, is among the most sympathetically tuned in the business. It cuts in deftly when called upon, but you need to speak loudly. The absence of a spare tyre is acceptable in a tiny roadster, though thats no consolation if you cop a flat. DRIVING As ever, a delight. The MX-5 has never been about outright power, though at under eight seconds from standing to the 100km/h mark its handily quick and, being so petite, almost always feels fast. Rather, as cars become more cosseting and forgiving, this remains about intimacy and instant response to your inputs. Yes, the MX-5 has acquired some heft due to modern necessities as airbags and (unforgivably in the eyes of purists) that folding hard-top, but there is nothing repeat nothing quite like it at anything like the money. Though a joyous device when pushed, perhaps the greatest thing about the MX-5 is that under our revenue-hungry state governments, you need not chart extremes to enjoy it. Top up or scalp-scorchingly down, it gives you something back on a suburban roundabout or dodging through city traffic. VERDICT The iconic yet still completely contemporary sports car. We love: Handling, handling, handling. We loathe: That were too bald for it. ATAGLANCE MX-5 ENGINE: 4-cylinder petrol, 118kW/188Nm BODY: 2-door, 2 seats DIMENSIONS: 4020mm (L); 1720mm (W); 1255mm (H); 2330mm (WB) TRANSMISSION: Six-speedmanual, rear-drive FUEL/CO2 Economy: 8.1l/100km; 174g/km CO2 SERVICE INTERVAL: 15,000km or 12months TYRE SIZE: 205/45R17. Spare tyre: None SAFETY EQUIPMENT: 4 airbags, DSC, ABS, TC; LSD Crash rating: 4 stars OWNERSHIP PRICE: $47,200 WARRANTY: 3 years, unlimited, roadside assist RESALE: 59 per cent after 3 years