Territory Stories

The Centralian Advocate Fri 8 Jan 2021



The Centralian Advocate Fri 8 Jan 2021


Centralian Advocate; NewspaperNT




Made available via the Publications (Legal Deposit) Act 2004 (NT).




Community newspapers -- Northern Territory -- Alice Springs; Tennant Creek (N.T.) -- Newspapers; Alice Springs (N.T.) -- Newspapers; Australia, Central -- Newspapers

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News Corp Australia

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News Corp Australia



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MOTORING 17 V1 - NTNE01Z01MO R O A D S I D E A S S I S T HYBRID V PETROL We want to update our current Toyota RAV4 for a hybrid SUV. What are the benefits of a hybrid versus petrol engine? Which Toyota RAV4 Hybrid grade would you recommend? Were considering the GXL. Steve Maxwell, email Your choice of mid-sized hybrid SUVs is between the RAV4 and Subaru Forester Hybrid. The Toyotas better. The hybrid benefit is fuel economy, pure and simple, and the battery self-charges so theres no need to plug it in. On paper, the RAV4 Hybrid manages 4.7L/100km versus the 2.0-litre petrols 6.5L/100km. If you spend a lot of time in town or traffic, the Hybrids economy is better still. You pay $2600 extra for the Hybrid, but you have 160kW/221Nm against the petrols 127kW/203Nm, so its a better thing to drive. The GXLs a great choice of grade, and, unless you plan to tow, Id save $3000 by going 2WD and not AWD. OLD FAITHFULS Re: indestructible cars, my 2002 Peugeot 406 still runs perfectly after 426,000km. I think itll reach half-a-million without too much concern. Doug Brockfield, email Re: high kilometre cars, my 1999 HSV VT Senator with 5.7-litre V8 has 420,000km on the clock. Its as reliable as the day I bought it. Lindsay Watkins, email Wow. If we conservatively say that V8 has averaged 13L/100km over that time, with fuel averaging $1, its drunk about $55,000-worth of unleaded. Totally worth it, Id say. TIME FOR CHANGE? When I moved from NSW to Queensland I was shocked to see so many defective vehicles on the road. One headlight working and sometimes no tail lights. Having to get a pink slip in NSW each year at least keeps vehicles roadworthy, unlike in Queensland. Ian Sutton, email NSWs annual eSafety inspection (pink slip in old money) is unique in Australia: most states only require a roadworthy check when transferring registration, including Queensland. It means leaving roadworthiness in the hands of the owner not a great idea as youve discovered. Fines are dished out for things such as bald tyres and defective lights, but like you, I see far too many cars that wouldnt get close to passing a NSW inspection. Annual inspections cost you time and money, but most of us see the sense i n them. ANTI-VOLVO You wrote 1970s and 1980s Volvos are near unbreakable and ooze Scandinavian cool. Thats not how most people remember them. Back then any slow-moving trail of cars was being held up by a Kombi or Volvo with a bloke with a sinister look and ridiculous hat. Most would rather been seen in a paddy wagon than an old Volvo. Ian Gregory, email How times and trends change. Go to any surf town or university campus today and old Volvos are a popular choice. Im sure theyd all love to be driving Kombis instead, but youd need $50,000 for a good one. PRICE CAP In 2018 I bought a replacement radiator cap for my 2014 Mitsubishi Triton. I was told this specific cap could only be bought through Mitsubishi dealers as it helped with overheating problems. It cost $11 from a Mornington Peninsula dealer. Last month I needed another and was charged $52.35 at a Sunshine Coast dealership. I questioned this huge price increase over two years, and Mitsubishi Australia told me all our dealerships are independently franchised and we are unable to become involved in the prices they charge for parts. The price you have been charged is within Mitsubishi Australias recommended price range. Id hate to think what Ill be stung with next time. Brian Kennedy, email The feedback you received was right: dealers can charge what they like for spare parts. Just what these mysterious recommended price ranges are is anyones guess, or what is deemed an acceptable profit margin. Yours is a 375 per cent price increase. Most sane people would deem this unacceptable. If its practical, take your business away from the second dealership if they cant reasonably explain their price difference. JUST TRY IT Re your response about governments legislating classic cars off our roads, methinks theyd have a multibillion-dollar class action lawsuit on their hands from thousands of classic car owners if they tried. Belinda Rowley, email Yes they would, and I for one would be standing near the front. But never underestimate the ways politicians could stop us driving our classics in decades to come, from massive petrol tax to banning their use in cities. See how taxes have surged on tobacco? Pollies have the power to force us to quit be it smoking or driving old cars. My granddaughters looking for her first car, ideally a four-door automatic between $7000 and $10,000. What are the best choices, and what should she avoid? I see 2010-2013 Toyota Corollas, Mazda3s and Kia Ceratos are in budget. Alan Billing, email The pandemic has seen wholesale used car prices increase, so bargains are thin on the ground. All on your list are sound add to it the Hyundai i30 but these are the used models many have swarmed to in tough times, driving up prices. Better values found with less obvious choices. Check out a VW Golf or Polo (pre-DSG auto gearbox variants) and Ford Focus: for the same price theyre better to drive and more refined than those on your list, although reliability remains a question mark and parts can be pricey. A Suzuki Swift makes a decent first car too, but stay away from Holden Cruzes and Barinas. Look for perfect service histories and its worth investing in a prepurchase inspection. WRITE TO MOTORING AT CARS@NEWS.COM.AU OR PO BOX 2808, GPO SYDNEY, 2001 IAIN CURRY GETS ANSWERS AUTOMATIC CHOICES ----,