Chinese language automobile makers are on the march in Australia.
Whereas the remainder of the automobile is within the doldrums — gross sales are down by eight per cent over final 12 months — gross sales of Chinese language vehicles are up 70 per cent on the again of low costs and prolonged warranties.
MG, the previous British sports activities automobile model now owned by the Chinese language, is main the way in which.
Gross sales are up a staggering 181 per cent and the model is outselling established manufacturers comparable to Jeep and Peugeot.
Main the way in which is the city-focused MG ZS.
Reader Peter Oliver asks if it’s a good selection for his daughter
THREE FOR THE ROAD?
My daughter’s contemplating an MG ZS small SUV because it appears to be like good worth. It has a tiny 1.Zero-litre three-cylinder engine or 1.5-litre non-turbo four-cylinder. Being an outdated bloke, I’m sceptical about small engines for reliability and longevity. Are they a nasty alternative?
MG gross sales have nearly trebled this 12 months attributable to half respectable product, robust worth and industry-leading seven-year guarantee. I additionally was sceptical about three-cylinders — thought them solely match for motorbikes — however the trendy turbo ones are crackers. Actually a better option than MG’s naturally-aspirated 1.5-litre mated to its historical four-speed auto gearbox. Reliability? Unimaginable to say, however that seven-year guarantee is superb insurance coverage. The ZS 1.0T is an efficient automobile for not a lot cash ($23,990 drive away), however its four-star ANCAP ranking and depreciation would fear me. Until she actually wants an SUV, a small hatchback like a Hyundai i30 is a five-star different for a similar cash.
DRIVEN TO DISTRACTION
I used to be shocked to learn Claire Haiek’s Audi SQ7 report saying she would favor to enter navigation particulars via the touchscreen whereas on the go. Certainly no person of their proper thoughts would take such an motion with out stopping the automobile? It’s as dangerous as taking your eyes off the highway to make use of a cell phone.
Harry Laurenceson, e-mail
Robust one this, Harry. I see your level, and whereas utilizing your cellphone whereas driving is unlawful, utilizing your automobile’s touchscreen — with or with out cellphone mirroring comparable to Apple CarPlay/Android Auto — is authorized. The caveat being so long as you’re not “distracted”, which is a bit ambiguous. Whether or not legal guidelines change sooner or later stays to be seen, however legislators ought to maintain a detailed watch on how shortly in-car tech is evolving. My private choice is to make use of the automobile or cellphone’s voice management (comparable to Siri) for issues comparable to navigation enter or making calls. Arms and eyes then stay on the highway.
SEASON OF GOODWILL
Re: “Preserve Your Choices Open”, heed Iain Curry’s recommendation and repair your automobile on the dealership as a result of goodwill is all the things. My Volvo’s gearbox failed exterior guarantee however after I instructed Volvo Australia it was serviced independently they weren’t eager to assist.
Pete Mulkearns, e-mail
Servicing independently doesn’t imply you gained’t obtain goodwill repairs exterior of guarantee, however frequent sense dictates you’ll be considered extra favourably if you happen to’ve serviced throughout the seller community.
THE BIG ISSUE
My brother’s a 193cm large and is having hassle getting a automobile he can slot in. What vehicles or SUVs have the most important driver’s area? Would the SsangYong Korando be appropriate?
On the automobile entrance, a fellow motoring author who’s much more large at 200cm tells me the Kia Cerato, Holden Astra, VW Golf and Honda Civic provide him good driving positions. The Korando is a small SUV, however evaluations recommend it has respectable headroom, so give it a attempt. Toyota’s C-HR is roomier than it appears to be like from the skin, whereas the Suzuki Vitara is an even bigger small SUV and rivals the SsangYong for worth. Strive the Nissan X-Path for a real mid-size SUV, whereas the market-fresh Kia Seltos has spectacular cabin dimensions. I’d favour it over the SsangYong; they’re priced equally. Have your brother do a tour of the dealerships and verify for one of the best match.
Is there any benefit to proudly owning a hybrid Toyota Camry if I stay within the nation and solely do journeys of 200km or extra? As a retiree, gas economic system is vital for month-to-month money move. If I can do lower than 5L/100km it might be an enormous saving.
Chris Scott, e-mail
Toyota costs its hybrids so near non-hybrids it’s a no brainer for virtually everybody. Particularly as hybrid batteries have a 10-year guarantee. The Hybrid’s mixed economic system determine is four.2L/100km, returning four.7L on the town and four.2L on the freeway. The four-cylinder non-hybrid does 7.8L, 11.0L and 5.9L respectively. Clearly the most important features are for city drivers, however I discover hybrids give extra dependable economic system figures on lengthy journeys. The non-hybrid’s 5.9L/100km on the freeway? Fanciful. Essentially the most you’ll pay additional for a Camry Hybrid over the non-hybrid is $2000. The one destructive, which might swing it in your case, is the Hybrid wants pricier 95 gas. The non-hybrid drinks 91.
BOUNCE THE CZECH
Whereas studying Roadside Help final week you admitted proudly owning a Skoda. It’s unhappy you possibly can “expertly” touch upon vehicles once you personal a Skoda. All vehicles ought to have choices for rear-wheel drive and eight cylinders. Focus please on actual vehicles and actual drivers and keep in mind there’s no substitute for displacement.
Peter Stewart, Townsville
How’s the festive spirit there, Peter? I’d love a rear-drive V8 because the household automobile — a Mercedes C63 AMG wagon could be positive — however it’s 10 instances the worth I paid for our Skoda household wagon and I’m undecided my wages would cowl the weekly gas payments. Skoda gross sales are up 17 per cent this 12 months, they usually’ve shifted extra automobiles in 2019 than Jeep, a model that also embraces the V8. I take it you’re not wanting ahead to the electrical automobile future, both?