As seen on:

SMH Logo News Logo

Call 1300 303 181

Archive for July, 2020

Car Design in the Post-COVID Era

There is sufficient reason to believe that cars of the future may well incorporate new design principles in the wake of COVID-19. At least, that’s the view according to South Korean car manufacturer Kia. The company’s design boss, Karim Habib, anticipates that there will be various changes in response to some of the concerns and trends that have arisen from the current global pandemic.

 

What changes are being touted?

Vehicle design could be in for a significant overhaul it would seem…albeit perhaps not just yet. Quoted on some of the mooted changes, Mr Habib made clear how fundamental the adjustment in the mindset of motorists and occupants might be, stating, “we’re going to have talks with psychologists and anthropologists to really understand how the public’s psyche is going to be in future”.

More specifically, however, the company is looking at things like anti-viral coatings on interior surfaces, an area that Hyundai has also identified as a potential need in the future as it works on “virus-proof” cabins through the use of self-sterilising materials. Hyundai has also sought to extend its focus to the possibility of using temperature and ultraviolet light to sanitise surfaces.

Social distancing behaviour could also give rise to a new breed of vehicles, which would be short-range micro electric vehicles. These would effectively act as a supplement to other forms of transit such as public transport, bicycles and walking. Rather than an all-in-one motoring solution that many brands have tried to embrace through SUVs, this type of vehicle would be designed more simply as functional units, without the necessary frills that we’ve come to expect in all of the latest-release cars.

There is no denying that recent trends up until COVID-19 were all about shared mobility and peer-to-peer service. With that turned on its head in recent time as we stay at home and keep our distance from others, there is also likely to be some attention shift towards how the internal cabin connects all of the vehicle’s occupants. It is distinctly likely that cars will need to prioritise a more deliberate design when it comes to shared mobility, at least for the purposes of helping us uphold the momentum as far as the shared mobility trend.

 

But these are just a few of the potential design changes in the post-COVID era. What do you anticipate might change when it comes to new car design in the mid-term?

Honda CR-V Gets Ready For 2021.

Honda Australia is set to give their popular CR-V SUV range a major boost. The 2021 MY is on the way and has new styling, upgraded equipment, and extra features including Honda Sensing as standard on all variants powered by the 1.5-litre VTEC Turbo engine. The range will be mainly a five seater with two seven seaters available.The range will see upgrades such as a hands-free tailgate, wireless smartphone charge pads in some models, whilst dual zone aircon and smart-apps inside a 7.0 inch touchscreen will be standard.

Honda Sensing is the name given to the safety and driver-assist package, and it will be standard for all but the Vi, covering the two seven seat versions as well. “The inclusion of Honda Sensing as standard equipment on all CR-V grades with the 1.5-litre turbo engine, represents another step in our plan to introduce the latest intelligent driver-assist and active safety technologies right across the Honda vehicle range,” said Honda Australia Director, Mr. Stephen Collins. “By early next year, almost 70 per cent of our vehicles will feature Honda Sensing, reflecting our ongoing commitment to support the safe and comfortable driving of our customers.”Thew forthcoming CR-V brings a new method of naming the range. Honda says it will help new customers and returning clients follow the differences in model trim. The T denotes the model with a turbo engine (in essence, all but the entry level) with the new grade names for the updated CR-V range are based around the “V”: Vi, VTi, VTi X, VTi L AWD, and VTi LX AWD. These will be in a five seater configuration, with two seven seaters named VTi 7 and VTi L7.

The changes outside bring, says Honda, “a more upscale and distinctive presence”. The bumpers have been redesigned and have different accents in silver or grey depending on the model. The grille is blacked out, and the rear light lenses have been tinted for a classier look. VTi X, VTi L AWD and VTi 7 seater will have a new 18 inch alloy and the VTi LX AWD has a bespoke 19 inch in a light grey. Colourwise two new paints have been added, with a metallic Cosmic Blue and the hero colour Ignite Red. These are in addition to the existing Platinum White pearlescent, Lunar Silver metallic, Brilliant Sporty Blue metallic, Modern Steel metallic and Crystal Black pearlescent with all pearl and metallics available as a no-cost option.

For the organic components of the CR-V, they’ll have a redesigned centre console with better storage capacity and easier access to the USB ports. The VTi L7 and LX AWD will receive the charge pads. Leather trimmed seats will grace the VTi L AWD and will also be heated and power adjustable.Pricing is competitive considering the range of models. The Vi starts off at $30,490 and has a 2.0L VTEC non-turbo engine. The VTi starts the 1.5L VTEC turbo availability and has a MLP (Manufacturer’s List Price) of $33,490. The VTi 7 starts from $35,490, with the VTi X just $500 more. VTi L AWD starts from $40,490, and the VTiL 7 $43,490. The AWD VTi LX starts from $47,490.

The ETA for the 2021 CR-V is from September onwards.

2020 Suzuki Ignis GLX: Private Fleet Car Review.

This Car Review Is About: Suzuki’s ultra-cool micro SUV, the Ignis. Reborn in 2016 from the original model of the early noughties, the sub-compact machine with hints of Swift has been given a minor visual tickle for its 2020 iteration. It’s a two trim machine with GL and GLX specifications.

How Much Does It Cost?: In Pure Pearl White, on the manual GL, it’s $18,990. The GL Auto is $19,990 in the same colour, with the GLX an auto only at $20,990. Metallics add $595 to the GL and GLX. Prices are driveaway.

Under The Bonnet Is:
Suzuki’s willing 1.2L Dualjet four potter. The 16V donk offers up 66kW at 6,000rpm and torque of120Nm at 4,400rpm. The auto is a CVT with a button activated Sport mode on the selector and a Low range fixed gear that’s ideal for hauling the 865kg (dry) machine up hill and down dale. Well, more up hill than anything. Economy from the teacup sized 32L tank is rated as 4.9L/100km on the combined cycle for the auto. On a very easy highway run, we got a best of 5.5L/100km.

It’s here we need to point out that our review car had just 26 kilometres under the tyres, so no doubt figures would look better as the drivetrain loosens up.On the Outside Is: A choice of the new additions to colour palette, with Ivory, Khaki (as seen on the review vehicle supplied by Suzuki Australia), and Black, alongside the existing Red, Grey, and White. The external amendments see a restyle front and rear bumper, and the blacked out grille has chrome limned inserts for a fresh look. The GLX has driving lights in the lower quarters of the front bar sitting under cheeky looking LED limned headlights. Wheels and tyres are 175/60/16 Bridgestone Ecopia for the GLX, 175/65/15s on the GX. The rear flanks have defining strakes, the wheel arches have a good flare (which makes us wonder if some bigger wheels would look even better) and have polyurethane black linings for contrast.

Length is just 3,700mm, with a boxy 1,660mm x 1,595mm width and height riding on a wheelbase of 2,435mm that enables a turning circle of just 9.4 metres. The SUV-like stance comes from a ride height of 180mm. The petite five door machine has an approach angle of 20 degrees and departure of 38 degrees.On The Inside Is: A basic yet tidy layout and one that admirably suits purpose. Manually operated seats, a single push for down for the driver’s window, plain but not untasteful plastic trim, and Suzuki’s nicely laid out touchscreen greet the passengers. For the driver is a simple but cool looking dual dial display and a monochrome info screen on the right. Access to this is via a tab underneath or a steering wheel button on the tilt only column. This shows consumption, clock, fuel level remaining, and also provides access to some of the basic car settings.

Audio, like the Swift Sport, is AM/FM only, however the GLX has a pair of tweeters over the GL’s rather pauper like door-only drivers.

The main seat padding is a pleasant black and white stitch with a charcoal bolstering. They’re supportive enough and on a round trip of close to 200km didn’t leave the driver feeling physically worn. The colour matches the plastics, with the lower half of the cabin in black with light gunmetal grey door grips. The dash has a bone coloured strip which complements the light grey cloth for the pillars and roof lining. Auxiliary ports sit underneath the touchscreen for 12V and USB. It’s a clean look here and mirrors what the Ignis is all about.Each door has a bottle holder, cup holders are two up front and one in the rear of the centre console, between the front seats. The rear seat folds easily to increase the cargo pocket from 264L to 516L (measured to the window) or a full 1104L if packing to the roof.On The Road It’s: A shining example of expectations being met. The Ignis is not intended to be anything other than a very good city car and it meets that purpose head on. The CVT is, for want of a better few words, not the best in smoothness, with whines, clunks, indecisive movement but it works for the Ignis. It harnesses what torque there is and uses it effectively enough. No, acceleration isn’t rapid, with a 0-100kmh time measured in days but it runs along just fine, at just under 2,000rpm, at the highway limit. There’s the initial grab at a gear, as such, with the accompanying whine and a long sliiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiide into the next ratio, such as there is.

There’s a subtle but noticeable clunk as that change happens, and a less prolonged whine this time around. A sensation of a third change and the CVT has done its job. A flattening of the right foot has a hesitation whilst the CVT thinks momentarily, then it’s noticeable change in harmonics, a slight clunk, and the Ignis sees some extra pace. It’s the same with the Sport mode; a gentle press has the S in the digital screen light up, and there’s a noticeable change in the tone of the engine and the transmission. The feeling in the drive is slightly smoother and it’s a semblance of increase in speed in the context of what the Ignis delivers otherwise.

There’s not a lot in the brakes, primarily because the Ignis doesn’t need it thanks to being so light. Vented discs up front are supported by drums with front and rear pads inside. the pedal has decent feel and it takes no time at all for a driver to get the feel of just how much pressure is needed. The steering is the same. It’s not the last word in conversational yet there’s still enough for a driver to get some good feedback from the front driven wheels.Ditto the suspension. It’s compliant enough for most road surfaces but on one particular section of road, noted for testing the absorption rates thanks to a rise in the tarmac that descends into a paved section momentarily, virtually every car will crash to the bumpstops and the Ignis is no orphan here. However it recovers quickly and doesn’t deviate from the straight-ahead, indicating that the suspension is sorted well enough.

Perhaps where a small improvement could be made is to remove the Jatz cracker thick rubber and bolt on some wider treads. There are times that the sidewalls were noticeably flexing and the chassis would squirm in sympathy as a result. It’s not an indication of the car doing anything wrong, simply dealing with physics and a tiny pawprint on the road.

What About Safety?: There are the basics here: six airbags, electronic aids such as ABS, and pretensioning seatbelts. That’s it. No autonomous emergency braking or rear cross traffic alerts etc.

What About Warranty?: Suzuki will warrant the new Ignis for five years and unlimited kilometres. Servicing costs are capped for five years or 100,000km, with year 1 at $239, years 2/3/4 at $329, then back to $239. That’s on a 12 month/15,000km cycle.At The End Of the Drive. It’s hard to quantify one key element of the Ignis GLX. As basic as it is, with a small engine, sappy CVT, and boxy looks, you’d be forgiven for overlooking it. You’d also be overlooking a car with an indefinable yet easily understood factor: it’s a fun car. Once the Ignis is up and humming it’s simple to drive, can be hustled relatively, and it feels more alive in what it’s doing than cars three times the price. One J. Clarkson, known for his opinions on matters machinery, is all for the “alive” factor of what is otherwise electricity, wires, fuel, and metal. For us, the Ignis is that and then some.

There’s no doubt some extra work would give it more life but would it dull the character? Make up your own mind by checking out the funky Ignis here.

Audi RS Adds Spice TO Q3 Range And Hyundai Gets Xtra Active

2020 Audi RS Q3 Sportback

Audi’s performance badge, RS, has been added to the Q3 range, as has the model’s first Sportback. Two of the most powerful Q3 derivatives have arrived in Australia to redefine the premium compact SUV segment: the all-new Audi RS Q3 and first-ever RS Q3 Sportback. Powered by a 294kW five cylinder with turbo, the pair are priced from $89,900 for the RS Q3 and $92,900 for the RS Q3 Sportback. Peak torque is spot on for the compact SUV, with 480Nm on tap and belting RS Q3 to 100kmh in 4.5 seconds. Audi’s fabled quattro AWD underpins both models via a seven speed S-tronic auto.

There will be little to ask for in the RS Q3, as 21 inch wheels, the RS Sport exhaust, a pair of RS bespoke drive modes, and an RS Sport suspension system are standard. Damper control, wheel-selective torque control, and a progressive steering ratio are also standard. Visual spice comes from a rejigged three dimensional looking grille, a bespoke blackout package, metallic paint, and matrix-LED headlights with RS specific surrounds for the indicators.

Passengers will sit in Nappa leather seats with honeycomb stitching, and stay warm or cool via three zone climate control. Cargo space has 40:20:40 split fold flexibility on sliding second row seats. Safety has a 360 degree camera, lane departure, rear cross traffic alert, and adaptive cruise plus AEB. Tech levels come in with an RS menu on a 12.3 inch screen for the virtual cockpit, a B&O 680W sound system pound tunes through 15 speakers, a wireless charge pad and smart app compatibility. 2 USB ports for both front and rear seat passengers allow charging on the go along with Audi connect plus services.

Buyers can select eight exterior colours, a matt aluminuim style package, a RS extended design package, and two service plan packages. There are three years or five years, and priced at $2,320 or $3,420.

“The all-new RS Q3 range is unique in its segment, combining its award-winning engine with exceptional design and incredible performance. The arrival of the first-ever RS Q3 Sportback extends on Audi’s high-performance portfolio range and debuts as the first vehicle to be offered within the compact SUV segment – an entirely new segment of vehicles that we are delighted to offer our customers.” said Paul Sansom, Managing Director at Audi Australia.

Deliveries start from July 24 and orders can be placed online via audi.com.au

2020 Audi RS Q3 Sportback

Hyundai’s popular Santa Fe has been given some extra oomph with the addition of the Active X. Powered by a 3.5L petrol V6 or torquey 2.2L diesel, it finds a home between the entry level Active and mid-spec Elite. Transmission is an eight speed auto driving the front wheels in the petrol, and all corners for the diesel. Pricing starts from $47,020 plus on-roads for the petrol and $50,050 plus on-roads for the diesel. Premium paint is $695, and buyers can specify for the Active X a dark beige interior at $295.
Standard features are extensive: 18 inch alloys underpin the Active X, with extra safety from front parking sensors incorporated into the standard Safety Sense system. Comfort comes from leather appointed seats, dual-zone climate control (with auto de-fog), rain sensing wipers, and cooling inside the glovebox. Puddle lamps and courtesy lights add both safety at night and visual appeal, and handy tech from folding mirrors and Smart Key access.

Exterior colours are seven, with the interior trim having a premium finish dashboard, fabric A-pillar covers and melange knit headlining. Black is also available for the interior as an option. extra value comes from a tyre pressure monitoring system, smart app compatibility, privacy glass for the rear occupants, and Smart Cruise Control with auto stop/start.
“Santa Fe Active X expands our award-winning family vehicle range, offering customers desirable features and technology at a price point that makes it unique in the large SUV market,” said Hyundai Motor Company Australia Chief Operating Officer, John Kett.

Capped price servicing applies to a 12 month or 15K drive cycle, and is $330 for the petrol for years 1,2, and 5, with $390 for years 3 and 4. The diesel is $435 for all years except year 4 at $499. The warranty is five years and unlimited kilometres. Roadside assistance is available for the first 12 months and when servicing with Hyundai, customers will also receive a 10 Year Sat Nav Update Plan, a Roadside Support Plan for up to 10 years and more.

Contact Hyundai Australia for availability and to book a test drive.

Three Myths When Buying a New Car

Buying a new car, especially your first, is always an exciting experience. After all, it’s the start of a journey that will no doubt bring you numerous memories over time. However, the process can be clouded with conflicting input from various sources, not to mention the arduous task of finding that perfect car, yet alone negotiating it down to a fair price. But if there is something to be concerned about, it’s these three new car buying myths.

 

 

Negotiating the sticker price down gives you the best outcome

While a lower sticker price is nothing to sneeze at, it shouldn’t be the sole focus of your efforts to secure the best outcome. The price may have been inflated to begin with, thus making it look like you’re scoring a bargain from your negotiating efforts, or there may be additional costs elsewhere.

Some of these extra expenses include the cost of finance, which a dealer may even require you to take out through them in order to qualify for the ‘lower’ sticker price. In some instances this finance will be subject to a higher interest rate, other fees and charges to establish the loan, or even penalty fees should you wish to repay the car loan early. Especially in recent times, with new car sales down drastically, you have more scope than ever to get the bargain that works for you, not the dealer.

 

0% interest free loans mean the lowest total cost

Much like the above point about not focusing exclusively on a car with the lowest sticker price, you should also look carefully into any advertised promises of 0% interest free loans. This time, the dealer may be making a premium on the sticker price of the car, which could be inflated compared to other sellers so as to help them retain their margins.

If you read the fine print, you may also notice that the interest free period is for a certain time, after which you could be exposed to high costs that add up over the long-run. In either case, the total cost of the car could exceed that found elsewhere.

 

You won’t be able to pick up a great value deal at a dealership

While dealerships offer certain protections, many motorists have found it difficult to deal with pushy salespeople and struggle to come away with a bargain. However, even for those who struggle with the negotiation process, ex-demonstrator models that have low kilometres recorded are a great option – especially when the dealer  gets anxious to clear the vehicle.

One of the emerging themes last year was a reduction in the number of ex-demo cars available, so be quick if you find one! Also, don’t fall for the myth that a rainy day will help you score a bargain from a ‘desperate’ dealer. Your best bet is at the end of the month, around Christmas, or at the end of the financial year. These periods are tried and tested for scoring a bargain.

How the Ute Has Risen to Prominence

Utes have become an integral part of Australian culture. No longer are they about getting from point A to point B, they’ve become ingrained in our day-to-day way of living, they’re dependable companions that now allow us to service our jobs and sustain a living.

 

Looking back to the ute’s origins

Utes aren’t just a modern-day development. In fact, they’ve been with us for almost 100 years, dating back to the 1930s. Of course, who would believe it, Australian culture has a large role to play in said development too. Right here in Australia, specifically Victoria, it is believed that the wife of a farmer wrote a letter that sparked the idea for a ute.

While cars at the time maintained a focus on practicality, they were also large enough to cater to other needs. Yet this individual had another idea. She was looking for something to drive to church on a Sunday, but also transport the pigs to the market. In many respects, this creation has sparked on all sorts of other work-related functions, with today’s utes largely used by tradies to carry goods and equipment to work. Not quite a market, but certainly a job nonetheless.

 

Utility Vehicles in Australia

 

Performance utes

More than just functional vehicles, recent utes transformed into high-end performance cars. Many of them were fitted with enormous engines and turbochargers, enough to rival some of the slickest street cars going around. At the same time, they still balance practicality for workers to get the job done. In any case, these cars were as top-end as many luxury vehicles on the market.

 

 

The family ute

Of course, however, the demise of Holden, in many ways a breeder of the performance ute, has led to another transition back to the functional and practical days of the ute, led by the likes of the HiLux and Ranger. Still functional, still rugged and still equipped with great performance, these cars are now the most popular on the market.

They’re no longer quite the same performance utes as the HSV era, but they have all the attributes of a great all-round vehicle. They’ve also become suitable for the family, with plenty of room to take the kids, utes have shed their their former stereotypes and turned into the very utilitarian vehicle they were always intended to be.

 

2020 Suzuki Swift Sport Manual: Car Review.

This Car Review Is About: The latest in the long running Swift line from Suzuki. The Sport has been placed as the crowning part of the range and for the 2020 version, has received some minor updates. They’re safety features only so the mechanical package remains untouched. That’s both a minor pity and not a bad thing.

How Much Does It Cost?: In plain Pure White Pearl, it’s $29,990 for the Manual. Metallics are $595, and the optionable two-tone scheme, as fitted to our review car, is $1,095. These are drive-away prices.

Under The Bonnet Is: Suzuki’s quite decent 1.4L Boosterjet turbo four. 103kW (5,500rpm) and 230 torques (2,500rpm to 3,000rpm) drive the front wheels through a well sorted six speed manual. There is an auto available for those bereft of enjoyment in their life. For the hybrid followers, the European spec model has been given a 48V system, and it’s possible that variant will make its way to Australia in 2021.The manual itself is a down and to the right lockout for Reverse, with perhaps a little more notchiness in the way it moves through the gate needed. Otherwise it’s an easy shifter and well paired with the light clutch mechanism. There’s a centimetre or so of initial movement before the pickup point engages, and once in the driving mind, the shifter can be moved rapidly and with confidence. get the pickup point just right and the engine’s rev drop off is minimised, making for less of that manual “lurch” and more for a smooth progression in forward motion.

Being a small car, it gets a small tank at just 37.0L. Suzuki quotes a combined consumption figure of 6.1L/100km. It would be nice if somehow Suzuki could engineer in a change to allow for a larger tank though, as our around town cycle was close to 7.0L/100km. The dash display allows for kilometres per litre or the more common litres per 100km. The car had its setting as the former and lead to momentary consumption confusion, with the gauge showing 14.5km/L. This translates to 6.9L/100km but for the unaware it could bring in a question about the engine’s performance in that area.On The Outside It’s: Unchanged from the previous model yet there is one area that could do with a change. There is a reverse camera fitted and it’s awkwardly placed in the niche where the rear number plate is located. As such, when Reverse is engaged and the camera switches in, the top section of the view is truncated, almost like watching a movie at home and laying a towel over the top quarter.

Otherwise it’s a smart, almost handsome looking beastie, especially with the 17 inch alloys fitted and clad in grippy 195/45 rubber. The front has an assertive look with the flared housings for the driving lights, and the touches of faux carbon fibre on the chin and door sills hint visually at the sporting intent. There’s some at the rear as well, adding a nice finish to the profile.

The review car is in the optionable two-tone, with a black roof and Flame Orange main body. It’s a good looking combo and not one likely to age as quickly as other colours and combinations have.On The Inside It’s: Got a new display screen for the driver. It’s a 4.3 inch LCD and shows speed, G-force, turbo pressure, torque and power, amongst others. It’s operated via a tab on the left of the steering wheel, with the phone tabs on a separate outrigger below that. The seats were manually operated and don’t have heating or cooling. Support is good and the actually comfort level is high. Power windows have just the driver’s as a one touch up/down and this makes sense, given such a car is likely to be more occupied by just one or two.

Audio is AM/FM only though, a truly odd oversight in a vehicle set as the lead of its range. Although the Swift Sport is Bluetooth equipped, along with auxiliary inputs and smart-apps, DAB nowadays in a top ladder vehicle is expected to be a normal feature.265L is the count for the cargo space, whilst 579L is the count when the rear seats are folded. It’s not a great deal of space by any measure however the Swift has never been intended to be used as a family car. The Baleno or Vitara from Suzuki is where families would look.On The Road It’s: Widely regarded as a bundle of fun. Lightweight, low centre of gravity, a short rectangle wheelbase and track (1,510mm track front and rear, with a 2,450mm wheelbase) endow the Swift Sport with a tenacious amount of grip. As mentioned earlier, it’s also fun due to the transmission and shifter, plus the close set ratios mean the Swift Sport manual can really be rowed along with a quick dip of the left foot and wave of the left arm.

The pickup point of the clutch is towards the top of travel, and there’s only a slight amount of sponginess before the pedal takes up pressure. With a little bit of practice, getting the synchronisation of gear selection and pedal travel right means a more progressive and linear acceleration when required, less lurchiness and more utilisation of the torque also.

That torque figure is also why the economy could improve, in our opinion. The transmission is geared so 100kmh is spinning the Boosterjet at around 3,000 to 3,100rpm. Not only is it somewhat noisy, it’s above the peak torque figure and having the engine require a bigger need for fuel. A set of longer ratios from 4th to 6th, to drop 6th down to 2,500 or so, would make for a more flexible drivetrain and better economy. However, there’s no lack of poke, with a drop to 5th bringing in the torque, or simply an extension of the right foot that has noticeable if not rapid acceleration from 6th.Suspension wise it’s mixed, with a bang crash at slow speeds over some items, a measure of suppleness elsewhere, and a well tied down set at speed. The ups and downs of freeways are quietly absorbed, whereas there were times at suburban velocities a simple road marking had the Swift Sport feel as if a flat tyre had occurred and it was banging on the rim. Steering wise it’s spot on, with that just right feel and a a little extra weight as the wheel loads up left and right. Naturally braking is spot on, with minimal travel before the pads bite and a message of just how much pressure is needed for the required stopping distance.

What About Safety?: Rear parking sensors, that partially blanked off reverse camera, and the new Blind Spot and Rear Cross Traffic alerts bring the Swift Sport’s safety level up a notch. Six airbags still and there is no hill start assist for the manual. That may seem a bad thing however Suzuki’s appeal is in making cars that are ideal for new drivers, and learning a hill start with no assistance is or should still be mandatory in driving lessons. There is a Forward Collision Alert system too, and it’s pernickety at times. It would beep at teh driver as a warning (great) for a vehicle at a driver determined safe distance (not great).What About Warranty And Service?: the Suzuki website has a page where an owner can submit their car’s build details. the Swift Sport comes with a five tear warranty, and with unlimited kilometres. They’ll cover commercial applications such as ride share for up to 160,000 kilometres. Sericing is 12 monthly or 10,000 kilometres for turbo cars such as the Swift Sport, and have capped price servicing for five years or 100,000 kilometres. The first service is $239, followed by $329, $239, $429 then $239.

At The End Of the Drive: As a former car sales employee, Suzuki was a brand that AWT was heavily involved in, and alongside another Japanese brand at the particular dealership, the Swift was the preferred choice of Mums and Dads that were looking for Junior’s first car. Some migrated to the manual versions that were available after finding their feet with the auto. With the 2020 Suzuki Swift Sport now available in dealerships and available in both manual and autos, the brand continues to deliver a car with genuine appeal, good looks, a decent level of features, and good enough economy. Book your test drive here.

What Can A Motorist Do During Lockdown?

Although the restrictions aren’t in place all across the country, the state of Victoria is having to cope with lockdown. We sympathise, we really do. It’s not easy and we wish you all the best.

The lockdown rules mean that you’ve only got four reasons for being in a vehicle on the roads: “to shop for food and essential goods or services; to provide care, for compassionate reasons or to seek medical treatment; to exercise or for outdoor recreation; for work or study, if you can’t do it from home” – and that’s a direct quote from the website. You are also advised to “not travel further than you need to”. This means that you probably won’t have much luck convincing the Powers That Be that driving counts as “outdoor recreation”. Of course, if you’re an essential worker, you can keep on working and driving to work (actually, that’s one of the four reasons). Enjoy the clear roads and drive safely, even if you’re exhausted.

So what can a keen motorist do during lockdown to keep that part of their psyche satisfied? The most obvious answer is to spend time during lockdown playing motor racing games on whatever device you fancy. This is all very well and there are some great ones out there that help you fulfil your racing driver or speed freak fantasies. However, one has to remember that (a) don’t get too used to driving that way, as you can’t walk away from a car that crashes by flipping end over end in real life and (b) there is only so long that you ought to spend hogging the X-box or PC console.

There are other things that are (mostly) more productive to keep you occupied. Here are a few suggestions that you can try:

  • Take the time to deep clean the car you own. You know that you need to keep it clean and to get all those stray chips out from under the seat. Now’s your chance. Give your car a bit of TLC and really see it gleaming. While you’re at it, do all those little maintenance jobs on your car that you’ve always meant to get around to.
  • If you don’t know how to do basic maintenance jobs on your car, this is your chance to learn how. If there isn’t anybody at home with you who knows how to do all those little jobs like checking and topping up the oil, rotating the tyres, or whatever needs to be done, then the internet has a lot of useful videos. Watch a few to get an idea of what’s needed, then have a go. If you do know how to do these maintenance jobs and you have kids at home, teach them how to do the basic things. Even if you don’t have anything that needs doing right now, show them how to change a tyre. It’s a life skill that everybody needs to use at some point, in contrast to quadratic equations, which only get used by a few people (including motor engineers).
  • Spend time browsing and learning about all the great new models and makes out there. Who knows, when all this is over, you might decide it’s time to get a new set of wheels. Our car reviews may be a great place to start.
  • Order a model car online and make it up.
  • Read a good e-book or listen to an audiobook on any motoring-related topic.
  • Play with the toy cars with the kids – and teach them about road rules while you’re at it. Sound effects are encouraged.
  • Use those motoring magazines you’ve got stashed away as inspiration and try your hand at drawing.

Nissan Ariya: A New Charge For 2021

Nissan is on the move, charging forward. They’ve unveiled a new electric SUV and a new logo. The sleek looking Ariya is a completely electric vehicle and Nissan says the release is part of the brand’s change: enriching people’s lives. There is a renewed vigour in the Japanese company, one that recognises that the stagnation it experienced needs to go, so a second look at the company and its strengths has been performed and both battery and SUV will be part of the language.Nissan’s CEO, Makoto Uchida confirms, with: “Combining our strengths in EVs and crossovers, it’s a showcase for Nissan’s new era of excitement and design. “We created the Nissan Ariya as an answer to the aspirations and practical needs of today’s customers.” The plan is to roll out in the next 18 months a dozen new models, and aim for a mix of EV and “e-Power” models to hit one million sales by 2023, plus bring in Nissan’s own autonomous driving tech throughout 20 countries. This backs up part of the company’s renewed look at servicing its customer base by providing the new technology in areas such as electrified cars and self-driving vehicles.Launched as a centrepiece of a digital presentation from Yokohama, the Ariya will put front and forward the restyled Nissan logo. It’s a not quite subtle yet not quite extravagant change, with links to the now former circle and cross centre label brought into a future focused design. Uchida-san said: “It defines what matters to Nissan, represents what we stand for, and embodies the essence of who we are: a passionate, innovative challenger.”With a key characteristic of fully electric vehicles being that instantaneous delivery of torque, the Ariya instantly promises easy driveability, sporting manners, and a choice for the budget. Both two and all wheel drive, called e-4orce in Nissan’s terminology, will be available, along with a pair of battery sizes at 65kWh and 90kWh. In the Ariya e-4orce, each end will have its own separate motor, a configuration that’s becoming more and more common for EVs. By providing twin motors, an EV can be better balanced for driving in areas such as torque vectoring, and handle more driving conditions such as heavily wet tarmac.

Power as such is rated as 160kW and 178kW for the Ariya 2WD’s battery pairs, with the e-4orce proffering 250kW and 290kW. the 2WD torque figures level at 300Nm whilst the all wheel drive will have 560Nm and 600NM. This will enable the two drivetrains to see 100kmh in 7.5 seconds or either 5.4 or 5.1 seconds. Top speed will see a v-max of 160kmh or 200kmh. The range expectations are currently seen as “up to” 450km or 600km for the 2WD, and 430km or 580km for the e-4orce. These are subject to verification and Japanese government sign off.And by placing the battery into the floor structure, more space is unlocked, adding even more comfort for passengers. Electric tech has extra advantages for the driver. Nissan’s ProPILOT 2.0 is their proprietary advanced driver assistance system, and brings in the ProPILOT Remote Park and e-Pedal features. Ariya will feature as standard the Safety Shield system that includes Intelligent Emergency Park, Intelligent All Around View Monitor, and Intelligent Forawrd Collision Warning. There will also be Rear Automatic Emergency Braking technology.

A form of AI in the human-machine interface allows for passengers to use a natural speaking voice for interaction with the Ariya’s on-board settings change facilities, whilst updates for software will be the ever increasing “over the air” service. Nissan’s also signed an agreement with Amazon for the Alexa voice interface to be used.The Ariya is a proper mid-sizer at 4,595mm in length and packing a wheelbase of 2,775mm. Width is 1,850mm and height a trim 1,655mm. Depending on model weight is said to be either 1,900kg or 2,200kg. Aero alloy wheels will be wrapped in 235/55/19 rubber as standard or can be optioned to be 255/45/20.

At the time of the release news, the Ariya will only be available in Europe, North America and China by the end of 2021.

Bronco Busting: Ford Resurrects A Legend.

Jeep Wrangler, watch out! Ford has brought the Bronco back to life and the Blue Oval has its sights set firmly on the iconic machine from Jeep. The 2021 Bronco will come in two or four door shapes, or, if you will, three and five door. Soft and hard tops will be available. What won’t be will be anything other than either a four cylinder or V6 petrol engine for movement. But there’s no lacking for model choice with Ford U.S. releasing seven. For the U.S. there is the entry level named, smartly, Base. Big Bend, Black Diamond, Outer Banks, Badlands are followed by a name more familiar to Australia, Wildtrak, and a limited run First Edition. Prices will start from $29,995, with Wildtrak at $50,370 whilst the First Edition starts from $60,800.

A four cylinder petrol engine and V6 will be joined by a hybrid at a later stage. For now, we see a turbocharged 2.3-litre that makes 201kW/270hp horsepower and 420Nm/310 lb-ft of torque. The other option is a twin-turbo 2.7-litre that generates 231kW/310 horses and 542Nm/400 lb-ft. Ford says these will be good enough to push the Bronco through close to three feet of water and have a ground clearance of just under 12 inches.

The Base brings a seven speed manual transmission, with a normal six plus a crawler gear for serious off-road chops. A ten speed auto can also be specced.There is a two speed and three mode transfer case as well. Standard is a hard top for the two door and a soft roof on the four. A nifty feature is a upper dash mounting point for smart phones and action cameras.Big Bend gets a little extra luxury with a leather bound steering wheel cover, heated seats, and is the first of the range to offer alloy wheels. Black Diamond aims for the off-roader with marine grade vinyl trim, seven G.O.A.T. drive modes (Goes Over Any type of Terrain) and a standard rear locker diff plus underbody bash plates. Outer Banks has LED headlights and integrated turn lamps, black alloys, powder coated tube steps and a B&O sound system for when the noise of the outdoors isn’t enough.Badlands goes up a gear with front and rear locking diffs, Bilstein monotube dampers, disconnecting stabiliser bar, and a choice of 33 or 35 inch AT rubber. Trim can be easy clean vinyl through to full leather. Wildtrak offers a Sasquatch Package that includes 35 inch rubber and 17 inch diameter black painted alloys with a beadlock function. Black roofing and grille also feature. 3,500 First Editions will be released and combine the Badlands mechanicals, Outer Banks interior, and Wildtrak looks.

Production is currently slated for the Australian autumn of 2021 however it’s not yet set for an Australian release.