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Buying Your Teenager’s First Car

Cast your mind back to your first car and how exciting that moment was. Now think about the joy that your child stands to gain when they discover new-found independence through their first car. Of course, helping a teenager secure their first car means that you are likely to be shopping for a different vehicle than the one you might drive yourself. However, that doesn’t mean you won’t have issues to consider if you’re buying this car as a gift.

 

Looking out for your teenager

Your typical teenager has no idea of the costs involved in running a vehicle. They might see you fill up petrol or take the car in for the odd repair, but as we all know, there is a lot more to it than just that. On this front, parents need to make sure their son or daughter are prepared for the costs that come with owning a car. After all, you don’t want to set them up for financial strain!

Budgeting advice can go a long way, so share any tips that you’ve learnt along the way. No matter what, don’t cave in and buy a car for your child if they don’t have an income of their own. You don’t want to get stuck as the go-to party when it comes to keeping the car in good order.

 

 

Arranging your teen’s new car

Once you have that side of things in check, you will need to decide how to purchase the car. Are you going to apply for car finance? Who is going to make the repayments, you or your teenager? Or are you going to split the repayments? How much of the purchase price of the car are you willing to fund and how much will your son or daughter need to produce?

Although there are no right or wrong answers, you do need to have all your affairs in order. If a loan is necessary to purchase the car, it may be easier for the parents (who usually have stable jobs and a better credit history) to take out the loan and arrange with the kids how they will repay the money. Mum and dad could also act as a guarantor, if necessary.

As alluded to earlier, you also need to negotiate who’s going to pay for what. There is insurance, fuel, repairs, registration and all those other ongoing costs to be taken care of. Unless you’re feeling like a charity, these bills should not automatically be taken care of by the parents.

It’s a good habit to get young adults into the habit of taking some responsibility. However, there is some room for negotiation rather than just insisting that your teen take on everything. Parents may want to take care of third-party insurance, for example. Alternatively, parents may contribute towards fuel and other running costs in exchange for getting your child to run errands using the car.

Take the time to talk it through and educate your teenager about what it means to own a car. They might decide another form of transport is more suitable until they’re in a better financial position, but unless you are open and frank in your discussions, neither of you will know for sure.

2021 Kia Stonic Readies For Release.

Kia’s curiously named Stonic is being advertised on Australian TV for sale. The brand’s answer to the Kona, Stonic will have sharp pricing, a choice of three models (Stonic S, Sport, and Stonic GT-Line) with sub-2.0L engines, and a seven speed DCT for the GT-Line. The base model has a six speed manual or auto.Pricing starts from $22,990 for the Stonic S in manual guise, with a $1,000 premium for the auto. Sport starts at $24,990 and $25,990 for manual and auto, with GT-Line from $29,990. All prices are drive-away.

The engines are a 1.4L non-turbo four, or a 1.0L three cylinder. Power and torque figures are 74kW and 133Nm for the four, 74kW and 172Nm for the turbo three. It’s front wheel drive for the four cylinder, AWD for the turbo three potter.

The standard equipment for the S includes six airbags, car/pedestrian/cyclist detection AEB, Lane Following Assist, reversing camera with dynamic parking guidelines, rear parking sensors, driver attention alert, cruise control, idle stop and go (also in Sport), wireless Apple Carplay and Android Auto (S trim only), multi-connection Bluetooth, 8-inch Multimedia touchscreen, 6-speaker sound system, 4.2-inch TFT LCD driver’s cluster, 15-inch steel wheels and auto headlights.

Step up to the Sport and there is 17-inch alloy wheels, smart key with push button start, 8-inch multimedia touchscreen with navigation, 10-year Mapcare updates with SUNA Traffic, electric folding mirrors and premium steering wheel and shifter.GT-Line adds in 17 inch alloys, idle-stop-and-go, a bespoke body package, MFR LED headlights, two tone colour or a sunroof, cloth and artificial leather seats, climate control air conditioning, privacy glass, and an electrochromic mirror.

Exterior colour choices are broad. There will be seven available for the 1.4L version, with Clear White, Silky Silver, Perennial Grey, Aurora Black Pearl, Signal Red, Mighty Yellow, and Sport Blue. The GT-Line has a choice of four exclusive two-tone treatments. There is Clear white with an Aurora Black Pearl roof, Mighty Yellow and Aurora Black Pearl roof, Sporty Blue with Aura Black Pearl Roof, and Signal Red with Aurora Black Pearl Roof. Silky Silver is not available on GT-Line. Premium paints have a $520 impost.Based on the Rio’s platform, the Stonic has had the gearbox moved forward by 28mm, and their is an increase of caster angle from 4.1 degrees to 4.6 degrees, Shock absorbers have been specified as the high performance RS-valve types. the rear shocks have been given a more upright stance, with 8.4 degrees off vertical, whilst Rio has 25 degrees.

Interior features include dual channel Bluetooth for two phones to connect for music streaming. The S has wireless connection for Apple CarPlay and Android Auto via the 8.0 inch however it’s not available on the Sport and GT-Line trims. Satnav has a 10-year Mapcare and SUNA traffic services support included.

Safety is high, of course, with camera and radar AEB across the three, with car, pedestrian, and cyclist recognition across an activation spread ranging from 5km/h to 180km/h for vehicles and 5km/h to 85km/h for pedestrian and cyclists. DAA or Driver Attention Alert is standard, along with Lane Keep Assist and Lane Following Assist. Parking Distance Warning connects to the rear sensors to monitor and alert for objects around the vehicle when reversing whilst the Rear Occupant Alert is a class leading inclusion which monitors rear door opening and closing to assist the driver about rear seat passengers when exiting the vehicle.Packaging has the Stonic at a length of 4140mm, width of 1760mm, height with roof racks 1520mm, wheelbase of 2580mm and minimum ground clearance of 165mm in S trim and 183mm for Sport and GT-Line, a maximum of 1,155L for the cargo, whilst towing is up to 1,000kg braked with the manual.

Check with your Kia dealer for a test drive.

2021: A Honda Odyssey.

Honda Australia has confirmed details of the upgraded for 2021 Odyssey people mover. There’s a change to styling, an upgrade to safety called Honda Sensing, and new tech alongside convenience features.Power comes from an unchanged 2.4L petrol four, with 129kW (6,200rpm) and 225Nm (4,000rpm) with no diesel nor hybrid drive currently available. The transmission is a CVT, with engine idle shutdown, and paddle shifters.The restyled nose is perhaps a pointer to a new corporate look. A broad four bar grille leads the eyes to a pair of slimline headlights that fold back into the fenders, and are not dissimilar to those seen on a certain Toyota SUV. Both the bumper and bonnet have been restyled as well, with a broader and deeper set. The rear lights evoke a German brand, and in a first for Honda, the indicators are sequential in motion.

In profile the highlights are a new set of ten spoke alloys at 17 inches diameter, and a strong windowline. There is some racy styling too, with a creaseline that starts at the bottom of the front doors and rolls towards the rear up and over the rear wheel arch. This leads to a restyled rear bumper and some distinctive contours. These will show up thanks to four premium paints, with pearlescent Platinum White, Twinkle Black, Super Platinum, and a striking Obsidian Blue.Inside the Odyssey has a kick sensor powered tailgate, powered sliding side doors with a gesture sensor that lights as a person approaches, and Captains’ Chairs for the second row. Leather trim is standard and smartapps add to the technology.Robert Thorp, General Manager for Product, Customer and Communications, Honda Australia, says: “Odyssey has been the undisputed leader in the people mover private market for nine consecutive years. When it came time to purchase a new vehicle to transport their family, since 2012 more private buyers have chosen the Honda Odyssey than any other people mover. With the introduction of the updated 2021 Year Model, the Odyssey range now offers more comfort, convenience and innovative technology features than ever before – it is a first class people mover designed to suit the needs of family car buyers.”

The Odyssey has a ride height of 300mm, making entry and exiting an easy experience. The dash has a new 7.0 inch digital screen insert, an 8.0 inch main touchscreen, and a leather wrapped steering wheel. LED ambient lighting brings a luxury cabin touch and acoustic glass for extra cabin quietness adds to the comfort levels. A locking mechanism that closes and locks the doors called Reservation Locking closes the doors after a press of the exterior lock button.Honda Sense brings in Forward Collision Warning, Road Departure Mitigation System, Lane Keep Assist, and Adaptive Cruise Control as standard fitment across the restructured range. There are two grades, Vi L7 and Vi LX7, which replaces the VTi and VTi-L grades. Pricing starts from $44,250 (manufacturer’s list price) and $51,150 (manufacturer’s list price). The 2021 Honda Odyssey is on sale as of January 18, 2021.

2021 Hyundai i30 Elite v 2021 Toyota Corolla Ascent Sport: Private Fleet Car Review

This Car Review Is About: The two cars, in hatchback form, that dominate the market for their sector. We were lucky enough to have the 2021 Toyota Corolla Ascent Sport and 2021 Hyundai i30 Elite side by side. Five door bodies, automatics, revvy four cylinder engines, and decent tech for the average family are hallmarks of both. However, one of the two is not like the other, in that the i30 range was given a refresh late in 2020, with the sedan now replacing the Elantra, with Toyota’s offering always having a sedan available.

We back-to-back the pair in a not quite but close apples for apples comparison. The Elite is close to the top of the i30 range, the Ascent Sport is the entry level to a three tier range from Toyota.

How Much Do They Cost?: In basic Glacier White and auto form the Ascent Sport starts from $29,380 with metallics a no cost option but $500 on SX and ZR. For our location, Hyundai’s website priced the i30 Elite auto at $33,830 in Polar White. Clad in Intense Blue, as was our test car, that goes to $34,340. Both cars are on a drive-away price schedule. Under The Bonnet Is: A 2.0L GDI (Gasoline Direct Injection) engine for the contender in the Korean corner, and a same sized engine for the Japanese contender. The Hyundai runs a traditional torque converter auto with six ratios, the Toyota a CVT with ten preprogrammed steps. Both drive the front wheels and each have manual shifting. Power for the Korean is 120kW and peak torque is 203Nm, with 6,200rpm and 4,700rpm the required figures. Corolla has 125kW and 200Nm, however Toyota don’t appear to list the rev points.The i30’s overall economy finished on a creditable 7.2L/100km. We saw a best of 6.0L/100km, a very good figure considering it was loaded with four passengers and a reasonable amount of boot space filled. Corolla’s average hovered between 6.0L to 6.5L per 100km in a more urban oriented drive. Tank for the Ascent Sport is 50.0L, matched by the i30. Both are 91RON and E10 compatible.

On The Inside It’s: Black leather for the i30, with perforated squabs but no venting nor heating. The Ascent Sport has black cloth as befits an entry level vehicle. Both have DAB audio and a point of difference here. The Toyota’s layout is simple and intuitive barring the fact it’s a black and white 8.0 inch screen. The Corolla has voice recognition, a bonus at an entry level.It’s much easier to use whereas the Hyundai’s updated screen, even with the appeal of colour and in the Elite it’s 10.25 inches, isn’t as intuitive. We also found the sensitivity of the Korean’s tuner to be less than the Corolla’s. Ascent Sport has satnav as an option and includes a USB port in Ascent Sport trim. Smart apps are standard in both.The dash design for each stamps their mark; the Corolla’s has barely changed in some years and features the somewhat heavy and intrusive triple wave design that intrudes into the kneespace of driver and passenger. The Hyundai’s design has space between the plastic and the knees and in the i30 it’s a simple, single line from side to side that incorporates the piano black surrounds for the aircon. The Hyundai’s gear selector feels it has a shorter throw and the springing in the Corolla isn’t as tight as the Elite’s.Both have auto, dusk sensing headlights, with the Elite’s higher spec level adding in rain sensing wipers. It’s a key start for the Ascent Sport, push button for the i30. The Elite also has a 12V socket up front with a wireless charging pad. The Corolla’s dash display has the speedo front and centre, with the full colour 4.3inch info screen on far right. The Elite has a full colour TFT 7.0 inch display, shared across all models.One notable difference between the two is the Corolla’s much discussed cargo section. It’s not a high loading lip however the cargo section’s floor is level with it, and underneath is the spare wheel and associated equipment. The i30’s floor is below the lip and seems further from the rear seats too, making for a more family friendly usage. Also, the i30’s boot area is home to the bass driver for the audio system. The Corolla has 217L to 333L, a figure much commented on since the revamps, with the Hyundai starting from 395L and moving to 1,301L with the second row folded. Both have a full sized spare.994mm and 977mm are the head room front and rear measurements for the i30, 1073mm and 883mm leg room, with 1,427mm and 1,406mm shoulder room. The Toyota spec sheet doesn’t list them.

On The Outside It’s: A mild but noticeable update for the i30. Up front is a set of driving lights that have have expanded from a simple strip of LEDs to a more assertive looking set of triangular LEDs that fill out the insert, and double as indicators. The grille has morphed and moved to a broader design, and has a more flamboyant fan shaped styling. The rear lights have a slight restyle to match the very mild changes to the front lights.

Corolla was given its own do-over in 2018. It’s broader, sharper edged, and lower than the more bluff and upright standing i30. The flanks are more organic, curved, than the straight sides of the i30, and the rear has a more pronounced slope than its Korean counterpart. The LED DRLs are far more inboard and set inside the narrow headlight cluster.There’s notable differences between these two however there are similarities to other brands. The VW Golf is more akin to the squat and bluff i30, Subaru’s laid back Impreza hatch is closer to the Corolla.

i30’s length is 4,340mm, and stands 1,455mm tall. Width is 1,795mm and wheelbase is a decent 2,650mm. Corolla is 4375mm in length, with a 2640mm wheelbase. Height and width are 1,435mm and 1,790mm.

On The Road It’s: A definite difference in feeling. The Corolla’s steering is light in comparison to the i30 Elite’s but it’s also more twitchy. The Hyundai has some real weight, and it’s subtly but noticeably more front wheel drive. The lightness of the Ascent Sport means one can comfortably pootle around town with only one hand on the tiller but that twitchiness then demands both hands be in contact. The i30’s has a need for both, particularly because of the over-enthusiastic lane keep assist function. The Corolla’s is noticeable but nowhere near as “grabby”, a complaint well recognised about the Korean. The i30’s suspension is more sporting in tune, with the 225/45/17 Hankook Ventus Prime rubber gripping hard and well, and providing a little bit of absorption from the smaller sidewalls. The Ascent Sport has 205/55/16s from Dunlop’s Enasave range and the higher sideall is certainly noticeable in ride absorption. It also flexes just enough to put a bit of Sport into the Ascent Sport name. Highway and freeway ride quality certainly had the Ascent Sport in a slightly more wallowly mood, not quite as tied down nor quick to dampen, as the i30. In contrast, the i30 was a bit more bang thump.The i30 had a minor glitch in the engine under load. On the flat and and on uphill acceleration, there was a momentary “pinging”, a stutter in the otherwise smooth pull of the 2.0L. It has to be noted that we’ve not experienced anything like this in a modern car and Hyundai’s garage was made aware of it. The auto is smooth in changing and the electronics work with the throttle input and engine’s revs perfectly. Using the manual shift option makes fractionally quicker changes.For the CVT in the Ascent Sport, if a quick getaway is the required situation, manual shifting works wonders. There’s minor “slurring” on the changes but it’s preferable to the unenergetic normal sensation from the CVT on gentle to medium acceleration. A harder and heavier pedal extracts more from the 2.0L and CVT and even brings in mild torque-steer.

Braking in both is courtesy of well balanced, well modulated, discs front and rear. The pedal in the i30 has a heavier feel and in context matches the steering. The Corolla’s is lighter but not without feel. It’s also slightly quicker in the ratio, but not by much.

What About Safety?: Hyundai doesn’t skimp on the i30, with Blind Spot Collision, Rear Cross Traffic Alert, and Safe Exit warning missing only from the base i30 and Active. Otherwise the Safety Sense package adds in Driver Attention Warning, Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist (FCA) – City/Urban/Interurban/Pedestrian/Cyclist (camera & radar), Lane Following Assist and Lane Keeping Assist-Line.

Corolla matches this with Lane Trace Assist for the CVT equipped Ascent Sport, Lane Departure Alert with Steering Assist, and Pre-Collision Safety system with pedestrian (day and night) and cyclist (day) detection plus Road Sign Assist. Blind Spot Monitor and Rear Cross Traffic, like an entry level i30, is missing in the Ascent Sport. Both load up seven airbags including a kneebag for the driver.

What About Warranty And Service?: Toyota has a VIN based service structure online. Warranty is five years and unlimited kilometres. That’s the same for the i30 and Hyundai also uses a VIN based service quote system.

At The End Of The Drive. In honesty, there really isn’t a lot between them, even looking at putting the SX in the place of the Ascent Sport. It would be convenience factors such as the charge pad perhaps, the extra clearance of the dash in the i30 over the Corolla’s design, and the brilliant screen for the driver in the i30 against the slightly better economy in the Corolla and the more user friendly interface on the touchscreen.The driving experience is a user dependent one; for us the i30’s ride tune was preferable, however there is no doubt that the softer and more comfortable tune of the Corolla Ascent Sport has its adherents. There’s also that legendary Toyota sense of being bullet-proof and infallible. In essence, the gap isn’t as big as it could have been.

Mazda Hits 2021 With Updates To The Mazda6

Mazda Australia has released details of the key updates for 2021 to their Mazda6 Sedan and Wagon. Sales are due to start for the updated vehicles from March of 2021. This includes the addition of the GT SP Turbo 2.5L four cylinder engine which will be available in the sedan and wagon. Mazda Australia Managing Director, Vinesh Bhindi, commented: “As our passenger car flagship, Mazda6 holds strong appeal in its segment with its advanced specification and option of Sedan and Wagon body styles. This latest update is highlighted by the new GT SP model, which brings a distinctly sporty characteristic to the Mazda6 range and builds on the local GT SP portfolio alongside the CX-9.”

The Mazda6 Sport Sedan and Wagon offers a solid list of standard equipment. The sedan and wagon will ride on 17inch alloys with 225/55, rubber. Headlights are LED powered, as are the rear lights. The wing mirrors will be heated for those frosty and foggy mornings, and the wagon gets roof rails and a rear spoiler as standard.

Inside is Apple and Android app compatibility via an 8.0 inch satnav equipped touchscreen plus Bluetooth streaming and Mazda’s MZD Connect function. Stitcher and Aha internet radio is listed as standard. Passengers are kept cool thanks to dual zone climate control and rear facing vents for the second row passengers. The wagon receives a cargo net and Mazda’s Karakuri tonneau cover. There’s an electric park brake, leather wrapped steering wheel and gear selector knob, and Mazda’s Multi-function Control.Passengers sit on black cloth covered seats, and second row passengers have a USB port in the seat arm rest.

Safety is high, with Blind Spot Monitoring, a Driver Attention Alert function, along with Lane Departure Warning, Rear Cross Traffic Alert, and Mazda Radar Cruise Control. Traffic Sign Recognition and Smart Brake Support are fitted, as is Smart City Brake Support [Forward/Reverse]. Tyre Pressure Monitoring makes sure all four corners can be checked on the go.Move to the Touring variant and there is black leather seats with the driver’s seat having a two position memory function along with 10 way adjustment. The passenger has a six way adjustment feature. LED DRLs are standard here as is keyless entry and front parking sensors.

On top of the Touring specification, the GT SP adds the turbocharged 2.5-litre petrol engine, plus 19 inch black painted alloys with 225/45 tyres. Front and rear seats gain heating and are wrapped in burgundy leather with the same colour highlights added to the instrument panel and door trims.Power for the Sport and Touring Sedans & Wagons comes from the Skyactiv-6 2.5L petrol four. Peak torque is 252Nm (4,000rpm(, and power is 140kW (6,000rpm). Economy is rated at 7.0L/100km A six speed auto drives the front wheels. Both GT SP and the Atenza variants have a same sized angine with 170kW (5,000rpm( and a very impressive 420Nm of peak torque at just 2,000rpm. Economy is rated at 7.6L/100km and that’s using 91RON unleaded.Visual differentiation sees both GT SP and Atenza models gaining Turbo badging. A new colour has been added called Polymetal Grey Metallic.

Over the equipment list for the Sport and GT, the Atenza specification has the same diameter wheels but are finished in a non-painted, bright, look. There is a sunroof, venting for the front seats, LED ambient lighting, and real wood trim. Nappa leather is available in walnut brown or white for the seats under black headlining and Ultrasuede door and dash trim. The driver sees information on a 7.0 inch display and the main touchscreen offers a 360 degree view.Pricing starts from $34,590 plus ORC for the Sport Sedan, with the Sport Wagon from $35,890 plus ORC. The Touring Sedan starts from $38,890 plus ORC with the Wagon from $40,190. Head to the GT SP Sedan and see $46,690 plus ORC and $47,990 plus ORC for the GT SP Wagon. The Atenza Sedan and Wagon start from $50,090 and $51,390 plus ORC each.

Should I Buy a Second Car for the Family?

Gathering the money for a new car to replace your old one is already a challenge for many, which underlines the importance of shopping around for the best deal. However, there is also another complexity if you don’t want to replace your old car, rather, you are looking at buying a second car for the family.

 

Initial considerations

With a second car, you have to weigh up a few questions and think hard about your budget. If you’re still paying off the existing car, will you have enough in your pay packet to meet the repayments for two cars? Have you factored in that you will now need to pay for two registrations and two sets of maintenance costs, not to mention extra petrol? It really pays to do your homework and have a good hard think.

On the other hand, if you have already paid off the existing car, it might be easier to fund your second car given the implications for your credit history as well as cash flow.

No matter what your situation, it doesn’t hurt to think about whether you actually need a second car. Most of the time we can make do with one, but for families where mum and dad run to a different schedule, or one of the kids has just gotten their licence, a second car becomes very practical.

 

Making the decision

Here’s a handful of questions that you might want to ask yourself before you decide whether you should get one car or two:

  1. How many people are there in your family? What are their travel needs? If mum or dad are on the road a lot, and/or the kids do a lot of sport or out-of-school activities, a second car is a bit of a necessity.
  2. Where do you live? It goes without saying that the more remote your location, the more critical it is that more than one member of the family has access to a car at any given time. You can’t overlook the prospect of an emergency, where a matter of timing can be everything.
  3. What sort of trips are you likely to make? If they are all short trips, you might be able to make do with a bike or by walking.
  4. What is your local public transport like? If public transport provides you with sufficient access to shops, services and amenities in your area, save yourself from buying another car. Plus, you’ll do your bit for the environment!
  5. Do you have to transport a lot of items with you? Tradies are the obvious ones here, where a ute might make sense as a second vehicle. But if you’re riding around with an empty boot most of the time, is another car really all that useful?

As you’ll see, the decision is a highly personal one, and only you and your family will truly understand your vehicle needs.

2021 Peugeot 308 GT-Line: Private Fleet Car Review

This Car Review Is About: Peugeot’s stylish contender in the small to mid size hatchback category, with the addition of a wagon. There is the entry Allure, a Touring (wagon), the GT-Line and GT, which disappeared from the Peugeot Au site in January and has been discontinued. The 308 itself is an attractive looking machine, but is it a city or highway car?How Much Is It?: The range starts at $30,499 for the Allure, and has $34,990 against the GT-Line as a drive-away price.

Under The Bonnet Is: Peugeot’s award winning engine at 1.2L of capacity, with three cylinders, a preference for petrol, and their EAT6 auto with eight ratios. Peak power is 96kW @5,500rpm, and a handy turbo-fed 230Nm @1,750Nm. It’s EURO6 emissions compliant at just 112 grams of CO2 per kilometre, and comes with Stop/Start tech. Peak economy is best seen on the highway, says Peugeot, where they quote 4.2L/100km. In the “burbs” they say 6.4L/100km, and the combined cycle is 5.0L/100km. Fuel tank size is 53.0L. This didn’t equate to our real world driving, as just 250km worth of city driving had the gauge reading at a half tank used. Our overall average finished at 7.7L/100km on our typical 70/30 urban to highway split.

On The Outside It’s: Typically French with good looks, svelte curves, and a hint of in-your-face assertiveness. It stands just 1,457mm in height yet is a proportionally longish 4,253mm, and spreads 1,553mm to 1,559mm in track. It’s low, long, and as a result, comes with an assertive road stance. There are the signature fins in the headlight assembly and the strip of LEDs for the indicators located in the “eyebrow” of the headlights.The rear lights feature another “Pug” signature, with the three strip “claw marks”. Wheels are alloys and painted a flat dark grey on sections of the wheel that give a ten spoke look. Rubber is, of course, Michelin, and are the super grippy Pilot Sport 3 at 225/40/Z18.

On The Inside It’s: Oddly, not quite as user friendly, in a couple of ways, as the Partner van. That has a better driver’s screen interface which is more accessible via the steering wheel tabs. In this 308 it was a button the right hand, wiper operating, stalk.

The button to deactivate the Stop/Start system, which is just that little bit too eager in the 308 GT-Line, is also more visible in the Partner.

Seats are cloth covered with leather type material on the wings, and metallic looking threads in the middle.The audio is AM/FM only, however a smartphone can be connected via USB or Bluetooth. It sits atop a dash with a defined W styling, and with minimal secondary controls.

This means using it necessitates eyes off the road as all main controls are on the exterior of the screen, and don’t always respond to a tap the first time whilst in motion.

Cabin plastics have a hard touch yet have a fine grain to the touch.

To start the 308, a press button Start/Stop system is employed, with the button in the centre console and for safety’s sake must be held for a second or so. The park brake comes on automatically when the doors are opened and although there is a setting to disengage it, it’s just as easy to start, then press it off as it’s right behind the Start button.

The indicator stalk is on the left hand side, with auto wipers engaged and disengaged by a dip of the right hand stalk. The wipers themselves aren’t terribly robust in motion.Airvents are thin horizontally and the touchscreen is the only option in controlling the system. And until you re-touch another tab, it’ll stay on the chosen (i.e. aircon) screen until the car powers off.

That centre console holds just one cup, with smallish bottle holders in the four doors.

The rear hatch is manually operated, opening to a 435L cargo section, with the press tab logically located in the upper section of the number plate recess. Seats down, there’s 1,274L. The spare, incidentally, is a space saver.On The Road It’s: A firm ride on the highways, with just the right amount of damping when required.

It does, though, exhibit skittishness on some road joins and the like, with a mild but noticeable steering rack shake and accompanying left or right hop.

The location of the steering wheel, a Peugeot design signature, allows the GT-Line to feel sporty in the hands and in the handling. Its light, but not so that it isolates feedback.

The eight speed auto is a pearler, with quick shifts and perfectly matched to the tiny engine’s torque delivery.

We did notice though that the engine isn’t a fan of cold morning starts. Our time with the Peugeot 308 GT-Line coincided with some varying La Nina weather, with some mornings having a lacklustre and slow to react driveline.

We also noticed that the turbo behaviour would be different in nature at the same driving points, such as being ready to kick in or well off boost at the same speed coming to the same stop sign or give way sign.

In some instances, this lead to a few deep breath as the lack of urge at times had oncoming traffic looking to be in proximity earlier than they should, whereas at other times the engine would be ready to pull the 308 away without fuss. Disconcerting? Just a bit…

When it’s all cooperating, the engine and auto make a wonderful around town companion. There’s some decent urge from a standing start, and rolling acceleration is also decent without being outstanding.It’s a good highway cruiser, and is relatively quiet, even with the limpet grip Michelin tyres.

Unfortunately for us, the 308 wasn’t as suitable as needed for our Christmas travel requirements. This means the economy for the distance knowing to be travelled would be problematic with four humans and a decent amount of luggage.

Also, in some areas, the 1.2L would have struggled in the numerous uphill runs known for the route, and again would have played havoc with the economy.

What About Safety?: Pretty standard nowadays with AEB, Forward Collision Warning, and Sign Recognition.
Blind Spot Alert, reverse camera, and six airbags complement the main features.

What About Warranty And Service?: Five years warranty and unlimited kilometres are standard, and servicing is capped price, with Peugeot’s website providing specific pricing per vehicle type.

At The End Of The Drive. In a very competitive market, the 308 range is up against the Cerato, i30, Corolla, offerings from Ford and Mazda, and Renault’s Megane.

The drive is good, the drive-train a willing package, and it’s not unattractive inside and out.

In our opinion, it’s a very good city car and a not unworthy consideration on price. Having just two models to choose from makes choice an easy one but when others offer a broader range, it can be seen as a factor against it.

The dichotomy of the engine’s performance left us wondering about the overall consistency of delivery, a factor that doesn’t appear to be an issue in other brands.

New 2021 Cars To Save Up For and Buy

Keeping my ear to the ground and spying on what new cars are coming to Australia next year has revealed a decent line-up of cars that should peak interest, grab the attention and generally convince a new-car buyer to hold off their purchasing till one of these arrives.  Let’s get straight down to business and take a look together:

Audi RS Q8 2021

A new Audi RS Q8 is coming in October boasting a whopping 441 kW and 800 Nm.  Hot performance is matched by AWD grip, and the interior is high-spec and gorgeous.  Being a luxury-performance SUV from Audi, the price will be in excess of $200k.

Audi A3 2021

Audi also will offer the new A3 Hatch alongside a new A3 Sedan.  These two small cars will have all the latest gadgets, and will be powered by an excellent 1.4-litre TFSI turbo-petrol engine.  The 4-cylinder is good for 110 kW and 250 Nm.  Linked to an eight-speed torque-converter automatic, the new car will be zippy and very efficient.  The A3 line-up wouldn’t be complete without the S3, and in 2021 we will see the new S3 Hatch and Sedan boasting a 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol engine with 228 kW, 400 Nm and AWD: Excitement!

BMW 4 Series 2021

BMW gets a new 4 Series next year.  The car’s styling is gorgeous, while the interior features nice materials and new, better technology.  The base model 420i is good for 135 kW of power and 300 Nm of torque.  The 430i packs a healthy 190 kW and 400 Nm. And the M440i xDrive uses a 3.0-litre turbocharged inline 6-cylinder petrol engine with 285 kW of power and a very strong 500 Nm of torque.  All this power is put down via an eight-speed automatic and AWD.

Fiat 500 EV 2021

A brand new and cute Fiat 500 EV will potentially make it to our shores in 2021.  Powering the wee Fiat 500 is a 42 kWh lithium-ion battery pack that gives the car a 320km – 400 km range.  This might be the perfect little urban runabout, with premium style and fun being at the forefront of the car’s design.

Ford Escape 2021

Ford boasts the entry of the new Ford Escape which can also be had as a PHEV model.  The new Escape is really nice, practical and good to look at.  It’s a comfy SUV with plenty of grunt and excellent fuel efficiency.  The standard engine is the turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder that produces 183 kW and 387 Nm through an excellent eight-speed automatic transmission.  This engine is available throughout the range and can be had in FWD or AWD modes.  The 2021 Ford Escape PHEV uses a naturally-aspirated 2.5-litre four-cylinder engine linked with an electric motor and a 14.4 kWh lithium-ion battery.  The combined output is 167 kW.  The Escape PHEV is good (it needs to be) and goes up against the successful Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV as well as the new Volvo XC40 hybrid.

Genesis G80 2021

If you’re on the lookout for a new luxury sedan, then hang about for the latest Hyundai Genesis G80.  This is quite a car with all the jaw-dropping looks to rival a Beemer 7 Series or Mercedes S-Class.  A 2.5-litre turbo or 3.5-litre turbo petrol are the options, and both can be linked to RWD or AWD options.  Smooth, quiet performance is likely to be matched with excellent reliability.  The recent J.D. Power U.S. Vehicle Dependability Study looked at any problems experienced by owners of 3-year-old vehicles, and they found that the 2020 Genesis G80 was named the most dependable midsize premium car with the lowest rate of reported problems over time.

Great Wall Ute

A new Great Wall Ute has just become available, and it’s a nice package.  The range consists of the Cannon, the Cannon-L and the range-topping Cannon-X.  The new Great Wall Ute will come with the strong new 2.0-litre turbo-diesel 4-cylinder engine producing 120 kW of power and 400 Nm of torque.  It will be offered with a choice of a six-speed manual or a ZF-sourced eight-speed automatic transmission, and it will also be able to pull a braked trailer of 2250 kg.  This is similar in size to a Ford Ranger, Nissan Navara or Toyota Hilux, except it will be cheaper to buy.

Hyundai Sonata 2021

We’ve got the classy looking new Hyundai Sonata Sedan.  This has to be arguably the best looking mid-to-large sedan on the market.  N-Line Sonatas are particularly good-looking and boast 19-inch alloy wheels, a boot-lid spoiler, unique bumpers, blacked out accents, a quad-tipped exhaust and a rear diffuser.  The N-Line isn’t short on power either, with the new 213 kW/422 Nm 2.5-litre four-cylinder turbo petrol more than capable of dancing a jig.  It’s also mated to an eight-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox, which can see the car through to 100 km/h from a standstill in a mere 5.3 seconds.

Hyundai Pallisade 2021

Hyundai’s new seven-seater Pallisade looks immense – which it is.  This is a large luxury SUV with all the comfort of an S-Class.  In Australia, we will get a petrol and a diesel option – which is excellent.  The 3.8-litre V6 petrol is up for 217 kW of power and 355 Nm of torque.  It’s mated to a very smooth eight-speed automatic transmission.  The 2.2-litre turbo-diesel makes 147 kW and 440 Nm via its eight-speed automatic and AWD set-up.  Diesel Pallisades are very efficient for such a big bruising SUV, and both engines are really good towing units.

Hyundai Tucson 2021

Hyundai also boast the arrival of the new Tucson with its nice streamlined looks.  The Tucson has proven pretty popular in Australia, so with the new base engine a naturally-aspirated 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol, a turbocharged 1.6-litre petrol and a 2.0-litre turbo-diesel unit the options for power, the new medium comfortable SUV is set to build on current success story.

Hyundai iMax vans are very good and there will be a new one of these available by the end of 2021.

Kia Carnival 2021

Soon, you will be able to get into a new Kia Carnival, and with seven, eight or 11 seat configurations, this is a comfy and practical people mover.  The new Carnival has to be one of the spunkiest looking people movers on the market; in a market which has seen the Honda Odyssey having the better styling over recent times.  The new Carnival has it all: luxury, comfort, technology, safety; it’s all there.

LDV T60 Ute 2021

A new LDV T60 will grace our roads next year.  This is a good-looking, hard-working ute with good mechanicals, decent output and nice comfort and tech.  It will come with the rugged turbo-diesel, which offers 120 kW and 375 Nm, ensuring frugal, dependable transport.  The T60 has some pretty funky styling, boasting a seriously big grille, slim-line head lights, and a front DRL that runs the width of the ute.

Mercedes Benz S-Class 2021

An all-new Mercedes Benz S-Class is on the horizon.  Expect the best and nothing less.

Mitsubishi Outlander 2021

Awards for most futuristic car might be going to the brand new 2021 Mitsubishi Outlander.  The range-topping Outlander PHEV is expected to feature a larger battery than the current plug-in hybrid model, while the other engines are likely to be new, also.

Nissan X-Trail 2021

I’ve always been a fan of the X-Trail’s ability in all areas, and now the new Nissan X-Trail is upon us with a design that has been pleasantly tweaked, and offering more technology in the classy package.  Inside the new model, it’s packed with a new infotainment system with a 10.8-inch colour head-up display, a 12.3-inch digital dashboard, and a 9.0-inch touchscreen.  Wireless Apple CarPlay is included, along with wireless phone charging.  Nissan will also offer a full ProPilot suite of active safety assists on this model that will make this one of the safest in its class.  The AWD system packs a new electro-hydraulic clutch, which is designed to more accurately and quickly shuffle the power load around the wheels when slippage is detected.

Renault Captur 2021

Renault’s classy small Captur SUV is worth the wait.  Power will come from a 1.3-litre turbocharged petrol engine that is mated with a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission.  Output is rated at 117 kW of power and there is a healthy 260 Nm of torque.  Practicality and comfort is good inside a new Captur, which has a two-tier boot that holds up to 536 litres of luggage, and the split/folding rear seats can also be slid forward and back as needed.

Skoda Octavia 2021

A sleek new Skoda Octavia impresses with its low-slung lines available in sedan or wagon styling.  I personally love the shape of the wagon, with its long roofline and nicely filled out haunches.  The Skoda Ocatvia RS will be powered by a 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbocharged engine making 180 kW and 370 Nm.  A locking front differential and dual-clutch transmission will be standard.  An efficient 1.4-litre turbocharged petrol four will likely run the rest of the Octavias.  Skoda Octavias have always been at the forefront of space and practicality.

Subaru Outback 2021

A brand new Subaru Outback is coming! This is a brilliant SUV/Wagon built for tackling the rough as well as the smooth.  The five-seater sits on a new modular Subaru Global Platform that is stiffer, boosting handling prowess and safety credentials.  The exterior styling looks good, while the cabin is new and stylish.  An 11.6-inch portrait-oriented centre touchscreen looks and functions really nicely.  So, there’s a 2.5-litre naturally aspirated Boxer petrol engine that hauls nice and smooth and will be standard across the range.  Also, a new 2.4-litre turbo unit with 190 kW of power replaces the six-cylinder option. This is a swift runner with great handling.  All models will be offered with the symmetrical AWD system, and they’ll use a CVT with eight stepped ratios.

Subaru Levorg 2021

A new Subaru Levorg is also about to run out on stage.  To start with, the Subaru Levorg will be powered exclusively by a 1.8-litre turbocharged four-cylinder boxer engine with 130 kW of power between 5200 and 5600 rpm, and 300 Nm of torque between 1600 and 3600 rpm.  All-wheel drive is, of course, standard, as is a CVT.  A punchier big Turbo model will, no doubt, become available later on.

Toyota Kluger 2021

The new Toyota Kluger looks really good for the buyer looking to upgrade their old SUV.  An electrified version of this comfy and stylish seven-seat SUV will make the running costs even better.  The new Kluger hybrid blends a 2.5-litre petrol engine with two electric motors and a compact battery, delivering a maximum 179 kW output to the capable AWD system.  If you’re after petrol alone, then the 3.5-litre V6 offers a throaty 218 kW and strong performance.  FWD or AWD options are available, both of which run with a smooth eight-speed automatic transmission.  Drive one of these, and you can see why so many people like-and-buy Klugers.

Volkswagen Golf 2021

Volkswagen has their popular new Golf on sale soon; and a new Golf always looks nice parked up the driveway.

2021 Suzuki Swift GLX Turbo: Private Fleet Car Review

This Car Review Is About: A update to a member of the always popular Swift range. The GLX Turbo, in this case, gets a little extra equipment as part of the Series 2 refresh. For now, it’s also the top of the three tier range as the Suzuki Swift Sport takes a hiatus.How Much Does It Cost?: $25,410 drive-away is what you’ll see as a sticker price. That’s up from the Series 1 price of $22,990 two years ago.

Under The Bonnet Is?: A perky 1.0 litre three cylinder engine, which is good for 82kW and 160Nm from 1,500rpm to 4,000rpm.Transmission is a six speed auto only sadly, and it feels a bit like a dual clutch, but isn’t.

Fuel capacity is 37.0L, with consumption, says Suzuki at 5.1L/100km on the combined cycle. We averaged 6.6L/100km on our 70/30 split.

On The Outside It’s: A mix of 16-inch alloys (common across the three models), dusk-sensing LED headlights, reversing camera, and a body shape that lacks the sharper edged look of the previous model. The headlight design became more of an amorphous blob in the redesign a couple of years ago, whilst the rear lights followed the lead of Baleno and became smaller but stood out and away from the body.

A visual clue for the change from Series 1 to Series 2 update is a chrome bar running horizontally in the grille. The alloys also have been changed slightly.

On The Inside It’s: Featuring cruise control, cloth on the seats, and a reach & rake adjustable steering wheel column. The 7.0 inch touchscreen is the same four quarter starting look seen across the Suzuki family, with no DAB in the audio system. There are smartphone apps though, and the GLX gets an extra pair of speakers over the Navigator and Navigator Plus, making for six all up. For the driver, a 4.3 inch full colour screen shows varying sorts of info, including fuel consumption, speed, and a g-force meter for good measure.Suzuki have always managed to package a small car well, so there’s adequate head and leg room for most, however the sheer size of the Swift means boot space is on the small side at 265L, moving to 576L with seats folded.What About Safety?: A substantial increase for the Series 2. AEB is now standard and works over a broader velocity range. Blind Spot Monitoring and Rear Cross Traffic Alert are now standard. Forward Collision Warning, Lane Keep Assist and Lane Departure Warning are backed up by six airbags and the usual ABS and stability controls.

On The Road It’s: Point and squirt in nature. The three cylinder doesn’t take much to spool up and get the Swift GLX Turbo humming. The transmission hooks up quickly, taking the torque of the little engine that can, translating it quickly and easily to drive. It’s smooth, slick, efficient, and the engine revels in being a free-spinner.

The transmission selector has a hiccup in its design though. It’s s straight through selector, from Park to Drive, and then Manual. There isn’t a lockout or a sideways move to engage, meaning more than once Manual was inadvertently selected and we’re left wondering momentarily why the gears hadn’t changed.The suspension is typical for a small car. There’s very little real suspension travel, having the Swift GLX Turbo bottoming out on the bumpstops too easily. There is barely enough compliance for a truly comfortable ride, with the shock absorbers tuned to dial out the pogo style up and down on undulations more so than “normal” road conditions.

Twirl the steering wheel and there’s enough resistance to provide a sense of sportiness at low speed, and it lightens up, but not too much at freeway velocities. Same for the brakes, as the GLX Turbo has discs all around rather than disc and drum. The pedal has just the right amount of pushback and feedback for the size of the car.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.

Servicing is 12 monthly or 10,000 kilometres for turbo cars, and Suzuki 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. In comparison, we drove the Suzuki Sport in mid 2020, and you can see that here.
The GLX Turbo really isn’t that different in spirit and nature, so it remains to be seen if the Swift Sport itself will return in some way. For now though, the 2021 Suzuki Swift GLX Turbo is the current king of the castle in the Swift family.

Do I Need Extended Warranty Cover?

Part of the car purchasing process is deciding how to best take care of your car. Not only by arranging the appropriate level of insurance, but through warranty coverage as well. And while manufacturers typically include a fixed warranty period at the start of each new car’s life, faults sometimes emerge over time and can fall outside this period.

If you purchase a new vehicle from a dealership, the dealer may try sell you an extended warranty. This is designed to cover the cost of repairing mechanical or electrical defects in the years after the original warranty period.

In recent times, more and more car manufacturers like Toyota, Nissan, Kia and Hyundai are offering new car buyers a longer warranty period on their new purchase, so do you really need extended warranty? Before you rush to sign the dotted line, make sure you have taken into account the following points of attention.

 

What does extended warranty cover?

Always investigate precisely what the extended warranty will cover. It is normal for different levels of coverage based on a sliding scale of costs, so understand which car components are covered – and more importantly, which parts are not covered.

Remember, no form of extended warranty will cover against wear and tear, recalls, neglect, as well as criminal or unauthorised activity. Also look closely at the policy start date and any specific requirements to maintain coverage.

You might be paying extra for coverage under a particular policy that offers little to no additional protection, or offers limited compensation as far as protecting parts more likely to need replacing than others. You should assess whether the standard manufacturer’s warranty is adequate, or whether an extended warranty policy is more appropriate.

 

What are your plans with the vehicle?

Think about how you will use the vehicle and what your longer-term vision entails for the car. Some people purchase a vehicle as a temporary asset on their way to upgrading it later.

If this sounds like you, look closely at whether you will realise any benefit on top of the standard manufacturer’s warranty. On the other hand, if you think this new car will be your pride and joy for a long time to come, extended warranty could mitigate future repair risks, especially if the car is generally considered expensive to repair.

Second-hand car buyers may also sign up for extended warranty, which offers some protection given they don’t have visibility into the history of the car. That said, the age of the car will have an influence on the coverage available and the monetary compensation accessible if repairs are necessary.

 

Who is providing the extended warranty and at what cost?

Insurers are the end providers of extended warranty, with the service often referred to as an extended warranty insurance. Be wary of any products that are not insurance policies, particularly ‘discretionary’ warranties. Don’t hesitate to research the provider to ensure that they are of good standing and reputation – there should be plenty of feedback and commentary available online.

From a cost perspective, consider whether the additional expense might deliver sufficient value to make it a worthwhile expense. Not every extended warranty provider will allow transfers to another provider, and cancellation policies – if you were to sell the car, or be involved in a write-off – differ significantly.

Finally, if the extended warranty will be included into your car loan, do not overlook the additional interest expenses this will burden you with until repaid.