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2021 Kia Picanto S Manual: Car Review.

This Car Review Is About: The baby of the current Kia range, Picanto. A pert five door hatch, Picanto is available in either S or GT-Line specification. It’s also one of the cheapest new cars currently available to buy in Australia.How Much Does It Cost?: Kia has the Picanto S, in manual transmission and 1.2L engine spec, at $16,990 and in non-metallic Clear White. The specification sheet supplied by Kia says there are no options available aside from the exterior colours such as Sparkling Silver, Honey Bee Yellow, or Aurora Black Pearl at $595.

Under The Bonnet Is: A 1.25L petrol four and a five speed manual in the review vehicle. There is an auto available with just four ratios available. That engine is the only option with the turbo 3 cylinder reserved for the Rio GT-Line. Peak power is 62kW (6,000rpm) and peak torque is 122Nm at 4,000rpm. Economy is a strong part of the Picanto’s appeal, with a combined figure of 5.0L/100km (manual) from the 35.0L fuel thimble. Our final overall average was a very creditable 6.0L/100km with a best of 4.4L/100km seen.On The Outside It’s: Not as visually appealing as the GT-Line. The Picanto S has a wheel and tyre package of 175/65/16 with steel wheels and plastic covers. The front bumper has halogen driving lights that come on with the ignition, with the bumper jutting forward from the headlights and tiger nose grille. There are no LEDs here, it’s pure old-tech front and rear on the slightly boxy body. The Clear White emphasises the more cubic shape of the Picanto when it’s sans GT-Line enhancements.On The Inside It’s: Dominated by the now ubiquitous stand alone touchscreen. At 8.0 inches in size it’s well amongst the standard sizes and features smartapp compatibility. Both Apple and Android are wireless and have voice recognition. Sound is good without being muddy. There is also a USB and 3.5mm socket in the lower front centre console.

The driver’s display is also familiar with a 4.2 inch colour display and analogue dials. An intriguing feature is the screen rolls lines upwards as the vehicle moves along and the driver changes gears.

Plastics throughout tend to the hard side; there is no soft touch on the binnacle, console, door tops, to add a touch of comfort. The upper section of the cabin is trimmed in a light grey material to counterbalance the largely black lower section.Seats are cloth covered, manually operated, and comfortable enough for the Picanto’s natural home, short suburban runs. Front seat leg and head room is adequate, as is rears eat head room, but taller people will find the rear pew a little claustrophobic. And nominally a five seater, the rear seat is not suitable for three adults. Luggage space echoes this at 255L (seats up) with 1,010L available with seats folded.On The Road It’s: Suitable for purpose. The 1.2L engine is by no means a firecracker, with alacrity not a word in its dictionary. That may sound harsh as even with four aboard, it pulls well enough although noticeably blunted compared to having just the driver aboard. Even with the free-spinning engine being wound up, it’s enough for moderate acceleration only. It also makes it a questionable choice as being the only engine option for the GT-Line version.

We’ve noted previously the soft springing for the clutch and gear selector; there is little to no weight in the lever and a very gentle one finger movement is enough to see the first to second to third and so on happen. The clutch is the same, there is no real pressure here at all. However, there is an upside to this and it’s that the Picanto S manual slots into the space needed for a learner driver.

It’s ideal for a new driver because that combination of soft clutch and lever won’t be intimidating and the pairing make for the ideal training mechanism. This applies to the somewhat woolly steering and soft suspension setup. The Picanto S bottoms out easily to the bumpstops, meaning some serious speed reduction or driver planning is required to lessen the bang thump. The miniscule disc and drum brake combo do a decent job of hauling up the petite Picanto, and work great with the down-changing of the gears coming to a set of lights or a stop sign.What About Safety?: Autonomous Emergency Braking with Forward Collision Warning is standard, however there is no Blind Spot Warning, Lane Keep Assist, or Rear Cross Traffic Alert. These may seem a major omission however it brings back to the driver their responsibility to not be trained to rely on electronic aids.

What About Warranty And Service?: The standard seven years warranty and capped price servicing applies. Total cost over the seven years is $2,806, for an average cost of $400 per year or just $7.70 per week. Years two, four, and six are where the costs climb higher than the others.At The End Of The Drive. For less than $18K (with metallic paint) the Picanto S manual is ideally priced to be a first new car or a supplementary car. It’s a city car, a suburban car, and fulfills this design brief perfectly. It’s comfortable enough for the city environment, has the basics at a suitable level for tech and entertainment, and provides a reasonable ride and handling package. It’s the sort of vehicle that, when expectations aren’t of a super level, it meets those expectations perfectly.

2020 Kia Rio GT-Line: Private Fleet Car Review.

This Car Review Is About: Kia’s second smallest car, complete with attitude and spunk. It’s a bit like “it’s not the size of the dog in the fight, it’s the size of the fight in the dog”. Complete with a three cylinder engine and DCT, plus some body add-ons, and in the review car’s case, an eye-catching Mighty Yellow paint, how much fight is in this pint size warrior wannabe?How Much Does It Cost?: $24,490 drive-away plus $520 for premium paint.

Under The Bonnet Is: A relatively tiny 1.0L three cylinder with the Hyundai/Kia Smartstream label. But don’t think it’s too small for the Rio. 74kW and 172Nm (1,500 to 4,000rpm) combine to foist upon the 1,197kg (dry) machine enough pizzazz and spriteliness to provide enough of a grin factor when the car is driven…ahem…appropriately.It’s cheap to run as well; our worst was 7.0L/100km, with a best of 4.1L/100, with a final average of 6.2L/100km. Tank size is 45L worth for regular unleaded. None of those figures are far from Kia’s official figures of 5.3L/6.3L/4.8L per 100km on the combined/urban, and highway drives. And not that many would, but towing is rated as 1,000kg. Transmission is a seven ratio Dual Clutch Transmission.

On The Outside It’s: Largely unchanged for the past couple of years. It sits nicely in the compact class at 4,070mm in length although it looks smaller. It’s 1,450mm high, and 1,725mm wide, sitting on a wheelbase of 2,580mm.

That means it’s a stubby little thing with short overhangs, and slightly cubical when seen from either end directly. In profile the A-pillars have a slope that matches the rear pillar, bringing some visual balance to the main body.

Driving lights are the four-cube set, cast to either end of the front bar and in an enclosure limned in black that reaches out but doesn’t quite meet a slim air intake sitting under the main slimline tiger-nose. This is echoed with a mirror set in the rear bumper that has a pair of reflectors.

Wheels are 16 spoke 17 inch alloys with dark grey highlights, shod in Continental Contisport Contact rubber at 205/45.On The Inside It’s: Quite sparsely trimmed. The seats are a black cloth with white stitched leather bolstering, white piping, and fully manually adjustable. No electronics at all. Pedals are alloy, and a carbon-fibre look inlay runs full length across the dash. Otherwise, plastics are a bit low-rent to look at and touch aside from the piano black for the air vent, touchscreen, and drive selector surrounds.

Driver’s dials are analogue with the familiar 4.2 inch info cluster. Here is where a digital screen would have been a nice step up. Aircon controls are basic yet idiot-proof dials and push-buttons, sitting over a 12V & USB port. A sole USB port sits at the end of the small centre console. The main touchscreen is an 8.0 inch unit in glorious monochrome, featuring AM, FM, and Bluetooth along with Android and Apple compatibility.Convenience features run to bottle holders in each door, a pair of console cup holders, and rain sensing wipers. No airvents for the rear seaters though… Luggage space is 325L to 980L, with the second row seats folding but not level with the boot floor. That’s not quite enough for a weekly shop for a family of four, but then, the Rio GT-Line probably wouldn’t be in a driveway for that demographic.

Solar or UV blocking glass is standard for the GT’s front three windows, with privacy glass for the rears. A drive mode tab is placed up towards the drive selector, with Eco, Normal, and Sport the choices. There’s a sporting hint with the now familiar flat bottomed tiller. Packaging overall is good thanks to the slightly boxy body shape.

On The Road It’s: Much better in Normal mode than Eco. There’s more life, lighter steering, whereas Eco drags the Rio GT-Line into the mud and everything feels heavier and slower. Sport mode adds extra zip and especially in the mid-range of the engine’s torque delivery. In Eco, the steering has a feel of the front tyres being deflated. Switch to Normal and it lightens up just enough to feel…well…normal.

The seven speed DCT isn’t one of the better of its type, nor is it one of the worst. The clutch gaps aren’t as bad as it has been, with stop then start driving feeling more intuitive and natural. And safer. It also makes for normal and sportier driving a much more enjoyable experience, as changes are sharper, crisper, and more efficiently translating into getting the Rio percolating.

Engage Sport and it’s even swifter, however switching to manual changing (no paddle shifters either, by the way) and there’s a hint more speed in the cogs swapping. Under a gentle foot there is also the audible changes for the gears, with the three cylinder thrum that is so characteristic of these engines running up and down in the revs as the clutch disengages and re-engages for the next ratio. Some DCTs take time to warm up and perform at their best, Kia’s is somewhere between that and being ready to go from the get-go.Ride quality is where the Rio GT-Line varies. It’s too hard sometimes, with little travel and tyre absorption. There’s just that little bit too much bang-crash on some road surfaces, but in contrast nicely dials out any float, with zero rebound on those wallowy surfaces. There is ample grip from the Continental rubber too, making cornering at increasing speed a simple proposition, alongside easy lane changing.

Hit a flat road and it’s ideal, feeling tied to the tarmac, and it’s on this kind of surface where the GT part of GT-Line pays off. Ditto for the engine as that broad swathe of torque effortlessly pulls the GT-Line along. The steering is almost ideally weighted, with little effort needed to switch lanes. Road noise is noticeable but not to the point that cabin conversations feel intruded upon.

What was apparent, too, was the rate of rolling acceleration. Where a merge road goes from 80 to 100 or 110, a change of pace, rapidly, is needed. Here the Rio GT-Line shows appreciable agility without being a neck-snapper, with decent forward progress. It’s perhaps where the 1.2L three with more torque would be a better fit for the name GT-Line.What About Safety?: Autonomous Emergency Braking with Forward Collision Warning, Lane Following and Lane Keeping Assist. Six airbags, and the mandated assorted electronic driver aids are standard.

What About Warranty And Service?: Kia’s standard seven year warranty applies. Total service costs across the seven years is $3,299. That’s an average cost per year of $471 or just nine dollars per week. As is the norm, it’s service four for the big ticket cost at $704, with year five under half that at $319. Year six and seven see $602 and $569.

At The End Of The Drive. Kia’s Rio GT-Line isn’t aimed at the hot hatch market. It’s not aimed at the warm hatch market. It’s aimed at those that want a semblance of performance combined with user friendly economy figures and no need for anything bigger. It’s an ideal first car for the new driver as it’s not excessively endowed with snap/crackle/pop BUT there is enough to provide the appropriate grin factor.

As such, the Kia Rio GT-Line offers up a decent amount of fight however those looking for something with more spice will look elsewhere. That’s no shade on the GT-Line, by the way. It’s intended to be what it is and it fulfills that particular brief perfectly. Check it out, here.

Facelifts For Favourites. Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross And Hyundai i30

Mitsubishi’s oddly styled and oddly named Eclipse Cross has been given its first facelift. There’s is still the sharp kink to the rear window line but here the lights have been given a deeper silhouette with extensions upwards and inwards. The rear glass is larger for better visibility and the lower door now has a sculpted hexagonal look which Mitsubishi says evokes its historic spare tyre cover logo. The front is updated to the Dynamic Shield design with a new bumper plus enhanced headlight design.The updated Eclipse Cross will also pack a hybrid drivetrain however this not yet confirmed for Australia. It will use the same twin-motor 4WD PHEV system as the Outlander PHEV but with modifications specific to the size and weight of the Eclipse Cross chassis. Front and rear mounted electric motors pair with a high capacity battery and a 2.4L MIVEC engine driving a single-speed planetary gearbox. Drive selection can be automatically switched between three modes: fully EV, Series Hybrid, or Parallel Hybrid.

In a move that is becoming more widespread, the traction battery can also be used as a reliable source of electricity for outdoor leisure or in an emergency as it supplies up to 1,500 watts of power from an on-board outlets. When the vehicle is fully charged and fuelled, it can supply power to a general household for up to 10 days via the Vehicle-to-Home system. The Eclipse Cross will also bring the previous 1.5L turbo four and Constant Variable Transmission.For the interior, there is a new 8.0inch touchscreen with Mitsubishi’s Smartphone-Link Display Audio system. This is designed to make a safer situation for the driver to use. The screen has been moved rearwards down the centreline of the Eclipse Cross, making access easier and has moved away from a strictly touchscreen use for volume and tuning.

For the chassis the Eclipse Cross continues with the Mitsubishi S-AWC system. There has been subtle tweaks to the MacPherson struts and multi-link rear for better ride and handling, with larger shock absorbers increasing comfort and stability. Pricing will be confirmed in November 2020.Hyundai’s popular 130 also has gone under the knife for a mild facelift. The company’s “Sensuous Sportiness” highlights a new grille, restyled headlights, and bumper. Part of the Sunsuous Sportiness ideal is a “parametric pattern” design for the grille with dark chrome geometric shapes. These complement the black bezels inside the headlights and the redesigned LED running and indicator lights inside the broader wheel curtain.

The rear bumper hasn’t been left untouched. either. The reflectors have been repositioned and join with an insert that is full width and of a mesh look. Rolling stock will be 16 and 17 inch alloys as standard, with a dark grey paint that has been machined down to showcase the alloy. All i30s have a solid safety package; Collision Avoidance Assist, Lane Following Assist, and Lane Keeping Assist will be standard from the entry level model upwards. Depending on grade, Blind-Spot Collision Warning, Rear Cross-Traffic Collision Warning and Smart Cruise Control (automatic and DCT variants) will be featured as standard equipment. Lane Following Assist or LFA works thus: it uses the front windshield-mounted camera to detect lane markers as well as vehicles ahead, and provides steering assistance to ensure the vehicle stays in the centre of the lane. It will work at velocities of up to 180kph.

Wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity will also be standard, along with an 8.0 inch touchscreen (i30 entry, Active, and N-Line level) and 7.0 inch main screen for the driver. This display will change in look depending on the chosen drive mode.Also standard across the range are a leather steering wheel and gear knob, an electronic parking brake and air-conditioning vents for rear occupants. The i30 Elite and N-Line Premium increases the touchscreen to 10.25 inches. Infinity will supply the audio system, and a smart keyfob enables push button Stop/Start.

The growing N-Line range now has LED headlights as standard, plus the 150kW 1.6L turbo petrol four and a sports oriented suspension.There will be seven colour choices. Polar White, Phantom Black, Fluidic Metal and Amazon Grey, as well as the vivid Intense Blue and Fiery Red, and an eyecatching vibrant N Line-specific Lava Orange.

“With range-standard SmartSenseTM safety, refreshed styling and extra equipment, our ever-popular i30 hatchback is now an even more compelling proposition in the small car segment,” Hyundai Motor Company Australia Chief Executive Officer, Jun Heo said.

“The stylish 2021 i30 hatchback complements the progressive all-new i30 Sedan as well as performance N Line variants to provide the perfect small car package for a wide variety of customers,” he said.

Metallic paint will be a $495 option. The range starts at $23,420 (plus ORC) for the i30 entry level 2.0L manual, with the auto a $2,000 impost. The Active and Elite start from $26,920 and $30,220. The N-Line range kicks off from $29,420 for the manual and 1.6L turbo, $31,420 for the auto, and the Premium manual and auto at $34,2320 and $36,220.

Car Sales In Australia Continue To Slide In September

The Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries has released the numbers for new car sales in September 2020. 68,985 new vehicles were sold and that’s a drop of 21.8% compared to last year’s September figures of 88,181. For 2020, 644,891 vehicles have been moved, that’s down 20.5% for 2019’s 811,464.

Ford’s Ranger lead the way with 3,726, heading Toyota’s RAV4 on 2,433, Hyundai’s i30 with 1,786, which just pipped Mazda’s CX-5 on 1,765.On a brand basis it was Toyota on 12,936, Mazda with an even 7,000, Hyundai on 5,723, whilst Kia was nipping at its sister company’s heels at 5,092. Ford was fifth, with the Ranger making up most of the 4,816 sales.

In a category comparison, 17,720 passenger vehicles were sold, for 25.7% of the overall market. 47.3% of new vehicles sold were SUV at 32,647. Light Commercial Vehicles had 22.9% for 15,772 sales. Victoria’s lockdown situation saw 10,447 vehicles sold. That’s a decrease of a whopping 57.7% compared to September 2019. In opposition, the A.C.T, the N.T, and W.A. had increases of 3.4%, 10.6%, and 1.5% respectively.

The Chief Executive of the FCAI, Tony Weber, commented: “First of all, we are seeing COVID-19 health restrictions across Australia, and particularly in metropolitan Melbourne, continue to ease. Another sign that the market may improve is the announcement by the Federal Government last week of an easing of lending conditions for private buyers and small business in Australia.” and added: Freeing up restrictions around financial lending will act as a stimulus for Australian industry.” Mr Weber said.

The numbers reflect thirty months in a row of decreasing sales, affected by exchange rates, economic uncertainty, Covid-19, and other natural disasters.Diesel powered passenger vehicles continued to slide, with 2019’s figures of 6,890 well ahead of 2020’s 4,185. This mirrors the SUV segment with 2019 seeing 86,969 compared to 2020’s 64,009 so far. Electric passenger cars are the opposite, with 701 for 2020 compared to 2019’s 527. A big change has been the SUV hybrid segment, with new models being available and reflected in the 23,173 compared to 2019’s 5,986. In comparison, petrol fed SUVs dropped dramatically, from 270,923 to 225,443.In the sub-$60K people mover segment, Kia’s Carnival dominated. 237 were sold in September, well ahead of Honda’s Odyssey and LDV’s G10, with 69 and 67 apiece. Above $60K and it’s a two way tussle between Mercedes-Benz and Toyota, with the Granvia’s 22 nudging the German brand’s V-Class and Valente 34 and 27.

Ford’s Mustang continued its winning ways in the sub-$80K Sports car segment with 145, well ahead of Mazda’s MX-5 (54) with Hyundai’s recently revamped Veloster in hot pursuit on 49. For the over $80K segment, Mercedes-Benz again continued to lead with their E-Class and C-Class duking it out on 97 and 94.

For the sub-$40K small SUV market, it was gold and silver for Korea, with the Kia Seltos finding 1,089 new homes, Hyundai’s Kona into 1,036, and bronze for Mitsubishi’s ASX on 940. For the medium sub-$60K SUVs it was the RAV4 with 2,433 heading the Mazda CX-5 with 1,765. Third place was Hyundai’s Tucson on 1,199.

Toyota also took out the sub-$70K large SUV market with the Prado selling 820, ahead of the Mazda CX-9 at 624 and the Kia Sorento on 569. Toyota’s LandCruiser swamped the Nissan Patrol, with 990 for September over the Patrol’s 190.In the crucial 4×4 pick-up/cab chassis sector it was the Ford Ranger leading the way on 3,454, well ahead of the soon to be updated Toyota HiLux on 2,790, and Mitsubishi’s Triton on 1,234.

What to Consider Before Looking at Ex-Demo Vehicles?

Any time one steps into the market in search of a new car, it would be remiss to think that the best deal is certain to be a new vehicle. In fact, ex-demonstrator cars have a particularly solid reputation when it comes to great value. But if you really want to stretch your money further, it pays to know a little more about the ins and outs of ex-demo vehicles. Let’s take a closer look.

 

What is an ex-demonstrator car?

An ex-demonstrator car is a vehicle from the dealer’s showroom that has been used as a test car among prospective new car buyers. Beyond that, it may have also been loaned out to a potential customer so they can spend a bit of time familiarising themselves with the vehicle over a weekend before deciding whether it fits their needs or not.

Quite often, manufacturers may agree to assign dealers ex-demonstrator cars from a popular series for their own use. Whatever the case, the allure of an ex-demo car is that it is almost brand new, with less than 5000km on the odometer and generally not more than a couple months old.

 

What sort of savings can I expect from an ex-demo car?

It’s one of the first things that comes to everyone’s mind when they think of ex-demo cars – big savings! And while that can certainly be the case, the savings on any specific car will depend on a number of factors. Among these, none is more pertinent than the model of the vehicle in question.

Some popular models are earmarked as vehicles that a dealer may want to move on quickly, particularly if they have abundant stock. Furthermore, the price of the vehicle will dictate the extent of any discount that could be offered. There is only so much you can strip away from the retail price before the dealer knows they will have other buyers enter the showroom.

But beyond that, you also need to take into consideration the condition of the car, as well as just how many kilometres it has got through. The idea of being able to save thousands is not out of the question, provided all these factors align favourably for a buyer.

 

Is there anything to be aware of when buying an ex-demo vehicle?

Whether it be general tips to get ahead, or points to be wary, take heed of these things before you commit to purchase an ex-demonstrator vehicle:

  • Ensure that the car’s warranty coverage starts the day you buy the vehicle (e. not before)
  • Inspect the vehicle closely for any damage or unreasonable signs of wear – this extends beyond the exterior, as many people will have stepped inside the car
  • Buying a car towards the end of its demonstrator period (i.e. 2-3 months) will afford you the best timing to negotiate a lower price
  • Once made available, ex-demo cars often sell quite quickly, so have your vehicle finance lined up
  • Inspect all paperwork closely to verify that the registration is being transferred as well

Australian Car Sales Continue Downwards Trend.

Australia’s Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries has released the latest sales figures for 2020, and not unexpectedly, it shows that the nation’s new car buying habits are continuing to be affected by the pandemic.

August for this year saw 60,986 new vehicle sales. That’s 24,647 or 28.8% less than August of 2019, and includes one fewer selling day or approximately 831 vehicle sales. or -28.8% on August 2019 (85,633) vehicle sales. August 2020 had one less selling day (25.8) than August 2019 and this resulted in a decrease of 831.5 vehicle sales per day. In the Passenger Vehicle segment, August had a reduction of 11,035 for a 42.8% decrease, whilst the Sports Utility segment went backwards by 6,652 or 17.0% compared to August 2019. This month also marked the first time a Hybrid vehicle saw the number 1 spot, with the Toyota RAV4 topping the charts.Last year’s August figures had 1,049 hybrid SUV sales, with this year notching 4,809 sales. In a Year To Date measurement, it’s 20,566 against just 5,205 for 2019. The PHEV or Plug-in Hybrid EV sector also grew, with 74 in August 2020 against 63 for the corresponding moth last year.

The RAV4 range dominated sales on its own, with 24,768 sales YTD and 4,825 for August. In second place was Mazda’s CX5, with 13,830 and 1,884 respectively. The RAV4’s increase represents a YTD percentage increase of 140.5 and a monthly percentage increase of 55.4.

For the 4×4 pick-up sector, Ford’s Ranger outsold the Mitsubishi Triton and Toyota HiLux in August. 2,718 were sold, over 1,278 for the Triton and 936 for the Hilux. On a YTD basis the Ranger was barely ahead of the HiLux, with the figures showing 22,923 over 20,263 whilst Triton’s YTD figures were 10,914.

The RAV4 contributed to Toyota topping the sales charts for August, with 12,449 sales. Mazda took the silver on 6,921 sales whilst the Korean duo took it to the wire. Hyundai notched 4,525 sales, Kia with 4,521 sales, and just shaded Mitsubishi with 4,308 sales. In the Small car segment Corolla just edged the i30, with 1,464 over 1,429, with Kia’s Cerato in third on 1,264. There was a surprise in the Light Cars $25K+ segment, with the Chinese owned MG brand selling 654 MG3s, ahead of Kia’s Rio on 445. The Camry absolute blitzed the under $60K medium segment with 910, whilst the Skoda Octavia stole second over the Mazda6, with 182 to 174.For the Large Car segment in both the under and over $70K bracket, Kia’s Stinger swept all before it with 178, triple that of the Mercedes-E-Class on 53. Kia also dominated the People Mover category, with the soon to be updated Carnival seeing 284 sales. Hyundai’s iMax was a distant second at 72. the Sports cars segment had the Mustang continue its winning way in both under and over $80, with 147 new sales, nearly doubling both the Hyundai Veloster (78) and Mercedes-Benz C-Class Coupe/Convertible (75).

Breaking down the Passenger Car segment has Toyota on 2,700, nudging Kia at 2,515. Hyundai took third with 1,776.

What Should I Consider if I Buy a Car Interstate?

In the overwhelming majority of cases, we’re comfortable purchasing a car that we can drive away on the spot. There are undoubted benefits as far as convenience, negotiating power, cost savings and dealing with any issues. However, sometimes a deal may come along that is too hard to pass up. You look closely, but you realise the seller is interstate. What are your options? Is it worth the hassle, or should you consider refocusing your search on something closer to home? Let’s take a look.

 

 

Inspection arrangements are more complex

Most car buyers appreciate the peace of mind that comes with inspecting a car in person. The complication of being in a different state however, is obvious enough. If you’re not prepared to head over and inspect the vehicle, then your options are limited. You are also taking a large risk. Avoid this, no matter the cost savings. You may consider the option of engaging a friend, buying agent, or arranging for a third-party inspection service.

Arranging transport is costly

It’s no secret that our capital cities are very far apart. So as far as transporting a car from interstate goes, your expenses are going to add up very quickly. There are dedicated freight companies who can collect and deliver the car, however this service is not cheap. Make sure you obtain several quotes. If you arrange to head interstate and drive the car back, you will need to budget for flight expenses, fuel as well as considerable time and possibly even accommodation. These days you may also engage a third-party driver to courier the car, although this doesn’t always sit comfortably with some car buyers.

 

 

Conduct appropriate background checks

Before you pull the trigger and purchase an interstate car, make sure you review the national PPSR registry and records with the roads authority in the state where it is located. You will want to ensure the car is not stolen, written-off or under finance, as well as review its general sales and odometer history. You will need the vehicle identification number (VIN) before you start. Don’t rely on the seller. It’s important that you see this for yourself, or have a trusted contact who can verify the car’s VIN in person.

 

Registration and insurance processes are different

If the car is already registered, you will not be able to transfer it directly from the existing owner in one state, to your name and address in a different state. Therefore, sellers usually cancel local registration. However, there is a 14 day window after a change in ownership in which any interstate registration must be transferred over if it is not cancelled. If the registration is cancelled, or it is a new car that is unregistered, you may apply for a temporary unregistered vehicle permit to drive the vehicle home. Keep in mind, once you try to register the vehicle in your home state, it must be certified as roadworthy. Each state has different standards regarding this. Insurance matters also differ by state, so it not only pays to check with the relevant roads authority, but your insurer as well.

2021 Kia Carnival Comes Forth.

Kia has unveiled its long awaited fourth generation Carnival. Standing out in a SUV dominated landscape, the new Carnival has been given a handsome looking makeover.Kia’s signature is the “Tiger Nose” grille and this now extends widthwise via the front lights to further dominate the bluff nose. Slimmer headlights incorporate LED Daytime Running Lights at either end. The Carnival will feature a full tail-width light bar, similar to the look as shown on the Korean release Stinger. It loses weight visually for the rear of the Carnival.

Depending on specification, Carnival will have 17, 18, or 19 inch alloys. Eight colours for the skin will be available, and a “floating island” roof is a stand out, thanks to blacked-out A And B pillars, along with the new signature for the C pillar, a fin that abuts the rear of the sliding door.

Kia have shortened the front overhang, and moved the A pillar rearward to give a longer bonnet to the popular people mover. The chin has the familiar black urethane airdam.The chassis is new and provides better interior packaging, enhancing and providing a more useful interior. Kia calls the philosophy “Spatial Talents”, with a futuristic feel including a wider panoramic screen dash and haptic feedback tabs. The drive selector is now at a more “fall to hand” position at the centre console’s base.

Interior room improves thanks to an increase in the wheelbase, up to 3,090mm. Width is up slightly, by 10mm to 1,995mm. In length, an extra 40mm has been added for a full 5,155mm. This adds 30mm to the rear overhang and increases room for both cargo and third row passengers.

With the middle and rear rows laid flat, cargo is up to a class leading 2,095L. With the third row up there is a huge 627L. Loading items in is now easier with a lip drop of 26mm.For the driver is a 12.3 inch digital display, along with a 12.3 inch infotainment screen. The two are linked by one piece of glass for a seamless, future inspired, look. Voice recognition tech is on-board with both Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. In a market dependent sense, Kia Live will allow for information such as live traffic updates, weather updates, remote destination provision, and potentially even parking information.

An unusual feature is the Rear Passenger View & Talk. This allows the driver to keep their view ahead whilst using a small camera and microphone to check on and converse with the passengers behind them. The rear seat passengers also may be able to operate the infotainment system.The SmartFob provides a higher measure of hands-free operation for the powered sliding doors and tailgate with a presence sensor opening or closing the doors if read for three seconds. A safety feature embedded in the Carnival’s extensive package is SEA, Safe Exit Assistance. Sensors will monitor traffic and stop the sliding doors from opening if traffic is detected. This is aimed at the family users with smaller children eager to disembark. HDA, Highway Driving Assist, is Kia’s Level 2 autonomous driving technology. This brings the Carnival into a different level of safety, with a front view camera and radar reading forward traffic and adjusting braking, acceleration, and steering if required.

A new safety system is Rear Cross-Traffic Collision-Avoidance Assist (RCCA) and this works by automatically braking the Carnival if sensors detect oncoming rear traffic. Other features such as Lane Following Assist (LFA); Highway Driving Assist (HDA); and Surround View Monitor (SVM) will be available on a market dependent basis.

Power will come from either a 216kW/355Nm petrol V6, a 200kW/332Nm petrol V6, or the grungy 2.2L diesel with 148kW and 440Nm. The latter will already be familiar to many, and has also been given a makeover with new injectors, balance shafts, and a different exhaust system for better emissions. Transmissions will be the very good eight speed auto across the board. Underneath are completely revamped front and rear suspension components with a new IRS and a new “skeletal cross member” up front. This provides a better geometry to improve ride and sharpen handling. Liquid filled suspension bushes further improve ride quality. The body is comprised of different styles of steel, adding flexibility where required, strength where required.

No pricing has been as yet released for the Australian market, with sales expected sometime in Q4 of 2020.

 

SUV Sales Pass 50% of Monthly Sales for the First Time

Australia’s new car market has seen a significant milestone – for the first time ever, over one in two cars sold last month were an SUV. Official data for July 2020 by the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries showed SUVs comprised 50.4% of all new vehicles sold.

 

 

Taking a closer look

While SUV sales topped passenger vehicles some time ago – back in 2017, in fact – to see SUV sales now above 50% of the entire market tells us how far this format has come. It is a clear winner among Australian households right across the country.

In comparison, the performance of the passenger vehicle category continues to decline, accounting for just 25% of sales last month. With utes, vans and heavy-industry vehicles making up the other 25%, it looks like it won’t be long before passenger vehicles are on the outer altogether! One just has to look at the category back in 2012, when passenger cars represented 51.7% of all new car sales. How times have changed!

No one can say the trend has been slow moving either. Sure, SUVs have been around for a couple decades, but they have particularly risen to prominence across the last decade as the improving versatility and functionality of SUVs have all but underpinned their explosive growth.

With last month’s tally coming in at 36,500 SUV sales, that’s almost double what the industry recorded back in July 2010. Let’s not forget either, we are in the midst of the worst economic crisis of modern history, so we’re certainly not comparing apples with oranges here as back then, conditions were no worse.

 

 

Where to from here?

If it didn’t already make a lot of sense why every brand and manufacturer is pivoting towards the SUV category, then it should now. It’s what Australians want.

Designers are pulling out all the tricks to spur on this momentum and create vehicles that, in the eyes of motorists, appeal to all their senses. Gone are the old perceptions of SUVs being relegated to ‘soccer mums’ or strictly for off-road adventures. From just one SUV category a decade ago, the segment is now brimming with various offers, each pitched to the different needs of motorists from all walks of life.

The next milestone in sight? SUVs making up 50% of all new car sales across a calendar year. Guess what? It’s not likely to be all that far away!

‘Automotive Mana’ and 2020 Dual-Cab Utes

The rise of the SUV is a noted phenomenon, but an equal marvel is the greater numbers of large dual-cab utes on our roads.  The popularity of the dual-cab ute in Australia shows a trend that ain’t about to end just yet.  On any given day if you take a drive down a popular road in Australia you’re sure to come across some pretty awesome super-size pick-ups.  So what makes these vehicles so attractive? And what are the better dual-cab utes one can buy?  Let’s have a look.

Let’s ‘cut to the chase’ and quickly realise that a large number of the dual-cab utes we see are driven by people with bigger egos.  To use the Maori definition ‘Mana’ offers a politer label to go with the big ute ego.  ‘Mana” means to have great authority, presence or prestige, and so if you are seen driving these massive utes, you’re likely to satisfy your larger ego with some real ‘Automotive Mana’ and add mud plugging tyres, a raised suspension, tinted windows, a snorkel and spot lights, too.  Any big ute name like Toyota Hilux, Mazda BT-50, Nissan Navara, Ford Ranger or Mitsubishi Triton can have their utes equipped with these big ticket items.

Of course, if your work requires your need to own a big, beefy dual cab ute, then all the showy looks can be forgiven. Builders, landscapers, boat builders, contractors, farmers, engineers, they all need one!  But hey, we’d all love one!

This leads me on to what makes these road behemoths so nice to own and drive.  Here’s a short list of their great traits:

  • Load carrying ability
  • Towing ability
  • Space
  • Comfort
  • Off-roading ability
  • They’re built tough
  • They’re safe
  • Automotive Mana

Here are the best new Dual-Cab utes you can buy in 2020 that offer all the bells and whistles (Note there are other models in their line-up, but these would generally be more Spartan).  All of the following models come with premium safety, 4WD capability, big towing prowess and premium luxury:

Ford Ranger: XLT, Wildtrak, Raptor, ($57–$77k)

  • 3.2 litre TurboDiesel with 147 kW and 470 Nm, 6-speed manual and 6-speed auto, 0-100 km/h approx. 10 seconds, fuel consumption approx. 9 litres/100 km
  • 2.0 litre TurboDiesel with 157 kW and 500 Nm, 10-speed automatic, 0-100 km/h approx. 10 seconds, fuel consumption approx. 8 litres/100 km

SsangYong Musso: Ultimate XLV, Ultimate Plus XLV, ($40-$44k)

  • 2.0 litre TurboDiesel with 133 kW and 420 Nm, 6-speed manual and 6-speed auto, 0-100 km/h approx. 10 seconds, fuel consumption approx. 9 litres/100 km

Toyota Hilux: SR5, Rugged, Rugged X, Rogue, ($56–$63k)

  • 2.8 litre TurboDiesel with 130 kW and 420 Nm with the 6-speed manual and 450 Nm with the 6-speed auto, 0-100 km/h approx. 11 seconds, fuel consumption approx. 8 litres/100 km

Nissan Navara: ST-X, N-Trek, N-Trek Warrior, ($54–$66k)

  • 2.3 litre TurboDiesel with 140 kW and 450 Nm, 6-speed manual and 7-speed auto, 0-100 km/h approx. 10 seconds, fuel consumption approx. 6.5–7.0 litres/100 km

Ram 1500: Express, Laramie, ($90–$100k)

  • 5.7 litre Petrol V8 with 291 kW and 556 Nm, 8-speed auto, 0-100 km/h approx. 7 seconds, fuel consumption approx. 10–13 litres/100 km

Ram 2500: ($140k)

  • 6.7 litre TurboDiesel with 276 kW and 1084 Nm, 6-speed auto, 0-100 km/h approx. 8 seconds, fuel consumption approx. 15 litres/100 km

VW Amarok: TDI420 Core Plus, Highline 550, Ultimate 580, ($52–$73k)

  • 2.0 litre TurboDiesel with 132 kW and 400 Nm with the 6-speed manual and 420 Nm with the 8-speed auto, 0-100 km/h approx. 10.5 seconds, fuel consumption approx. 7.5 litres/100 km
  • 3.0 litre TurboDiesel with 165 kW and 500 Nm, 8-speed auto, 0-100 km/h approx. 8 seconds, fuel consumption approx. 9 litres/100 km
  • 3.0 litre TurboDiesel with 190 kW and 580 Nm, 8-speed auto, 0-100 km/h approx. 8 seconds, fuel consumption approx. 9 litres/100 km

Mitsubishi Triton: GLX+, GLS, GLS Premium, GSR, ($41–$52k)

  • 2.4 litre TurboDiesel with 133 kW and 430 Nm, 6-speed manual and 6-speed auto, 0-100 km/h approx. 10 seconds, fuel consumption approx. 8 litres/100 km

Mazda BT-50: XTR, GT, Boss, ($53–$64k)

  • 3.2 litre TurboDiesel with 147 kW and 470 Nm, 6-speed manual and 6-speed auto, 0-100 km/h approx. 10 seconds, fuel consumption approx. 10 litres/100 km

Holden Colorado: LSX, LTZ, LTZ+, Z71, ($50–$58k)

  • 2.8-litre TurboDiesel with 147 kW and 440 Nm with the 5-speed manual, with 147 kW and 500 Nm with the 6-speed auto, 0-100 km/h approx. 9.5 seconds, fuel consumption approx. 9 litres/100 km

HSV Silverado: 1500 LTZ Premium Ed. ($114k)

  • 6.2 litre Petrol V8 with 313 kW and 624 Nm, 10-speed auto, 0-100 km/h approx. 5.6 seconds, fuel consumption approx. 12.5 litres/100 km

Isuzu D-Max: LSU, LST, ($49–$55k)

  • 3.0 litre TurboDiesel with 130 kW and 430 Nm, 6-speed manual and 6-speed auto, 0-100 km/h approx. 8 seconds, fuel consumption approx. 8 litres/100 km

Jeep Gladiator: Overland, Rubicon, ($76–$77k)

  • 3.6 litre Petrol V6 with 209 kW and 347 Nm, 8-speed auto, 0-100 km/h approx. 9 seconds, fuel consumption approx. 12 litres/100 km

Just for complete ‘Automotive Mana’ status, top honours would have to go to the Ram, HSV or Jeep Gladiator.