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2017 Subaru BRZ: A Private Fleet Car Review.

The joint venture between Subaru and Toyota to produce a low slung, two door, coupe has been a raging success, in the form of the Toyota 86 and the Subaru BRZ. On Subaru’s side, with the car being the sole entry in an otherwise all wheel drive family, it’s been a standout. 2017 saw the single trim level car receive a mild refresh.The car itself remains largely untouched; there’s a sole powerplant choice, being Subaru’s own horizontally opposed four cylinder, and a choice of six speed manual or six speed auto. There’s slight differences between peak power and torque, depending on which transmission you choose, with either 152 kW or 147 kW and 212 Nm or 205 Nm available. It’s the torque figure that makes for curious reading, as peak twist is on between 6400 rpm to either 6600 or 6800 rpm. The engine is a snob, too, preferring 98 RON inside the 50L tank. Economy is rated at 8.4L/100 km on the combined cycle, a figure pretty well matched in the week long drive.That torque figure also belies the sheer tractability of the BRZ. It’ll rev happily to the redline figures, emitting a raspy snort somewhat at odds with the note you’d expect from a the boxer four. The gearing is such that although the PEAK torque is well over 6000, there’s plenty enough below for the BRZ to use it and use it well enough to see a zero to one hundred time of 7.4 to 8.2 seconds. The short throw, snicky, gear lever aids in this, making each gear just that much more accessible to the torque. It kinda helps that there’s less than 1300 kilos (dry) to get moving…There’s no change to the excellent ride, progressive and communicate braking, and handling either, with the BRZ willing to cock a rear corner when pushed yet still provide a comfortable enough ride from the MacPherson strut front and double wishbone rear suspension across a variety of road surfaces. On western Sydney’s mix of freeway and highway and residential roads, the BRZ varied between ignoring the various surface imperfections to feeling mildly unsettled without losing composure. The steering rack is also “fast” with instant response and a tight turn to lock either side, making for a real connection between driver and car. There’s skinnyish 215/45/17 Michelin tyres which, when combined with some exuberant driving (legally, of course) will have the car’s rear end liven up, skip around, feel like it’s about to break loose, and brings a smile to a driver’s dial.Getting in and out is still an issue, one that is not avoidable due to the low height. The roof is just 1320 mm above the tarmac, with the driver pretty much in the middle of the 2570 mm wheelbase, aiding the weight distribution and handling. With an overall length of 4240 mm it’s not the longest car in the world but with that wheelbase leaving around just 700 mm either end, it’s a long and lowish profile to drink in with the eyes.
There’s a bonnet longer than a boring conversation, a roof with a flattened vee for aero before sloping down to the new LED tail lights (which match the LED driving lights up front in Subaru’s current C shape ethos) and the stubby tail which hides the 218 litre cargo space and the space saver tyre.Inside…well, it’s a different story. There’s a mix of nice and not-so, with retro look tabs for the aircon, ill fitting soft touch material in the upper dash, a typical Toyota inspired blocky look to the actual dash fascia, mixed in with a simple to use yet effective touchscreen at 6.2 inches in size, backing up the 4.2 inch LCD screen embedded behind the speed and tacho dials. The sports seats are well bolstered, covered in grey and black material, and the driver gets alloy pedals for the sporting look. There’s auto self levelling headlights, steering wheel mounted Bluetooth audio controls, 2 12 volt sockets, and there’s a CD player also.No, there’s no room for adults behind the driver and passenger; it’s hard enough for the slide and tilt mechanism to cope with two children so adults genuinely have no hope. Even for a normal height driver, the gap between the front and rear seat makes it essentially unsafe to consider throwing anyone under 12 inches in height in the back. Although there’s the familiar (to anyone that’s had a two door car) pull strap to fold the upper seat section and slide the lower section forward, there’s just not enough leg room behind the two seats at all for genuine safety for the rear seat passengers.Warranty is Subaru’s standard three year/unlimited kilometre coverage, with 12 months road side assistance and the three year/60000 kilometre capped price servicing as well.

At The End Of The Drive.
Subaru lists the manual BRZ at $32990 plus ORCs, with the auto two thousand more. There’s a reasonable amount of standard equipment, enough to satisfy most in the hunt for a driver’s car and that’s the crux. It IS a driver’s car, especially with a manual transmission. It’s tightly sprung yet not so to be a teeth rattler. It’s snug inside and seriously not to be considered a family car…but you knew that, right?
For more details, head on over to here: 2017 Subaru BRZ

Hyundai and carsales Join To Clear Hail Damaged Stock.

Here at Private Fleet, we understand that shopping for a new car can be a minefield. There’s the sitting down and thinking about what kind of car you need: do I need a people mover, a sedan, a wagon? Will a diesel be better for me than the petrol? What about the servicing costs and what about the price?

Private Fleet is dedicated to helping YOU buy a new car and receiving the best price AND customer service that we can offer. But we also recognise that sometimes it’s a better thing to do by going outside the box in helping our customers find a bargain. A major competitor has something we think is pretty special, so in the interests of looking after you in finding a new car and knowing you’ll consider us for the NEXT car, we’d like to share this.

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Why Driverless Technology In Cars Isn’t The Same As Autopilot Systems In Planes

One of the more interesting and exciting developments in the world of automotive technology these days is all the research into autonomous cars (aka driverless cars or self-driving cars). They’re really trying hard to develop these and get them working. In fact, one recent news report claimed that Volvo is looking for 100 volunteers from the industry’s home town of Gothenburg to commute to work for a year in prototype driverless cars – along a selected route that don’t have bikes, pedestrians or snow. That last factor might be a bit of a challenge in Sweden: Gothenburg may have a warm climate compared to the rest of Sweden but still gets an average of 10 snowy days per month during December and January, snowfalls possible from November to April, and had a record number of snowy days in 2016.

The drive (ha ha) behind driverless cars is to eliminate one of the main causes of accidents: human error. Humans make dumb decisions, forget the road code, have attention that wanders or gets distracted, get tired and get frazzled. Humans also like drinking alcohol. Computers don’t get drunk, etc. so the thinking is that if you can get a computer to take over a lot of the decision-making with a system that can calculate distances and speeds precisely, never forgets the highway code, doesn’t get tired and doesn’t start planning dinner in the middle of the commute. Therefore, a car that uses automated systems will be safer, as the human error is eliminated.

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2017 Toyota C-HR Koba: A Private Fleet Car Review.

Toyota is responsible, some say to blame, for the SUV “craze”, after releasing the RAV4 in the mid 1990s. Just over twenty years later, Toyota has released what could be seen as the spiritual successor to the RAV4 if that car was to be released as a brand new car. A Wheel Thing looks at the edgy and funky Toyota C-HR.

C-HR stands for Coupe-High Rider. In profile there’s a distinct look of coupe, with a blunt nose, lonnnng headlights (950 mm thank you muchly), a steep arc to both front and rear glass, and a hidden rear door handle just visible. There’s a specific design ethos to the C-HR also, that of a diamond motif. There’s two massive crease lines that join front and rear, plunging sharply from the front and rear wheel arches, joining as a single line towards the bottom of the doors, and mirroring the angles seen from windscreen to roof to rear window. There’s black polyurethane at door’s bottom which echoes the roof line as well. It’s edgy, unusual, and in the eyes of the beholder for whether it works. It’s at the rear that you’ll see just who the C-HR is targeted at, if the name wasn’t enough to give it away. There’s more than a resemblance to a same segment vehicle from another Japanese maker, down to the hard, flat edged, tail light design. It’s busy, fussy, and with the strongly defined C shaped tail light design, just somewhat overdone and hides the supposed diamond look to the point it’s invisible. It also somehow manages to make the overall 1795 mm width look lost.What’s also lost is luggage space. With the rear seats up there’s a single person’s 377 litres, however that climbs to 1112L with flat rear seats. the rear seat passengers also have a compromided position; look left or right and you’re looking at the inside of the sharply angled rear door line. The seats are perched gher than the front’s by a considerable margin, leaving rear seat passengers looking over the shoulders of the front seats.

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Transporting Your Bike by Car

For some time now, cycling on our roads has been on the rise. Whether it’s the casual enthusiast, devout fitness fanatic, or professional rider, everywhere you look there appears to be a bike on our roads. And while some cyclists have adopted bikes as a way to break free from being behind the wheel, the two forms of transport are not always mutually exclusive. In fact, often riders like to transport their bicycles with them on long drives. So what’s the best way to transport your bike by car?

Well first, it’s worth noting a particularity on the matter when it comes to the law. That is, in some states like Victoria, it’s actually illegal to have a bike rack installed on your vehicle if there are no bicycles fitted. In what is perhaps less of a surprise, it’s important to ensure your number plates are not blocked by a rear bike rack, or you’ll also be facing the prospect of dealing with an infringement notice.

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Ford Mondeo Gets Freshened Up For 2017.

Ford Australia‘s large mid sizer, the Mondeo, gets a tickle for 2017, bringing fresh looks including a funky new colour, improved safety, and more tech. Let’s take a look at the car that saw a sales increase, year upon year, of 47% in 2016.

The top of the ladder Titanium will be fitted with nineteen inch alloys, up from the eighteens fitted previously. They’ll be shod with Continental 235/40 rubber, providing a more sporting and assertive look to go along with the increaed ride and handling capabilities.
“An increase in wheel size provides Mondeo a sure-footed dynamic stance that matches the chassis’ outstanding roadholding,” said Todd Willing, the Ford Asia-Pacific Design Director. “The new wheels not only help the visual balance of Mondeo, but work in conjunction with the body’s elegant lines for a premium yet sporty appearance. It’s a slick combination.”

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French Flavour

France is, perhaps, best known for the Tour de France, fine wines, cheeses, romance and nice comfortable, stylish cars.  Did you know that French cars are hugely popular in Europe and are a major player in France’s economy?  Producing around 1 million vehicles each year, France’s car manufacturing businesses employ over 75,000 people.  The French know how to make cars with a unique and distinctive style.  Many design awards have been given to both Peugeot and Citroen cars.

Citroen has a number of very classy vehicles.  Providing both passenger vehicles and vans, Citroen has a model for most market segments.  Kicking it all off is the Citroen DS3, a performance hatch with hot looks and a great engine.  Featuring direct petrol injection and a turbocharger, the e-THP 160 motor develops a maximum power of 121 kW at 6000 rpm and 240 Nm of torque between 1400-and-4000 rpm.  This is a similar size to a new Mini, providing loads of style inside and out, while being quite cheap to run and enjoyable to drive via a slick six-speed gearbox.

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2017 Tesla Model X: A Private Fleet Car Review.

Being an independent reviewer and supplying content means relying on the good graces of companies to allow their cars to be reviewed. Tesla Australia is one of the companies that works with independent reviewers and I was privileged to spend a too quick 30 hours with the new Model X. It’s jampacked with technology and comes with a pricetag to suit.An immediately noticeable feature of the Model X is the strong family resemblance to the Model S. There’s a similarity to the profile, with the A pillar and window line providing a clear lineage. However, a major talking point of the Tesla Model X is the pair of upwards folding rear doors, known as “Falcon Wing”. What hasn’t been noised about is the tech that allows the doors to open in tight parking points. There’s sensors and cameras that will read the surrounding environment, with the cameras mounted discretely next to the rear wheels. The system works holistically and, when the doors begin their opening motions, will keep the doors from opening too wide or high. Maximum opening width is just twelve inches.The doors themselves are roof hinged, in the centre and have smoked glass, and will open outwardly slightly before commencing their vertical travel. The tailgate is powered, however the front doors, unexpectedly, are also powered. It’s here a surprise and delight feature comes into play. When walking up to the car (and ensuring the sedan shaped key fob is on you) the driver’s door will open in greeting. On a wet day this could be a godsend. The fob itself has a hidden button or two, on top and at the rear, which will open/close the tailgate and open/close all five doors. There’s even a spoiler that raises and lowers, ala Bugatti Veyron, hidden in the rear deck.Inside, the cabin is dominated by a touchscreen almost big enough to double as a TV. Sitting in a portrait orientation, this screen is the control centre of any Tesla car, offering information, accessing over the air updates (as was the case during the brief time it was with A Wheel Thing), accessing apps and the radio system and providing startling clarity when using Google Maps. Although given a demonstration by one of the wonderful staff at Tesla’s main Sydney location, the amount of info and how it all operates is somewhat overwhelming, even for a fairly technically literate person. The radio itself is only FM, no DAB, but has TuneIn to compensate. There’s something just a little bit awesome about being able to listen to bluegrass from Georgia in the U.S. or a dedicated Beatles station in Sweden. Audio quality itself is excellent, with the Mark Levinson speakers delivering real clarity, superb low down punch, and vocals that are clean and crisp.There’s a couple of nice touches to the interior. The seats are powered for rear and forward motion at the front, however the middle rows are also powered and have a setting which allows for them to power forward to a certain point to allow access to the second row rear seats. It’s diabolically simple in opertaion and makes utilising both the seats and the door access unbelievably simple. There’s also a huge sloping windscreen which provides a huge amount of forward and upward vision. Fear not, dear driver, you won’t fry like a piece of fresh bacon, for Tesla have embedded enough tint to block UV without losing the wondrous panoramic view. There’s even some tasteful looking carbon fibre trim added in.At the rear left quarter is the housing for the charging cable. Tesla provide an adaptor to suit standard household plugs along with, of course, those that choose to get a supercharger installed at home. Again, it’s just a touch fiddly to get the small hinged flap to open but the actual process of hooking up the cable and seeing a hidden LED glow green to indicate charging is relatively simple of itself.

It’s the drive that sells the Model S and the test car was fitted with the 100 kW/h dual engine package. Yes, “Ludicrous” Mode is on board, accessed via the touchscreen inside the car’s settings, and will help propel the Model S to 100 kph in just 3.8 seconds. There’s also sensational in gear acceleration, with a real punch and license losing potential from 70 kph upwards. It’s literally a feeling of being pushed back into the seat and watching the outside become a blur and allegedly will see the sprint from 70 to 105 in just 1.5 seconds. Yes. It’s that quick.

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Hyundai Australia Reveals Pricing For Reinvented i30.

Whilst their Korean based brethren, Kia, get some eyeballs cast over the Stinger, Hyundai have quietly launched a revamped i30, with a striking Euro inspired exterior and reinvented interior. With a starting price of $20950, $500 LESS than the outgoing model, the Hyundai i30 range is both priced and packed with added value enough to really appeal to keen eyed buyers.The range will consist of five models; the entry level Active, SR, Elite, SR Premium and Premium. The Active will offer a choice of two engines, a 2.0L petrol with manual or auto transmissions and a punchy 1.6L diesel with the same engine combination.

The SR and SR Premium will be powered by a turbo petrol 1.6L with the Elite and Premium getting the 1.6L. Power and torque are thus: the 1.6L turbo petrol offers 150 kilowatts and 265 Nm of torque for both transmissions. The diesel gives 100 kW, 280 Nm for the manual and slightly more for the seven speed dual clutch auto, at 300 Nm. The standard 2.0L petrol presents 120 kW/203 Nm, with fuel economy almost lineball with the smaller petrol turbo at 7.3L/100 km & 7.4L/100 km (manual/auto), 7.5L/100 km for the 1.6L turbo and a country kilometre eating 4.5L & 4.7L per 100 km for the diesel manual and auto.Pricing starts as mentioned, with the Active manual at $20950 (auto is $23250). What you’ll get for your dosh above the outgoing model is: dusk sensing headlights, LED running lights, 16 inch alloys, satnav on a eight inch screen, and more. The diesel versions come in at $23450 and $25950 for manual and self shifter.

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Towards Zero: The Dream And Why It Won’t Work.

Every government around the world will tell you that they would love to see a zero road death toll. Anyone that has lost a friend or family member in a car crash will more than likely tell you the same thing. In early 2017, the state government of New South Wales launched a new safety on roads initiative called Towards Zero. Here’s a quote from the website: “Initiatives to ensure safer roads, speeds, people and vehicles need to be implemented together so the road system not only keeps us moving, but safe and protected.”

The idea is admirable. Make our roads safer so that no one will die. Great idea. A wonderful idea, especially when you read: “People are human and sometimes make mistakes – a simple mistake shouldn’t cost anyone their life.” and “Roads, roadsides and vehicles need to be designed to minimise crashes or reduce forces if a crash happens.”

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