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Should Motorists Complete First Aid Training?

It’s a topic that rears its head every now and then, yet continually the issue has been overlooked by authorities. We pay particular attention to the road toll, yet for some reason one of the efforts we could employ to mitigate this issue hasn’t warranted a national response. Why is first aid training not compulsory for every motorist, and should it be part of our licensing requirements?

When you put things into perspective, we spend a considerable amount of our lives driving from point A to point B. We may be lucky to escape accidents but the chances of seeing one, either take place or the result thereof, are far greater. And even though our cars have become a lot safer through technological innovation, poor driving habits and behaviours have crept into our society and created larger issues. The result has been a recent increase in the number of fatalities on our roads, although many of these fatalities have often been preventable, even after the accident.

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Updates For Jaguar, Haval, Hyundai, and Citroen.

Heading into the 2018 market, a number of companies have released details of updates and changes to key models.

Haval.
The Chinese brand has been maligned for its safety factor in its vehicles however the H2 has been given a five star rating by ANCAP, the Australia New Car Assessment Program. Haval Australia’s Chief Marketing Officer, Tim Smith, says: ““I would like to thank each and every one of the hard-working team of engineers at HAVAL for their efforts in so quickly developing a five-star car for the global market. Customer safety is paramount for the continued development of HAVAL as a global brand and this recognition by ANCAP is just reward for the company’s efforts.We will continue to develop our safety systems, with the introduction of key features such as autonomous emergency braking and lane assist systems in the next wave of HAVAL SUVs.”

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Private Fleet Car Review: Car Review: 2018 Subaru XV 2.0i & S Comparison.

Subaru’s continued product updates continue with a revamp of their XV, first released in 2012 and a car that immediately shook up an already crowded market place. Complete with a higher riding look, black cladding and some cool colours, Private Fleet compares the 2.0i and 2.0i-S Subaru XV level machines, providing an entry and top level comparison.There’s little doubt that the external tweaks have sharpened up an already good looking hatch. The tail lights are the newer C shaped LED style and the front gains the slimline look for the 2.0i and the Impreza LED DRL enclosed style on the S. The 2.oi was clad in a funky Sunshine Orange and the 2.0i-S in Cool Grey.The XV started with the wheel arches getting some extra urethane cladding and the 2018 version stays with it, making the machine look more capable of off-roading, along with the 220 mm ground clearance. There’s a rear spoiler on top of the rear window as standard and the 2.0i-S cops a sunroof.All XV’s are loaded up with roof rails as well, making the once shortish hatch a more imposing 1615 mm in height. That extra ride height lends itself to easier access, both getting in and out, as do the wide opening doors. The tailgate though is manual, even in the top of the range S, meaning people with shorter arms may struggle to reach the door handle when open. There’s a handy 310 litres of cargo space; handy but somewhat compromised also with the space saver spare seemingly located higher in the overall cargo space.. Seats down, you’ll be seeing 765 litres inside the 2665 mm wheelbase machine.Both have the familiar 2.0 horizontally opposed or “flat” four cylinder boxer engine. It drinks from a 63 litre tank standard unleaded and produces peak power and torque of 115 kilowatts and 196 Nm. Transmission is Subaru’s very well sorted CVT which, in the car at least, has less of the slipping clutch feel found in many others. A gentle throttle to start will have the XV hooking up and motorvating much easier… However it’s good for a 0-100 kph time of 10.4 seconds, so any expectation of something approaching rapidity should be put aside. There’s a win in the economy stakes though, with a worst of just 7.2L/100 km and a best of 5.3L/100 km.Although it’s the flat four, the standard exhaust lacks the throb this engine’s aural characteristics are known for. There’s hints of it when pushed hard from standstill but otherwise it’s somewhat lacking in appeal. There’s little road noise as well, allowing the car’s Apple and Android apps fitted system to do its job and, sadly, that’s not that great. The tuner sensitivity was below par with drop outs and static in areas there should be clear signal. The actual audio quality was ok, not great, and DAB tuners would be a nice addition.The audio system is accessed via touchscreen, with the 2.0i having a 6.5 inch screen with the S receiving an 8.0 inch. Naturally there’s auxiliary inputs, in this case awkwardly tucked away in a nook ahead of the gear selector. Bluetooth phone connectivity is standard through the range as well. Inside the centre console storage bin are two five amp USB sockets and another 12V socket. You’ll use these whilst seated in cloth trimmed seats in the 2.0i and gorgeous looking grey/black leather in the S. Yes, the S gets heating but again no venting, a huge oversight for a hot Australian market.The S also gets a sunroof and there’s a tweak here with tabs for the Lane Departure Warning and Collision Warning located in the EyeSight housing. It’s an odd choice given the other tabs, including the off switch for the swivelling headlights, along with tyre pressure monitoring and more, are located in a cluster near the driver’s right knee.All models have Hill Descent Control and X-Mode, with all models bar the entry level having a swag of safety features including Adaptive Cruise and Lead Vehicle Start Alert. There’s the now standard info screens in the top centre dash and centre driver’s binnacle, accessed via tabs on the steering wheel arm and lower left, covering tyre pressures, fuel usage, drive display and the like. There’s also different plastics with the S getting a carbon fibre look garnish and orange stitching.It’s on the road when the fettling of the XV shines…mostly. The rear end is too soft, hitting the bumpstops too easily and even more so with a week’s shopping loaded in. The front end’s travel is too short, with a legal school zone speed over the school zone speedhumps feeling and sounding as if the front end will pull itself out. It’s not a comfortable feeling. Thankfully the handling balances it out, with one noticeable benefit being a lack of need to constantly adjust the steering in a long and sweeping corner. It’s beautiful in weight, requiring some effort to move but not so that it’s going to give you Popeye forearms. It’s well ratioed at around 3.5 turns lock to lock, meaning you won’t be endlessly spinning the wheel for turns and makes shopping carparking so much easier to deal with.The S feels better on the road than the 2.0i, with a tauter ride and more damping in rises and falls. The tyres may have something to do with it also, with the 2.0i having Yokohama BluEarth 225/60/R17s and the S the sole 18 inch entrant, with Bridgestone Dueler 225/60s. The tyre pressures were higher in the S, adding to the firmer ride. There’s plenty of grip from both, with the symmetrical all wheel drive system that Subaru is famous for powering down through all four paws, allowing confident and intensive driving. There’s no lift off oversteer either, as you’d expect, it’s a simple and neutral resettling of the chassis.Although the engine isn’t the gruntiest around, it’s partnered with that very well sorted CVT, which responds quickly to throttle input and is programmed to feel more like a traditional six speed. It’s smooth, shifts quickly, and using the manual change does little, if anything, to improve .The XV starts at around $32500 with the 2.0i and tops out at a recommended price of a few dollars short of $40K. It’s a step up, literally, from the Impreza hatch and represents damned good value. There’s the standard three year warranty and perhaps it’s here that Subaru may need to consider upping that to five as standard rather than an extended version of an extra two years. However it’s nice to know there’s 24/7 roadside assistance.Subaru positions itself as a niche player. A Wheel Thing feels it’s now mainstream as the XV range stands alongside the Liberty sedan, the Impreza range, the Outback wagons, the BRZ and sporty WRX and STi, as offering a car that provides everything the discerning small to mid-sized SUV buyer would want.
Here is where you’ll find the XV and where you can configure one to suit your needs: 2018 Subaru XVBridgestone Dueler

Test, Retest…Or Not. When Should Australian Drivers Be Retested?

For most of us, the most stressful thing we would do after finishing high school, be that after year ten or twelve, is learn to drive. Life’s hard enough when you’re dealing with no longer being at school, dealing with puberty and discovering the appeal of the opposite or same sex, sneaking in a durry or a beer without “the olds” finding out, trying to find work and realising that the trains, trams, buses, don’t go anywhere near where you need them to be….so we learn to drive.

I learned to drive after I was 18 thanks to a stint in Her Majesty’s Royal Australian Army, “marching in” a week before my 18th birthday. Back in the day, before the decision in some states to allow Mum, Dad, or a legal adult, to teach driving, it was pretty much mandatory to undertake driving lessons through a recognised driving school. This is when the basics of driving were taught: get in, get a proper and comfortable driving position, check the seatbelt was plugged in, the mirrors were in the right position, and there was go-go juice in the tank. This was before airbags, anti-lock braking systems (ABS), electronic driver aids and, frankly, before automatic transmissions took over from manuals as the cogger of choice.The instructor would emphasise, for manual transmissions, that you had a foot on the clutch, the handbrake was on (a lever style, not today’s electronic type), then you’d turn the key, maybe even need to adjust the choke, before feeding in a fine balance of accelerator and clutch as you’d pull away either smoothly or bunny hopping…You’d find out that speed and lack of experience made for trouser puckering moments, that instructors were human judging by the strangled gasps, that brakes work wonderfully well when the pedal is mashed hard and that ABS was a long way off…

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Roads With A Difference

There are some pretty amazing roads around our world that might just be worth going to see.  Following are spectacular roads that have world record status, and you’ll see just why these ones stand out.

The Road Of Bones

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Kia Sorento Updates For Better Value.

Kia‘s award winning large SUV, the Sorento, has been given a mild makeover however it’s enough to provide a fresh look both inside and out. There’s also been some model changes. Here’s what’s been done.
Exterior.
There’s revised front and rear bumpers, new LED head-lamps for the now top of the range GT-Line (Platinum has been discontinued) and tail-lamps for SLi and GT-Line, and a new dark metallic finish to the iconic “tiger-nose” grille. Kia says the result is a more sophisticated and purposeful front-end appearance. A new Gravity Blue exterior paint finish is now available, as well as a new design for the Sorento’s 17-, 18- and 19-inch aluminium alloy wheels. The GT-Line gains bespoke enhancements, including four-lamp LED fog lights, red brake calipers, a more prominent sill step, and subtle GT Line badging designed to distinguish it from other Sorento models, plus a distinctive chrome twin exhaust tip.

Interior.
Inside, the cabin features a newly-designed steering wheel and driver instrument cluster, as well as a new climate control LCD display. The dashboard also features a new Audio Visual Navigation (AVN) system which has increased in size from 7 inches to 8 inches. There’s also an increased proportion of soft touch materials and leather for a more premium cabin ambience. Optional black and stone leather upholstery is also available for Aurora Black and Gravity Blue SLi models. The GT-Line driver’s seat is equipped with four-way lumbar support, plus gains unique paddle shifts and satin chrome highlights. The SLI gets two-way adjustable lumbar support to enhance seating comfort.The new Sorento also offers Apple CarPlay and Android Auto for full smartphone integration. Android Auto is designed to work with Android phones running 5.0 (Lollipop) or higher whilst Apple CarPlay is best suited for iPhone 5 or newer.

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Tesla Powers Up Across Australia.

With the continued growth of the electric car segment, driven (no pun intended…well, maybe a little) by Tesla, the ability to travel further and further across the wide brown land has grown even more. Tesla has expanded its charging network further across Australia with the addition of five Superchargers across Victoria, South Australia and Western Australia and there’s rapid growth of Destination Chargers across the country.

The Supercharger link between Melbourne and Adelaide is complete with the opening of Horsham in Victoria, and South Australian locations Keith, Clare Valley and Adelaide city centre. These additions allow owners to drive from Adelaide to Brisbane emissions-free.

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A Prancing Horse SUV and Sweden Gets Plugged In.

It’s now confirmed that Ferrari, one of the world’s great luxury sports car makers, will also release an SUV. This brings Ferrari into line with companies such as Bentley, Maserati, Jaguar, and Lamborghini.
Sergio Marchionne, Ferrari’s global chairman, dubbed the vehicle a FUV, a Ferrari Utility Vehicle, during an address in the US recently.With a mooted release date of 2020, currently, Marchionne said: ““We’re dead serious about this. We need to learn how to master this whole new relationship between exclusivity and scarcity of product, then we’re going to balance this desire to grow with a widening of the product portfolio.” Australia’s Ferrari representative, Herbert Appleroth said: “He has certainly given everyone some information on where he is thinking.”

When questioned if an SUV model would be an appropriate addition to Ferrari’s Australian range, Mr Appleroth said any future product would be embraced by the local arm and its customers. “Look, any new model that enters this market is highly popular, whatever that is,” he said. “As Enzo always said, he was asked once, ‘What is your favourite Ferrari?’ And he famously quoted, ‘The next one.’ And I think that is the same for us.

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Holden: The Day For Closing Is Coming. Part Two.

This is part two of an interview conducted with Holden’s PR guru, Sean Poppitt, before the closure of Holden as a manufacturer of cars and engines in Australia.

Speaking of local products…Keeping the Commodore nameplate has seen plenty of discussion as to whether it should stay or not. What has been Holden’s reason for doing so?
There wasn’t one single thing that drove that decision…there’s a number of different factors we considered…one of the first ones was this: we went out and talked to Commodore owners. We went and talked to non-Commodore owners, and we did a really extensive market research piece, sitting down with customers and non-customers and asking that question. The overwhelming response we got was to keep the name. Of course that doesn’t take anything away from people’s right to have an opinion on this, I would wonder how many of those with a negative opinion are Holden or Commodore owners.

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Hyundai Kona Hits Aussie Roads.

Hyundai has joined the burgeoning small SUV family with the addition of the Kona, a sharp looking machine with a front end that is sure to raise eyebrows. New Kona will be available in three trim levels, Kona Active, Kona Elite and Kona Highlander, with an optional safety pack for Active (‘Active with Safety Pack’).

Engine.
You’ll have a choice of a 2.0-litre, 110 kilowatt/180 Nm naturally-aspirated, four-cylinder engine with conventional six-speed automatic and front-wheel-drive, or a 1.6-litre Turbo-GDI with 130 kW/265 Nm between 1500 to 4500 rpm with seven-speed dual-cutch transmission (DCT) and all-wheel-drive.

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