Everything a car dealer does not want you to know

Everything a car dealer does not want you to know

It's easy to save thousands on a new car

It's easy to save thousands on a new car

FULL JEEP GRAND CHEROKEE SRT REVIEW

FULL JEEP GRAND CHEROKEE SRT REVIEW

Which fuel is right for you?

Which fuel is right for you?

Click Here for All the Video Reviews

Click Here for All the Video Reviews

Full Hyundai Santa Fe Review & road test - best Hyundai ever

Full Hyundai Santa Fe Review & road test - best Hyundai ever

How to SAVE THOUSANDS
on a NEW CAR >>

A good car broker can achieve the lowest possible price. Car brokers use bulk-buying power to save you thousands. Unlike dealers, a broker works for you. They can get you a price inside 24 hours. 
Here's some more information >> 
Need a good independent broker? Click here >>
Ask me how you can save thousands with my contact form >>

FYI: A CVT WRX is AOK IMHO...

FYI: A CVT WRX is AOK IMHO...

New X-Trail raises compact 7-seat SUV bar

New X-Trail raises compact 7-seat SUV bar

Is this the ultimate muscle car?

Is this the ultimate muscle car?

Finally, an affordable classic

Finally, an affordable classic

Dog watch: Why the Cruze is a basket case

Dog watch: Why the Cruze is a basket case

Find out why new car affordability is at an all-time high

Find out why new car affordability is at an all-time high

Tell Fact Vs Fiction

Tell Fact Vs Fiction

How PREMIUM sometimes means POVERTY >>

Premium carmakers - Mercedes-Benz, Audi and BMW - have gutted their sub-$100k cars to compete with the Japanese on price. You get a badge ... and not much else. Aside from the Benz GLA Class on the right, check out how Audi Q3 -Vs- Mazda CX-5 >> It's hardly an isolated case. Mercedes-Benz A-Class -Vs- the Mazda3 >> The Japanese are light years ahead on measurable, objective criteria.

Does Mercedes-Benz GLA Class add up on objective value?

Does Mercedes-Benz GLA Class add up on objective value?

Choosing the right car

Choosing the right car

Best utes for work & play

Best utes for work & play

Which wagon suits you?

Which wagon suits you?

Why the Holden Colorado ticks every box

Why the Holden Colorado ticks every box

Know Your Car Finance

Getting the finance right is essential if you want to maximise the cost- and tax-effectiveness of car ownership. It all depends on your personal situation. Learn more here >> Find out how easy it is to secure a low interest rate. Ask me about low interest loans from reputable Australian lenders here >> That 11% the bank was going to charge you? Tell them to shove it. And you can find out how to tell how much a car loan really costs here >>

Save $$$ and preserve your warranty

Save $$$ and preserve your warranty

Protect yourself here >>

Protect yourself here >>

Got problems? I'll try to help

Got problems? I'll try to help


VIDEO FEATURES & REVIEWS

Buying a Car
2015 Jeep Cherokee Review

You are definitely going to get noticed in the latest Jeep Cherokee. It’s designed to polarise opinion - so you’re either going to love it or hate it. There’s not much in between. Jeep Cherokees have been a salient feature of the Australian automotive landscape for two decades now. But a lot has changed. The Jeep Cherokee returned to Australia in 1994 after a bit of a hiatus. And this new Cherokee is making 53 per cent more power with 20 per cent less engine - that’s pretty impressive.

How to Test Drive a New Car

Most people test driving their next new car get it horribly wrong. Here’s how to get it right. I’ve driven thousands of different new cars over more than 20 years.  It’s one of the best bits of the job: getting in new cars and figuring out what they’re good at - and not so good at. Like everything else, a test-drive is a game with rules. It’s an essential step in choosing the right new car. There’s a lot at stake, too. So this is everything you need to know.

Should I Buy a 2015 Mercedes-Benz C-Class?

Some reviewers claim the new Mercedes-Benz C-Class is really a kind of a mini-me S-Class that even ordinary mortals can afford. But I wonder if the new C-Class really struggles for relevance and objective value against far more affordable alternatives.

How Can You Really Trust an Online Car Review?

More than two-thirds of car buyers are influenced by online reviews - it’s the biggest single source of information when it comes to deciding what car to buy next. But can you really trust what you’re reading or watching online about your next new car? So let’s go behind the scenes, to see how the car industry really does business - manipulating the media into writing hugely positive reviews.

Should I Buy a Mazda3 SP25?

If you want a notionally small car that’s big on performance and loaded with equipment, that's also a solid value proposition, the Mazda3 SP25 is the car to have on your short list. On objective criteria, the Mazda3 SP25 model variants are the best conventional small cars on sale in Australia. There’s no doubt Mazda has done a sensational job on the Mazda3 SP25, Mazda3 SP25 GT and Mazda3 SP25 Astina - you might get turned off by comparatively minor inconveniences like i-stop, and the instrument cluster could be a hurdle, but everything else about the Mazda3 SP25 is very impressive. 

2015 Subaru WRX Road Test Review

The 2015 Subaru WRX is pumped right up in the technology department. The 2015 Subaru WRX has a direct injection 2.0-litre horizontally opposed 'boxer' four-cylinder engine, a six-speed manual gearbox (up from five in the predecessor) and Subaru's trademark symmetrical all-wheel drive system. The price of the 2015 Subaru WRX has been slashed by a grand (compared with the previous model) and there’s even an automatic option - for the first time in 10 years. That's an eight-speed manual-mode paddle shifted Sport Lineartronic Continuously Variable Transmission. 

Nissan X-Trail 2014 Test Drive Review

In this review and road test, John Cadogan test drives the 2014 Nissan X-Trail. The 2014 Nissan X-Trail model certainly is an upgrade on the previous X-Trail. In fact, SUVs have become the cornerstone of Nissan’s vehicle portfolio. The company now has six different SUVs: The Juke, Qashqai, X-Trail, Murano, Pathfinder and the  Patrol. The 2014 Nissan X-Trail is the SUV Nissan has designed to take the fight squarely to Mazda’s CX-5, Subaru’s Forester, Hyundai's ix35 and Kia's Sportage. So it’s fair to say the 2014 Nissan X-Trail is up against some of the SUV market’s most solid competition. Should you even bother putting the 2014 Nissan X-Trail on your SUV shopping short-list? Let’s find out in this review and test drive.

Best 4WD Ute Review

The dual-cab 4WD ute market is drowning in choice. Incredibly, one you combine the mainstream entrants with the new 4WD utes from 'sideshow alley', there are more than a dozen models on sale - with multiple spec levels of each dual-cab ute to contend with. This video cuts through the entire 4WD dual-cab ute market and identifies the top three vehicles. It's not about finding the cheapest 4WD dual-cab utes; it's about finding the best.

Abolish The Luxury Car Tax

If Luxury Car Tax hit only the richest one per cent, we’d all be okay with that. But it doesn’t. Plenty of ordinary car buyers find themselves kicking the Luxury Car Tax tin. You could easily pay it, next time around. Cars are the only consumer item in Australia, with a levy imposed on their alleged luxury. Luxury Car Tax is out of step, and extortionate. This is what happens when too much fluoride leaches into the water in Parliament House...

2014 Top 10 Motoring Myths

Time to separate fact from outright BS. These are the top 10 contemporary motoring myths.

How New Cars Have Never Been Cheaper

Petrol, water, electricity, groceries ... prices are out of control, right? Everything has become monumentally more expensive in the last two decades, right? Not exactly: new cars have halved in value. Halved. True story.

Should I Buy a Mercedes-Benz GLA 250?

Q&A from Trevor: I have become interested in the Mercedes-Benz GLA 250. Do you think it is just a girlie cheap merc or a decent alternative to the Jeep? We are not getting any younger and could do with a lower vehicle with easier entry and exit for my sweet little Nana. 

2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT Video Review & Road Test

The Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT: you'll drive away in one for eighty-something thousand bucks. So it’s unbeatable value compared with the Germans. And it’s a real man’s SUV. The sort of vehicle the Marlborough Man would drive (remember him?) if he hadn’t croaked prematurely thanks to emphysema.

Who Really Killed the Australian Car Industry?

Ford, Holden and Toyota blame everyone and everything (except themselves) for the demise of local car making. The Federal government blames the opposition, and vice-versa. And the Victorian and South Australian premiers blame the feds. It’s all political buck-passing. Here’s what really killed car-making Down Under:

How to Feel Like a Formula 1 Driver for Under $300

Only elite racing drivers get to experience - routinely - three or four Gs. The rest of us can only dream … or maybe not. The video above is - quite possibly - insane. Pathalogically. Crazy. But cool. But definitely crazy. It’s one of the most profoundly comfort-zone obliterating experiences you’ll ever have.

Where is my New Car Really Made?

It's very hard to know where any car is really made. It's easy to presume, and be dead wrong. In practise, the car industry does not want you to know. And yeah; it matters. We've got allegedly German cars built in South Africa, Mexico, Poland, Portugal, the Slovak Republic and Spain. So-called Japanese cars that come from 'Straya, the UK, India and Thailand.We’ve got notionally American cars coming from Mexico and Canada, and allegedly South Korean cars coming from the Czech Republic and India. There are even French cars coming from South Korea, and Italian cars from Poland. It’s a multi-cultural motoring mish-mash, and the car industry really doesn't want you to think too hard about it. Not on the cusp of writing that big, fat cheque. Especially ze Chermans.

Mercedes-Benz Crash Repair & Insurance Counterfeit Parts Ripoff

Mercedes-Benz took a potshot at free-market competition recently, firing a gravity bomb into insurers, but what they’re really doing is trying to engineer a monopoly, so they can rip you off, with impunity, until the end of time. Mercedes-Benz even calls them "counterfeit" parts - framing the debate conveniently as if alternative suppliers of parts are in some way criminals, or perhaps black marketeers. In fact, what they are, are direct marketplace competitors.

Servicing & New Car Warranty Explained

You can save hundreds of dollars if you get your car serviced by an independent mechanic. And your new-car warranty absolutely will survive. Here’s everything you need to know to save the cash and keep your warranty intact.  According to the ACCC, provided you comply with three sensible conditions, your warranty will survive. Unfortunately, though, many car owners just don’t understand the rules of this game. 

Chrysler 300 SRT8 Core Video Review & Road Test

The Chrysler 300 SRT8 Core is a brilliant execution of a modern-day muscle car. The SRT8 Core has the hot rod style roof chop, and it's a proper muscle car - with brain bending engine outputs on a more or less beer budget - and just enough grip to get you into trouble

Alfa Romeo MiTo Video Review & Road Test

Is the Alfa Romeo MiTo as good as it looks? Let's find out. When Alfa Romeo launched the MiTo in 2009, the range topped out at $37,490 - plus on-road costs - for the MiTo Sport. A lot happened since then: Prices were slashed, opening the MiTo up to a new range of potential buyers. Today, the range topping MiTo Distinctive is about $32k, drive away - a saving of around $9500, compared with 2009. 

 

LATEST REPORTS & FEATURES

Buying a Car
Beat Car Dealers: Dealer 'Delivery'

Dealer delivery is one of the most insidious untruths institutionalised in the new-car buying process. Everything about it is a lie - including the name (because the dealer does not deliver it to you). Learn how to minimise unscrupulous dealers' so-called 'delivery' fees.

Hyundai Santa Fe 2015 Model Upgrade

If you're in the market for a Hyundai Santa Fe, you need to know the model range has just been upgraded to 2015 specifications - with added equipment and revised pricing. If you are buying a Santa Fe in coming weeks, ensure the vehicle you are collecting - on the contract for sale - is the 2015 specification. Either that, or, if you are buying old (2014) stock, make sure you are getting it at a significant discount.

Which Fuel Should I Use in My Car?

Which fuel should you really tip down the neck of your car? If you get it wrong, you’ll either waste money – or potentially even blow up your engine. Here’s how to get it right.

Should I Buy an Extended Warranty?

Cars are an expensive consumer purchase – often still the second most expensive thing we buy. The cost of repairs can be very high if something goes wrong. So, extra protection is a good thing, right?

What is Dealer Delivery Charge?

One of the most amazing rip-offs built into the new car buying process is a thing called, innocuously enough, dealer delivery charge. Let’s put that under the microscope.

Top 10 Cars to Beat the Luxury Car Tax

The Federal Government’s luxury car tax is an unmitigated rip-off - 33 per cent on top of every dollar you spend on a  new car over $61,884. The former Labour government pumped it up to 33 per cent (from 25 per cent) back in 2008. If you want to avoid paying this extortionate tax, these are the top 10 cars - by category - that are LCT-free, and which you can also love to own.

Why Regular Servicing of New Cars is Critical

I got an e-mail from a lady named Leanne the other day (below), which highlights the false economy of letting your services slide. As a consequence, Leanne is looking down the barrel of a likely $14,000 repair bill on her Holden Cruze - which is still under warranty. Worse still, it looks like Holden is completely justified in its decision not to support the repair.

Dogs & Lemons: The Top 10 New Cars You Should Definitely Not Buy

Here are the top 10 cars you should should absolutely, unequivocally not buy. Under any circumstances. Not in a blue moon, not even when there’s permafrost in Hell.

What 4WD Ute Should I Buy?

The 4WD ute segment is knee-deep in dogs. Once you flick the utes with fleas, the utes that are just under-done and the ones with expired use-by dates … there are just three 4WD utes you should consider buying. Let’s leave personal preference and marketing spin to one side and use the hi-tech miracle of objective criteria to process today’s dual-cab 4WD utes through the automotive abattoir. We’ll see which three manage to escape the knife.

How to Get Out of a Speeding Fine

My wife received a speed fine two months ago for 70 in a 60 zone. She paid the fine. In 35 years of driving she has never received a speeding ticket. She has a clean record. After hearing your comments on 2UE I thought I would ask you a question. My wife has resented the fact that her clean record has been tarnished plus the loss of point(s). We did not even know you could apply for a leniency. Is it possible to retrospectively for leniency on that tarnished record? 

Should I Fit a Hiclone to Save Fuel?

I have found a company called Hiclone Air Management Systems. They saying by fitting one or two of their products she could save 10-20 percent on fuel and a boost in performance. Have you heard of this company or products and if yes your thoughts please. They cost around $230 each so are not cheap. 

Should I Buy the Jeep Grand Cherokee or the Hyundai Santa Fe?

I am not seeing too many kind comments from Jeep owners. Not sure if the number of complaints is due to a Jeep support issue when it comes to parts and the amount of time vehicles are off road awaiting parts and repair. (Noisy minority principle.) I am now hesitant and am starting to lean toward the Santa Fe as I don't want to spend time without a vehicle. I guess my question is, from your experience, are the reports of the Jeep unreliability just another Internet myth?

Should I Buy the Hyundai Santa Fe or the Jeep Cherokee?

We are looking at purchasing either a Hyundai Santa Fe Elite or a Jeep Cherokee Limited. We found your review of the Hyundai Santa Fe very informative [check it out here >>] and just wondered if you have reviewed a Jeep Cherokee Limited recently? 

Should I Buy Petrol or Diesel?

Time to look at petrol versus diesel. Let’s find out if a diesel car - or a diesel SUV - is right for you. Especially if you’ve never owned one before. And, we’ll find out why they’re more expensive. This is, basically, diesel, for dummies.

Should I Buy the Toyota RAV4, Mazda CX-5 or Honda CR-V?

I have looked at the Mazda CX-5 petrol. Found it a bit sluggish and boot room seemed a bit too tight for 3 kids. Drove the Mazda6 wagon too - again boot room was a bit small. So decided to look at Toyota RAV 4 as wife is a big Toyota fan. Liked it drive-wise and boot space wise but in terms of internal layout etc was a bit boring. Apparently they also have a diesel which are easier to come by. Drove the Honda CR-V today and loved it to bits. Kids were happy with back seat and cargo space was good too. Wife still prefers the Toyota RAV4 and I prefer the Honda CRV (seems to be better built and drives better plus is cheaper!!). Any suggestions / recommendations?

What Wagon Should I Buy?

We are looking to purchase a new (or used) small to medium wagon. We are not real fans of SUVs. Our requirements are roof racks, ability to add a tow bar and preferably leather seats. We are looking at the Renault Megane wagon, Hyundai i40, Hyundai i30 and that's about it really (you have scared us off the Cruze). Any advice?

Should I Buy a Skoda Octavia or Mazda6 or Mazda CX-5 or Hyundai Santa Fe?

I am in the market for a family friendly and versatile car. I am not yet sold on an SUV (although my wife is). What are your thoughts on the Skoda Octavia? I understand the issues it inherits from VW DSG transmission however I would consider the manual.

Should I Buy a Jeep Wrangler?

I am interested in buying a 4WD Jeep Wrangler petrol manual four door. Can you shed some light on the brand, and who would be the best dealer to contact or the best price range, warranty etc. 

How Do I Repair a Faulty Mercedes-Benz ECU?

To rectify this fault, I have been informed that a new module will cost in excess of $3000!!! I have also been informed that a second hand unit will not suffice, because the module is suitable for a single vehicle use only. As I understand it, if a used module is simply transferred from one car to another, the computer becomes "confused" and it will not run at all. John, may I ask if this scenario sounds reasonable to you?

How Do I Find Cheap Spare Parts?

Australian car owners are systematically ripped off on spare parts. Here's how you can sidestep the process, and - potentially - save thousands.