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.
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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.
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 >>
VIDEO FEATURES & REVIEWS
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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...
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:
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.
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 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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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?
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?
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?
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?
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?
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?