The Road Ahead : December January 2010
AUSTRALIA'S BEST CARS MOTORING 47 DEC 2009/JAN 2010 THE ROAD AHEAD people mover hyundai imax crdi FOR THE SECOND year running, the 2.5-litre, four-cylinder, diesel iMax has beaten strong competition. When it comes to people movers, they don't get much bigger than iMax, which can comfortably seat eight and carry an impressive amount of luggage. In fact, it scores a perfect 10 when it comes to space, along with a nine for comfort. Improvements since last year's model include a new four-star ANCAP safety rating, steering wheel audio controls, front seat armrests and a new soft aerial. Height-adjustable seats and tilt- adjustable steering enhance the driver's comfort, and all passengers get comfortable, well-padded seats with the safety of three-point lap/sash seatbelts. The dashboard layout in iMax is straightforward, with all controls and switchgear close at hand and easy to use. For some, the radio and heater controls may be a bit of a stretch. Build quality throughout the Hyundai range is improving in leaps and bounds and iMax is no exception, although its commercial heritage still keeps it a point behind the Honda Odyssey and various Toyotas. An option to consider when purchasing an iMax would be reversing sensors, or even a reversing camera to help with parking. RRP: $42,490. sports bmw 135i coupe CARS IN THIS class are meant to have strong appeal for enthusiasts; cars that, courtesy of their finely honed road skills, bring that grin of satisfaction to a keen driver's face. The BMW 135i Coupe does this in spades. Inside the 135i there is seating trimmed in leather for four. The front seats give excellent support, side bolstering and adjustability, and even the rear seats are well shaped, although rear space is only fair. To gether with a well-laid-out cabin, the 135i scores top marks for comfort and ergonomics. There's a lengthy list of standard equipment and safety features and an M-Sport package is also standard. The 135i is a scintillating performer The 135i is as cintillating performer thanks to its 225 kW twin-turbo, direct- injection, 3.0-litre, straight-six engine that has won international awards. They don't come much sweeter or more willing and there's a great soundtrack to match. The rear-drive coupe has almost ideal 50:50 weight distribution for enhanced chassis balance and nimble handling. Combine this with terrific grip levels and communicative steering and it's easy for a driver to feel at one with the 135i. Unlike many sports cars, ride quality also rates highly and is achieved without detriment to handling, thanks to clever suspension design and tuning. RRP: $72,800. SCORES TOTAL: 733. 2nd: Honda Odyssey Luxury 710. 3rd: Mitsubishi Grandis VR-X 703. CRITERIA (OUT OF 10): VALUE FOR MONEY: Pricing 7 C, Depreciation 7 M, Running costs 8 H, Fuel consumption 8 H, Warranty 8 M, Standard features 4 H. DESIGN & FUNCTION: Safety 7 C, Security 6 L, Environment 5 C, Comfort 9 C, Space 10 C, Practicality 8 C, Ergonomics 8 C, Build & finish 7 M. ON THE ROAD: Performance 7 M, Ride 7 H, Handling 7 M, Braking 7 H, Smoothness/quietness 7 L. SCORES TOTAL: 758. 2nd: VW Golf R32 729. 3rd: Subaru Impreza Sti 708. CRITERIA (OUT OF 10): VALUE FOR MONEY: Pricing 2 M, Depreciation 2 L, Running costs 1 M, Fuel consumption 6 M, Warranty 5 M, Standard features 8 H. DESIGN & FUNCTION: Safety 9 C, Security 7 C, Environment 7 C, Comfort 10 H, Ergonomics 10 H, Build & finish 8 H. ON THE ROAD: Performance 9 C, Ride 9 L, Handling 9 C, Braking 10 C, Smoothness/quietness 9 L. visit www.roadahead.com.au MORE INFO LEVEL OF WEIGHTED IMPORTANCE FOR EACH SCORE: L=LOW,M=MEDIUM,H=HIGH,C=CRITICAL.
February March 2010