The Road Ahead : February March 2010
NEW CAR REVIEWS MOTORING MAKES YOUR DAY 55 FEB/MAR 2010 THE ROAD AHEAD visit www.roadahead.com.au/motoring MORE INFO xf jaguar 3.0v6std KEY STATS RRP: $138,900 SAFETY: Stability (ESC) and traction control (TC), anti-lock brakes (ABS), emergency brake distribution (EBD), front/front side curtain airbags, whiplash protection, cornering brake control. KEY FEATURES: Climate control, leather trim, 20-inch alloys, front park sensors, rear camera, voice control, 440 W sound system, TV, power front seats with heating/cooling, security system. ENGINE: 3.0-litre, V6, twin-turbo, common rail diesel MAX. POWER: 202 kW @ 4000 rpm MAX. TORQUE: 600 Nm @ 2000 rpm 0-100 km/h: 7.3 sec (as tested) 80 km/h -- STOP: 21.9 m (as tested)) FUEL (ADR FIGURE): 6.8 litres/100 km CRASH RATING: n/a EMISSIONS RATING: FOR: Performance, improved fuel economy, refinement, strong brakes. AGAINST: Space-saver spare wheel, rear seat access, price. alfa romeo mito sport Some cars wearing a Sport badge fall short of living up to the name, but not so the Alfa Romeo MiTo. The Sport is the better- specified and hence dearer variant of the Italian hot hatch, endowed with more power and torque than the 88 kW, 206 Nm base model. As well, it has a slick-shifting, six-speed manual gearbox, instead of a five-speed gearbox. Driving dynamics are the Sport's forte, with lively performance and impressive mid-range torque from the 114 kW, 230 Nm. Sharp and communicative steering coupled with dogged grip enhance the drive. Some might consider MiTo's ride too firm, but we suspect the keener driver could live with it. A YEAR AFTER the XF saloon's debu ut here, Jaguar has updated the model range with new generation engines, including two direct-injection, petrol, 5.0-litre V8s and a 3.0-litre V6 diesel, while also adding a new flagship model, the XFR.We liked the previous 2.7-litre turbo-diesel, but the new 3.0-litre, twin-turbo engine is stunning. It cranks out 600 Nm of torque at 2000 rpm (38 percent more than the old engine), for lively, effortless performance under any conditions. Power is also up 33 percent, while fuel consumption and CO2 emissions are said to drop. The upgraded ZF six-speed auto with steering-wheel- mounted paddles is excellent too, with smooth, adaptive shifts. The XF and its , g Jg diesel ooze refinement, making the Jag's cabin a pleasant place to be. The ride/ handling balance is excellent, impressing for its feline agility and poise, with supple suspension tune soothing away road scars, even those on tattered back roads. The Portfolio model we tested -- the premium luxury specification -- provides a plethora of equipment. However, the entry diesel model is still well-equipped and more than $22,000 cheaper. Unfortunately, prices for the upgraded models have risen significantly. Our test car was well finished and the interior stylish, while the Jag saloon's elegant bodylines grabbed admiring looks. But the swooping roofline impinges on rear access and rear head space. KEY STATS RRP: $37,490 SAFETY: Seven airbags, Brembo brakes, ABS, BA, hill holder, front seatbelt pretensioners and load limiters. KEY FEATURES: 17-inch alloys, Dynamic, Normal and All Weather modes for steering and throttle, rear parking sensors, dual zone climate control, bluetooth, sports seats. ENGINE: 1.4-litre, 16-valve, turbocharged 4-cyl. EMISSIONS RATING: honda civic si The Civic Si has striking body styling like the Civic Type R, which is also built at Honda's Swindon plant in the UK. But its style lacks the on-road substance to justify what is a premium price tag. The Si isn't a dud but there are better drives for the money. The 103 kW, 1.8-litre engine feels dull in the low and mid rev range, offering its best at higher revs. The auto is smooth but the lack of tiptronic shift seems odd in a sportier model, making the six-speed manual a better call. Handling is competent rather than inspiring. The Si is well built, the ride and cabin layout respectable, while safety features and crash-worthiness rate well. KEY STATS RRP: $41,290 (five- speed auto) SAFETY: ESC and TC, ABS, EBD, BA, dual front, front side and curtain airbags, front seatbelt pre- tensioners. KEY FEATURES: Climate control, 17-inch alloys, heated front seats, rain sensing wipers, CD player with aux/ USB inputs and iPod integration, rear parking sensors, alarm. ENGINE: 1.8-litre SOHC, i-VTEC, 4-cyl petrol. EMISSIONS RATING: RACQ CAN HELP WITH FINANCE, INSURANCE AND VEHICLE INSPECTIONS. CALL 13 1905 OR VISIT WWW.RACQ.COM.
December January 2010