The Road Ahead : August 2010
54 THE ROAD AHEAD AUG/SEPT 2010 WWW.ROADAHEAD.COM.AU MAZDA ADDS A SEDAN TO ITS POPULAR LIGHT CAR RANGE; DROPS THE THREE-DOOR HATCH Thanks to tariff reductions and a move to production in Thaila and instead of Japan, the new version Mazda2 is cheaper and with revised equipment, better value. Mazda claims value has s improved by more than $1000 over the outgoing equivalent model. And for the first time since the demise of the popular Mazda 121 'bubble' 13 years ago, Mazda once more offers a sedan version of its light car segment entry. The new model sees the entry level Mazda2, the 3-door hatch, deleted from the line- up. Five-door hatch buyers can choose from the Neo, Maxx or range-topping Genki, while those intent on the sedan make do with the mid-spec Maxx. Dynamic stability control is now standard on all variants, while all except Neo score front side and front TWO 2 TANGO and rear curtain airbags too. They are a worthwhile $450 option on Neo, about the same as metallic paint on many cars. There is N b tth t lli i t Th i a choice of eight colours per body style and metallic/mica paint is a no cost option. Manufacturer's list prices start at $16,500 for a manual Neo through to $22,590 for an auto Genki. However, for an unspecified time Mazda is doing a promotional drive-away special price on the entry level Neo of $16,990. MOTORING IN THE SHOWROOM greener polo The introduction of new TDI and TSI engines and 7-speed dual clutch transmission (DSG) has ushered in improved fuel economy and lower emissions among the 2010 Volkswagen Polo range. In the instance of the 1.2-litre turbo-charged four-cylinder direct injection petrol engine, this amounts to 5.5 litres/100 km and 128 g/km of CO2 - 24 percent less than on the equivalent model of the previous generation. There's a choice of two equipment levels -- Trendline and Comfortline -- and three engines: 1.4-litre 63 kW, 1.2 TSI 77 kW and 1.6 TDI 66 kW units. The new Polo complies with Euro-5 emissions standards and is the first vehicle in its class that fulfils the new, more stringent EuroNCAP 5-Star safety standards. Electronic stability control and front, side and curtain airbags are standard. Prices range from $16,690 to $24,850. i45 eye-opener i45 eye-opener Hyundai's replacement for the Sonata, the i45, is available in three variants. Prices start at $29,490 for the Active 2.4-litre GDI manual (auto adds $1500), with the Elite 2.4-litre GDI (auto only) at $34,490 and Premium 2.4-litre GDI (also auto only) $37,990. The entry level Active comes with black woven fabric and leather bolster interior, while Elite and Premium feature black full leather. Six airbags, active front headrests, electronic stability control, traction control, anti-lock brakes with electronic brake distribution and brake assist, hill start control, alloy wheels with full size spare, USB audio input with iPod compatibility and trip computer are standard. Gasoline Direct Injection, a first in the medium sedan class, assists the 2.4-litre Theta II petrol engine to return a combined cycle figure of 7.9-litres/100 km (6-speed auto) and 8.0 (6-speed manual). a car like dualis Dualis has proven to be something of a star for Nissan, with the small cross-over representing about 10 percent of the company's total Australian sales. The newly released Series 2 maintains the ST and Ti grades, though, in a move that reflects buyer preferences for two wheel drive models, 4X4 is restricted to the top-of-the-range Ti grade. Changes include new front end styling, new design wheels, steering wheel audio controls and bluetooth hands-free phone system. In addition Ti models get a glass sunroof, 18-inch alloy wheels, dual zone auto climate control, Intelligent Key keyless entry and rear privacy glass. Designed at the Nissan Design Europe studios in London, Australia bound Dualis models are built in Sutherland, UK. Watch for a seven passenger version later in the year. Prices range from $24,990 to $34,390 (plus dealer and statutory charges).
June July 2010