The Road Ahead : February 2011
WWW.ROADAHEAD.COM.AU 56 THE ROAD AHEAD FEB/MAR 2011 HONDA'S NEW HYBRID IS AN INSIGHT TO THE JAPANESE CARMAKER'S IMMEDIATE FUTURE Insight is the first of four new Honda hybrid models due for Australian release in the next 18 months. It's a five-seat, five-door hatch that fits between Jazz and Civic. VTi at $29,990 is the entry model while the better equipped VTi-L is $33,490. Powered by a 1.3-litre petrol engine and Honda's Integrated Motor Assist hybrid system, Insight boasts fuel consumption figures of 4.9 litres/100 km and 109 g/km CO2 emissions. The IMA drive system is located between the engine and Constantly Variable Transmission (CVT), and contributes power for accelerating as well as capturing energy to charge the nickel metal hydride battery pack during braking. Both models feature Eco Assist, which is a driver selected fuel saving feature that enhances Insight's efficiency by altering FIRST OF FOUR throttle response, transmission operation, idle stop duration and air conditioning operation. Eco Assist also provides real-time driver coaching via a 3D background in the speedo that changes colour to reflect how efficiently the driver is accelerating and braking. Fuel consumption is continuously tracked and displayed as a series of trees and leaves on the dash display. The more economical the driving, the more trees are displayed. Variable Cylinder Management and automatic idle stop further reduce fuel consumption and emissions. MOTORING IN THE SHOWROOM three trim c3 After an absence of more than six months, Citroen's C3 is back in Australian showrooms, much revised, with a broader range and at a lower starting price. C3 comes in three trim levels: VT 1.4 petrol with manual transmission, VTR+ 1.6 petrol auto or 1.6 diesel manual and Exclusive 1.6 petrol auto and 1.6 diesel manual. Intelligent packaging has optimised internal space while reducing exterior dimensions to produce one of the most compact models in the small car sector. Claimed fuel consumption for petrol models is 6.3 and 7.0 litres/100 km and 4.3 for diesel variants. ESP, ABS with EBD and EBA are standard on all models. VTR+ and Exclusive get six airbags but VT misses out on curtain bags. Exclusive versions are fitted as standard with the innovative zenith windscreen. Prices range from $19,990 for VT to $26,490 for the range topping Exclusive diesel. micra economics According to Nissan Australia, the all-new Micra is a key model in the company's plan to become Australia's number one vehicle importer. It comes in three trim grades. Entry level ST models have a new 1.2-litre, three-cylinder engine, with a claimed consumption of 5.9 litres/100 km and 138 g/km CO2 emissions, which earns it a five star Green Vehicle Guide rating. ST-L and Ti have a 1.5-litre four-cylinder engine with claimed consumption of 6.5 litres/100 km for the manual and 6.6 for the auto. A four- speed automatic is a $2000 option. Vehicle Dynamic Control, Anti-Lock Brakes with Electronic Brake Force Distribution and Brake Assist and six airbags are standard on all models. Top-of-the-range Ti models get Nissan's Intelligent Key and push button engine start/stop, climate control airconditioning, reversing sensors, 15-inch alloy wheels and front fog lights. Prices range from $12,990 to $16,990. new model hatched As well as its all-new body shape, the new Kia Cerato 5-door model introduces styling, equipment, refinement and technical improvements, which will also feature on the 2011 Cerato sedan and 2-door Koup models. The roof, rear side panels, C-pillar, tailgate with rear spoiler, rear bumper, light clusters and two-tone spoiler are all new. At the front, bold styling incorporates a new radiator grille, new lower air-intake grille and new-shape fog lamps. The door mirrors are new and offer an LED indicator light guide, while the 17-inch alloy wheels come in a 'double five- spoke' design. The rear combination lamps, which have etching-processed lenses, are split across the tailgate shut line and a sporty rear diffuser allows the exhaust tailpipe to be displayed in the SLi model.