The Road Ahead : April 2011
MAKES YOUR DAY APR/MAY 2011 THE ROAD AHEAD 53 NEW CAR REVIEWS MOTORING jaguar xj 5.0 V8 KEY STATS THE FLAGSHIP MODEL in Jaguar's range, the new XJ, is a luxury car that impresses at so many levels. It starts with the sleek, striking lines of the all- aluminium body. There are three grades and four engines to choose from. All bar the Portfolio model reviewed here offer the option of a long wheelbase model with an extra 134 mm of rear leg room. Not that rear passengers are cheated for space in the standard wheelbase, though the centre rear position has an intrusive driveline hump in the floor and tighter head room than the outer positions. Front seats offer plenty of adjustability and are firm enough to offer support and comfort that endures for the long haul. The naturally- aspirated V8 endears with its robust performance that makes highway passing a breeze and the sequential- shift 6-speed auto is its ideal partner. The XJ's suspension with adaptive dynamics makes for luxury comfort, soaking up the bumps yet still provides a level of feline agility and poise that truly surprises in a large luxury model. The sporty flavour continues with brakes that are strong and unrelenting in their retardation. There's no shortage of features inside to surprise and delight, while cabin ambience is complemented by refinement and serenity befitting a premium model. And that's all the better for enjoying the 1200 W audio system. vw golf 77tsi hatch The 77TSi is the new entry level model with a price some $3000 lower than previous. Safety is still a feature though. Some cost cutting shows in the standard features list and a spacesaver spare doesn't win praise either. But the 77 kW, 1.2-litre engine is excellent, delivering plenty of torque from low revs. The optional 7-speed DSG gearbox ($2500) is slick underway but fails the engine at times, feeling jerky at low speeds, and making for either a hesitant standing start getaway or tyre chirping. The steering, handling, brakes and solid build quality are among the Golf's endearing qualities. KEY STATS RRP: $24,490 (with DSG) SAFETY: Seven airbags including curtains and driver's knee, ABS, EBD, BA, TC, ESC, front seatbelt pre- tensioners and load limiters. KEY FEATURES: Airconditioning, pollen filter, MP3 compatible CD with auxiliary input, electronic diff lock, cloth trim. ENGINE: 1.2-litre, turbo, direct injection petrol 4-cyl. CRASH RATING: RACQ CAN HELP WITH FINANCE, INSURANCE AND VEHICLE INSPECTIONS. CALL 13 1905 OR VISIT WWW.RACQ.COM. citroen ds3 dsport The DS3 DSport is far and away the most charismatic and involving Citroen we've driven in ages. At the heart is an energetic (115 kW, 240 Nm) 1.6-litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine mated with a sweet-shifting 6-speed manual gearbox. What makes the DSport so engaging is the accommodating torque span, 1400-4000 rpm. Zero to 100 km/h takes 7.3 seconds. Unlike a number of sporty, front-wheel- drive offerings, there's no torque steer and the ride quality is impressive -- firm, but compliant. A spacesaver spare wheel and poorly located cruise control are minor criticisms. KEY STATS MLP: $35,990 SAFETY: ABS, EBD, EBA, ESC, TC, front/side/ curtain airbags, front seatbelt pre- tensioners. KEY FEATURES: 17" alloys, cooled glovebox, remote central locking, alarm, lights on security delay, tinted glass, pollen filter, scented air-freshener diffuser, auto airconditioning, MP3 compatibility. ENGINE: 1.6-litre turbo, petrol, 4-cyl. CRASH RATING: RRP: $274,800 SAFETY: Front/side/curtain airbags, dual mode electronic stability and traction control (ESC, TC), anti- lock brakes (ABS), electronic brake distribution (EBD), brake assist (BA), adaptive dynamics. KEY FEATURES: Four- z one climate control, DVD, TV, dual view functionality, navigation, heated and cooled seats, leather trim, 20" alloys, rear camera and parking aids, JaguarDrive control, smart key system. ENGINE: 5.0-litre petrol V8. MAX. POWER: 283 kW @ 6500 rpm. MAX. TORQUE: 515 Nm @ 3500 rpm. 0-100 KM/H: 6.4 sec (as tested). 80 KM/H -- STOP: 21.2 m. FUEL (ADR FIGURE): 11.3 litres/100 km. CRASH RATING: N/A. EMISSIONS RATING: FOR: Performance, refinement. AGAINST: Price, fuel usage.