The Road Ahead : December 2011
MAKES YOUR DAY 51 DEC 2011/JAN 2012 THE ROAD AHEAD AUSTRALIA'S BEST CARS MOTORING luxury suv over $60,000 volkswagen touareg v6 tdi THIS SERIES-TWO Volkswagen Touareg is indeed all new and bristling with technology. It's larger than the previous model with improved occupant and load space thanks to an additional 50 mm in the wheelbase, and new Touareg boasts class-leading body structure yet weighs up to 90 kg less. That additional wheelbase length translates directly into extra legroom. Versatility has also been improved with the introduction of a rear seat that can slide backward or forward by 160 mm to give additional cabin or boot space, and the rear squab can also be reclined in three stages. The plush cabin will comfortably seat five adults while the driver gets a comfortable seat with 12-way electric adjustment and electro-pneumatic side bolsters. Power comes from a 3.0-litre turbo- diesel engine delivering 180 kW and an impressive 550 Nm of torque from around 2000 rpm. BlueMotion technologies, which include faster engine and gearbox warm up, engine stop/start and regenerative braking, and an eight-speed auto result in a significant reduction in fuel consumption (7.4 litres/100 km average) and emissions. MLP: $77,990. people movers hyundai i-max HYUNDAI I-MAX CONTINUES to tick all the right boxes as an affordable, family- friendly people mover. There is no denying iMax is a big van with commercial origins, but the massive interior has been put to excellent use, while subtle mechanical refinements transform it from a solid workhorse into affordable family transport that's ideal for everyday use. The practical approach starts with large sliding doors on either side providing easier access to the second and third rows than most others. Not only can adults sit in the third row without having their legs cramped or hitting their head every time the vehicle goes over a bump, there is still plenty of luggage space -- a rarity in most people movers or SUVs. iMax has enough width to fit three child seats across the middle row seat -- a major plus for parents, while the cavernous interior makes getting kids in and out much easier than most vehicles. The seats, however, lack the clever folding functions of some people movers, while the interior trimming has a durable, rather than opulent, appearance. Complementing its strong design and function, iMax also does well in the value for money stakes. MLP: $42,490. SCORES TOTAL: 1140. 2nd: BMW X5 xDrive 30d, 1120. 3rd: Range Rover Sport TDV6, 1084. CRITERIA (OUT OF 10): VALUE FOR MONEY: Pricing 8M, Depreciation 9H, Running costs 6L, Fuel consumption 7M, Warranty 5L, Insurance 6L, Standard features 5C. DESIGN & FUNCTION: Safety 9C, Environment 7C, Comfort 9C, Space 8H, Practicality 8H, Ergonomics 9H, Build & finish 8C. ON THE ROAD: Performance 9H, Ride 9C, Handling 8H, Braking 9H, Smoothness & quietness 8H, Off Road Ability 8M. SCORES TOTAL: 976. 2nd: Honda Odyssey Luxury, 956. 3rd: Kia Grand Carnival, 944. CRITERIA (OUT OF 10): VALUE FOR MONEY: Pricing 7C, Depreciation 7M, Running costs 9H Fuel consumption 3H, Warranty 8M, Insurance 6L, Standard features 3H. DESIGN & FUNCTION: Safety 9C, Environment 5C, Comfort 9C, Space 10C, Practicality 8C, Ergonomics 9C, Build & finish 7M. ON THE ROAD: Performance 7M, Ride 8H, Handling 6M, Braking 7H, Smoothness & quietness 7L. LEVEL OF WEIGHTED IMPORTANCE FOR EACH SCORE: L=LOW,M=MEDIUM,H=HIGH,C=CRITICAL.
February March 2012