The Road Ahead : December 2011
MAKES YOUR DAY 55 DEC 2011/JAN 2012 THE ROAD AHEAD volkswagen golf bluemotion KEY STATS IF YOU LIKE choice, then Volkswagen's Golf Bluemotion might not be for you. There are no factory options and it is available as a five-door with manual gearbox only. That said, Bluemotion is far from one dimensional. Here's where and why... Automatic stop-start function, aerodynamic improvements, revised gear ratios (it's a five-speed manual), low rolling resistance tyres on 15" alloys and a regenerative system that recovers energy during braking helps the 77 kW 1.6-litre TDI achieve a stunning combined cycle fuel consumption figure of just 3.8 litres/100 km. This equates to a theoretical range of more than 1400 km from a tank. So, in this sense, it's close to being the ultimate eco warrior. But Bluemotion also boasts a styling kit comprising sports bumpers, side skirts and an enlarged rear roof spoiler along with lowered sports suspension -- items you would normally associate with a petrol-swilling hot hatch. The everyday driving experience can also produce different outcomes. To achieve that afore-mentioned frugal economy, you need to comply faithfully with the up shift indicator and get on and off the accelerator smoothly. This can take some discipline, as the indicator is often suggesting changing to a higher gear sooner than what your instincts are telling you. Disregard what it's saying, though, and consumption blows out, around town to as high as 8.6 litres/100 km, as we experienced. alfa romeo giulietta qv 1750 Slotting neatly between the MiTo and the 159 is the 147's replacement, the Giulietta. The sportier QV model features the 1750 (1742cc) engine rather than the base model's 1.4-litre Multi- air unit. It performs quite strongly, stepping off the line smartly and continuing with some enthusiasm. Chassis tune is biased toward sportier handling rather than ride comfort. The QV offers balanced handling and changes direction with agility. Rear cabin space rates as fair. Ergonomics is a step in front of many Italian cars, but the driver's foot-well feels constricted. KEY STATS MLP: $41,990^ SAFETY: Dual front/front side/ curtain airbags, ABS, EBD, cornering brake control, ESC, TCS, KEY FEATURES: Leather and microfibre combination trims, Bose stereo/ MP3/USB port, bluetooth, rear park sensors, sport suspension, 18" alloys, dual zone climate control. ENGINE: 1.75-litre, direct injection petrol, 4-cyl. CRASH RATING: nissan pathfinder ti 550 The Ti 550 isn't exactly cheap, but the standard fit-out and safety features list is pretty comprehensive. It's $10,000 dearer than its Ti 2.5-litre sibling and offers a handful of 'extras', plus the new 3.0-litre engine mated to a seven- speed auto instead of one with five ratios. The new engine is the highlight, feeling positively bullish thanks to 550 Nm of torque. Our test car's auto was frustratingly reticent to up shift to fifth at the city 60 km/h speed limit, feeling like it was revving far harder than it needed to. The tilt-only steering column and thick vision-blocking 'A' pillars get our thumbs down. KEY STATS MLP: $75,990^ SAFETY: Dual front/front side airbags/curtain (including row 3) airbags, ABS, EBD, EBA, TCS, ESC. KEY FEATURES: Leather trim, power and heated front seats, navigation, DVD, audio with CD plus 9.3 GB hard drive and media connectivity, bluetooth, 17" alloys, climate control. ENGINE: 3.0-litre, turbo-diesel, V6. CRASH RATING: NEW CAR REVIEWS MOTORING MLP: $28,990^ SAFETY: Dual front/side/curtain and driver's knee airbags, anti-lock brakes (ABS), brake assist (BA), electronic brake distribution (EBD), electronic stability control (ESC), traction control. KEY FEATURES: Immobiliser, remote central locking, lowered sports suspension, low tyre pressure indicator, low rolling resistance tyres, airconditioning, cruise control. ENGINE: 1.6-litre, turbo-diesel, 4-cyl. MAX. POWER: 77 kW @ 4400 rpm. MAX. TORQUE: 250 Nm @ 1500-2500 rpm. 0-100 KM/H: 11.3 seconds (claimed). 80 KM/H-STOP: N/A. FUEL (ADR FIGURE): 3.8 litres/100 km. CRASH RATING: EMISSIONS RATING: FOR: Fuel economy, low emissions, usual Golf attributes. AGAINST: No spare tyre, hatch body and manual only.
February March 2012