The Road Ahead : February 2013
QUEENSLAND'S LARGEST CLUB FEB/MAR 2013 THE ROAD AHEAD 55 TAKE YOUR PICK FROM 14 MODELS The Mazda6 has always been a class act and the latest model is no different. In fact, it's better in just about every way, which is a pretty big compliment given how well regarded the old model was. Essentially, this is a completely new car. The model line-up has been rejigged, too, and now comprises Sport (replacing Classic), Touring, GT (replacing Luxury Sport) and the new flagship, Alenza -- 14 distinct models in all -- in sedan or wagon body styles. The hatch, though popular with Australian buyers, has been dropped due to limited demand in other markets. A six-speed auto is standard, which will no doubt encourage more buyers to tick the diesel option box, and there is a swag of new equipment, including navigation, reversing camera, idle-stop and regenerative braking. The flagship Atenza model introduces a range of new MA ZDA RELEASES SIX OF THE BEST safety technology, such as radar-based cruise control, blind-spot monitoring, lane-departure warning and Mazda's Smart Brake Support. Both petrol and diesel engines have Mazda's innovative SKYACTIV technology and i-ELOOP brake energy regeneration system to reduce fuel consumption. Fuel savings of about 25 percent for the petrol and a not-insignificant 0.5 litre/100 km for the already frugal diesel are claimed. Prices start at $33,460 for Sport, $37,500 for Touring, $43,220 for GT and $46,810 for Atenza. Add another $1300 for a wagon and $2850 for the diesel engine (except Sport, which is petrol only). cx-9 updated The 2012 CX-9 that debuted globally at the Australian International Motor Show is now on sale. Styling updates to the seven-seat SUV's exterior include adoption of Mazda's KODO design theme and the current corporate signature grille shape, and, on selected variants, LED daytime running lights. The interior trims and instruments have also had a spruce up. Extra standard equipment, upgrades to the infotainment, bluetooth and navigation systems should improve buyer appeal. Luxury and Grand Touring models feature new high-lustre, 20" alloys. Grand Touring also gets a raft of new advanced safety features, such as forward obstruction warning. All models are powered by a carry-over 3.7-litre petrol V6 (204 kW and 367 Nm) matched to a six- speed auto. Prices for front-wheel-drive models start at $44,525, and all-wheel- drives at $57,480. cr-v range expands The new CR-V is the fourth-generation of Honda's compact SUV. It's smaller on the outside, but bigger inside, and better equipped. New CRV is five-star ANCAP crash rated. For the first time in our market, there's an entry-level 2WD version powered by a 2.0-litre engine (see road test, page 46). In six-speed manual VTi specification, a drive-away price of $29,990 will apply. A five-speed auto is optional ($2300), as is a factory- fitted navigation system and DVD player. All-wheel-drive models still feature the SOHC 2.4-litre engine with an extra 15 kW of power and a claimed 13 percent improvement to fuel efficiency, mated to a five-speed auto. The VTi lists at $32,790, the mid-spec VTi-S at $36,290 and the premium model, the VTi-L, at $42,290. A reversing camera is standard on all models. Expect a diesel version with auto transmission in the second half of 2013. q5 upgraded Many will be surprised to learn thatQ5--anSUV--isAudi'stop selling Australian model. Its 2013 upgrade is all about added value, rather than major changes. There's more standard equipment, revised engines and a new supercharged 3-0-litre petrol engine. Cosmetic changes include new front and rear styling, a new grille design, new-look LED running lights and tail lights and distinctive, flat- bottomed exhaust tail pipes. There are two 2.0-litre models in the range -- a petrol priced at $62,900 and a diesel at $62,200 -- which gain about $6500 in value over the old model. The 3.0-litre models ($74,100 for the petrol and $75,500 for diesel), pick up around $7000 extra value.