The Road Ahead : April 2013
QUEENSLAND'S LARGEST CLUB APR/MAY 2013 THE ROAD AHEAD 53 SUBARU RELEASES THE FOURTH GENERATION OF ITS BIGGEST AUSTRALIAN SELLER Subaru's new Forester comes bristling with the latest technology, features and styling updates. There is increased cabin space, improved aero efficiency (a Cd of 0.33), the introduction of a driver's knee airbag across the range and stiffer, more responsive brakes that engender, Subaru said, performance almost identical on wet and dry surfaces. There are four engine and two transmission types across 13 variants: a new generation, normally-aspirated 2.0-litre (110kW/198Nm), 2.5-litre (126/235) and turbocharged 2.0-litre (177/350) petrol four-cylinder units, along with 2.0-litre (108/350) turbo-diesel four. The transmissions are six- speed manual and new-generation Lineartronic CVT. Among the technology on CVT models is X-Mode, a system that centralises control of the engine, all-wheel drive and brakes in tough going, while Subaru's award-winning driver assist system debuts on the 2.5i-S (optional on 2.5i-L). Gains of up to 22.6 per cent improved FORESTER IN FINE FETTLE fuel economy have been achieved, thanks to engine efficiencies, with the new CVT some 12.9 per better than the superseded four-speed auto. CO2 emissions have been reduced by up to 15 percent. Normally-aspirated variants feature auto stop/start fuel saver, while CVT-fitted versions of the same vehicles come with Si-Drive, which matches performance to driving style. 2.5i-S and 2.0D-S variants boast push button start and a cargo door that opens automatically. Top of the range are the 2.0 XT and XT Premium, complete with direct-injection turbo charging and sporty suspension set-up. Prices start at $30,990 for the 2.0i manual and range to $50,490 for the 2.0 XT Premium (with CVT). vfor40 The advanced safety technologies on Volvo's V40 range, and free servicing for three years/60,000 km, should make buyers take a second look at these sharply-priced and dynamic to drive new models. The V40 five-door hatch range replaces outgoing C30, S40 and V50 models and starts at $34,990 for the manual-only D2 Kinetic (1.6-litre turbo- diesel) rising to $49,990 for the six-speed auto T5 R Design (pictured). Trim levels in the range are Kinetic, Luxury and R Design. A 2.0-litre diesel (D4 models), plus 2.0-litre (T4 models) and 2.5-litre (T5) petrols round out engine choices, and are all turbo-charged, five-cylinder designs. V40 has top scored in Euro NCAP independent crash tests and features a pedestrian airbag system on versions to protect pedestrians in an impact. An upgraded City Safety auto-brake system is also standard. cx-5 muscles up Mazda's CX-5 has been something of a hit with buyers since its launch in February, 2012. But it hasn't been completely smooth sailing. Initially, the CX-5 came only with a 2.0-litre petrol engine which, when mated to AWD, was widely considered to be underpowered. This was largely remedied by adding a very competent diesel engine to the range, but it's taken Mazda a year to offer buyers a better performing petrol engine. This was achieved by fitting the 138kW 2.5-litre engine from the Mazda 6 -- but only to AWD models. FWD variants retain the 2.0-litre engine, albeit with some improvements to acceleration and responsiveness. Other upgrades include improved bluetooth and 'infotainment' systems, upgraded interior parts, and a new range-topping Akera model with a host of new safety technologies. Prices range from $27,880 to $48,620. fame is that its starting price is the same as it was back in 1996. At launch, there was one body style (sedan), one engine (96kW 1.8-litre petrol) and two transmissions (six-speed manual or trick new CVT auto). Trim grades are ST, starting at $19,990, ST-L at $23,650 and the top of the range, auto only, Ti at $28,990 (pictured). Ticking the auto option box adds $2250 to ST and ST-L. Exterior styling is reminiscent of bigger sibling Maxima. ABS, traction control, front, side and curtain airbags and ESC are standard across the range. Sixteen-inch alloy wheels are standard on ST and ST-L, while Ti gets 17s. Dual-zone airconditioning, navigation and reversing camera is on Ti models.