The Road Ahead : June 2013
QUEENSLAND'S LARGEST CLUB 51 JUN/JUL 2013 THE ROAD AHEAD NEW CAR REVIEW | MOTORING AT $19,990, NISSAN'S Pulsar entry level into the small sedan segment, the manual ST, not only soothes the hip pocket nerve, but comes in at the same price as way back in 1996. Small is more like medium in car sizes nowadays and here the born- again Pulsar follows the trend. Interior room is generous, even for the once- overlooked back seat passengers, as is boot space. That said, a high load lip and 'gooseneck' boot lid hinges, and a rear seat that doesn't fold, inhibits cargo carrying versatility and practicality a little. The Pulsar makes for a comfy drive, and around town returned a useful 8.8 litres/100km. Drivers may find the steering nicely weighted for slow-speed manoeuvring, but otherwise too light and lacking feel. With 96kW of power, the Pulsar is the runt of the 1.8-litre small car litter, being seven to 10kW down on Holden Cruze, Honda Civic, Hyundai Elantra and Kia Cerato. It shows, but driveability is not greatly impaired thanks to a peak torque figure of 174Nm that matches the Civic and is close to the others. Fixed price servicing -- up to the first 12 x 10,000km scheduled servicing intervals for up to six years/120,000km (whichever comes first) -- is a plus. Arrival of the Pulsar hatch, including the sporty, 1.6-litre direct injection gasoline (DIG) turbo SSS variant, is imminent. audi a4 allroad quattro wagon KEY STATS MLP: $19,990^ SAFETY: Dual front/side/curtain airbags, anti-lock brakes, electronic brakeforce distribution, brake assist, electronic stability/traction control. KEY FEATURES: 16" alloys; single CD player with MP3 capability, aux input and six speakers; airconditioning; cruise control; remote keyless entry; steering wheel audio and cruise controls; bluetooth; tilt and reach steering. ENGINE: 1.8-litre, twin C-VTC petrol, 4-cyl. MAX. POWER: 96kW @ 6000rpm. MAX. TORQUE: 174Nm @ 4800rpm. 0-100 KM/H: 9.5 seconds (claimed). 80 KM-STOP: N/A. FUEL (ADR FIGURE): 7.2 litres/100km. ANCAP RATING: N/A. EMISSIONS RATING: N/A. FOR: Price, space, servicing costs. AGAINST: Not as powerful as some, lack of steering feel. KEY STATS MLP: $69,900^ SAFETY: Dual front/front and rear outer side/curtain airbags, electronic stability/traction control, anti- lock brakes, electronic brakeforce distribution, brake assist. KEY FEATURES: Three-zone climate- control, 17" alloys, auto stop/start system, bluetooth, CD/DVD, leather trim, navigation, keyless entry/ start, rear view camera and front/ rear park sensors, tyre pressure monitoring, power front seats, electronic differential lock. ENGINE: 2.0-litre, common-rail turbo-diesel, 4-cyl. MAX. POWER: 130kW @ 4700rpm. MAX. TORQUE: 380Nm @ 1750- 2500rpm. 0-100 KM/H: 8.1 sec (claimed). 80 KM/H-STOP: N/A. FUEL (ADR FIGURE): 6.0 litres/100km ANCAP CRASH RATING: N/A. EMISSIONS RATING: FOR: Good handling, standard features, high quality finish. AGAINST: Initial turbo-lag, low speed brake progression. nissan pulsar st IT'S THE FIRST time in the Australian market for the new A4 Allroad and it will only be available in limited numbers. Audi has taken the A4 Avant wagon with Quattro all-wheel-drive and raised ground clearance to 180mm, added wheel arch flares, stainless steel underbody cladding, and equipped the ESC and ABS systems with off-road modes. The turbo-diesel engine responds well, though off-the-line performance can feel slightly hesitant due to initial turbo-lag. There's enough grunt in reserve for highway passing, too. The seven-speed DSG-style gearbox has normal and sport modes, plus manual shifts accessed via the lever or paddle shifters on the wheel. Sport mode tends to hold lower gears a little too long at times. Roadholding is confident and grippy through twists and turns, over hill and down dale. It felt equally secure traversing muddy, rain-soaked unsealed forestry tracks. Brakes can seem a little 'sudden' at low speeds, lacking sufficient initial pedal progression. Inside and out, the Allroad's fit and finish is up to Audi's usual impeccable standard. The cargo area is usefully large and includes six metal tie-down eyes for restraining loads, and sports a power-operated tailgate. Allroad's car-like styling and road manners make it a smart alternative to more traditionally-styled SUVs, including Audi's own Q5, for light- duty adventuring.