The Road Ahead : October 2013
ILLUSTRATION BY RON MONNIER. NEED HELP? RACQ CAN HELP WITH CAR LOANS (CALL 1300 361 316), VEHICLE INSPECTIONS (CALL 13 1905) AND INSURANCE (CALL 13 1905). KNOW YOUR CAR WITH JOHN EWING RACQ TECHNICAL RESEARCHER MIRRORS FOR TOWING IT'S NOT UNCOMMON to see special extended mirror sets fitted to cars and 4WDs towing caravans, large boat trailers and the like. But what does the law specify about the need for such mirrors when towing? There doesn't appear to be any specific law that requires additional mirrors to be fitted to these vehicles when towing larger trailers. The Road Rules and Vehicle Standards (both found in Queensland's Transport Operations Road Use Management Act) do, however, specify that the driver must have adequate visibility of the road and traffic to the front, sides and rear of the vehicle to drive the vehicle safely. Therefore, if that general safety requirement can't continue to be met when towing, then fitting extended mirrors may offer a suitable way of addressing the issue and remaining 'legal'. Rear view cameras are relatively affordable and can be useful for reversing or manoeuvring, as they offer a view of the blind-spot behind the trailer. However, they can be difficult to accurately judge distances with, and wouldn't provide the all-round visibility required by law and afforded by proper towing mirrors. CAR QUESTIONS Q. Is it a legal requirement now to secure a load in my ute with a cargo net? A. You are legally required to effectively secure any load in your vehicle (trailers included). What will be required to achieve this will vary according to a number of factors, including the type of load. See the Load Restraint Guide at ntc.gov.au/filemedia/Reports for more information. A cargo net is not mandatory, but is often a convenient and acceptable method of securing light, loose items in a load. Q. What are ILSAC rated engine oils? A. ILSAC rated oils must meet performance standards, including physical and chemical properties, set by the International Lubricant Standardization and Approval Committee (ILSAC). They are denoted by a GF rating prefix, such as GF 4, and often applied to low viscosity oils, e.g. 0W-20, 5W-20. SINCE THE MID-90S, the all-wheel- drive Suburu Liberty wagon-based Outback models have been successfully blending attributes of family wagon practicality, with light duty-off roader. The fourth-generation Outback arrived in September 2009. It offered more cabin and cargo space, a range of engineering updates, improved fuel efficiency, enhanced equipment levels, and new gearboxes -- either a Lineartronic CVT auto or six-speed manual. Models fitted with the 2.5-litre 'flat four' petrol engine came in three specifications, the entry 2.5i, a 2.5i Premium and the top specification Premium Sat Nav. Its 'extras' over the Premium included navigation (as the name suggests), and reversing camera. subaru outback 2.5, 2009-13 QUEENSLAND'S LARGEST CLUB 55 USED CAR REVIEW | MOTORING OCT/NOV 2013 THE ROAD AHEAD Safety is well covered, with all versions scoring a five-star ANCAP crash rating and safety features including anti-lock brakes with EBD and brake assist, dual front/front side/ driver's knee and full length curtain airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners and load limiters and electronic stability and traction control. Outbacks in the range reviewed here also offer a 2.0-litre, four-cylinder turbo- diesel or 3.6-litre, six-cylinder petrol engine, both of boxer configuration. On road, the Outback is an easy- to-drive, sensible family wagon with an impressive blend of comfortable ride and adept handling amongst its attributes. Off the bitumen, Outback surprises, being one of the more capable cross-over style vehicles, though serious off-roading is beyond its design brief. Look for carefully serviced, used examples. Neglecting oil or coolant changes and cambelt renewal (125,000km or five years) can prove fatal to engines. Watch for under- vehicle damage from over-adventurous excursions. Check driveshaft boot condition also, and for any signs of head gasket issues such as oil and coolant cross-contamination. UNDER THE PUMP: Outback will use between 6.5 litres and 12.0 litres of fuel every 100km, depending on model and driving conditions. PRICE RANGE: From $24,500 to $40,800, depending on year and model. COMPETITIORS: Skoda Octavia Scout 2009-13, Mitsubishi Outlander 2009-13, Mazda CX-7 2009-12.