The Road Ahead : June July 2014
MOTORING | NEW CAR ROAD TEST ROADAHEAD.COM.AU 56 THE ROAD AHEAD JUN/JUL 2014 THE LATEST MODELS PUT TO THE TEST KEY STATS MLP: $40,490^ SAFETY: ABS, BA, EBD, ESC, TC, HSA, PS (front/rear), RC, RSW, DRL, DFSCA, SBPT, active front headrests, rear cross traffic alert, cornering lamps, blind spot detection. MAIN FEATURES: ACCD, AW 18", EPB, KE, PBS, LT, PFS, PSR, CC, XH, HFS and cooled, NAV, bluetooth, Infinity sound system with iPod compatibility. ENGINE: 2.4-litre, GDI petrol, 4-cyl. MAX. POWER: 148kW @ 6300rpm. MAX. TORQUE: 250Nm @ 4250rpm. 0-100 KM/H: 10.0 seconds (Si model, as tested). 80 KM/H-STOP: 22.6m (Si model, as tested). FUEL (ADR COMBINED FIGURE): 7.9 litres/100km. ANCAP CRASH RATING: EMISSIONS RATING: FOR: Improvements, good value, pleasant to live with. AGAINST: Price increase, boot hinges intrude into load space. cars in busy visibility-challenged environments like shopping centres, by detecting approaching vehicles and alerting the driver. Able to detect vehicles, including motor bikes, the blind spot monitor and alert system is handy making lane changes in traffic safer, too. On the road, the updated Platinum proved a more than competent drive, delivering respectable performance, handling and ride quality. Arguably, though, it falls a little short of the best the class can deliver, such as the Mazda6 or some of the Euro offerings. But it's well-finished, attractively-styled and value for money and would be easy to live with. It's certainly worthy of consideration. THREE YEARS ON from its original release here, Kia's Optima range has, in Kia's words, been 'fluffed and buffed'. To you and me, that's a mid-life make- over, including new design alloys, some finessing of body details, revised cabin, lighting system upgrades and new driver assistance safety features. Despite a $1200 price increase, the range-topping Platinum still offers good value. That modest rise brings extras, including improved front seat design with heated/cooled seats for both occupants now, front parking sensors, rear cross-traffic alert and blind-spot monitoring. Cross-traffic alert makes life easier when backing out from driveways or between other kia optima platinum ^MANUFACTURER'S LIST PRICE. REVIEWS BY JOHN EWING. KEY STATS MLP: $171,045^ SAFETY: ABS, BA, EBD, ESC, TC, DFSA, DRL, pedestrian contact sensing system, PS (rear). MAIN FEATURES: ACCD, AL, ASS, AW 19", CCI, EPB, KE, LSD, LT, NAV, PBS, PFS (6 way), sports suspension with adaptive dynamics, active sports exhaust, deployable rear spoiler, 380W Meridian sound system, power steering rake/reach adjustment, 8" touch screen display, bluetooth, media connectivity. ENGINE: 3.0-litre, supercharged petrol, V6. MAX. POWER: 280kW @ 6500rpm. MAX. TORQUE: 460Nm @ 3500-5000rpm. 0-100KM/H: 4.9 seconds (claimed). 80KM/H-STOP: N/A. FUEL (ADR COMBINED FIGURE): 9.1 litres/100km. ANCAP CRASH RATING: N/A. EMISSIONS RATING: FOR: Head-turning looks, performance, agility and driving experience. AGAINST: Severe lack of boot space, doesn't come cheap. jaguar f-type s roadster THE STUNNING LOOKS of Jaguar's new F-Type gets heads swivelling to admire it. Constructed largely of aluminium, it comes in coupe or convertible versions with a choice of two supercharged V6 engines or a supercharged 5.0-litre V8. We drove the mid-range S 'drop-top' with its 280kW 'blown six'. And the drive experience is every bit as worthy of admiration as its sexy looks. Force-fed via a Roots 'blower', the engine offers strong and immediate throttle response for performance that excites and makes the 404kW V8 seem like overkill. The standard eight-speed auto, with paddle shifters, is an ideal match for the engine, delivering smooth, positive shifts. The active exhaust system means the F-Type can sound relatively meek and mild, or provide a lovely rich bass bellow to accompany the engine when it's aroused. Overall, the car exudes refinement thoughout, from its mechanicals -- down to the comfort and beautifully executed ambience of the cabin. Enormous discs and callipers incorporated in Jaguar's high performance braking system wash off speed effectively. The rear-drive chassis is responsive to steering and throttle inputs from the driver, feeling agile and finely balanced. The boot is very shallow and of limited use, especially as the spacesaver spare is mounted in the middle. A week's grocery shopping for two was a challenge.