27 September 2023

Ask the Doctor

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By Paul Gover.

Q: I am curious about Mazda MX-5 delivery times.

I ordered my GT soft-top in late October of last year but my Victorian dealer cannot give me an accurate delivery time frame.

The current estimate is late May, which would mean a 9-month wait.
Do you have any inside information that might shed new light on delivery.

Peter S

A: The first shipment of the new MX-5s has arrived, so yours should be up soon. Instead of relying on the dealership, contact Customer Service at Mazda Australia and see if they have an update for you.

Q: I’m thinking of buying a Hyundai i30 Sedan N.

What do you think of it and do you know how long delivery might take?

Paul H

A: Your choice is a good one, as the sedan version of the i30 N has the same punch and fun factor but with a little more refinement. Hyundai Australia reports it has 300 customer orders, which should be mostly filled by the end of next month. So if you were to order now, delivery is likely to be in June or July. But there are some cars in stock in Victoria, or already on a boat from South Korea, so there could be a shortcut depending on your choice of colour and transmission.

Q: I’m hoping you have some details on the release dates for a couple of cars.

Up until recently the release date of the 2022 Skoda Fabia was late in this quarter and the 2022 Volkswagen Polo was May.

Both companies are now saying they have no date at all.

I was hoping you may have some inside information as my two 2015 Fabias need replacing soon.

Richard C

A: According to the public relations chief for Volkswagen Group Australia, the Polo is on track for mid-May delivers. The Fabia is set for the third quarter this year.

Q: I ordered a Model Year ’22 Skoda Kodiak RS in early December.

The dealer has called to advise of the de-specification of four-five standard features, including safety items.

They are offering a nominal credit, but haven’t considered the impact of re-ordering given the wider market of price increases, additional new-car delays, or the fact that they are trying to alter an order two months after accepting my deposit.
Is there a precedence, say with the Ford Mustang and the ACCC, that can influence this approach?

Justin E

A: Removal of specification is happening across many brands and we’ve published a number of stories. Car companies are giving consumers a range of options up to and including cancellation. But their actions are very different from the Mustang case, which was more about a mis-representation – not deliberate – of specification. But we’re not consumer lawyers so best to get some expert advice.

Q: We are looking at buying a new Volvo XC40 Momentum.

The dealer says an update is coming later this year that will have a mild hybrid.

Is it worth waiting for the update?

Sally and Liam

A: Mild hybrids, by definition, are optimised petrol cars so hybrid system helps the engine when either maximum or minimum power is needed. The electrical power is usually supplied by an upsized starter-generator and cannot work independently of the petrol engine. It will save some fuel but it’s not like a plug-in hybrid or battery electric car which both can run on electricity alone. If you’re looking for electric operation with the added security of a petrol fallback, then plug-in hybrid (PHEV) is what you are looking for.

Q: I currently drive for work as an interior designer in a Volkswagen Tiguan Allspace R Line and I’m looking to change as it has come out of lease.

I can buy the newer model of my same Volkswagon but hate the lag that is present when you take off and the sensitivity of the auto braking as I back out of my driveway. The seats are also very hard driving all day.

I am thinking of the Genesis GV70 with the luxury sports pack and would appreciate your thoughts and feedback on how this car performs and what issues I may encounter.

Although I have driven one for 15 minutes, and it was lovely, I am very skeptical of the way you cannot go to a showroom and how you contact them because it took me quite a few tries at booking this car in for a test drive – let alone contacting them when I own it and need assistance.

Donna C

A: As a car the GV70 is top-notch and the only real downside is likely to be resale pricing. On the customer side, Genesis is taking a totally different approach by avoiding traditional dealerships and it’s going to take time to get the wrinkles out of the system. If the staff can deliver what Genesis promises, with a much more personalised service, your experience should improve dramatically.

Q: I have a Mitsubishi ASX 2019 model.

Do they have a use-by date or should I upgrade to something else soon?

I’ve done 72,000 kilometres and, knock on wood, not had any problems yet.

Ange B

A: That’s not a high mileage or high life for a car. Right now is the worst possible time to change, as there are giant waiting lists and everyone is paying full retail. Your ASX will easily last you a while longer yet.

Q: I haven’t owned a car for five years but like the look of the upcoming Toyota GR86.

Is the 86 a good daily drive?


A: The 86 is a great little sports car, especially if you’re a keen driver and not just buying for the looks. The new 86 is not coming for a while yet, so maybe look at its mechanical twin, the Subaru BRZ. After driving it, the BRZ is a worthwhile improvement over the original with more torque from the engine and an upgraded interior. Those traits should also carry over into the Toyota.

If you have a question for the Car Doctor, send an email to [email protected]

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