26 September 2023

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By Paul Gover.

Q: I currently have a 5-year-old Lexus 300h which I am giving to my daughter.

I would like to buy an electric car similar in size to my Lexus with all the same features, extras plus more.

I have been advised not to buy a petrol car as resale values 10 years down the track will be poor. Do you agree?

I’m prepared to spend $100,000 if necessary. Suggestions please?

Annette S

A: The Polestar 2 sounds ideal for you, with style and comfort as well as fully electric, also well priced. But don’t be scared about petrol resale, as Australia’s take-up of electric cars is extremely slow and even plug-in hybrids – and Lexus has a few that you might consider to stay in their family – are not rushing out of showrooms.

Q: We’re a family of four, kids aged 8 and 11, looking for a new car.

We’re an active family and the kids do a wide range of sport including nippers and surfing so we need something with space for paddle and surf boards. We also have long drives for work and family visits.

Safety very important and we don’t want anything diesel.

Our budget is $50,00 and we’re happy to go secondhand.

We’ve been checking out a 2020 Mazda CX-9 as it has good ANCAP ratings, but so many others to choose from.

Mel W

A: You’ll pay more for the CX-9 because of the Mazda badge, so look instead at the Kia Sorento and Hyundai Santa Fe, which also get good safety scores. Remember when you test drive to check the luggage space once you have the youngsters in place.

Q: I was wondering if you could give any updates on Kia.

I paid a deposit and ordered a top-of-the-range Seltos in March, and I know there has been a big backlog of orders due to the unavailability of computer chips, but I seem to be getting no advice or updates from the dealership.

I am finding them increasingly difficult to deal with. so do you know anything about these cars?

Sue B

A: It’s not the fault of the dealership, as Kia Australia does not have delivery details for its giant back-log of cars. It doesn’t help that you ordered the top-line Seltos, which requires more computer chips – there is a worldwide shortage – to build.

Q: We have a budget of up to $80,000 and are looking for a medium-size SUV.

My wife likes the Mercedes GLC 200-300, which I will need to buy secondhand.

I know secondhand cars are expensive at the moment, and I don’t want to be completely ripped off, so should I buy something new or do you have any suggestions for me to look at?

Brett Hnt

A: The GLC is fine but not best in class, and there is better value. You can get classy new cars with an $80,000 and budget and best to test drive the BMW X3, Volvo XC60 and the latest Genesis GV70 to find the one that works best for you. The Genesis, from the upscale division of Hyundai, is likely to give you both the biggest surprise.

Q: I am looking for advice to buy a new or demo or low mileage automatic small car for my 22-year-old grandson as his first car.

My budget would be up to $23,000 but long distances a couple of times a week so could go a bit higher if absolutely necessary for a reliable safe-to-drive car.

I’ve looked at Kia, MG, Hyundai, Mitsubishi, and Toyota and Mazda, and I am truly confused.

Sue C

A: It’s easy to get confused but it’s probably better to go for a new car for the warranty and latest safety. Kia and Hyundai both tick the right boxes and the Kia Rio will fit your budget, as well as 5-star safety, with drive-away deals at the moment for just on $20,000

Q: My wife and I are in the market for a midsize SUV. We are looking to spend up to and around $50K

It will be mainly for city driving but we also have a dog which is why we need the space

Do you have any suggestions?

Also, as well as petrol is there anything as part of your recommendation that is in the hybrid range that might be worthwhile considering.

Spiro G

A: Second part first, Toyota is making a lot of noise about hybrids but they are costly and have long waiting lists. The carsales pick of the best mid-sized SUVs is the Hyundai Tucson, which has now been joined by its twin-under-the-skin, the Kia Sportage, which could be easier to find and slightly better value.

Q: I’m updating from a BA Ford Falcon and can’t decide between the Ford Puma and Focus ST, although I realise they are at opposite ends of the scale.

But do you put the Hyundai i30 N above the ST, as it will be a daily driver with a view to track-day experience just to see what it is like to drive fast.

Are they too firm even on the softest setting for everyday driving?

I like the style and electric extras of the Puma together with its economy, but knowing it has a dual-clutch, and with Ford’s Power-shift transmission history, I don’t know if I should stay away from Ford altogether given their denials.

Steve V

A: If you’re a weekend warrior who wants to hit a racetrack then the Hyundai i30 N is the only one. It’s far more rewarding in every sense once you get out of the hustle and bustle of everyday commuting. Otherwise, the Puma is a sporty drive that combines the strengths of a hot-ish hatchback with the practicality of a baby SUV.

Q: I’m thinking of buying a new car hatchback soon and wonder if you have any you can recommend.

I’m looking at Volkswagen, Audi, Mercedes and Hyundai.

Luigi P

A: That’s a crazy price spread, comparing a Hyundai to a Mercedes. The best choice in the middle ground is the latest Volkswagen Golf, which is a lovely everyday drive with a prestige look and feel. If you want to compare a value purchase, test drive a Kia Cerato.

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

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