27 September 2023

Ask the Expert

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By Paul Gover

Q: I have a Holden Commodore Gen-F GTS with the 6.2-litre supercharged V8 with only 58,000 kilometres. I bought it new and now it’s basically not a practical car. So I want to sell it, but everything I’ve seen has prices from $80,000 to $130,000. Does that seem to be right?- Lee Woodland.

A: You definitely have one of the more-desirable Commodores from the end of Holden production, but … Many people think they are future all-time classics and are pricing them that way. You need to consider what people want and what they are getting. Reality not dreams. Check recent results with Shannons Auctions or, better yet, contact the Shannons Auction Team directly on 1300 078 500 and get their advice on selling.

Q: I am towing a horse float with a Volvo XC60 AWD 2013 and, although driving it in manual, it struggles. I live in Ballarat and am driving a lot of distance. I understand Range Rovers, looking for Vogue model from 2016 in diesel, may have had issue. But if I’m doing a lot of country driving would that then keep the diesel filters clean and therefore a 2016 is a good car? Or should I stick to a Mercedes SUV?
– Tim O’Connor

A: The Range Rover will be lovely, but there are always question marks around reliability and the costs of repairs. If that’s your primary driver, then a Benz is a better proposition. But nothing, not even a Mercedes, will give you the driving enjoyment of the Range Rover.

Q: My wife has looked at several hybrids and electric cars recently and is keen on the new Peugeot e-2008. I realise positive and negatives with electric, but she does not drive much and is around town driving approximately 100 kilometres. Her current car is a Honda HR-V which has done 33,000 kilometres in six years and she’s been very happy with it. She likes the similar size of car and it must have an opening sunroof.
– Mark Lawson

A: The e-2008 is not available yet in Australia but the signs are good. After driving the combustion car I give it The Tick and electric should be fine with such short trips in city areas.

Q: I have a 2020 Great Wall Steed ute that needs a service.

I’ve used the Great Wall dealership to service the vehicle in the past, but find it a little inconvenient to get to this particular dealership. If I choose to have a local mechanic service this vehicle, will the 7-year warranty be made null and void because I’m not using the Great Wall dealership to service the vehicle.
– Shane Anthony

A: The consumer law in Australia allows you to service any brand with any workshop, provided the work is done ‘by the book’ and with factory-standard parts, without voiding the new-car warranty.

Q: I currently own a Mercedes A200 Edition 1 with only 44,000km but having issues being able to afford to upkeep it when things go wrong. Also getting a little older and think I need something a little easier to get into and out of. Would love to hear your thoughts, also don’t want to outlay too many dollars for changeover.
– Maria Agrotis.

A: It’s very hard to advise without your budget. Remember, as you’re a Benz driver, it will be tough to step down to something with less of a prestige feel. The Kia Seltos is very good but Hyundai has just launched its new Kona and that would be the best pick, on the value front.

Q: Could I please have your opinion of the new Honda ZR-V and if you would recommend the hybrid or just petrol. I often drive the Great Alpine Road – voted worst road in Victoria – to Bairnsdale. I currently drive a Honda HR-V which I purchased new in 2018 and have only just turned over 100,000 kilometres. I have previously owned a Honda CR-V and Honda Civic – over 20 years ago – and then when living on the Gold Coast rode a Honda scooter for 10 years.
– Jane Carroll

A: Honda still makes very good cars, but they are far too pricey against their rivals. But that also means less waiting time, particularly for a hybrid – which would be good for you. You should probably take a test drive and decide if you want to stay loyal.

Q: I’m a huge Honda fan going back to when they made awesome high revving cars. What do you think of the current Civic and ZR-V? Are they worth the money? Given that all manufacturers have increased their prices, I don’t think the Hondas are that much more expensive given the quality
– Sang Tran

A: The latest Honda models are good, but not great. Definitely not worth the price premium against class rivals. But if you are a Honda fan then you will probably still like them – even with turbo engines replacing the high-revving V-Tec motors.

Q: Just wondering if you could give me some advice on the best vehicle for towing a caravan, certainly around Victoria, but also the country. We would need at least seven seats to carry everyone, with kids aged 17, 15, 12 and 9. My partner wants a new Nissan Patrol or Toyota LandCruiser, but I can’t justify spending that amount of money and she doesn’t want to wait 12 months for one to arrive. We are currently on our second Hyundai Santa Fe, which has been good but it is getting a bit small now for the growing kids. Just wondering what would be a good second-hand vehicle to suit our needs.
– Nick O’Kane

A: So many people have decided to travel that prices for LandCruisers, Prados and Patrols are through the roof. Only the Patrol is reasonable on delivery times. I’m not a fan of ute-based SUVs but, for your needs, I’d recommend either a Ford Everest or Isuzu MU-X. But test drive first as they will be less car-like than a Santa Fe.

Q: I’m after a new long-wheelbase van for my business and looking at the new Ford Custom Transit. The Custom Transit is available in electric and diesel. I would like to carry heavy loads and tow trailers, so I’m looking at the diesel. Will I regret the diesel decision? Do you think the Mercedes-Benz Vito or Volkswagen transporter are worth considering for the extra $15-20,000? Any advice for pre ordering a vehicle before viewing and negotiating price?
– Jackson Kanz

A: The Ford has a good, but not great, reputation. Definitely diesel for your needs, as the load can cut electric range by two-thirds. A $20,000 premium for the VW and Benz is a lot, so best to test drive. Don’t rule out vans from Kia and, even though it’s Chinese, LDV. Negotiating? These days there is almost zero wiggle room because of the shipping delays.

Q: I am hoping you can assist me with a couple of questions about delivery time on a Toyota Corolla hatch hybrid. I ordered on from a Toyota dealer 12 months ago when I was told the wait would be around 12 months. I had an update from the dealer to say it would be at least another two months before it would be manufactured. It this correct? The other thing I have been told is fleet orders are put before private orders something the dealer rejected but I have my doubts. I thought things were getting better.
– Peter Balzan

A: Things are not getting better, they are not as bad. Anything with a hybrid badge from Toyota is in huge demand and they have some of the longest waiting lists in the business. The dealer probably has no idea on the real timing. Just be happy you’re not waiting for a 300-Series LandCruiser, as the queue still runs for well over 18 months.

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