TIME FOR A CHANGE
I'VE been a Falcon man all my life, but because of "hard times" I'm considering something smaller and more economical. My town has only a Ford dealer and I was surprised to find that, short of getting a twin-cab ute, the only option was a Focus (formerly Laser). Getting a new car in a nearby town would be inconvenient for servicing, so I'm in a fix.
I mainly do hour trips, mostly at night or weekends. What do you recommend in the medium range? I am looking at economy, handling and service.
address withheld by request
The Focus will do the job if you're not worried about performance and need to stay with Ford; it handles well and the economy is pretty good. But many cars will go 10,000km between services now and you can get a Mazda 323 for $19,990 , though we'd probably stretch to a Toyota Camry or Mazda 6. Ed
WHAT is the name of the 1970s film in which a guy strapped a camera to the front of a Ferrari and raced through Paris in the early morning? Is it on DVD ?
And have you seen The Run on the Nissan website (www.nissanusa.com
)? They race a 350Z through Prague.
The DVD is called Rendezvous and we've just grabbed a copy for our collection because it is still stunning. It keeps you on the edge of your seat for nine minutes. The Pitstop Bookshop in Perth has stocks and will provide priority delivery if you call Peter Lyster, ph: 1800 622 422. Ed
I COULDN'T agree more with Lawrence Graystone (Cars Guide, May 23), particularly on high-density rear fog lamps. They are an irritating, distracting nuisance, and there is no need for them.
Is there a law regarding their use in other than foggy conditions?
If anyone out there is driving around with them on in normal conditions and a Mazda driver (me) puts his headlights on high beam, give a wave and turn your fog lights off. You might find my headlights go back to the far less irritating low beam.
Ford fan 1
I HAVE been a BA Fairmont owner for about four months, running up 9000km.
In reply to inquisitive Commodore fanatic Nelson Barlow (May 23), my BA gets 11.4l/100km and is driven all over Melbourne, and I don't try to drive frugally, just sensibly.
I use the car's considerable power and torque.
I have had some minor problems with front-end vibration, but these have been resolved by the dealer. Overall the BA drives very smoothly and has a great engine and transmission. It's also a very comfortable, well-designed vehicle.
My last Commodore was a VS, which blew a rear main seal on the engine after about 20,000km. Other than that it was an OK car.
It's in everyone's interest for the major car makers to survive and compete with one another; that is what motivates them to improve their products.
Sadly, some consumers are so biased that all they consider is the colour of their next vehicle, if that.
Ford fan 2
IN REPLY to Nelson Barlow, we bought a BA XR6 in March and it has done 4600km.
We now know why the BA Falcon won Wheel's Car of the Year and all the other motoring awards. It is an excellent vehicle and a real pleasure and fun to drive.
As for fuel consumption, over Easter we went for a drive. We filled up at Bright and again at Pakenham, 430km in total, sitting on 110kmh with the air- conditioning on.
At Pakenham it took 39.38 litres to fill it up. That's 9.16 litres to 100km. Nothing wrong with that.
And if your Gen III V8 is using oil now when it's new, imagine how much it will use when it has done 100,000km and more.
Ford fan 3
HAVING owned a range of cars over the past 28 years, from XB Falcon GT to VS/ VT Commodore, I can say without a doubt that my new BA Falcon XR6 is the best yet!
In terms of the total package -- dynamics, power, handling, driveability -- it is second to none for sheer driving pleasure. Having just clocked up 7000km , power and economy, already excellent, continue to improve.
On a recent trip from Lilydale to Halls Gap and return, with three people and luggage, I averaged 8.9 litres/100km for the 600km round trip. Around the city a typical average is about 11.8 litres/100km without even trying.
As Paul Gover rightly pointed out to Nelson Barlow, economy is ultimately dependent on the weight of the right foot.
As far as I am concerned, any minuscule increase in fuel usage is a small price to pay for an absolutely delightful car. Well done Ford Motor Company . . . now my wife wants one.