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Posts Tagged ‘test’

2012 Holden Barina Test & Review

Written by Lee McKenzie McKinnon on . Posted in Automotive, Hatch, News, Reviews

Depending on which era you were born in Beep Beep will probably mean one of two things. Your either a baby boomer/gen x and you will probably think of the road runner from the Loony Tunes. Or you’re a gen Y and you’ll think of the beep beep Barina ad campaign from Holden. The Barina may not have the catchy slogan any more, but will the Barina be like the road runner and outsmart the competition (coyote) or will the coyote finally have his day and turn the tables.

The Barina is a car that has been in the Australian car market for several years. During its time it has undergone more major facelifts then a Hollywood actor. With ties to Suzuki in its earlier days, Opel in the middle stages, Daewoo in the later stages and finally Chevrolet in its most recent showing, it definitely has tried to keep up with its appearances. Unfortunately had the Barina continued its relationship with Opel, in my opinion, we would have a much more aesthetically pleasing car, though there are positives to the current design especially the aggressive and almost nostalgic circular headlights. It’s hard not to think back to the Barinas glory days when it seemed every second P plater had a Barina for a car. It is clear that all departments have come together and are still focusing on the young and first car owners. An example comes straight from the marketing department where the ads show young couples heading out for a road trips while another example is the motorcycle inspired instrument cluster which is one of the focal points of the interior. Other internal features include Bluetooth, multi-media audio, steering wheel controls and more which is quite a good offering for such a sharply priced car. The steering wheel is surprisingly sporty while the rest of dash has a high concentration of plastic, though it is a quiet pleasant. From a standing start the 1.6ltr DOHC 16 valve engine sprightly runs through the first and second gears of the 6 speed automatic which our test car had been coupled to. However, highway cruising is where you start to notice the short legs of the engine and that is mainly due to its capacity, although Holden have given this 1.6 high performance figures. A down side to the increased performance is the fuel efficiency which can counteract some of the appeal for city driving when trying to keep efficiency to a maximum. On more of a novelty factor is the sports shift on the automatic gearbox, instead of mimicking a sequential gearbox they have decided to use two buttons on the gear shaft. It is hard not to think of it being almost Playstation like even though you do get used to it, it is still just doesn’t feel right. For those disconcerting parents who think that all P platers are reckless drivers, yes figures may agree with you, you can put your mind at ease if your kids were to drive the Barina. With the highest possible ANCAP safety rating (5 stars) being awarded to the car it is somewhat of a reversal to some years ago when small cars had issues with the crumple zone, it has to be given to the engineers which now have created such a safe, car especially for the price of the car. With features such as Electronic Stability control, ABS Brakes, traction control and 6 airbags you can see why the Barina is still a popular choice among the younger drivers. If you have decided that the Barina is the car for you, Holden have simplified the process significantly so that there are only 3 main choices to make. What body type? Which Colour? Which Transmissions? It’s basically as easy as that, so commitment phoebes you can breathe a sigh of relief that you don’t have to make too many decisions. A small complaint I had with the car had to do with the electronic instrument cluster. While some readings are good to see in a digital form, there are still things that are better seen in an analogue form ie. Fuel levels, even though the readings are broken down to 1/12th it can still be difficult to judge how much fuel you actually have and if you can make it to a more convenient servo. A solution to this would be to break it down into even further increments possibly 1/16th increments would prove a more satisfying and reassuring level for the driver. ADM Opinion There is no doubt that the Barina represents excellent value, but there is also a lot of manufactures seeking your business. The small car segment is such a crowded market and you would be able to find exceptional value with a lot of manufactures these days. Refering back to my earlier comments about the road runner, there is no doubt that the coyote has caught up in some aspects but the Barina still manages to keep its head in front in other areas. If you are a fan of the design and looking for a zippy inner city car, this is an excellent choice. However, if you were to do more highway driving it may not be the best choice. Ultimately what I would like to see is a Barina designed and built in Australia, based on the success of the Cruze, this could be another popular Australian car. Likes Style Drive Price Dislikes Dash Cluster Engine Power Transmission Sports Shift Features Barina Hatch with 5-speed manual transmission - $15,990 Barina Hatch with 6-speed automatic transmission – $17,990 *Prestige Paint is a $500 option Key Features
  • ·         1.6 litre, DOHC 16 valve 4-cylinder engine
  • ·         4-speed automatic transmission or 5-speed manual transmission
  • ·         Anti-lock Braking System (ABS)
  • ·         Steering wheel mounted audio controls
  • ·         Air conditioning with variable temperature control
  • ·         Power windows, front and rear
  • ·         Front and side impact airbags for driver and front passenger
  • ·         Front seatbelt force limiters
  • ·         Front seatbelt pretensioners
  • ·         45-litre Petrol tank capacity
  • ·         Front ventilated disc brakes. Rear drum
ADM gives the Holden Barina 3 out of 5 helmets   Written by Jason Sharman

2012 Mitsubishi Pajero VRX Diesel Test & Review

Written by Lee McKenzie McKinnon on . Posted in 4WD, Automotive, News, Reviews

There is an age old battle between owners of 4WD vehicles as to which one is the best on and off road. Mitsubishi came into the fight in Australia in 1983 and have not looked back, as every year they continue to improve the capabilities of this go anywhere 4WD. The current Pajero is the fourth generation and leaves many other 4WD’s in its dust off road while making a statement on the road. As a go anywhere car the Pajero is well thought-out and designed and makes you feel like you can tackle any road in Oz. The VRX is one of five in the range and offers all the right gear for the traveler. Having all the features of the GLX and GLS and a few more, there is a lot on offer in and out of this car. The exterior shows a tough and strong feel with side steps, fog lamps, the addition of 18 inch alloy wheels, body coloured door mirrors and a rear spoiler and the finish is one worth staring at. Getting aboard the beast is not that much of an effort thanks to the side steps and the large doors all round. The seats are a good size but offer less support then we would have liked in a 4WD. The sports cloth and leather trim defiantly give the seats a good feel and there is more than enough room in the front and second row. The driver’s seat has an 8-way adjustment and includes lumber support and both front seats are heated for that extra comfort. Grabbing on to the leather bound steering wheel which holds many a button for Bluetooth, stereo and cruse, gives the real sense that this 4WD has a lot to offer. The dash cluster is large but the way the lighting is and how close the numbers are together makes reading the speed rather difficult. The VRX we tested had the Adventure Navigation Pack fitted which includes satellite navigation, reversing camera and iPod control. Although we did not really need the satellite nav around the city, the operation and control of the system is simple to use. In such a big vehicle the reversing camera did wonders for rearward visibility as without this it was very difficult to see. When plugging in my iPod the system was also easy to use. One of the best features of this Pajero is the 860 Watt 12 speaker Rockford Acoustic stereo system which includes a subwoofer. Whether we were watching a DVD in the roof mounted player, which also plays through the front screen when stopped, or just cranking up the golden oldies the sound system was fantastic. Moving to the third row of seats, which when not used fold flat and into the floor, there is very little room for anything. A family with a few children would enjoy this extra room but it would not be too long before they out grow the third row seating position. When the seats are folded there is more than enough boot space and the tailgate is not overly heavy and can be locked open if needed. Driving along most roads the suspension does a great job in keeping the ride smooth. The downfall to making the ride so smooth is the lack of handling when taking a corner. The Pajero will still stick to the road like hot tar to your boots but the fun of driving on the road is not there. Pushing it into the corners all you get is a lot of body roll and very noise tyres. Off road on the other hand the Pajero is in its element. The dirt and gravel roads seem to not worry the all terrain tyres and we were surprised by where we could get the Pajero into and best yet out of. The VRX diesel has plenty of power and is not the worst in fuel economy. The 3.2L CDI DOHC intercooled turbo diesel offers power when needed but can be driven around at a steady pace to conserve fuel. The output of the engine is 147kW at 3800rpm and 441 Nm at 2000rpm which always seemed more than enough to get us out of trouble. The combined fuel usage is said to be 9L/100km, which we believe is achievable on long drives. In everyday driving we could only get at best 12.3L/100km but we were still happy with that. The 5-speed automatic transmission with “Sports Mode” sequential style shift change and INVECS II ‘Smart Logic’ did not seem all that smart to me. Yes it worked well with the diesel however it seems to lack the ability to find the correct gear when you really want one and it could really do with sixth. The options offered in the transmission are 2H (2WD High Range), 4H (4WD High Range), 4HLC (4WD High Range w/Locked Centre Differential) and 4LLC (4WD Low Range w/Locked Centre Differential). All work well when used in the correct application. ADM Opinion The Pajero VRX diesel is a fantastic 4WD. It goes anywhere, with some limitations, and looks the part. The sound system and options make this an everyday vehicle and one that does not take long to enjoy. The ride is good and engine and road noise is very minimal. The transmission could do with a little improving but it is by far not the worst on the market. The feel of the build is good and it does not feel like a cheap build. Well worth the look if shopping for a real 4WD. Specifications Engine: 3.2L CDI DOHC intercooled turbo diesel Drivetrain: 5-speed automatic transmission with “Sports Mode” sequential style shift change and INVECS II ‘Smart Logic’ Power: 147kW & 441 Nm Weight: 3030kg (Gross weigh) Towing Capacity (Braked): 3000kg Wheels: 18” x 7.5 6-spoke alloy – 265/60R-18 Fuel Tank Capacity: 88 litres Fuel Consumption: Tested average: 12.3L/100km – Official average: 9L/100km 2012 Model Cost: $70,890 Metallic Paint $495 Navigation Pack $2300 MRP – Manufacturer Retail Pricing as at 1 April 2012 Prices exclude dealer delivery and statutory charges Likes Size Sound System Navigation System Power Dislikes Handling Third row seats Automatic ADM give the 2012 VRX Pajero Diesel 3.5/5 helmets

ADM 2012 Mitsubishi Triton GLX-R 4×4 Test & Review

Written by Lee McKenzie McKinnon on . Posted in Automotive, Light Commerical, News, Reviews

If you were to ask a group of tradies what the best 4-cylinder turbo diesel ute around was, you wouldn’t be surprised to get four different answers. The commercial ute segment has become completely saturated with various car makers either bringing out completely new models or continuing their existing lines, and it would appear there is no end in sight. A popular choice amongst people looking within this category is the Mitsubishi Triton. The Triton is available in a multitude of models including the GL, GL-R, GLX and the GLX-R. With plenty to choose from, there is bound to be one to suit your needs as well as your budget. We have been given the top of the range GLX-R to test out and put through its paces. The Triton is not known for its aesthetic appeal, but has built its reputation on being a tough car. It was quite a surprise then to find that the Triton had a smooth and quiet ride, the loudest note you will hear is the turbo spool and the trademark sound of a diesel engine. The engine is an in line 4-cylinder double over head cam 2.5-litre turbo intercooled engine which produces 131kW @ 4,000rpm and 400Nm @ 2000rpm. As you can see it has plenty of power, however it does seem to suffer from turbo lag leaving you wishing the boost would come on that second earlier. With all this power it still manages to churn out an efficient 8.3 litres per 100km highway and 9.6 litres per 100km city – according to the manufacturer, which is slightly less than what we were able to achieve. With an independent wishbone type coil spring suspension at the front and a rigid elliptic leaf spring in the rear, we were easily able to traverse all conditions. Thus if you were to take a Triton off road, it could handle almost anything in its path. On the inside there are plenty of creature comforts, however some of them are a little dated. With advancing technology it has almost become strange to see a car without a multimedia unit and 7 inch display, especially in a top of the range model. Though this is an optional extra for the Triton, the multimedia system is different to the Rockford Fosgate system found in other models from the Mitsubishi range. The steering wheel controls are in convenient positions, however the function in some instances is annoying. One example is listening to the radio, instead of switching between preset radio stations, it searches for the next frequency. This essentially removes the practicality of the steering wheel controls as the majority of the time you will be surfing between preset channels and not searching for a new frequency. Some enjoyable features include a USB port in the glove box and a 3.5mm jack in the centre console which should greatly expand your listening experience.  There are also some unique features which have been integrated into the computer system including a digital compass, elevation and a barometer for the budding meteorologists out there. However you will generally not find yourself on these readings as for most people fuel economy will be the main focus when driving to ensure you are getting the best value for money at the pump. The Triton GLX-R has a large and usable tray. With a maximum payload of slightly over 900kg and rough dimensions of 1505mm in length, 1470mm in width and 850mm depth, the tray will allow you tackle large jobs with ease.  If you hate tailgaters, another advantage of the large tray is that you will hardly notice them sitting on your rear. However, the reduced vision of close up objects through the rear vision mirror will be counterproductive when trying to reverse park. The use of the optional extra Interior Mirror with Reversing Camera would help negate this issue. Due to its large turning circle and lock to lock, even normal parking can be hard work as you have to swing extra wide to be able to park in one attempt. ADM Opinion With many manufacturers looking to bridge the gap between work and recreational vehicles, you can tell that this car is built with the worker in mind. For some people they will love that it is focused around this, however if the average person were to buy the car they would not be disappointed in any way. It is strange and I am unable to pinpoint the exact reason why; but the longer you drive it the more enjoyable it became. Mitsubishi has done a great job and it is easy to see why they have been so successful. With just a little more refinement, the car would become an even more pleasurable experience. Specifications Engine: 2.5-litre four-cylinder turbo-diesel Drivetrain: Five-speed automatic, dual range, four-wheel drive Power: 131kW@4000rpm, 400Nm (350Nm@2000rpm for auto) Weight: 1995kg Payload: 935kg Towing Capacity (Braked): 3000kg Wheels: F: 17 x 7.5 inch 245/65 R17 R: 17 x 7.5 inch 245/65 R17 Fuel Tank Capacity: 75 litres Fuel Consumption: Tested average: 10.4L/100km Official average: 9.6L/100km GLX-R Double Cab Pick Up 4X2 Diesel Auto P/UP $44490 GLX-R Double Cab Pick Up 4X4 Diesel Manual $48990 Diesel Auto 51490 MRP – Manufacturer Retail Pricing as at 1 April 2012 Prices exclude dealer delivery and statutory charges Likes Low cabin noise Drive ability Tray size Features Dislikes Outdated interior Radio controls ADM give the GLX-R 4×4 Diesel Triton 4/5 helmets . . . . Written by Jason Sharman

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