Behind the Wheel Podcast 455

Behind the Wheel Podcast 455

We’re headed back in time this week

Back to the 1970’s in fact as we shine a spotlight on an Aussie Icon – the Holden Sandman.

Pete’s been hanging out with the guys from the Sandman Club of Australia and he’ll take you to a recent meet.

The Kia Stinger is getting closer…. much closer. Kevin Hepworth from Kia Australia joins us with some of the final details of the car we’ll see here late this year.

There’s also been rumours of a fast version of Kia’s tiny Picanto. We’ll put the hard word on Kev to see if the Picanto GT does actually exist.

Audi recently took out the award for world’s best engine – specifically for the turbocharged 5-cylinder.

You’ll find that exact engine under the bonnet of their new RS3 Sedan – Shaun Cleary calls in with all the important RS3 numbers.

Joel Helmes has been driving the new 206kW Volkswagen Passat R-Line – he’s got a full rundown.

And we’re tackling the question of “Is it a good idea to buy a used German car?

Peter swapped the Tesla Model X for another electric car – well, part electric at least, the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV. We’ve got a full review.

There’s also a review of the surprising Maxi MINI – the Countryman.

Simon Lai has been driving the twin-turbo V6 Infiniti Q60 – It’s rear wheel drive with four-wheel steer – Simon shares his thoughts.

More than you bargained for this week on Behind the Wheel!

Behind the Wheel Car Podcast Episode 0455 Transcript

[00:00:00] We take you beyond one ride today. You were.

[00:00:05] Doing a bit of time travelling with seats yesterday. Hello. Hello there

[00:00:10] Chris great to talk to you. Yeah. We’re going back to the 70s now. I’ve just I’ve got a body shirt. You didn’t really need to dress up or it is right. No I know. I think I think the perm in the hair it’s a good idea. What’s left of the hair. Yeah. And that’s what these little pills are otherwise too. Absolutely and I quite like the platform soled shoes. I’m not sure about the baby blue suit though.

[00:00:32] Well you know I think my comeback was shining a spotlight on an Aussie icon I speak of the holdens Sandman. What a legend. It’s a rockin don’t come a knock. Yes exactly. Now I refrain from using all those jokes in my piece about it but it’s it’s a great car and the people who love the cars are so great. They’ve got a realistic attitude about what it’s like driving and owning a car that’s about 40 years old.

[00:00:58] That’s the thing. They are old cars these days and they do take a little bit of work here and there but that’s kind of part of the fun isn’t it. Yes it is going tinkering with alertly so.

[00:01:07] So here’s the thing. Fluffy dice. Yeah. Sure. No problem at all. How about that shag pile carpet in the back. Yes. We’ll take that one off as well. And the cassette recorder in the deck added as I’m probably out of my. Yeah absolutely. So that’s that’s part of it because of the sandman Club of Australia they’ve invited me to a recent meet and I had such a good time. Want to share it with everyone on behind the week’s like now.

[00:01:31] The key is setting a car we’ve been talking about for about 12 months now it’s getting close really close. In fact it will be here end of this year. What is the key a sting. Well I think it’s going to be the car that takes up the reigns of the Commodore and Falcon when they retire beharie wheel drive car are going to come in a few options. What I’m excited about is that twin turbo v 6 with all wheel drive. Kevin hepworth from Kia Australia will bring us all the latest stats they’ve had at the nurnberg ring. There’s also some interesting news from keer. They’re going to bring a fast car but it’s a small one. Little one yes. Very small like a pink Cantos Yes yes. Tiny thing it’s going to be a g t it’s going to have a turbo charged engine in it. It’s all a bit of a rumour at the moment. So we’ll find out whether that’s actually true or not later with.

[00:02:13] Audi recently took out the award for the world’s best engine. Specifically for the turbocharged five cylinder. You’ll find that exact engine under the bonnet of their new Rs three sedan. This car has got you written all over it. MILLER can’t wait on Shaun Cleary called in with the all important Rs three numbers.

[00:02:30] Joel Helmes he’s been driving a 206 kilowatt Volkswagen Passat wagon. Thank you very much. He’s got the full rundown on that. He’s also going to tackle the question is it a good idea to buy a U.S. German car. You’ve done that on a couple of occasions. Have we done with varying degrees of success.

[00:02:45] Mixed results. One of them was and it was an absolute shocker and one of them was absolutely fantastic. So who knows. It could be the luck of the draw. Maybe that’s so with every used car you have to really do your homework and I think I was guilty of not having done so.

[00:03:01] Right. We’re going to have a look at that a little later in the show. We’re also going to have a look at all the incoming new cars for 2017. The last half of the year is going to be a big one for new car arrival so we’ll let you know what’s in store. And of course you gave back the Tesla Model X last week. Yes and jumped into Mitsubishi which turns out seems like that one as well.

[00:03:20] I certainly did. Now here’s the thing Mitsubishi makes some cracking cars. Years ago I drove a pajero for some time and really loved it. We had a very good car incredibly reliable. Everything it was supposed to do. It did. Well since then I’ve done the the pajero sport which I know you don’t like. It’s a cracking car. It’s a really good car. It’s was just ugly. It does everything it’s supposed to do. It’s quite it’s quite good off road. And this gives away the wildlife you know when you get from the back I think I think you don’t like that back the tail light treatment and I’m not a huge fan of it but it doesn’t put me off well. Yeah. They’re about loud. Yeah. Yeah. And I think I think it means plug in Hydra. What is it. It’s not hydro. No. Plug plug in hybrid hybrid electric vehicle. And it’s terrific. Excellent surprise car right. No it’s not. You’re not going to love the looks of it any more probably than you love the looks of the Geragos. Oh no it’s better looking than that. I think it is better. So actually I think I sang on staff because I. But actually I do like the. And I quite enjoy trying to say the name because it makes it sound like putting on airs and graces. I’ll take it for a spin here.

[00:04:36] I don’t want to you on that later on the show along with the review of the macksey Mini the countryman. It’s sort of the big SUV type mini. And it’s actually really good as well. Simon like he’s been going around driving a twin turbo v 6 infinity. Q 60 and its cover has four wheels steer and it’s also steer by wire. There’s no mechanical link between the steering wheel. The front wheels and I think Simon’s had a few a few niggles with that. Well maybe maybe I think it was maybe we’ll find out from him a little later in the show. And of course we’ll bring you all the latest news and a pretty good product review as well. Now we all know the sound of that screaming V8 there not a lot of people are familiar with the sound of a screaming five cylinder turbo charged engine. I know I’d like to become more familiar with that.

[00:05:29] Yes indeed. And of course whenever I think of five cylinder engines I think of audie’s not Recent out is but out is from well Miles from the radio more like the 80s. Yeah. And back then it was kind of groundbreaking I reckon and absolutely by the sound of things. It’s still going in the same direction.

[00:05:46] Exactly. We talked about it a couple of weeks ago when Audi released the TNT r.s. this week. They have released the RSA three and just to top it off they’ve also taken out the war the award for international engine of the year two litre to 2.5 litre for their two five letter five cylinder Turbo.

[00:06:02] So don’t worry more about the Irish sorry we’ve brought Sean back to work and he’s becoming a bit of a regular now from Audi you I mean how I asked you guys how are you going.

[00:06:10] Good to talk to you John. Tell us Have you been taking it for a spin around the round the city streets and maybe onto just a close track every now and again just to hear that wind through the head or well whatever it is you’re doing.

[00:06:22] Absolutely. Yeah. I did mention there is one international engine of the year actually for the 8th time which is incredible. The five cylinder and clearly this is the first time in its current generation which is in our ESC but also now the Rs three sedan that we’ve just launched. But yeah obviously you know quite an award at the engine but it had that distinctive sound doesn’t it. As usual firing ordered this give that a great a great volume of a bit of a throb.

[00:06:51] It’s an all new version of the fives and a whole lot lighter than the engine it replaces.

[00:06:55] Yeah exactly right. Twenty six kilos lighter which is definitely significant but I guess it somehow amplified given where it is in the car given it’s sitting right at the very front and over the finacle obviously which is where most engines sit in most cars that that actually means that because so much lighter it allows engineers to do a lot with the suspension tuning of the car.

[00:07:15] You’ve got something or you get a whole lot of weight that isn’t there anymore that allows you to precisely adjust the suspension for better turn in and all that sort of thing.

[00:07:23] Well look we were big fans when we drove a few weeks ago the S3 version of the music is great. It’s such a stylish looking around for you. Now the IRS three really kind of amps it up takes it to the next level what sort of figures are we talking short.

[00:07:38] So yeah it does four to zero to 100 in four point one seconds which is incredible. I mean that’s faster than the very first hour right which is only you know less than 10 years ago or sorry about so long ago I think.

[00:07:50] So anyway when you think you know 84 900 plus on road courses. Yeah it’s it’s quite an achievement actually. But then you know such as progress for engineering these types of cars. But yeah I mean you got to 194 kilowatt 480 new meters. And yeah. Obviously a two and a half later five cylinder engine.

[00:08:10] Now you said obviously the engineers done a lot of work on the suspension and obviously that’s to get the performance out of it. But what does that relate to when you are driving around the city like in here in Melbourne we got tram tracks everywhere and shocking roads. Not much better either in Sydney or Brisbane. Is it a carbides easy to live with day to day.

[00:08:27] Yeah that’s actually where I mean any IRS model is obviously has the firm suspension because that’s built to do drive fast round corners and suitable for the racetrack which is what our surrounding sport models are. But actually you know when you when you reduce weight and that sort of stuff in the cars it allows the engineers to get a better sweet spot or a bigger sweet spot for the suspension so you can have that compliant comfortable ride as well as still having that really sporty dynamic right.

[00:08:54] That’s something that everyone has been aiming at for ever. Generally it’s just one or the other.

[00:09:00] Definitely right. Yeah and you know it can be a thin edged sword sword. But yeah no it’s definitely a good balance in the car and I think it’s a little bit more plush right than the previous version or the RSV sport that went before it.

[00:09:15] Gotcha. Now you mentioned the race track if I was to go and spend my 84 990 in by the IRS 3 would it be realistic to be able to take it to the racetrack every Sunday without ruining it.

[00:09:25] SCOTT Yeah. I mean it’s got no brakes and tyres tend tend to be the things that are I guess most under pressure on any car and you take it on your track. The engine will do the work all day long. But he’s got his brakes are strengthened and it’s got a piston front callipers a trust 370 millimetres which is huge. Do you apply it in a plate. Exactly right yeah. And you can even option carbon ceramic brakes which is a special material that I guess is more resistant to temperature and so allows you to do more and more more and more laps and still have some fantastic braking performance. So yes it definitely is suitable for the racetrack as well and engineered for it.

[00:10:04] Excellent. Now I believe at the Australian launch there was one specifically for the racetrack not even sort of a road going version. It’s got the l.m. s I believe.

[00:10:13] Yeah exactly right. So we’ve had a team. 311 but you’ll be familiar with one a couple of time. About five years ago. But this is a new version. There are three elements based on the touring car championship regulations or ttr the global formula that expanding out of Europe. And the regulations say that all cars or cylinder engine will drive and specific transmissions and so this new formula for Audi entering into the hour at 3:00 is the perfect card to take part in that. And yes we did. We had a car on loan from Audi in Germany. Yeah. For some some special test drive and app experience. So it was great to have that then you know who knows there might be some way to race it in Australia in the not too distant future and keep our fingers crossed

[00:11:05] None of our other dodgy journalist colleagues put it in the wall or anything silly on you do they. Absolutely not. No everyone was on their best behaviour. Excellent. Pleased to hear it. Sean as always great to talk to you and thanks for the info. We’ll catch up again soon when I’m sure it’ll probably be a matter of weeks before another hot Audi arrives on our shores. Absolutely. Thanks guys.

[00:11:25] Indeed. And you know when you hit the excelerate out of four to let it be a maybe a five letter. Particularly those those days hold Motors I always sounded magnify and still do. And there was a particular sound they had when they reverberated through the insides of a panel van. Yes it was muffled a bit when you put the shag pile in in the mattress. But I think Sandman sounded awesome from the inside from the outside.

[00:11:52] Absolutely and you think you think what one of those big vibrates in a panel van loved was part of the mystique and part of the allure of the sandman of course there’s been a resurgence in popularity of the Sandman’s or sand men or if you want to keep them. Yes. And people. Because while I’m not even quite sure why there’s an allure about them as there’s a bit of a mystique and big prices now for fully restored. Exactly right. So I went along I was invited along and had a fantastic time meeting up with some of the people the good people from the Sandman car club of Australia. Yeah. Had a yarn to them. If you’re interested do please consider joining this club jump on their Facebook page into their website Sandmen dot com you you. I don’t think there’s an app you I think it’s just Sandman dot com if you head to the website you can read a story in fact right now behind the wheel dot com you and that’ll give you links through to the sam and clubs website on their Facebook page all that sort of stuff. Yes and I know that they’ll be pleased to hear from you. I spoke to their president Ivan Ramos and Kathy and some of the other club members too Justin. Jenni Michael Chris and Jodi and they really love their cars.

[00:13:00] Tell us about your new Sandmen club. Basically just a group get together some experiences.

[00:13:09] Do some club runs and do a bit of charity work on the site. Each year will pick a different charity and just basically get the word out. If the media made some scene mean something like that they come to us. We’re also joined with my CNN main forum. So if you need any technical information we’re going to with them. So you just basically to help out the main course because there’s really never been a plan for

[00:13:34] How many you send e-mails. How many are there do you reckon in Australia.

[00:13:42] No one can really say records have been lost through for years. And Jane I think so really there’s no numbers. I mean. Word is just on the hgc means alone there’s. Less than 200 is a given. And he made for nine months. So straightaway you limited the amount. He said You’ve always been most popular.

[00:14:03] Wouldn’t even be able to guess how many you’ve got an army of followers and supporters. What is it about them that people like.

[00:14:10] They were practical back in the day for a number of reasons. You know they were basically an icon back in the day. When. People were free to do what they want to do. Yeah they were just one of those iconic. Vehicles. And people will join and.

[00:14:30] Tell us what they’re like to drive. Well it’s an old car so it’s not always pleasurable.

[00:14:37] Fuel economy. But you feel good in your field. You know. You’re in something special. Justin you’re the owner of a of a Sandman that’s in beautiful makeup I’ve seen it. I’ve had a look at it. Tell us what what attracted you to them and how long have you had it. How much does it cost you to keep it road.

[00:14:54] My old man used to work at a Holden dealer when I was a kid. So I used to spend weekends and after school and things roaming around the Holden dealer and so I saw all these sorts of cars. So. My interest was really. When I was a little kid the one I’m with and what I’ve got now I’ve had since 2005. Yeah it was just something that I got a little bit older the memories of them came flooding back and something that I felt I really wanted to. Get back into my position and have something to enjoy. I actually got to HQ same in Utah as well. Certainly not certainly not the same shape that the van is and the van has been restored but the udi’s is a mixture of red and rust out. So that’s sitting in the garage waiting for her restoration to happen at some point in the future. When you talk about about costs when I bought the van. The famous comment that keeps coming back to me from someone who lives with me is that I said I’d say you know X amount of us I think it was maybe four or five thousand dollars to buy back in 2005 and. I said we’ll restore it. It will only cost a couple thousand dollars for the paint job. And when that number sort of stretched past 10. To. The questioning stopped and. The frowning started a little bit more so in terms of keeping it on the road at the moment not too much.

[00:16:22] It’s pretty it’s pretty user friendly it doesn’t get driven a hell of a lot so it doesn’t cost too much for the upkeep of it and just to give it a wash you know again and take it out for a run.

[00:16:31] And not that you’d ever think of selling it. But. The money you put into it no doubt you would be able to recoup if you did ever sell it because it seems that the market is on the way up for such cars.

[00:16:41] Yeah I think so. Now not that you’re doing it like all the people here today. None of us have done what we’ve done to make money out of it. And generally if you’re into. Restoring cars you don’t do it to make any money out of it. But I think the amount that I put in certainly now is at least recoverable if not you might get a little bit of extra spare change if you were to have to sell it for some unknown reason. One last question. What’s it like to drive. Mind it it can be challenging. Know it’s always good fun to drive because you get plenty of plenty of looks. People honking their horns people waving at you as you drive past. It’s very comfortable. The seats are quite comfortable so it’s a it’s a fairly comfortable ride but being a van with no windows on the side and very very small mirrors you can clenched teeth and hold on tight especially when you need to change lanes. So every indicator on and hopefully you don’t get on the horn honked at you because you can’t see where you’re going when you go to park. You have to park in a very clear location because if you’re trying to reverse out especially on a 45 degree angle park you just can’t see anyone coming behind. So you’ve got to be fairly careful with how you drive it. And you know they get hot and things like that so it’s not a luxury vehicle but it’s it’s great fun. So Kathy you you’re a Holden person as well.

[00:18:03] Yeah. I have a kingsmead panel van. And I’m sort of an enthusiast because I actually can’t drive a car. I’m a motorcyclist So that’s where I am. But when I first came over to Australia I saw my first man and her. And. It hit me like oh what is that. What is that car that’s like a car too. But it’s like a cool car. And it’s like it’s a mix between a superhero car and like something you can live in and it just fulfilled all of my fantasies you know I was like I loved it. And then I met I found online and one of the first things he told me was I love salmon and I went Oh my God I love summer but I’ve never been in long. I’ve never touched one and never been around one but I know I like them because I’ve Googled it immediately. And then. As you know we just sort of saw his car and say it. Is a keeper. And then we went out and we found that kings were some program that needed some life. And. I just fell in love with the shape of it and I think it’s the shape of it for me. I like cars. It’s the shape. Of. Saturn. And even the new sounds don’t come to me like that. And the fact that. I’ve travelled a lot so I like the fact that I can take my home with me and if you really want to tell us that you couldn’t live in the South you know it’s like a snail. I.

[00:19:23] Just love that. And now because we sort of indulge in each of the to see you. Well every time we see some people think about the colours of things you could do. We can’t go out for dinner anymore without having to show up literally. I don’t see it. Everywhere we go we see a panel van or we see somebody with long or it’s it is funny the universe conspires to bring stuntman’s into it.

[00:19:47] What about Michael have you got any Sandman stories to wind up. It’s good having a wife. She is Haitian. Because.

[00:19:56] Before you ask you can I do something on her car. You. Go ahead and do it. It’s why now we can’t afford to. And. Quite fun. Great. Sweet crunchy go is it we meet. You too. You just sit down and talk. All about cars and just have a great time. I’m.

[00:20:14] On the road. Examiner Any. Hiding away unharmed.

[00:20:19] Yes indeed. Now I came up. They’ve got a big year ahead of them. Pete.

[00:20:24] Happened to be here just the right recent while product to sorento our car of the last year of the year for sports. It’s hard to say it was karbo that I’m most excited that I’ve never been more excited about a care in my life. The key is staying up. Yeah it’s going to take the reins when Commodore falken retire. It’s I think there’s not going to be any other choice. Now if you want a big reweld drive sedan you’re going to have to go to the Kia dealership and look the pictures we’ve seen so far it looks amazing. It’s awesome

[00:20:53] And it’s good to have some serious performance as well with the pointy end it’s going to arrive in this country I believe towards the end of this year. Let’s find out exactly when we’ve got Kevin hepworth from Kia Australia back on the line. Good to have you back on behind the wheel.

[00:21:05] Thanks for having us. Good to talk to you Kev. Tell us about the stinger. It’s coming at the end of the year towards the end of the year. What sort of prices are we looking at. Tell us about the car.

[00:21:16] I told you the price of the ticket price is still not settled.

[00:21:20] We’re still negotiating on that. You’re looking at being available in Australia mid late September right.

[00:21:28] Okay.

[00:21:29] Not all that long way I was not very far away. It’s a little bit fluid at the moment because of the global demand for the car. It’s just been it’s gone off like a frog in a sock around the world. And as they say if it’s causing retrenchment a lot of areas about ordering numbers and things like that.

[00:21:52] Yeah. Gotcha.

[00:21:52] So it’s the same cut we get here will be the same as I’ll get the US in Europe it will be the same basic design car same engines we will have our own tune which has already been completed. OK. And for both right handling and steering and we’re also going an extra yard with it because the basic sound of the car is a luxury car so if you’re very quiet when it comes to it to drive by noise and feel inside the car. So we thought that with the performance background on it we really wanted to give it a bit more character. We’re in the process of developing an exhaust system for it in Australia that will give it a little bit more character.

[00:22:30] Plus it’s good looking they’ll tell you what it is. It’s just going to sell you just look at it you know this is going to be a success.

[00:22:35] Yeah. The whole design is based as designer Greg he said and keeps saying he based it on the traditional grand to touring cars. He used to watch them go up and down past his house in France. And he thought you know these guys are fantastic I have always loved them. He didn’t want to build a stub nose cut off back sports car. He and Peter shreya were on the same page that they wanted a grand touring car.

[00:23:02] Do you reckon we’re gonna likely see them with police badges and sirens and whites and things on the top of them well that’s currently being assessed around Australia.

[00:23:12] Pretty much all of the police forces have asked for a look at it and we’ll get a chance to assess them for their own fleet. But yeah we would like to see it. We think it’s a possibility both as a pursuit vehicle of a tropical pursuits were these days I won’t patrol vehicle and as a general duty car for the leader of course you’ve mentioned the wall see it to lit a turbo petrol too little by diesel.

[00:23:37] The one of course we are interested in is this twin turbo v6 or some serious time some serious kind of numbers coming out of this engine.

[00:23:44] What I like the claim. We haven’t had a chance to verify these yet but internationally we’ve been assured by care that the car is capable of a four point nine out of 100 that’s seriously fast. It’s getting up into the proper performance area. The initial claims were 5.1 then I think they have found a something extra in it and that’s for the rear wheel drive not the all wheel drive which we’re not getting of course. Yes. Two hundred and seventy two kilowatts. It’s 510 Newton meters. So there’s a vehicle vehicles going to weigh about 17 plus 25 50 something like that.

[00:24:22] Yeah it’s not bad numbers that will be really satisfied. Well we’re going to drive that I suppose mid to late September. Can’t wait for another call. Kind of piqued my interest. It’s a little smaller than the stinger considerably smaller the Picanto GT You know I think this is a sensational idea. The concept of getting a little small car putting a kind of beefy little engine in the front of it and kind of getting it into the country for around that 20 grand mark it director’s going to be a possibility at all for this cab canto g.t. to come to Australia.

[00:24:53] It’s under a system that is small. The issue with it is that it comes only as a manual and as we all know in Australia buyers walk away from a menu.

[00:25:04] Yes they do very well to say you know I love to drive a manual but if you’re going to buy one that was proven sadly with the proceed the procedure to set that was I love that car from care.

[00:25:15] But yeah it was.

[00:25:17] The manual wasn’t it is a magnificent car. It really was a lovely drive. And yet you know we were selling 10 to 15 a month and now a model on that. No not at that price point if you’re selling and you know if you were selling 10 500 600 thousand dollars cash I should be delighted.

[00:25:34] Yes.

[00:25:35] There’s not a lot of margin in a car at around the 18 19 20000 or 25000 is that much more. So yeah hopefully. I would love to see that little 3 percent. I mean Australia is a really stylish look and I’m sure that with Graham gamble the local product teams input it could be a quite enjoyable little thing.

[00:25:57] Very exciting times to come from kia. It’s all about to hit keep your eyes on it Kev as always thanks for all the info man Toxo.

[00:26:03] It’s a pleasure always. Any time.

[00:26:05] Yes indeed. Going to hit the road in an all new Volkswagen for SAP 206 kilowatt wagon feet. Sounds amazing. They look great. So you’re really sad. I think particularly with a big long konna air vent that goes from the passenger door to the driver’s door. Yet the theory is great fabulous a man who’s been driving. The one and only. Joel Helms hello mate how are you.

[00:26:27] Hello guys. I’m very well thank you. What do you think of a job. I think it’s a lovely car. I think we’re up the Obviously the pointy end of a Volkswagen range so the line is about as pop as it gets. So not cheap you know you’re looking at about 60000 dollars.

[00:26:42] But that is a car that you know you need both a driving experience and a features list that you would be quite happy to pay. Be seventy five thousand dollars for something that’s an excellent excellent value vehicle.

[00:26:54] Yeah look it really does feel like a car worth a lot more money than it is I haven’t had the experience of the aisleyne you know just had basic one three to atsi when it was first released and just a great little car beautifully built not a squeak or rattle but a really perky little motor I found.

[00:27:09] Yeah definitely. And look I mean I know we’re fans of the skoda Octavia which is the sister vehicle. You have a fantastic car as well. Are the line being the sporty one but the times are a fairly low profile. The ride is very good it’s a very good car for giving you the best of both worlds. It’s classy enough and comfortable enough except for the fact that the tyres are just a little bit hard. But the handling is excellent and the engine was in this online version. You are plenty at now. We’re talking about 206 kilowatts and gets off the line really well there’s not much not to like about it. Probably the only small couple are just tiny little things with it but nothing really that was worth that much of a mention.

[00:27:52] Little things like the lack of digital radio the whole RSA yet they’re missing out on behind the wheel. That’s part of the problem. The digital radio station is shown to be compulsory and it should be.

[00:28:03] Now the running out of that car’s been lifted directly from the most super fastest golf to the golf car at the all wheel drive system the same dsg the same engine the whole thing isn’t it.

[00:28:14] Yeah it is. So as I said two hundred six kilowatts 350 meters. What I like about it again coming back to that best of both worlds is that when you got it just in standard standard drive mode it is relatively relaxed and conservative. But all you have to do is just pull back on the transmission selector and all of a sudden you’ve got a very different cast so it’s a real opportunity to have that sporty car for that week and drive all the winding country road. Yep the old cliche that it is but then back on Monday morning in the traffic and you sitting there in in real comfort comfortable seats. I think Volkswagen in the last couple of years in particular really up there their interior fit and finish and feel and as I said at the top them. I don’t think you’re going to drive this car and really feel like you’re missing out on anything.

[00:28:57] Gotcha. Now of course it competes in that mid-sized category up against the deal dominant Toyota Camry. But there are some classy offerings in the Mazda 6. The first one that springs to mind. How do you think it compares with that.

[00:29:08] Well I mean I think your Camry and your mass to six are more conservative. I think that the more than the straight line sort of cuts but you’re right say the middle the medium size car market is packed full of good cars. There are things like the Ford Mondeo for example which is an excellent one. When people do say to me they’ve asked me over the last couple of years which mid-sized car should I buy I’ve always gone for the Octavia. I always go and drive the Octavia and now having experienced the Passat you’d say that you know that’s obviously up there with the car that she has a lot of the same things that make the Octavia a really good option there.

[00:29:44] I suppose that the Volkswagen heads towards the luxury end or certainly the up-market end in that segment. How does it go with price. How does it compare with price with the others.

[00:29:55] Well certainly I mean we’ve been talking about the GA line which is the 59 990 starting price but that is a car that does have you know everything about digital radio. If you wanted to go for the lower spec models then you are getting closer down to those those cameras and most 6 prices. So I think he definitely had the Volkswagen on your test drive list. If you’re looking for a car that was a longer term. If you wanted a car you know that was gonna last you for 10 years and you like all the comforts and things like that. And the line would definitely be one that you know you’d go and test drive especially if your other options were things that went up into the premium category like a like it base model 3 Series or the like you know you’d be crazy not to drive dogs.

[00:30:33] You read the review in full at behind the wheel or convoy you right now. Now we are on German cars and we got an e-mail during the week Joel asking is it a safe bet to buy a U.S. German car. I believe it was Sally you had a budget of about a grant.

[00:30:48] Yes Sarah. Sarah. Sorry.

[00:30:50] That’s okay. And there’s been an interesting little update on this. So I got the initial e-mail in with the question. We’ve got about seven thousand dollars to spend. I’ve noticed some nice three series cars online for about that. Is that a good investment or should I go for something a little bit more mainstream. And of course the general answer with that is well you know you can if you really love and you really need it and want a three series that is a bit older and maybe travelled more KS and you’re willing to take what would be a slightly riskier move then by all means go for it but you need to check and make sure that’s got a good service history. You need to make sure that it gets a good inspection before you buy it etc. etc.. And be prepared that when you do eventually do a transmission or something like that it’s going to cost you twice as much as a korolev or a 30 gearbox.

[00:31:39] But I thought after I said we’d have a chat about that there’s been a little update. So Sarah found a Mazda 3 after I got back to her and said maybe look at them as the three and a few other more regular models. She found one she rang up the dealership that advertised it. They said yes the car is here. So she drove halfway across Sydney the same day a couple of hours later walked into the dealership and you wouldn’t believe what the salesperson said the car’s been sold which is that old GM oldest trick in the book. But then there’s also the slight addition to that which is the next thing that car salesperson says is out but we’ve got another one over here. So the original Mazda 3 that she was going to look at and was interested in it troubled 90000 cases.

[00:32:26] The other car that was sitting there a troubled one hundred forty four hundred fifty down she has shown no way and was an extra thousand dollars.

[00:32:33] That’s that’s just wrong. That’s a company that’s actually get in 2017.

[00:32:38] Well I mean they want people what they need is they need people to come into the dealership. They figure that once you’ve got you in the dealership you’ve travelled all that way.

[00:32:47] You know you can’t prove that somebody hasn’t just purchased that car and you like to say oh or I will I’ll drive that one and then I don’t you know people are lazy and they don’t want to go somewhere else and go to all the trouble so they end up buying the one that they probably wouldn’t have gone to look at in the first place.

[00:33:02] But Consumer Affairs does take a very dim view of that sort of thing. And when you get into those details you know people who indulge in that are as a as a regular you know as part of their business model are just quite simply it’s fraudulent.

[00:33:18] It’s very disappointing and it’s just so unprofessional.

[00:33:20] And you know if you’re that the industry is small enough and the community is small enough even in a big city that you know once you get a name for doing that sort of thing to people and you know we now we’re talking about it on the radio for example it doesn’t shine well and anybody I know.

[00:33:34] All right. I think we should move to a brighter news and there’s some really exciting news cars coming in the next month. The one thing I’m most excited about is your new Land Rover Discovery in you I believe are headed to the Northern Territory to try it out only next week it seemed like such a long way away.

[00:33:49] This new Land Rover Discovery coming but it’s knocking on the door now. Be Unveiled in the top end next week. The fifth generation Land Rover Discovery. And what an interesting history the discovery had the first generation of course.

[00:34:02] I had a first generation land rover discovery one of the three door models I gave.

[00:34:06] I remember them I remember them. I didn’t spend more time in the service department than in your garage.

[00:34:11] It was not great. That’s for sure. There

[00:34:15] was also a turbo charged four cylinder. If you ever get a chance to drive one of those first generation discoveries with the Turbo four. That’s quite an experience.

[00:34:22] Is that’s the one that you could kind of get out and run faster than you. Pretty

[00:34:25] much right. So when you say quite an experience that’s a euphemism for. Well

[00:34:33] it was a situation test drove one once and I remember it being a situation of you could have no power and no revs no power and lots of rest.

[00:34:43] I think they use that same engine in the Freelander the first editions. So they were shocked. But they’ve come a long way. I got to say they have yeah.

[00:34:50] So Siri are you going into things like the A It was a lot better. Series the discovery 3 missed the mark a little bit but the fourth has been a good one and now this fifth one should be a good one as well. Welcomes the new in jainism Engines a bit more space inside New Look cabin and more space and avoid having a drive.

[00:35:08] Looks like a Range Rover too from the outside because I’ve got that new family face on it so it’s good that’s super stylish look.

[00:35:14] Absolutely. Good looking. You’re not kidding. Different to the discovery for. We should add especially on that side profile.

[00:35:20] There’s a new Audi A8 on the way too.

[00:35:22] Yeah Audi of course. We’re about to get a look at the new Audi A8 the flagship model and one that’s got a mild hybrid system which looks pretty good and that’s basically it’s taking the stop start. Technology is a step further where the car is actually sensing what’s happening in front so if you stop at a set a set of traffic lights at a red light and the car sees that there is no cars in front of you then it will switch the stop start system in quicker if it senses that there’s cars in front of you and there’s traffic around it would delay the deployment of the engine again and it just took you save fuel so it knows if you’re in traffic it knows if you’re not in traffic so that’s good stuff.

[00:36:02] And a whole lot lighter and that would be a big advantage an Audi to their credit they’ve done a great job stripping the weight out of their most recent models.

[00:36:09] And how is it going to look. Is it is it sort of a departure from the current cars we see on the roads or is it.

[00:36:15] Well we haven’t officially seen it as yet. I mean once there’s no damage but it’s an Audi. Do they ever really.

[00:36:23] Yeah you’re right. And the best way to get a look is head down to your local cinema buy yourself a ticket to the new Spiderman homecoming movie. I wonder how old there will be brandnew out here. Let’s pick up on the way and there we go. We’ll be around in a couple hours. Joel thanks very much. Sounds good. Talk to you. See you man. Thanks guys.

[00:36:42] We’re off to a flying start this week. We’re getting close to the end. We still got a whole he did Jazmine including this product review of car plan’s all seasons screenwash.

[00:36:53] And as the name might suggest it washes your screen your windscreen is really important because how annoying it is when the windscreen is you get these things stuck to it and yet the wife is don’t quite clear it with just the regular fluid. I live in the hills and sometimes you get some nuts that like to wedge themselves under the wife of late. Yeah between the wiper blade and the windscreen unless you’ve got some powerful additives in your window washer it remain stuck there pretty much all day.

[00:37:21] And of course can also scratch the windscreen too if it feels like you’re right.

[00:37:26] I know you are good friends with the whole of magpie’s at your house. I like to decorate your your car whatever it happens to be as weak.

[00:37:33] Yes. Every now and again you do have a little deposits around the place and you know it left there with love.

[00:37:38] I’m sure sure which is why we always carry a bottle of car plans all season screen wash in the glove box. And the thing is it’s not expensive to stay stocked up for dollars. 99 is the cost of it you can buy it online now. It’s just like all the great products we get from our ozone manufacturing friends at all treks go to their website press a button it’ll be in your letterbox in a couple of days. The car plant all season screen wash from all tracks dot com dot com.

[00:38:10] Some go to a man now.

[00:38:13] Well he’s always got a clean windscreen he’s got possibly the cleanest car in the country he’s always out there polishing and rubbing his. He’s good at that he he’s just rub things is fastidious when it comes to cars and simon lai hi.

[00:38:25] Hello guys. Hello. Great to talk to you.

[00:38:28] What are you driving this week this week I was in an infiniti q60 which is there are sports crew pay. And I was quite impressed by it. I haven’t really driven that many Infiniti’s and it’s kind of an unknown quantity for most people not as popular as they should be. But I found that they’re really well constructed and had a good finish now.

[00:38:50] Q 60 from what I know about it it’s kind of a rival to something like a four series BMW or a Mercedes Benz C class. It’s sort of a compact sort of sports coupe with rear wheel drive.

[00:39:05] Yeah yeah yeah.

[00:39:07] Like Alexis RC as well foresee it’s as well too in the back. There’s like a cup holder in a middle bucket style seat. So it’s a bit similar to that. I think you’re saying that too. Yeah. But you know you get really low headroom. So if you’re like me average height it’s OK.

[00:39:25] It’s very generous of you your tight. Yeah. So the draw bridge right. Oh don’t take any notice of fifths.

[00:39:34] But he’s just ignoring it.

[00:39:39] I drive quite well I mean you know it is a luxury car after all maybe it’s not as tight as some of the European cars. But like I said you know the construction is pretty good. It’s got a nice attractive on the outside you know those really nice infinity curves. The drive itself is quite competent. I found that it is not a powerhouse but it gets up to speed quite quickly with the two litre turbo engine and it’s not so noticeable because it’s right on the inside before you know it you know you’ve been racing down the highway at 100 miles an hour. One small issue with the tracking though I’m not sure if it’s because of the alignment problem or it’s it’s one of the settings in the car where it readjusts the steering.

[00:40:22] I found that had needed to be constantly readjusted It’s a stick by wire system is that there is no mechanical sort of linkage between the steering wheel and the we also had sort of the computer kind of trying to figure out the inputs that you’re putting into the steering wheel and then telling the steer the wheels what to do.

[00:40:39] Yeah exactly. I mean it’s kind of like a computer game you’re not really steering the car on the screen. It’s quite advanced technology nowadays. It’s really strange not to have something mechanical.

[00:40:49] And of course with all that advanced technology it’s something more that can go wrong later on when it feels like I’m not working anymore which computer operated things always do.

[00:40:59] Yeah. It’s just kind of a strange thing you guys can relate to this one. Nowadays you can’t really fix many things by yourself. Back in the day you could change bits and pieces and parts and you break patterns or whatever. Nowadays unless you have a degree in computer science you can’t do it.

[00:41:16] Yeah that’s true.

[00:41:17] Yeah. This one is about 65 grand it came with an enhancement pack which had like a burst sound system the 360 camera around around the car headlights in the sunroof so there were a few extra things in there as well. The design overall is really swish I would say.

[00:41:34] And you know it’s just that people that know I know enough people know about it and that’s our job to let them know that it is the only thing about the design that I’ve always just a little bit of difficulty getting used to with infinities is that gummy mouth.

[00:41:47] You know that’s that’s that’s the big smile and I think that’s what makes them distinctive.

[00:42:08] If you want a swish looking go with the gummy mouth go by the Infiniti Q60 GT and you can read Simon lais review right now but behind the wheel dot com. Thank you Simon.

[00:42:17] See you next week.

[00:42:24] We’ve had a pretty good week in a couple of interesting cars both fit to the SUV category. The car I was in probably wouldn’t be described as an SUV by many. I would suggest most people would know how to describe it at all other than it’s a maxi mini. It’s kind of the the SUV version of the mini. It’s called the countryman. It’s got a lot of room inside but it still looks exactly like a mini just sort of one that sort of kind of expanded a bit. Yes sign up a bit.

[00:42:52] It does look like a mini except when you see one side by side with the Mini you realize actually it’s huge but compared to a mini It really is

[00:43:00] It’s absolute maxi I’ve been through a couple of versions both with the diesel engine and in fact I started with the the top of the range one that was the all for S and ended in the S D which is kind of just one rung down. I suppose you could say so it doesn’t quite have the bullying but does have exactly the same drive train and I must say I was really impressed with this great little diesel. 110 kilowatts 330 Nuit meters with a combined consumption figure of four point eight leaders per 100 K. I wasn’t that far off it at six point two. So I was kind of within cooee I made sure I kept it in sport mode the whole time and it went along really well. The great thing about it is suddenly you’ve got space you’ve got to boot you’ve got a back seat that has leg room in the back. It feels like a mini at the front and it drives like a mini. So if you’re looking for an SUV that is actually fun to drive that doesn’t wobble all over the road. I think this is a really good idea. The thing you need to get over is the way it looks. Yes. The photographs of it just that downturned mouth well know it has its own downturned anymore. That was the previous version and it looked like it had been sucking on a lemon. Yeah Joel said it I think and got it right a few weeks ago when he drove he said this one looks shocked it doesn’t look like it’s had a really big surprise.

[00:44:16] Maybe not the most pleasant of surprises either. A few days go. OK. So if you can get past that I think it actually is a really viable alternative to things like maybe audie’s q to which is a great funky little SUV. You know things that the BMW one I think it’s if you’re if you’re a fan of minis don’t be put off by the way it looks. Garland right because I think you’d be really pleasantly surprised if it does drive like a mini.

[00:44:43] The minis are driven. I absolutely love them so much fun and they’re so easy to to push around to punt round. You’re right. I love that I love the manual the gear changes and the manuals just are wonderful.

[00:44:55] Like driving a roller skate in a way which is really good isn’t it. Yeah really great fun. And look this little diesel offering reasonably well priced to at 43 900 before options and on roads. So it’s kind of within the realms of possibility. Check it out the mini cooper d country. And a car that I know I’m very keen to hear more about.

[00:45:12] It’s a car that I liked in its first iteration recently updated the Mitsubishi Outlander here they have HIV and of course that is because it’s a plug in hybrid electric vehicle with a petrol engine. Just in case you need it now. I went from a Tesla which was the Tesla Model X which is all electric which was just a glorious fantastic car. Have been for 300 thousand three hundred and 1000 it cost. And I jumped into the exceed version which is the top of the range version of the Outlander. Yeah. Yeah. Fifty five thousand four hundred ninety dollars. That’s a bit more how about a sixth of the price. And I expected actually to be a little bit disappointed sort of coming down the scale of things a bit. Not in the slightest. This car is seriously good. This thing is just amazing to live with because there’s no such thing as range anxiety. So you plug it in and you get I don’t know how many K’s you get on electric power alone if you plug it in overnight. But you know 40 round 35 40 something like that.

[00:46:13] So that’s more basically about the same amount of kilometres that the average Aussie motorist does in a day. Exactly.

[00:46:19] And so it means that the petrol engine never really needs to come on but it will do if it feels like it or if you’re getting low in the charge. Now there are also all sorts of modes of driving and one could hold the technical specifications because they are quite complex. But you can set it into an eco mode so that it actually region you have regenerative braking and that sort of thing so that you actually are topping up the electric storage as you drive. See that’s clever. Oh it’s just really clever. It’s really good. It goes so well. It’s very quiet because much of the time it’s an electric only mode. And honestly this car is a real surprise. I don’t know how many of them are going to sell. I’m not sure if people really are even aware of them. But if if if something a bit exotic and something that is really very pleasant to live with you know appeals to you. Just have a look at them.

[00:47:18] Either way we’re done and dusted for behind the wheel. You can now take off that 70s garb. I’m on the polyester would be making you sweat just a little bit itchy actually.

[00:47:27] The funny thing is this past week I’ve gone from from huge internal combustion engines to a petrol electric hybrid plug in. So I reckon I’m I’m on the road to recovering. They’re being in the right direction.

[00:47:42] We’re going to amp up our style and sophistication next week when we bring you reviews of the BMW 5 Series forward to it. And the first one will taste is the five thirty three which is another petrol electric hybrid plug in vehicle electric motor in there as well. So we’ll bring you details on that. Along with all the news from right around the world of motoring and look it’s been great to have your company. I hope you can come back again next week and stay safe in the meantime.

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About Kate Richards 1615 Articles
Kate has always had an interest in writing and cars and now as a key member of the Behind the Wheel website team she gets to spend her days consumed by both. Aside from being a contributor and an editor at Behind the Wheel, Kate enjoys driving her Lancer EVO and walking her beloved dog, Max!

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