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Old 3rd October 2010, 11:47   #31
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^^ guys how good are these muscle cars when it comes to handling? my experience is only with the vauxhall vxr8 rave reviews by clarkson on top gear - not sure if its still the same. Also given that lotus is now become the handling benchmark for my friend - any clues on how these cars get you to 'feel the road' vs the evo x which is all computer controlled stuff?
If you are referring to the FPV or the HSV's they handle very very well. Only, you should know that they are rear wheel drive and it would be easy to bring the tail out, what with the humongous torque available(550 nm - enough?). They offer a lot of kit for their price, when compared to their expensive competitors(Jaguar, BMW M5, Lexus IS-F etc..). I think you got feature to measure laptimes etc in the HSV's. Ford now has turbo 6 cylinders offering same performance as V8's.

Mazda is a good option as well, it all depends on your friend's personal taste. Is he already here? Ask him to have a look around, test drive a few cars, talk to a few people and then decide.
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Old 3rd October 2010, 18:02   #32
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he is going to be there on the 15th of oct :-) rx8 was another option he thought of, but lack of low end torque and reliability issues would disqualify that car.
i think most fun is the mx5, but yeah some TDs are much needed here :-)
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Old 23rd October 2010, 08:53   #33
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update - my buddy realized that most sports car have some crazy tax applied to them, making them not cost the same as they would in other places (US, UK). Anyone aware why a lotus or porsche in AU costs twice of what it costs in UK where-as normal VW golfs, toyotas, hondas cost the same as they would in other places after conversion?

LCT - luxury car tax is the reason that it is so expensive to own those cars here, any car that costs more than a certain amount i subject to LCT.


I would tell your mate to get an EVO anything after 9 with the electronic diff, if he buys slightyl used he should still be covered by a decent factory warranty, it is very possible to get a nice clean second hand Evo.

If he really wants the Lotus, that's a option as well, buying a an elise / exige + a practical car = win.

As for the HSV/FPV they are also not bad, plenty of performance and plenty of metal for the money, purer sports cars do exist but these are a nice all rounder.
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Old 25th September 2011, 23:34   #34
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mate,
So what has your best friend finally ended up buying ?
Did u guys get a good look at the HSVs & the FPVs ?
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Old 5th October 2011, 18:35   #35
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mate,
So what has your best friend finally ended up buying ?
Did u guys get a good look at the HSVs & the FPVs ?
here you go http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/luxury...ports-car.html
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Old 11th November 2011, 03:33   #36
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Default Ford Ranger, VW Amarok or Toyota HiLux (In Australia)

Hey everyone,

Its time to upgrade our old Toyota Hilux and so I need help deciding between these three pick-ups - the new Ford Ranger Wildtrak or the VW Amarok Ultimate or the New Toyota Hilux.

Check out the official Ford Australia page on the Ranger here:
Ford Australia - The All-New Ranger - 4x4 Wildtrak Double Cab Pick-up 3.2L



And this is the VW Amarok site:
Amarok Ultimate > Model Variants > Amarok > Models > Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles Australia



Toyota HiLux website:
Toyota HiLux homepage



Somehow, I don't like the look of the new Hiilux, so right now it is pretty low on my list. But it is the cheapest, at $58,100. The Ford is priced higher, at $62,300.

All models are diesel, and the Toyota and VW are priced pretty similar ($58,100 for the Toyota and $58,490 for the VW). I am kind of leaning towards the Ford, but the VW is also tempting me as it is European (even though it is built in Argentina!) and VW are offering some other incentives as well, such as free registration for 1 year and free CTP (compulsory thid party insurance).

I would greatly appreciate your help with this! Any other suggestions are also welcome. Thanks guys!
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Old 11th November 2011, 11:28   #37
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Default Re: Ford Ranger, VW Amarok or Toyota HiLux (In Australia)

Going strictly by looks, the ford gets my vote. I left australia in 2007 and the previous model ford ranger back then had a very upright rear seat. With the Toyota, Nissan and Mitsubishi pick-ups having the best rear seat comfort.

Did u consider the mitsubishi and nissan pick-ups as well?
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Old 11th November 2011, 12:11   #38
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Default Re: Ford Ranger, VW Amarok or Toyota HiLux (In Australia)

Out of these three, going only by the basis of looks I would suggest to go for Amarok. I kind of like the name and the shade shown in picture too.
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Old 11th November 2011, 14:29   #39
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Default Re: Ford Ranger, VW Amarok or Toyota HiLux (In Australia)

Thanks for the replies guys. Appreciate it!

@amrisharm, yup I did consider the Nissan Navara pick up, but apparently their servicing costs are exorbitant. A friend has a 2010 Navara, and last service he paid something like $1200 (Rs. 61,500 at today's exchange rate). Mitsubishi seems to be a failing brand here, so not considering buying one.
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Old 11th November 2011, 14:40   #40
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Default Re: Ford Ranger, VW Amarok or Toyota HiLux (In Australia)

Purely on looks basis, my vote goes out to the Ford. Butch looks and relatively headache free ownership? Ford is the way to go then! At least in Aussie land.

Have they improved the seating on the Rangers? Previous model seats felt pretty upright and hard.
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Old 11th November 2011, 15:12   #41
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Default Re: Ford Ranger, VW Amarok or Toyota HiLux (In Australia)

The Ranger looks like it is dressed in a suite for a meeting rather than for an offroad outing.

The Amarok is a 1/2 size bigger than the Hilux and looks relatively more modern and worth the premium.

Hilux is the king of the segment, cheaper, more reliable but today does not tug at the heart. If you do make a fair amount of trips to outdoors where things are too far out (as is possible in australia) and if being stranded out there is a major problem then Hilux is the way to go just for the reliability and trust it brings to the fore.

Yet the VW is newer, bigger, more spacious, more imposing, more luxurious but comparatively unknow in long term reliablity compared to the Hilux.

So if most of the drive comprising of City and safe to go places (not completely isolated outbacks) then Amarok would be the way to go if the places are really risky then Hilux. Lets leave out the suited guy for now since this is about pickups.
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Old 11th November 2011, 15:59   #42
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Default Re: Ford Ranger, VW Amarok or Toyota HiLux (In Australia)

By looks only...the amarok.

Having said that, why do you need an open pick up as opposed to an suv? have always thought of the user profile for such vehicles. do you carry stuff in the back that could potentially ruin the interiors? like logs, oil cans etc? Or farm produce?
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Old 11th November 2011, 21:43   #43
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Default Re: Ford Ranger, VW Amarok or Toyota HiLux (In Australia)

If you want a different car(experience) go for the the Ranger, but i would say go for the Hilux not withstanding the looks which you are not fond of.
European maybe, but if you are a proper pick up user and not using it for town pottering, then avoid the VW and go for the Hilux instead.(if you don't have deep pockets that is)
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Old 12th November 2011, 02:41   #44
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Default Re: Ford Ranger, VW Amarok or Toyota HiLux (In Australia)

Thanks for the replies guys, very helpful! The reason we want an open pick-up instead of a SUV is because we already have a SUV (ML350 diesel) plus my dad has a boat, which he uses quite a lot on the weekends to go fishing with his friends etc, so he carries fishing equipment, generators for the boat and other things which will spoil the interior of the SUV. He has been using our old Hilux (its 20 years old now) for a long time, but nowadays it seriously struggles to tow the boat and equipment, especially up hills.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Swanand Inamdar View Post
Purely on looks basis, my vote goes out to the Ford. Butch looks and relatively headache free ownership? Ford is the way to go then! At least in Aussie land.

Have they improved the seating on the Rangers? Previous model seats felt pretty upright and hard.
They have. I test drove the new Ranger last week, very nice to drive and quite spacious in the back. The seats are still a bit upright, but I've found this with all the double-cab pick-ups. The top of the range Ranger and VW have leather seats, which the Hilux doesn't have.
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Old 27th July 2013, 16:27   #45
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Default What SUV down under?

I probably should have started this thread a bit earlier but then better late than never. I recently moved to Sydney and naturally am in the market for a car. I always wanted to own and drive an SUV and being in Oz does give you a variety of options. Plus I am told there are some nice places I could drive to if I have a good 4X4 SUV. I am not a hard core off-roader but wouldn't mind getting off the road once in a while if it allows me to click some nice pictures when I am taking a road trip.

Coming from the German stable, actually I still have the Vento back in India (I simply couldn't let go of it ), I initially thought about the Tiguan. Two rather three factors stood against it. First and foremost, Australia is a place where automatic trannies are preferred so in case of a resale, selling a used manual can be difficult. The Tiguan comes with the infamous DSG and there have been many failures reported in this market with one accident which led to a death of a Golf driver. This has resulted in a nationwide recall for quite a few models. I started going through some forums and users only had to say real bad things about the VW Tiguan including poor service and I was discouraged further. Its a shame that such a solidly built car has to suffer only because of the faulty gearbox and poor service. I have driven the Vento rigorously on highways and it just is one of the most well built comfortable highway cars to drive in. The other factor was of course the space in the rear. The boot space on the Tiguan is way less than other SUVs in its class. The last factor was vitamin M. I was not willing to go across $40,000 and the Tiguan would have easily crossed that. I crossed out the Ford Kuga and Jeep Cherokee for more or less the same reasons.

So with a heavy heart I was forced to look east and Japan it was. The contenders were Subaru Forrester, Nissan XTrail, Toyota RAV4, Honda CRV and the Mazda CX5. Of these, had to rule out the Mazda CX5 because again it turned out to be a raised hatchback with very little boot space (even lesser than the Vento). Same went for the Subaru Forrester. Moreover my friend in Australia didn't want me to drive a Subaru Forrester as it seemed only the Lebanese preferred it (not that I have anything against the Lebanese). So the short list has come down to the RAV4, XTrail and the CRV.

I started looking into the 4X4 automatic options of these. Today I even took test drives of all three. These were short drives of about 10-15 minutes and I got the following impressions of each one in the order I drove them.

1. Toyota RAV4 (http://www.toyota.com.au/rav4/specif...gx-petrol-auto)

It is an easy to drive car. In fact too easy. It has got the vaguest steering of all three. The entire time I could hardly feel whether this steering is connected at all to the car in any way or is it just passing commands over wireless. The interiors are functional and basic, nowhere near the quality of the Europeans, build is as usual tinny and I will have a hard time forgetting the solid thud sound of the Vento doors. However the car drives pretty well and with about 177 BHP (132 KW) available it is more than enough to drive comfortably. It is mated to a 6 speed automatic gearbox which shifts nicely and smoothly without any noticeable lag. Of course I hardly drove above 50 KMPH as I was in a residential area. The 4WD mode can be switched on and off as required. In the 4WD mode the power is distributed equally to all wheels. With 82 W/kg as the power to weight ratio it is the highest among the three. The ground clearance though is only 176 mm for the petrol which is not very inspiring from a SUV standpoint. But I am sure cornering and handling would be much better due to the lower GC. The diesel version with a 2.2L engine though has about 197 mm of GC. However the diesel engine throws out only 147 BHP (110 KW) with 340 NM at 2000-2800 RPM. I will test drive the diesel one tomorrow since they are selling their fully loaded demo car with less than 5000 kms on it. I am just skeptical about the turbo lag there might be because of the torque curve. At about 66 W/kg which is probably even lower than the VW Vento I am not too sure about the diesel version. And with the lower power mated with the automatic I am not sure how well it will drive. The only plus point is with the diesel I will get better FE. I should know by tomorrow. The detailed specs on the RAV4 is here if you want to check all the features out http://www.toyota.com.au/static/vehi...ersionID=Rav+4.

2. Honda CRV

Since I have checked the Toyota and the Honda dealer was in the same neighborhood, no wonder I walked over to have a dekko at the CRV. My friend in the US drives a CRV and asked me to take a serious look. The CRV for sure looks nice when compared to the RAV4. The base version is also well loaded and even more compared to the base version of the RAV4. The interiors seemed a lot better, the only quirk being the parking brake was above the left foot !!! You need to press it to engage and disengage it. I have no idea why Honda has done that. The base version comes with alloys, a full sized alloy spare and reverse parking camera which I thought makes it a much better VFM compared to the RAV4. All this at about $3000 lesser than the RAV4. I was seriously tempted. We started on a test drive and boy it drove well. It has got even more power at almost 188 BHP (140 KW). With a power to weight ratio of 88 W/kg, I bet this would go even faster. The steering is much more well weighted on the Honda compared to the Toyota. The car behaved well at turns and even at a roundabout did pretty well (yes, lots of roundabouts in Australia with some rules to follow). The automatic gearbox however is a 5 speed one however Honda seems to have mated it to the engine really well. I felt no lags in the downshifts or upshifts and the gearbox was pretty quick. In the sports mode it also has the paddle shifters. The two things which kind of set me back was firstly the AWD system is all time. There is no separate selector for it. The computer automatically distributes 50% of the power to the wheel only when it detects loss of traction in the front wheels. Does that affect FE? Also the higher power with a smaller engine (2.4L) makes it give lower FE than the RAV4 which has a bigger engine (2.5L). I am sure the higher power output causes the reduction in FE on the CRV. The other disappointing factor was the ground clearance. Only 170 mm. My Vento with its upsized tires had 174 mm. Again I am sure Honda to get a more balanced and sorted ride, reduced the GC. This makes it a very suspect case for even light offroading capabilities. It might be okay to drive on some loose dirt roads or sand but I am not sure how this will do on rougher terrain. Sorry couldn't post any links to the web site as Honda has a weird way of building their web sites. If you are interested you can visit this site http://crv.honda.com.au/specifications.aspx and check out the 4WDVTi automatic trim.

3. Nissan XTrail

I was on my way back to my apartment but decided to hop off 4 stations ahead to go check out the Nissan XTrail. This is the largest in its class with humongous space. The biggest factor against it is the really dated design. Its boxy looks will never turn a head. However I have heard good things about it. So off I went on a TD but of the 2WD version as the 4WD demo car was not available. I wanted to get a feel of this largish SUV with a whopping 215 mm clearance. Would the ride be a lot harsher than the CRV or the RAV4? How about turns? To my pleasant surprise this did wonderfully well. And the steering I felt was the best among all three. Very well weighted and precise and gave a pretty good feel of the road and what it was doing. Even if the SUV is about 10-20 mm longer than the CRV and the RAV4 I could drive it pretty well. Aside from that it had somehow a higher seating position and gave a pretty good view of the road. The CRV was a close second or almost equal in this department, followed by the RAV4. The RAV4 was not bad in terms of giving a view of the road but it just seemed that the XTrail came out the best and then the CRV. The power from the 2.5L engine is the lowest about 167 BHP (125 KW) but the lower kerb weight gives it a power to weight ratio of 82 W/kg which is still very good. The drive was perhaps not as smooth as the CRV or the RAV4 in terms of ride quality but it was in no way harsh. The CRV seemed to be the smoothest followed by the RAV4 but I have not found the ride quality of the XTrail a deal breaker yet. Turns and roundabouts were handled well but I couldn't test it at high speeds as we couldn't get on any of the highways. Braking on all three was pretty good with the XTrail coming with both front and rear ventilated disk brakes. With the base version coming with alloy wheels and the pricing in the range of the Honda CRV it does come out as a very tempting choice. The 4WD is engaged through an electronic switch giving options in the 2WD, Auto and the 4WD Lock mode. I hope I can test drive a 4WD version soon. Some more details here if you are interested http://www.nissan.com.au/~/media/Fil...ification.ashx.

From a vitamin M point of view because of an attractive finance scheme the XTrail comes out to be the cheapest, followed by the CRV and then the RAV4. I have dropped the CRV from consideration after learning about its AWD mode so it is really now between the RAV4 and the XTrail. I am being told that I will not go wrong with any one of them as both command very good resale values and are equally competent. Aside from this I did some research on the 4X4 capabilities of the three candidates on the Internet which confirmed my beliefs. More often than not, the reviewers found the XTrail a more competent offroader with decent road manners. The CRV came out just rubbish. The earlier generations of the CRV might have been better off roaders. Between the XTrail and the RAV4 it seems the XTrail does better in off roading while the RAV4 handles better on normal roads and highways. What would be the advice of esteemed TBHPians be who might have had some experience with these cars? Please be aware that I have not been an off-roader nor do I have in-depth experience with SUVs. All my views are just my personal experience about how I felt when I test drove these cars so no offence meant to any one of these. I look forward to your comments.

Mods: Could not find a similar thread so created a new one. Please merge if there is any available from earlier.

Last edited by samarjitdhar : 27th July 2013 at 16:35.
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