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Drive Life : April 30th 2010
1HERSA1 0009 Tel: 9431 2333 The Honda Sale. Limited Editi n t E E d d e te m m i Li o $34 490 DRIVEAWAY* Limited Edition ►Alloy wheels ►Fog lights ►Rear park assist ►Deluxe floor mats ►Chrome exhaust finis ►Bluetooth® phone sys $24,990 DRIVEAWAY# ►Side Protectors ►Bluetooth® phone system ►Chrome Grille & Rear Garnish ►Deluxe Tailored Mat Set ►Fog lights ►Rear park assist ►Lower Garnish Just quietly, it's on now at Scotts... FROM ONLY FROM ONLY # Civic LE 'From Only' price is for manual model and includes CTP, Dealer Delivery, 12 months private registration and stamp duty, price excludes metallic paint ($475). * Accord 'From Only' price includes Dealer Delivery, CTP, Stamp Duty and 12 months private registration. Offers only available on vehicles sold and delivered by 30/5/2010. Images are for display purposes only. Stock available as at 28/4/2010. The Sydney Morning Herald April 30, 2010 Drive Life 9 Best SUV FORD TERRITORY 2004-2008 The Territory crosses over a couple of categories here, because it's also a popular car with families who use it as a people-mover. But the locally- developed Ford is also one of the cleverest vehicles built in this country. Neat touches like a wet- storage area and something like three dozen cubby-holes around the cabin mark it out as super-sensible. Best of all in SUV terms it's very car-like to drive and if you don't need four-wheel- drive (and most SUVs don't) then you can have a Territory in two-wheel-drive. Prices: $20,000-$38,000 BMW X5 2000-2007 In a world where SUVs are often lumbering, ungainly things to drive, the X5 is a breath of fresh air. It feels tight and agile to drive and the quality and presentation are what you'd expect from BMW. It's not an off-roader by any means but for weekends at the snow, it's hard to beat. The only catch is that there's no seven-seat option. Prices: $32,000-$75,000 TOYOTA PRADO 2000-2007 This is the one for the adventurous family. The Prado not only has eight seats and a giant fuel tank, it's also a fair dinkum off- roader and will take you pretty much anywhere you want to go. And, being a Toyota, it's also a good bet to get you home again. The turbo-diesel is the pick. Prices: $15,000-$45,000 Best family car NISSAN MAXIMA 2004-2009 It's underrated and understated but the Nissan Maxima launched in 2004 has aged very gracefully. The 3.5-litre V6 is a cracker and the four-speed automatic does a great job. Standard equipment is great, with alloy wheels and lots of toys included; leather trim is the sole reason to move up to the higher-specified models. Prices: $10,000-$28,000 HONDA ACCORD EURO 2003-2008 The smooth-looking Honda really knocked us out when it landed in 2003. As well as having just the right combination of aggression and luxury in the way it looked, it was a revelation to drive. Suddenly, everything else in its class looked a bit last year. Funny thing is, even now, a lot of the newer stuff still does. Nicely put together, the Euro was also very well equipped and, while pricey when direct from the showroom, depreciation has made it great value now. Prices: $14,000-$35,000 FORD FALCON AU 1997-2002 The AU Falcon is big, reliable and tough. It's also dirt- cheap because people thought it was ugly. It was, too, but revisions softened the looks and made the car even better. Go for a Fairmont Ghia, which had plenty of standard gear and dual front airbags. A car with an LPG conversion is a bottler of a thing. Prices: $5000-$9000 Best performance car BMW M3 1994-1999 Back in the day, this was a proper supercar with shattering performance. And even now, it's a heck of a way to travel. The straight-six engine provides oodles of grunt and the handling is sublime. Early versions had a three-litre engine and five-speed manual while later ones got a 3.2-litre engine and six-speed gearbox. Either is a great machine and great value now. Build quality and safety features are also top-notch. Prices: $21,000-$28,000 FORD FALCON XR6 TURBO 2002-2008 It can tow a caravan, cart five adults and it also happens to go like a rocket. The turbocharged BA/BF Falcon is probably the best-rounded muscle-car made in Australia. The engine is the highlight, with decent economy and a fat power curve. The automatic works best. Find one with the optional performance brakes. Prices: $13,000-$30,000 MAZDA MX-5 1989-2003 The very first MX-5 is still the sweetest of the lot. The 1.6-litre engine (it was 1.8 from 1993) is magic and matches the chassis perfectly. The gearshift is one of the best around and the build quality meant the roof didn't leak. This car proves simple doesn't have to mean dumbed-down. Prices: $6000-$12,000 Buyer be wary THE big thing to look for in a used car is evidence of how it has been used and whether there's an up-to-date service book in the glovebox. That's especially true for performance and luxury models because they can be pricey to fix. If you're not car-savvy, an independent inspection is wise. Be wary of cars with major modifications; they can be difficult to register and insure. Your state or territory registration authority operates a register of vehicles that are still part-owned by finance companies; tap into this to make sure any car you're considering has clear title. It's also worth checking with the police or registration board that the car isn't stolen. Once you own your dream car, keep it in good shape by getting it serviced at a good independent workshop that specialises in your make.
May 7th 2010