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Journeys : June July 2009
Life on the move service that keeps you moving. RACT Battery Service – Membership Benefit • Free mobile installation service – you only pay for the battery itself • We come to you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week from most RACT branches, RACT agents and Approved Repairers statewide • High quality, fully sealed, maintenance-free batteries • 3 year nationwide warranty on all premium range batteries • RACT actively recycles your old battery – giving the environment a hand • Competitively priced Call 13 27 22 Cars winning small car the Mazda2, it does have that Euro influence, which has substantially improved ride and handling over what was already a good car. Steering feel and response is superb, with the chassis and suspension so in tune I found it almost impossible to induce understeer or tyre squeal. Driving position was excellent, with tilt and reach adjustable steering; interior room, including rear seat legroom, would be adequate for the growing family, but forget about three teenagers and beyond. FORD FIESTA ZETEC W The combined package could certainly handle more power than is currently on tap, but Ford has indicated they won’t be developing an XR4 model from the Fiesta. The model on test, the top-of-the-line manual Zetec, is a great example of stacking plenty into a small package. Standard features included cruise control, alloy wheels, Bluetooth connectivity, 6speaker sound system with MP3 and USB connectivity. Standard safety features include five airbags, seat belt pre-tensioners, ESP, EBD and EBA, all combining to offer a 5-star ANCAP rating. At $21,490 the Zetec adds $5000 to the price of a base-spec three-door but offers plenty if your budget extends that far. Lower-spec models only have driver/ passenger airbags and ABS as standard so will require the safety pack box to be ticked in the options list to get all the other safety equipment – but as a $1000 option I’d recommend it. www.ract.com.au 26 June / July 09 The 1.6 litre 88kW engine producing 152 Nm is a willing worker, and while it tends to get a little harsh in the upper rev range, hile the Fiesta shares underpinned DNA with last years’ Australia’s Best convenient mobile Batteries' RACT He says… Darren Moody it is more than adequate for everyday driving. (If you opt for the auto version, you can only have a 1.4L engine). Fuel consumption is rated at 6.1 L/100km but as is often the case with cars in this class, real-world driving doesn’t come close. 400 kilometres of highway cruising netted 7 L/100km, when combined with city driving pushed it to 7.8L/100km. On the subject of fuel, I dropped into the servo to fill the tank, opened the fuel flap only to discover no fuel cap! Nothing I could do at the time, but when I followed it up later I discovered it uses a cap-less filler. For all the car’s positives I do have a couple niggles that I need to get off my chest. I don’t know how many times I drove into driveways and scraped the front bumper. I wasn’t the only one to do it, as a quick run of the hand under the Fiesta’s ‘chin’ found plenty of fuzz there. The other beef relates to the controls and ergonomics. Driving many and varied cars I am usually a quick adapter to different manufacturers’ nuances, but I really struggled with this one. Maybe my hands were too big, but I was always bumping controls, with the rear wiper the standout. Having said that though, Ford’s decision to source its small car fleet from Europe has been vindicated with the release of the German built Fiesta, which is possibly the best car I have driven in this segment. 6253
April May 2009
August September 2009