by clicking the arrows at the side of the page, or by using the toolbar.
by clicking anywhere on the page.
by dragging the page around when zoomed in.
by clicking anywhere on the page when zoomed in.
web sites or send emails by clicking on hyperlinks.
Email this page to a friend
Search this issue
Index - jump to page or section
Archive - view past issues
Journeys : April May 2010
He says Darren Moody Looking for a new car? Ex-Tasmanian Government vehicles, most about two years old with 40,000km RACT Roadworthy Inspection with each vehicle (includes pre-registration certificate) Viewings and fixed price on Saturdays from 9am-2pm or Mondays from 8am Auctions every Tuesday at 11am 56 Sunderland Street, Derwent Park 6428 Buy with confidence at Pickles Auctions www.ract.com.au Some of our more m ature readers would remember the Skoda brand from years gone by. Well, I suggest you forget everything you knew about those vehicles and any reputation they might have had. New Skoda is ow ned by global automotive giant Volkswagen and shares platforms, drive-trains and interiors with VW and Audi, giving in most cases a cheaper entry-level into the V W family, with Audi-like build quality. The Superb is an interesting car -- a large sedan predominantly sporting small engines, 1.8 TSI petrol or 2.0 TDI. There is a V6 AWD option that's enticing on paper, but it won't be the volume seller. This 'large-car small-engine' concept is something we will see more of in the future as the 2011 Falcon will get a 4-cylinder turbo-diesel engine and I'm sure others in the category will look to the success of this for mula. At just under $48,000, the Elegance TDI version on test offers space almost equivalent to Aussie-made family cars. Interior seating and finish is a cut above, with all the class you would expect from an Audi-derived fit-out. There's plenty of safety equipment, starting with nine airbags plus stability control, and all the other items you'd expect as standard in this category. The 125kW diesel engine is a strong perfor mer. Even lugging round a full-size family car, it never struggles. Overtaking on the highway is a breeze. The engine pulls strongly thanks to 350Nm of torque matched to a silky-smooth six-speed direct-shift gearbox (DSG). They work almost seamlessly together. Out on the highway this combination delivers astounding economy figures well below the official combined cycle average of 6.3l/100km. It's so economical in fact that at last year's Global Green Challenge from Dar win to Adelaide, loaded as a support vehicle, the Skoda averaged as low as 4.6l/100km. I managed 5.3/100km without any real effort to drive economically on a return trip to Launceston, which I found astounding for a car this size. The ride is firmer than expected, but not to the point of being uncomfortable. There is reasonable steering feel but this is almost your only connection with the outside world, as noise suppression is outstanding. While you can hear the clatter of the diesel engine above idle and around tow n at cr uising speed, it is exceptionally quiet. To continue on the 'interesting and different' theme, the boot/hatch setup is a little weird. I'm not sure if the back-end knows what it wants to be! You can lift the boot like any nor mal sedan -- or you can open up the huge rear hatch (you may need a quick look at the manual the first time you try). That may not be an issue if an estate (station wagon) is your preference. The Superb wagon is due to be released in Australia in April and I think it takes away a bit of the awkwardness of the sedan rear- end. By any standard, the sedan's boot is huge, so you'd expect the estate to be equally impressive in size. With the underlying DNA of these vehicles, it really isn't hard to see why they are cr uising towards the top of a number of industry awards including Australia's Best Cars. It's well worth a look if you're in the market for a family car, particularly one with fantastic fuel consumption and loads of creature comforts. 33 April / May 10
Feb March 2010
RACT MNJ June July 2010