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Journeys : Dec2011 Jan2012
Best Luxury SUV over $60,000 Volkswagen Touareg V6 TDi $77,990 Driveline: 3.0 litre; 6 cyl; 8 speed; Automatic transmission Fuel economy: 7.4L/100km; Diesel Safety Features: DFSA. CA. ABS. ESC. TCS ANCAP: Not Rated GVG: This series-two Volkswagen Touareg is indeed all new and bristling with technology. It’s larger than the previous model with improved occupant and load space thanks to an additional 50mm in the wheelbase, it boasts class leading body str ucture yet weighs up to 90kg less, and the upgraded engines mated to the new 8-speed automatic transmission deliver even better performance while offer ing up to 20 percent reduction in fuel consumption. From the moment you slip behind the wheel there is a high quality look and soft touch feel to the Touareg interior and a particularly smart dash presentation. This plush cabin will comfortably seat five adults while drivers get comfort seats with 12-way electric adjustment and electro pneumatic side bolsters. That additional wheelbase length translates directly into extra legroom. Versatility has also been improved w ith the introduction of a rear seat that can slide backward or forward by 160mm to give additional rear cabin or boot space, and the rear squab can also be reclined in three stages. A comprehensive range of features, like touch-screen technology, in addition to the impressive fundamental design makes the Touareg a class leader in both comfor t and ergonomics. All models of the Touareg come with a comprehensive safety package that includes nine airbags, ABS braking with off road function, ESC with active rollover function, hill hold starting assist and hill decent control. Power comes from a 3.0 litre turbo diesel engine delivering 180kW and an impressive 550Nm of torque from around 2,000rpm. BlueMotion technologies, which include faster engine and gearbox warm up, engine stop-start and regenerative braking result in a significant reduction in fuel consumption and emissions. The new diesel returned a remarkable 7.4L/100km. This figure has of course been assisted by the ultra moder n and outstanding in operation, 8-speed auto which not only allows the engine to operate more responsively across the range but more efficiently thanks to reduced friction and overdrive ratios on seventh and eighth. Best People Movers Hyundai i-Max $42,490 Driveline : 2.5 litre; 4 cylinder turbo-diesel; 5-speed automatic Fuel economy: 9.8L/100km; Diesel Safety Features: DFA, ABS, TCS, ESC ANCAP: GVG: Hyundai i-Max continues to tick all the right boxes as an affordable, family-friendly people mover. Buying a sports car is a purchase of passion that’s made with the heart, but for a people mover the table is turned – the decision is all about function and must be made with the head. The reason for buying a people mover is to transport more passengers than a family sedan; and this is where the Hyundai iMax shines. Plenty of vehicles, both people movers and 4W D SUVs, can seat seven or eight but in most cases their pr imar y focus is elsewhere and they don’t take care of the passengers nearly as well as the iMax. There is no denying the iMax is a big van with commercial origins but the massive interior has been put to excellent use, while subtle mechanical refinements transform it from a solid workhorse into a family-oriented people mover that’s ideal for ever yday use. The practical approach starts with large sliding doors on either side providing easier access to the second and third rows than most others. The iMax seats eight adults in relative comfort. Not only can adults sit in the third row without having their legs crushed or hitting their head every time the vehicle hits a bump, there is still plenty of luggage space – a rarity in most people movers or SUVs. iMax has enough width to fit three child seats across the middle row seat – a major plus for parents, while the cavernous interior makes getting kids in and out much easier than most vehicles. The seats however don’t have all the clever folding functions of some people movers, while the interior trimming has a durable rather than opulent appearance. Complementing its strong Design and Function scores, the iMax also does well in the Value for Money stakes with affordable pricing, low ser vicing costs and a reassuring five-year, unlimited kilometre warranty. It doesn’t get some luxury features found in a few others but iMax’s kit is astutely chosen for its intended purpose. Bluetooth and iPod integration have been added this year, in keeping with current trends. Australia’s Best Cars 56 December 2011 / January 2012
Oct Nov 2011
Feb March 2012