Which Off-Roader Should I Get – Mitsubishi Pajero or Nissan Pathfinder

Dennis is looking for a heavy-duty 4WD wagon that will get him across the outback effortlessly while towing a camper trailer. Dennis has nailed down his search to two of the most wanted vehicles, Mitsubishi Pajero and Nissan Pathfinder respectively. But he does not have the budget to buy brand new, so he will probably eye to buy one of these two vehicles from specialized used 4wd dealer.

Mitsubishi Pajero

Mitsubishi Pajero

The Mitsubishi Pajero is a grand 7-seater that uses turbo diesel and is the best bet for its worth. It’s equipped with 3.2-litre, 4 cylinder that uses common-rail direct-injection fuel delivery to generate a tough 147 kW and 441Nm @ 2000rpm that is 31Nm more than the existing Prado’s 3.0-litre, and it works magnificently with the 5-speed automatic.

Mitsubishi Pajero Interior

Particularly with the optional rear diff lock, it can run in 2WD or 4WD, low or high range, and can go just about anywhere. The Pajero is graded to tow 3 tonnes, but that’s with only 180kg tow-ball download. If you are towing 2.5 tonnes or less, this raises to 250kg.

Mitsubishi Pajero Seating Versatility

It carries a 5-star ANCAP rating and has the capability to run in 4WD on plastered (sealed) surfaces, it’s certainly beneficial in case the climate turns terrible. It’s equipped with 6 air bags (twin front @ front-side and curtain airbags), anti lock brake systems along with brilliant firmness and traction control.

A decent cabin space, rear seat space is satisfactory, but the front occupants are positioned too near to the doors. Also, the driver is surrounded somewhat by the dashboard and there is lean-only adjustment for the steering wheel, which probably conveys the fact that the car is about-aged.

Nissan Pathfinder Ti550 - Medium SUVNissan Pathfinder Ti 550

Nissan Pathfinder has total 6 cylinders having the engine size of 3.0L with Turbo charged Engine aspiration. Its diesel engine delivers maximum Power of 170 kW @ 3750 RPM and maximum Torque of 550 NM @ 1750 RPM. It has 7-speed automatic transmission, weighs 2200 kg, and has a towing capacity of 3,500 kg. Safety features in the Nissan Pathfinder are commendable – it comes with Vehicle Dynamic Control, Traction Control, 6 airbags, ABS, Active Brake Limited Slip, and Active head restraints.

Nissan Pathfinder Ti550 InteriorEven though, the Nissan Pathfinder is being categorized as a ‘Medium SUV‘ for today’s market, still undoubtedly a heavy hitter when it comes to towing. This vehicle has been identified as a ‘Medium SUV’ just because vehicles such Patrol and the 200 Series have become large enough. As a matter of fact, the Land Cruiser was similar to the size of the current Pathfinder. The merging of a high-tech diesel engine and automatic gearbox is quite tempting. The power and torque are returned precisely where you require it for the daily move, but it gets the task completed evenly and smoothly either off-road or carrying a load. The arrangement of a lengthy wheelbase and smart weight allocation makes sure that the Pathfinder is rock solid when towing. The ride is quite relaxed and communicative without hovering or drifting around. Nissan is known for crafting the best steering in this class too, and the Pathfinder retains that standard. This grand vehicle too has a firm steering, accurate without any dead spots and more importantly you get that awesome feel. The Pathfinder finds its way smartly enough, regardless of the stiff and tortuous roads. Handling the Pathfinder at fairly low speeds while taking reverse is easier and not arduous.

Nepean Motor Group recommends

Mitsubishi Pajero: The Pajero comes with a strong engine and lots of standard equipment. Pajero will certainly give confident off-road ride. It is endowed with good all-round visibility which is well supported by standard reversing camera. For those who are enthusiastic to deal all-round capability for extensive off-road abilities, the Pajero is an expert vehicle. Just ensure that’s what you truly need.

Nissan Pathfinder Ti 550: 3500kg towing capacity, reasonable economy and off road competence are the main USP of Nissan Pathfinder Ti 550. It is strong, reliable and able to do the job. If you want to keep your costs down, then the Pathfinder could be the perfect bet.

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Smart Rearview Mirror Revealed by Nissan

Technology has always brought something new which has given convenience to mankind. A digital rearview mirror which was being used by racing cars will now be used on roads too as Nissan has revealed a digital rearview mirror which has a full-screen camera-based display. There are endless uses of this smart rearview mirror as it has a world class feature which allows you to toggle between normal and digital mirror view.

nissan-lcd-mirror-w

A high-definition camera is mounted on the rear of the car to feed an LCD monitor mirror and while driving it can be switched to normal mirror at any point of time.

As informed by Nissan, the digital view of this mirror is clearer and wider than the standard one. Even if you fill your car with people or luggage, this rearview mirror gives you a clear view of your back. Nissan vice-president and chief planning officer Andy Palmer says – “Smart rearview mirror will give our customers the best possible view no matter how tall the passengers in the back seat, or the road conditions.” He also said that “”It also offers the possibility of new and exciting designs for our upcoming models because the Smart rearview mirror system is an alternative to a very wide rear window for good visibility. We’ll have the flexibility to create new shapes and to further improve aerodynamics for better fuel efficiency.”

This rearview mirror is not a simple video setup. The image distortion from sun and headlight glare is automatically adjusted by the mirror. The 1.3 mp camera is kept above the rear brake light and below the roofline. Live video streaming is done and sent from the camera to LCD incorporated rearview mirror and is shown as the mirror reflection which we are normally see.

In Geneva motor show, this smart rearview mirror was presented and is likely to be launched on the Nissan X-Trail in overseas markets in this year. Later on, it will be also introduced to other countries in 2015.

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New 2015 Jeep Renegade – Revealed at the Geneva Motor Show

The new 2015 Jeep Renegade revealed on 5th March, 2014 at the Geneva Motor Show promises classy qualities on road as well as off the road along with top fuel efficiency figures. As far as style is concerned, the Renegade has all the design characteristics of the jeep brand’s familiar and iconic models in a smaller package. It measures just 4232mm long and 1894mm wide and is a good deal as it is smaller than Cherokee and the Wrangler but larger than the original Willys jeep which served in World War 2. The entry of Renegade has challenged Nissan Juke which has sturdy body and offers increased off-road performance capabilities. It has best in class 4X4 capability which can put up to 100% of the engine’s torque to any one wheel, is a vehicle which is ready for almost anything.

New 2015 Jeep Renegade

Renegade has room for up to five and a convenient cargo area in the back and lots of other storage spaces. So, whether you are planning an adventure or heading out to the town for shopping, it is ready, able and willing to fulfill your requirements.

Also need to mention, that you would love this jeep with My Sky open-air roof systems having manual removable panels which can also be stored in the cargo area if you enjoy the open air freedom while travelling. Its roof panel having tilt/slide feature is made of honeycomb fiberglass polyurethane roof panels.

Renegade has proven that if you want to go big in automotive world, you need to think small. It is based on Fiat derived platform and is a significant risk for Jeep as it is going Global in future. The Jeep enthusiasts would really love to drive Renegade as it has the entire off road capabilities with a class of its own.

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Forthcoming 2014 Nissan X-Trail in the Medium SUV Range

Nissan X-Trail - Medium SUV Range

The latest Nissan innovation is right here in a new avatar ‘X-Trail’, which boasts of 7 seats and aggressive pricing. Ahead of its debut in March, Nissan has announced pricing and details of its new 3rd Gen X-Trail Medium Size SUV. This newest model introduces 7 seats for the very first time only joining the Mitsubishi Outlander to provide such an awesome layout in the mid-level SUV range.

As earlier, the Nissan X-Trail array will be divided into ST, ST-L and Ti trim levels; either two or all-wheel drive, each model will remain accessible. The 7 seat layout will be obtainable in either ST or ST-L grades only, but restricted to 2-wheel drive only.

Space for the whole family

All models of X-Trail will have 80 degrees wide-opening rear doors, theatre-view seating, 40/20/40 EZ Flex sliding and reclining second row seating with ISOFIX and top secure child seat anchorage points and 5 seat models will have the smart divide-’n'-hide storage system.

Divide N Hide

Cruise control and air conditioning would be featured in ‘ST’ models along with proximity keys, 17 inch alloys, and a 5-inch multimedia screen with reversing camera and Bluetooth phone and audio through the Nissan-Connect system.

Cruise ControlThe ‘ST-L’ will also feature leather-accented trim, heated front seats, dual-zone climate control, and the multi-camera ‘around-view’ monitor system with a 7-inch multimedia screen, Sat Nav, digital radio, front fog lights, roof rails and privacy glass.

The top segment ‘Ti’ will feature moving object detection and lane departure driver alerts, powered sunroof, LED headlights and 18 inch alloys, blind-spot, auto wipers and headlights, and a sensor-activated power tailgate.

The latest X-Trail will initiate with mainly carryover petrol drive-trains, with the 106kW/200Nm 2.0-litre advancing 4kW/2Nm and the 126kW/226Nm 2.5-litre advancing 1kW, and turbo-diesel versions will follow late in the 3rd quarter of the year.

Contrary to the current X-Trail, the 2.0-litre will be restricted to the price-leading entry model, and all other petrol versions leaping to the 2.5-litre engine. Also, the base model equipped with 2.0-litre will be manual-only and the only version not to be fitted with an Xtronic CVT auto.

Total control complete confidence

For these new models, the fuel consumption figures are yet to be confirmed officially by Nissan; however, marginal efficiency gains are anticipated over the outgoing versions.

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Peter Barnwell road tests and reviews the VW Caddy Maxi Crewvan with specs, fuel economy and verdict.

Peter Barnwell road tests and reviews the VW Caddy Maxi Crewvan with specs, fuel economy and verdict.

VW-Maxi-Van-w

All VW’s Caddy vans aren’t the same. There are lots of them including a long wheelbase version called the Maxi Crewvan with two rows of seats and a load space as well. Crewvan is in the same workspace as a dual cab ute but it’s a van.

DESIGN
It is functionality in a concentrate as the relatively compact dimensions of the Crewvan can swallow up to an 850kg payload as long as you don’t need to carry five people. It has two side slider passenger/loading doors and a pair of barn doors at the rear. There’s windows halfway back along the side for the rear seat passengers then it’s a blind van from there back.

ENGINE AND TRANSMISSION
Crewvan is available with a 1.6-litre turbo diesel engine only and either a five-speed manual or slick shifting seven-speed DSG automated manual with front wheel drive. Our test vehicle had the latter and it makes a world of difference to the van in terms of driveability. It’s a lot better with the DSG and definitely worth the money.
The plucky donk is good for 75kW/250Nm output the latter from a low 1500rpm right where you want it for heavy lugging. Fuel consumption is an impressive 5.9 litres/100km giving the Crewvan a possible range of around 1000km. A diesel particle filter keeps the exhaust clean and the engine scores an EU5 emissions rating. The rear suspension is a hard working rigid axle/leaf spring arrangement.

PRICE AND FEATURES
The start price is $27,990 but you get a decent amount of kit even if the wheels are steel without any sort of covering and the bumper and other external plastics are drab grey.
A pollen/dust filter, full size spare, park distance control, decent audio, remote central locking, aircon’, multiple airbags and cruise are all included in the package. But satnav is optional with no mention of a rear view camera.

DRIVING
Obviously designed for owners who need a dual purpose passenger/work vehicle, the long wheelbase Crewvan has plenty to offer including excellent fuel economy and room to burn. The load space, indeed the entire vehicle has practical rubber floor mats and there are a number of tie down fixtures in the load area.
The rear pews are split fold but require a prop to hold them in place which intrudes a tad into the available large load space. Load height is low and a pallet will easily fit in the back. The lack of satnav is a problem because rear visibility is compromised a bit due to the ‘blind’ rear side panels. The turning circle could be a touch smaller too.
Plenty of storage compartments are provided including one big overhead bin above the front cabin. All in all a good little vehicle. Well, it’s actually bigger than you think. It’s not pretty, but aesthetics don’t really matter on a work vehicle…do they?

VERDICT
Economical, good performance, plenty of room, practical long warranty and not too hard on the wallet.

VW Caddy Maxi Crewvan
Price: from $27,990
Warranty: 3 years roadside assist
Engine: 1.6-litre turbo diesel 4-cylinder, 75kW/250Nm
Transmission: 5-speed manual or 7-speed DSG automated manual, FWD
Thirst: 5.9L/100Km, CO2 155g/km

Original article can be found at; http://www.carsguide.com.au/site/news-and-reviews/car-reviews-road-tests/vw_caddy_maxi_crewvan

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Nissan Pulsar Hatch: Review

PULSAR_1 It doesn’t make sense. Somehow, Nissan has taken all the design cues you would find their larger vehicles, and built them into their new Pulsar. An interior that is not short on space, engine options that give you more than adequate power at your right foot, and the awesome styling that is found on the Pulsar’s 370Z and Murano stable mates. Then again, if you put it like that, it does make some sense.

After a seven year absence from our shores, the Pulsar nameplate made its return in the form of the sedan in February this year. According to Nissan Motor Company CEO, William Peffer Jr: ‘Nissan is excited to complete the comeback of the Pulsar today with the launch of the Pulsar Hatch. The Australian market has embraced the Pulsar sedan since its launch in February. Now we can offer an even more compelling case with the four grades of Pulsar, including two turbocharged variants’.  This is part of Nissan’s larger plan to roll out multiple new models over the course of the year, including the Patrol V8 and funky Juke crossover. Today’s feature car is their latest release, the new Nissan Pulsar Hatch, a little car with a big car feel.

Jumping behind the wheel, the first thing you will notice is how much the Pulsar doesn’t feel like a small car. To give you an idea of how much space this car has, with the driver’s seat adjusted to suit my 197 cm frame, I can sit in the back seat behind the driver comfortably. A dash that starts low then curves up towards the windscreen, and lowset console give plenty of room to stretch out. The seat bolsters are comfortable but unobtrusive, and more than ample enough to secure you in a spirited cornering manoeuvre. Every relevant control falls easily to hand, with the steering wheel bristling with buttons to ensure you don’t take your attention away from the road, plus Bluetooth capability comes standard on all models across the range.

PULSAR_2Today’s feature car is the ST-S, powered by a 1.6 litre turbo engine, backed up by a constantly variable transmission (CVT). Upon start up, the car is whisper quiet, something you would expect from a brand new car. What you don’t expect is the power unleashed by the diminutive engine, enough so that you can find yourself sitting on the speed limit long before you expect it. Being fitted with Nissan’s DIG injection system, the fuel is injected directly into the combustion chamber, as opposed to through an inlet manifold as with other engines. This allows for greater control over the combustion process, raising power & torque levels while accurately controlling emission levels.

The CVT makes this car a delight to drive in traffic, far outperforming the traditional ‘automatic’ style gearbox. It does this by having constantly variable gear ratios, omitting the clunk felt on up-shift during acceleration, and the lurch felt on deceleration, even while using the ‘tiptronic’ manual shifting mode. Steering is light, light even for a car as small as this, which makes navigating car parks a breeze. The ST-S rolls on 17 inch rims, wrapped in Continental tyres, a good choice that gives a high friction level, while maintaining low road noise at high speed.

All in all, the new Nissan Pulsar hatch is a surreal experience. To look upon that stylish yet small body, then to stretch out in its expansive exterior seems strange. To look at it’s a cute little engine, then to experience the large amount of power under acceleration. And with a starting price of $28,010 for the ST-S, ultimately the Pulsar Hatch does make sense.

PULSAR_4  PULSAR_3

You can read more of Ian’s work at his website; www.themanifold.me

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Volkswagen Polo: spy shot

VW-Polo(2)-wThe former Carsguide COTY is getting the most minor of updates to celebrate the halfway point in its life.

The only obvious changes are around the nose, with a modified air intake, but the Polo is likely to get a value boost before it follows Golf 7 into a total overhaul late in 2014.

This reporter is on Twitter: @paulwardgover

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Smoking harmful to your car’s resale health

Smoking-car-w1Someone famous once said; “Whatever you do, just don’t smoke.”

It didn’t help actor Yul Brynner, who sounded the warning after contracting a fatal cancer, but it could help you at trade-in time. Keeping tobacco smoke away from your car’s cabin is likely to add hundreds, or even thousands, to its secondhand price. And it’s almost certainly helping your health as well.

A friend emailed this week to raise the question of smoking in cars, after an interesting encounter during his morning commute. ”I saw a woman this morning in a brand-new BMW 5 Series smoking her lungs out with all the windows up and pondered if this would affect resale. I reckon a non-smoker’s car must be worth more,” he says.

A quick call to Glass’s Guide, the Australian authority on secondhand sales, reveals nothing substantial but a clear pointer. ”We do not consider smoking as a criteria while predicting residual values,” says Rashad Parkar.

“However, we believe that smoking does have a detrimental effect when it comes down to car valuation. If the car has cigarette marks or damaged upholstery due to smoking this will definitely impact residual values in a negative manner.”

But things are more black-and-white in the USA, where research shows that even a heavy tobacco odour can put people off a car. The only serious study we can find on the subject is from San Diego in 2008 and it says a smoker’s car would be worth up to nine per cent less in the USA.

Surprisingly, more than 20 per cent of cars for sale were owned by smokers or had been smoked in during the previous year, where more than 90 per cent of non-smokers banned any sort of tobacco ignition in their cars.

The study is funded by an anti-tobacco group so needs to be put into context, but lists more than 4000 chemicals in secondhand smoke and nicotine levels 30 times higher in smoker’s cars than ones which are tobacco free.

“When tobacco is smoked in the enclosed environments of passenger cars, air concentrations of tobacco smoke pollutants can become extremely high. Many of the pollutants attach to surfaces and accumulate in duster from where they can be released back into the air over days and weeks after smoking,” says Penelope Quintana, one of the study’s author and a professor in the school of public health in San Diego.

The American research is nasty stuff but the everyday crackdown on smoking since then is bound to be producing an even bigger impact, as smoking becomes less and less tolerated in all areas of everyday life. The changing attitude is also reflected in the way car companies look at smoking.

These days, many cars do not have an ashtray and the cigarette lighter has become a power socket. It’s a huge contrast to the days when Jaguar had identical chromed ash receptacles at three points in its XJ limousine, allowing the owner – or fiery journalists – to rotate them until all three were choked and in need of a full-scale clean out.

If you want a cigarette lighter in a BMW you must pay extra. And it’s been that way for years. But power sockets are spreading faster than nicotine addiction and most cars have at least three, with the highest plug-in count we’ve discovered in an American SUV with six.

Cigarettes are on the way out but now we’re plugging in phone chargers and GPS navigation systems on a daily basis, as well as back-seat entertainment systems and – once again, in the USA – beverage warmers for the giant coffee containers the seem to be compulsory for commuters.

But we still have to ask if we’re swapping one danger for another in cars, stubbing out the cigarette threat but plugging in giant distractions that can easily lead to more trouble than a slump in the secondhand price.

This reporter is on Twitter: @paulwardgover

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Three more brands lining up for V8s

v8-supercars1-wBMW and Chrysler tipped to be interested in joining V8 Supercars

Mark Skaife yesterday revealed there are another three car manufacturers lining up to join the newest player on the V8 grid after the Holden chairman and Supercars’ commissioner announced Volvo would to take the fight to Holden, Ford, Nissan and Mercedes next year.

On another landmark day for the sport that will ensure the category’s long term viability, Volvo yesterday committed to becoming V8 Supercars’ fifth manufacturer, with the Swedish giant joining Garry Rogers Motorsport for a two-car assault on the championship.

But Skaife said there could be more than two V8 Volvo S60s on the grid from 2015, with the former champion revealing he is still in talks with another three manufacturers about joining the series.

News Limited understands BMW and Chrysler are two of the interested parties.

“I can say that I am in discussion with three,” Skaife said, ”We have held talks and we will continue to, going forward. They have all said they are interested but whether or not they come and play I don’t know.”

“Either way, we have to make sensible decisions to gain factory-backed support for race teams currently not receiving that support. This is about the viability of our sport.”

With five manufacturers now committed to the series next year, Skaife said the sport could only sustain a couple more entries, with the new teams chasing success in an already competitive field.

“I think the clever way to go about it is to say will have five manufacturers for 2014,” Skaife said.

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Skoda Octavia RS: spy shot

Skoda-Octavia-RS-001-WThe Skoda Octavia generally flies under the radar…

…but not the RS car being tweaked now at the Nurburgring for local deliveries next year.

It will be packed with more than 160 kiloWatts of turbo power and the usual go-faster dress-up gear including a rear spoiler and four fat exhaust pipes. It’s for Golf GTi fans who want something a bit bigger with a boot. Here early in 2014 for less than $40,000.

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