Is the Jaguar I-Pace better than a Tesla?
With drivers taking more interest in electric cars, have you done a comparison between the Jaguar I-Pace and a Tesla? I believe the Jag may have the edge but wondered about battery life, cost to replace, distance travelled on a charge and length of time to recharge?
Paul Tregunn, email
No comparison as yet but cost-wise, the Jag I-Pace is from $119,000 plus on-roads and Tesla's rival Model X SUV is from $151,031 drive-away. I-Pace batteries have an eight-year/160,000km warranty; what they'll cost to replace after this - in 2027 - is an unknown. Currently, new Toyota Camry Hybrid batteries are $6000 plus fitting. Technology will advance rapidly and batteries will be cheaper, smaller and more efficient in future. An I-Pace can travel about 400km per charge and a public 50kW DC charger can deliver 270km range per hour of charging.
My 2016 Subaru Outback diesel was bought new with promotional five-year unlimited km warranty. In nearly three years I've driven 200,000km and serviced it with Subaru according to the schedule. Just after its last service the diesel particulate filter light started flashing. I was told soot level was at 30 per cent and ash 100 per cent - and that a replacement, costing $8300 before fitting, is not covered by warranty as it's a wear and tear item. I was advised to buy a diesel due to the high mileage I do but the cost of a new DPF is far higher than the savings I made by not buying a petrol version. I find the vehicle not fit for purpose.
Gavin Dowell, email
That's some serious distance you cover each year, Gavin. Subaru Australia has reviewed your case and has committed to a goodwill DPF replacement for you. David Rowley from Subaru says: "The vehicle was found with high levels of ash in the DPF; soot can be burnt through regeneration but ash cannot. The vehicle was not subject to 'normal' use with such high mileage over a short period of time. We would expect the DPF to last significantly longer under normal use and conditions."
The case against …
Re Mitsubishi Pajero diesel v petrol. I operate a mixed fleet of service vehicles, utes and vans that carry a lot of weight. Our experience when measuring vehicle cost against kilometres show that, sure, diesels get extra distance from a tank of fuel but the premium paid for the fuel - sometimes more than 40c a litre - outweighs the efficiency benefits. Petrol, including E10, gets heavily discounted when diesel does not. Obviously buyers need to consider off-road ability, fuel tank size and towing capacity when buying a touring vehicle, but I do know when diesels break down, boy are they expensive to repair. I'd keep the old petrol Pajero every time.
Bill Larkin, email
Excellent points there, Bill. Diesel fuel used to be on parity (or cheaper) than petrol not too long ago but that's certainly not the case today.
I've owned my 2012 Subaru Impreza since new and when it was five years old I replaced its battery before it let me down. The replacement, supplied by RACQ, failed after just two years. I was told at this point the battery had needed to be topped up every two to three months. This doesn't make sense as I had five trouble-free and maintenance-free years with the old battery. The car has stop-start technology - I wonder whether that is pertinent to battery condition.
Carol Wilson, email
You were right to replace the five-year old battery as this is typical life expectancy, according to many in the industry. Check the replacement battery was an Enhanced Flooded Battery (EFB), designed specifically for the greater demands of cars with stop-start technology. Insist the RACQ installer verifies that the battery sold to you meets Subaru's standards for your Impreza.
Tiny juke box
Re missing jacks. I own a 2016 Nissan Juke and it does have a jack supplied, behind a plastic panel in the boot behind the boot light.
Troy Kelso, email
Thanks Troy. Nissan Australia contacted me too to say there is a jack in the Juke and in the case of our reader there will be a free replacement in case one was never fitted. Depending on the model year of the Juke, Nissan says, the jack is behind a panel in the boot side or underneath the space-saver spare.
Re road noise in the Honda HR-V. We have the VTi-S model and on some roads the noise drowns out the radio completely. I've tried different tyre pressures and am considering changing tyres.
Randolph Forbes, email
The noise from the Honda HR-V can be lessened a great deal by fitting Michelin tyres.
Gil May, email
Since the FCA (Jeep) dealer in Ballarat closed last year I have to travel some distance to get my Jeep Grand Cherokee serviced. I was told a new dealer would be in place before Christmas and I've heard nothing since. Any information?
Stuart Bigham, email
FCA says the new Ballarat Jeep dealership opens in March, so you can book in from mid-month.
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