April 14, 2015

Best Electric Cars for Sale in Australia

Best Electric Car Australia

It is certainly true that the world has gone digital and Australia hasn’t been immune to the change. Now, the country is filled with many electric cars, which have some tremendous benefits.

Still, it is a good idea to get to know a little about the electric car, before you move on and begin looking for an electric vehicle that you will get you around down under.

Best Electric Car Australia

What is an Electric Car?

 

It is certainly true that there are enormous advantages to the electric car, but many people truly don’t understand this type of vehicle. They may have a basic overview and understand that the vehicle primarily runs on electricity, but they’re actually more complicated than that. In actuality, the vehicle is equipped with an electric motor and battery, which is recharged by an energy source. There is major differential between electric and hybrid vehicles. The latter is capable of working on petrol or electric, while the straight electric vehicle cannot.

 

Many people will wonder how far can you travel in this type of car. The truth is that the different models can travel different distances. Obviously, the cheapest model will not travel as far. Surprisingly, it is possible for a few of these vehicles to be driven over 400 kilometers, before a recharge is needed, but most are capable of mileages under 200 kilometers per charge.

 

So exactly how do you charge one of these vehicles? Although it is possible to charge your vehicle from home, there are also charging stations throughout Australia, where you can charge your vehicle. There are a few individual charging stations in Melbourne, Perth and Adelaide, with several others being planned. Therefore, you can rest assured that you’ll be able to find a place to charge your car in the country. Below, you will discover some of the best electric vehicles available in Australia.

 

The 2016 Mitsubishi i-MiEV

The 2016 Mitsubishi i-MiEVMitsubishi has brought out all of the stops to provide Aussies with this awesome electric car. It is completely petrol free and operated entirely on electricity. Australians will love the fact that the vehicle is 100% electric, but rest assured no tailpipe emission will be released to ensure the country remains beautiful and free of harmful chemicals.

 

In order to keep you safe, the vehicle is equipped with six individual airbags. The active stability control, ASC, is capable of tracking each of the tire’s grips on the road. If one of the tires begins to slip, the anti-lock braking system will trigger and help to ensure that your vehicle stays on the road.

The battery can be charged with two unique cables, including 8 amps or 12 amps. The 12 amps will ensure that your vehicle is charged in 14 hours, while the 8 amps can charge it in 22 hours. It is possible to transport four individuals in the 2016 Mitsubishi i-MiEV, with total convenience.

 

The Nissan LEAF

The 2015 Nissan LEAF is actually available in three individual models. The LEAF is completely electric, including the drive train and the Lithium-Ion battery. Again, you will be able to protect the Land Down Under with this vehicle, Nissan Leafsince it will not emit any CO emissions. In fact, the vehicle isn’t even equipped with a tailpipe!

 

In general, the vehicle is capable of taking you 136 kilometers on a single charge. By pressing the appropriate button on your Nissan Intelligent Key, you’ll be able to access the vehicle’s charging port. In fact, the key can be used for a variety of different purposes, including locking and unlocking the doors, as well as starting the engine.

The Nissan LEAF is equipped with many conveniences including the dynamic control system, traction control system and even a tire pressure monitoring system.

 

Tesla Model S

Tesla Model SIt is hard to deny that Tesla often leads the way in the electric vehicle. The Tesla Model S is equipped with all-wheel drive, but it is the autopilot mode that will blow the minds of Australians.

With these capabilities, the vehicle, which is 100% electric, uses a camera, radar and sonar sensors to automatically drive, or pilot, the vehicle. In fact, the vehicle can change lanes and even pull off the dreaded parallel parking for you!

With the Tesla Model S, it is possible to charge up your vehicle at home, or on the go. With a single hour of charging, it is possible to obtain approximately 100 kilometres, when using the Type 2 connector. When charging in a domestic setting, you will generally obtain around 40 kilometres per every charging hour.

 

The Tesla Roadster 

The Tesla Roadster finally touched down in Australia in 2010. Aussies will be able to find total convenience with this vehicle, since the plug can be hooked up to nearly outlet. With this possibility, it is possible to charge the vehicle, The Tesla Roadsterregardless of your location. Surprisingly, this is one of the best vehicles, when it comes to charge distance. On a single charge, it is estimated that the vehicle will be able to travel a distance of nearly 400 kilometres.

 

The Roadster is equipped with an electric powertrain, which gives the driver total control. With a custom tuned suspension, which is optional, the driver can control the vehicle’s handling with ease. If you’re looking for a Tesla electric car, this is certainly a suitable option!

 

BMW i3

The BMW i3 is a suitable BMW electric car for all Australians. It is equipped with comfortable seats, which give the passengers the ability to view the entire landscape, while enjoying the ride. The vehicle is 100% electric, including BMW-i3the motor and lithium-ion battery. Still, the car is powerful and can quickly transform from 0 to 100 in 7 seconds!

The BMW i3 is capable of providing Aussies with a few days of transportation, before a recharge is needed. 130-160 km is possible for a single charge. Of course, there are a few accessories that can help extend the distance of a single charge.

 

Chevy Spark

The Chevy Spark EV was actually introduced to the world at an Australian auto show. The vehicle is certainly affordable, since it will only cost around 33,000 AUD. In terms of distance, the vehicle is capable of getting the Chevrolet Sparkaverage Aussie back and forth to work on a single charge. It is estimated that this electric car is capable of traveling for approximately 130 kilometres on a single charge.

 

Unfortunately, the vehicle might not be suitable for longer trips, but it is certainly fun for a ride around Sydney or Melbourne. The biggest advantage of this vehicle is the possibility of charging up to 80% in just 20 minutes!

 

Kia Soul EV

The Kia Soul EV is the first Kia electric car, which has been made available worldwide. The exterior design of the vehicle is super stylish and will look excellent driving down the road, whether you’re in Canberra or Sydney. With Kia Soul EVthis one, the driver will gain total control over the vehicle and will have plenty of driving time, since a single charge is capable of powering the vehicle for 200 km.

 

Of course, Australians should rest assured knowing the vehicle is entirely electric and puts off zero CO2 emissions. Despite the electric motor, the vehicle can drive up to 145 KPH. The inside design is comfortable and provides room for four or five passengers.

 

Conclusion

All of the above-mentioned vehicles are excellent electric cars for the average Australian. Whether you’re attempting to protect the environment, or cutback on petrol costs, you’ll be able to do so, with these electric vehicles. Just take your time and choose the one that suits your needs the best, before laying down you money.

 

Electric Cars Australia: Fuel Efficient Car Guide

Introduction to Fuel Efficient Cars: Electric and Hybrid

The future of the automotive industry has arrived in the form of electric and hybrid vehicles.  In a time of awareness to the environmental threats of the classic combustion engine, these alternatives have been widely adopted.  There was a time when Hydrogen Cars seemed poised to enter the market, but it did not experience the same success.  This guide will help you understand the difference between electric and hybrid vehicles and also tell you the best option in each category.

The most fuel efficient cars are electric vehicles.  They are powered by electric motors using energy stored in batteries.  The concept of electric cars began in the 1880s but they were not widely accepted until the early 2000s.  The potential for this technology came with the invention of the rechargeable battery.  The number of mass produced highway capable electric vehicles is nearing 50 and they are disrupting the market.  Many countries are offering benefits to citizens who purchase these vehicles as pollution and resource consumption is becoming a looming issue.

 Hybrids were widely adopted sooner than the all electric vehicles.  They contain a dual transmission that is capable of running an electric motor or a combustion engine.  The car is able to seamlessly alternate between the two options depending on the demand that is placed on the vehicle.  Hybrid vehicles commonly offer a 20%-40% efficiency advantage to standard vehicles.  Hybrids do not yield the same environmental benefits as electric.

Best Electric Car

Tesla Model S, A$96,208

01-2012-tesla-model-s-fd-1347336745

The Tesla Model S the crown for the best electric car.  No other electric car in Australia was even close in this race.  It is manufactured by Tesla Motors in California.  Don’t think of this car as an electric tree-hugging vehicle.  It is more of a luxury sports car that just happens to be electric.  It delivers world class performance with un-matched handling and jet-like acceleration.  The ride is comfortable, offering 5 seats and an optional third row for small children.  This allows the car to sit 7 in total.

The Tesla grabs your eye from the beginning.  The flush aluminum door-handle welcomes you with a touch causing them to pop-out and welcome you inside.  Once you enter the interior you are drawn to the 17-inch display that houses all of the controls.  With a simple push to start you now in control of one of the best sports cars even built.

The Tesla battery puts the vehicle in a class of its own.  Unlike other electric cars, its range is in the hundreds of kilometers instead of the dozens.  The 85 kWh battery boasts a range of 502 km.  The range does vary in different temperatures as the cold dissipates the energy causing shorter ranges.  The battery can even plug into standard outlets, although the charges process is not as quick as the manufacturer’s recommended hook up. A full charge cycle takes 12 hours.  A full charge costs about $12 assuming the national average electricity rate.  This makes the running costs exceptionally low and the end result is one of the most fuel efficient cars ever.

The Model S powertrain is so silent that you will not believe it is produces the acceleration and torque that it does.  The car goes from 0-100km/h in just 5.6 seconds and reaches a top speed of 225 km/hr.  The handling reacts just as you would expect it, not being too touchy.  The car comes standard with alloy wheels and air suspension.  The car also has 2 regenerative brakes that convert the braking energy into charge.  It has 2 settings for this brake.  One setting applies the brake as you take your foot off of the acceleration pedal.  The other setting does not automatically apply the brake.

 In addition to performance the Model S also delivers in safety.  The vehicle is equipped with knee airbags for the front seat in addition to standard front, torso, and curtain air-bags.  It delivered some of the best results in crash testing that have ever been recorded.  It received a 5-star rating and is the best car ever tested in America.

 The car comes with an un-matched 8-year, infinite mile warranty.  This covers the drive-train and battery.  In addition, Tesla guarantees re-sale value and will even buy the car back from you based on their depreciation calculations.  This means that you can completely understand your financial investment upfront if you have plans of trading in the car.

In summary, the Tesla is simply the best electric car available.  If you can overcome the price tag you will not regret this decision.

 Best Hybrid Car

Lexus RX 450h, A$84,600

2012_lexus_rx-450h_4dr-suv_base_fq_oem_2_500

The Lexus RX 450h is the hybrid counterpart of the more popular RX 450h.  It is a bold and stylish luxury SUV that will definitely turn heads.  It incorporates Hybrid Technology that increases its efficiency to a competitive level.  The hybrid engine does sacrifice a bit of performance relative to a pure combustions, but the tradeoff is worth it.

From the outside, the vehicle is nothing short of gorgeous.  Notably, the headlights boast a variable lighting system that automatically adjust to ensure they are pointing in the right direction.  The dramatic front grill is striking, composed from an aggressive mesh aluminum.  The car sits on-top of 19” alloy wheels finished in a dark grey.

The Lexus Hybrid Technology incorporates an electric motor and a 3.5 L V6 Atkinson Cycle Petrol engine.  The engine delivers a maximum of 183 kW of power at 6,000 rpm.  This is definitely not shabby and will provide you with more than you need from your hybrid.  To complement the power, the SUV is efficient.  With a fuel consumption of 6.3L / 100 km you will be hard-pressed to find less thirsty SUV.

The 50kW electric motor powers the electric four-wheel drive system (E-Four).  The E-Four saves fuel by only using 4-wheel drive when needed.  During acceleration it only drives the rear wheels.  If additional traction is needed the system adjusts to compensate for your needs.  The power train also features regenerative braking, meaning you don’t need to charge the electric battery.  The four-wheel system captures dissipated heat and converts it into power.

In terms of safety, the car delivers.  Front passengers are protected by front knee and side airbags.  Both front and rear passengers are also protected by curtain bags.  The vehicle also did well in American crash testing, but performed under the Model S benchmark.

The warranty duration is 48 months or 100,000 kms.  The warranty leaves more to be desired, especially considering that it is a hybrid vehicle.  Hybrids are more complex to repair meaning there is most likely higher costs incurred.

In summary, the Lexus RX 450h is the best hybrid car available.  Though it is not as efficient as electric, it offers more flexibility to the user without the hassle of a limited range.  If you need long-distance driving this SUV is for you.

 

February 20, 2015

Family Cars Guide: What Is The Best Family Car?

holden family car

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Holden_Commodore

 

There is a huge range of family cars available to choose from today and the sheer number can make it  difficult to decide which to buy.  The goal of this post is to guide you through the process and help you find the best family car for you.

Questions To Ask Yourself

To ease this decision below are a number of questions to ask yourself to narrow down the possibilities.  This is followed by a summary of the pros and cons of each car type and a recommendation of specific models to consider.

How many children are there in the family?

Larger vehicles can accommodate up to 9 people, whilst smaller ones have a maximum capacity of 5 (or less in some cases where baby seats are required).  Also consider how long you will be keeping the car and whether you would potentially expand the family during that period.

What size car do you need?

Major factors when choosing a car will be the comfort and support given by the seats, as well as how good visibility is out of the windows at the front, rear and side. Also the size of the car will often have an impact on how easy it is to maneuver and park.  In addition if you would like help when parking, look for cars with parking sensors and/or cameras to assist you.

What is your budget for the car?

The price of family cars varies tremendously from low five figures to over $100,000 and beyond. Make a realistic budget that you would like to put towards the car, so you don’t waste time considering cars that are above your set budget.

How important is fuel efficiency?

If it is important, be sure to check the fuel consumption figures, which will give you an estimate of how many fuel the car burns during journeys.  This can make a huge difference in terms of costs if you make long journeys frequently.

Do you often run out of space in your boot?

If you often carry luggage, pushchairs or other stuff, you will need to make sure the cars you consider have large enough capacity to accommodate your needs.  Test how easy it is to place and remove frequently used items such as pushchairs in the boot.

How many storage compartments do you need?

You can never have enough of these, even without a family.  But with a family, it is handy to have spaces for drinks, food, nappies, wipes, books and games.

Do you need to frequently drive for a large number of people?

If you are responsible for carpooling for school or work runs, you need to make sure the car has sufficient capacity to cope with the maximum number of passengers you usually expect.

How frequently do you need to drive off road or in poor weather (e.g. snow or ice covered roads)?

Review the features of the cars you are looking at, including whether they have four-wheel drive and/or other features that assist when driving in poor weather or on bad roads.

Types of Family Cars

Below are the various types of family cars including small cars, family sedans, SUVs and MPVs.

Small Family Cars

Ford Focus

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ford_Focus#mediaviewer/File:Ford_Focus_1.6_Ti-VCT_Champions_Edition_(III)_%E2%80%93_Frontansicht,_23._September_2012,_Mettmann.jpg

The fuel economy of a small car is very good, driving and parking is very simple, when compared to larger counterparts.  Unfortunately due to the smaller size of the cars, the interiors are small and there are also limited luggage areas.

Small cars are best for families with either one child or two children if they don’t require pushchairs.

Small family cars to consider: the Volkswagen Golf, BMW 1 Series and the Ford Focus

Family Sedan

Mazda6

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mazda6#mediaviewer/File:2010-2011_Mazda_6_(GH_Series_2)_Luxury_Sports_hatchback_(2011-08-17)_01.jpg

Family sedans offer plenty of space, excellent driving dynamics and a raft of technical features.  However the purchase price and fuel costs are frequently more than small family cars.  They make ideal cars for families that want decent boot space, make long journeys and are useful for families with taller children.

Family sedans to consider: Mazda6, Holden Commodore, Toyota Hybrid

SUV

Ford Territory

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ford_Territory#mediaviewer/File:2009-2010_Ford_Territory_(SY_II)_TX_wagon_01.jpg

SUVs offer a range of advantages including the versatility of being able to drive off road and in poor weather conditions, something which other car types would typically struggle with. The higher up position of the seats and front visibility also make driving easier.  But the higher ride can also cause issues due to the fact that this can in some cases compromise dynamics and make them more likely to roll.

Some SUVs offer a third row of seats, which is great for seat capacity, but be sure to check the space available, as the third row can have limited space, which may only be suitable for smaller children.

Also keep in mind, due to the larger size and engine of many SUVs, this does have an impact on fuel costs, so you can often find SUVs are more expensive than both sedans and small cars in this regard.

In terms of size:

  • 5 seat SUVs are well suited to 1-2 child families
  • 7 seat SUVs work well for families with 3 or more children.

Best Family SUVs: Peugeot 2008, Mazda CX-5, Ford Territory

Mult-purpose Vehicle (MPV)

 

Honda Odyssey Luxury van

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Honda_Odyssey_(international)#mediaviewer/File:2009-2011_Honda_Odyssey_Luxury_van_(2011-04-28)_01.jpg

Multi-purpose vehicles are designed to carry 7 or more people as standard, so there is no need to fold seats up or down, move forward or backwards or adjust seating configuration in any other way.  Access to all of the seats in the vehicle is simple and straight forward and due to the heavy use by families, the interiors are often child-friendly.  On the flip side, the larger MPVs can get expensive and can be trickier to drive, with more of a bus feel than a car.  Additionally aesthetics is often put below functionality in terms of priorities.

Overall the MPV is suited to larger families with 3 or more children or who frequently carry other passengers.

MPVs to consider: Honda Odyssey, Kia Rondo, Fiat Freemont.

Conclusion

Having reviewed all the different car types it is clear there is no ‘best family car’.  You need to assess what your family needs are and then match them with the car type that best fits them, whilst at the same time minimizing the disadvantages as much as possible.  SUVs and small cars are a very popular choice at the moment, but ultimately it should be your needs that dictate the car type and model you eventually decide to choose.

 

February 20, 2015

SUV Cars Guide: Which Is The Best SUV For You?

SUV cars - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sport_utility_vehicle#mediaviewer/File:3rd_Cadillac_Escalade_--_08-16-2010.jpg

Today Aussie Auto Advice  reviews the best SUV cars available on the Australian market today.

Why Buy A SUV?

SUVs offer many benefits over cars and have become more and more popular for a number of reasons:

  • Extra seating and space: the larger frame, means there is much more space inside the cabin for passengers. In addition some can accommodate up to 9 passengers, perfect for large families and those who host frequent carpools.
  • Capacity: many SUVs have space that can be used when you need to haul cargo safely inside without the danger of exposing it the weather.
  • Towing: SUVs can comfortably tow other cars, boats, caravans and larger items that a car may not be able to.
  • Handling and safety: with the increased weight, drivers of SUVs have better handling, even in harsher weather environments.

In this article we are going to help you find the best SUV according to your budget from the basic SUVs under $30,000 to the luxury SUVs over $50,000.

Budget SUV – Peugeot 2008

Peugeot 2008 SUV

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peugeot_2008#mediaviewer/File:Peugeot_2008_82_VTi_Access_%E2%80%93_Frontansicht,_28._Mai_2014,_D%C3%BCsseldorf.jpg


This category is often the home of the best small SUV and currently this is the case. Boasting a 4 cylinder 1.6 litre engine with an output of 160 Nm at 4250 revolutions per minute, the Peugeot 2008 is slightly smaller in terms of engine size than other SUVs in this price bracket, most of which have 2 litre engines. However due to the weight being just over a ton, the size of the engine and its power, is not an issue.

In terms of fuel consumption, the Peugeot compares favourably with similar budget SUVs and only the Suzuki S Cross performs considerably better with 5.8 km versus the 6.5 litres per 100,000 km travelled of the Peugeot.

The exterior design of the SUV, has the look of the Peugeot 208, due to the similar lines.  Again the only SUV which comes close design-wise is the Suzuki S Cross.  The dimensions of the car ensure there is ample interior (including boot) space for an SUV of this category:

  • Height 1556 mm
  • Length 4159 mm
  • Width 1739 mm

The interior of the car is also a class above it competitors.  The materials used throughout are high quality and especially noteworthy are the doors and dashboard, especially in this price of car.

The only letdowns are the outdated 4 speed gearbox and the lack of space for rear passengers. These aside the Peugeot SUV is well priced, looks good and has decent specs for an SUV in this price range.

Overall the Peugeot is the best value SUV available.

 

Lower Mid Range SUV – Subaru Forester

Subaru Forester SUV

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Subaru_Forester#mediaviewer/File:Subaru_Forester_XT_(SJ)_front.JPG

The Subaru Forester is our pick of low mid-range SUVs on the market. The strength of this SUV comes from the fact that it performs consistently above average across the various categories. So although it may not be the strongest in many categories, its consistent performance puts above other SUVs in this range.

It performs particularly well in strong in terms of depreciation value, with its closest competitor being the Ford Kuga.  It drives well and handles off road journey comfortably.  Although reasonably large, parking is helped by the rear parking camera. It also performs well in terms of safety providing front and side airbags and provides cover for both seat rows using curtain airbags.  Anti-whiplash headrests provide protection in rear end collisions that cause whiplash injuries. An immobiliser ensures that the car stays parked when you leave it.

Areas where it doesn’t compare favourably are fuel consumption, insurance and the warranty.  Fuel consumption is 8.1 litres per 100,000 kilometres, especially poor when compared against Skoda Yeti’s 6.7 km, Hyundai IX35’s and the Kia Sportage Platinum’s 7.2 km.  Likewise it is in the highest insurance group along with the Hyundai IX35 and the Ford Kuga.  The warrantly is only 36 months or  999,000 km versus the Kia Sportage which offers a five year unlimited kilometre warranty.

Upper Mid Range SUV – Hyundai Santa Fe

Hyundai Santa Fe review

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hyundai_Santa_Fe#mediaviewer/File:Hyundai_Santa_Fe_GLS_2.2_CRDi_2013_(13611979534).jpg

The Hyundai Santa Fe is a well equipped and practical SUV that comes with 7 seats.  It comes with a fuel efficient 2.2 litre turbo four cylinder engine outputting 435 Nm of torque at 1800 revolutions per minute and has a max power of max power 145 kW at 3800 revolutions per minute.  It comes with an excellent 5 year/ 999,000 kilometre warranty and you are covered for roadside assistance, if you happen to service the SUV at Hyundai dealerships.

Inside the cabin is spacious and comes with a high quality fit and finish.  There is plenty of room for luggage and passengers alike.  The support in the front seats is excellent, as is the forward visibility.  The layout of the controls in the centre is simple, but effective.  Bluetooth and USB come as standard and are a welcome addition.

The Santa Fe can be considered pricey when compared with rivals such as the Jeep Cherokee or the Toyota Kluger.  Other downsides are the manual gearbox which is not smooth and the lack of headroom when using the seats in the third row.  Additionally the ride comfort could be improved, especially when compared against the Toyota Kluga or Nissan Pathfinder.

Luxury SUV – Porsche Cayenne

Porsche Cayenne review

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Porsche_Cayenne#mediaviewer/File:Porsche_Cayenne_S_(92A)_%E2%80%93_Frontansicht,_10._Oktober_2011,_W%C3%BClfrath.jpg

The Porsche Cayenne oozes luxury.  The materials in the cabin are high quality and a pleasure on the eyes. The fit and finish are excellent and all of the controls perform perfectly and with precision.

All the safety and security features you would expect from a luxury SUV are available. Driver aids include stability control (to prevent skids), airbags protecting the front and side, as well as curtain airbags.

Though it is expensive to purchase and maintain, the handling is excellent and the performance provided by the 3 litre diesel turbo engine with a max torque of 550 Nm at 2000 revolutions per minute and a max power of 193 kW at 4000 revolutions per minute is top notch.  The spacious cabin is very high end and offers ample room for five.

Conclusion

In the end you need to decide which SUV best suits your budget and needs.  Prioritize the most important features whether they are engine power, fuel consumption, insurance or maintenance costs.  They are an extremely flexible type of vehicle and work well as a family cars or for people who need that extra space or power it provides. or Ultimately the above SUVs give you a great place to get started in deciding which SUV is truly best for you and your driving needs and requirements.