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Mazda's speed pick is addictive but it swills petrol like an aircraft
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|Mazda's speed pick is addictive but it swills petrol like an aircraft by Kenyans247(1): Fri 25, December, 2020 10:03am|
What you need to know:
The Golf and its Variant are good propositions with their German luxury, German build and German power but you say you don't like looking at the Variant.
The fourth generation Subaru Legacy should be the BL-BP series, arguably the prettiest Subarus ever made.Dear Baraza, I am a big fan of your column. I once sought your advice on which is better between the petrol and diesel versions of the Mazda CX5, but I didn't see your reply. I am yet to purchase the car due to price, but I have settled on the CX7, Kenya used, which I’m told is being sold at an affordable price. I would appreciate some advice on the CX7’s reliability, spare part availability and consumption. Being a Mazda, I believe the driving experience will be worthwhile, and it seems to have other desirable features such as the cruise control, reverse and side cameras.
Thank you for your patronage, I am always happy to educate. Now, I'm not sure how hard the Covid-19 pandemic has hit you, but it seems to have hit quite hard, because I clearly recall comparing a diesel CX5 to a petrol one and I clearly recall saying the diesel version is not a very wise purchasing decision and you are better off in the petrol-powered car. Secondly, if you didn't manage to buy the CX5 due to price, I wonder how you will fare with the CX7.
The reliability of the CX7 is questionable, but of more concern is the front-mounted intercooler. The positioning of the heat exchanger means even minor dings to the front of the vehicle will be horribly expensive to repair, which brings us neatly to spare parts.
There is a never-ending hue and cry that Mazda parts are hard to come by and the steady response from the local dealer has always been, "We have them, you just don't bother to ask." However, I don't know if they stock CX7 intercoolers.
If the CX7 has an intercooler, it means it has a turbo and that in turn brings us to your third query – fuel consumption. You are right. Mazdas drive nicely, sometimes a little too nicely. The turbocharged CX7 is more of a ground-hugging passenger aircraft than a seven-seat family car given the alacrity with which it gains and maintains speed.
This hasty habit can get very addictive but the side effect is you will not be driving past too many fuel stations because, rather unsurprisingly, the vehicle swills unleaded like a passenger aircraft.
Help me find a reliable car for road trips...
A Mazda Axela.
First, I will appreciate your good work here. I‘m fresh out of campus with no family yet and now looking to buy my first car, locally used. I am a road trip enthusiast and looking for a reliable car that has good power and performance. My budget is Sh800,000 and my options include the Mazda Axela hatchback, Subaru Impreza NA, Nissan Skyline 2.5GT, VW Golf, and VW Golf Variant (I think it is ugly). Tell me about Skyline because I have been warned against Nissans, and specifically this model. I have also been dissuaded from buying locally used VWs despite my interest, and I am not willing to single handedly keep the spare parts industry afloat. That leaves me with Subaru Impreza and Mazda Axela. I choose the Axela for its beauty and handling. I have also begun looking at potential buys, and I have realised there are very few manual cars on sale, which was my preferred choice. Was my elimination method practical? Do I have your blessings to buy the Axela? Based on my needs, what do you think I should know about the cars listed above?
Strange elimination method you have there, but your money, your decision. The non-turbo Impreza is not a very interesting car, especially for a road trip enthusiast.
The Golf and its Variant are good propositions with their German luxury, German build and German power but you say you don't like looking at the Variant. They say if you cannot look back at your car after you have parked it and walked away, then you bought the wrong car. Poor Variant! And the way I like it...
Perhaps you should not be so quick to dismiss the Nissan. Between the 2.5 GT Skyline and the Axela, the Skyline is actually the better road trip car.
It's bigger, roomier and more powerful, which are qualities you want when racking up the miles. Perhaps you want another garner at it before committing to the Mazda?
Like I said, your money, your decision. You seem bent on the Axela and are looking for an endorsement from my end, and you shall have it. I cannot really speak against the Axela because it has committed no sins. It drives well, looks good, the economy is not fear-inducing and increasing numbers of this model means sooner rather than later the chorus about absence of spare parts will come to an end.
Is it true that a Subaru Forester “eats its wheels”?
I am planning to buy my first car and want your advice. I am keen on performance, which makes me dislike SUVs since they are too big for nothing apart from storage and image. Its performance is compromised and so is its effect on the environment. Is there any difference between the Subaru Legacy B4 and the Subaru Legacy hatchback all in generation four and non-turbo? Secondly, which is better between Subaru Legacy and the Subaru Forester (the one with frameless door) all fourth generation and non-turbo? How do their consumption rates compare and is it true that Subaru Forester’s wheels wear out faster?
I am planning to use the car mostly over the weekends and while going on road trips, which is why I want a powerful car. I have noticed that the car designs coming up are not as good as they were before. For instance, the Subaru designs of nowadays look like Toyotas and to make it worse, they put smaller headlights and did away with frameless doors which were stylish.
It appears there is a fair bit about cars that you don’t know, starting with your opening salvo about SUVs having compromised performance and being environmentally unfriendly.
You are wrong on one aspect – performance. Nowadays, legacy supercar builders have ventured into the highly lucrative SUV market and are introducing warp speed and blinding centrifugal forces to what used to be viewed as apartment buildings. If any of these names sound familiar – Porsche, Lamborghini, Bentley, Aston Martin – it is because they refer to some of the fastest two-door cars on earth. Lately, these same names adorn some of the fastest five-door SUVs on earth. Performance compromised? Oh please.
The question of whether a Premio is better than a Subaru arises every few hours on my desk and the answer is always the same – Subaru. The Premio is overpriced, the Subaru is under-appreciated, and it shall remain so because the only bad Subaru is one which is not working.
1. The fourth generation Subaru Legacy should be the BL-BP series, arguably the prettiest Subarus ever made. Your terms of reference are a little misleading, since "B4" is a trim level and "hatchback" is a body type, and these are two different and mostly unrelated areas of distinction. Let me make your work easier. The BL platform is the saloon version of the fourth generation Legacy, what you are calling the "B4", while the BP platform is estate or station wagon iteration of the same car. I prefer to call it a "longroof" because it makes me sound sophisticated, but it is not a "hatchback" as you call it. Hatchback is a different class of vehicle and Subaru’s take on the subject is in the form of the Impreza and possibly the Crosstrek.
2. The main difference between the Legacy and the Forester is obviously the shape and the platform, but they do share a number of components. The Forester handles better and offers superior clearance for the rough stuff but the Legacy is prettier and roomier and it is what I would go for. It is actually what I went for because back when I bought my third generation GT longroof, better known as the BH5, there was also a Forester in the offing, on sale by a friend who just happens to be the brother of a very attractive news reader, but that is neither here nor there.
I need to inform you that the Forester had frameless doors, but so did the BL-BP Series Legacy, so that is not really a point of distinction between the two models. Since we are talking natural aspiration, it is safe to assume that competitive on-tarmac histrionics are not on the menu so fuel consumption will be fair across both models of Subaru.
We are talking numbers north of 11km/l during mixed driving. When buying, check the body work to see if the vehicle has been crashed, check the timing belt and whether it has been replaced vis-a-vis vehicle mileage (it needs replacement every 100,000km or so) and check for potential head gasket failures. Oh, and check the power steering pump as well. Crank the vehicle and turn the steering from one end to the other. Any whining noises during this exercise, no matter how faint, are a symptom of impending failure.
Car designs are becoming unappealing
I am yet to hear of a Forester eating its wheels outside of motorsports, more so a turbo-less one, unless the driver in question is unnecessarily aggressive with it. If you want to do road trips, the Legacy may be the one to go for, and if power is something you desire, get rid of the naturally aspirated mindset and consider turbocharging. You won't regret it much.
I agree with you about car design. It is becoming too derivative and some of it is downright unappealing. The loss of the frameless doors in the Subaru range was especially grating, but times are changing and we have to change or end up as discontent relics living in the past. Such is life, but, like you, I prefer the older models, which is why I bought one, but I had to sell it later because of reasons I do not need to disclose here.
The use of screens to replace buttons in the centre console is a rather controversial topic in car reviews. Some manufacturers nail the concept straight out of the gate while others get their credibility destroyed in testy reviews.
The idea behind the screen is to save on space and weight - which it does - but if the ergonomic design is off, you wind up with an annoying distraction that you want to yank off the dashboard because it is unintuitive to use and basic controls are hidden beneath several layers of menus and sub-menus. Someone needs to tell these car makers that though they are useful, screens are not compulsory.
Happy holidays, everyone!
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