Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Where are the country cars

I understand that the motoring business is a numbers game. There are city cars, family cars, SUVs and luxury cars; oh and tradies' cars.

Somewhere in the mix are those who love/hate sporty cars, diesels, SUVs, CVTs, stop start, DPFs, heated seats, lane departure warning and auto brakes.

But I want a country car. Why don't manufacturers cater for my tastes rather than loading up cars with hi-tech gadgets and all wheel drive that I don't need but I am expected to pay for? I travel on country roads that are sealed with bitumen, not washed out gravel gullies or heaven forbid those terrible corrugated race tracks in the outback.

I want a car that will cover long distances quietly, effortlessly, economically and most important of all, quietly. Especially on those coarse bitumen roads.

Is that too much to ask?

Oh, and how about FM radio that can pick up stations more than 100kms away seeing as internet and DAB are useless in the bush.

I travel through western NSW and QLD quite a lot, mostly at 115 kms/h which is about 112 true. My needs are simple: comfy seats, cruise, quiet tyres, full spare, A/C, delete stop start and enough power to overtake big trucks effortlessly.

I have a Ford Territory Diesel TS AWD that is perfect for me, but what am I going to replace it with? I don't need AWD, but it was part of a package.

Here is a real world test for country cars. Simply drive from Goondiwindi to Miles with cruise control set at the speed limit. This will sort out any country car pretenders. The road is shocking. Narrow at times, no potholes, but it is badly undulating which can be so severe it bumps the cruise control off. Oh, and the coarse chip surface can be really irritating and tiring. I haven't heard anyone talk about this, but the roar generated by the tyres may be a factor in fatigue.

Perhaps some enterprising motoring journalist could test a luxury European vehicle on the Goondiwindi to Miles?

I'd like to see that.

BTW, fuel is cheap in Miles.

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