Subaru Forester was first sold in Australia in 1997 as a smallish station wagon, before growing in size to became an SUV. It has reasonable ground clearance that’s okay for moderate off-road driving in the bush. You will also see some on the beach, though it’s best not to take it onto soft sand. In this Used Car Checkout we cover the Subaru Forester from February 2008 with the introduction of the third generation. The fourth Forester generation arrived in February 2013. This time the shape was more serious SUV… Read more

NISSAN X-TRAIL 2007 – 2020

Nissan X-Trail has been a popular 4WD / SUV in Australia for many years. It is well built and has a very good reputation for reliability. We will review models from the second generation, launched in November 2007 onwards. These were larger than their honourable ancestors and can carry four adults in comfort. Three children and two parents is a typical load. Those with seven seats, sold from the third generation in 2014, are pretty cramped in the back and are really only good for the kids. In fact, kids… Read more


Mercedes-Benz E-Class is a good-looking midsize car in the period from 2009 onwards. Prior to then it had been on the conservative side but sales jumped as buyers who appreciated the new style bought them. Thus, there are plenty on the used car scene. It was facelifted in August 2013, receiving a large three-dimension grille centred around the iconic three-pointed star. Inside it retained the same overall design, but upgrading of materials increase the feeling of luxury. Mercedes E-Class arrived here in August 2016, It’s longer than superseded model, with… Read more


The Toyota LandCruiser is rugged full-size off-roader 4WD. It is capable of tackling deserts, the great Aussie outback and rugged hills with ease. There are many in the suburbs as well where they make excellent work of carting multiple kids. The LC 200 is of the old school, dating back all the way to November 2007 when it replaced the LC 100 Series. It is a major evolution of the 100 Series rather than a completely new model. That’s because Toyota treats the LandCruisers as commercial vehicles rather than passenger… Read more

HONDA ACCORD 2008 – 2021

Honda Accords in Australia are four-door sedans, we don’t get the station wagons here, which is a shame because we once had a wagon for a month on business and holiday trip in the UK and found it exceptionally good. Anyhow, the sedan’s boot space is pretty good, with a wide, low opening which makes it easy to load. Interior space is good in Accord Euro, but adults in the back seats probably need to compromise with those in the front to share legroom. For kids at the pre-teen there’s… Read more

MAZDA3 2009 – 2021

Mazda3 first went on sale in Australia in April 2004, replacing the Mazda 323. A second generation was launched here in April 2009. We will begin our used car Checkout with that model as it’s significantly larger and more sophisticated than its honourable ancestors. Sales were strong from the start and the gen-two was frequently at or close to the top in the overall sales race as buyers moved away from larger cars. This means that there are plenty on offer in the used car scene. Take your time, do… Read more


Ford Territory is a large SUV that was designed and built in Australia. Launched in May 2004 It was based on the Ford Falcon and shares some of its mechanical components however, many parts are unique to the big wagon. This Ford SUV has precise handling for an off-road wagon and rides better than many European SUVs which cost considerably more. The big Ford wagons are holding their value well because serious off-road drivers are aware that every other SUV sold in Australia is an overseas design. These may -or… Read more

HONDA CR-V 2007 – 2020

Honda realised in the late 1990s that many people were looking for more than a sedan or station wagon, but wanted the extra carrying capacity of a 4WD. So, the Japanese company designed the CR-V, a light to medium duty 4WD. It began as a reasonably serious small 4WD that had an external spare wheel, then gradually morphed into a larger station wagon with limited off-road ability. Here we are checking out the CR-V Series 4 models from October 2007. These took a major step to being family wagons, with… Read more


Mitsubishi launched its Challenger in Australia in 1996. It was a seriously tough vehicle, virtually a Triton pickup with a wagon body that was very good off-road, though often on the harsh side in daily road driving. It became smoother as gradual changes were made. The all-new Challenger of 2009, while still based on the pickup, is more sophisticated and modified to suit family SUV buyers. Testing and tuning of the Challenger was done by Mitsubishi in Australia to suit our local driving conditions as well as the preferences of… Read more

RENAULT CLIO 2008 – 2020

Renault Clio is a small French car that has a long history in Australia, although it has fallen from favour in recent years. It’s really enjoyable to drive with excellent handling, it talks to you through the steering wheel and the seat of your pants. They have a lively, dare we say French? attitude. Ride comfort is very good for this class. Rough Australian backroads are generally handled with ease, we have driven extensively in France in Renaults and can report that the country has a fair share of backroads… Read more