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  1. #1
    MotherBear's Avatar
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    Default Japanese cars most reliable

    Honda, Mazda, Toyota voted most reliable cars
    4:00AM Friday Sep 12, 2008


    The trusty Toyota Corolla is still a firm favourite. Photo / Supplied

    If you want the most reliable car money can buy, go new and go Japanese.

    Consumer New Zealand has released the results of its reliability survey, which has been asking motorists to report on their past 12 months of car ownership each year since 1999.

    The three manufacturers causing the least headaches year in and year out were Honda, Mazda and Toyota.

    The survey also showed the more modern the car, the more reliable it is likely to be.

    If your car was made between 1998 and 2000 there was a 49 per cent chance it would be trouble-free.

    A 2001-03 model boosted this figure to 61 per cent and 2004-07 models achieved 74 per cent reliability.

    Alongside the nigh-unbreakable Toyota Corolla, the most popular cars in New Zealand were the Ford Falcon and Holden Commodore.

    Interestingly, the latter two gave owners more problems than the average vehicle, perhaps proving Kiwis are willing to make a few sacrifices to keep a bit of Aussie muscle in the garage.

    However, the results don't mean owners of such vehicles should clutch their Automobile Association cards tightly each time they stray far from home, as most faults hit non-essential bits such as seats, trim and electrical equipment.

    For those buying second hand, the survey offered some comfort, with no discernable difference in reliability between used imports and cars that had been imported as new.

    - NZPA

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    selchie's Avatar
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    I'll vouch for Japanese cars. I got nearly 200,000 miles out of one that I didn't maintain very well, and am working on 170,000 on my current car. The family car when I was growing up also lasted for ages. Very few mechanical problems for any of them. I can't say that for Fords which my folks and MIL had later. Overall, American cars just aren't as good as Japanese (IMHO).
    If men had wings and bore black feathers, few of them would be clever enough to be crows.
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    Default Electric cars on their way

    Electric cars' 'time has come'
    By KERRY WILLIAMSON - The Dominion Post | Saturday, 13 September 2008

    New Zealand's first electric cars are expected to take to the roads within months.

    Meridian Energy is set to announce a deal with a Japanese car manufacturer to introduce a small fleet of electric vehicles for trial and promotion purposes.

    An announcement is expected in about a month, with the introduction of vehicles following soon after.

    It comes after the company struggled to find available vehicles suitable for New Zealand roads, with demand for the energy-efficient cars severely outstripping supply as petrol prices - and environmental concerns - bite.

    "We are on the cusp of some exciting developments in this area," said K-J Kells, Meridian's electric vehicle programme leader.

    "There is absolutely no reason for people to be sceptical about this - it is a technology whose time has come."

    The electric car will be the subject of a public lecture series organised by the Institute of Professional Engineers, beginning in Wellington on Monday.

    It comes as major car manufacturers ramp up production of electric vehicles, with many set for commercial release within months.

    The challenge for New Zealand is to get cars in the face of overwhelming international demand.

    "It is fair to say we hadn't expected the levels of interest on electric cars from a demand point of view," said Ms Kells. "Demand has far exceeded supply of the vehicles."

    One internationally renowned electric vehicle expert says New Zealand should look closer to home for its future fleet, and believes we could be mass-producing our own cars by 2015.

    Waikato University professor Mike Duke says small, two-person cars could be built here and sold for as little as $10,000 each.

    Both Ms Kells and Dr Duke say Government support will be critical.

    "In terms of more scale, ultimately it will come down to the level of support the Government offers in terms of trying to kick-start the industry in New Zealand," said Ms Kells, adding that subsidies and other incentives would be crucial.

    "They will go to countries where they have the best chance of being successful."

    New Zealand's largely renewable electricity sources make it an attractive proposition, however, for companies entering the electric car market.

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