ARE THESE the halcyon days of the decade for drivers? Prices are at historic lows in real money, and new-vehicle sales are at record highs. That gives used-car shoppers more bargaining power, and means more of us can have the steers we aspire to.
Enjoy it while you can. Most of our cars are imported, and this week the dollar dipped below US 70 cents, a fall of 14 percent since December. If the slide continues – and that is what’s expected – the cost of a sweet new drive cannot fail to float up.
It is possible that most Wheels visitors already get this, which could explain the trends in site traffic this week. With a caveat, most interest was in reviews and prospective new models. Matt Raudonikis’ assessment of the upgraded Ford Ranger topped the list of fresh review posts, with Damion Smy’s Jaguar XE drive following hot on its heels. Spy pics of the new Mazda CX-9, a seven-seat SUV, also drew plenty of eyeballs.
Also rating strongly was Stephen Corby’s introduction to life long-term with the most sensible Subaru Forester, the newly introduced CVT-gearbox diesel. Having recently spent four months with its sexier sister, the turbo-petrol Forester XT Premium, Corby was well placed to reveal what you’d miss.
While these were the best read of the fresh posts, they were brightly outshone by two added last week. The idea of HSV putting a 476kW Corvette V8 into a Commodore continued to capture viewers’ imagination. And appreciation continued for the battle of the BMW M cars: the current M4 vs the 2003 M3 CSL. Is it possible that as well as enjoying watching Wheels staffers Nathan Ponchard and Alex Inwood clash on video, viewers were exploring the pleasure potential of owning a 12-year-old classic? That’s something more of us may find reasons to do as the decade develops.