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Jo Wilson-Ridley, via email

TWITTER: @WHEELSAUSTRALIA

FACEBOOK: WHEELS AUSTRALIA

LETTER OF THE MONTH

EMAIL: WHEELS@WHEELSMAG.COM.AU

NO-CRASH COURSE

I was absolutely delighted to read Stephen Corby’s column in the July 2018 edition, on Germany’s driving discipline.

I totally agree with Stephen – education is the key to improving the quality of new drivers on our road. Like Stephen’s young German companion Nikolas, I lay down the challenge to Stephen to be part of the solution.

I run free workshops for parents supervising learner drivers on behalf of State and Local Government. The workshops are designed to equip parents with practical skills and confidence to be effective supervisors championing safe and good driving.

The workshops cover mandatory requirements for learner drivers including 120 hours on-road supervised driving, 20 hours supervised night-time driving and licencing conditions for learners to enhance safety.

The workshops also stress the vital role supervisors perform in influencing learner drivers’ attitudes and behaviour to driving. We discuss the function parents have performed to date as driving role models for their back-seat passenger children. At this point many parents confess poor driving habits and commit to improving their driving behaviour. It’s a beneficial consequence of our licencing system, enabling refresher education of existing drivers on road rules and safety.

The free workshop for supervisors is not mandatory, however participants rave about the confidence and skills they gain from setting aside two hours to enhance their knowledge on being a supervisor.

Any additional promotion or support for the free workshops is gold and I would love to invite Stephen Corby to attend one of my workshops to experience first-hand the training and support offered to supervisors of learner drivers. As Stephen rightly noted in his article, producing good drivers is no accident.

Jo Wilson-Ridley, via email

PUG LIFE

We recently purchased a Peugeot 3008 GT Line (1.6 turbo petrol) using novated leasing, which we’ve done with a variety of cars (Jetta, CX-5, Tucson) over about nine years.

“When the keyboard comes up, press the little keyboard symbol in the bottom left”

I therefore follow Wheels’ long termer with interest.

My first comment is in relation to fuel economy mentioned in the second instalment where Ryan Lewis notes he’s getting 10s. I thought I’d write and balance that with our experience.

We commute into Brisbane from the far north side suburb of Narangba and tend to average about 50km/h. To date we’re averaging mid-7s regardless of traffic.

On a recent trundle to the Nudgee Golf course along the Bruce Highway and Gateway Motorway averaging 80 to 100km/h, I managed 5.5L/100km each way.

Both figures are good in the context of our previous three vehicles (all diesels) over their lifetimes. Our Jetta averaged 5.61L/100km, and the CX-5 and Tucson did 7.10L/100km.

It’s early days with the 3008, but it’s tracking okay considering we haven’t taken it on a long-haul trip yet.

My second comment is to reprimand Ryan for not trying hard enough to work out how to switch the multimedia screen to a QWERTY keyboard. It was the first thing I did when we tried to set the first sat-nav destination.

When the keyboard comes up, press the little keyboard symbol in the bottom left to toggle between alphabetical (how does that make sense?) to QWERTY (ahh, much more familiar).

Brendan Mallon, Narangba, QLD

DUMB TRUCKS

Every time I return to Australia Wheels also returns to my default magazine collection. No Top Gear nor CAR mag quite cuts the mustard Down Under.

So to the First Drives of your August edition. The facelifted C200, Santa Fe ... and the Ford Ranger Raptor. Where I live people are taking these Monsters on the school run. Big dumb trucks for big dumb people. How sad in the wake of a real Falcadore Aussies are turning even more inappropriately American.

To Wheels mag; please fight this with all your editorial might! Why not launch a sister mag ‘Dumbo-burger-trucks’ for those Raptor blokes with cowboy boots, 10-gallon hats and supersize-me french-fries?

Simon Inglisr, Ararat, VIC

COROLLA COPS SMALL BOOT

The new Corolla is an ‘Oh, what a disappointing feeling’. While the Corolla may now have the largest footprint for width and length for its class, it now has the class-poorest rear passenger space and sub-class 217L luggage capacity. The roof should have been raised by 40mm to open up interior space, not reduced by 40mm.

Lowering the roof by 40mm results in the driver seat being also lowered to reclaim head room. The driver seat then has to be slid back to restore driver leg room thus eating into rear passenger leg room. The lowered and sloping roof eats into rear passenger head room. Luggage capacity is compromised by the sloping roof, high boot floor and IRS intrusion.

And a space-saver spare in the mid-spec Corolla and no spare wheel in the high-spec Corolla is not acceptable.

Now that the Corolla is a better driver’s car, with a smaller interior, maybe it should be marketed as a 2+2?

Ian Gibson, Kangaroo Point

“New Zealand’s Trekka is the forerunner to the current Kodiaq and Karoq”

CAVE DRAWING

I’ve been a reader of this fine magazine for decades, and recently decided to take out a subscription again. As such, I was fortunate enough to receive the subscribers’ version of the June 2018 featuring the wonderful cover illustration of the Porsche 917 done by your Art Director Felipe Ubilla.

Can you tell me if this illustration is available for purchase please? I would love to have a large copy of it for the wall of my man cave.

Mark Renton, via email

Stay tuned, Mark. Select subs’ covers will be offered as large, high-res prints in the near future – Ed

KIWI KODIAQ

I loved the fascinating story of the ‘barn find’ LR Series 1, in the August issue, and would like to suggest that you consider a companion piece featuring the unique Trekka, built in New Zealand, because the farmers there couldn’t afford the cost of a Land Rover.

The inspiration behind the Trekka is fully documented by Todd Niall, in his book The Trekka Dynasty.

Closer to home – but not by much – Ray Petty, in Western Australia, recently rescued a Trekka, fully restored it, and it now sits proudly in the Skoda Museum at Mlada Boleslav, in the Czech Republic, attesting to the fact that this is the forerunner to the current Kodiaq and Karoq.

I’m sure that if you contacted Ray, he would be only too pleased – and proud – to give you the whole background, including some of the many photos he has.

John Kruger, Skoda and Tatra Register of Australia

THAT’S THE (EN)RIGHT STUFF

I’ve been subscribing to Wheels for more than 30 years and have never read a more magical piece of writing than Andy Enright’s ‘Cape Fear’ feature on driving the Great Ocean Road in a McLaren 720S.

It’s absolutely stunning from start to finish and reminds me of the old days of Wheels’ finest writers. I reckon Mel Nichols and Robbo would have been proud of that one.

Having finished the mag, I set off at 10pm and drove the route in my Falcon XR6T, and it is exactly as he describes. More of this please.

Gerry Patrick, Drouin, VIC

“It’s stunning and reminds me of the old days of Wheels’ finest writers”

BRAKE TESTED

I read the July 2018 Dual-Cab Ute Mega-Test with interest. Not because I am looking to buy a ute, but because I know quite a few people who either have one, or are thinking of getting one.

One particular piece of data provided caused me some concern, that being braking distances from 100km/h. Ute stopping distances spanned 39.2m to 49.0m. Compared with the braking distances in the premium compact SUV comparo, (36.7 to 39.9m), the braking distance of the average ute is six metres longer than that of the average SUV!

I know which I’d prefer to have attempting an emergency stop behind me. Perhaps Wheels could consider including 1000km/h braking distances in Showroom for each vehicle where they’re available.

Mark Small, Kirrawee, NSW

Letter of the month winner

Thank you, Jo, for highlighting the critical importance of driver education to the safety of new drivers in Australia. Corby will be in touch to enrol in your learner driver supervisors’ course. Enjoy 12 issues of Wheels on us.