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Commentary: Commuting By The Numbers

Mick McWilliams
mikmak
GMInsidenews.com
Australia Correspondent

04 October 2014

Have you ever wondered how much it was worth to achieve better fuel economy? Does the advantage of diesel fuel economy get lost in the cost of maintenance?

Holden have given us a few vehicles to have a closer look. In this introductory episode, I take the 2014 Holden Malibu CDX Diesel on my new daily commute.


At under $36,000 it appears to be quite good value.

At as low as 4.8 L/100kms (49 USSMPG) on the highway, that's getting closer to exceptional.


Full review to follow soon as well as comparisons against the 1.8 Cruze Sportwagon and 1.4 Turbo Barina.
 

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Good commentary Mick. Is this vehicle any better than a Cruze for most buyers. I have had a look at a couple at the local dealer and it looks quite good but notihn inspires me to take one for a drive.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I think the interior feels more upmarket and the sound insulation is pretty good so its a comfortable commuter and pretty good at regional back roads too. There is definitely more space (particularly width) over a Cruze but as I said in the vid, the seats don't do such a great job for me. I'm in a SV6 Ute at the moment and the seats are light years better. Even the seats in the Cruze 1.8 CD were more comfortable, but I find seats are very dependent on the size of the occupant.

After a week with this Malibu I ended up really liking the colour, LEDS etc. and the overall look is quite nice. I'd still take an Evoke any day of the week, but running cost wise you'll end up paying for the privilege.
 

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Great review rear headroom legroom is always a bug bear for me as well l have a tall daughter to consider, a lot of cars are cramped in the back these days and not so practical for long commutes, its surprising how hard Ford Focus seats are. Sat in the front and back of my neighbours MK2, headroom was total crap in the rear you would not want to do more that 25 miles in it, seat were like sitting on cast iron. Have known a few friend who have owned Focus's and developed back problems doing regular long commutes in them they had to end up selling them . Malibu seats look very comfortable ideal for your long commutes.

Having a diesel depends really in what part world you live, they are very popular in Europe 98% of BMW 5 Series are diesel sales, BMW are making big profits in Europe from diesels where gas is $9 a gallon so the extra 1/3 MPG it get and low C02 means it escapes a lot of EU C02 based taxes.

In countries like the USA and Japan diesels are not very popular be cause of the NOx pollution, EU has been using ultra low sulphur diesel in cars for ages, but the EU now see's they can make a lot of money on taxing NOx pollution as a new way of raising more tax revenue out of the motorist, so diesel are becoming the new evil in the EU, just as the US is offering a growing but limited range of diesel models.

Here is a guy who has run up a million miles in diesel on a Ford 1.8 diesel for 16 years, the 67 years old only had one problem with the gearbox he had changed, most diesels will rack up huge milages last run longer, it's normally the body shell that rots through before the engine packs up. Lots of ole gasoline Crown Vics & Town Cars make it to a million miles as well, but l don't think car makers like them doing it as they don't get many repeat buyers, Peugeot suffer with this in Europe with its diesel cars they run for ever, it's only the body shell that ends up rotting through first.

Will look out for your new Mondeo review when it finally arrives 3 years to later than the US Fusion, the 1.0L 3 cylinder ecoboost version just seems so wrong for pulling such a big car.
LINK
 

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going "back" to the original Question
I know for me I spend more on insurance and payments then I do on fuel so for "cost management" I would be best off with a used truck that has low resale value - and buying "fuel savings" is a lost cause with a 15Km commute
(in Canada Pick ups are a cheaper insurance class then a sedan)
point being is the "true" answer depends on your conditions
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
That is certainly true but I can't analyse conditions I can't control. This is for people who are buying a new car. Used vehicles are great ways to save money, until you have to repair a breakdown.

Again you can go one step further and just buy something dead cheap and run it into the ground but I don't think someone who wants modern convenience is going to be tempted by an old beater.
 

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Great review rear headroom legroom is always a bug bear for me as well l have a tall daughter to consider, a lot of cars are cramped in the back these days and not so practical for long commutes, its surprising how hard Ford Focus seats are. Sat in the front and back of my neighbours MK2, headroom was total crap in the rear you would not want to do more that 25 miles in it, seat were like sitting on cast iron. Have known a few friend who have owned Focus's and developed back problems doing regular long commutes in them they had to end up selling them . Malibu seats look very comfortable ideal for your long commutes.
Having a diesel depends really in what part world you live, they are very popular in Europe 98% of BMW 5 Series are diesel sales, BMW are making big profits in Europe from diesels where gas is $9 a gallon so the extra 1/3 MPG it get and low C02 means it escapes a lot of EU C02 based taxes.
In countries like the USA and Japan diesels are not very popular be cause of the NOx pollution, EU has been using ultra low sulphur diesel in cars for ages, but the EU now see's they can make a lot of money on taxing NOx pollution as a new way of raising more tax revenue out of the motorist, so diesel are becoming the new evil in the EU, just as the US is offering a growing but limited range of diesel models.
Here is a guy who has run up a million miles in diesel on a Ford 1.8 diesel for 16 years, the 67 years old only had one problem with the gearbox he had changed, most diesels will rack up huge milages last run longer, it's normally the body shell that rots through before the engine packs up. Lots of ole gasoline Crown Vics & Town Cars make it to a million miles as well, but l don't think car makers like them doing it as they don't get many repeat buyers, Peugeot suffer with this in Europe with its diesel cars they run for ever, it's only the body shell that ends up rotting through first.
Will look out for your new Mondeo review when it finally arrives 3 years to later than the US Fusion, the 1.0L 3 cylinder ecoboost version just seems so wrong for pulling such a big car.
LINK
Diesel cars haven't been popular due to history of unreliable Diesel engines, not the NOX issue.
And gasoline is significantly cheaper than diesel fuel as well. Locally gasoline is selling for as low as $2.889 a gallon, which is about $.764 per liter, while national average is $3.30 a gallon, $.873 per liter. Diesel fuel is more in the $3.60 a gallon range, about $.953 a liter.
Of course, the USA doesn't tax fuel as heavily as many countries.:)
 

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Mik, any chance of comparing against a Camry Hybrid and LPG Commodore/Falcon for running costs?
 

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Mik, any chance of comparing against a Camry Hybrid and LPG Commodore/Falcon for running costs?
I'll see what I can do. I may be able to snag a LPG Commodore, and hopefully Ford will finally start returning my emails.... but I did just make a video crapping on the AU Falcon. :D
 

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I'll see what I can do. I may be able to snag a LPG Commodore, and hopefully Ford will finally start returning my emails.... but I did just make a video crapping on the AU Falcon. :D
Ta mate. I'm a bit fascinated by the taxi takeover, they all seem to be Camry Hybrids or Prius now.
 

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I'll see what I can do. I may be able to snag a LPG Commodore, and hopefully Ford will finally start returning my emails.... but I did just make a video crapping on the AU Falcon.
You leave my AU alone! Its not brilliant but its honest!
The vid is in Aus Car discussion, but I was just commenting on Google+ today that the people I know that now have AU wagons say the same thing. They just keep on keeping on.
 

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Conversely, haven't seen many diesel taxis....
Yep, and the LPG share must be reducing... Why?

I think a Malibu eAssist is the only future for Malibu sales in Oz, but it has to go head to head with Camry. Caveat - I'm thinking it would be a taxi / fleet jobby mostly. Price controlled, Korea supply.
Leaving Insignadore for private sales, user choosers etc.
 

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I don't think the rear head room/leg room would do for a taxi (even though there are Prius Taxis out there). Camry has rear headroom to spare by comparison.
Thanks. Then no future for Malibu - in this form anyway.
 

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Yep, and the LPG share must be reducing... Why?

I think a Malibu eAssist is the only future for Malibu sales in Oz, but it has to go head to head with Camry. Caveat - I'm thinking it would be a taxi / fleet jobby mostly. Price controlled, Korea supply.
Leaving Insignadore for private sales, user choosers etc.
I know in Vancouver Canada the Prius has "killed" the LPG car to the point that the fuel is NOW hard to get and even getting the BBQ bottle refilled is near as impossible VS a bottle swap scheme @ the local 7/11

and the Prius has a LOT rear seat room for the car size VS the Malibu that "lacks" out back especially if a driver protector "cage" has to be fitted
 
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