Unapologetic insolence from an aging subversive

Unapologetic insolence from an aging subversive

Friday, 18 January 2013

Zen and the Art of Ute Ownership

Been driving the Ute for about three months now. I’ve clocked up 10000kms already, so obviously driving it is no hardship, given I have choice of three cars to drive.

In hindsight, buying it was a good decision, even if none of my kids has moved house this year. This is the first time in about four years that it hasn’t happened at this time of the year, and buying the Ute was designed to help with this.

The irony…….

Given that I bought it at auction for a song, I’ve had no regrets at all.

My initial concern was fuel consumption. After all, it’s a 3.6 litre V6; it weighs 1700kg, and has a fairly inefficient 4 speed auto.

It’s averaging between 11 and 12 litres per 100km mostly around town. That’s not too bad, as it needs 91 octane, not 95 octane as the MX5 did.

I was thinking about an LPG conversion, but haven’t sat down to do the sums. The subsidy is not as generous as it was, and LPG is now over 70cpl. I’ll work it out soon, and make a decision.

The good points? It is comfortable, roomy, and sedan-like to drive. It actually corners and stops very well. I also like the 60 profile tyres. I’ve never got my head around the benefits of running on tyres with 45 (for example) profiles. I don’t believe in sacrificing comfort for appearance…………….must be getting old.

I’m also quite happy with steel (as opposed to alloy) wheels.

I don’t like the lack of over-the-shoulder rear vision. Sticking a couple of mini convex mirrors on the existing rear vision mirrors helps a bit.

The Bluetooth never has worked, and apparently the problem is the latest software in my iPhone which isn’t compatible. GMH has a whole website about this. I’m content to use the accessory Bluetooth that I bought for the MX5.

The iPhone works well when plugged into the sound system, and the playback is of good quality.

The funniest aspect of owning it is the reaction of the many young drivers with their tarted up Utes. They’re not sure what to make of the combination of grey hair and well kept (but unmolested) Ute like theirs..

Update: Still trying to teach the Heeler to jump in the tray......


cav said...

I have a 110l LPG tank in the back of the ute. It's an SVI system that cost $4200 a couple of years ago and I think the rebate was $2000.

My V8 gets about 15 - 17 litres/100kms. - it doesn't seem to vary much between around town and on the highway. I should mention that being retired I don't drive in peak hour traffic, but I regularly drive to Sydney.

I have upgraded the audio system. New deck, speakers; and a subwoofer under each seat. It is just right for that steel guitar and bass you get in country music.

When your tyres wear out look at getting a set of 17" alloy wheels and loose that old fart image you are projecting.

1735099 said...

I had a BA (Mk 2) for a while which I converted to a SVI system. It went well - no difference in performance between LPG and unleaded, and gave about 12.5 lit/100kms on gas.
This equated (with LPG half the price of unleaded at the time) effectively to about 7.5lit/100km as a cost comparison. It also had the advantage (through the dual fuel) of a range of over 1100km.
I had heavy duty rear coils installed to compensate for the weight of the toroidal tank which occupied the space where the spare used to be.

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