Advice needed What car to buy for Hotham?

Discussion in 'Hotham & Dinner Plain' started by Seemonski, Mar 27, 2019.

  1. Seemonski

    Seemonski First Runs

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    It's autumn. I'm looking for a new car, and I have ski trips to Mt Hotham in mind. Ideally, I'd like a sporty, medium size SUV. We all know the regulation that you need diamond pattern chains that fit if you are driving to Hotham in the winter.
    Ideally, I'd like something like the Volvo XC60 would be lovely, but it doesn't take diamond pattern snow chains on its standard wheel & tyre combo. Same for a VW Tiguan, a Landrover Discovery Sport, and even an Audi Q5, despite Audi being a major sponsor of the resort.
    I know I could get another set of wheels and tyres, but I'd much prefer not to have to store wheels and change them twice a year.
    I also know that there are a whole bunch of forum participants with opinions, ideas and cars.
    So what do you reckon?
    Thanks.
     
  2. gareth_oau

    gareth_oau Pool Room
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    LOL

    You need to post that one on Audi’s FB page along with the letters WTF
     
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  3. cqen2l

    cqen2l Part of the Furniture
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    Subaru is the vehicle of choice at Hotham. Heaps of them.
     
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  4. Seth

    Seth Pool Room
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    Why are you buying a car for what is a tiny percentage of the time that you use it?

    Buy the car that suits your day to day best.
     
  5. Tanuki

    Tanuki A Local
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    Torana or Ford Escort. Rear wheel drive preferably.
     
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  6. cqen2l

    cqen2l Part of the Furniture
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    Plus ladder chains. Epic.
     
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  7. Donzah

    Donzah Old n' Crusty
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    The amount of ****off large 4wds with ridiculous extras that are used as school drop off vehicles around my way. It's a common theme.
    Be prepared for that 1%
     
  8. jungfrau

    jungfrau One of Us

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    Buy a proper 4x4 or a AWD wagon like Subaru.

    SUV,s are all show yet poor performers up there (think fat summer tyres, high centre of gravity and heavy.. perfect for sliding and flipping) no mater what features it may have ..
    IMO :)
     
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  9. Seemonski

    Seemonski First Runs

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    Good question - I don't want to buy a car that's only suited for going to Hotham. If I wanted that, I might get a big 4WD. But I live in the inner suburbs and want something mostly for day to day city driving with a couple of big dogs in the back. I didn't realise how many of my options for that purpose didn't meet the Hotham regulations.
     
  10. teckel

    teckel Old n' Crusty
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    Subaru.
    Run away from anything with low profile tyres.
     
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  11. Donzah

    Donzah Old n' Crusty
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    Concur . 100%
     
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  12. Donzah

    Donzah Old n' Crusty
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    Just don't buy their diesel
     
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  13. Gregah

    Gregah Addicted

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    Correct. Its got a laughably narrow torque band and they haven't got their particulate filter sorted yet (lots of clogging and forced regens $$$...)
     
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  14. cqen2l

    cqen2l Part of the Furniture
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    Correct, Subies are great but turbo versions with soft compound low profile tyres aren't up to the job. Fitting chains is almost mandatory in many instances.
     
  15. Seemonski

    Seemonski First Runs

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    A few votes for Subaru. Donzah says don't go for the diesel.
    If I got an Outback, do I go for the 4 or 6 cylinder?
    Or is the newer Forester better?
     
  16. Donzah

    Donzah Old n' Crusty
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    Minimum six for a outback. They are a big car.
    IMO the new foz is really neat.
     
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  17. Slalom

    Slalom A Local
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    Commo ute with a coupla bags of concrete in the back.
     
  18. cqen2l

    cqen2l Part of the Furniture
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    Outback is on Liberty platform so larger, Forester based on Imprezza, smaller and boxy. Both no longer have manual options, maybe Outback diesel?
     
  19. Donzah

    Donzah Old n' Crusty
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    They are fwd now?
     
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  20. Donzah

    Donzah Old n' Crusty
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    Big car.
    Nice balance.
    OK on juice. Though nothing crazy frugal like the euros.
    I'd take a foz over a outback if size wasn't an issue
     
  21. rowdyflat

    rowdyflat Addicted

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    Subaru Forester + practice putting on the diamond chains at home.
    Agree low profile tyres to be avoided.
     
  22. Donzah

    Donzah Old n' Crusty
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    LP tyres suck to put chains on.
    The links don't roll over the sidewalls.
    *unless you buy epic chains
     
  23. teckel

    teckel Old n' Crusty
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    Go to a dealer and have a look. Very different sized cars, so it will depend on your family size, luggage requirements etc.
     
  24. cqen2l

    cqen2l Part of the Furniture
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    Wifey has a GT Liberty wagon, better than the H6 in terms of performance and fuel economy. Tyres are less than optimal in snow however. Don't get me started on the WRX sti tyres.
     
  25. Gregah

    Gregah Addicted

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    FWIW, I too would not have contemplated having to buy, and twice a year swap over, a second set of rims & tyres...however...I didn't do my research on my Skoda Superb 4x4 purchase and ended up having to do so. The upside is I've put proper snow tyres (not just M+S) on the second set of rims and they are awesomely grippy in snow and ice (better than the M+S tyres I've had on previous vehicles). That, plus finding a top bloke at the local garage who was happy to swap them over twice a year for a bottle of Jack Daniels, means the only negative now has been the extra cost, not really the extra hassle. In short - extra feeling of safety driving the family around up there outweighs the now forgotten extra $$$. P.S net extra $$$'s are somewhat lower than the cost of the second rims & tyres because you get approx. 25% longer life out of your original set by having them off the car for 3 months a year.
     
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  26. linked_recoveries

    linked_recoveries One of Us

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    My dad just traded in a noughties Subaru Forester for a 2015 Subaru Forester (both petrol models). He drives to some pretty out of the way places to fish the lakes in Tasmania, using rutted and decaying forestry tracks for the most part. He has a foam mat as a mattress so he can sleep in the thing although his head has to stick between the front seats.

    Snow, ice, rocks, tree branches, bottoming out in the ruts regularly, and it's never missed a beat for the last 10-12 years.

    If you go to the high country you'll see a lot of Subarus. The driveline has been developed with years of world rally experience, then tweaked for the real world. They're a logical choice if performance for the dollar is a concern.

    On the other hand, if you're considering an Audi Q5 or a Volvo XC60 you might be in a different price bracket.
     
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  27. Donzah

    Donzah Old n' Crusty
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    I still Rate a subie over a Audi q5 in the snow.
    I've not driven a volvo
     
  28. Donzah

    Donzah Old n' Crusty
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    Friends have My16 outback diesel.
    Big car.
    Land yacht.
    For city ownership? I'd get a shorter wheelbase.
     
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  29. piolet

    piolet Found anything yet?
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    How's their AWD?
    After the foz my Mazda AWD just isn't as slick
     
  30. Donzah

    Donzah Old n' Crusty
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    Weird .
    Skittery is the best word I can think of.
    It feels like its fwd. Then rwd once you lose traction. Ie a understeer.
     
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  31. Donzah

    Donzah Old n' Crusty
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    It feels like.
    You load up the front axle.
    The car understeers.
    Then the awd bias favouring the rear just kicks in and drives you forward.

    I don't think the Tyres they come with are great either
     
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  32. cqen2l

    cqen2l Part of the Furniture
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    Bit like a 737 MAX? Shit handling as I understand it.
     
  33. Zimbooo

    Zimbooo One of Us

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    Now that Hotham will be run by "Vail" best go with a Jeep. :headbang:
     
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  34. piolet

    piolet Found anything yet?
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    The cx-9? I wouldn't say shit as it's all relative and it's gigantic so I'd say it handles well for what it is... And it sure ain't a sports car.
    I just find the AWD less than sophisticated, similar to how Donna described. Not balanced like the old subie
     
  35. cqen2l

    cqen2l Part of the Furniture
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    With snow and ice driving, performance comes from the tyres. 4WD or AWD is great but it is tyre dependant. Low profile high performance slicks are shit snow tyres.
    5 turbo Subies are a testament to the fact. I've had some Pirelli tyres that get me through in most conditions but chain fitting is a prudent option.
     
  36. Marty_McSly

    Marty_McSly Backwards to the future!
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    Depends where you live and how you drive. My work commute is a 176km highway/freeway round trip, for example. I doubt the DPF would be an issue for me.

    MRT can help a lot with the torque band. ;)
     
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  37. cqen2l

    cqen2l Part of the Furniture
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    They are certainly big mothers. Was behind one today.
    You should test drive a WRX STi, a machine that requires 110% concentration under full acceleration. Not quite a family car though. Wifey lost all her fillings on our recent Tassie venture.
     
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  38. piolet

    piolet Found anything yet?
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    Kids, dog, bikes, pram etc
    Erk
     
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  39. cqen2l

    cqen2l Part of the Furniture
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    Once the kids have gone.......

    Love my STi.......

    Back is hanging in. Gotta say worse roads in Brookvale than all of Tassie.

    Fantastic driving experience down there.
     
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  40. snowtyres

    snowtyres Addicted
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    Irrespective of what new AWD vehicle you choose most AWD vehicles are now supplied with high performance summer tyres that are not at all appropriate for snow season driving. These high speed rated summer tyres,
    V (240km/h), W (270km/h) and Y (300 km/h) were never designed by the tyre maker to be driven in low ambient temperatures or in snow and icy conditions.
    It is also important to remember that the recent advancements in electronic driver aids, such as ABS, ESC, traction control etc. do not provide more tyre grip. The best thing the driver can do to increase grip, improve braking performance and have safer control in snow and icy conditions, is to install 3PMSF winter/snow tyres.

    An alternative is to have a second set of wheels fitted with 3PMSF winter tyres that are identified with the ‘snow-flake on the mountain peak’ Alpine Symbol. These winter wheel sets will generally use a narrower tyre on a smaller diameter wheel in a size that will allow diamond pattern snow chains to be correctly fitted without any clearance issues.

    https://snowtyres.com.au/learn/cost-benefits/

    Wheel chain regulations for Victoria are currently being reviewed and it is predicted there will be a special classification for AWD vehicles fitted with identified 3PMSF winter tyres in relation to snow chain fitting.
     
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  41. N0frilz

    N0frilz Hard Yards

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    Don’t you get sick of posting this crap on here about snow tyres?

    Until the rules change there I see zero point in having them as you’re still going to have fit chains at the same point as every one else. You’re argument is going to be the snow tyres will have more grip blah blah blah, drive to the conditions and you’ll get there safely. For a short season like Australia very few people will be able to justify having two sets of rims/tyres, some people struggle to even even want to buy chains which are considered cheaper than snow tyres.

    Buy what ever car suits what ever the majority of your driving if it’s not driving to hotham you need to justify to yourself what trade offs your prepared for more comforts when going to hotham only you can make that decision.

    I bough a car based on what’s it gets used for less than 5% of its use but I’m happy so that’s all that matters.
     
  42. emkae

    emkae One of Us
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    I would buy snowtyres and a separate set of wheels if it meant never having to fit chains ever again
     
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  43. snowtyres

    snowtyres Addicted
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    If you drive the Volvo XC60 in alpine areas regularly, it makes good financial sense follow the instructions that are in the Volvo owner’s manual and to purchase a winter tyre/wheel package that provides sufficient clearance for fitting snow chains.
    Using the winter tyres/wheels for the 4 winter months, you’ll make the vehicle safer,
    your vehicle will perform as the manufacturer intended in snow and icy conditions,
    and you’ll effectively extend the life of your Volvo OE 255/45 R 20 or 255/40 R 21 summer tyres by 4 months a year.
    A set of 4 diamond pattern snow chain compatible 235/60 R18 3PMSF winter tyres,
    18” aftermarket wheels, including the initial fitting is around $2900.00
    Over a four years the cost of this winter tyre/wheel package is $725.00 per year.
    Replacement set (4) of quality 255/45 R 20 summer tyres for the Volvo XC60 is around $1800.00
    Replacement set (4) of quality 255/40 R 21 summer tyres for the Volvo XC60 is around $2100.00
    Factor this in and Volvo XC60 running cost then is reduced to a digestible $275.00 (or $200.00) per winter
    after you deduct the saving of one set of replacement summer tyres @ $1800.00 (or $2100.00) set from the $2900.00 winter tyre package.
     
  44. cookieman

    cookieman One of Us

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    I have been very happy with my 12 year old Audi A4 Quattro.
    Been doing the Hotham run for many years with no problem. Not a lot of clearance to fit chains but get by.
    Also driven the Audi A6 Allroad with snow tyres and can report that it handles beautifully on the GAR covered in snow.
     
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  45. GS

    GS A Local
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    Another option might be the Suzuki Grand Vitara
     
  46. Hermannator

    Hermannator One of Us
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  47. Karicta

    Karicta A Local
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    I bought a kodiaq. It’s great, but no sports car!

    And can’t fit chains suitable for Hotham regs
     
  48. ShavedBadger

    ShavedBadger Addicted

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    I love it when people use the terms "sport" or "sporty" to describe an SUV. It's like describing Magda Szubanski as "athletic". Or Andrew Bolt as "intelligent".

    PS An F40 would make an epic snow-car. Buy one of those.

    [​IMG]
     
  49. Hermannator

    Hermannator One of Us
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    Only if you want to be knocked off by an SUV:

    http://www.zeperfs.com/en/duel6709-506.htm
     
  50. Tanuki

    Tanuki A Local
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    Skoda Yeti
     
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