I had a 2008 Highline (wagon) and loved the way it drove, how it could fit both my Swiss Shepherds in and a pram. I loved it so much I bought a 2016 ex-demo for $38K, whereas brand-new it is around $50K for the Highline. I wanted the Highline because I drive an old dirty work van during the week, and it’s great to step into a luxury car without it being a Rolls.
It has four different settings, but I just leave it on Normal because I am not racing. The other settings are Eco, Sport and Individual. I have put it on Sport mode once just to try it, and it kept the revs higher and changed gears later, which really improved its performance.
But I got the car for the luxury, looks and practicality (to fit the family). Little features like turning corners and the corner lights coming on down dark alleys or poorly lit streets is a nice touch, so you can keep away from the kerbs. Lane-departure assist is fantastic – with kids screaming, you can sometimes be a little distracted to keep them calm so you can focus on the road.
Also, I was reversing out of a driveway and could not see much, but the car sensed a car driving (high speed) and broke, which was great since I had both dogs and kids in the back. That could have been devastating if that feature was not installed (honestly saved lives).
Also, its looks are 100 per cent. I have the wagon version and my father laughed at me for getting a ‘mum’s wagon’ until he saw it, drove it, and instantly regretted getting his Subaru XV. I try to sell them to family and friends all the time, because it is a very pleasing car to look at and drive.
The reliability of my car is fantastic, since it is basically a brand-new car. It beeps at me for when the window wiper fluid is low, which is annoying because it is not that important. And it also beeps at me when the AdBlue is needed, which is great since I don’t really look under the hood, I only wash the outside and the interior.
There are only two improvements I can think of. A panoramic sunroof could probably be an addition, but when you’re spending $50K it should come standard. Also, the screen operation for looking at car details (not music or radio) could be improved.
Overall, I will buy the same car in 10 years when I am due.