The Week That Was: FBT Changes Upset Market, Megane GT220 Reviewed Photo:
Trevor Collett | Jul, 21 2013 | 0 Comments

Australian carmakers, businesses and fleet services are reeling from the Rudd government’s decision to overhaul fringe benefits tax this week.

Some fear that sales of locally-built cars will be hit hardest by the changes.

But, political point-scoring aside, it is actually only a change on 'reporting obligations'; drivers genuinely using their cars for work-related activity can still claim the same level of deduction, but now have to justify their claim through their records-keeping.

However, many are miffed. Speaking with TMR, Australian Automobile Association Executive Director Andrew McKellar said, “These changes are a tax on safety, as it discourages people from buying newer and safer vehicles."

We met the updated Renault Megane range this week, with the addition of a wagon option, along with GT and GT220 models. Review here.

The refreshed range comes with an updated price too, with the entry-level Expression starting from $20,990 plus on-road costs.

At the other end of the scale, the Megane RS 265 Trophy+ is priced from $51,640 plus on-road costs.

Tim drove the new VF Commodore SS-V Redline models this week. He's been waking in cold sweats every night since. Review here.

TMR drove the new MINI Paceman John Cooper Works (JCW) and MINI Countryman JCW. The Paceman JCW can be yours from $58,600 plus on-road costs, while the Countryman JCW is priced from $56,800.

We liked the all-wheel-drive grip and spirited exhaust note. Check out our review.

In other news, the updated BMW 5 Series arrived in Australia this week with the cheaper starting price of $79,900 plus on-road costs.

Skoda confirmed that the Spaceback wagon will be the first model in the Rapid range to arrive in Australia.

A few weeks after a sales brochure was leaked online, the all-new Honda Jazz was revealed in overseas trim.

Mercedes-Benz revealed its new S 63 AMG, following the 'regular' model's debut earlier this year.

The “Association Against Speed Measuring Devices” (ASMD) is aiming to raise $300,000 in order to launch a High Court challenge against the validity of speed cameras and radars.

TMR visited the RTA Crashlab this week, to witness a live ANCAP crash test and see what goes on behind the scenes.

The spiritual home of the American automotive industry – Detroit filed for chapter nine bankruptcy this week, raising many questions over the future direction of the city, and the industry.

As the premiere of the Niki Lauda biopic Rush draws closer, we got yet another taste of what we can expect from the film this week.

Honda showed off its Mean Mower ride-on this week, featuring a 1.0 litre V-Twin engine and a 0-100km/h time of just over four seconds.

And finally, check out what else TMR has been driving this week, with our 2013 Volkwagen Touareg V8 Diesel R-Line review along with our 2013 Jeep Wrangler Overland Unlimited review.

And that's... the week that was.

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