Posted at 11:45am
It is necessary to specify when signing
Q: When I leased my car four years ago, I bought $1,000 in “wear and tear insurance.” This covered up to $10,000 tires, windshield, scratches, etc. She brought me some peace. Since my rental contract is expiring, I decided to buy my rental car. To my surprise, the $1000 is not refunded to me. Am I being scammed by my dealer? —Martin B.
A: Logically, you should be entitled to a refund of your coverage. But there is one condition. The request for reimbursement must be included in the rental agreement that you signed four years ago. If this provision is not included in the contract, your dealer is not obliged to reimburse you. According to the Office de la Protection du Consommateur (OPC), “the consumer who intends to buy the car at the end of the lease should not do so […] such insurance.
Q: I’m thinking about buying a new vehicle. The Ford Escape PHEV and Subaru’s Crosstrek are part of my considerations, although in the Crosstrek’s case the range is much less attractive for the price. So what about the PZEV technology offered on Subaru models? From a fuel economy standpoint there doesn’t seem to be any benefit, but is it as emissions efficient as Subaru claims? In this case, which vehicle is the most advantageous from an ecological point of view? —Pierre-Marc F.
A: The electric range of the Crosstrek hybrid is indeed disappointing compared to that of the Escape PHEV. The latter seems to be the better choice from an ecological point of view. You might also consider the RAV4 Prime. Note that Subaru’s PZEV technology is widely advertised but not exclusive. Other manufacturers use this technology, which has no real impact on consumption or actually reduces pollutant emissions. At best, it helps reduce or delay the formation of urban smog.
Evaluate your options
Q: We live in the Laurentians and will both be retiring in Spring 2023. We want to buy a 4WD plug-in hybrid SUV that will offer us good handling and comfort on winding roads (and especially in winter), with various standard accessories. Our budget is between $40,000 and $50,000 including taxes. We want to keep this vehicle for at least 10 years. Our favorite models so far are: Toyota RAV4, Subaru Forester, Hyundai Tucson and Ford Escape. What is your opinion on the best choice for quality/price, durability, performance, comfort and warranty? — The Vaillancourt family
A: All your choices are valid, with the possible exception of the Forester, which isn’t offered in a plug-in hybrid configuration. Only the Crosstrek is from Subaru. The RAV4 is interesting for its reliability, robustness and residual value, but many readers criticize poor soundproofing and limited availability (long delivery times). The same goes for the Ford Escape. The Tucson plug-in hybrid, for its part, will be launched a little later. Its performance is promising, despite an electric range that promises to be less than that of the Escape or RAV4 Prime. On the other hand, the Hyundai warranty is reassuring and the equipment level is raised by the requested amount. Well, let’s recap. Depending on your criteria, the RAV4 Prime appears to be the most homogeneous.
The urge to be unfaithful
Q: Should I be unfaithful? I have been a satisfied Volvo customer for almost 30 years. I keep my cars for a long time. I’m thinking of changing my 2012 Volvo XC 70 which has done 230,000km so far. I need space, but I’m not a big SUV fan. I am interested in a current event (2019 or 2020). I’m hesitating between a Volvo V60 Cross Country and an Audi A4 Allroad. Do you have a suggestion for me? —Vincent B.
A: Two good choices, but why would you cheat? You say you are satisfied, that you know the product very well and that you undoubtedly have a relationship of trust with the brand owner and their representatives. Since you are looking for current events, you have the option of choosing between a “normal” V60 (financially cheaper) and a Cross Country at Volvo. Audi does not offer such a selection.