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    Articles by Mark Oastler

    Mark Oastler

    Mark Oastler

    Contributing Journalist

    Mark Oastler has been a prominent motoring journalist in print and electronic media for more than three decades.

    Now based in Melbourne, his diverse roles have included more than a decade of motor sport TV commentary for both the Seven and Ten networks, editor of Street Machine magazine, founding editor of Australian Muscle Car magazine and freelance contributor to Wheels, Motor, Auto Action, Unique Cars, V8X, AMC, Suncorp and many more.

    In addition to his regular LCV reviews and advice pieces for CarsGuide, he is also a feature writer and online TV host for the popular Shannons Club website.

    The VW Amarok launched in 2010 has never posed a threat to the sales dominance of the Ford Ranger and Toyota HiLux in local 4x4 ute sales, even though it has some excellent design qualities and is still one of the best to drive. With VW joining forces with Ford in joint development of the next...Read more

    So, you’ve bought a dual cab ute, SUV or van and the first thing you...Read more

    RAM Trucks Australia’s success in carving out a small but sustainable niche in the highly competitive 4x4 dual cab ute market with its Texas-sized 1500 Series pickups is due to a number of factors. However, there’s no doubt a pivotal selling point is that it’s the only Fiat Chrysler Automobiles-...Read more
    The MY21 Iveco Daily E6 cab-chassis range competes in the Light Duty (3501-8000kg GVM) segment of Australia’s Heavy Commercial vehicle market, where competition is fierce with a dozen brands and 15 models battling for buyers. The E6 cab-chassis , like its closely-related van sibling recently tested...Read more
    Mark Oastler is spending six months with his family aboard the Ford Ranger, to see how well a dual cab ute can be set up for family life.Read more

    Every vehicle has a GVM rating, which is an acronym of Gross Vehicle...Read more

    In MY21 guise, the D23 Nissan Navara features fresh styling, big increases in standard safety, minimum one-tonne payload ratings, increased load tub volume across all dual cab variants and a model range simplified to four key grades. Those comprise SL, ST, ST-X and the new top-shelf PRO-4X, which...Read more
    Iveco’s Daily commercial range of vans and cab-chassis has been around since 1978 and in that time the Italian manufacturer has sold more than three million of them across the globe, in both LHD and RHD markets. In 2021, after more than four decades and six model generations, Iveco continues this...Read more
    In 2021 the sixth-generation HiAce continues Toyota’s long-standing dominance of Australia’s mid-sized (2.5-3.5 tonne GVM) commercial van market, which is not surprising given the breed's hard-earned reputation for build quality and rugged dependability since its inception more than half a century...Read more

    Maintaining correct tyre pressures can optimise tyre life and minimise...Read more

    Crew vans offer alternatives to dual cab utes and heavy-duty wagons for work or play, if you’re prepared to trade rugged looks and off-road prowess for the ability to carry up to five or six occupants in more spacious comfort with unmatched internal load volume. Numerous manufacturers offer a...Read more
    The NP300 Nissan Navara (aka D23) has been on sale in Australia since 2015 and although it has never posed a threat to the dominant Toyota HiLux and Ford Ranger in 4x4 ute sales, it has benefitted from gradual styling and engineering refinements. In MY21 guise, the Navara has a bold new look,...Read more
    The VW Transporter has been in production for more than 70 years, as its bloodline can be traced back to the original rear-engine split-window ‘Kombi’ launched in 1950. So, during those seven decades, the German manufacturer has no doubt learned a thing or ten about building light commercial vans...Read more
    Back in the 1960s and ‘70s, Japanese automotive brands started to get a stranglehold on the Australian market because they combined good design with lots of standard features at prices most Aussies could afford. They were followed by the South Koreans in the 1980s and '90s. Ironically, many of...Read more
    There are currently 14 rivals competing for customers in the Light Duty or LD (3501-8000kg GVM) segment of Australia’s heavy commercial vehicle market. Business buyers and fleet operators are thick on the ground here and competition for their business is fierce. Chinese brand LDV , a division of...Read more
    Mazda’s release of its all-new BT-50 dual cab ute in September 2020 was followed in November by single cab and extended cab (aka Freestyle Cab) variants. Like their dual cab siblings, these work-focused commercials share mechanical underpinnings with the latest Isuzu D-Max range from which the BT-...Read more
    The Ducato originated in 1981 through a joint venture between Fiat and PSA Peugeot-Citroen, which are both now part of the recently formed Stellantis conglomerate. The Ducato has evolved through four decades and several generations, with more than 2.6 million sold in a variety of body styles (...Read more
    Although Mitsubishi has increased prices across the board for its Triton fleet in 2021, the popular Japanese ute continues to represent excellent value for money. It also remains firmly entrenched in a solid third place in the local 4x4 ute sales race, behind the Ford Ranger and Toyota HiLux. The...Read more
    Toyota Australia’s freshly facelifted HiLux range offers not only the usual base-grade Workmate 4x4 dual cab-chassis but also mid-grade SR and high-grade SR5/SR5+ variants for the first time. This is in response to increasing demand for a cab-chassis HiLux that provides the higher equipment levels...Read more