31st May 2008

Anna Kournikova and Johnny Depp Top Celeb Car Wash Poll

NOTTINGHAM, England — In a recent poll published by the U.K.’s leading car supermarket, Motorpoint, Anna Kournikova and Johnny Depp were singled out as the celebrities people would most like to see wash their car.

The tennis star, although winless in her professional singles career, managed to clinch 27 percent of the total votes and the respectable title of “Car Wash Belle.” Trailing just behind was singer Christina Aguilera with 23 percent; actress Scarlett Johansson was in 3rd place, with 16 percent of the votes.

Johnny Depp, who plays Captain Jack Sparrow in the Pirates of the Caribbean movies, was nominated as the man people would most like to see out on their driveway with a sponge and bucket in hand. He took the “Car Wash Hunk” title with 25 percent of the votes, barely beating fellow actors George Clooney and Ewan McGregor.

“Washing your car is often thought of as just a routine part of vehicle maintenance. However, our study shows that drivers wouldn’t pass on a helping hand from a celebrity. When it comes to my own car, I would have to go for our very own ‘British Belle’ Kelly Brook,” commented John Hood, general manager at Motorpoint Derby.

Some other familiar names appearing in the Top 10 include Transformers star Megan Fox and soccer icon David Beckham.

What this means to you: Not surprising that both the tennis beauty Anna Kournikova and the ever-popular actor Johnny Depp would top this survey. — Mike Lysaght, Correspondent

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31st May 2008

Honda is helping to keep America beautiful. Find out how.

Honda is helping to keep America beautiful. Find out how.

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31st May 2008

2009 Honda Freed

The new Honda Freed was unveiled today in Tokyo. The Freed is compact minivan, based on the new 2009 Honda Jazz. While the Freed retains the same width as the Jazz / Fit at 1,695 mm, it’s longer (4,215 mm vs 3,900 mm), higher (1,715 mm vs 1,525 mm) and it also features an extended wheelbase measuring 2,740 mm in length (vs 2,500 mm).

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31st May 2008

Today on MotherProof: 2008 Chevy Malibu Hybrid Reviewed

Just a few short years ago, Emily Hansen thought of hybrid vehicles as something out of science fiction. She figured all hybrid vehicles would have “Jetsons”-style bubbles, or perhaps R2-D2-like robots as passengers. Today, however, hybrids have entered the mainstream, and a perfect example of the takeover is the 2008 Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid. Also, Lori Hindman spotlights the Mercedes GLK from the new ‘Sex in the City’ movie.

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30th May 2008

Petrol prices ease the commuter grind

Has your commute to and from work gotten easier? Anecdotally, high petrol prices and other economic factors are pushing people off the road and onto public transport. Which is a good thing if you’re sticking with your car.

A quick straw poll in the office at Drive.com.au confirmed our gut feeling that the traffic is easing. And statistics published in the Sydney Morning Herald would appear to bear out our conclusion.

According to the Herald, in the twelve months to February 2008, there were 1.2 million new passengers on the Bankstown train line, a growth rate of 8.4 per cent.

The number of passengers on the Inner West Line grew 7.4 per cent, 6.3 per cent on the Western Line, and 6.2 per cent on the East Hills line.

Buses, both suburban and long distance, are also reporting increased patronage.

Even more telling is the fact that our consumption of unleaded fuel has fallen by 4.4 per cent in the first three months of this year, while overall petrol sales fell by 1.2 per cent.

All this points to the fact that people are getting out of their cars and onto public transport. And that public transport is now bursting at the seams. It also shows that market forces are working – the higher the price of petrol, the lower the demand, and the more active consumers are in seeking alternatives.

But the examples given are just for Sydney. What is the traffic like in your neck of the woods? Have higher petrol prices taken the edge off the daily commuter grind? And will higher petrol prices eventually force you onto public transport?

Joshua Gliddon

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30th May 2008

Invest in public transport, say 4Car readers

The most effective way for the UK to combat traffic congestion is to invest in public transport, say 4Car readers who have voted in our Traffic Hell poll.

Channel 4′s Cutting Edge documentary Gridlock and Road Rage argues that traffic congestion is a social issue, not just a problem of infrastructure – everyday gridlock can cause mental health problems, violence and even marriage break-ups as we grind to a halt in frustration.

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