UTILITY RORT?

“Some of the top-selling passenger vehicles in our wide brown land have leaf springs and drum brakes”

Brian Wood, via email

HERE’S something bizarre.

Some of the top-selling passenger vehicles in our wide brown land still have leaf springs, drum brakes and weigh over two tonnes. Yes, they’re SUVs and increasingly chosen as the family hauler, for which they’re ideal. For some brands, they are their bestselling passenger vehicles.

What’s bizarre is that Wheels chooses to pretty much ignore them. It doesn’t even include these best-selling vehicles in the vehicle sales stats.

The other bizarre aspect is why there is so little discussion on the distortion in the tax treatment of these SUVs. If one takes a novated lease on, say, a leather-clad VW Amarok, not only do all the expenses such as lease cost, fuel and maintenance come out of pre-taxed income, there is no Fringe Benefits Tax applicable!

The result is that if you’re on

“Some of the top-selling passenger vehicles in our wide brown land have leaf springs and drum brakes”

the second-highest tax bracket, this equates to the generous taxpayer subsidising your vehicle purchase to the tune of 39 percent. With all this talk of the billowing budget deficit, how does this lurk still exist?

No wonder Mercedes is looking to get into the ute business! Maybe then Wheels will show interest?

We featured drive stories on the BMW X5M, the Mitsubishi Triton, the Land Rover Discovery Sport and the Mitsubishi Outlander in the last issue as well as a news feature on Haval’s bid for SUV domination. The website features more, as does our sister title, 4X4 Australia – Ed