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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.

Increasing customer demand for vehicle personalisation has for the...Read more

The top three contenders in the local medium-sized (2.5 to 3.5 tonne GVM) commercial van class are the Toyota HiAce followed by the Hyundai iLoad and Ford’s Transit Custom. Although Toyota has traditionally enjoyed sales dominance of this popular LCV segment and continues to do so with its latest...Read more

One-tonne 4x4 utes are well suited to the hard-working roles many...Read more

Mark Oastler is spending three months with the Mitsubishi Pajero Sport GLS seven seat to see how it suits his family's needs.Read more
Peugeot Australia offers variants across the small, medium and large commercial van segments. Its largest model, the manual-only Boxer 160 which in 2020 features improved safety and warranty, competes in the LD (light duty) 3501-8000kg GVM class. We recently put it to the test during a busy working...Read more

Uncle Sam’s finest have been available in Australia for decades now,...Read more

Mark Oastler road tests and reviews the new Toyota LC78 LandCruiser TroopCarrier GXL with specs, fuel consumption and verdict. Launched in 1985 as a spiritual successor to the legendary 40 Series, the mighty Toyota LandCruiser 70 Series has survived more than three decades for one compelling reason...Read more
There are currently 10 models competing for customers in the medium-sized 2.5-3.5 tonne GVM commercial van segment, which is dominated by Toyota’s HiAce with Hyundai’s iLoad and Ford’s Transit Custom in an increasingly close fight for second and third place. Fourth in this sales race is the Renault...Read more
Toyota’s latest generation HiAce mid-sized van is a comfortable, practical and competent load-hauler in both long wheelbase (LWB) and super-long wheelbase (SLWB) configurations. The SLWB is also available with windows all-round and a dozen seats, which Toyota calls the Commuter. This commercial-van...Read more
The current generation Renault Trafic has become an increasingly strong contender in Australia’s competitive mid-sized commercial van market since its debut in 2015. The late-2019 introduction of a more powerful 2.0 litre turbo-diesel and, more significantly, a dual-clutch automatic has broadened...Read more

4x4 utes have become essential tools for many tradies, as their rugged...Read more

Encouraged by booming local sales of the RAM 1500 through Ateco Automotive/American Special Vehicles, the Walkinshaw Automotive Group (WAG) has expanded its local RHD re-manufacturing capacity to include the similar-sized Chevrolet Silverado 1500. Unlike the RAM, the Silverado is sold exclusively...Read more

Few automotive topics generate more debate than the pros and cons of...Read more

The Mazda BT-50 had a difficult birth as a Ford Ranger clone in 2011, largely because its elaborate styling didn't seem to know if it was meant to be a car or a truck. However, over the near-decade that has followed, Mazda has done a commendable job through styling tweaks in making the BT-50 look...Read more
Hardcore Aussie off-roaders love manual transmissions for their mechanical simplicity, ability to bump-start an engine with a flat battery and a more direct connection between man and machine when tackling the toughest terrain. In fact, according to VW Commercial Vehicles Australia, it was constant...Read more

Driving an overloaded vehicle is dangerous and illegal. Beyond the...Read more

The RAM 1500 stands apart from Australia’s mainstream pack of turbo-diesel dual cab utes, with its muscular Hemi V8 performance, superior 4.5-tonne tow rating and imposing presence. In fact, RAM Trucks Australia proudly claims that its big, brash American pick-up “eats utes for breakfast.” After a...Read more
The growing popularity of mid-sized commercial vans equipped with seating for five or six, generically known as crew vans, has seen an increasing number of rivals from mainstream manufacturers enter the market with a second row of seats. One of the more recent competitors is the Ford Transit Custom...Read more

If you’re in the market for a ute, what does $20K buy you these days?...Read more

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