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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 current generation iLoad was launched in 2008. With only minor upgrades during its first decade on sale, it was recently given its first facelift with a new grille design plus new comfort and convenience features. These updates don't change the fact that the iLoad is now stretching beyond the...Read more
The LD or Light Duty (3501-8000kg GVM) segment of Australia’s heavy commercial vehicle market is highly competitive with numerous brands fighting for market share. It’s a tough battleground, requiring manufacturers to offer a large number of variants to appeal to buyers with diverse job...Read more
Accepted wisdom in dual cab utes is that you need leaf-spring rear suspension to be taken seriously as a heavy load-hauler. The Nissan Navara and its Mercedes-Benz X Class derivative prove this age-old theory is correct, with their coil-spring rears displaying shortcomings under maximum payloads...Read more
The venerable HiAce is the firmly entrenched sales leader in Australia’s mid-sized (2.5-3.5 tonne GVM) commercial van market. That’s a remarkable achievement given the last new model was launched in 2004. So, given that 15 years have passed since then, the long wait for its replacement this year...Read more
The mid-size (2.5-3.5 tonne GVM) commercial van segment is one of the most competitive in Australia’s new vehicle market. In 2019, a new contender has joined the battle in the form of Peugeot’s Expert van. This is the second attempt by the famous French marque to gain traction in the local LCV...Read more
There's no denying the Australian 4x4 ute market is one of the most diverse and competitive in the world right now, with 16 different models representing 13 different brands. The 4x2 'workhorse' segment also plays host to some vigorous competition. There are currently 11 different models...Read more

There’s a long-standing rivalry between devotees of drop-side steel...Read more

Australia’s 4x2 ute market is dominated by the Toyota HiLux. It’s a favourite for many tradies, small business operators and government/private fleets due to its brand familiarity, load-carrying ability, reliability, variety of body configurations and resale value. And, no doubt, Toyota’s proven...Read more

The annual Sandown 500 is one of Australia's oldest, best-known and...Read more

Australia’s heavy commercial vehicle market has three segments - Light Duty, Medium Duty and Heavy Duty - based on GVM ratings. Light Duty (3501-8000kg GVM) is dominated by Isuzu’s versatile N-Series light truck range, which despite not offering a panel van variant commands almost 24 per cent of...Read more

Here's a list of things you might not know about Mark Webber...

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Australians don’t normally associate utes with Korea given that its most prominent automotive brands, Hyundai and Kia, do not offer such a popular vehicle. There is, however, another Korean brand - SsangYong – which for many years has flown beneath the radar in Australia yet offers a dual-cab ute...Read more
Renault claims its Trafic Trader Life is in response to industry demand for a delivery or small business van (2.5-2.5 tonne GVM) focused on minimum cost of ownership, for either single vehicle owner/drivers or fleet operators. In Renault PR speak, the Life is "optimised for the busy urban...Read more
Holden is facing its biggest challenge yet, given its inexorable slide down the national sales charts since it ceased local car manufacturing in 2017. However, one roaring lion fighting this downward trend is the Colorado 4x4 ute. In 2019 Holden’s venerable one tonne off-roader is attracting a...Read more

If not for Allan Moffat, the Falcon GT-HO would not command the same...Read more

If you’re wanting a one tonne ute that offers the highest payload and/or load length, the single cab cab-chassis is usually the way to go. Compared to dual cab or extended cab variants, the single cab allows the longest tray body for a common wheelbase. As a result, your typical 4x2 single cab cab-...Read more
Triton evolution is very much a case of 'if it ain't broke, don't fix it.' Mitsubishi's conservative but enduringly successful development strategy (after four decades in production, global sales recently topped 4.7 million units) is evident in the latest MR Triton range, which brings with it a...Read more
VW’s 4x4 Amarok V6, although an excellent performer, has not posed a threat to the sales dominance of the Toyota HiLux and Ford Ranger in Australia’s 4x4 ute market. Beyond brand loyalties or prejudices, one of the greatest barriers to sales growth has been the German ute’s high pricing, as it has...Read more

If your top priority is having the longest load area, a Single Cab ute...Read more