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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.

There are lots of safety issues to consider when towing and one of...Read more

Up to the end of November the Toyota HiLux 4x4 was outsold by Ford’s Ranger 4x4 in 2021, but the HiLux continued to maintain top spot in Australian ute sales because of its firm grip on the work-focused 4x2 market, in which it commands an enviable sales share of around 40 per cent. Toyota offers a...Read more
The Ssangyong Musso 4x4 ute has always been a small-volume player in Australia. However, since adding the XLV long wheelbase/leaf spring variant to its existing short wheelbase/coil-spring offering in 2019, the Korean manufacturer has been increasing its sales foothold. Up to and including November...Read more

Knowing how to tow a trailer confidently and safely is a vital skill...Read more

Your average 4x4 dual cab ute has a one tonne payload rating and can...Read more

Having to replace a flat tyre on the side of a busy road is something...Read more

If you’re struggling to find enough space to squeeze all of your cargo...Read more

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