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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.

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

Based on our experience, the best towing vehicle is either a full-size 4x4 ute or wagon with a turbo-diesel engine and automatic transmission. With kerb weights between 2-3 tonnes and wheelbases of around 3000mm, they provide the heavy, sure-footed anchorage needed for high towing capacity with...Read more

We often see '3500kg towing capacity' headlines in advertising and...Read more

The Mercedes-Benz X-Class fell short of high expectations when launched in...Read more
It seems the only thing as unbreakable as the HiLux is Toyota's herculean grip on Australia's new vehicle car market. Familiarity and trust in the brand, along with solid resale values and unwavering customer loyalty, are sizeable factors in the Japanese giant's continued dominance. And those same...Read more
Any commercial vehicle manufacturer that can offer more than 1700 different variants of a single model has to be considered a serious player. And that dizzying number of choices is what Mercedes-Benz is claiming to provide fleet customers with its latest generation (3550-5000kg) Sprinter in the...Read more
Ford’s 2018 launch of its 2019 Ranger (or PX III) brought numerous upgrades and refinements, headlined by the availability of AEB and Ford’s new twin-turbo 2.0-litre diesel engine with 10-speed auto being available as an option in the upper-shelf XLT and top-shelf Wildtrak variants. This new engine...Read more
The creation of a desert racing-inspired performance version of the T6 Ranger in 2018 was a logical development, given that Ford first built a similar derivative of the F-150 for the US market in 2010. The Americans called it the Raptor, and, given Steven Spielberg’s steroid-fed interpretation of...Read more