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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.

Tare Mass? GVM? Kerb Mass? GCM? These terms and acronyms can be found...Read more

Ford’s legendary F-Series has been America’s best-selling truck for more than four decades. A major factor in that success is the Super Duty range (F-250/F-350/F-450), which reports for duty when loggers, landscapers, miners, oil-field workers and anyone else with seriously heavy on- and off-road...Read more
Citroen, the famous French manufacturer founded in 1919, has achieved global acclaim for daringly bold and brilliant design and engineering that was often ahead of its time. Despite this, the double chevron badge has suffered a tumultuous ride since the 1970s, including a lifesaving merger with...Read more
There’s a seismic shift occurring in Australia’s mid-size (2.5-3.5-tonne GVM) van segment, and the cause of this disruption is Ford’s Transit Custom. For many years, Europe’s most popular commercial van struggled to make a dent in a local scene dominated by Toyota’s HiAce and Hyundai’s iLoad ,...Read more
If there was a feeling at Stuttgart that any vehicle displaying a three-pointed star could do no wrong, the X-Class should be a wake-up call. It's a vehicle that appears to have drawn a line in the sand in terms of what people are prepared to accept as an authentic Mercedes-Benz. Sure, the fastest...Read more
When VW added a 3.0-litre V6 turbodiesel to its Amarok range in late 2016, it raised the local performance benchmark for dual-cab hay-haulers. With a stonking 165kW and 550Nm, the Amarok V6 has cast a shadow over all rivals as the most powerful Aussie ute ever since. However, it will soon be...Read more
If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, then VW should be blushing bright-red following Ford’s recent decision to specify a twin-turbocharged 2.0-litre, four-cylinder diesel engine for its incoming Ranger Raptor ute. Let’s not forget that, back in 2010, VW chose the very same engine size...Read more
The Renault Kangoo range of small vans was launched in 1997, and with more than two decades of production across two model generations behind it, it has some serious runs on the board. In fact, Renault tells us the Kangoo has been Europe’s number-one van range for 18 years and counting. The...Read more
Beiqi Foton Motor Company Ltd (rolls off the tongue, doesn't it?), established in 1996, is one of China’s leading manufacturers of heavy-duty commercial vehicles. It also produces a light commercial range including the Tunland ute, which has ridden a rocky road in Australia with minimal sales...Read more
The current Ford Everest has earned numerous awards and widespread praise...Read more
The Ambiente is the entry point for the Everest range, and with the...Read more
Like the Ambiente trim, the mid-level Ford Everest Trend is available in a...Read more
The Titanium is the premium grade Everest with a sizeable boost in bling...Read more
You'd have to be driving around with your eyes wide shut not to see that 4x4 dual cab utes dominate the Aussie roadscape these days. This surging popularity is largely driven by dual purpose versatility, as their dual cab configuration allows them to serve as a family car and/or work vehicle during...Read more

Crew Van vs Dual Cab Ute

An increasing number of light ...Read more

How do you choose the best vehicle for towing a caravan? If you’re just starting out in the world of caravan towing and trying to decide what would make the best tow vehicle, the best place to start is not with the tow vehicle but with the caravan it needs to tow. In other words, you need to put...Read more
In a rapidly changing world, it's nice to know that some things stay the same. One of those is Toyota's iconic 70 Series Land Cruiser, which arrived in 1985 when most cars still had cigarette lighters, carburettors and cassette players. However, unlike those items and many others which have been...Read more
The Mitsubishi Triton is the quiet achiever in Australia’s 4x4 ute segment. While Ford’s Ranger and Toyota’s HiLux continue to slog it out for top sales honours, the clear number three in this fight is the trusty Triton which commands almost 14 per cent of the market. Its robust sales figures are...Read more
Clear evidence of the fierce competition in Australia’s booming 4x4 ute segment is that a well-built vehicle with the all-around competence of Mazda’s BT-50 attracts less than 6.0 per cent of total sales. It’s also currently outsold by its Ford Ranger birth-twin by more than four to one. While the...Read more