Honda: Honda: 2014 Jazz S review

Honda Jazz S 2014 front quarter

The Jazz has always been Tardis-like. You take a look from the outside and think there’s no way you’d easily fit a couple of six-footers in the rear passenger seats, but it can be done quite comfortable. Even the boot capacity is good at 363 litres (better than the Ford EcoSport compact SUV we had last week, and miles more than the perennial small car favourite, the Suzuki Swift). Continue reading “Honda: 2014 Jazz S review” »

News: Honda Accord upgrades to five stars

Screen-Shot-2014-10-15-at-8.33The Honda Accord has gained a five-star Australasian New Car Assessment Programme (ANCAP) safety rating following design improvements to lower the risk of injury.

The car received a 4-star rating when it was tested in July 2013 due to an elevated risk of injury to the lower legs of the driver in the frontal offset test.

The latest ANCAP test revealed improvements to design for models built from August 2014 onwards has increased the frontal offset test score to 14.79 points, up from 11.21 points for models built in June 2013 to July 2014. Continue reading “Honda Accord upgrades to five stars” »

News: Tesla launches new two-motor model: the P85 D


The world’s first dual electric motor production car has been announced by Tesla, titled the P85 D which Tesla notes is the fastest car on the road today, with 0 to 100km/hour in 3.2 seconds and achieves speeds of up to 250km/hour. The electric car maker notes that new safety and autopilot hardware is now standard on every new Model S.

The new Tesla Model S P85 D was unveiled in the US on October 10 as an all-wheel-drive version of the top-shelf Model S P85 sedan.

Conventional AWD vehicles distribute power to the wheels from a single engine driving a complex mechanical transmission system. By contrast, Tesla’s dual motor Model S comes with either the 60 kWh or 85 kWh battery, has a motor on each axle, digitally and independently controlling torque to the front and rear wheels. Continue reading “Tesla launches new two-motor model: the P85 D” »

Mercedes-Benz: Mercedes-Benz: 2014 S 500 sedan

2014 S500 Front 3:4

The luxury flagship of Mercedes-Benz has always introduced greater levels of comfort, safety and sophistication through each new generation, and the new S Class is no exception.

My first introduction to the S Class occurred when I was a spotty-faced teenager, my athletic coach Kevin Taylor owned a first-generation W116 series 280S sedan as his daily driver, and I was smitten by the build quality and design detail that this car offered.

Even though by todays standards it was relatively sparsely equipped, central locking, a factory stereo, electric steel sliding sunroof and power steering were about the few luxury items. It certainly didn’t have air conditioning or electric windows. Continue reading “Mercedes-Benz: 2014 S 500 sedan” »

News: Pole position for BMW in 2014 sales race


BMW has outsold German rivals Audi and Mercedes-Benz in September thanks to strong demand in Europe, but the gap between the three luxury car brands has narrowed as they head into the final quarter of 2014.

The German car manufacturer says sales of its core premium brand rose 6.1% last month to 167,584 cars and SUV vehicles, beating its two direct competitors, Audi and Mercedes Benz, according to Reuters.

Adding sales of its Mini brand, BMW posted a new record for September in its European home region where closest challenger Audi suffered a 1.6% sales drop. Continue reading “Pole position for BMW in 2014 sales race” »

News: Toyota top car brand of 2014


A total of 14 automotive brands have made the 2014 top 100 Interbrand ‘best global’ brands list, with Toyota leading the way for an 11th consecutive year.

Toyota ranked 8th overall in the annual listing, behind leaders Apple, Google, and Coca-Cola.

Interbrand says it bases its brand value criteria on the financial performance of the company’s branded product and service, the role the brand plays in influencing customer choice, and the strength that the brand has to command a premium price or secure earnings for the company. Continue reading “Toyota top car brand of 2014” »

News: Japanese and Korean cars most reliable; Skoda buyers most satisfied

The top ten vehicles by satisfaction (Source: Consumer NZ)

The top ten vehicles by satisfaction (Source: Consumer NZ)

Consumer NZ has issued the results of a car reliability survey – finding Japanese and Korean vehicles the most reliable – but buyers of Czech-built Skoda’s are the most satisfied.

Of those who owned the vehicles, 95% say they would buy the Volkswagen-owned brand again.

But it is Asian vehicles that appear to be the ones that let their owners down the least – the most reliable models from this survey were the Honda Civic, CRV and Jazz; Hyundai i30; Kia Rio; Mazda2 and 3; Mitsubishi ASX and Lancer; Nissan Tiida, Suzuki Swift, and the Toyota Corolla, Prius and Yaris. Continue reading “Japanese and Korean cars most reliable; Skoda buyers most satisfied” »

News: Former media pair come together for dealer video

Armstrong Motor Group’s newest marketing manager is putting his experience in the media to good use – launching a video blog that appears to be one of the closest things New Zealand currently has to a motoring show.

Former motoring writer Steve Vermuelen came up with the idea of a video blog for the Armstrong Motor Group, and has produced it with his former Top Gear New Zealand editor, now contract communications provider, Cameron Officer.

The episodes, two so far, are near the length of a half hour tv show, and discuss motoring news and road test vehicles sold by the group. Filming so far has been held in Fiat Chrysler New Zealand’s Mount Wellington warehouse, as well as out on the road. Continue reading “Former media pair come together for dealer video” »