News: Unchanged pricing for Captiva update

Holden has launched the 2014 Captiva range which sees renamed trim levels and a number of styling changes made to the line up but prices remain unchanged.

Trim levels on the Captiva 7 range have been renamed, with SX, CX and LX becoming LS, LT and LTZ respectively.

The Captiva 7 car line receives a redesigned front fascia and grille. Rear styling has also been updated with a new rear fascia that features redesigned chrome exhaust tips and a new LED tail lamp design. Continue reading “Unchanged pricing for Captiva update” »

News: Corolla sedan revealed in Australia


Toyota has just launched its all-new Corolla sedan in Australia, which sees a 100mm increase in the length between the front and rear wheels over the previous model for more interior space, as well as the introduction of a new multi-drive automatic transmission.

Toyota’s Melbourne-based technical centre refined the chassis package for the Australian market cars to suit local driving conditions and driver demands, particularly on undulating country roads and unsealed and corrugated surfaces.

Technical centre engineers also re-calibrated Corolla’s electric power steering to ensure ease of parking as well as an intuitive level of steering response through roundabouts and on winding mountain roads. Continue reading “Corolla sedan revealed in Australia” »

Ford: Ford Fiesta Sport Ecoboost 2013 review


Rorty, naughty, and sporty

Unknown-6There is nothing quite like the unmistakeable thrum of a three-cylinder engine, and the new turbocharged 1-Litre EcoBoost engine in the Ford Fiesta Sport has the sound, but better yet, the power and efficiency that you would expect from a modern unit.

Under the One Ford plan, the Fiesta has been sold globally since it’s European launch in 2008, it arrived in New Zealand in 2009, as well as China and the USA. Its available as hatchback and a sedan depending on the market its sold in.

New Zealand bound Fiesta’s now come from the Ford production plant in Thailand, rather than Europe and theres a few noticeable differences, such as the hard-to-the-touch plastics in the cabin and the lack of reach adjustment for the steering wheel.

I’m being a bit picky here, but the quality of the Thai-built cars is very good overall, the fit and finish is good for the retail price being asked. Continue reading “Ford Fiesta Sport Ecoboost 2013 review” »

News: 2013 Ford Transit Custom


Not quite white van man

Robert Barry

The original rear-wheel-drive Ford Transit introduced in 1965 was a small delivery van with car-like handling but six generations later, it has grown into a considerably larger vehicle, and one that competes with large vans such as the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter, Volkswagen Crafter, and Fiat Ducato.

image105883_bSo last year in an effort to crack the mid size van market (Hyundai iLoad, Mercedes-Benz Vito, Volkwagen T5) Ford New Zealand launched the front-wheel-drive, one-size-fits-all Transit Custom, a vehicle which harks back to the original Transit concept of being fun to drive and practical to use. Continue reading “2013 Ford Transit Custom” »

News: Refreshed Outlander arrives

2Mitsubishi says it’s successful Outlander SUV, takes on a sporty new look with its 2014 range launching onto the market this month.

The six models (one 2WD, five AWD) share a design evolution of Mitsubishi’s ‘jet fighter’ look. The new front grille and face undergoes a significant redesign which is echoed from the new wheel arch surrounds through to the new rear bumper, new LED rear taillights (VRX) and enhanced by roof rails and, on XLS and VRX models, by new machine finished 18-inch alloys.

All of the 2014 Outlanders have enhanced CVT mapping and improvements in NVH levels and suspension for a quieter drive. All models gain Emergency Stop Signal (ESS) which flashes the rear high-mount stop light under heavy braking to warn following drivers. Continue reading “Refreshed Outlander arrives” »

News: US crash test scores Spark highly


Holden has announced the Barina Spark, has taken the 2014 Top Safety Pick Award for light cars in the US.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) in America has chosen the Spark as the only light car out of 11 to achieve an acceptable rating in small overlap front crash tests.

The small overlap test introduced in 2012 replicates what happens when the front corner of a vehicle collides with another one, or an object such as a tree. In the test, 25% of the front end on the driver’s side strikes a barrier at about 60kph. Continue reading “US crash test scores Spark highly” »

News: A great name makes a comeback

Audi S1

Back in the 1980s an Audi S1 garnered a legendary reputation – it was the car that would see the brand dominate the World Rally Championship. Now the S1 is back – but this time as a road car not a rally car.

The Audi S1 and the S1 Sportback are the new flagships of the A1 compact hatch line, adding an entry-level version to the Audi S model portfolio.

The two models are powered by a 170kW 2-litre turbocharged TFSI engine producing 370 Nm of torque which is harnessed to the tarmac by a quattro permanent all-wheel drive and an extensively revamped suspension. Continue reading “A great name makes a comeback” »

News: ECU recall for Toyota Prius

Prius Hatch in Dynamic Blue On Road
Toyota has announced a number of its 3rd generation Prius vehicles are subject to a recall relating to the Electronic Control Unit.

The recall affects 1003 Prius vehicles sold new in New Zealand, manufactured between March 2009 and February 2014.

In affected vehicles the fault is a potential Electronic Control Unit (ECU) malfunction due to high operating environment temperatures. Continue reading “ECU recall for Toyota Prius” »