News: AA says repeat offenders need alcohol interlocks

breathalyser-alcosense-fr9000-interlock-photo-1While it supports the reduction in the legal blood alcohol limits for adults, the Automobile Association says stopping drink driving crashes will take more than just that.

The adult (20 and older) limit will lower to 50mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood (.05) on December 1.

The AA says a lot of drink drivers are people with serious alcohol issues who aren’t in control of their drinking. It wants to see alcohol interlocks fitted to the vehicles of all repeat drink drivers or those caught at twice the criminal limit. Continue reading “AA says repeat offenders need alcohol interlocks” »

Road Tests / Car Reviews: Toyota: 2014 Yaris ZR and GX hatches review

Toyota Yaris ZR 2014 front quarter

This pair of Yaris – maybe that’s Yarii – are set to wage war on the urban landscape, giving potential punters a budget option or a ‘fries-with-that’ option in the small car segment. As far as price goes, there’s $5000 between them: the GX starts at a wallet-caressing $24,990, while the ZR with the optional sat nav and SUNA package adds garnish and spices for $29,990. If you’re happy with a manual then you can get the GX for $22,990. Continue reading “Toyota: 2014 Yaris ZR and GX hatches review” »

News: $45,900 start price for new Odyssey

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Honda New Zealand has rolled out its new Odyssey people mover, with a $45,990 entry level price.

While the outgoing Odyssey was low-set and more wagon-like, the new model returns to a more traditional people-mover formula. It is powered by a 129kw 2.4-litre petrol four-cylinder engine paired with a CVT transmission.

Available in the Odyssey S with eight seats and a more luxurious Odyssey L with seven seats, features such as one-touch power sliding doors, multi-angle reversing camera and a touch screen are standard. Continue reading “$45,900 start price for new Odyssey” »

Cars: Ford’s Prado-fighter launches in Beijing

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everestfront

Ford has thrown down its gauntlet at the Toyota Prado and the ageing Mitsubishi Pajero with the global media launch of it’s Everest SUV in Beijing today.

Auto Media Group’s Robert Barry is at the event.

Ford’s Chinese joint venture partner JMC (Jianling Motors Corp), will produce the seven seat Everest in China for local consumption but vehicles bound for Australia, New Zealand, and other right-hand-drive markets will come from the Auto Alliance plant in Rayong, Thailand.

Everest will be available in New Zealand and Australia, China, India and markets across the Asean region next year. Ford will also introduce the vehicle to South Africa and African countries below the Sahara desert in 2015. Continue reading “Ford’s Prado-fighter launches in Beijing” »

News: BMW launches i for NZ; $278k for top model

Left to Right: Nina Englert (BMW Group New Zealand Managing Director), Simon Bridges (Minister of Energy & Resources, Minister of Transport & Associate Minister for Climate Change Issues) and Ian Gibson (Team McMillan BMW Dealer Principal)

Left to Right: Nina Englert (BMW Group New Zealand Managing Director), Simon Bridges (Minister of Energy & Resources, Minister of Transport & Associate Minister for Climate Change Issues) and Ian Gibson (Team McMillan BMW Dealer Principal)

BMW launched its i-brand in New Zealand last night – with an $83,500 opening price.

‘i’ covers the company’s line of plug-in hybrid and electric vehicles.

Pricing opens at $83,500 driveaway for the i3 and the powerful i8, virtually a supercar with green credentials, is priced from $278,000.

The brand was launched at Auckland’s Team Macmillan BMW by the Minister of Transport, Hon Simon Bridges, with BMW Group New Zealand managing director Nina Englert, Team McMillan dealer principal Ian Gibson and invited guests. Continue reading “BMW launches i for NZ; $278k for top model” »

News: First Tesla Model S arrives

safe_image.phpThe first Tesla Model S to reach New Zealand – a private import – has arrived in port.

Tech entrepreneur Steve West took possession of the car at the Tesla’s distribution centre in the Netherlands in early September. He drove the car to Southhampton, England, where it was loaded for shipping.

West and his family already own the only Tesla Roadster in New Zealand, a Nissan Leaf, and a number of hybrids. Continue reading “First Tesla Model S arrives” »

Holden: Holden: 2014 Barina RS review

Holden Barina RS 2014 front quarter

RS is a hallowed badge that has traditionally meant Rallye Sport, Rally Sport or Rennsport (German for racing sport). Who can deny that cars such as the Ford RS Cosworth, the Renault Megane RS265, the Porsche GT3 RS and the Audi RS4 are amazing cars in their own right? I even owned a Subaru Legacy RS-RA back in the day which was mostly excellent (when the ECU wasn’t playing up). It has been (and should only be) reserved for cars that have some sporting credentials. Continue reading “Holden: 2014 Barina RS review” »

News: NZ ‘car of the year’ judging nearly complete

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Judging for the New Zealand ‘car of the year’ (COTY) award is nearly complete ahead of the announcement of the winner in Auckland next month.

Members of the New Zealand Motoring Writer’s Guild (NZMWG) and selected New Zealand Automobile Association (NZAA) judges are independently ranking each of the top 10 finalists for the COTY title on a range of elements – including value, design and quality.

Alongside this selection, they are also choosing their favourites from all new cars currently on sale in a range of categories. Continue reading “NZ ‘car of the year’ judging nearly complete” »