News: Insignia: the importance of niche


Holden admits its new Insignia VXR, the third of its new products from German-Opel is not going to be a big seller. And like the Cascada and Astra before it, they are ok with that.

The 2.8-litre V6 turbocharged all-wheel-drive $69,990 is a niche product targeted at an older male market skew, and the two key competitors in the market are the all-wheel-drive Subaru Legacy and the Volkswagen Passat 4Motion sedan, and CC 4Motion.

According to Holden New Zealand marketing manager Marnie Samphier, less than 500 new vehicles a year are sold in this particular category, and Holden’s first shipment is 20 vehicles to get the ball rolling. Continue reading “Insignia: the importance of niche” »

News: Subaru shares winter driving tips


It is snowy out there – or at least our friends in the South Island tell us.

Subaru New Zealand has issued a list of tips for those of you who have to drive in the snow – particularly if you are heading for the ski fields.

Practice makes perfect: If you haven’t driven in winter weather for a while, find an empty, snow-covered parking lot and spend time accelerating, turning and stopping. After a few minutes of practice, you will have a better feel for how your vehicle will handle and you will be better prepared for driving in snowy conditions. Continue reading “Subaru shares winter driving tips” »

Mazda: Mazda: 2015 CX-3 Skyactiv-D Limited AWD review

2015 Mazda CX3 Limited front 3:4

Mazda’s new CX-3 crossover is based on the platform of the funky new Mazda2, but it has the look and feel of a far bigger car.

We had the pleasure of driving the new top spec 1.5-litre turbo diesel all-wheel-drive CX-3 Limited for a week in some of the worst weather conditions May could throw at us, and there were many times that the raised ride height and four wheel traction came into its own. Continue reading “Mazda: 2015 CX-3 Skyactiv-D Limited AWD review” »

News: Navara will account for 30% of Nissan sales


Pick ups currently account for more than 20% of the new vehicle market, and Nissan New Zealand managing director John Manley says that the all-new NP300 Navara will account for more than 30% of its new model sales mix.

Last year Manley says the brand sold 2252 units, and despite the later arrival of the new model to our shores, he expects to sell a similar number in 2015, even though the full 14-variant line-up won’t be in place until October.

He also thinks the higher grade ST and ST-X models will account for 80% of Navara volume this year. Continue reading “Navara will account for 30% of Nissan sales” »

News: Toyota welcomes funding to get Kiwi drivers in race series


Toyota has welcomed the first sponsor to the Kiwi Driver Fund, an initiative set up to help kiwi drivers enter the Toyota Racing Series.

Toyota New Zealand motorsport manager Steve Boyce says the Fund will provide essential support for New Zealand drivers to gain experience with modern ‘wings and slicks’ race cars as well as show results in a credible, internationally respected championship.

It will take effect for the January and February 2016 series. Continue reading “Toyota welcomes funding to get Kiwi drivers in race series” »

News: Toyota Prado will debut all-new diesel engine


The Toyota Prado will be the first model in New Zealand to receive the newly developed 2.8-litre 1GD-FTV four-cylinder turbo-diesel engine in the third quarter, ahead of the all-new Toyota Hilux which arrives in quarter four.

Toyota says the Global Diesel (GD) 2.8-litre four-cylinder engine has been developed from the ground up.

It delivers more power and torque – up to 450Nm – while achieving substantially better fuel economy than the Prado’s current 3-litre engine says Toyota. Continue reading “Toyota Prado will debut all-new diesel engine” »

Commercial: Volkswagen: 2015 Amarok Canyon 4Motion review

2015 Amarok Canyon front three quarter

If you are a shrinking violet or prefer your daily driver to be a bit discreet then the Amarok Canyon in all of it’s metallic copper orange glory, with the flared wheel-arches, 17-inch Roca alloy wheels, gloss black Canyon sport bar, Canyon roof light bar, and colour coded bumpers and mirrors, plus gloss black sill bars and rear bumper – isn’t going to be your cup of tea. Continue reading “Volkswagen: 2015 Amarok Canyon 4Motion review” »

BMW: BMW: 2015 125i M Sport review

BMW 125i 2015 front quarter

We gave it a good thrash from Auckland to Whangarei and back where it amply demonstrated its overtaking potential – 6.2 seconds to 100kph is plenty for most occasions. Through the Brynderwyns the 1-Series handled with aplomb. Lowered suspension and some nice wide 245s on 18-inch wheels at the back and 225s at the front keep it flat and planted on the road, although when the surface was rough, you could really feel that sports suspension, and that’s not even in Sports or Sports Plus modes which firm it up more. One of my passengers (female former vintage Porsche owner, sitting in the front in the bucket seats) loved it, and the other in the back didn’t. Continue reading “BMW: 2015 125i M Sport review” »