Fiat: Fiat: 2014 Punto Pop review

Fiat Punto Pop 2014 front quarter

At $17,490 here you have one of the cheapest new cars on the New Zealand market, and it’s from Europe which means you can indulge in a bit of Euro brand snobbery. In fact, I’ve even seen them advertised for $16,990, and that’s just ridiculously low. Compared to what they cost in the UK, we get a pretty good deal which is definitely not the case with a lot of our marques. As far as I can tell from Fiat’s UK website the little Punto Pop sells for just over ten thousand pounds on the road which is the equivalent of twenty-one grand here. Continue reading “Fiat: 2014 Punto Pop review” »

News: Faulty US air bag issue heats up

crash-testThe US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is now urging the owners of nearly eight million cars and trucks to have air bags repaired because of potential danger to occupants in the front seats.

The agency says that owners in high humidity areas such as Florida, Hawaii, areas near the Gulf of Mexico in Texas, as well as Alabama, Mississippi, Georgia, and Louisiana should pay special attention to the recall warning.

NHTSA has put forward a theory in documents suggesting the chemical used to inflate the airbag can be altered by high humidity, making it explode with too much force while deploying. Continue reading “Faulty US air bag issue heats up” »

News: Red stripes causing locals’ road rage

Coloured-Ped-CrossingLarge red road stripes – which are called ‘threshold treatments’ and are designed as a signal to truck drivers and motorists that they are crossing a ‘threshold’ into a residential quiet zone – have created outrage amongst Auckland residents in Balmoral and Sandringham.

According to Stuff, the thick horizontal lines have appeared on numerous side streets in Sandringham and Balmoral bordering arterial route Dominion Road, creating confusion amongst residents and motorists, as there has been a delay in the explanation of their purpose.

More than 31 intersections in side streets surrounding Dominion Road will have the red painted lines in place by mid-December when the overall quiet zone upgrade is due to be completed. Continue reading “Red stripes causing locals’ road rage” »

News: EECA ticks Goodyear and Dunlop tyres

GoodYear_Assurance_2014More than 186 new tyres have been given the Energywise mark of approval by the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority (EECA) which is part of a new programme to inform consumers about fuel efficient tyres.

Amongst that number EECA has approved more than 100 Goodyear or Dunlop branded passenger and SUV tyres as being fuel efficient allowing them to use the Energywise-approved tyre mark.

EECA has recently launched the Energywise-approved tyre mark and website tool to inform consumers of the tyre options available to them in the market. Continue reading “EECA ticks Goodyear and Dunlop tyres” »

News: Zero road toll for Labour Weekend?

overtake1Last year’s road toll for Labour Weekend numbered one person, and this year the Automobile Association would like to see zero road fatalities.

AA spokesperson Dylan Thomsen says the weather is looking good for the long weekend so the roads will be busy.

“Unfortunately, that also increases the chances of people getting frustrated and trying a risky passing manoeuvre,” says Thomsen. Continue reading “Zero road toll for Labour Weekend?” »

News: Motoring Writers’ Guild elects new president

Liz Dobson

Liz Dobson

The New Zealand Motoring Writer’s Guild has elected NZ Herald/Driven assistant motoring editor Liz Dobson as its president for the next 12 months.

Dobson takes over from immediate past president David Linklater, who has led the guild for the last three years.

Dobson says that she is committed to bolstering the membership of the guild by implementing new measures to attract new journalists into motoring and motorsport writing. Continue reading “Motoring Writers’ Guild elects new president” »

News: Best ANCAP rating yet for Hyundai Genesis


The all-new luxury Hyundai Genesis sedan will be launched into New Zealand at the start of 2015 having achieved the highest score in the 21-year history of the Australasian New Car Assessment Programme (ANCAP) achieving 36.88 points out of a possible 37 and a maximum 5-star safety rating.

The Genesis is the latest Hyundai to achieve the maximum ANCAP safety rating for a marque that has consistently performed strongly in crash tests in recent years.

Hyundai has provided as standard nearly every safety feature on the ANCAP check list including autonomous emergency braking – a feature that has been excluded from many new models arriving in New Zealand. Continue reading “Best ANCAP rating yet for Hyundai Genesis” »

News: New FT 50 confirms Toyota NZ’s commitment to motorsport


Toyota has marked its tenth anniversary of the ‘wings and slicks’ single-seater Toyota Racing Series by launching an all-new FT 50 race car designed in Italy by Tatuus.

It’s a multimillion dollar commitment by the New Zealand arm of Toyota Motor Corporation to continue a local motor-sport championship which will breed future Formula One drivers, such as Russian driver Daniil Kyvat who will replace Sebastien Vettel at Red Bull Racing.

Kyvat raced in the Toyota Racing Series in 2011, he finished fifth overall in the championship winning the Dan Higgins Trophy at Manfield, and he stepped on to the podium five times during that season. Continue reading “New FT 50 confirms Toyota NZ’s commitment to motorsport” »