Road Tests / Car Reviews: Suzuki: 2014 Swift Sport automatic

suzuki swift sport 2014 front quarter

I’m really getting fed up with how excellent the Suzuki Swift Sport is. Every time I get one it’s pretty much exactly the same; just a few minor tweaks, and that’s it. It’s like having the perfect girlfriend and then every six months she learns how to make a different dessert.

But is one new dessert a year enough?

Looking at it from the outside, it looks almost exactly like the Swift has looked since 2007 when I first drove one. It is the Peter Pan of small cars. Yes, the nose has changed a little, the lights have smeared their way backwards up the bonnet line, the wheels are an inch bigger and it’s a little more sculpted down the sides, there’s not much in it. Continue reading “Suzuki: 2014 Swift Sport automatic” »

News: X marks the spot for Ford

Ford-Falcon-XR6

Ford has confirmed that the next generation of Ford Falcon will be known as the FG X.

The “FG” series prefix carries over for the refreshed Falcon range, as a way to promote the heritage of the Fairmont and Ghia nameplates that have featured on previous prestige Falcon models.

The letter “X” is also a significant piece of the Falcon story, having been used for both the original Falcon XK model in 1960 and through four-generations of Falcons from the 1960s through to the 1990s, including some of the more popular Falcon models like the XR, XW, XY, XA, XB, XD and XF. Continue reading “X marks the spot for Ford” »

News: BMW product offensive continues

BMW-4-Series-Gran-CoupeBMW has released pricing for the all-new 4 Series Gran Coupe, which will be available as either a 428i Sport Line or six-cylinder 435i M Sport.

It is part of a continuing offensive of new products as BMW seeks to maintain its leadership in the premium car sector locally.

The BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe is 4,638 mm in length, 1,825 mm wide and shares the same wheelbase and track of the 4 Series Coupe. The major difference between the Coupe and the Gran Coupe lies in the roofline, which sits 12 mm higher and extends a further 112 mm towards the rear of the car. Continue reading “BMW product offensive continues” »

News: More refined Holden Trax into dealerships

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Holden has launched a much improved model year 2015 Holden Trax compact SUV, with the addition of a top of the range 1.4-litre turbo LTZ model, to build on its 11% market share of the segment in New Zealand.

Year to date Holden’s compact SUV has sold more than 371 units, it lies fourth in the under $40k market behind the Mitsubishi ASX (410), Suzuki SX4 S-Cross (431) and the Hyundai ix35 (897).

The 1.4-litre iTi engine is coupled with a 6-speed automatic transmission and this LTZ model will sit above the 1.8-litre engine in the expanded Trax line-up, offering customers an engine option that provides 103kW of power and 200Nm of torque, with fuel economy of 6.9L/100km. Continue reading “More refined Holden Trax into dealerships” »

Mercedes-Benz: Mercedes-Benz: 2014 CLS 250 CDI Shooting Brake

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What is a shooting brake you ask? Thats a very good question.

According to the all-knowing Wikipedia, the term shooting-brake originated in the 19th century, and was used to describe a particular style of motor-vehicle that carried shooting parties, their equipment, and their game.

Wikipedia says the term brake was coined to describe a chassis used to break in horses, and was subsequently used to describe a motor-vehicle.

Early 19th century shooting brakes were often custom built to order for their wealthy clients, normally members of the British aristocracy. Continue reading “Mercedes-Benz: 2014 CLS 250 CDI Shooting Brake” »

Green Motoring: Lexus: 2014 CT200h Limited vs F Sport review

Lexus CT200h Limited front quarter

The road from Whatipu to Titirangi is narrow, bumpy and changes direction like a gazelle trying to outrun a cheetah. We were in the CT200h F Sport and my partner said to me that she was feeling sleepy, and the problem was with my ‘smooth driving’, the comfortable seats and the lack of noise from the Lexus. This Lexus makes your driving seem better than it is: the thing it excels at is turning the road into a muffled silk ribbon like I am the world’s best chauffeur. Continue reading “Lexus: 2014 CT200h Limited vs F Sport review” »

News: Upgraded 86 now in Toyota dealerships

86-NZ-red-interior-July-2014Toyota has announced the arrival of the MY15 Toyota 86 and GT86 into dealerships, which receives upgrades and enhancements at no change to its recommended retail prices.

Toyota New Zealand product general manager Neeraj Lala says the MY15 cars have received a third round of enhancements since the vehicle was first introduced to the market.

“Toyota’s engineering division has continued to evolve key 86 performance attributes, delivering in the MY15 model a series of updates that will enhance the enthusiast driver’s ability to safely and confidently control the car as appropriate to the environment, whether that be on the road or the track,” says Lala Continue reading “Upgraded 86 now in Toyota dealerships” »

News: Peugeot’s global sales grow 5.5%

2014-Peugeot-308

Peugeot has announced a surge in profits for the first half of 2014 and believes new models in Australia and the introduction of LCV’s in New Zealand will see it’s earnings increase even further in the second half of 2014.

PSA Peugeot Citroen narrowed its first-half loss and posted the first positive contribution from its core auto division in three years, as the French carmaker’s recovery plan has started to take shape.

Peugeot says that the launch of the new Peugeot 308 in Australia later and New Zealand in the second half of 2014, and the introduction of light commercial vehicles in New Zealand should have a positive impact on the group’s second-half performance in the region. Continue reading “Peugeot’s global sales grow 5.5%” »