Road Tests / Car Reviews: Toyota: 2014 Hiace ZX automatic review

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Earlier this year Toyota announced a series of cosmetic interior and exteriors updates for the 2014 Hiace range as well as a mildly retuned suspension package for better road comfort and handling.

So we decided it was time to review one of the most popular vans on New Zealand roads.

Delivery vans are mobile offices, and more than ever they need to be as well-equipped as a passenger car, if not better, and they also need to be more car-like to drive, given that the working day has gotten longer and more and more hours are spent behind the steering wheel. Continue reading “Toyota: 2014 Hiace ZX automatic review” »

News: October dealer debut for Lexus NX

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The premium compact Lexus NX SUV will grace New Zealand dealerships from October according to the local distributor.

Lexus says the NX SUV combines bold exterior design details and a luxurious, technologically advanced interior.

It also says the NX features bespoke styling cues designed to ensure all seven models will stand out from the crowd. Continue reading “October dealer debut for Lexus NX” »

News: Last Volvo XC-90 on run out to dealers

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Production of the XC-90 SUV at the Volvo Torslanda factory in Gothenburg, Sweden has come to an end after 12 years, and the New Zealand distributor was only able to order 35 units for its run-out sale.

Now only 24 of those 35 XC-90 R-Design vehicles on the way from Sweden to New Zealand remain available to customers after the runout price of $69,990 (plus on road costs) offer was announced a week ago.

That’s a $15,000 saving on the recommended retail price of $84,990, says Volvo New Zealand. Continue reading “Last Volvo XC-90 on run out to dealers” »

Cars: From Morocco to England on one tank of diesel

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A Mercedes-Benz E 300 BlueTEC Hybrid sedan has travelled the 1968km from Tangier in North Africa to Goodwood in England without having to refuel, while still having enough fuel left for a further 160km.

British journalist Andrew Frankel and a co-driver set off from Tangier in Morocco in a standard E 300 BlueTEC Hybrid, crossed through Spain and France and reached their destination in Goodwood in England after driving for more than 27 hours. Continue reading “From Morocco to England on one tank of diesel” »

Kia: Kia: 2014 Soul SX 1.6 review

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kia-soul-sx-1.6-2014-frontMinor acts of altruism are good for your soul, and so it was with great coincidence and pleasure that I was able to follow and help apprehend a drunk driver, maintaining a phone conversation with police traffic HQ using Kia’s Bluetooth connectivity. Continue reading “Kia: 2014 Soul SX 1.6 review” »

Mercedes-Benz: Mercedes-Benz: All-wheel-drive GLA and CLA models arrive

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CLA250_3_4fcnr5It was ironic that Mercedes-Benz held its Australasian media launch of the new all-wheel-drive CLA 250 Sport 4Matic and GLA 250 4Matic models during one of the worse winter storms to hit the North Island in July.

However, this didn’t dampen the driving experience, rather it was the perfect weather to put the new 4Matic system of both the sexy-looking coupe-like CLA sedan and the compact GLA SUV to the acid test. Continue reading “Mercedes-Benz: All-wheel-drive GLA and CLA models arrive” »

News: VW sales hit 3 million for 2014

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The Volkswagen brand delivered over three million vehicles in the first half of the year, for the first time in the company’s history.

A total of 3.07 million vehicles were handed over to customers worldwide, representing an increase of 3.8%, compared to 2.95 million vehicles sold in 2013 between January-June.

The German brand’s June 2014 sales figures in Australia reached 6597 units sold, rising by 1377 units compared to June 2013, according to the latest VFACTS figures. Continue reading “VW sales hit 3 million for 2014” »

News: Lifetime design achievement award for Kia chief

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Peter Schreyer

Since his appointment as chief design officer with Kia Motors in 2006, Kia’s design guru, Peter Schreyer, has gathered a number of awards for his leadership in propelling Kia vehicle styling to new heights.

The latest recognition comes in the form of a Lifetime Design Achievement Award from EyesOn Design.

It was presented by the Detroit Institute of Ophthalmology (DIO) during its Vision Honoured awards for his work overseeing the global design strategy of Kia Motors. Continue reading “Lifetime design achievement award for Kia chief” »