Holden: Holden: 2014 Captiva LTZ diesel review

Holden Captiva 5 LTZ 2014 front quarter

It feels a bit weird putting 2014 in this article because the Captiva 5 we are testing started life in 2006 and has only had a couple of minor upgrades during the last 8 years. We first drove it in 2007  and you can read that article here. It’s a testament to how progressive the Captiva was when it first came out, and that is backed up by the fact that it’s still the most popular SUV (it was the best-selling in August). Continue reading “Holden: 2014 Captiva LTZ diesel review” »

Mini: MINI: 2014 Cooper S hatch quick drive

2014 MINI Cooper S  front 3:4

At the same time as I had the keys to the latest Mini Cooper S in my pocket, I happened upon a documentary from Britain’s BBC as to why the German automotive industry was so much better than their own.

Among a number of obvious reasons – vehicle quality, labour relations, arrogant management – was that the Germans work heavily to develop, and then protect, their brands.

And that work is clearly evident in the history of the Mini. BMW have managed to take what was an iconic small vehicle decades ago, and turn it into a brand, which in the space of a decade has become so strong that they can stick it to a range of vehicles with little but come round headlights and cutesy styling nods to the past.

Continue reading “MINI: 2014 Cooper S hatch quick drive” »

Jaguar: Jaguar XE unveiled at Earls Court

2015 Jaguar XE 3:4 front LHD

Last week Jaguar unveiled its new XE sports sedan to dealers and distributors from around the globe in Earls Court, London.
The XE will go on sale in 2015, with the high-performance S model at the top of the range.
The company says the XE S rewards drivers with the responsiveness and refinement of its supercharged 3.0-litre V6. The engine is linked to an eight-speed automatic transmission with paddle shift controls, giving the driver immediate access to the vehicle’s incredible reserves of power. Accelerating to 0-60mph in just 4.9 seconds, the XE S has an electronically-limited maximum speed of 155mph. Continue reading “Jaguar XE unveiled at Earls Court” »

Road Tests / Car Reviews: Skoda: 2014 Yeti City TSI V Yeti Outdoor TDI

2014-Yeti-City-front-34

For 2014 the two model Skoda Yeti range has received a revamped front end and mildly modified tailgate to bring it into line with the new corporate exterior design as worn by the all-new Rapid, all-new Octavia, and revamped Superb car line.

Thankfully the unique spirit of the Yeti has not been lost in its rejuvenation. Continue reading “Skoda: 2014 Yeti City TSI V Yeti Outdoor TDI” »

News: Ford’s SYNC2 to debut on Falcon and Territory

2015-Territory-InteriorThe new Ford Falcon and Territory are set to debut Ford’s in-vehicle-infotainment, SYNC2, the second generation of the company’s in-car communications and entertainment system.

The vehicles will be available for sale in New Zealand dealerships in the first quarter of 2015.

Ford says that SYNC2 offers customers three distinct ways to interact with the system, through the high-resolution 8-inch colour touch screen, physical buttons and advanced voice control. The driver can control the car’s entertainment system, climate control, satellite navigation and linked mobile devices – like compatible smartphones – with voice commands. Continue reading “Ford’s SYNC2 to debut on Falcon and Territory” »

News: HSV introduces most powerful Maloo yet

GTS-Maloo-Front-3-4-(Large)

Only ten HSV customers in New Zealand will get the opportunity to purchase a unique Christmas present this year.

HSV is set to launch a limited edition GTS Maloo which adopts the 430 kilowatt /740 Newton-metre 6.2 litre supercharged LSA engine, as well as many of GTS’s safety and performance technologies.

Limited to just 10 vehicles in New Zealand, and with each build plate individually numbered, production is due to begin early November with vehicles expected to be available in dealerships during December. Continue reading “HSV introduces most powerful Maloo yet” »

Renault: Renault: 2014 Koleos 4×4 2.5-litre review

Renault Koleos 2014 front quarter

I’m constantly intrigued by new words and whenever I review a car I find out the etymology behind the name. Koleos is Greek and, as far as I can tell, spelled κολεός. Try putting that in Google Translate and, well, you’ll find a very Latin name for a very female part of the body.

But I digress, and today I’m driving around in a black Koleos. It’s a medium-sized SUV with a few Nissan X-Trail underpinnings that has proper off-road four-wheel drive capabilities, although looking at the tyres and given the amount of rain we’ve just had I’m not that keen on driving on anything that isn’t at least a partial product of fractal distillation. Continue reading “Renault: 2014 Koleos 4×4 2.5-litre review” »

News: Green Party offers subsidy on electric cars

10592871_10152273896786372_4541300409965479224_nThe green party has launched a policy today offering a $1000 rebate to buyers of electric vehicles.

Part of its broader energy policy, the party has also committed to spending $10 million to boost the roll out of fast-charging stations for the vehicles.

The rebate will be limited to the first 10,000 electric vehicles sold under the program. Currently New Zealand’s electric fleet stands at around 200. Continue reading “Green Party offers subsidy on electric cars” »