News: Official confirmation – best overall year ever

12014 was the best year ever for overall – passenger and commercial – vehicle sales in the New Zealand market, a fact confirmed this morning by official rregistration figures.

Numbers released by the Motor Industry Association this morning show 127,179 new vehicles were registered in 2014, more than for any previous year and up 12% on 2013 (14,062 units).

MIA chief executive David Crawford says the result reflects, “the strong New Zealand economy, competitive pricing made possible by the relative strength of the New Zealand dollar and a wide range of new models introduced during the year. Continue reading “Official confirmation – best overall year ever” »

Holden: Holden: 2014 VF Commodore SS-V Redline review

Holden Commodore SSV 2014 front quarter

The Holden Commodore SS-V is the best reason I can think of to not buy an SUV. I can drive up kerbs (carefully) in the SS-V, just like the requirements of 99% of SUV owners. I can tow 2100kg on a braked trailer (100kg more than a Hyundai Santa Fe). I can fit 486 litres of air in the boot, which is 83 more than a Mazda CX-5, and if I buy the Sportwagon version of the Commodore, there’s a frankly ridiculous 2000 litres of space with the rear seats folded down. That’s bigger than a long wheelbase Mitsubishi Pajero with its seats down, and there’s no way you can chuck a Pajero around in the corners like you can this Commodore. Continue reading “Holden: 2014 VF Commodore SS-V Redline review” »

Cars: Swift range revised after ten years at the top


To celebrate the Suzuki Swift achieving a decade of being New Zealand’s top selling light car, the New Zealand distributor has axed two model variants and dropped the price on the base model by 5%.

The entry-level 1.4-litre GL model now carries a recommended retail price of $18,990, plus on-road costs, for the manual version, and $19,990, plus on-road cost, for the automatic transmission model. Continue reading “Swift range revised after ten years at the top” »

Ford: Falcons due February but most to special order

G6 and XR8

Ford has released it’s pricing for the FG X Falcon range which arrives in showrooms in February but only the XR6 and XR8 sedans will be held in stock.

Of a seven model line up, only the XR6 automatic sedan, and the XR8 sedan in manual or automatic transmission will be immediately available to purchasers. Continue reading “Falcons due February but most to special order” »

Road Tests / Car Reviews: Suzuki: 2014 S-Cross Limited AllGrip review


Up to now the expanding breed of crossover vehicles have passed over my head without any interest, whatsoever.

I’ve dodged the temptation of owning any cars such as the Ford Territory or any Q-series Audi models, however realising the advantages of sitting up in traffic, and having a good loading capacity came about with the arrival of the 2014 Suzuki S-Cross AllGrip equipped with a CVT automatic transmission. Continue reading “Suzuki: 2014 S-Cross Limited AllGrip review” »

Mazda: Mazda: 2014 Mazda3 SP22 Limited hatch review

2014 Mazda3 SP22 Limited front 2

There have been previous diesel versions of the Mazda3 available in global markets but sensibly the New Zealand distributor held back from local sale until there was an automatic transmission available, as previously only a manual transmission had been available with the oiler engines. Continue reading “Mazda: 2014 Mazda3 SP22 Limited hatch review” »

Blogs: Ford: Ranger Wildtrak longterm test #2

2013 Ranger Wildtrak with trailer

Its taken almost two years to get my hands on a Ranger Wildtrak, because at launch Ford New Zealand simply couldn’t get enough production to satisfy customer demand let alone put a car on the press fleet for the motoring media to drive. Continue reading “Ford: Ranger Wildtrak longterm test #2” »

Jeep: Jeep: 2014 Cherokee Trailhawk review

Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk 2014 front quarter

That grille and the menacing eyes simply scare difficult terrain out of the way. Underpinning the seriousness of Jeep’s commitment to dominating the road less paved, you can wade through water up to 508mm deep due to additional electrical and body seals plus a high air intake, there’s 224mm of ground clearance, the approach angle is almost 30 degrees, the departure angle is 32 degrees and the ramp breakover angle is almost 23 degrees. Continue reading “Jeep: 2014 Cherokee Trailhawk review” »