Land Rover: Range Rover Evoque TD4 Black Design Edition 2014 Review


Hoi polloi: it’s the Ancient Greek word for the commoners, plebeians and the great unwashed. When you drive an Evoque Black Design Edition, you’ve elevated yourself above this, yet you still have credibility because it’s got the Land Rover badge which is a bastion of workhorse utility. But it’s not your typical boxy Land Rover you’d drive with a peak cap and a Swanndri. This is the Duchess of Cambridge: she’s got the cocktail dress, but you know there’s a pair of wellies in the boot.

range-rover-evoque-td4-dynamic-2014-rear-quarterAs you get comfortable with being one of the hoi oligoi – the few – you’ll need the ability to circumnavigate your dominion, and fortunately the Evoque comes with some off-road smarts to get you to all four corners. Continue reading “Range Rover Evoque TD4 Black Design Edition 2014 Review” »

News: Obituary: William Clay Ford



William Clay Ford

The last surviving grandchild of the Ford Motor Company founder Henry Ford, has died at home from pneumonia.

William Clay Ford, 88, helped steer the Ford Motor Company into the modern era as an employee and director. He served as director emeritus until his death.

Ford served the Ford Motor Company for 57 years as an employee and board member, playing a pivotal role in shaping the company for more than half of its 110-year history. He was elected to the board of directors on June 4, 1948, and began his employment with the company after graduating from Yale University in 1949. In 1957 he was elected chairman of the design committee, a post he held for 32 years. Throughout his career, he was instrumental in setting the company’s design direction, overseeing the development of a number of classic vehicles, including the Continental Mark II, considered by many to be one of the most iconic cars ever built. Continue reading “Obituary: William Clay Ford” »

News: VTNZ goes the full monty

VTNZ2Vehicle Testing New Zealand has launched two safety inspections for motorists concerned about the changes to the Warrant of Fitness regime.

This follows the announcement from AA Motoring Services in February that it would offer a 16-point AA safety check at more than 50 outlets in New Zealand.

By the end of 2014, all vehicles registered from 1 January 2000 will either switch from a six-month to a 12 month WoF, or will remain permanently on an annual WoF. Continue reading “VTNZ goes the full monty” »

News: Death of the car salesperson?



Visiting a dealership to buy a car may soon become a thing of the past as online technology and mobile apps streamline the process of selecting, test driving, and financing a vehicle purchase.

In the USA the automotive manufacturing industry is trying to sell more vehicles directly to customers through online sales, despite state-by-state restrictions that prevents brands from competing directly with their existing dealership network.

In February a three-day competition called Hackomotive, sponsored by US car-buying website edmunds.Com, saw a dozen teams, including some car dealers, present their ideas and projects on how to better use technology to ‘seal the deal’. Continue reading “Death of the car salesperson?” »

News: No range anxiety in electric Outlander



Mitsubishi took a unique approach to the media launch programme of the Outlander PHEV (plug-in hybrid electric vehicle) last week by taking local motoring scribes on a tour of the wind farm known as West Wind which is operated by Meridian Energy at Makara near Wellington.

Meridian operates 62 turbines at West Wind which it says harnesses enough wind power to generate more than 142 megawatts of electricity, which is enough to power more than 62,000 households on average.

Mitsubishi is convinced that electric vehicles such as the new Outlander PHEV provide the best solution for New Zealand motorists due to our high production of renewable electricity from hydro and wind farms. Continue reading “No range anxiety in electric Outlander” »

Nissan: Nissan Altima Ti 2014 review


Did you love the Nissan Maxima? If so, you’re going to have to get used to a new name in town because the Altima Ti is the replacement.

Yes, Nissan has canned the Maxima as its mid-level executive offering, instead giving the Altima (which, if you remember, used to be a pretty average car) a bunch of bells and whistles and some sleek styling.

nissan-altima-ti-2014-around-view-monitoringWe don’t get the gruntier V6 Ti-S in New Zealand; we have to settle for the four-cylinder 2.5-litre 127kW Ti with its CVT gearbox and fuel economy of 7.5l/100km. I achieved 9l/100km during my week of driving, but I never put it in Eco mode. Continue reading “Nissan Altima Ti 2014 review” »

News: World car finalists announced



The top three finalists for the World car of the year, World luxury car, World performance car, World green car and World car design of the year awards have been announced at the Geneva Motor Show at a press conference held by Bridgestone and the New York international auto show.

The overall winners in all categories will be declared at the New York international auto show on April 17, 2014.

World car of the year

From an initial entry list of twenty-four new vehicles from all over the world, then a short list of finalists, the top three contenders for the overall 2014 World car of the year title have been revealed. Continue reading “World car finalists announced” »

Holden: Holden: Barina RS 2014 review



You could be forgiven for thinking that the new Barina RS is a track searing hot hatchback thanks to the current television ad that sees Greg Murphy revving the engine and screeching the tyres around the Highlands circuit in Cromwell.

Alas, do not be fooled by the power of the telly ad because the latest addition to the Barina hatch range is only a mild butter chicken rather than a scorching Vindaloo, its a warm hatch rather than a hot one, but nevertheless its still a very good steer that will curry favour with many.

image103272_bBy adding the 1.4-litre turbocharged engine from the Holden Cruze as well as tweaking the suspension package, upgrading the brake package to discs all-round and lowering the ride height, the Holden engineers, in conjunction with their US and Korean colleagues have created a sporty and responsive hatchback that is fun to drive in the city and beyond. Continue reading “Holden: Barina RS 2014 review” »