Jeep: 2015 Grand Cherokee Overland CRD review

June 28th, 2015 by Darren Cottingham

I’m sitting in Wellington airport as I write this review, listening to a woman talking loudly on the phone next to me advising her client how not to go bankrupt. What’s more distracting is that her client’s name is Darren, so every time she mentions his name it’s doubly attention-grabbing. The conversation pulls my focus away and proves how difficult it is for me to do two things at once. Continue reading “Jeep: 2015 Grand Cherokee Overland CRD review” »

Jeep: 2014 Cherokee Trailhawk review

January 6th, 2015 by Darren Cottingham

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” »

Ford: 2014 Ranger Wildtrak Review

September 26th, 2014 by Darren Cottingham

The Ranger Wildtrak is the top-of-the-range ute for when you have to look like you need a ute, but you’re not going to be doing hard-core driving that will damage its many accessories and prominent livery.

We first drove the Ranger back in 2012 (read review here). It was the XLT which is the model down from the Wildtrak and we said it set a new benchmark in utes as it was a huge leap forward from what the likes of Mitsubishi and Nissan were offering. Continue reading “Ford: 2014 Ranger Wildtrak Review” »

Toyota: 2014 Land Cruiser Prado VX V6 review

May 13th, 2014 by Darren Cottingham

toyota-land-cruiser-prado-2014-rear-quarterOne of those ads out there says that big is good. This Land Cruiser is so big that each one they build has a bottle of champagne cracked across its bow and is released from the factory down a slipway. Continue reading “Toyota: 2014 Land Cruiser Prado VX V6 review” »

Skoda: 2014 Superb Ambition Hatchback vs Elegance Wagon Review

May 8th, 2014 by Darren Cottingham

skoda-superb-tdi-125-elegance-wagon-rear-seatsIf you live in America and you know a man aged between 20 and 40 who is 7 feet tall (2.13m) there’s a 17 percent chance that they play professional basketball in the NBA right now. That means 1 in 6 males 7 feet tall or over in that age group play professional basketball. Continue reading “Skoda: 2014 Superb Ambition Hatchback vs Elegance Wagon Review” »

Road Tests/Car Reviews: 2014 Range Rover Sport SDV8

April 15th, 2014 by Darren Cottingham

range-rover-sdv8-2014-front The Range Rover Sport is a sleeker, meaner entry point into the Range Rover experience. When you want a Range Rover with all the frills, but you want it forty grand cheaper than an actual Range Rover, the Sport fills that gap.

Continue reading “Road Tests/Car Reviews: 2014 Range Rover Sport SDV8” »

Range Rover Evoque TD4 Black Design Edition 2014 Review

March 12th, 2014 by Darren Cottingham

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” »

Land Rover Discovery 4 Black Limited Edition 2013 Review

February 20th, 2014 by Darren Cottingham


At $130,250 I’m as likely to go roving over the land as I am to wear my favourite business shirt while doing judo. However, with the limited off-roading I dare do in the Discovery 4 Black, which consisted of a verified ‘safe’ bit of beach and some fairly non-challenging rocks, I can confirm that it has abilities that normal cars don’t have on terrain that will throw you around and pin you to the mat.

land-rover-discovery-4-black-front-interiorFive Terrain Response modes help the air suspension adapt to the requirements. Leave it in the standard mode and you’ll get through most obstacles, but there are options for low gear ratios, raising the suspension up to 125mm for a total of 310mm for extreme off-road, and lowering it by 50mm to allow easier entry for passengers. Bashing through the rocks? Put it in the rock crawl mode which gives lighter braking. In ruts and mud? Put it in the mud mode for better ground clearance. On the beach? Put it in sand mode to give better launch control to stop you digging yourself a hole. Continue reading “Land Rover Discovery 4 Black Limited Edition 2013 Review” »

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