Jeep: 2014 Jeep Cherokee Diesel Limited review

February 26th, 2015 by Robert Barry

It’s quietly amusing to those of us with long memories, that the marriage of Daimler Chrysler and Mitsubishi ended in a fairly nasty and expensive split while the recent union between Fiat and Chrysler-Jeep seems to have worked rather well thus far. Continue reading “Jeep: 2014 Jeep Cherokee Diesel Limited review” »

Foton: 2014 Tunland 4×4 double cab ute review

January 27th, 2015 by Robert Barry

There was a moment during my week with the Foton Tunland 4×4 where I realised, that if I’d driven down the road with a blind fold on, I could momentarily be forgiven for believing I was behind the wheel of a current generation Toyota Hilux, because the noise of the engine, the power delivery, the feel of the transmission shift, and the steering feel and ride quality were very similar if not damned near identical. Continue reading “Foton: 2014 Tunland 4×4 double cab ute review” »

Isuzu: 2014 MU-X and D-Max 4×4 LS-T review

December 15th, 2014 by Robert Barry

Isuzu Ute first introduced its luxury specification seven-seat MU-X SUV to the New Zealand market just in time for the National Fieldays, and the one-size-fits all variant is available from dealerships for $65,990. Continue reading “Isuzu: 2014 MU-X and D-Max 4×4 LS-T review” »

Renault: 2014 Koleos 4×4 2.5-litre review

September 11th, 2014 by Darren Cottingham

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” »

Jeep: 2014 Cherokee Limited V6 review

July 31st, 2014 by Robert Barry

When the first pictures of the new Jeep Cherokee leaked out of America, many people including myself looked at it and wondered what the design team had been smoking on their tea break.

The square boxy KK series Jeep Cherokee as we all knew it, had been consigned to the rubbish bin, replaced by a modern and contemporary-looking SUV that wouldn’t look out of place in the showroom of any Korean, Japanese, or European brand.

The radical exterior design of the new KL series Cherokee divides the rugged lower body and smooth upper body by the key waterline feature and a waterfall bonnet says Jeep. Continue reading “Jeep: 2014 Cherokee Limited V6 review” »

Toyota: 2014 Hilux V6 SR5 review

May 22nd, 2014 by Darren Cottingham

toyota-hilux-sr5-2014-frontSome 38 years ago the Hilux was unleashed onto New Zealand’s roads. Today, there are as many variants of the 2014 model as there are the days of Christmas: Double cab or single cab, four-wheel drive or rear-wheel drive, petrol or diesel, wellside or chassis, manual or automatic, special TRD edition or one of the standard range? So, should Santa replace Rudolph and Blitzen with a Hilux to tow his sleigh? Continue reading “Toyota: 2014 Hilux V6 SR5 review” »

Toyota Hilux 3.0TD 4×4 Double Cab 2014 review

April 30th, 2014 by Ross Mackay

14ToyotaHilux-1-1From humble beginnings as the robust, reliable, farmer’s friend, the Toyota’s double-cab Hilux is now a bona fide 5-ANCAP star sophisticate, as much at home in the suburbs as it is ‘on the range!’ Continue reading “Toyota Hilux 3.0TD 4×4 Double Cab 2014 review” »

The Kids Aren’t Alright

June 18th, 2012 by Tim Grimley

Jug-eared master of the tap-in goal and Mexico ’86 World Cup Golden Boot winner Gary Lineker has set Twitter alight thanks to his use of the terminology “sick” to describe the fixture between England and Sweden. Despite living in a world that has made us blasé to such miracles as space travel, stem cell therapy and the I-pad, it seems the sight of a 51 year old man using a bit of teen lingo is too much for the online population to swallow.

Quite right too – a man of that age really ought to know better.

If you look for the word ‘sick’ in the dictionary, you will find the official definition is something along the lines of ‘afflicted with ill health or disease’. There are other interpretations too, which mention phrases such as ‘mentally, morally or emotionally deranged’, ‘inclined to vomit’ and ‘deeply affected with some unpleasant feeling’. There is nothing in there to hint that any situation necessitating its use will be anything other than a wearisome burden on your day.

Sick.

Yet when placed in the hands of ‘yoof’, exactly the opposite applies. A situation deemed to be ‘sick’ is one that is crazy, insane, wicked, choice, cool or simply sweet as, bro. While this is may appear strange and confusing, it can actually be explained away very easily; young people are just not right in the head. Although before you start hunting out your soapboxes from which to harangue me, this is not just another uniformed swipe at the much maligned youngsters of today – this is the voice of experience. I used to be a youth myself and as far as I can remember I was as dumb as a post.

My idea of fashion was wearing not much more than a pair of plaid beach pants, which I rather elegantly teamed up with bleached blonde hair (although occasionally red or blue) and lamb chop sideburns that would shame Noddy Holder. So I looked like a complete tit. And my idea of a quiet night out involved drinking my own body weight in alcohol to the backdrop of music by the Shamen. This meant that not only did I look like a moron, but I also sounded like one and spent a large portion of the time acting like a very, very drunken one.

But it was in sober moments that my circle of friends and I produced our most dazzling moments of dullness – we went out and bought cars. No self respecting teenager should ever have a monumental motoring budget, but even with the miserable financial resources at our disposal, we bought some absolute rotters. The dregs of motoring society – Metro, Allegro, Favorit, Beetle, Sunny, 126, AX – adorned our driveways as we cocked a snook at the desire of society for better cars.

But there was one that always eluded us: Lada. And although time has brought with it nose hair and three day hangovers, I’ve never quite managed to shake the desire for some Communist motoring in my life. So when a fine looking example of their Niva 4×4 showed up on Trademe this week, I was unable to stem the flow of juices from my temptation gland and took the beast for a test drive.

It was shocking. By the time I’d negotiated the driveway and made it to the end of the street, my biceps were burning from the effort of turning the steering wheel and my ears were bleeding from the cacophony coming from under the bonnet. Each pothole lined up a fresh set of osteopathic treatment and an attempt to negotiate a roundabout required so much effort that I developed a nosebleed.

After barely 3 kilometres I knew I had to give up and head back before I did myself some permanent damage, but because I was so grateful to have worked the Dickensian transmission into any form of gear – 2nd as it turned out – I simply left it there, so even this short journey took about a week.

There will still be something effortlessly cool in the utter awfulness of the Lada – and all of equally crappy motors that I coveted in my youth – but it seems that with the experience of years I have developed enough common sense and physical frailty to recognise when the cons far, far outweigh the pros. And while it is mildly reassuring to know that I’ve developed into a mature, well-rounded human being who is capable of separating the wheat from the chaff when it comes to cars, the knowledge that the dumb enthusiasm of youth is gone forever leaves me feeling, well, sick.

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