October 16th, 2015 by Robert Barry
Let me preface this review of the new i3 with the following disclaimer.
I fell in love with this electric car from the BMW stable. I loved the design, the lightly coloured interior, the technology, the driving characteristics, the carbon fibre and plastic construction and the ability to run on renewable energy and not go near a petrol station too often. Continue reading “BMW: 2015 i3 review” »
June 17th, 2015 by Darren Cottingham
We gave it a good thrash from Auckland to Whangarei and back where it amply demonstrated its overtaking potential – 6.2 seconds to 100kph is plenty for most occasions. Through the Brynderwyns the 1-Series handled with aplomb. Lowered suspension and some nice wide 245s on 18-inch wheels at the back and 225s at the front keep it flat and planted on the road, although when the surface was rough, you could really feel that sports suspension, and that’s not even in Sports or Sports Plus modes which firm it up more. One of my passengers (female former vintage Porsche owner, sitting in the front in the bucket seats) loved it, and the other in the back didn’t. Continue reading “BMW: 2015 125i M Sport review” »
September 10th, 2014 by Darren Cottingham
The 4 Series is BMW’s answer to Audi’s A5, and I quite like the A5. The A5 slots between the A4 and A6, just as the 4 Series slots between the venerable 3 Series and the quite mighty 5 Series. The 4 Series follows BMW’s even-numbered coupe nomenclature as opposed to the odd-numbered sedans, and therefore it cuts a fine sleek line as it drives slowly towards the car park that is nearer to the front door of the office than that of the minions.
It shares the same basic undergarments as the 3 Series but is 26mm longer, 43mm wider and 16mm lower. This means that the 4 Series looks like a trained boxer, all squat and ready to pounce compared to the more relaxed 3 Series. Continue reading “BMW: 2014 435i Coupe review” »
September 1st, 2014 by Darren Cottingham
I stepped out of the BMW M4 (read the review here) and into the M235i expecting a significant downgrade, but I was wrong. The M235i is the swift dagger to the M4’s broadsword; it feels lighter and sharper and less likely to require two hands.
The M4 is capable of wreaking much more havoc, but the M235i is still a weapon wielded in the right hands given that it comes with a three-litre turbocharged six-cylinder engine producing 240kW and 450Nm of torque. This means a 4.8-second dash to 100kph and enough overtaking power to give the traction control something to think about at 70kph. Continue reading “BMW: 2014 M235i Coupe review” »
August 26th, 2014 by Darren Cottingham
The M4 is like someone took my shopping list, bought everything on it but on impulse sneaked in an extra packet of bacon. And I like bacon. It’s got the power and the noise, the looks and the toys to keep me happy. I don’t need rear seat practicality and I will put up with the tight squeeze in the boot because this is a coupe and that’s what coupes do: they make compromises in carrying capacity in order to look nicer. Continue reading “BMW: 2014 M4 Coupe review” »
June 28th, 2014 by Robert Barry
What’s not to like about a compact premium rear-wheel-drive hatchback, especially when it comes laden with lots of additional equipment at no extra cost? Continue reading “BMW: 2014 116i Innovation Edition quick drive” »
April 21st, 2014 by Robert Barry
For those people who wanted to buy a large luxury SUV (or SAV in BMW parlance), the biggest conundrum was did they plump for the diesel version or the petrol version.
Obviously at this end of the luxury market paying for fuel was not necessarily a large consideration for buyers, it was more about which fuel suited their lifestyle and vehicle use. Continue reading “Road Tests / Car Reviews: BMW X5 M50d 2014” »
October 17th, 2013 by Darren Cottingham
Four-wheel-drive station wagons are good if you like skiing and other outdoor pursuits – you lead a life a little less boring. Your adventures might see you on softer or more slippery ground, but you don’t want to have the inconvenience, sloppy handling and poor fuel economy of an SUV.
The 320d comes with xDrive which is BMW’s all-wheel-drive system. This means that the 135kW 2-litre turbodiesel has no chance of overwhelming the available traction, even though there’s 380Nm on tap. It also means it scores a slippery 0.32 coefficient of drag which leads to some fairly frugal motoring: 4.5l/100km (when using the Eco Pro mode, which can reduce fuel consumption by 20% if you follow its tips, too).
Eco Pro adjusts the accelerator pedal and gearbox parameters. Shift points are changed, heating and climate control systems are modified to take less power from the engine, and you are given feedback on the display as to how much Eco Pro is contributing to fuel consumption savings.
Consumption is also enhanced by the auto stop/start function, which stops the engine when you are stationary, and brake energy regeneration which captures energy when braking and helps charge the battery. Capturing braking energy means that the engine has less load under full acceleration because it doesn’t have to charge the battery at the same time.
Put it in sport mode, and you should be able to achieve 0-100kph times of around 8 seconds as the 8-speed gearbox swaps its super-slick cogs. Continue reading “BMW 320d Touring xDrive 2013 Review” »