Holden Malibu CDX 2014 second review

April 9th, 2014 by Darren Cottingham

holden-malibu-cdx-2014-front-quarter

Our previous Malibu CDX arrived at Car and SUV test headquarters last August. Eight months on we’re revisiting it to see if we’re still as impressed.

holden-malibu-cdx-2014-sideThe Malibu is a large car masquerading as a medium-sized car in that it’s not as big as a Commodore therefore Holden doesn’t call it a large car. But it is roomy and comfortable enough for five adults. Continue reading “Holden Malibu CDX 2014 second review” »

Holden Malibu CDX 2013 Review

August 23rd, 2013 by Darren Cottingham

Pleasantly surprised is what I was when I finally got in the Malibu. I had just been too busy to refresh myself with what the Malibu is all about and in my mind I was thinking is was (but hoping it wouldn’t be) a direct replacement for the decidedly average Epica. The Epica was quite a dreary car that we tested back in 2008 and the Malibu is anything but.

holden-malibu-cdx-2013-rqTaking a walk around the outside, there are some long lines that make this car look sleek. A rebadged Chevrolet Malibu, Holden bills it as a mid-sized car, but it gives the impression of being a large car. It’s also got that slight nose forward stance that delivers a bit of a sporty aura, and you can add those square afterburner taillights (á la Camaro) in to the design mix and you’ve got a rear end that’s visually distinct. There’s even a hint of BMW at the rear if you look from the side.

holden-malibu-cdx-2013-dashboardOn the inside, the 7-inch MyLink touchscreen dominates the dashboard. The MyLink system comes with Bluetooth connectivity and built-in app technology – think streaming radio, for example – and the screen doubles as the display for the reversing camera and general vehicle controls. The screen itself conceals a convenient cubby hole for a bit of extra dashboard storage.

Storage in the boot is 545l. The boot is long and not that deep, and perhaps slightly compromised by the 73-litre fuel tank (usually you’d get 60-65 litres in a mid-sized car). The long boot eats into the rear legroom. Rear legroom is not cramped, but it’s not as good as, say, a Honda Accord.

Continue reading “Holden Malibu CDX 2013 Review” »

Hennessey unleashes 20th Anniversary HPE650 Camaro

October 14th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

When it comes to modern muscle car news it’s been one-way traffic for the Chevrolet Camaro this week. First the Camaro ZL1 set a smoking hot time of 7:41.27 at the Nurburgring closely followed by Chevrolet announcing that the 2012 Camaro ZL1 convertible will be launching next month (read news). Now to finish the week in style, specialist American tuner Hennessey has revealed its latest special edition – 20th Anniversary Edition Camaro.

It’s not the Camaro’s 20th anniversary, but it is Hennessey’s 20th birthday so the tuner is going big with this celebratory Camaro. Officially named the HPE650 Camaro, this muscle car packs 655 horsepower achieved by fitting a TVS2300 supercharger. There’s also a new cam, replacement headers and intake and exhaust upgrades.

The upgraded engine can be matched with either a six-speed manual or automatic transmission and the hot Camaro will sprint to 100 km/h in around 3.8 seconds and cover the quarter mile in 11.7 seconds. Continue reading “Hennessey unleashes 20th Anniversary HPE650 Camaro” »

Chevrolet marks 100th birthday with record sales year

October 12th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

It was 100 years ago that industrialist William C. Durant and Swiss-born race car driver Louis Chevrolet founded the Chevrolet car company. In the same year, 1911, the two men built Chevrolet’s first automobile in a rented garage near downtown Detroit.

Since then Chevrolet has gone on to build more than 209 million vehicles and enter the motoring markets of more than 140 countries. Annual sales for Chevrolet are around the 4.25 million unit mark. It’s been the expansion into global markets that has made Chevy the automotive monster it is today. Once it was mostly confined to the American continent, now it’s a global brand that sells more than 60% of its total production outside the U.S.

In 2010, Chevrolet had its best year ever with 4.26 million sales – a record that’s set to be broken in 2011 giving extra reason to celebrate the brand’s centenary.

“Like many of the strongest global brands, Chevrolet is founded in American values that are admired around the world”, said vice president for global marketing and strategy Chris Perry. Continue reading “Chevrolet marks 100th birthday with record sales year” »

2013 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 convertible unveiled with 432 kW engine

October 11th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

With its all-new 2013 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 Convertible, General Motors has just announced that it has built the world’s most powerful roofless production model ever. The new high-power drop-top will be officially revealed at the Los Angeles Auto Show next month.

The convertible Camaro shares its underpinnings with the upcoming Camaro ZL1 Coupe and is scheduled to reach showrooms from late 2012. Powering the convertible is GM’s 6.2-litre supercharged LSA V8 engine producing 432 kW and 754 Nm of torque.

General Motors was quick to point out that its drop top Camaro ZL1 has more power output than Euro performance models like the Aston Martin DB9 with 350kW and the Porsche 911 Turbo with 395kW. However models like the Bugatti Veyron Grand Sport were conveniently forgotten about.

“The Camaro ZL1 convertible will be one of the most powerful and most capable, convertibles available at any price,” said Al Oppenheiser, Camaro chief engineer. “This is a car that is guaranteed to put a smile on your face every time you drop the top – or hit the gas.” Continue reading “2013 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 convertible unveiled with 432 kW engine” »

2012 Isuzu D-Max ute revealed in Thailand

October 10th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

Isuzu has revealed its 2012 D-Max ute at an event in Thailand before it goes on sale in selected markets from later this year.

The reveal follows the unveiling last week of the 2012 Holden/Chevrolet Colorado on which it is based.

The new D-Max shares the basics of its ladder-chassis platform and mechanical components with the 2012 Colorado but Isuzu’s ute gets a unique appearance. It will be distinguished by unique upswept headlights and a more conventional three-bar grille design.

In the cabin the D-Max will be almost identical to the Colorado with it’s dashboard, control stack and steering wheel all matching up with Holden’s next ute.

While full details for the new D-Max haven’t been revealed just yet, Isuzu has confirmed that a choice of two 2.5 litre diesel engines will be offered. Expect outputs of 85kW with 350Nm of torque for the lower spec diesel mill and 110kW with 470Nm for the higher spec model. There will also be an upgraded version of Isuzu’s 3.0 litre diesel which delivers 130kW and 380Nm of torque. Continue reading “2012 Isuzu D-Max ute revealed in Thailand” »

New 2012 Holden Colorado revealed in production Chevrolet form

October 6th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

General Motors has revealed the production version of its 2012 Chevrolet Colorado which will be rebadged as the Holden Colorado when it arrives in NZ next year.

The new Colorado was unveiled in Thailand where it will enter the local market shortly. Holden hasn’t officially announced a schedule for its entry into the Australian and NZ markets.

According to GM, the Colorado is the end result of a vehicle program that began five years ago and cost $2 billion USD. It will be offered globally with a total of 26 variants, two diesel engines, two- and four-wheel-drive layouts, different ride heights, wide and narrow body styles and various cab options.

Engine options will include two Duramax four-cylinder diesel engines. One will be a 2.5 litre motor and the other a larger 2.8 litre unit. The 2.5 litre mill produces 110kW and 350Nm of torque, the 2.8 litre turbodiesel pumps out 132kW and 470Nm of torque when mated to the six-speed auto box. In five-speed manual form the engine is tuned to output 440Nm of torque. For now there is no word on any petrol-powered variants. Continue reading “New 2012 Holden Colorado revealed in production Chevrolet form” »

Cadillac confirms production for electric ELR Coupe (+video)

August 19th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

Cadillac’s smooth styled ELR Coupe has been given the green light for production. With its sharp looks and range-extending hybrid drivetrain, General Motors has high hopes for the luxury two-door.

The model was originally shown as the Cadillac Converj concept at the 2009 Detroit Motor Show, rumours have been around ever since that it would enter production. Now, development has been officially confirmed with the new model, named the ELR Coupe, heavily borrowing technology from the Chevrolet Volt.

“The concept generated instant enthusiasm,” said Don Butler, vice president-Cadillac Marketing. “Like other milestone Cadillac models of the past, the ELR will offer something not otherwise present – the combination of electric propulsion with striking design and the fun of luxury coupe driving.”

No official specs have been released but Cadillac has confirmed its ELR will use a version of the same Voltec drivetrain as the Volt, but possibly a more advanced set up. This will feature a T-shaped lithium ion battery, an electric drive unit, and a four-cylinder engine-generator. Continue reading “Cadillac confirms production for electric ELR Coupe (+video)” »

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