2012 Toyota Yaris launches into NZ market

October 21st, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

Toyota has launched the all new Yaris hatchback into the NZ market, with reworked styling, improved performance and new equipment.

Toyota New Zealand’s Neeraj Lala said “This is an exciting time for Toyota – the launch of our best ever small car. Following on from the success of the current Yaris, and the Echo before it, we’re offering New Zealander’s the best combination of design and value in a city-sized package.”

“Small vehicles make up around 13 per cent of the New Zealand new vehicle market, attracting cost-conscious buyers and those moving away from larger vehicles. We’re confident that this new Yaris will appeal to a broader range of drivers with its blend of value for money features and Toyota’s innovative packaging.”

This new generation Yaris offers a more gender-neutral look in terms of styling. More efficient design sees Yaris gain interior space without sacrificing its compact exterior. Continue reading “2012 Toyota Yaris launches into NZ market” »

2012 BMW 3-Series – Officially Unveiled

October 17th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

After many rumours and great anticipation BMW has revealed its all-new 2012 3-Series at an event in Munich. Codenamed F30 the new model is the sixth generation of BMW’s luxury sedan. Since 1975 the 3-Series has sold more than 12 million units and has become the benchmark in its segment. So the stakes are high for this new model.

In terms of size the new 3-Series has grown by 93mm in length and the wheelbase (50mm) and track (37mm-47mm) have also seen increases. The design remains familiar and similar to the outgoing model but with noticeable progressions. There’s a sharper and longer character line running from the front wheel guard through to the rear tail-light and there’s a  higher, coupe-like rear deck with an upwards flick to the boot lid. Facial changes include a larger twin-kidney grille that meets the headlights for a more continuous appearance.

Inside the larger body allows for 15mm more legroom and 8mm more headroom for rear seat passengers. Cargo capacity in the boot is also increased but despite the larger body, numerous weight saving measures mean the new 3-Series is 40kg lighter (depending on version). Continue reading “2012 BMW 3-Series – Officially Unveiled” »

Audi A6 TDI 2012 Review

October 14th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

In the past decade Audi has become a car-manufacturing powerhouse with entries into almost every motoring category. But for all its new models one of its most important and defining vehicles remains the A6. The executive cruiser now enters its seventh-generation and with lightweight construction, sleeker styling and extensive mechanical upgrades, is ready to resume its long fought battle with BMW’s 5-Series. Does the 2012 Audi A6 have the dynamic ability and first-class luxury appointments to dominate its high-end division? Car and SUV buckled into the driver’s chair of the new A6 TDI Quattro to find the answers.

A glance across the new A6 reveals an understated and smooth aesthetic that’s acutely awareness of its own bloodlines despite being a clean-sheet design. Following on from the A8 flagship and the A7 four-door coupe the new A6 embraces Audi’s corporate design language. The bold Audi gloss black grille sits prominent at the front and is flanked by frowning headlights and recessed fog lamps. Broad shoulders define the sides with chrome trim drawing the eye to an elegantly curved roofline. The rear features a subtle boot spoiler, wide two-piece taillights and twin chrome exhaust tips signaling performance intent. The clean and mean look is finished off with 18-inch V-spoke alloy wheels. There are no radical risks in the A6 exterior design, just a continuation of the conservatively muscular styling that works well for Audi and its legions of brand fans. Continue reading “Audi A6 TDI 2012 Review” »

Ssangyong Korando SPR 2011 Review

October 14th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

Things haven’t always gone to plan for the Ssangyong Motor Company. Even with a name that means double dragons in Korean, Ssangyong has struggled to generate any real firepower in the motoring world. Rioting, receivership and changing ownership have all held back Korea’s fourth largest carmaker, but now in the hands of Indian firm Mahindra things are on the up. Ssangyong appears more determined than ever to advance its status from a fringe player into a serious brand capable of stealing sales off more established Korean and Japanese competitors. It’s working too with Ssangyong reporting a 53% increase in global sales for the first half of 2011. An important instrument in this turn around has been the 2011 Korando small SUV, which has become a fixture on NZ streets. Car and SUV spent a week with the latest Korando to see exactly what this comeback kid is made of.

Ssangyong styling has at times been accused of being erratic with awkward proportions but the new Korando opts for a more conservative approach. This doesn’t mean its boring and being penned by car design legend Giorgetto Giugiaro there’s plenty to draw the eye. The Korando face is particularly purposeful with its low-placed mesh grille and large, wrap around headlights. There’s a character-lined bonnet and a raked back windscreen, which gives the Korando a sporty stance. Pushed out wheel arches and hardened black plastic cladding add familiar crossover touches along the flanks and at the rear, a subtle hatch spoiler and chrome trim feature. Continue reading “Ssangyong Korando SPR 2011 Review” »

BMW announces 1-Series pricing and specs for NZ

October 13th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

The all-new BMW 1 Series is set to make waves in the New Zealand luxury compact market when it goes on sale from October 21.

BMW’s newest hatchback comes packing a new eight-speed automatic transmission as standard – the only model in the segment to do so. There are new engines with more power and improved efficiency figures and a fresh range of standard and optional features.

With pricing officially announced the 116i manual is the entry point and features an entirely new 1.6 litre four-cylinder turbocharged petrol engine, it will start from $46,600. With the automatic transmission it’s priced at $49,700.

The 116i uses a new-generation turbo engine that accelerates the hatch from zero to 100 km/h in 8.5 seconds – compared to 9.4 seconds for the previous 118i.  Torque output is also up from 180Nm to 220Nm while carbon emissions are down from 174g/km to 132g/km. Continue reading “BMW announces 1-Series pricing and specs for NZ” »

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” »

Updated 2012 Toyota Hilux goes on sale in NZ

October 3rd, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

The updated Toyota Hilux has just been launched in New Zealand with a brand-new variant, new features, styling updates and a colourful new ad campaign.

Toyota New Zealand General Manager of Sales and Operations, Steve Prangnell said “This is a significant change for Hilux. The improvements we have made now will further strengthen Hilux’s reign as New Zealand’s most popular light truck.”

Since the seventh-generation Hilux was released in 2005 it has been continually tweaked and updated to improve its practicality as a workhorse/family-friendly vehicle with the latest updates continuing this trend.

Mr Prangnell said “Toyota engineers have travelled around the world to learn about how Hilux is used, in order to develop ways to address the changing demands of our customers. While in New Zealand, they drove our farm tracks, spoke to customers, and then formulated ways to make Hilux even better suited to our unique conditions.”

The new model has been added to the Hilux range is a standard grade 4WD extra cab ute with a 3.0 litre turbo diesel engine and a five-speed manual transmission. Continue reading “Updated 2012 Toyota Hilux goes on sale in NZ” »

Updated 2012 Volkswagen Tiguan goes on sale in NZ

September 14th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

The new 2012 Tiguan has touched down in NZ and is now on sale from VW dealers. The refreshed small SUV features reworked design and upgraded features.

In terms of styling, the latest VW design language has been incorporated into the front end of the Tiguan with the family face now extending across the full New Zealand Volkswagen range. The new front fascia includes halogen headlights, front fogs with cornering lights, rain sensor, privacy glass and a chrome work package. There’s optional kit as well which includes bi-xenon headlights with dynamic cornering lights, panorama sliding glass roof and a mirror package to fold away wing mirrors.

There’s also some high-tech driver assistance systems in the 2012 model with front and rear ParkPilot being a feature. This takes care of parallel parking with the push of a button, drivers only need control braking and acceleration. Safety has been improved with a new fatigue detection system and a lane departure warning system also available.

There’s a Sport & Style package that includes 4Motion all-wheel drive, traction control and an approach angle of 18° as standard with an off-road package available adding under body protection, an increased approach angle of up to 28° and off-road electronic programme. The Tiguan has a towing ability of up to 2,000kg trailer load. Also new in the Tiguan is the XDS electronic differential lock which helps the SUV grip the road during fast cornering. Continue reading “Updated 2012 Volkswagen Tiguan goes on sale in NZ” »

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