July 6th, 2014 by Robert Barry
Video killed the radio star, and the rise and rise of the SUV has unfortunately also killed off the demand for the large performance executive and family sedan.
Which is a great pity, because for fast point to point, comfortable motoring, a grand touring sports sedan will out perform most mass market SUV’s. Continue reading “FPV: 2014 FPV GT review” »
September 7th, 2013 by Darren Cottingham
There is no point in buying the Ford Focus ST if you don’t like excitement. You will also want to give it a very wide berth if you look at manufacturer-supplied fuel economy figures and think that you’ll want to drive sensibly enough to match them. You won’t. Oh no, you’ll be taking long drives by yourself. The ST will be your secret lover and you will be burying those aluminium pedals into the carpet so you can adore the sonorous four-cylinder turbo howl from the two-litre EcoBoost motor.
This sound is piped into the cabin rather than letting the firewall transmit the acoustics, and you notice a definite change in engine tone as the revs rise. 184kW and 360Nm of torque means 100kph will come up in 6.5 seconds if you’re good enough at swapping cogs in the six-speed manual gearbox, but it’s not the acceleration that’s the high point of the Ford’s performance, it’s the cornering.
Direct steering is the foundation of any car that feels sporty, and the Focus has it. Only when the torque threatens to overwhelm the front wheels do electronics intervene and you lose a little bit of the connection, but basically the Focus is at home on a long sweeper or a tight switchback and everything in between. And when you’ve finished with that, put your sensible hat back on and you can cruise back home at motorway speeds getting fuel economy under 8l/100km. My trip from downtown Auckland to Whangaparaoa town centre and back achieved 7.8l/100km; Ford quotes 7.2l/100km combined. Continue reading “Ford Focus ST 2013 Review” »
August 11th, 2013 by Darren Cottingham
There’s a theory that is used to explain why people can sometimes be extremely productive late at night. The fact is that the majority of tasks we have to perform are often mundane and don’t require that much of our brainpower. Consequently we get distracted by pictures of cats on Facebook. As we get more and more tired, our ability to process information diminishes and the tasks that once took up, say, 60% of our brainpower now take up much closer to 100%, and therefore the room for distracting thoughts is less.
That’s why I’m writing this article at 2:33am on a Sunday morning after first playing a gig in my band, then going to karaoke for a couple of hours for some post-gig socialising. It’s all about focus, which neatly segues into what this article is about: the Ford Focus Trend Hatchback.
While other guys are out chasing hot girls, I’m in writing about a hot hatch. I haven’t used the expression ‘hot hatch’ recently because I hadn’t felt like I’d been surprised. I’ve driven cars you could classify like that, but I didn’t expect to get into the mid-range Ford Focus and get the same feeling as an older Golf GTi or a sporty Renault Megane. The steering is crisp, the gear changes are sharp, and the engine revs willingly.
Despite the perky two-litre petrol engine, Ford reckons you’ll get 6.6l/100km. I didn’t even try because I was having too much fun keeping the six-speed PowerShift gearbox in Sport mode where it runs up and down the gears with a speed of change that feels a little like VW’s DSG. However, Ford does recommend you quench its thirst with Continue reading “Ford Focus Trend Hatchback 2013 Review” »
July 13th, 2013 by Darren Cottingham
This is quite possibly the most complex and fully-featured car for the money. As well as having bells and whistles, there’s the full ensemble of wind instruments and a strings section, and you, the driver, are the conductor.
The problem with complex cars, though, is that they must be simple to use otherwise you’ll still be finding new features months or years after you first bought it. That’s if you find them at all. Continue reading “Ford Kuga Titanium diesel and Kuga Titanium EcoBoost Petrol 2013 – Review” »
March 26th, 2013 by darren
Ford has played it safe upgrading the Territory. It keeps the previous model’s excellent proportions, unlike, for example Mitsubishi which has made a bit of a wide-hipped frump out of the seven-seat Outlander. It’s a large car that’s based on the Falcon chassis but it feels completely different to a Falcon.
This TDCi Titanium model usually comes with 17-inch wheels with 235/60R17 tyres, but our test car sat on some futuristic-looking 18-inch alloys wrapped in 235/55R18 tyres. These, theoretically, should give plenty of grip, even for the two-tonnes of bulk that needs to change direction, but the suspension is set to super-comfort mode (great for cruising, but not for rapid directional changes), therefore Continue reading “Ford Territory TDCi Titanium 7 Seat 2013 Review” »
January 29th, 2013 by darren
Even legends have to go. Such is the lessons we have learned this January from the rapidly changing Australian market. Ford Falcon and Holden Commodore, two of the country’s favourite cars, are both preparing to go out of production before the end of 2016.
Commodore’s 2016 final stop was announced at the Detroit Motor Show by Holden’s Chairman, Mike Devereux, while Ford’s plans to cut down the Falcon’s production on the same year, as well as the possibility to Continue reading “Ford Falcon and Holden Commodore: it’s the end of the road” »
January 3rd, 2013 by Darren Cottingham
Of the huge number of vehicle models whose names have been wrenched from the Spanish dictionary, the Fiesta is arguably the most popular and well known in Europe. New Zealand hasn’t had the Fiesta as a direct import for that long (it was called the Festiva or something similar, if I remember rightly).
However, if it was called a Ford Party (the direct translation), it would have had naming allure of the Toyota Funcargo (even ‘cargo’ indirectly comes from the Spanish ‘cargar’ which means ‘to load’). Given a couple of hours, Continue reading “Ford Fiesta Zetec 2012 Review” »
November 1st, 2012 by Darren Cottingham
To some people, saying Falcon and four-cylinder turbo in the same sentence would make their lip curl. Until now you could only have your Ford with six or eight cylinders (well, only eight in an FPV), not four plus a hair dryer.
After all, the Falcon is a big car; it’s a car that’s had a six or eight for a reason. To top it off, they’ve given it a green-sounding name – EcoBoost – that, for sure, means it’s going to accelerate like a kitten pulling a Continue reading “Ford Falcon XT EcoBoost 2012 Review” »