Mazda Mazda6 GLX Petrol 2013 Review

April 19th, 2013 by darren

Has Mazda made the perfect station wagon? I liked the previous Mazda6, but I like this one more. A lot more. It’s got the kind of lines that only premium executive grand tourers used to have. It’s a large car. In fact, it’s quite a lot larger than the previous model at 4870mm long – is Mazda going after the space that the Holden Commodore and Ford Falcon are struggling with?

Mazda-6-sHowever, because of Mazda’s SkyActiv technology and engineering philosophy, it’s lighter and more economical. The body is around 30% more rigid but because Mazda uses ultra-high strength steel, it can manufacture it more economically to weigh less.

Mazda-6-rqAdding to the fuel economy benefits of it being lighter are the new two-litre, four-cylinder engines and their stop/start technology that turns the engine off when you’re stationary; finally, the Mazda6 has Continue reading “Mazda Mazda6 GLX Petrol 2013 Review” »

Toyota Corolla Levin ZR vs Corolla GLX (2013) Review

February 18th, 2013 by darren

Toyota-Corolla-Levin-fq

When it comes to popularity contests the Corolla Levin ZR and GLX are the Wills and Kate of the car world. The Corolla, a 5-door, front-wheel drive hatchback, is the biggest-selling car by quite a long way, eclipsing the Ford F-Series, Volkswagen Golf and Volkswagen Beetle with (probably) more than 40 million units sold by the time you read this, versus around 36, 27 and 24 million for the others, respectively.

Toyota-Corolla-Levin-f-interiorWhile the new Corolla doesn’t have anything as interesting to the masses as a Continue reading “Toyota Corolla Levin ZR vs Corolla GLX (2013) Review” »

Suzuki Splash 2011 Review

November 11th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

When the Suzuki Swift arrived in NZ it began giving the beat-down in sales numbers to almost every other hatchback in our market. Even the Toyota Corolla struggles to match the Swift’s sales figures. A key reason behind the Swift’s success is its affordability, but for some it’s still not affordable enough. For those folk there is now a second, cheaper Suzuki option. No, not the Alto, a third option then – the Splash.  Suzuki has sandwiched the Splash hatch between the superstar Swift and the entry-point Alto. Priced from $17,990 the Splash undercuts the base model Swift by $2,500 but shares the same platform. While it’s not a brand new model, having been offered in Europe for the past three years, it’s new to NZ. An interesting character for sure, and being marketed as the Swift’s little sister, it’s arrived with big expectations. Car and SUV spent some time with this Swift understudy to discover what sort of sister the Splash really is.

In terms of exterior styling, the Splash isn’t the prettiest member of the Suzuki family but it does have a certain upright appeal. The front is quite fluid with wide-eyed headlights and a trendy split grille but the Splash’s rear is squarer than a Dungeons and Dragons convention. That said, it’s an inoffensive design that borrows glimpses of style from the Swift. Details that give it away as a budget model include the black plastic door handles and side mirrors and also the 15-inch steel wheels – but the silver wheel covers match up nicely. Continue reading “Suzuki Splash 2011 Review” »

Base model Suzuki SX4 gets dressed up for NZ market

September 21st, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

The entry model Suzuki SX4 GLX Sporthatch has been given some body enhancements to boost appeal for this small crossover.

The 2.0-litre SX4 Sporthatch inherits the exterior detailing previously only fitted to the four-wheel-drive GLX and LTD i-AWD version. Included in the upgrade are black wheel arch extensions, black under-body protection mouldings front and rear, and sports roof rails. Ground clearance has also been increased from 160 mm to 175 mm.

Eight versions of the SX4 are available in total, with the latest improvements focused on the entry-level GLX variant.

Pricing has been adjusted with a $500 increase the 6-speed manual transmission model now retails at $25,990, and the CVT automatic is listed at $27,500.

Standard equipment includes air conditioning, remote control door locking with answer back, steering wheel audio controls with back-lighting and driver’s seat height adjustment. There are body-coloured bumpers and the electrically adjustable door mirrors are also colour-keyed to the bodywork. Continue reading “Base model Suzuki SX4 gets dressed up for NZ market” »

Mitsubishi increases Triton towing capacity to three tonnes

July 22nd, 2010 by Darren Cottingham

Mitsubishi’s 4WD Triton truck has just been upgraded to a three tonne braked towing capacity across the range.

Improvements to the Triton range include a strengthened chassis to facilitate the new tow weight and a new high-efficiency air filter with pre-filter to improve cabin air quality on dusty roads.

“Triton’s new braked tow rating beats the segment leader by 20%,” said MMNZ head of sales and marketing strategy Daniel Cook. “That is a significant margin and, stacked with safety features that gain a four-star ANCAP rating, Triton is fast becoming the best spec’ed, best value 4WD ute in the NZ market.”

To improve ride, the mid-range 4WD GLX double cab gains the premium GLS Sport suspension package and a wider alloy wheel set with 245/70 R16 tyres. To showcase the new wheels, body colour guards give the GLX a high-end appearance.

“4WD GLX has been a very popular model for us,” said Mr Cook. “It has received a lot of interest and success in the fleet market where customers are looking for a value-priced ute with full safety specifications. Large organisations that work in rural areas such as PGG Wrightson and the NZ Fire Service have rigorously tested 4WD utes for their fleets and all have agreed Triton is the best of the bunch.” Continue reading “Mitsubishi increases Triton towing capacity to three tonnes” »

Toyota launches facelifted Corolla Sedan in NZ

June 22nd, 2010 by Darren Cottingham

Toyota has just facelifted the sedan version of New Zealand’s most popular car the Corolla. Apparently the reworked Corolla is boasting a more sophisticated design, a higher quality interior and advanced, user-friendly equipment.

Toyota New Zealand General Manager of Sales and Operations, Steve Prangnell said, “We’re very pleased with the fresh new look of this facelift Corolla Sedan, and we’re confident that the new Corolla sedan offers customers the right mix of style, specification and value”

The Corolla sedan is available in GX and GLX grades with a 1.8 litre petrol engine and 4-speed automatic transmission.

EXTERIOR

Corolla sedan’s new front features a redesigned bumper, radiator grille and lower grille. New headlights finish off the front look.

At the rear, there are significant changes to the combination lamps, bumper and license plate garnish. New to the facelift model are door mirrors with integrated side indicators.

Continue reading “Toyota launches facelifted Corolla Sedan in NZ” »

Mitsubishi NZ launches new Triton & Outlander

November 12th, 2009 by Darren Cottingham

Mitsubishi Outlander Launch fq

Mitsubishi Motors NZ has just released it’s new Outlander SUV and Triton ute to the local market this week.

The popular Outlander is back sporting an aggressive styling make-over which includes the company’s trademark “jet fighter” grille, and new comfort, convenience and safety upgrades. Improvements to the Outlander’s engineering include the addition of Hill Start Assist on all models and Super All Wheel Control to V6 models.

“Outlander has performed superbly,” said Mitsubishi Motors New Zealand general manager of sales and marketing Peter Wilkins. “With the option of five or seven seats it integrates well into large families and commercial users like the space, engine options and, of course, the price. “Over the Mitsubishi Outlander Launch rqpast four years, the Mitsubishi Outlander has been the best-selling medium SUV in New Zealand. After such impressive service, it was time for a freshen-up and the new exterior styling and interior appointments have achieved exactly that.”

In addition to the exterior changes, the Outlander interior design has been freshened with the addition of new seat, door and dash trims, leather look to premium models, double stitching, chrome accents and a new instrument cluster. Additional Lancer-Evolution-inspired design cues for the VRX model include aluminium racing style pedals and a sport-type steering wheel.

Technological upgrades for the new Outlander include the inclusion of Mitsubishi’s Super-All Wheel Control system (S-AWC) to V6 models, improvements to power delivery and fuel economy, the addition of Hill Start Assist (HSA) for all CVT and automatic models and USB inputs for audio connectivity.

The new Outlander retains two tried and trusted engine choices.  First, the 2.4-litre DOHC 16 valve MPI MIVEC engine which generates 127 kW of power @ 6,000 rpm and 230 Nm of torque @ 4,100 rpm.  The 2.4-litre engine is mated to a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT) with Sports Mode sequential style shift changes.

The higher-spec V6 3.0-litre SOHC 24 valve MPI MIVEC engine now generates 172 kW of power @ 6,250 rpm and 296 Nm of torque @ 3,750 rpm (with 95+ RON fuel).  The V6 benefits from improvements to the all-aluminium engine, including a reduction in intake restriction plus optimised camshaft timing and compression ratio.

“We’ve worked hard to raise the premium appeal of Outlander with our VRX offerings and the 3.0L model, in particular, provides a level of appointment, technology and power to match,” said Mr Wilkins. “We believe that this new range will raise the bar in the small and medium SUV segment. We have excellent coverage from top to bottom and the product’s success to date indicates consumers love Outlander and this model will continue to be a New Zealand favourite.
Mitsubishi Triton

Mitsubishi Triton Launch fqThe new Triton also had its launch this week and has already proved it’s off-road prowess to motoring journalists on a challenging 4WD track.

The 2010 Triton has seen a raft of changes, four-wheel drive models in the 13-strong range receive a new common rail 2.5 litre high-powered turbo-diesel engine; eight models have side and curtain airbags and all but four workhorse variants boast stability and traction control.

“This is a major upgrade for Triton and we’re thrilled with the result,” said Mitsubishi Motors general manager of sales and marketing Peter Wilkins. “We’ve thrown everything but the kitchen sink at it and the class-leading power, torque and safety speak for themselves.

The class-topping power output of 133 kW and 407 Nm is achieved with the manual transmission and generated from a new high-powered engine at 4,000 rpm and 2,000 rpm respectively, representing increases of 11 percent and 15 percent over the previous 3.2 litre power plant.

Mitsubishi Triton Launch rIncreased power has not come at the expense of fuel economy, which, at 8.3 L/100 km, is 9 percent better than the outgoing engine and second equal in the class. Automatic variants provide the same power as the manual, torque is 356 Nm and fuel consumption 9.3 L/100 km.

While the 2WD’s 2.5 litre power plant still generates 102 kW @ 4000 and 319 Nm @ 2000, improvements have been made to fuel economy, which now stands at 8.2 L/100 km for the manual and 8.6 L/100 km for auto variants. These savings have translated to lower CO2 emissions at 214 g/km and 224 g/km respectively.

There are two automatic specifications within the range. The GLS receives a five-speed automatic with Sports Mode, allowing drivers to manually select and hold gears. The rest of the range is equipped with the four-speed auto found in the previous model and Mitsubishi’s Easy Select 4WD transfer.

The GLS also gains Super Select, which, like Easy Select, allows drivers to engage 4WD at speeds up to 100 km/h. Super Select varies with the addition of a viscous centre differential, which, when employed with 4H, allows ‘when-required’ torque transfer between front and rear wheels, improving fuel economy in 4WD.

First to market with active stability control and the inclusion of side and curtain airbags has bolstered Triton’s existing four-star safety rating, which Mr Wilkins says best meets the growing demands of consumers. Mitsubishi Triton Launch s”We’re delighted to lead the market with these critical safety features.”

Along with new bumpers and wheels, Triton’s new wellside tray delivers a squarer finish to the vehicle’s profile. The wellside has been extended by 180 mm and deepened by 55 mm, allowing much-improved capacity for tools and toys. Purchasers of 4WD cab chassis models will benefit from an increased braked towing capacity of 3 tonnes.

Inside, all vehicles receive a new instrument display, centre console and seat trims. All double cab driver’s seats gain height-adjust, offering more versatility for the driver, while the GLX and GLS double cabs have extra seat cushioning and bolstering.

The 2010 range holds something for everyone, including one of New Zealand’s few double cab chassis models. Seven 4WD variants include three manual workhorse GL options — in single and double cab chassis and double cab wellside — and GLX and GLS specifications with double cab wellsides available as manual or auto. The six 2WDs host one manual single cab chassis in GLX format. The remainder are double cab wellside with a manual GL and manual or auto GLX and GLS.

For both the Triton and the new Challenger Mitsubishi is offering its new Diamond Advantage warranty, including a comprehensive 5 year/130,000 km new vehicle warranty, backed up by its 10 year/160,000km power train warranty and a 5 year/130,000km roadside assistance package.
2010 Outlander Pricing

2.4LS – 5 seat CVT                              $41,990
2.4XLS – 7 seat CVT                           $44,990
2.4VRX – 7 seat CVT                           $49,990
3.0L V6 VR — 7 seat A/T                     $49,990
3.0L V6 VRX — 7 seat A/T                   $54,990
2010 Triton pricing

4WD GL single cab chassis manual        $41,990
4WD GL double cab chassis manual       $43,990
4WD GL double cab manual                   $45,990
4WD GLX double cab manual                 $49,990
4WD GLX double cab auto                     $51,990
4WD GLS double cab manual                 $52,990
4WD GLS double cab auto                     $54,990
2WD GL double cab chassis manual       $37,990
2WD GLX single cab chassis manual      $33,990
2WD GLX double cab manual                 $41,990
2WD GLX double cab auto                     $43,990
2WD GLS double cab manual                 $44,990
2WD GLS double cab auto                     $46,990

To find out more information on the new Triton and Challenger models click here to visit the Mitsubishi NZ website.