Holden Trax LS 2013 Review

October 30th, 2013 by Darren Cottingham

With people still lapping up SUVs when cars will do the same job often better, Holden has added a baby SUV to its range to pull people away from the Suzuki SX4 and Ford Kuga and get its share of the buying public’s hard-earned sovereigns.

Holden-Trax-LS-2013-rear-quarterThe South Korean-built compact SUV is available in other countries as the Chevrolet Trax or Opel Mokka, and it comes in two two-wheel drive versions, the LS and the LTZ. It’s based on the same platform as the Barina and takes its powertrain from the Cruze. That means you get a car that’s short and highly manoeuvrable that comes with a 103kW, 175Nm, 1.8-litre petrol engine and 6-speed automatic gearbox.

Holden-Trax-LS-2013-side103kW isn’t that much to produce for a 1.8-litre engine but you really have to work it to get decent acceleration and that causes the engine to scream. And, it still doesn’t exactly light up the tyres in a frenzy of acceleration. It’ll cruise happily at highways speeds and drinks 7.6l/100km on the combined cycle – around average for a car this size. You can’t tell this, though, because Holden has omitted a trip computer, which is a suspicious choice. Continue reading “Holden Trax LS 2013 Review” »

Mitsubishi Outlander LS 4WD 2013 Review

March 13th, 2013 by darren

Mitsubishi-Outlander-fq

The Outlander LS is the cheapest four-wheel drive version of the Outlander range. You can get a 2WD two-litre model for $39,990, and that would be fine if you’re trying to save money on petrol (its quoted fuel economy is 6.6l/100km vs the LS’s 7.5l/100km), but this 4WD LS develops more power and torque (126kW and 224Nm) which will make it better for towing, and it has the flexibility of a trick 4WD system. Both vehicles will tow the same amount (1600kg on a braked trailer).

Mitsubishi-Outlander-radio The Outlander has never really Continue reading “Mitsubishi Outlander LS 4WD 2013 Review” »

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” »

Isuzu NZ adds single cab model to D-Max ute range

October 20th, 2010 by Darren Cottingham

Isuzu NZ has now included a single cab model in the D-Max range. The single cab variant now joins the four D-Max double cab models to further broaden the appeal to Kiwi tradesman.

Two further new models are expected to be added shortly.

“Tradespeople depend on their pickup every day and it needs to fit their specific needs precisely,” said the General Manager of Isuzu, Greg MacDonald. “For many, a single cab on the base chassis is perfect; they will tailor it to their own use from there.”

The new single cab D-Max will use Isuzu’s 3-litre diesel engine. It will be an LX model, the lower-spec variant, as that’s what tradespeople sought.

The cab-chassis will be followed next month by an auto transmission variant of the LS model two-wheel-drive which is currently available only in manual.

By December an entirely new shape will join the Isuzu D-max lineup: a Space Cab which is an extended single cab, in 4WD.

And further dealerships will be added to the Isuzu D-Max network as well.

The entire Isuzu D-Max operation incorporating the national import company and all dealerships are entirely New Zealand-owned and operated.

Mr MacDonald says that resonates with many people. “Whether they are farmers, tradespeople, weekend warriors or families carrying people and household items, D-Max fits the lives of Kiwis ¦ and they like to know they are dealing with New Zealanders at all levels of the local operation,” he explained.

Click here to read a Car and SUV review of the 2010 Isuzu D-Max ute.

Mitsubishi Outlander LS 2010 Review

September 17th, 2010 by Darren Cottingham

Sharp styling is always nice, and strong performance can be exciting, but nothing speaks to new car buyers as loudly as price. The Korean carmakers have known this for decades and now Mitsubishi has cottoned on and released a new entry-level model in its very successful Outlander range. Like buying ‘home brand’ at the supermarket the Outlander LS forgoes some of the fancy packaging to chase down a more attractive price – $37,990. That’s a tempting sum to swap for NZ’s best selling medium SUV especially coming with Mitsubishi’s 5-year/10-year warranty.  But in achieving this price what concessions have been made on this brazen base-model? Car and SUV opened the packet on the Outlander LS to take a closer look at the contents within.

Visually the LS, like all Outlanders has a more traditional boxy SUV shape when compared to the highly curved new-school SUVs like the Hyundai ix35 and the Mazda CX-7. Classic good looks aside, it’s only under close inspection that the LS differs from its more expensive siblings. Mitsubishi’s ‘jet fighter’ grille, first used on the Lancer then on the facelifted Outlander range, hasn’t filtered down to the LS model. While this leaves it a facelift behind other Outlanders the overall styling on the LS is modern and gives it genuine presence. Tough black plastic mouldings protect the underside and it rolls on 16″ steel wheels with silver covers. Overall, it’s a smart looking machine with its high beltline, tinted rear glass and subtle chrome touches.  With the exception of the steel wheels there is nothing about the Outlander LS that really screams ‘base model’.

Continue reading “Mitsubishi Outlander LS 2010 Review” »

Isuzu D-Max LS 2010 Review

July 16th, 2010 by Darren Cottingham

Staging a comeback is a risky game, it didn’t work out that well for Muhammad Ali, and it’s not paying off for Michael Schumacher either. So why does Isuzu think it can stage an epic comeback into the NZ ute market with its D-Max? Well, probably because it never really retired. For many, many years Isuzu supplied Holden with its well-known Rodeo ute in NZ, then following a corporate divorce, Holden retained that same ute range but renamed it the Colorado. This ultimately left Isuzu with a vehicle that shares its underpinnings with the Colorado but has a badge and dealer network all its own. So like most comebacks, it’s a little complicated. All that aside, what’s the Isuzu D-Max really like? Car and SUV spent a week on the comeback trail with the D-Max to find out more.

A quick look at our top-dog LS crew cab D-Max reveals an unfamiliar face on an orthodox ute body. It’s not the prettiest ute around but the toothy chrome grille and vertically stacked headlights are certainly distinctive. The cab is quite flat sided but wheel arches flare outwards dwarfing the standard 16-inch alloys beneath. At the rear jeweled taillights flank a wide tailgate that has a dash of style with its subtle top lip. Chrome touches on the rear bumper, side mirrors and door handles finish off the high-spec look nicely. Overall, the D-Max is a serious looking ute, it’s built for a purpose and has rejected curves in favour of a more traditional boxy shape. In fact, if our test vehicle wasn’t finished in charcoal sheet metal it’d probably be wearing a wife-beater singlet and showing some serious butt-crack.

Continue reading “Isuzu D-Max LS 2010 Review” »

Ford Taurus 2010 SHO Engine

December 20th, 2009 by Darren Cottingham

We speak car, we speak innovation – the all-new Ford Taurus SHO


Lexus LS 460

December 19th, 2009 by Darren Cottingham

Lexus LS 460 – the pursuit of perfection