Kia launches Cerato hatchback in New Zealand

November 23rd, 2010 by Darren Cottingham

The long-awaited 2011 model Kia Cerato hatchback has just been launched for the New Zealand market.

There’s a good serving of new technology in the hatched Cerato with the 5-door Cerato coming with a 6-speed sequential shift automatic transmission, fitted as standard on all models and sporty steering wheel paddle gear shifters on the top version.

The 5-door Cerato hatchback joins the 4-door sedan and 2- door Koup to boost the range of mid-size cars, all powered by the Theta II, four-cylinder, 2-litre CVVT engine.

According to Kia Motors New Zealand General Manager Todd McDonald, the new Cerato hatchback “is designed to appeal especially to consumers who prefer a five-door hatchback for its style and enhanced practicality, in particular those with young families.”

Whilst sharing the same front profile, overall width, height and wheelbase as the sedan, the new hatchback’s roof, rear side panels, C-pillar, tailgate, rear bumper, light clusters and roof spoiler are all new.

At the front, bold styling incorporates a new radiator grille, new lower air-intake grille and new-shape fog lamps.  The door mirrors now come with LED repeaters and the two hatchback models sold here in New Zealand, LX and SX, wear re-styled ‘double five-spoke’ 16-inch and 17-inch respectively.  The rear combination lamps, which have etching-processed lenses, are split across the tailgate shut line and a sporty rear diffuser allows the exhaust tailpipe to be displayed.

In addition to its high standard equipment level that echoes the sedan and Koup models, the 2011 Cerato 5-door’s interior offers customers several new comfort and convenience features, depending on model. Among these are steering wheel ‘paddle shifters’ are fitted for the first time with the automatic transmission in the SX model and Bluetooth hands-free for mobile phone use, which comes with both models.

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Citroen C3 arrives in NZ – on sale from $24,990

November 17th, 2010 by Darren Cottingham

The Citroen C3 has touched down in New Zealand, with the French car maker’s all-new small car making its debut in showrooms before Christmas with an entry level price of $24,990 plus on road costs.

“The Citroen C3 transformed the Australian perception of Citroen,” claims Lawrie Malatios, General Manager of Citroen New Zealand. “It brought to our market for the first time small Citroens which, although they have played a major role in the European car market for most of Citroen’s history, had not been seen here. The arrival of the C3 brought a whole generation of young car buyers to Citroen for the first time, as well as a considerable number of female buyers. The new C3 will expand and develop its role of introducing the benefits of Citroen ownership to young car buyers, but, at the same time, with its sophisticated styling and performance, it will also be attractive to people wishing to downsize their car without any loss of style, comfort and driving pleasure.”

In addition, thanks to the availability of the unique panoramic Zenith windscreen, new C3 provides a spacious cabin. As one of the most compact models in the small car sector (9 cm shorter than 207 and Clio); the new C3 has a generous cabin environments and a class-leading 300-litres of boot space.

On the road, new C3 combines refined performance with a smooth ride and nimble handling.  The designers’ focus on the control of weight and optimising aerodynamics means the new C3 is one of Citroën’s most CO2-efficient models. To further promote money-saving greener driving, most versions feature a Gear Efficiency Indicator (GEI), which alerts the driver at the optimum moment to change gear – helping them to minimise fuel consumption.

In terms of equipment the new C3 is available with Bluetooth and USB connectivity for portable media players as standard on the Exclusive versions and optional on other variants. The new C3 also benefits from a six-speaker audio system, with the availability of a new optional eight-speaker Hi-Fi system for concert theatre-like sound quality.

The New C3 will initially be offered with a choice of two petrol power-plants — one of which was co-developed with BMW.  With a combined cycle fuel economy of as little as 6.3 l/100 km and carbon dioxide rating of 145 g/km the C3 is hoping to appeal to enviromentally conscious kiwis.

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Lexus launches IS350 luxury sedan into NZ market

November 4th, 2010 by Darren Cottingham



Lexus New Zealand has added the new IS350 luxury sedan to its IS line.

Lexus National Manager, Debbie Pattullo said, “We are very excited to launch the IS350 in New Zealand. It is positioned squarely between the IS250 and our performance flagship IS F, further building the performance credentials of Lexus.”

The all-new Lexus IS350 is available in two equipment grades. Ms Pattullo said, “IS350 delivers a level of style and luxury our customers expect from Lexus. Plus, we’re giving New Zealand the choice between the refined, supremely well-appointed IS350 Limited, and the more aggressively styled, and agile IS350 F Sport.”

The IS350 features a quad-cam 3.5 litre V6 petrol engine, mated to a six-speed sequential transmission with paddle shift control. It develops 233kW of power and 378Nm of torque, and propels the 2011 IS350 from standstill to 100km/h in 5.6 seconds.

EXTERIOR DESIGN

As with the IS250 sedan, the IS350 was designed around the Lexus philosophy of L finesse.

Arrowhead style LED daytime running lights surround the High Intensity Discharge (HID) headlights.  LED stop lights were adopted as they offer quicker illumination than conventional bulbs while lasting longer and consuming less energy.

The heated body coloured door mirrors feature LED side indicator lamps and foot area lighting for more convenient entry and exit at night. The mirrored surface dims automatically to prevent glare from following vehicles. Mirror positions can be adjusted electronically and are linked to the driver’s seat memory system.

Rain-sensing wipers operate automatically when water is sensed on the windscreen.

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All-new Nissan Micra arriving in NZ soon

October 22nd, 2010 by Darren Cottingham

The all-new Nissan Micra is on its way, and after making its Australasian debut at the Australian International Motor Show in Sydney, its New Zealand launch is drawing closer.

With some innovative packaging and modern small-car engineering, the new Nissan Micra is set to be solid value for money vehicle and should have a good level of specification and safety equipment when it goes on sale in New Zealand.

The new Micra builds on the success of its predecessor, but aims to attract a wider audience with fresh styling, spacious and fashion-aware interior and a long list of standard safety and convenience features. In New Zealand, a single powertrain option will be available in two specification grades.

Standard will be a 1.5L four-cylinder petrol engine which produces 75kW of power. When mated to the four-speed automatic transmission, fuel consumption is 6.6L/100km and emissions only 156g/km. The all-new Nissan Micra comes standard with Vehicle Dynamic Control, Anti-Lock Brakes with Electronic Brake Force Distribution and Brake Assist, as well as dual front, front side and curtain airbags on both models.

Convenience features such as a multifunction Drive Computer and air conditioning are standard, along with a unique digital anniversary reminder, remote entry, CD player, auxiliary input jack and steering wheel-mounted controls for the audio system. The top-of-the-range Micra Ti model offers extras like keyless entry and push button engine start/stop, Climate Control air conditioning, 15-inch alloy wheels, front fog lights and a unique convenience feature for female drivers – handbag storage on the front passenger’s seat.

If the front passenger seat is unoccupied, the rear section of the seat squab can be flipped forward, providing a secure well in which a bag or other small items may be stowed, to stop them rolling around in the footwell, or skidding off the seat under braking or cornering.

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2011 Toyota Highlander SUV launched into NZ market

October 8th, 2010 by Darren Cottingham

Toyota New Zealand has just launched the latest iteration of its mid-sized SUV – the 2011 Highlander.

The new 2011 Highlander arrives with the choice of two drive trains and two equipment grades. There are 2WD and 4WD entry level models, plus the flagship 4WD Limited.

Toyota New Zealand General Manager of Sales and Operations, Steve Prangnell said, “As well as all of the attributes New Zealander’s expect in an SUV, such as powerful performance, 4WD capability, utility, and ground clearance, the 2011 Highlander is the most versatile vehicle in our entire model line-up. It has something to offer for everyone.”

The 2011 Highlander is powered by a 3.5 litre dual VVT-i petrol engine with an electronically controlled automatic transmission. The Highlander’s 3.5 litre quad cam V6 petrol engine delivers 201kW of power and 337Nm of torque via a five-speed automatic transmission with a sequential manual-style gear selection.

All models offer driver and passenger front, driver’s knee, front side and three-row curtain shield airbags. An Anti-lock System (ABS) with Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD) and Brake Assist (BA) is standard, as is steering assisted Vehicle Stability Control Plus (VSC+) and Traction Control (TRC).

Standard equipment also includes seating for seven passengers, air conditioning, reversing camera, electronic power-assisted steering, cruise control, alloy wheels, steering wheel audio and multi-information display controls, MP3 compatible CD tuner with audio input and Bluetooth handsfree telephone and audio streaming capability, split-fold second row seats with stowable centre seat, glass hatch in the tailgate, glass-mounted radio antenna and Optitron instruments.

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Suzuki releases Swift SR7 Special Edition into NZ market

September 28th, 2010 by Darren Cottingham

Suzuki NZ has just announced a new limited edition version of its ever-popular Swift to be introduced into the New Zealand market.

The SR7 Special Edition adaption of the Swift five-door hatchback celebrates an unbroken record of leading sales in the small car category. The Swift was highest selling super-mini for the fourth successive year in 2009 and has continued its number one position on the local market this year.

Based on the 1.5-litre Swift GLX model with six airbags, the new SR7 model includes a number of special features as standard. A black spoiler and skirting kit is included with special wheel arch mouldings, side body skirts, and door mouldings featuring.

Filling the wheel arches are 17-inch diameter MAK7 aluminium alloy road wheels finished with a liquid smoke background. These special wheels are shod with Bridgestone MY01 205/40 low profile R17 tyres.

Available with the choice of a 5-speed manual gearbox or automatic transmission, the Swift is also given SR7 body graphics and an optional rear upper spoiler is available to special order.

Suzuki is offering the SR7 in seven colours – Bluish Black, Azure Grey, Pearly White, Shiny Green, Supreme Red, Silky Silver and Kashmir Blue Pearl Metallic.

“The SR7 represents outstanding value, with $4,000 worth of accessories as standard and a retail price similar to the Swift GLX model,” said Tom Peck, General Manager of Marketing for Suzuki New Zealand.

“With its youthful good looks and responsive handling, the Swift has become something of an icon and the SR7 adds an extra slice of attitude,” he said. “The added enhancements make this latest Swift stand out from the crowd but production numbers will be limited.”

In manual form, the Swift SR7 goes on sale at a recommended on-road price of $22,500, with a $1,490 premium for the automatic variant.

Manual transmission SR7 models are fitted with a Coby sports rear muffler.

The SR7 is additional to the Swift range which also includes XE, GLX, Sport, RS Limited and Limited versions.

Holden reveals new Commodore VE Series II range

September 1st, 2010 by Darren Cottingham

Holden Australia has just revealed its new Commodore VE Series II vehicle range which comes with various improvements, including an added E85 bio-fuel capability. It’s the first major update to the fourth-generation VE Commodore since its launch back in 2006.

The VE Series II introduces a new flex-fuel capability on its 3.0-litre V6 engine and  6.0-litre V8 mill which allows both to run on E85 bio-ethanol. Aside from the flex-fuel capability the mechanical package remains mostly unchanged. However, the Series II promises to offer improved fuel economy and reduced CO2 emissions across the range.

There are a range of interior and exterior styling updates and a new 6.5-inch full colour touch-screen infotainment system called Holden-iQ. This new control system will be standard in all Commodore models (except Ute) and will include Bluetooth connectivity.

In terms of exterior design, it’s a subtle facelift with all models featuring various new front fascias, grilles and headlamps. There’s also an integrated aerodynamic lip and new wheel options.

Holden Chairman and Managing Director Mike Devereux said that the Series II VE Commodore reflects Holden’s focus on ongoing improvements for the top-selling model.

“Our customers have been telling us they want to see our models refreshed with greater functionality from Omega to Caprice,” Devereux said. “We have listened and responded in a way that continues to position Commodore as the smart choice for Australian motorists.”

Holden will reveal full pricing and availability for the 2011 VE Series Holden Commodore on September 10, when the model officially launches.

For more information on the Commodore Series II range, check out the detailed official press release below, and more images in the gallery. Continue reading “Holden reveals new Commodore VE Series II range” »

Kia NZ announces pricing for new Kia Sportage

August 27th, 2010 by Darren Cottingham

Pricing details have just been released on the all-new Kia Sportage, which goes on public sale from October 1.

Due to keen interest being shown in the new Sportage, Kia Motors NZ has decided to release pricing now, enabling buyers to plan ahead.

Prices start from just $33,990 + On Road Costs (ORC) for the base-model Sportage 2.0 Urban LX model, which undercuts the pre-GST rise prices of all other CUV/SUV rivals on the market.

“It was always the intention of Kia Motors New Zealand to position the new Sportage competitively in the marketplace and we are delighted to announce that we have been able to follow through with our promise of very sharp pricing,” says Todd McDonald, General Manager of Kia Motors New Zealand.

“Dealers have reported a phenomenal response to the new Sportage following the media unveiling a few weeks ago, which we are seeing reflected in the orders they have taken to date.

“By announcing pricing now, well ahead of the October 1 launch we are able to provide more surety to customers who are still in the process of making a purchase decision ahead of the predicted GST rises — they can see how competitive the Sportage is compared to the competition.”

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