BMW NZ releases details and pricing of updated X5 and 3-Series

June 23rd, 2010 by Darren Cottingham

BMW New Zealand has just released details of the new X5 Sport Activity Vehicle and two new 3 Series models, all of which have received mid-life updates incorporating the latest in BMW EfficientDynamics technology as well as including aesthetic and functionality enhancements.

“These exciting new models reaffirm BMW’s reputation as the creator of ultimate driving machines and now, thanks to technological developments coupled with BMW EfficientDynamics, they are even more environmentally considerate,” said the Managing Director of BMW Group New Zealand, Mark Gilbert.

“Put simply, fuel consumption is down but performance is up. This is further evidence of our sustainability promise and demonstrates BMW is the leading manufacturer when it comes to not only motoring excellence but creating solutions for our future.”

The arrival of the new X5 will reinforce the model’s position as a popular luxury Sports Activity Vehicle for NZ buyers who require solid on road driving dynamics, as well as the versatility and functionality offered by such a vehicle.

“The BMW X5 was the originator of the SAV segment and the popularity of the model amongst BMW owners in New Zealand is undeniable.  In the ten years since its local launch, it has been the brand’s most popular selling model every year but one,” said Mr Gilbert.

“It set the benchmark when it was first launched and is the model many competitors have tried to emulate and attempted to usurp, without success.  This, the latest iteration of what is arguably the world’s most popular SAV, raises the bar even further.”

The appearance of the BMW X5 has been refreshed with features including redesigned front and rear bumpers and new light cluster styling.

Inside, there’s new technological innovations such as optional Head-Up Display and Rear View Camera with Top View (standard on xDrive40d Sport and xDrive50i Sport).

A new engine range with improved output now includes several BMW EfficientDynamics features improved fuel economy. All models in the line-up will benefit from an eight-speed automatic transmission and Servotronic power steering as standard.

An extended range of high-tech optional equipment such as Lane Departure Warning, Active Cruise Control with Stop&Go function and Side View (from July) will also be introduced.

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Subaru Impreza XV Crossover arriving in NZ soon

June 1st, 2010 by Darren Cottingham

Labeled as a “Compact Outback” the 2011 all new Impreza XV is on sale in New Zealand late July. Increased ride height, a fresh new look and extra equipment are part of the package for Subaru’s newest Symmetrical All Wheel Drive variant.

The Impreza XV — Crossover Vehicle — Rides higher than other normally aspirated Impreza’s with 185mm ground clearance to provide a higher “command” drive position like its big brother, the Subaru Outback.

“In this case we have extended the “crossover” concept, using one of the most agile, dynamic hatchbacks on the market” said Graeme Woodlands, the Managing Director of Subaru of New Zealand. “We see the Impreza XV complementing the other Impreza models, like the Outback successfully does with the Legacy.”

“By using the Impreza hatch as the platform car, Subaru has created a vehicle that enables people to mix five day a week commuting with an active weekend adventure lifestyle,” said Mr Woodlands.

The core Impreza chassis, full-time symmetrical All Wheel Drive, low-slung Boxer engine, symmetrical drive train, enhanced suspension setup and elevated ground clearance all combine to deliver Subaru’s famous control on tarmac, gravel and light off road duties compared to other crossovers.

Bluetooth has been integrated as standard and the 10-speaker audio system offers i-Pod integration. Bluetooth integration also incorporates hands free calling. Audio, Bluetooth hands free and cruise control buttons are all situated on the steering wheel.

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Facelifted 2010 Nissan Qashqai on sale in NZ

May 27th, 2010 by Darren Cottingham

Nissan’s European-designed, British-built Qashqai compact hatch is evolving with the release of the 2010 model here in NZ. The new Qashqai comes packing a new look and improvements in specification and efficiency.

In Europe, and increasingly in New Zealand, the Qashqai has become a new alternative to both the traditional hatchback and the bulkier SUV. The Nissan Qashqai has notched up 600 sales in New Zealand since its launch a year ago, a significant achievement for what is still a niche segment model.

“The Qashqai has played a key role in reinforcing Nissan’s position as an innovator in the European market, and its introduction here has provided a spur to sales,” said John Manley the Managing Director of Nissan New Zealand. “It now accounts for almost 10 percent of our sales, and this is expected to increase with the arrival of the 2010 models. We see the Qashqai cementing its position as a design and innovation leader, providing an exciting alternative to traditional hatches.”

The arrival of the 2010 model brings new refinements and some additional specification as standarFor the top-of-the-range Ti model, the equipment list now includes new features such as standard panoramic sunroof, dual zone auto climate control air conditioning, 18-inch alloy wheels, Xenon headlights, and the Nissan Intelligent Key for keyless starting and entry/locking.

Aero efficiency improvements have reduced combined-cycle fuel consumption to 7.6l/100km for the CVT auto (a 0.29 l/100km saving over the previous model).

New features for the lower-spec Qashqai ST includes: steering wheel audio, Bluetooth hands free phone system, and drive computer controls and new exterior styling. Existing standard equipment on the Qashqai ST models include: Cruise control with steering wheel controls, air conditioning, disc brakes all round, ABS/EBD with Brake Assist, Vehicle Dynamics Control (VDC) and Traction Control System (TCS), MP3 aux input, and six airbags including front to rear SRS curtain airbags.

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Mitsubishi NZ previews new ASX crossover

May 26th, 2010 by Darren Cottingham

Mitsubishi Motors New Zealand previewed the arrival of the all new ASX (Active Smart Crossover) at a press event in Auckland yesterday.

To reflect consumer demand, Mitsubishi is entering the compact crossover market segment with the light weight, compact bodied ASX.

Under the ASX bonnet, lays a fuel efficient 2.0 litre DOHC MIVEC Petrol Engine or alternatively a 1.8 litre DOHC MIVEC Intercooled Turbo diesel engine inside the 4WD Diesel Sport. This diesel unit will appeal to brand customers who have been waiting for a diesel-powered Mitsubishi passenger car. Fuel economy and CO2 figures are impressive with the 2WD models returning 7.9 L/100Km economy and 184 g/Km C02 respectively, while the 4WD comes in at 8.1 L/100Km and 188 g/Km. The Sport model rounds out the range with fuel economy of 5.9 L/100Km and C02 emissions of 155 g/Km.

Interior appointments on the ASX include a new soft touch dash and a freshly designed 3D embossed seat fabric option. All three sport models are equipped with steering wheel mounted audio controls and Bluetooth. Electronic Power Steering will make the ASX easily manageable and the generous ride height will allow for good visibility, while the light weight impact resistant front guard will minimize the damage from small impact items like shopping trolleys in supermarket car parks.

“The ASX is such a smart, efficient package we think city dwellers who own hatches and sedans will see it as a ‘step up’”, said Mitsubishi Head of Sales & Marketing Strategy Daniel Cook. “All the SUV plusses like lots of space flexibility and the panoramic driving position, plenty of vitality and ooomph, but without the bulk that often just isn’t practical in the city and suburbs”. Previewing the new ASX, Cook said he couldn’t imagine a vehicle that was better placed to meet the demands of such a wide range of drivers.

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Hyundai launches i45 in NZ

May 17th, 2010 by Darren Cottingham

Hyundai launched its new i45 sedan at a special event held last week. The i45 is set to take over from the successful Sonata as Hyundai’s entry into the competitive mid-size sedan segment.

Already on sale in the States and the Korean domestic market, the i45 has received excellent reviews and is further improving brand perception for Hyundai. With a strong focus on quality and design the i45 has an ultra-modern aesthetic and an interior that could easily compete with vehicles in the class above. In terms of power there are currently two engines available in NZ a 2.0-litre Theta II producing 122kW of power and 198Nm of torque and a larger 2.4-litre Theta II with 148kW of grunt and a healthy 250Nm of torque. When it comes to fuel economy the 2.0-litre engine returns 7.6l/100km on the combined cycle and the 2.4-litre engine 7.9l/100km. Both motors come exclusively mated to a 6-speed automatic transmission. A diesel engine option is expected next year.

The i45 comes with three trim levels available with the base spec including 16-inch alloys, cruise control, Air conditioning, trip computer, cloth interior, 6-disc CD player with iPod integration and paddle shifters mounted on the steering wheel. Upgrade to the Elite trim specification and extra goodies include Climate Air Conditioning, full leather interior, smart key system, rear parking sensors and 18-inch alloys. In the top-spec Elite Limited trim level a panoramic sunroof is also added.

Safety options are standard across the i45 range and include ABS brakes with EBD, a full electronic stability programme, front side and curtain airbags, active head restraints, seatbelt pretensioners and 3-point belts for all occupants.

Hyundai’s new i45 is elegantly styled, well powered and offers a high level of specification for the price. It’s entering the NZ market well positioned to generate solid sales and galvanize Hyundai NZ’s already impressive model range. Check back soon for a full road test on the Hyundai i45.

Pricing for the Hyundai i45:

i45 2.0 A6 – $41,990
i45 2.4 A6 – $44,490
i45 2.4 Elite A6 – $48,990
i45 2.4 Elite Limited – $51,990

To find out more about the new Hyundai i45, click here to visit the Hyundai NZ website.

New BMW X1 arrives in NZ

March 12th, 2010 by Darren Cottingham

The all new BMW X1 has arrived in New Zealand and comes claiming versatile, sporting performance and supreme agility in the world’s first premium, compact Sports Activity Vehicle.

The BMW X1 is the smallest member of the BMW xDrive family, blending a raised rideheight, load-space and practicality of a lifestyle vehicle in a compact sports-wagon.

With vehicles due to arrive in New Zealand dealerships next month, the BMW X1 has been an early sales success oversees since its European launch.

BMW Group New Zealand Managing Director, Mark Gilbert said the BMW X1 is an extremely “relevant” car for today’s world. “Offering sporty, lifestyle practicality combined with the world’s most fuelefficient engines, the BMW X1 epitomizes the BMW EfficientDynamics philosophy that you can have your cake and eat it too,” he said.

The X1 will feature two diesel engines, and the option of two petrol power plants, the BMW X1 is available in four-wheel drive xDrive format as well as a two-wheel, rear wheel drive option, known as ‘sDrive’.

The elevated seating position and the driver-oriented design of the cockpit should make for a unique driving experience in the compact segment.

At the rear, seating for three splits into three foldable sections. Luggage compartment capacity can be increased from 420 litres to 1,350 litres. Numerous storage facilities and boxes add practical value, while the optional Panorama glass roof offers an even more generous feeling of space.

Benefiting from BMW EfficientDynamics, the BMW X1 will offers the best fuel economy within the segment of BMW X models.

The BMW X1 is entering the New Zealand market with a choice of two four-cylinder diesels. The BMW X1 xDrive23d comes with a 150 kW/204 hp diesel featuring a twin turbo set-up and common-rail fuel injection. The diesel engine in the BMW X1 xDrive20d delivers 130 kW/177 hp, and also comes with common-rail fuel injection as well as a turbocharger with variable intake geometry.

Two petrol engine variants, the BMW X1 18i and BMW X1 25i, will be launched later this year.

Pricing will begin at $56,900 for the BMW X1 sDrive 18i and top out at $80,990 for the BMW X1 xDrive25i.

Check out images of the new BMW X1 by clicking the link below.

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VW announces prices for Scirocco R and Golf R in UK

December 3rd, 2009 by Darren Cottingham

Over in the U.K., the R-line versions of the Golf and Scirocco have been priced and can now be ordered. The Scirocco is the cheaper of the two, going for £26,945 ($61,527 NZ), while the Golf comes in more expensive at £28,930 ($66,121 NZ). They both come standard with a 6-speed manual, but if you want VW’s DSG transmission option adds £1,300 to either car.

They’re the fastest and most powerful versions yet in their respective model lines with the 261-hp, front-wheel-drive Scirocco getting to 100kph in 6 seconds and the 266-hp, 4MOTION-equipped Golf in 5.7. If you get the manual transmission add 0.2 seconds to those times.

The cars are due in U.K. showrooms in February of next year, it may be a while longer before we see any down here in NZ.

Kia Cerato Coupe on sale in NZ now

November 4th, 2009 by Darren Cottingham

Kia Cerato Koup fq

Kia’s first worldwide sports model, the all new Cerato Koup, has gone on sale in New Zealand from an affordable price of just $27,990.

The style-driven 2.0 litre-powered 2-door roadster takes Kia Motors another step closer in its plan to re-invent itself as a design-led, youth-inspired vehicle manufacturer.

Based on the chassis and drive-train of the Cerato 4-door sedan, the new Koup is the latest embodiment of Kia’s Design DNA. Developed under the guidance of Kia’s German-based Chief Design Officer, Peter Schreyer, the Koup is the first-ever 2-door sports coupe built by the company.

Kia Cerato Koup rqThe new Cerato Koup broadens the appeal of the Kia Motors line-up, which has also seen the introduction of the fun Soul city crossover, as well as the Cerato sedan and refreshed executive Magentis sedan, this year. And the expanding range includes the new Kia Sorento R, which is being introduced at the same time as Koup.

According to Todd McDonald, General Manager for Kia Motors New Zealand: “Kia is on a roll, internationally and in New Zealand, and we feel very positive going into 2010 with a great line up of new and refreshed models that are breathing more life into the brand and the market.

Whilst it is clearly derived from the Cerato, the Koup shares just one body panel with its 4-door cousin; the bonnet. Peter Schreyer’s design team has given the 2-door model a lower profile, starting with the aggressive nose that incorporates the new Tiger Grille signature Kia identity, large pillarless doors (a first for a coupe in this class) with scalloped lower panels and a raked roofline finishing with a short, styled rear. The side view is further enhanced by 16 or 17-inch alloy wheels, fitted with low profile tyres.

Kia Cerato Koup intThe cabin is very spacious for a 2-door coupe, yet feels snug with the grey and black tones that identify its sporty character. Leather upholstery, detailed with red stitching, is standard on the two SX models, while velour is the choice for LX. Metal accents around the dash and console sharpen the interior styling.

The two front bucket seats continue the sporty theme, with sports-styled instruments. Both models feature lavish equipment, including fog lights, remote door locking, steering wheel-mounted audio and cruise control functions, tilt and reach adjustable steering wheel and sunglasses holder. The 6-speaker MP3 compatible sound system is upgraded in the SX models to include a 6-CD changer. The SX also comes with a power sunroof, reverse warning sensors and automatic climate control, as opposed to the LX model’s manual A/C.

Th 115kW, 2.0 litre engine delivers a lively performance and sounds much throatier with the twin exhaust system specially tuned by sound engineers.

Kia Cerato Koup fq1The engine is matched to either a 5-speed manual gearbox or a sequential shift automatic transmission. From standstill, this engine can propel the new Koup to 100km/h in 9.3 seconds and power it to a top speed of 190kmh.

All Kia Koup models feature ESP (electronic stability programme) for greater driving safety and come with a full complement of six airbags.

The full Kia Koup model range includes the $27,990 LX model with the 5-speed manual gearbox and the fully-featured SX model with the choice of 5-speed manual or the sequential automatic, both priced at $33,990. As with all Kia cars, the Koup comes with all on-road costs such as WoF and registration, plus a 5-year/100,000 factory warranty programme, 24-hour emergency assistance, a full tank of fuel and the first 1500km service, included in the purchase price.

To find out more click here to go to the Kia web site.