January 30th, 2013 by darren
What better time to have a powerful, spacious seven-seat car than when you’re heading on a road trip with some mates. It’s exactly the kind of scenario that no one has ever bought a seven-seat car for, but it’s oh so convenient.
Being young(ish), single and unencumbered with offspring, I don’t usually have a need for three rows of seats. If I needed to carry large loads on a regular basis I’d just buy Read the rest of this entry »
January 29th, 2013 by Car and SUV
Here is the bridge to the full EV (electric vehicle). It’s a sensible option that gives you up to 80km of highway cruising using fully electric motoring, but with a petrol engine that will back you up another 450-500km if you need the extended range.
200kg of batteries provides the motive urge: 114kW comes from two electric motors, one of which charges the batteries when you’re decelerating.
At the best part of 1800kg I expected the Volt to handle Read the rest of this entry »
January 10th, 2013 by Car and SUV
The seven seat Outlander has been up at the pointy end of the pack for a while now. In fact, a year ago we tested the XLS version and our only gripes were the interior and the dull colour range.
Enter the 2013 Outlander…in a kind of brown, which is a colour that should have been left with Mark II Cortinas in the 80s. OK, it’s kind of coppery, almost burnt orangey brown, but my personal preference is any one of the other colours for this top-of-the-line Outlander.
There’s a significant redesign on the outside which looks good from the three-quarter angles of the front and rear, but a little Read the rest of this entry »
January 10th, 2013 by Car and SUV
It doesn’t seem that long ago since we sampled the Barina (in CD trim), but it was a whole year. I remember thinking that Holden had dramatically improved the looks over the previous model, and my opinion is still the same. The Barina is a well-crafted supermini with some interesting detailing and a strong forward stance.
In terms of looks, it’s pretty much the same. Imagine yourself an hour older and that’s how much the Barina has changed on the outside. On the inside, it’s a different story, and it’s mostly down to the inclusion of Holden’s MyLink media system.
Showing just how far vehicle manufacturers want to Read the rest of this entry »
January 3rd, 2013 by Car and SUV
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, Read the rest of this entry »
December 18th, 2012 by Car and SUV
Peugeot’s nomenclature lets you know exactly how far up the model range you’ve bought. The 208 is down at the budget end but in terms of bang for buck, it delivers very well.
In Europe, the 208 will be the bread and butter for Peugeot, so it’s important that it provides an engaging driver experience with some well-formed Euro styling.
Gone is the Read the rest of this entry »
December 17th, 2012 by Car and SUV
Sometimes you have to look for a picture that perfectly describes a car, and in this case, the MX-5 does handle like it’s on rails.
The world’s best selling sports car has returned in slightly more muscular clothing to give you back road thrills on a budget. If the Lotus Elise is a featherweight and the Dodge Viper is a heavyweight, Mazda punches in the lightweight class. Mazda has kept the same formula: keep it light, keep it rear wheel drive and make the handling like it’s your own hands pummeling the tarmac.
So, to that extent, nothing was broken, but there’s only so long you can hold out before Read the rest of this entry »
December 12th, 2012 by Car and SUV
Two months ago I spent an excellent couple of weeks driving around Northern Queensland in Hyundai’s previous incarnation of the i20, the Getz. 2800km of budget motoring ranging from the tropical Napier-like town that is Cairns through to the dusty and rutted outback roads of Chillagoe got me intimately familiar with Hyundai’s smallest car. And it made me realise how far it’s come in six years. Read the rest of this entry »