Audi: 2014 A3 1.8T Sport sedan review

June 11th, 2014 by Darren Cottingham

audi-s3-sedan-2014-frontYou’d think that getting out of a 221kW Audi S3 and straight into a 132kW A3 might be a bit of a let-down, but it actually wasn’t bad at all.

In comparison to the S3, the A3 gets much nicer throttle mapping for the downshifts and a whole extra gear ratio with 7 on tap from the S Tronic gearbox. The available power from the 1.8-litre turbo engine means 7.3 seconds to 100kph, which is quite respectable and very usable in day-to-day driving.

Continue reading “Audi: 2014 A3 1.8T Sport sedan review” »

Audi: 2014 S3 Sportback quattro review

June 11th, 2014 by Darren Cottingham

audi-s3-2014-frontI was walking with a friend when a yellow Lamborghini Murcielago passed us near Westhaven Marina. She asked me why people buy cars like that in bright colours.

“Advertising,” I replied. It’s all about advertising the fact that you can spend half a mil’ on a car, and you want people to know. Plus, it looks cool. She didn’t understand the ‘looks cool’ bit. Continue reading “Audi: 2014 S3 Sportback quattro review” »

Kia: 2014 Optima Limited review

June 5th, 2014 by Darren Cottingham

kia-optima-gdi-2014-frontWith Mazda’s excellent Mazda6 showing everyone the way, Kia’s contender in the medium car segment has been given a refresh with some new styling, new features and refined ride quality. Continue reading “Kia: 2014 Optima Limited review” »

Skoda: 2014 Octavia RS TDI wagon review

May 30th, 2014 by Robert Barry

DSC_0057Many years ago, I used to give the Skoda management team a bit of grief about all of their press vehicles being black, which is one of the most difficult colours to photograph and challenging to keep clean and shiny .

Now we have a different team (yet still friendly and helpful) of people at the helm of Skoda NZ and the press cars of late have tended to be white ones. Continue reading “Skoda: 2014 Octavia RS TDI wagon review” »

Toyota: 2014 Hilux V6 SR5 review

May 22nd, 2014 by Darren Cottingham

toyota-hilux-sr5-2014-frontSome 38 years ago the Hilux was unleashed onto New Zealand’s roads. Today, there are as many variants of the 2014 model as there are the days of Christmas: Double cab or single cab, four-wheel drive or rear-wheel drive, petrol or diesel, wellside or chassis, manual or automatic, special TRD edition or one of the standard range? So, should Santa replace Rudolph and Blitzen with a Hilux to tow his sleigh? Continue reading “Toyota: 2014 Hilux V6 SR5 review” »

Subaru: 2014 WRX Premium review

May 21st, 2014 by Darren Cottingham

DSC_0064As a former WRX STI owner I always look forward to driving the newest incarnation. Mine was a version 4, back in the late 1990s, and I loved it as much as I loved Star Wars when I was kid. Until now I’ve been stuck in that halcyon era of big noise, big exhausts and torquey turbocharged boxer engines. I might just have changed my mind. Continue reading “Subaru: 2014 WRX Premium review” »

Toyota: 2014 Land Cruiser Prado VX V6 review

May 13th, 2014 by Darren Cottingham

toyota-land-cruiser-prado-2014-rear-quarterOne of those ads out there says that big is good. This Land Cruiser is so big that each one they build has a bottle of champagne cracked across its bow and is released from the factory down a slipway. Continue reading “Toyota: 2014 Land Cruiser Prado VX V6 review” »

Skoda: 2014 Superb Ambition Hatchback vs Elegance Wagon Review

May 8th, 2014 by Darren Cottingham

skoda-superb-tdi-125-elegance-wagon-rear-seatsIf you live in America and you know a man aged between 20 and 40 who is 7 feet tall (2.13m) there’s a 17 percent chance that they play professional basketball in the NBA right now. That means 1 in 6 males 7 feet tall or over in that age group play professional basketball. Continue reading “Skoda: 2014 Superb Ambition Hatchback vs Elegance Wagon Review” »