April 15th, 2013 by darren
Before the words ‘compact SUV’ were ever uttered, Subaru was making all-wheel drive passenger cars and station wagons with better ground clearance. Now the Forester sits in the midst of one of the fastest growing market segments with its Symmetrical All Wheel Drive (which works full-time), SI-Drive, X-Mode for hill climbs and descents and 220mm ride height, but car-like handling.
Let’s cut to the chase: the Forester is an extremely competent all-rounder. For light off-roading, towing (up to 1500kg), transporting people, road trips, supermarket runs and the morning commute the Forester isn’t necessarily the best-in-class for each one, but Continue reading “Subaru Forester 2.5i Sport 2013 Review” »
April 9th, 2013 by darren
This third generation Beetle replaces the aging second generation which started out as cute and appealing, but simply became less cool and too ubiquitous, never quite capturing the allure of the first generation Beetle.
The Beetle has grown up a bit more. It’s seems to have achieved a good balance between paying homage to its grandfather, yet striking out with a funky hairdo, hipster trousers and some flash shoes.
The flash shoes are the 18-inch alloys wrapped in 235/45R18 tyres. There’s a trend for ever wider wheels because the ever-more chunky cars being produced make narrow tyres look like you’ve Continue reading “Volkswagen Beetle TSI 2013 Review” »
April 3rd, 2013 by darren
This top-of-the-line Suzuki SX4 brings with it switchable four-wheel drive that improves its versatility and matches its slightly raised stance. As a recreational vehicle you can strap a couple of mountain bikes on the (optional) roof rack and get fairly deep into the backwaters of New Zealand. It also makes it a viable second car option for rural residents and those who experience snow and ice frequently.
The SX4 can be switched between 2WD for better fuel economy, automatic all-wheel drive and locked diff for the super slippery workout. Apart from in those Continue reading “Suzuki SX4 LTD i-AWD 2013 Review” »
March 18th, 2013 by darren
The Cruze Sportwagon has the Holden corporate nose, but it’s nowhere near as aggressive as a Commodore. Its 16-inch steel wheels and hubcaps, and safe styling make it blend in to the crowd; the perfect fleet car. From the front and side it looks quite sleek; from the back it looks a little dull.
However, I prefer its look over the Toyota Corolla wagon which has a weird confluence of lines between the lights, front bumper and wheel arches that occasionally makes it look like Continue reading “Holden Cruze CD Sportwagon 2013 Review” »
March 13th, 2013 by darren
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).
The Outlander has never really Continue reading “Mitsubishi Outlander LS 4WD 2013 Review” »
February 22nd, 2013 by darren
While most SUVs are tending towards the ‘soft-roader’ approach, Holden’s Colorado 7 will take you off the beaten path, along with up to three tonnes of whatever you want to pull.
The seven-seater segment seems to be busting at the seams with options. We’ve recently had the Mistubishi Outlander and Mazda CX-9, and I swapped the Colorado for a Kia Sorento with seven pews. Who is having all these children? At least with the Colorado you Continue reading “Holden Colorado 7 LTZ 2013 Review” »
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 Continue reading “Mazda CX-9 AWD Petrol Limited 2013 Review” »
January 29th, 2013 by Darren Cottingham
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 Continue reading “Holden Volt 2012 Review” »