Mazda: 2014 Mazda3 SP25 hatch & SP25 Limited sedan review

September 24th, 2014 by Robert Barry

The all-new Mazda3 is the third vehicle in the Mazda line to sport the Kodo – Soul of Motion design theme with the distinctive five-point grille that is now shared with the Mazda6, CX-5 SUV, and CX-9 SUV, as well as the recently revealed MX-5.

This third generation Mazda3 has grown longer and wider but more importantly it has matured and offers buyers more features and benefits than ever before. It does indeed set a new benchmark in the mass market small car (C segment) class with its mixture of safety technologies, head up display, and human machine interface. Continue reading “Mazda: 2014 Mazda3 SP25 hatch & SP25 Limited sedan review” »

Mercedes-Benz: 2014 CLA 250 Sport 4Matic review

September 22nd, 2014 by Robert Barry

A few months ago we drove the CLA 45 AMG 4Matic (read review here) and were thoroughly impressed with its ability, but we felt the terrier-like nature of the car could become tiresome for some consumers.

Enter stage left the CLA 250 Sport 4Matic, which we found was an equally well equipped and entertaining drive, but a vehicle that’s much less frenetic than its AMG sibling, and one that we feel would be a more comfortable day to day proposition for people commuting into the office or doing the school run. Continue reading “Mercedes-Benz: 2014 CLA 250 Sport 4Matic review” »

Holden: 2014 Captiva LTZ diesel review

September 18th, 2014 by Darren Cottingham

It feels a bit weird putting 2014 in this article because the Captiva 5 we are testing started life in 2006 and has only had a couple of minor upgrades during the last 8 years. We first drove it in 2007  and you can read that article here. It’s a testament to how progressive the Captiva was when it first came out, and that is backed up by the fact that it’s still the most popular SUV (it was the best-selling in August). Continue reading “Holden: 2014 Captiva LTZ diesel review” »

BMW: 2014 435i Coupe review

September 10th, 2014 by Darren Cottingham

The 4 Series is BMW’s answer to Audi’s A5, and I quite like the A5. The A5 slots between the A4 and A6, just as the 4 Series slots between the venerable 3 Series and the quite mighty 5 Series. The 4 Series follows BMW’s even-numbered coupe nomenclature as opposed to the odd-numbered sedans, and therefore it cuts a fine sleek line as it drives slowly towards the car park that is nearer to the front door of the office than that of the minions.

It shares the same basic undergarments as the 3 Series but is 26mm longer, 43mm wider and 16mm lower. This means that the 4 Series looks like a trained boxer, all squat and ready to pounce compared to the more relaxed 3 Series. Continue reading “BMW: 2014 435i Coupe review” »

BMW: 2014 M235i Coupe review

September 1st, 2014 by Darren Cottingham

I stepped out of the BMW M4 (read the review here) and into the M235i expecting a significant downgrade, but I was wrong. The M235i is the swift dagger to the M4’s broadsword; it feels lighter and sharper and less likely to require two hands.

The M4 is capable of wreaking much more havoc, but the M235i is still a weapon wielded in the right hands given that it comes with a three-litre turbocharged six-cylinder engine producing 240kW and 450Nm of torque. This means a 4.8-second dash to 100kph and enough overtaking power to give the traction control something to think about at 70kph. Continue reading “BMW: 2014 M235i Coupe review” »

Nissan: 2014 Qashqai Ti review

August 26th, 2014 by Darren Cottingham

‘It’s OK’ and ‘I’m fine’ are the two most common lies spoken in the world, so if I say about this new Nissan Qashqai Ti ‘it’s OK’, am I lying? Let’s find out.

The Qashqai is Nissan’s fairly handsome crossover SUV. It’s not a plastic surgery failure like the smaller Juke, and it cuts a chiselled line that’s more in proportion than the bigger Murano SUV. The Ti is the top-of-the-line Qashqai, with the range starting at the $35,990 ST. Continue reading “Nissan: 2014 Qashqai Ti review” »

BMW: 2014 M4 Coupe review

August 26th, 2014 by Darren Cottingham

The M4 is like someone took my shopping list, bought everything on it but on impulse sneaked in an extra packet of bacon. And I like bacon. It’s got the power and the noise, the looks and the toys to keep me happy. I don’t need rear seat practicality and I will put up with the tight squeeze in the boot because this is a coupe and that’s what coupes do: they make compromises in carrying capacity in order to look nicer. Continue reading “BMW: 2014 M4 Coupe review” »

MINI: 2014 Cooper Hatch review

August 19th, 2014 by Darren Cottingham

The Mini is 55 years old, being first produced in 1959. 55 years is the same amount of time as the longest serving UK prisoner, serial killer John Straffen, had served when he died in 2007. However, this Mini initially slayed its competition, was killed off in 2000 and then was reborn into a not-quite-so-mini Mini in 2001 under BMW’s ownership where it has continued to be popular, although arguably less iconic. Continue reading “MINI: 2014 Cooper Hatch review” »