September 7th, 2012 by Darren Cottingham
Holden does a good job of making a station wagon look mean. The flared arches flex above the 18-inch alloys. A front splitter with fog lights caps off the aggressive nose, and strong lines are arrow-straight down the flank to a smoothly contoured rear.
Being the SV6, the heart of this Holden is a 3-litre SIDI direct injection V6 (which will take E85 biofuel), though you can opt for a 3.6-litre vapour injection LPG V6. The transmission is a six-speed auto with Active Select which matches the revs on downshifts for a smoother braking experience. The gearbox is Continue reading “Holden Sportwagon Series II SV6 2012 Review” »
September 3rd, 2012 by Darren Cottingham
If there are any vehicles that are poised to reap the best market acceptance from hybrid technology, it should be SUVs. People like SUVs because of their practicality, but they don’t like stupendous fuel bills and that’s one of the reasons why sales of traditional SUVs have struggled recently and will continue to do so as the price of fuel increases.
If you are considering a Lexus LX450h, though, you’re probably unconcerned at the extra one or two thousand dollars a year in fuel bills you’ll save over purchasing a non-hybrid SUV. Chances are your other car is a Euro model with a large engine and the Lexus SUV will be for more practical duties like going snowboarding (it has a snow mode) or taking the kids to school. Therefore the hybrid badge on a Lexus SUV is because Continue reading “Lexus RX450h F Sport 2012 Review” »
August 31st, 2012 by Darren Cottingham
Toyota’s flagship SUV packs a formidable list of features, but is it taking the traditional off-roader just too far? Starting in 1951 (which makes it the longest running Toyota model) out of a military jeep project, the 40 Series arrived in 1960. Square and coarse, yet revered off road, it sold well.
The Land Cruiser didn’t start to get softened edges until the 80 Series in 1989. More and more interior comforts were added, but the drivetrain could still take a beating.
Think about all those times you’ve seen Continue reading “Toyota Land Cruiser VX Limited 2012 Review” »
August 25th, 2012 by Darren Cottingham
Quite possibly the wettest two weeks ever on the Coromandel thwarted my attempts to use a nice little beachside spot for photographing the Avensis. Upon taking advice from my friend (and Coromandel native), I proceeded to drive across the grass which revealed itself quickly as a marsh.
Road tyres quickly fill up with mud and become slicks, and so it was that I decided not to bury it up to the axles and do what most men wouldn’t do: Continue reading “Toyota Avensis Tourer 2012 Review” »
August 21st, 2012 by Darren Cottingham
Audi’s Q3 is a compact ‘posh roader’ – a small SUV designed predominantly for a life of parking outside cafes and bars. It’s Audi’s contender against the Range Rover Evoque (read review) and BMW X1 (read review). Luxury brands seem to be shrinking their offerings to make them more available to the recently washed masses, so we tore up the city in this peppy diesel SUV.
If you remember the Q7 (read review) then you’ll know it was a monstrous vehicle that filled entire country roads and is basically just Continue reading “Audi Q3 2.0TDI 2012 Review” »
August 10th, 2012 by Darren Cottingham
Vitamin D: many of us are short of it. So rather than buying vitamin D supplements you can spend some more time in the sun. If you’re one of those unfortunate souls that spends an entire working day every week stuck in your car in rush hour traffic you are missing vital vitamin D absorption time.
With the Golf Cabriolet you can go from shaded to sun-drenched in just 9 seconds. That’s all it takes to drop the top on this convertible and you can do it while Continue reading “Volkswagen Golf Cabriolet 2012 Review” »
August 7th, 2012 by Darren Cottingham
When I picked up the Aurion after having Toyota’s Camry i-Tech for a week my first thought was why would anyone purchase an Aurion when the Camry is more comfortable and better specified? But a journey from Auckland to Feilding and back gave me the answer: you buy the Aurion because you want the sensible aura of a Toyota but you want a swift sedan with sportier styling and handling that will make short work of overtaking dawdling holidaymakers.
The Aurion makes the Camry feel Continue reading “Toyota Aurion Sportivo SX6 2012 Review” »
August 1st, 2012 by Darren Cottingham
The top-of-the-line Toyota Camry i-Tech is a hybrid with no performance compromise. There’s not a whole lot of price difference between the Camry i-Tech and the Prius i-Tech (only a couple of grand), but while the Prius i-Tech is packed with more features (adaptive cruise control, heated seats, head-up display and a few other comfort items), the Camry focuses more on the driving experience.
A back-country drive through Tahuna, Otway and Te Aroha gave the Camry some serious Continue reading “Toyota Camry i-Tech Hybrid 2012 Review” »