Volkswagen: 2015 CrossPolo TSI review

December 16th, 2014 by Darren Cottingham

The CrossPolo sits at the top of the Volkswagen Polo range. With 30mm more ground clearance and a tough-looking black skirt, it tells the world that this is a city car that can get its boots a bit mucky. Not too mucky, though, because it’s still just a front-wheel drive hatchback, and you wouldn’t want to subject those tasty 17-inch alloys to extreme punishment. Continue reading “Volkswagen: 2015 CrossPolo TSI review” »

Honda: 2014 Civic LN review

December 2nd, 2014 by Darren Cottingham

Back in the day I was a composer for TV and games and things, and one of the first things you learn is that it’s not about you. Your music is not there to distract from the visuals, it’s there to support it. Sure, certain themes stand alone, but in the whole mix of elements of a TV show, computer game or film, your music supports the scene. If the audience notices your music, you might just have overdone it. In a metaphorical sense that’s what the Honda Civic LN does for your journey. Continue reading “Honda: 2014 Civic LN review” »

Toyota: 2014 Yaris ZR and GX hatches review

November 17th, 2014 by Darren Cottingham

This pair of Yaris – maybe that’s Yarii – are set to wage war on the urban landscape, giving potential punters a budget option or a ‘fries-with-that’ option in the small car segment. As far as price goes, there’s $5000 between them: the GX starts at a wallet-caressing $24,990, while the ZR with the optional sat nav and SUNA package adds garnish and spices for $29,990. If you’re happy with a manual then you can get the GX for $22,990. Continue reading “Toyota: 2014 Yaris ZR and GX hatches review” »

Holden: 2014 Barina RS review

November 11th, 2014 by Darren Cottingham

RS is a hallowed badge that has traditionally meant Rallye Sport, Rally Sport or Rennsport (German for racing sport). Who can deny that cars such as the Ford RS Cosworth, the Renault Megane RS265, the Porsche GT3 RS and the Audi RS4 are amazing cars in their own right? I even owned a Subaru Legacy RS-RA back in the day which was mostly excellent (when the ECU wasn’t playing up). It has been (and should only be) reserved for cars that have some sporting credentials. Continue reading “Holden: 2014 Barina RS review” »

Mercedes-Benz: 2014 C 250 sedan review

October 27th, 2014 by Robert Barry

After a week behind the wheel of a new Mercedes-Benz S 500 sedan, swapping over into a new Mercedes-Benz C 250 might seem a bit of a come down.

To be frank, nothing could be further from the truth. While I did miss the mighty V8 engine of the S 500, I didn’t miss its rather substantial on-road footprint. The C-Class is considerably smaller and more nimble, and its four-cylinder power plant has more than enough power to propel you around miscreant trucks on the motorway. Continue reading “Mercedes-Benz: 2014 C 250 sedan review” »

Fiat: 2014 Punto Pop review

October 24th, 2014 by Darren Cottingham

At $17,490 here you have one of the cheapest new cars on the New Zealand market, and it’s from Europe which means you can indulge in a bit of Euro brand snobbery. In fact, I’ve even seen them advertised for $16,990, and that’s just ridiculously low. Compared to what they cost in the UK, we get a pretty good deal which is definitely not the case with a lot of our marques. As far as I can tell from Fiat’s UK website the little Punto Pop sells for just over ten thousand pounds on the road which is the equivalent of twenty-one grand here. Continue reading “Fiat: 2014 Punto Pop review” »

Honda: 2014 Jazz S review

October 15th, 2014 by Darren Cottingham

The Jazz has always been Tardis-like. You take a look from the outside and think there’s no way you’d easily fit a couple of six-footers in the rear passenger seats, but it can be done quite comfortable. Even the boot capacity is good at 363 litres (better than the Ford EcoSport compact SUV we had last week, and miles more than the perennial small car favourite, the Suzuki Swift). Continue reading “Honda: 2014 Jazz S review” »

Ford: EcoSport Titanium 2014 review

October 10th, 2014 by Darren Cottingham

When I was in my teens in the late ‘80s our 80-year old neighbour, Mrs Moss, had kept her 1950s Morris Minor because she didn’t like all these new cars that were too low for her to get in and out of. Her aging hips wanted a seat she could slide across into rather than fall into. It was the second thing that this Ford EcoSport reminded me of; the first thing was Tweetie Pie, the yellow bird, from the cartoons of the 1940s and ‘50s. Continue reading “Ford: EcoSport Titanium 2014 review” »

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