Skoda: 2015 Fabia Dynamic Sport review

July 3rd, 2015 by Darren Cottingham

I just bought some bi-fold cupboard doors: $1200 for four pieces of melamine and some hinges. Granted, they are 2.3m tall and 1.8m wide, but I could have had 5 nights in Bali (including the flight) for the same amount. Continue reading “Skoda: 2015 Fabia Dynamic Sport review” »

Volkswagen: 2015 Amarok Canyon 4Motion review

June 17th, 2015 by Robert Barry

If you are a shrinking violet or prefer your daily driver to be a bit discreet then the Amarok Canyon in all of it’s metallic copper orange glory, with the flared wheel-arches, 17-inch Roca alloy wheels, gloss black Canyon sport bar, Canyon roof light bar, and colour coded bumpers and mirrors, plus gloss black sill bars and rear bumper – isn’t going to be your cup of tea. Continue reading “Volkswagen: 2015 Amarok Canyon 4Motion review” »

BMW: 2015 125i M Sport review

June 17th, 2015 by Darren Cottingham

We gave it a good thrash from Auckland to Whangarei and back where it amply demonstrated its overtaking potential – 6.2 seconds to 100kph is plenty for most occasions. Through the Brynderwyns the 1-Series handled with aplomb. Lowered suspension and some nice wide 245s on 18-inch wheels at the back and 225s at the front keep it flat and planted on the road, although when the surface was rough, you could really feel that sports suspension, and that’s not even in Sports or Sports Plus modes which firm it up more. One of my passengers (female former vintage Porsche owner, sitting in the front in the bucket seats) loved it, and the other in the back didn’t. Continue reading “BMW: 2015 125i M Sport review” »

Audi 2015 A3 Sportback e-tron review

June 11th, 2015 by Darren Cottingham

This is the Age of e-tron, to bastardise a movie title. It is Audi’s play into the plug-in hybrid market and it has taken an age for them to bring a car with electric power to New Zealand. Part of the reason is that the real-world fuel economy of a modern diesel can match hybrids if they’re driven over longer distances, but the Audi A3 is more aimed at people that don’t travel that far each day. And, while you can get a diesel A3 in Europe, Audi doesn’t bring it to New Zealand because it would mean too many options for our smaller market. Continue reading “Audi 2015 A3 Sportback e-tron review” »

Lexus: 2015 NX 200T review

June 9th, 2015 by Darren Cottingham

I returned from Cuba recently where I had the opportunity to sample the automotive best that the communist block had to offer in the 1970s and ‘80s, bastardised versions of 1950s Americana, new Chinese taxis from Geely and Chery, and even a 1936 Citroen with a Lada motor. Once you’ve weathered those, any car would seem luxury, but a Lexus is extra luxurious and something that you wouldn’t be able to find easily (if at all) in one of the last remaining communist bastions. Continue reading “Lexus: 2015 NX 200T review” »

Fiat: 2015 Panda Easy review

April 1st, 2015 by Robert Barry

If you’re happy with just two wheels fifteen grand is enough to get you some serious road bike bragging rights if you go for an Avanti Chrono Evo II Team Di2 road. Or you can get four wheels and a motor that doesn’t require pasta and electrolytes by purchasing the Fiat Panda Easy. The Fiat Panda comes with a roof, seats that won’t injure your perineum and you don’t need to wear lycra. Both come with gears that you change manually, but they are actuated electronically. Continue reading “Fiat: 2015 Panda Easy review” »

Holden: 2015 Cruze SRi-V hatch review

March 24th, 2015 by Darren Cottingham

The Holden Cruze SRi-V is a bit like Dolly Parton: there’s a lot to talk about at the front. The new facelift has seen a lot of cosmetic surgery that’s resulted in what can be described as ‘conversation starting’.

We last had a Cruze (SRi) when I drove to Fieldays in Hamilton in it. At the time I called it the ‘perfect second car’ – it was a no-fuss, solid performer that you might not drive 9 to 5, but perhaps would run to the shops in it or pick up the kids from school. Continue reading “Holden: 2015 Cruze SRi-V hatch review” »

Audi: 2015 TT Coupe S Line review

March 12th, 2015 by Darren Cottingham

When I did judo as a kid we were taught techniques after being thrown that would make it difficult for your opponent to turn you onto your back to avoid osaekomi waza, or pinning techniques. You made yourself low and wide to hug the mat, and adjusted your bodyweight to stay flat. This is what the Audi TT feels like to drive. It feels as if you wouldn’t be able to turn it over to expose the soft underbelly. Around the corners its grappling technique with the tarmac is black belt, sports car quality. Continue reading “Audi: 2015 TT Coupe S Line review” »

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