Holden Cruze SRi Hatchback 2013 – Review

June 25th, 2013 by Darren Cottingham

The only way to arrive at Fieldays is via jet boat or helicopter. It avoids the 20-minute queue into the car park and the resulting walk from several leagues away. We opted for the jet boat – a seven-minute blast along the Waikato with a wind chill of, well, frosty.

holden-cruze-sri-2013-rqDespite the exhilaration and the paltry price of $20 return, it made me appreciate sitting in the Holden Cruze’s cosseting warmth as the outside temperature registered a number low enough that children of this age measure it in quarters Continue reading “Holden Cruze SRi Hatchback 2013 – Review” »

Suzuki Swift Sport 3-door 2013 Review

June 2nd, 2013 by Darren Cottingham

Nothing says “I love driving enthusiastically by myself” like a car that makes it difficult to get passengers in. Of course, just having one door would be the perfect statement, but the impracticality would ensure this Suzuki Swift Sport would quickly be bumped off the best-sellers list.

Suzuki-swift-sport-rqThere are cars I drive where I enjoy company – big, comfortable SUVs and plush sedans – and there are cars where I wish everyone would just sod off and let me cane it through the twisty bits. This car deserves a caning more than a Continue reading “Suzuki Swift Sport 3-door 2013 Review” »

Hyundai i40 CRDi Elite 2013 vs Hyundai i45 Elite Ltd 2013 – Review

May 29th, 2013 by Darren Cottingham

As New Zealand is the only country in the world still selling the i45 (which is a rebadged Sonata), let’s have a look at whether you’d get one of those or the i40.

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i45 side view

We took an (almost) back-to-back test of the two cars. First, you would expect because the i45 has 5 more of Hyundai’s ‘i’ points over the i40, that it would be more expensive, like a Mazda6 is more expensive than a Mazda3, but it’s not. The four-model i45 range starts at Continue reading “Hyundai i40 CRDi Elite 2013 vs Hyundai i45 Elite Ltd 2013 – Review” »

Mazda Mazda6 LTD Sedan 2013 Review

May 28th, 2013 by Darren Cottingham

If we’re talking movies, the last one in the trilogy is usually the worst. Most often it’s the first, and sometimes it’s the second (like The Empire Strikes Back and Aliens). This Mazda6 LTD sedan is the third in the trilogy of test cars Mazda NZ bestowed on us, but it’s no Return of the Jedi.

mazda6-ltd-sedan-rqWe started with the base model GLX, had a small intermission for an ice cream before getting the better-endowed GSX (both as station wagons), and now the Continue reading “Mazda Mazda6 LTD Sedan 2013 Review” »

Toyota Aurion Sportivo ZR6 2013 Review

May 23rd, 2013 by Darren Cottingham

The Aurion is the car that almost bridges the gap between Toyota and Lexus. You get the same 200kW, 336Nm, 3.5-litre V6 that you’ll find in an RX350 and, while the interior is not quite Lexus standard, it’s perfectly acceptable (with a few minor foibles I’ll get to later).

toyota-aurion-sportivo-rqIt’s not rear-wheel drive, so in this segment you’ll have to look to a Falcon or Commodore to get your steering-on-the-throttle kicks (and even that’s been reigned in with the current traction control settings in most cars). Anyway, the Aurion is not
Continue reading “Toyota Aurion Sportivo ZR6 2013 Review” »

Mazda Mazda6 GSX 2013 Review

May 13th, 2013 by Darren Cottingham

When you want one of the best-looking station wagons out there to have a little more pep than the base model GLX, but not the largesse of the top-of-the-range LTD, then you go for the GSX.

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This review outlines the differences between the base model GLX and this mid-range GSX. Check out the GLX article for a more comprehensive overview of the Mazda6 model itself (clicking opens it in a new window so you won’t lose your place here).

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With 500cc more than the GLX Mazda6, the engine is now a shade under 2.5 litres. You’ve got 24 more Continue reading “Mazda Mazda6 GSX 2013 Review” »

Nissan Pulsar Ti 2013 Review

May 7th, 2013 by darren

It’s a long time since I’ve driven a Nissan Pulsar. It was a second hand version of the hot GTi-R, and it was a few years ago. In fact, the GTi-R is the only exciting Pulsar ever to have been produced. You’ll usually see them driven by the youth of the day, and sporting a big bore exhaust to get your attention.

Nissan-Pulsar-Ti-rqNow we have a new one. It’s not really that exciting, but it does have a couple of tricks that will make you sit up and listen. A big bore exhaust isn’t one of them, but a big Continue reading “Nissan Pulsar Ti 2013 Review” »

Subaru Forester 2.5i Sport 2013 Review

April 15th, 2013 by darren

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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.

Subaru-Forester-rqLet’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” »