December 17th, 2012 by Darren Cottingham
Sometimes you have to look for a picture that perfectly describes a car, and in this case, the MX-5 does handle like it’s on rails.
The world’s best selling sports car has returned in slightly more muscular clothing to give you back road thrills on a budget. If the Lotus Elise is a featherweight and the Dodge Viper is a heavyweight, Mazda punches in the lightweight class. Mazda has kept the same formula: keep it light, keep it rear wheel drive and make the handling like it’s your own hands pummeling the tarmac.
So, to that extent, nothing was broken, but there’s only so long you can hold out before Continue reading “Mazda MX-5 2012 Review” »
December 12th, 2012 by Darren Cottingham
Two months ago I spent an excellent couple of weeks driving around Northern Queensland in Hyundai’s previous incarnation of the i20, the Getz. 2800km of budget motoring ranging from the tropical Napier-like town that is Cairns through to the dusty and rutted outback roads of Chillagoe got me intimately familiar with Hyundai’s smallest car. And it made me realise how far it’s come in six years. Continue reading “Hyundai i20 GLS 2012 Review” »
December 10th, 2012 by Darren Cottingham
Hyundai is a brand in transition. Aiming for the Euro market, it has smartened itself up considerably in the past few years and is setting vehicles from VW group as its target. The obvious competitor to the i30 Elite is the 103kW Volkswagen Golf TDI. There’s only a couple of grand in the price difference, and the specifications are comparable.
On the outside, Hyundai’s new ‘Fluidic sculpture’ design language can be seen in a multitude of visual lines that begin at the nose and head towards a strongly creased flank with its prominent wheel arches right around to a very strong boot crease that integrates beautifully with the flow of the rear lights. The designers (housed in a studio in Russelsheim, Germany) packed in a lot of detail, to the point of risking a busy mish-mash, but they’ve pulled it off with only the Continue reading “Hyundai i30 Elite 2012 Review” »
November 29th, 2012 by Darren Cottingham
In human terms, the Corolla’s oldest traceable ancestors would be living in the mid 1700s. In car terms, things move more quickly and 1966 saw the birth of the first Corolla. This new version is the eleventh generation that aims to continue to provide practical, no frills motoring.
It comes with a 1.5-litre petrol engine which needs to be worked hard to get it moving. You can get it in manual (recommended if you want to drive it) or CVT (recommended if you get stuck in rush hour frequently). You will get better economy from the Continue reading “Toyota Corolla Wagon 2012 Review” »
November 21st, 2012 by Darren Cottingham
We took a look at the naturally aspirated Veloster Elite a few months ago. If you read the article you’ll see that I said that the turbo version will be awesome. Let’s find out whether it is.
My history is with four-wheel drive rally cars of the 90s. I liked the stiff suspension, the four-cylinder turbo sound and the agile feeling that you get when you don’t have a Continue reading “Hyundai Veloster Turbo Elite 2012 Review” »
November 16th, 2012 by Darren Cottingham
You can hear the silence of this Kia Rio saving fuel every time you pull up to an intersection, put it in neutral and take your foot off the clutch. It’s because the engine quickly shudders to a stop meaning you’re not burning up precious diesel while waiting for all those other idiots who decided to take their journey (inconsiderately) right at the same time you did.
Push the clutch in again and the engine fires into life in a split second – about the same time as it takes to put it into gear – and you’re away. This is Idle, Stop and Go, or ISG in Kia’s vernacular, and it enables the Rio’s to get down to Continue reading “Kia Rio LX ISG Diesel Review” »
November 13th, 2012 by Darren Cottingham
Take one Civic, replace 70% of it and inject some slightly more confronting design language and you have the Euro Civic. It’s a Civic-sized car with Civic sensibilities, but designed (and positioned) so that Italian playboys will buy one for their mistress.
Honda has struggled recently with its brand image, and the problems with supply that resulted from the Japanese tsunami didn’t help. This car is going to inject a bit more design excitement into the range – something that’s been carried recently only Continue reading “Honda Euro Civic L Auto 2012 Review” »
November 9th, 2012 by Darren Cottingham
Whether it’s by happy accident or you’ve planned it, your four or more children put you in a small minority in New Zealand. Strictly speaking, having lots of children isn’t the most environmentally friendly thing you could do. Fortunately Toyota has created a seven-seat Prius v that will help atone your ecological transgressions.
Typically you’d choose an SUV, like a Toyota Land Cruiser or Holden Captiva 7, or a minivan to transport your kids. Universally, though, these will Continue reading “Toyota Prius v S-Tech 2012 Review” »