Mitsubishi Outlander VRX 4WD 7-seat 2013 Review

January 10th, 2013 by Darren Cottingham

The seven seat Outlander has been up at the pointy end of the pack for a while now. In fact, a year ago we tested the XLS version and our only gripes were the interior and the dull colour range.

Enter the 2013 Outlander…in a kind of brown, which is a colour that should have been left with Mark II Cortinas in the 80s. OK, it’s kind of coppery, almost burnt orangey brown, but my personal preference is any one of the other colours for this top-of-the-line Outlander.

There’s a significant redesign on the outside which looks good from the three-quarter angles of the front and rear, but a little Continue reading “Mitsubishi Outlander VRX 4WD 7-seat 2013 Review” »

Holden Barina Hatch CDX 1.6 2012 Review

January 10th, 2013 by Darren Cottingham

It doesn’t seem that long ago since we sampled the Barina (in CD trim), but it was a whole year. I remember thinking that Holden had dramatically improved the looks over the previous model, and my opinion is still the same. The Barina is a well-crafted supermini with some interesting detailing and a strong forward stance.

In terms of looks, it’s pretty much the same. Imagine yourself an hour older and that’s how much the Barina has changed on the outside. On the inside, it’s a different story, and it’s mostly down to the inclusion of Holden’s MyLink media system.

Showing just how far vehicle manufacturers want to Continue reading “Holden Barina Hatch CDX 1.6 2012 Review” »

Ford Fiesta Zetec 2012 Review

January 3rd, 2013 by Darren Cottingham

Of the huge number of vehicle models whose names have been wrenched from the Spanish dictionary, the Fiesta is arguably the most popular and well known in Europe. New Zealand hasn’t had the Fiesta as a direct import for that long (it was called the Festiva or something similar, if I remember rightly).

However, if it was called a Ford Party (the direct translation), it would have had naming allure of the Toyota Funcargo (even ‘cargo’ indirectly comes from the Spanish ‘cargar’ which means ‘to load’). Given a couple of hours, Continue reading “Ford Fiesta Zetec 2012 Review” »

Peugeot 208 Allure 2012 Review

December 18th, 2012 by Darren Cottingham

Peugeot’s nomenclature lets you know exactly how far up the model range you’ve bought. The 208 is down at the budget end but in terms of bang for buck, it delivers very well.

In Europe, the 208 will be the bread and butter for Peugeot, so it’s important that it provides an engaging driver experience with some well-formed Euro styling.

Gone is the Continue reading “Peugeot 208 Allure 2012 Review” »

Mazda MX-5 2012 Review

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” »

Hyundai i20 GLS 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” »

Hyundai i30 Elite 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” »

Toyota Corolla Wagon 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” »