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” »

Volkswagen Beetle TSI 2013 Review

April 9th, 2013 by darren

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This third generation Beetle replaces the aging second generation which started out as cute and appealing, but simply became less cool and too ubiquitous, never quite capturing the allure of the first generation Beetle.

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The Beetle has grown up a bit more. It’s seems to have achieved a good balance between paying homage to its grandfather, yet striking out with a funky hairdo, hipster trousers and some flash shoes.

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The flash shoes are the 18-inch alloys wrapped in 235/45R18 tyres. There’s a trend for ever wider wheels because the ever-more chunky cars being produced make narrow tyres look like you’ve Continue reading “Volkswagen Beetle TSI 2013 Review” »

Suzuki SX4 LTD i-AWD 2013 Review

April 3rd, 2013 by darren

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This top-of-the-line Suzuki SX4 brings with it switchable four-wheel drive that improves its versatility and matches its slightly raised stance. As a recreational vehicle you can strap a couple of mountain bikes on the (optional) roof rack and get fairly deep into the backwaters of New Zealand. It also makes it a viable second car option for rural residents and those who experience snow and ice frequently.

suzuki-sx4-rqThe SX4 can be switched between 2WD for better fuel economy, automatic all-wheel drive and locked diff for the super slippery workout. Apart from in those Continue reading “Suzuki SX4 LTD i-AWD 2013 Review” »

Holden Cruze CD Sportwagon 2013 Review

March 18th, 2013 by darren

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The Cruze Sportwagon has the Holden corporate nose, but it’s nowhere near as aggressive as a Commodore. Its 16-inch steel wheels and hubcaps, and safe styling make it blend in to the crowd; the perfect fleet car. From the front and side it looks quite sleek; from the back it looks a little dull.

holden-cruze-sportwagon-sHowever, I prefer its look over the Toyota Corolla wagon which has a weird confluence of lines between the lights, front bumper and wheel arches that occasionally makes it look like Continue reading “Holden Cruze CD Sportwagon 2013 Review” »

Mitsubishi Outlander LS 4WD 2013 Review

March 13th, 2013 by darren

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The Outlander LS is the cheapest four-wheel drive version of the Outlander range. You can get a 2WD two-litre model for $39,990, and that would be fine if you’re trying to save money on petrol (its quoted fuel economy is 6.6l/100km vs the LS’s 7.5l/100km), but this 4WD LS develops more power and torque (126kW and 224Nm) which will make it better for towing, and it has the flexibility of a trick 4WD system. Both vehicles will tow the same amount (1600kg on a braked trailer).

Mitsubishi-Outlander-radio The Outlander has never really Continue reading “Mitsubishi Outlander LS 4WD 2013 Review” »