Mercedes-Benz: 2014 S 500 sedan

October 13th, 2014 by Robert Barry

The luxury flagship of Mercedes-Benz has always introduced greater levels of comfort, safety and sophistication through each new generation, and the new S Class is no exception.

My first introduction to the S Class occurred when I was a spotty-faced teenager, my athletic coach Kevin Taylor owned a first-generation W116 series 280S sedan as his daily driver, and I was smitten by the build quality and design detail that this car offered.

Even though by todays standards it was relatively sparsely equipped, central locking, a factory stereo, electric steel sliding sunroof and power steering were about the few luxury items. It certainly didn’t have air conditioning or electric windows. Continue reading “Mercedes-Benz: 2014 S 500 sedan” »

Mazda: 2014 Mazda3 SP25 hatch & SP25 Limited sedan review

September 24th, 2014 by Robert Barry

The all-new Mazda3 is the third vehicle in the Mazda line to sport the Kodo – Soul of Motion design theme with the distinctive five-point grille that is now shared with the Mazda6, CX-5 SUV, and CX-9 SUV, as well as the recently revealed MX-5.

This third generation Mazda3 has grown longer and wider but more importantly it has matured and offers buyers more features and benefits than ever before. It does indeed set a new benchmark in the mass market small car (C segment) class with its mixture of safety technologies, head up display, and human machine interface. Continue reading “Mazda: 2014 Mazda3 SP25 hatch & SP25 Limited sedan review” »

Toyota: 2014 Corolla GX and ZR sedan review

July 22nd, 2014 by Darren Cottingham

Buying a Corolla is a bit like buying Cadbury’s chocolate: it’s not flash, but it’s dependable. And you know that it’s going to make you fat if use it too much. It achieves its purpose with a minimum of fuss and with the knowledge you paid a fair price.

While the GX is milk chocolate (a little plain, but fills the gap nevertheless), the ZR is a dark, minty block with a slightly silkier texture. It’s still not the kind of chilli and kaffir leaf-infused chocolate that you’d buy in an upmarket boutique, but it does come with a fancier wrapper and more cocoa solids.

Buying a car often comes down to taste: it’s a rocky road to try to please everyone. So if you’re going to remove the wrapper on one of these Corollas, which one is it going to be? Continue reading “Toyota: 2014 Corolla GX and ZR sedan review” »

FPV: 2014 FPV GT review

July 6th, 2014 by Robert Barry

DSC_0047Video killed the radio star, and the rise and rise of the SUV has unfortunately also killed off the demand for the large performance executive and family sedan.

Which is a great pity, because for fast point to point, comfortable motoring, a grand touring sports sedan will out perform most mass market SUV’s. Continue reading “FPV: 2014 FPV GT review” »

Holden: 2014 VF Commodore VF Evoke sedan review

June 24th, 2014 by Darren Cottingham

holden-commodore-evoke-sedan-2014-frontThe power was out because we had a proper storm. Proper storms are always good for debris-strewn photos, and that’s what you’ve got: the brilliant red of the Evoke against the green and brown of a billion leaves and twiglets strewn over West Auckland’s usually grey tarmac. Continue reading “Holden: 2014 VF Commodore VF Evoke sedan review” »

Audi: 2014 A3 1.8T Sport sedan review

June 11th, 2014 by Darren Cottingham

audi-s3-sedan-2014-frontYou’d think that getting out of a 221kW Audi S3 and straight into a 132kW A3 might be a bit of a let-down, but it actually wasn’t bad at all.

In comparison to the S3, the A3 gets much nicer throttle mapping for the downshifts and a whole extra gear ratio with 7 on tap from the S Tronic gearbox. The available power from the 1.8-litre turbo engine means 7.3 seconds to 100kph, which is quite respectable and very usable in day-to-day driving.

Continue reading “Audi: 2014 A3 1.8T Sport sedan review” »

Skoda: 2014 Superb Ambition Hatchback vs Elegance Wagon Review

May 8th, 2014 by Darren Cottingham

skoda-superb-tdi-125-elegance-wagon-rear-seatsIf you live in America and you know a man aged between 20 and 40 who is 7 feet tall (2.13m) there’s a 17 percent chance that they play professional basketball in the NBA right now. That means 1 in 6 males 7 feet tall or over in that age group play professional basketball. Continue reading “Skoda: 2014 Superb Ambition Hatchback vs Elegance Wagon Review” »

Holden Malibu CDX 2014 second review

April 9th, 2014 by Darren Cottingham

holden-malibu-cdx-2014-front-quarter

Our previous Malibu CDX arrived at Car and SUV test headquarters last August. Eight months on we’re revisiting it to see if we’re still as impressed.

holden-malibu-cdx-2014-sideThe Malibu is a large car masquerading as a medium-sized car in that it’s not as big as a Commodore therefore Holden doesn’t call it a large car. But it is roomy and comfortable enough for five adults. Continue reading “Holden Malibu CDX 2014 second review” »

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