Mitsubishi Outlander LS 4WD 2013 Review

March 13th, 2013 by darren

Mitsubishi-Outlander-fq

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” »

Suzuki Grand Vitara LTD 5-door 2012 Review

January 17th, 2013 by Darren Cottingham

Back in 2008, just before the Global Financial Crisis, Suzuki treated us all to an awesome trip to Ayers Rock and the surrounding outback to test the Grand Vitara range. It was a spectacular jaunt and one that highlighted the Grand Vitara’s good points – rugged versatility without compromising much on road manners being the main one.

While I didn’t go on the launch of this model (time constraints prevent those kinds of things these days), I was expecting to be impressed by how much Suzuki has Continue reading “Suzuki Grand Vitara LTD 5-door 2012 Review” »

Peugeot 4008 Feline 2013 Review

January 11th, 2013 by Darren Cottingham

Peugeot was a bit late to the serious SUV market so has got up-to-speed by a co-production and platform sharing deal with Mitsubishi.

Its first offering was the 4007. We tested this around a year ago and it was very evidently based on the Mitsubishi Outlander. As you’ll see from our Continue reading “Peugeot 4008 Feline 2013 Review” »

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” »

S-Cross: Suzuki’s New C-segment Crossover Concept

September 28th, 2012 by Karen Joy Provo

A highlight of the 2012 Paris Motor Show is Suzuki’s unveiling of the S-Cross—a concept car which heralds the company’s next-generation C-segment crossover model. The new crossover will be the first in an ambitious programme of annual European model launches which Suzuki will be starting in 2013.

Suzuki’s future model strategy
Suzuki has established a reputation for producing cars which make everyday life more exciting. These cars reflect a brand strategy which is expressed through the company’s slogan “Way of Life!”. Suzuki has always been focusing on creating models—such as the Alto—which are characterised by small environmental footprints and low running costs thanks to exceptionally low fuel consumption and CO2 emissions. Now the company plans to launch models which top their segments in terms of environmental performance even more. The production model of the S-Cross concept will be one of those with the lowest CO2 emissions in the C-segment crossover cars.

The crossover pioneer
Since launching the Jimny (originally the LJ series) in 1970, Suzuki has expanded its lineup of off-road vehicles to include models such as the Vitara and Grand Vitara; the company has earned a reputation as the pioneer of compact sport utility vehicles (SUVs). Meanwhile, Suzuki has gained incomparable know-how in the development of compact passenger cars. And since the latter half of the 1980s, the company has been refining its performance technologies in the field of motor sport. In 2006, Suzuki united its advanced technologies in the form of the SX4 sport crossover—a vehicle which offers relaxing city driving and great performance on snow and rough roads. With the SX4 Suzuki created the crossover category in Europe and has driven its growth. Suzuki is the crossover pioneer.

Smart Crossover for more freedom in daily life
The new model heralded by the S-Cross will mark Suzuki’s full-scale entry into the market for C-segment crossovers. The new vehicle’s features and functions will be designed primarily for comfort. It will also offer a high degree of practicalityby providing one of the largest luggage areasfor C-segment crossover cars.

Suzuki is also ensuring that the new crossover inherits the on-road handling and performance excellence of the Swift series, the SX4 and the Kizashi. And Suzuki is adopting systems which represent an evolution in the four-wheel-drive performance that is part and parcel of its heritage.

The new model will offer drivability which encompasses gentle, fuel-saving driving, more sporty driving, and even driving on snow. It will maximize the enjoyment of day-to-day tasks
such as commuting or carrying children as well as the pleasure of longer trips at weekends; in short, it will allow people to get the most out of urban lifestyles. It will perfectly embody
Suzuki’s vision of a smart crossover for more freedom in daily life.

The new crossover will join the Alto, Splash, Swift, SX4, Kizashi, Jimny and Grand Vitara in a lineup which already includes A-, B- and C-segment passenger cars and SUVs. Suzuki will
continue to expand its range to meet a wider range of user needs.

The S-Cross design

  • Emotion is expressed by dynamic lines running from the front bumper to the rear of the body, by chrome-plated features which extend deep into the body from LED foglamps in
    the front bumper, and by LED headlamps and tail lamps with organic designs suggesting the muscles of an animal.
  • Quality is expressed by a mesh front grille consisting of dark chrome and silky chrome and by innovatively designed roof rails which are flush with the roof line when not in use.
  • Aerodynamics is expressed by a roofline which slopes downwards towards the rear and by smooth contours on the sides of the front bumper, at the bottom of the doors and on the sides of the rear bumper. The shape of the body helps the vehicle meet increasingly tough demands for fuel economy.
  • Crossover toughness is expressed by a front skid plate, by boldly flared wing arches and under mouldings, and by 20-inch chrome wheels.

Body colour
A specially created Crystal Green Metallic body colour has intensity and radiance which create a dynamic impression in the minds of onlookers. The image it evokes is one of “nature in the city and the city in nature”.

Specifications (mm)
Overall length 4,310
Overall width 1,840
Overall height 1,600
Wheelbase 2,600
Tyres 235/55R20

Holden Captiva 7 LX 2012 Review

September 21st, 2012 by Darren Cottingham

The Captiva 7 is Holden’s seven-seat SUV that aims to provide comfortable driving with a smidgen of off-road nous at a competitive price.

While Holden is most widely recognised with its Commodore, the past few years it’s been building up a battalion of Cruze, Barina and Captiva models to flesh out its presence on the roads. The Colorado hasn’t made such an impact around the cities, and the Epica is long gone and best forgotten.

The Captiva is a car that you don’t Continue reading “Holden Captiva 7 LX 2012 Review” »

New Mazda CX-9 World Premiere at Australian International Motor Show

September 18th, 2012 by Karen Joy Provo

Mazda will hold the world premiere of the refreshed Mazda CX-9 crossover SUV at the 2012 Australian International Motor Show.

Held in Sydney, the 2012 Australian International Motor Show begins October 18 and runs through to October 28, 2012. The 2013 CX-9 will be launched in New Zealand later this year.

Mazda CX-9 is an All-Wheel Drive crossover sport-utility SUV featuring a distinctive sporty appearance, a high-quality cabin, the flexibility of three-rows of seating, and Mazda’s exciting “Zoom-Zoom” driving dynamics. The current CX-9 has sold over 210,000 units* in 74 countries, including North America, Australia and New Zealand, as Mazda’s range-topping SUV.

Andrew Clearwater Managing Director Mazda New Zealand believes the new CX-9 will build on the popularity created by the previous model first launched in New Zealand in 2011.

“The CX-9 has proven to be ideal for New Zealand families that require a 7-seater vehicle capable of transporting many people and their associated gear – while still providing a fantastic driving experience. Exciting new features and an extended array of safety features will bring peace of mind for the whole family.

The new Mazda CX-9 carries over the utility and dynamic driving performance of the current model while adopting Mazda’s “KODO – Soul of Motion” design theme at the front and rear for even sportier styling and stronger presence. Enhancements in craftsmanship and interior design further the feeling of quality and refinement. With regard to equipment, the infotainment system features the latest audio, navigation and Bluetooth systems. In addition, advanced active-safety features, such as Forward Obstruction Warning System, Lane Departure Warning System, and High Beam Control System, help drivers recognize and avoid danger.

As with the current model, the new CX-9 features the MZI 3.7-liter V6 engine and a six-speed automatic transmission for powerful and refined driving pleasure.

The all-new Mazda6 will also make its Australasian premiere in Sydney. It is the second of Mazda’s new generation of products that adopt the full range of SKYACTIV technologies and the KODO – Soul of Motion design theme. It is the first model to be equipped with Mazda’s unique brake energy regeneration system, i-ELOOP.

Cayenne S Diesel revealed. Coming in 2013

September 13th, 2012 by Karen Joy Provo

Porsche is introducing a high performance diesel model to its Cayenne range in the form of the Cayenne S Diesel.

The 4.2-litre eight-cylinder engine with twin turbo chargers produces 281 kW of power and maximum torque of 850 Nm. This thrusts the new Cayenne S Diesel to top marks in both dynamic performance and efficiency.

The new diesel completes the 0-100 km/h sprint in 5.7 seconds on its way to a 252 km/h top speed, while fuel consumption is just 8.3 litres per 100 km (CO2: 218 g/km). One factor contributing to this excellent value is the auto start/stop function – the Cayenne S Diesel the only SUV with a diesel V8 to offer this functionality.

The driving experience of the newest addition to the Cayenne range is typically Porsche, combining an emotional V8 engine sound with punchy, smooth performance.
The Cayenne S Diesel features PTM active all-wheel drive, tuned to give the driving qualities of a rear-wheel drive. The front wheels only intervene to provide drive when extra stability and traction are needed. Optional Porsche Torque Vectoring Plus (PTV Plus) adds further dynamics to the SUV’s already excellent sporty handling.

The deep reserves of torque of the V8 engine of the Cayenne S Diesel are well suited to towing; the SUV earning a 3.5 tonne towing capacity. It also takes on the role of a long-distance champion: based on its NEDC fuel consumption the Cayenne S Diesel with its 100-litre fuel tank (standard for New Zealand) can be driven a distance of about 1,200 km without having to stop to refuel.

The new top diesel model has the same sporty exterior and hardware as the V8 petrol Cayenne S. The brake system, for example, has been sized to handle the car’s output and is identified by its silver brake calipers. The black fins at the front end emphasise the open air inlets. As on the Cayenne Diesel, the “diesel” badges at the front guards identify the type of V8 power while the model badge at the rear identifies it as a Cayenne S.

New Zealand deliveries will commence around April of 2013 with local specification and pricing to be announced shortly.