Hyundai ix35 2.4 Elite AWD Series II 2014 Review

December 28th, 2013 by Darren Cottingham

The time to update the ix35 arrived a little before this new model. We last had an ix35 back in 2010 and since then the crossover challengers upped their game and the ix35 slipped down the rankings in terms of its competitiveness. We noted the strong engine, sharp styling, economy and equipment levels in the review (which you can read here), so how does this update treat the ix35?

hyundai-ix35-2.4-elite-awd-rear-quarterThe styling hasn’t changed significantly – headlights and alloys, both with more modern detailing, plus new colour options and roof rails – so you won’t notice much difference. Hyundai is working on colours that are branding statements themselves and you can have yours in Atomic Orange, Remington Red and a few other more muted tones.

The ix35’s styling has aged well in its short lifetime, and all that was needed was a freshen up. And so we have this model which is essentially a facelift.

hyundai-ix35-2.4-elite-awd-front-interiorOn the inside there’s a slightly larger LCD between the rev counter and speedometer which shows the trip computer. The steering wheel features a couple of buttons for answering a Bluetooth-connected phone, plus a button to change the steering feeling to one of three modes (Flexsteer) – something that helps fix the vague steering we noted in the previous review. The rest of the interior is virtually identical.

The new audio system will stream audio via Bluetooth, and you can plug your phone in as well as use more conventional audio sources. Continue reading “Hyundai ix35 2.4 Elite AWD Series II 2014 Review” »

Ford Kuga Titanium diesel and Kuga Titanium EcoBoost Petrol 2013 – Review

July 13th, 2013 by Darren Cottingham

This is quite possibly the most complex and fully-featured car for the money. As well as having bells and whistles, there’s the full ensemble of wind instruments and a strings section, and you, the driver, are the conductor.

The problem with complex cars, though, is that they must be simple to use otherwise you’ll still be finding new features months or years after you first bought it. That’s if you find them at all. Continue reading “Ford Kuga Titanium diesel and Kuga Titanium EcoBoost Petrol 2013 – Review” »

Holden Captiva 5 LTZ 2013 – Review

June 28th, 2013 by Darren Cottingham

Taking the Captiva 5 immediately after the Holden Cruze I was surprised at the difference in interior trim. The Captiva’s screens and controls look like they’re a few years older than the Cruze’s; does the rest of the car feel dated? Let’s find out.

holden-captiva-5-ltz-2013-rqTaking the Captiva up north to Tutukaka its on-road manners were quietly confident. Cornering and braking were Continue reading “Holden Captiva 5 LTZ 2013 – Review” »

Ford Territory TDCi Titanium 7 Seat 2013 Review

March 26th, 2013 by darren

Ford-Territory-Titanium-fq

Ford has played it safe upgrading the Territory. It keeps the previous model’s excellent proportions, unlike, for example Mitsubishi which has made a bit of a wide-hipped frump out of the seven-seat Outlander. It’s a large car that’s based on the Falcon chassis but it feels completely different to a Falcon.

Ford-Territory-Titanium-rqThis TDCi Titanium model usually comes with 17-inch wheels with 235/60R17 tyres, but our test car sat on some futuristic-looking 18-inch alloys wrapped in 235/55R18 tyres. These, theoretically, should give plenty of grip, even for the two-tonnes of bulk that needs to change direction, but the suspension is set to super-comfort mode (great for cruising, but not for rapid directional changes), therefore Continue reading “Ford Territory TDCi Titanium 7 Seat 2013 Review” »

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” »