Toyota Prius v S-Tech 2012 Review

November 9th, 2012 by Darren Cottingham

Whether it’s by happy accident or you’ve planned it, your four or more children put you in a small minority in New Zealand. Strictly speaking, having lots of children isn’t the most environmentally friendly thing you could do. Fortunately Toyota has created a seven-seat Prius v that will help atone your ecological transgressions.

Typically you’d choose an SUV, like a Toyota Land Cruiser or Holden Captiva 7, or a minivan to transport your kids. Universally, though, these will Continue reading “Toyota Prius v S-Tech 2012 Review” »

Toyota Land Cruiser VX Limited 2012 Review

August 31st, 2012 by Darren Cottingham

Toyota’s flagship SUV packs a formidable list of features, but is it taking the traditional off-roader just too far? Starting in 1951 (which makes it the longest running Toyota model) out of a military jeep project, the 40 Series arrived in 1960. Square and coarse, yet revered off road, it sold well.

The Land Cruiser didn’t start to get softened edges until the 80 Series in 1989. More and more interior comforts were added, but the drivetrain could still take a beating.

Think about all those times you’ve seen Continue reading “Toyota Land Cruiser VX Limited 2012 Review” »

Toyota Avensis Tourer 2012 Review

August 25th, 2012 by Darren Cottingham

Quite possibly the wettest two weeks ever on the Coromandel thwarted my attempts to use a nice little beachside spot for photographing the Avensis. Upon taking advice from my friend (and Coromandel native), I proceeded to drive across the grass which revealed itself quickly as a marsh.

Road tyres quickly fill up with mud and become slicks, and so it was that I decided not to bury it up to the axles and do what most men wouldn’t do: Continue reading “Toyota Avensis Tourer 2012 Review” »

Toyota Aurion Sportivo SX6 2012 Review

August 7th, 2012 by Darren Cottingham

When I picked up the Aurion after having Toyota’s Camry i-Tech for a week my first thought was why would anyone purchase an Aurion when the Camry is more comfortable and better specified? But a journey from Auckland to Feilding and back gave me the answer: you buy the Aurion because you want the sensible aura of a Toyota but you want a swift sedan with sportier styling and handling that will make short work of overtaking dawdling holidaymakers.

The Aurion makes the Camry feel Continue reading “Toyota Aurion Sportivo SX6 2012 Review” »

Toyota Camry i-Tech Hybrid 2012 Review

August 1st, 2012 by Darren Cottingham

The top-of-the-line Toyota Camry i-Tech is a hybrid with no performance compromise. There’s not a whole lot of price difference between the Camry i-Tech and the Prius i-Tech (only a couple of grand), but while the Prius i-Tech is packed with more features (adaptive cruise control, heated seats, head-up display and a few other comfort items), the Camry focuses more on the driving experience.

A back-country drive through Tahuna, Otway and Te Aroha gave the Camry some serious Continue reading “Toyota Camry i-Tech Hybrid 2012 Review” »

Toyota Prius i-Tech 2012 Review

July 23rd, 2012 by Darren Cottingham

There’s an interesting exercise in brand pricing going on with the Prius i-Tech. You can get into the Prius range with the Prius c for around thirty-one to thirty-five thousand, but then there’s a big jump to the base model Prius at fifty grand, and if you want this tricked-out i-Tech verion, it’s $54,490 (online price).

Coincidentally this is only $10 less than the base model Lexus hybrid (the CT200h), but if you plump for the top-of-the-line CT200h F Sport which has similar features to the Prius i-Tech you’ll pony up $72,000.

So, your decision is whether to Continue reading “Toyota Prius i-Tech 2012 Review” »

Toyota Prius c 2012 Review

July 20th, 2012 by Darren Cottingham

Today I read a scathing dissertation on global warming in Rolling Stone magazine. The main thrust of the article was that the globe simply can’t tolerate a 2% rise in CO2, but the oil companies are too politically powerful to be legislated against and that any change in our oil consumption habits has to be driven from the population. But in the Herald today it said that half of New Zealanders are ‘sloth-like’. So it’s not going to suddenly happen due to us all deciding to bike to work.

It’s going to happen eventually, though, because Continue reading “Toyota Prius c 2012 Review” »

Toyota Camry Atara SX vs Toyota Camry GL 2012 Review

June 27th, 2012 by Darren Cottingham

Should you go for the hotter-looking Camry Atara SX over the Camry GL and forget about the roughly seven grand more you’ll have to pony up, or is the base level GL so awesome that you couldn’t want for anything more for an executive or family sedan?

Under the bonnet the two are very similar. You do get a twin exhaust system in the SX which liberates a couple of extra kW (135 vs 133) from the 2.5-litre, 4-cylinder petrol engine, and more torque (235Nm vs 231Nm) but you won’t notice it. Toyota’s weight figures say both cars are 1465kg, but I don’t Continue reading “Toyota Camry Atara SX vs Toyota Camry GL 2012 Review” »