Archive for the ‘New Car Reviews’ Category


Not that they ever left really. But they have resurrected their small sports coupe that we haven’t seen since the Honda CRX from the ‘80’s and ‘90’s. While the CRX was a great little, affordable sports car it really was nothing more than a warmed up two-door Civic, even so it was very desirable for the boy racers of the time, and still is today, although you might struggle to find a good example that hasn’t been tampered with. Now Honda is back with the very smart, technically speaking, wedge shaped CR-Z. (more…)

Most of you might remember the ads for Rio underwear from years gone, “You can get away with anything in Rio” or “It costs less to live in Rio”. Well the same rings true for the 2011 Kia Rio. Although many might consider it just a typical shopping cart like most other hatchbacks, that couldn’t be further from the truth. On looks alone the Rio stands out from the rest following on with Kia’s aggressive styling seen in their other models with its mean looking grill and smart alloy wheels the Rio looks as though it would be more at home going sideways on a back country gravel road than trundling through a shopping mall car park. Unfortunately the performance doesn’t quite match those stunning looks, don’t get me wrong here, it’s no slouch around town and can keep up with, and surpass, most similar hatches on the open road but with such aggressive styling one can’t help but wonder if there should be a hot version for the boy racer buried deep inside of go fast freaks like myself. I can just picture one of these loaded up with advertising decals and a dust cloud tail wagging behind.


In this day and age with not a hell of a lot of money floating around it’s good to know there are cars like the Holden Cruze SRi. Not because they are cheap, there are cheaper cars that will comfortably carry a load of groceries from the Pack N Don’t Save to your humble abode. But with a retail price of $36,900, the SRi as tested is nothing to be sneezed at. It’s good because of a couple of things, depreciation and economy. (more…)

Captivate The Family

Posted: October 19, 2011 in Holden, New Car Reviews


Being in the market for a seven seater myself I was fairly excited to get my hands on the 2011 Series II Holden Captiva 7 CX, although it was in the back of my mind that this could very well be another poorly built re-badged Opel/Vauxhall. Oddly I was totally, completely and utterly wrong, that doesn’t happen often, unless you ask my wife of course.  The Holden Captiva was developed by GM’s South Korean division, Daewoo, sold internationally as a Chevrolet Captiva and the same platform is used in Europe for the Opel Antara. Thankfully though the Australasian specification derivatives are Australian built and individual for our markets, the quality is a huge improvement on other Holden models, previous and current.



Optima Prime

Posted: September 28, 2011 in All, Kia, New Car Reviews

Well this was a test drive with a difference. Unfortunately I wasn’t in a position to complete a thorough test as per usual along a typical ‘B’ road out to some fantastic Auckland location with a scenic back drop that’ll help create photo’s that compliment how good the 2011 Kia Optima is. Pretty much the extent of this test drive consisted of heavy motorway traffic after picking the car up, constant trips between home and the hospital thanks to our seven week young son coming down with bronchiolitis, with the odd trip to the day job for good measure, and more motorway traffic taking the car back. The photo’s themselves were a rush job on the way to drop the car off.


Honey, I Shrunk The i45.

Posted: September 11, 2011 in All, Hyundai, New Car Reviews

Hyundai’s Elantra was introduced in 1990, initially called the Lantra in this part of the world due to the confusion caused with the Australian built Mitsubishi Magna Elante. The second generation Lantra was launched locally in the mid 1990’s with a 1.6, 1.8 and later a 2.0 litre engine that proved to be a very popular car with fleet suppliers due to its reasonable price, cheap maintenance costs and reliability. Good examples of the Lantra can be bought at very affordable prices although they don’t quite tickle everyone’s fancy. I have been known to laugh at them myself and wonder how someone could bring themselves to buy one. In reality they aren’t all that bad.

The '90's Lantra. Not everyones cup of tea.


One For The Lifestyler

Posted: April 19, 2011 in All, Hyundai, New Car Reviews

Waiting at the Hyundai head office for the ix35 to be made ready for my week of testing I couldn’t help thinking ‘I’m going to look like an iPod carrying, iPhone yapping, iPad tapping Ponsonby ponce driving around in a four by four that will, no doubt, only go as far off road as driving over a curb, accidentally. 90% of these ‘off road’ vehicles sold will only ever see tarmac and the only gravel they might see will be one of the numerous, unnecessary, patches of road the NZTA sees fit to repair during rush hour.


Proof Of Evolution

Posted: February 15, 2011 in All, Hyundai, New Car Reviews

It all started in 1985 when Hyundai released the Sonata. It was a revamped version of the Stellar that actually wasn’t all that stellar. The Sonata was certainly nothing to write home about either, also pretty much every Sonata after that. Not to mention other models in the Hyundai range: Pony, Excel, Accent, Elantra and so on. Not that they were ever unreliable in fact they appear to be very reliable indeed hence you still see many of them on our roads daily, unexcitingly meandering along taking their occupants from point A to point B. These ‘80’s and ‘90’s Hyundai’s were bland, boring and very unsafe should their occupants be unfortunate enough to have an altercation with one of the many drivers on our roads that can’t, um, drive.


Grunt Without The Thirst

Posted: November 10, 2010 in All, Holden, New Car Reviews

2010 Holden Commodore VE Berlina Series II 3.0 V6 SIDI

It was with some feeling of expectation that I approached the new three litre V6 Berlina with all the hype surrounding the new SIDI (Spark Ignition Direct Injection) engine I had high hopes of a powerful and economical drive over the next few days.

Thankfully I wasn’t disappointed. Even with my heavy footed style of driving and plenty of that stop start city driving I was pleased to see the trip computer reading around 12.3 litres per 100k’s, factory claim is 9.3 which should be easily achievable on the open road.