The Wheel Deal’s New Wheels!

My 1999 Suzuki TU250 “Volty”

Time for something a little different. You see, the problem with reviewing cars is, you have to pick them up. Despite that sounding like a first world problem, it can be a real pain in the ass trying to arrange people to pick you up and drop you off as a “favour”, especially when all of the motoring manufacturers are rudely located on the other side of Auckland from where I live.  Read the rest of this entry »

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Jimny Crickets! It’s a really bad pun, but a really good 4WD!

Believe it or not, until 2012, you know, this year, the end of the world and all that, I had never driven a Suzuki Jimny. I was actually really looking forward to driving this little fella, despite the fact that it’s practically the same car that rolled out of the factory over a decade ago. Afterall, how does the old saying go? “If it ain’t broken, don’t fix it!” Read the rest of this entry »

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It’s a diesel. GET OVER IT : Part 2 (Pics via BMW)

Eighteen months ago, I was sitting here ranting and raving about the 118d, a mighty little car from a little-known manufacturer that you may not have heard of… BMW. And here I am again, not only am I still grinning from my original run in with the German lightweight, but beaming even wider, after having driven the all new model. I do not know how they did it, but those clever beggars from Munich have managed to take a simply brilliant car and make it… um… brillianter. Read the rest of this entry »

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Menage-a-car – Japan vs Korea vs Austral… erm, Korea

Welcome, one and all to a battle of epic proportions… well, maybe more a slight scuffle between three of the modern world’s automotive lightweights.

Stepping into the ring will be the Suzuki Swift LTD automatic, representing Japan; the Kia Rio Automatic for Korea and last, but not least (actually it may be least, read on…), the Holden Barina hatch manual for Australia… um, make that Korea also, since it’s manufactured there by GM/Daewoo. So, which car is best? Read the rest of this entry »

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The Skoda Superb – Can it live up to its name? – Images courtesy of Skoda

Well, now… naming your creation “Superb” is a bit egotistical, isn’t it? That’s a bit like me naming my first-born Dan the Magnificent, or claiming to be the Messiah (which I still think I might be… I vaguely remember walking on water the other night). Read the rest of this entry »

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Apologies, apologies! Back in full swing very soon!

You may have been wondering where the hell I have been for the past couple of months… no I haven’t been abducted by rabid zombie donkeys, nor have I quit writing about cars… in fact, I have been driving many. Read the rest of this entry »

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Mazda CX-9 – Like a CX-7, only bigger, and much, MUCH better!!!

Truth be told, the Mazda CX-7 sports SUV leaves me a bit cold… in the FWD form, anyway. It has a cheap interior, underwhelming performance and drinks the liquid gold faster than Cher goes through wigs. Sure, the 4WD version is a bit of fun and both look the part, but they don’t quite pull off what Mazda intended – creating the perfect blend of sports car and SUV.  Read the rest of this entry »

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It’s not just a Pretty Face – The Kia Optima (Photos courtesy Kia NZ)

A while back, I drove Hyundai’s rather ugly, yet rather brilliant, i45, and was thoroughly impressed by the levels of comfort and handling offered up in a  sub-fifty-thousand-dollar car. Kia’s offering utilises the same running gear as the i45, yet it manages to do it with even more style and at a more attractive price. Read the rest of this entry »

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It’s nearly here! I got my grubby little hands on Forza Motorsport 4!

I’ve had the pleasure of playing one of the greatest racing titles of all time, over this last week. I was given this opportunity by NZGamer.com, so head on over and check out the full review of this incredible Xbox360 title!

http://nzgamer.com/x360/reviews/1447/forza-motorsport-4.html

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Skoda’s Green Goblin – The Fabia vRS

The first car I was ever introduced to was a Skoda. My father had purchased his first brand new car, a ghastly orange Skoda 100, an under-powered, rear-engined monstrosity that, let’s face it, didn’t exactly set the motoring world alight. Read the rest of this entry »

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Peugeot RCZ – A 65k Supercar? – Photos by Rowan McKay

You’ve heard the saying “words don’t do it justice”, right? Well in the case of the RCZ, Peugeot’s latest sports coupe offering, it’s the pictures that leave you feeling a little underwhelmed… until you see it in the flesh.

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Holden Sparks it Up! – Photos by Rowan McKay

And by the title of the story, I don’t mean that the general manager has given out packs of “Kronic” to his employees as an annual bonus… no, I refer to the newest iteration of the Barina, the Spark.

Look, I know I'm funky, because I'm in front of a graffiti wall!

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The Tale of the Kia Sportage and the Magic Mirror – Photos by Rowan McKay

After having just stepped out of the incredible 140k VW Touareg, you might think that the 47k SUV offering from Kia would be well and truly ruined. But you’d be wrong. Sure, it doesn’t have a whopping great V8, and it may also come with that tell-tale lower end “new car smell”, but this is a proper SUV with decent off-road capabilities, and costs less than the average family sedan (if you opt for LX 4×2 model at $33,990). And what’s more, it possesses a little bit of magic.

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A 325kW Banana! Photos by Rowan McKay

As a long time Commodore fanboy, I was, believe it or not, not particularly looking forward to getting behind the wheel of the new HSV GTS. Firstly, I’d recently driven the new FPV range and it wasn’t exactly at the back of my mind that HSV would have to pull out something pretty darned special to get anywhere near the Fords.

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The VW Touareg V8 TDI – 250 KiloWHATS?!?!

SUVs are all the rage, these days. I’d know, I seem to get nothing else to review! And honestly, until I’d met the Skoda Yeti, I wasn’t quite sure I’d ever properly like one.

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This Holden SV6 may be Blue, but it is also Very Green

Ah, the Commodore, a car that brings back some great childhood memories. This is the car, along with the Chevy Corvette, that stood out from all the others as the vehicle I wanted to drive “when I grew up”.

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The 2k11 Ford Fiesta Zetec – It’s Party Time! Or is it? Pics courtesy Ford NZ

A couple of months back I was given a sparkling blue Ford Fiesta manual to pilot so that I could etch the driving experience into my brain and make the applicable comparisons when handed the 2k11 model. Step forward in time and now in my driveway sits a shiny red 2011 model, only this time, sporting Ford’s new PowerShift® transmission, complete with one more cog than the manual offering!

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Kia Cerato 5-Door – The Power to Surprise, or Surprising Power? Pics Courtesy Kia NZ

Automotive distributors have this amazing ability to supply the press with extremely boringly coloured vehicles, usually grey, silver, white if they are feeling a little frisky, or the well hated, photo-destroying, light-sucking BLACK.

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He’s not an F1 champ, but his name is Sebastian and he loves the Pug 308 GTi.

So, I’m on my way to the Auckland airport when I notice some dude in a black, mid-2000s Volkswagen Golf GTi shadowing me on the left hand lane. I’m not sure how long he’d been there, how long he’d been staring, or if he’d seen my world renowned headbanging to the Kings of Leon… but I found it creepy and I wanted it to be over. Read the rest of this entry »

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BMW 320d – Doin’ it Diesel… Again.

Recently I brought you the rundown on the absolutely incredible BMW 118d. Now, I have in my hands (okay, I have actually given it back) another diesel bimmer, this time in the shape of a 3 Series. Is it as good as its younger brother? Well… it’s different.

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