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Latest News

Sedans Compared – from Ford, Holden, Hyundai, Kia & Toyota

five sedans compared
SUVs leave you a little cold? Newly refreshed sedan talent is definitely worth a look! WE REALLY shouldn’t take it personally. Sliding sales of medium to large cars may have pulled the manufacturing rug out from under the Aussie-made Mitsubishi 380, Ford Falcon, Toyota Camry and Holden Commodore over the last decade, but it’s a global phenomenon affecting every developed market in the world. Facing a juggernaut of SUV aspiration, car sales are faltering – especially mainstream ...
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Autonomous Car Trials in Victoria – Issues!

Autonomous Car Trials
A study has shown much work yet to be done! MELBOURNE’S freeways are encouraging automated cars to break the speed limit, confusing them to the point where they don’t think there is one, according to the results of a country-first trial. The results, published by toll road operator Transurban, relate to more than 4900km of testing clocked up behind the wheel of 12 different vehicles from six different manufacturers. The stage one tri...
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Mercedes C200 Due August 2018

Mercedes C200 due in August
Major high tech engine change in the baby C-Class. WHAT IS IT? This is the freshly updated version of the fifth-gen Mercedes-Benz C-Class sedan that will begin arriving in Australia from August. The C200 will be the most affordable model in the line-up, though that doesn’t mean it’s the least appealing. This time around it debuts a brand-new engine with 48V mild hybrid technology. WHY WE’RE TESTING IT Aussies buy more C200s than any o...
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 The Mission – Find Takata Airbag Escapees

Takata airbag search
Large Numbers of Cars Needing Replacement Airbags are Off The Radar! THE Takata airbag scandal, which remains an unprecedented automotive disaster that continues to plague car manufacturers and disrupt dealership service department workflows, is finding some unlikely allies in the thankless task of tracking down recalcitrant owners with the potentially deadly airbags still in their cars. Thwarted by limited replacement parts and thousands of unidentified missing veh...
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Ferrari – Sizzling Speed with EV Powertrain

Ferrari badge
Electric Prancing Horse - Surely Not? FERRARI is working on EV powertrains... for now only for Maserati. But it is only a matter of time until there's a new model from Maranello with a recharge port instead of a fuel filler. Here's why... Under a plan outlined in Italy on Friday, Maserati will soon drop diesel engines. It will produce only plug-in petrol-electric hybrid and pure battery-powered vehicles. And Ferrari will supply the powertrains for all of them. The Fe...
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New Mazda 6 Turbo

Mazda have refreshed the everlasting 6 and introduced a turbocharged engine option. WHAT IS IT? Mazda has lifted the turbocharged engine from its 2017 Wheels Car of the Year-winning CX-9 SUV and slotted it into up-spec versions of the heavily facelifted 2018 Mazda 6 range, in conjunction with a swathe of engineering and aesthetic changes to its mid-size sedan and wagon. WHY WE’RE DRIVING IT It’s the first turbocharged Mazda 6 since the short-lived, manual-only 2005-07 MPS...
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Jaguar & Volvo Small SUV Match-Up

Jaguar v Volvo SUV
Luxury in a Small Package - We Compare Two of Europe's Latecomers A DECADE ago, luxury cars were a niche market. The top four manufacturers – Audi, BMW, Lexus and Mercedes-Benz – and their kind, including Jaguar, commanded just one in 20 new-car sales. Fast-forward to today, and that figure has grown to around one in every 10. That’s almost mainstream. Much of that stellar growth in the luxury car segment has come from SUVs. Nowhere is that more apparent than in...
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The New Audi A6

The new Audi A6
With an eye on German competition, Audi has significantly upgraded driving dynamics and technology. AUDI has worked on the aesthetics, brain, brawn, and athleticism of its A6 sedan to bring it closer to its natural rivals. WHAT IS IT? The first new Audi A6 since 2011, this fifth-generation model brings greater cabin space and a diesel-heavy engine line-up. Audi’s attempting to stand out from the crowd with the A6 by adding a mild hybrid system acr...
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Aussie Supercar – Brabham BT62

Oz Super Car
Be proud, our most famous racing name - a supercar to catch the imagination - and made in Australia! THE Brabham BT62, a radical 522kW mid-engined supercar that will attempt to ensnare the hearts, minds – and bank accounts – of the world’s gentlemen drivers, will be crafted right here in Adelaide. Yep, you read that right. An all-new supercar with two solid years of engineering built into it, honed at Phillip Island and paying tribute to one of our motorsport greats, ov...
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Mazda BT-50 – Look at Me Now!

Mazda BT50 has a facelift
The Ute loses it's funny face and comes out smiling for 2018. IN AN attempt to remain relevant in a booming dual-cab market, Mazda Australia went to its bosses in Japan with plans to upgrade the front-end of its ageing BT-50 workhorse. Japan HQ ticked off the idea and provided Mazda Australia with the technical requirements the new BT-50 must meet, and Mazda Australia went to work redesigning the outgoing model’s front fascia, with the intention of adding sharper style line...
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New 2018 A-Class Mercedes

2018 A-Class Mercedes
  With as much safety tech as an S-Class and greater connectivity smarts than any of its stablemates, the new-generation Mercedes-Benz A-Class aims for the stars WHAT IS IT? The fourth generation in an A-Class lineage spanning 21 years and two distinct schools of thought in design terms – tall, innovatively packaged and utility focused (first and second gen); conventional but classy and more socially acceptable (generations three and four). Needless to say, t...
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2018 Lexus LS500 F Sport

Lexus LS500 Sport and luxury
Luxury and Sport by Lexus Review WHAT IS IT? The 2018 Lexus LS500 F Sport LS  pushes the boundaries of design and comfort like never before and sits at the very top of the Lexus tree. WHY WE’RE TESTING IT Lexus has dispensed with its ubiquitous atmo V8 for this iteration of its flagship sedan, replacing it instead with a muscular twin-turbo V6. The big question is; does the drop in cylinder count and engine capacity detract from what made the previous-generation Le...
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Mustang GT v Camaro SS

Mustang v Camaro
 Ford Mustang GT v Chevrolet Camaro SS comparison. The stunning show of colours is the result of a cool ocean on one side of the city, mountains on three others, something called an inversion layer and tonnes upon tonnes of vehicle exhaust belched into the atmosphere every day. Californians are addicted to their cars and the atmosphere bears the scars. The spectacularly beautiful people are another example of a superficially pretty veneer masking an uglier reality....
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Ford Fiesta ST coming next year

Ford Fiesta ST
Ford Fiesta ST   In approximately 12 months the next-generation Ford Fiesta ST will arrive on our shores. The new ST will feature a more powerful 147kW/290Nm 1.5-litre three-pot EcoBoost engine and six-speed manual transmission, with performance further enhanced by light-weight cutting-edge chassis technology and advanced aerodynamics. Ford Performance claims the three-door will sprint from 0 to 100km/h in just 6.7 seconds, 0.3-seconds faster than the 134kW/2...
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M5 Review 2018

M5 review 2018
Welcome back to the quintessential M5! WHAT IS IT? This is BMW’s sixth-generation of M5, dubbed F90. It’s the follow up to 2011’s fast but uncharismatic F10 and it seeks to raise the bar for performance while reconnecting with the M5 legend. WHY WE’RE TESTING IT We previewed the F90 M5 in prototype form almost a year ago, and now the fully fledged car is on Aussie terra firma it’s time to reacquaint ourselves. There was a time when an M5 was the ultimate t...
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Customer Satisfaction – Suzuki is Number One

Suzuki is Number One in customer satisfaction survey SUZUKI has claimed top honours in Canstar Blue’s 2018 overall satisfaction survey of new-vehicle buyers, beating out 14 other popular automotive brands to claim the maximum five stars. Toyota, Mazda, Hyundai, Honda, Volkswagen, Kia and Mercedes-Benz received four-star ratings, while Holden, Mitsubishi, Ford, Nissan, Subaru, BMW and Audi were assessed three stars each. BMW recorded the largest drop in overall satisfaction aft...
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The Demise of Diesel? Two Japanese Manufacturers Pave the Way!

the demise of diesel?
At the 2018 Geneva Motor Show the diesel engine was not looking at a bright future, if any future at all in passenger vehicles. Toyota and Subaru have both used the show to confirm that they will stop selling oil-burning engines in Europe – the former has always had an aversion to the fuel, and the latter has struggled with seamlessly adapting the technology to its boxer engines. Toyota used the launch of its new-generation Corolla small car at Geneva to announce that its new gener...
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Audi Q5 Selection

2017 Audi Q5
Which all-new Audi Q5 variant offers the best buy based on features, performance and value? Launched in July this year, the second-generation Audi Q5 is a sharp-looking luxury, five-seat SUV that steers and rides brilliantly on its efficient all-wheel drive chassis. It comes with a choice of fuel-efficient petrol and diesel engines both with seven-speed dual clutch automatic transmissions, and is brimming with standard features including automatic emergency braking and first-rate smartphone...
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The New Swift Sport

The new Swift Sport
Suzuki’s little hottie is a delight, and terrific value. The Suzuki Swift Sport has returned to our shores, with the all-new flagship of the fifth-generation Swift family rolling into Suzuki showrooms powered by a turbocharged powerplant for the first time. Priced from $25,490 for the six-speed manual variant and $27,490 for the six-speed auto, the Swift Sport  easily hangs onto its title of Australia’s cheapest hot hatch. Its nearest rival, the Volkswagen Polo GTI, retails...
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Australia’s Road Death Farce

Australia’s road death farce
  Political Ignorance Dominates Australia’s road toll rose to 1300 deaths last year, prompting governments and administrators to blindly push forward with plans for even more draconian emphasis on speeds and fining drivers. Not better training or licencing. In fact, the more-of-the same ‘single policy’ approach is bizarrely prompting governments to claim deaths on our roads can reduce to zero. An investigation Wheels has found a collective blinkered approach to road safety, with spe...
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New Kia Cerato Sedan Coming Soon

New Kia Cerato Sedan
The new small sedan from Kia has been shown in the USA show circuit. It should be launched in OZ as the Cerato sedan in the 2nd half of 2018. Kia’s big reveal at this year’s Detroit Motor Show was the new-generation Forte, a car which will arrive in Australia in the middle of this year with the steering wheel on the right side and Cerato badges on its bootlid. And when it gets here, it will give the Korean automaker a much-needed shot in the arm in the still-vital small car segme...
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Car of the Year – It’s Down to Three

2018 Wheels Car of the Year: The contenders
It's Down to Three Holden, Ford & Toyota no longer manufacture cars in Australia, but wait.......there is good news! After almost seven decades of continual passenger car production, we now face a future where everything on our four-wheeled landscape is fully imported. Like Donald Trump’s early morning Tweets, every time we pass a Ford Falcon, Holden Commodore or a Toyota Camry it’s a bittersweet reminder that our world is out of balance. But there is hope beyond the horizon...
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2018 Kia Sorento Facelift

2018 Kia Sorento Facelift
  Now with a Sport variant that will prove attractive. Kia has updated its third-generation Sorento SUV and while not much has changed in terms of size, space and exterior aesthetics it has had a significant technical makeover. TELL ME ABOUT THIS CAR The Sorento now has enhanced suspension and steering for improved ride and handling, a new eight-speed automatic transmission and advanced safety features including auto emergency braking. Inside, the seven-seat cabin has more soft-tou...
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Stinger 330si or Arteon 206TSI

Stinger 330si or Arteon 206TSI
How do they stack up against a Commodore SS-V Redline? An unbroken line of ’em, stretching back nearly four decades who’ve stood at a bowser before, refuelling Australian-built Commodores, jotting down records, meticulously checking tyre pressures and fluid levels before subjecting the car to the rigours of a Wheels road test. And I’ll be the last of them. Booking a Holden Commodore SS-V Redline on the week that local production wrapped up was always going to be loaded with poi...
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NSW Coppers in V8 Flyers

CHRYSLER’S V8-powered 300 SRT sedan
300 SRT Chrysler sedans look likely to be prowling the bitumen in NSW. An announcement in early 2018 to purchase hundreds of the high performance four-doors for use as highway patrol vehicles appears imminent. A source close to the deal has confirmed NSW Police has placed a “substantial” order for the SRT Core, a version of the 300 SRT created for Australia. Retailing for $65,000, the 300 Core sheds some of the luxury equipment of the regular 300 SRT but maintains the...
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iPhone and Android Smartphone Mirroring

iPhone and Android Smartphone Mirroring
 Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration with new cars is becoming increasingly commonplace, so here’s what you need to know about the emerging tech. Australians love adopting new tech, a fact highlighted by the massively high percentage of smartphone saturation in our nation compared to the rest of the world. Smartphone mirroring is becoming increasingly prevalent in new cars, with the feature becoming a major selling point for many models, including some of the cheap...
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2018 Holden Equinox SUV Has The Goods

The Captiva replacement is a huge leap forward WHAT IS IT? Holden’s all-new mid-size SUV, imported from Mexico, which replaces the five-seat Captiva. It’s expected to be one of Holden’s best-selling vehicles along with the Colorado and next-gen Commodore. WHY WE’RE TESTING IT The Holden Equinox has been through an extensive localisation regime at the hands of engineers both on the ground in Oz and during the car’s five years of development in North America. The Aussie brand says its ...
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2018 Hyundai Sonata Review

2018 Hyundai Sonata
UPGRADES? An updated version of Hyundai’s Sonata mid-size sedan that rivals the Toyota Camry, Mazda 6 and the incoming, imported Holden Commodore. This isn’t an all-new car, but rather a facelift that brings overhauled styling for a sportier look, important tech and safety upgrades and a revised two-tier model line-up that starts at $30,990 for the entry-level Active and tops out at $45,490 for the range-topping Premium model we’re driving here. WHY WE’RE DRIVING IT To see i...
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Tesla Burning Through the $$$$$$$$s

Tesla - $US620 million ($A804 million) loss in the three months to September - not something to be happy about. The thumping loss – accumulated losses over the last decade now total about $US10 billion, and only $US3.4b remains in the petty cash kitty – comes as Tesla announced another delay to production of the Model 3, the cheapest Tesla and the one that is tipped to generate the least profit for the California-based car maker. “The initial phase of manufacturing any new vehicle ...
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Mazda CX-9 Enhanced

Mazda CX9
Improvements for the Mazda CX-9 bring a price hike. Mazda isn’t resting on its laurels with its award-winning CX-9. Instead the Japanese car maker is introducing tweaks to the CX-9 to further improve handling with the addition of G-Vectoring Control (GVC) as standard across the range, alongside a raft of safety upgrades and measures to reduce NVH (noise, vibration, harshness) levels. Tweaks to the reigning Wheels Car of the Year see its pricing rise by $1400 across the whol...
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