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Motorist

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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Electric Cars – Let’s Consider All the Questions

Nissan electric car
  Interesting Question - If electric cars do not use gasoline, they will not participate in paying a gasoline tax on every litre that is sold for automobiles, (which was enacted some years ago to help to maintain our roads and bridges). They will use the roads, but will not pay for their maintenance! Who will bear the burden? In case you were thinking of buying hybrid or an electric car: Ever since the advent of electric cars in the USA, the REAL cost per mile of those things h...
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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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Hyundai i30N v VW Golf GTI – Review

Hyundai i30N v VW Golf GTI
Hyundai v GTI - really?  Memories of my favourite hot hatch in the seventies – the 1975 Volkswagen Golf GTI. By today’s standards, the 1.6-litre fuel injected Dub is not fast, taking a glacial 9.0 seconds to get from zero to 100km/h, but if you can find an original Mk 1 GTI and an owner willing to let you have a thrash, you’ll find it to be enormously good fun regardless of the era you are driving it in. Perhaps that’s why, after 43 years and seven and a half generati...
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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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Your New Car Should Be This Safe

What safety equipment should I expect in my new car in 2018?
Here is what you should have in your next new car The days are long gone when airbags and three-point seat belts were considered high-end safety kit for cars. The technology used to keep motorists safe has evolved rapidly over the past 20 years, which is fantastic news for car buyers, but what features should be non-negotiable and what features are merely icing on the safety cake? In Australia some tech is legislated to be mandatory for passenger cars – such as electronic stabili...
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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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Mid-Size SUV Comparison

Mid-Size SUV Comparison
Here's the brief: create a mid-sized SUV that does what all families expect and still present driving dynamics along the way. But somehow the quest to take a slice of the most popular segment of the fastest growing vehicle type in the country has delivered carparks full of mediocrity - for years. It’s especially pertinent when you look at the fantastic options on offer in the family sedan and wagon market: Volkswagen Passat or Mazda 6 anyone? Then there’s Holden’...
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Kia Picanto – Extended Test

Kia Picanto
This is a surprising car! It was an innocent query from a co-worker: “So, how’s life with the Picanto going as a long termer?” Yet it was a question that caused a bit of soul searching for myself and my little Korean companion. “Brilliant!” was my reply. And I was serious. For the past three months I’ve seriously enjoyed my time with the Kia Picanto. But that wasn’t a satisfactory answer for old mate. “Come on! Surely there is something you don’t like about it so far? It ca...
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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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Holden or Chevrolet for Australia?

Holden dealership
Both is the answer HOLDEN won’t become Chevrolet. Holden insists that Chevrolet is an addition to the stable in Australia, not a sign of a name change. Holden showrooms will add Chevrolet-badged Silverado trucks and Camaro sports coupes from next year after the brand’s go-fast division, HSV, last week announced it would convert Chev-badged vehicles from left-hand drive and sell them through Holden’s distribution channels – the same channels it used when it created amped-up versions of th...
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2018 Jeep Trackhawk with 522 KW – OMG!

2018 Jeep Trackhawk
The Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk sports a 6.2-litre supercharged Hemi V8-engine - in an SUV! Jeep Australia last night pulled the wraps off what will stand as the third most powerful vehicle sold here, and the most powerful SUV globally. It will burst from 0-100km/h in 3.7 seconds, and wind out all the way to a top speed of 289km/h. Oh, and did we mention it would cost just $134,900? That’s at the very low end of media speculation over pricing. “This is seriously good v...
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Which Kia Stinger For You?

Priced From $45,990 The Kia Stinger is a stylish and very well equipped four-door sports sedan with a sleek coupe-like roofline. It comes with a choice of 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo or 3.3-litre twin-turbo V6 petrol engines, with the latter providing impressive performance. It has a sophisticated and spacious cabin that’s comfortable for long-distance cruising. What might bug me? The scratches on the leather steering wheel caused by y...
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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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Stinger 330Si versus Commodore SS V

Stinger 330Si
The answer to the demise of V8 muscle cars from Holden and Ford? Kia’s Stinger looks like a worthy adversary. It may have two fewer cylinders than the outgoing Commodore SS V, but in almost all other key areas it looks tantalisingly like it is ready to step up to the plate. Similar to the Commodore, it has rear drive, four-doors and a big boot, and the Stinger competes on both price and power. But, does it stack up on tarmac as well as it does on paper? PERFORMANCE The Commo...
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Driver Training Will Save Lives

Learning to drive properly saves lives
Professional advice states learn skills, shed bad habits, and gain better attitude! Safety first: Murcott’s Driving Excellence chief executive Geoff Thomas says more driver training will help lower crash rates in Australia. DRIVER training can help fleets cut crash rates by more than 30 per cent, but governments are still refusing to incorporate realistic training into the driver licencing process, according to a leading driver training executive. The rel...
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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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