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Motorist

2017 Land Rover Discovery Launch in August

2017 land rover discovery launch
Prices and Australian model information released in advance. The fifth-generation Discovery adds a list of clever features designed to bolster its practicality credentials. Available in both five and seven seat configurations, the new Discovery range starts at $65,960 for the base Td4 S, stretching all the way north of $130,000 for the limited-run Td6 First Edition. Three engine options are available for the new model – two 2.0-litre four-cylinders, and a 3.0-litre V6 – all fu...
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5 Year+ Wait for V12 Ferrari 812

Ferrari V12
Thinking of ordering a Ferrari 812 Superfast? - don’t bother. The company has revealed demand for its new $610,000 V12 flagship is so high that it has enough orders to account for its entire five year life-cycle, plus 50 percent. Ferrari Australia CEO Herbert Appleroth told Wheels Ferrari’s situation of record demand fighting limited supply is now “beyond funny” and is investigating ways to address the issue, which isn’t only spawning multi-year wait times but seeing many customers...
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The Fiat Abarth 124 Spider in Japan

Fiat Abarth 124 Spider
Is the Fiat 124 an MX-5 Copy? Italian Mazda makes Japanese sit up and take notice. I’m at the wheel of a bright blue Fiat Abarth 124 Spider and next to me, squashed unceremoniously into the passenger seat, his expansive 180kg frame spilling into my side of the intimate cabin, sits a mostly naked and very sweaty sumo. This is central Tokyo on a baking 32-degree day and, as I reverse our car down a narrow one-way street towards a tiny Italian restaurant, I realise we’re causing a ...
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ANCAP Safety Rating – Old v New Cars

ANCAP safety test
Old cars four times as deadly as new - ANCAP https://youtu.be/azrpgvbOMq4 THE Australasian New Car Assessment Program (ANCAP) has conducted a comparison test between two Toyota Corollas – one new, the other 19 years old – to demonstrate the difference in safety technologies between now and then. The two vehicles were subjected to a frontal offset crash test carried out at 64km/h, with ANCAP chief executive officer James Goodwin stating the test “physically illustrates the benefits of newe...
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Oils ain’t Oils

oils
What do engine oil codes mean? Choosing engine oil options at a motor products shop, or knowing what your workshop is putting in your car, is a challenge.  The motor oil in your car has a critical role to perform and just seconds without the lifeblood of the engine will spell disaster, so checking the level and condition should be at the top of your regular check list as well as making sure you are using the correct grade. A DIY oil and filter change or a simple top up is a good...
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Car Brands Best Reputations

best car brands
Mazda comes out on top! A trio of Australia’s favourite carmakers are keeping company among the top 15 most reputable businesses on red dirt, as identified by the annual AMR Corporate Reputation Index. Mazda was the highest ranked car brand sitting overall in position two of the top 60, Toyota was close behind in fourth place, while Hyundai rounded out the three most trusted car brands in 15th place. All three earned recognition as ‘Strong’ performers among 26 organisations tha...
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2017 Civic Hatch Here Now!

Honda Civic Hatch
 The new Civic, launched here in sedan form just under a year ago. The hatch has arrived to stand alongside it's brother in Australian showrooms. WHAT IS IT For the past two generations, the Honda Civic hatch has been more of a half-brother to the Civic sedan than a direct relative. Based on Jazz underpinnings and built in the UK, it was literally a world apart from its Thai-sourced sedan contemporary. But now, in its tenth-generation, the Civic range is back to ...
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New Mazda CX-3 Review 2017

Mazda CX3
Evolution, not Revolution, is the way forward. WHAT IS IT? Launched in 2015, Australia’s best-selling small SUV and has just received an update that lacks aesthetic changes but addresses the CX-3’s few weaknesses, including ride refinement and road noise. WHY WE’RE TESTING IT The Mazda 2-based crossover ticked a lot of boxes when launched in 2015 and deserved its place at the top of its segment. But two years is a long time in the SUV world and newcomers such as the Toyota C-...
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Ferrari F40 Bonfire!

Ferrari Bonfire
Jon Hunt, British billionaire, was not happy last month as his Ferrari F40 flamed out. One of just eight such cars built, the F40 was on its way to Maranello to pick up Hunt’s latest vehicle, a LaFerrari Aperta. There was little to laugh about as the F40 display car from the 1987 Frankfurt Motor Show went up in smoke. This car was the sixth of the F40 prototypes that were used by the factory for testing, each with an individual purpose or application. Original Michelotto build sheet...
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State speed limits increased – US state that is….

State speed limits increased in Michigan
MICHIGAN will increase speed limits on over 2000km of roads next month because drivers already travel faster than the current limits. The Detroit Free Press reported overnight that almost 1000km of the state’s rural roads would bump the speed limit from 70 mph to 75 mph – the Aussie equivalent of ditching 110km/h in favour of 120km/h – while a further 1400km would have its speed limits raised from the equivalent of 90km/h to 105km/h. THE FIRST OF THE SPEED SIGN CHANGES WILL START TO ...
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Driver’s Car Comparison

S4 vs AMG C43
 CM3 and C63 too rich for you? Never fear, we've got the answer!. When it comes to powerful luxury sedans, just how much do you really lose by stepping down to the circa-$100K zone? Do the Audi S4 quattro and Mercedes-AMG C43 4matic sit forever in the shadow of the heavier-hitting Alfa Romeo Giulia QV, BMW M3 and Mercedes-AMG C63, or are they plenty of car for most people, most of the time? It’s handy that the S4 and C43 have ample design distinctions both inside and out, because...
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SUV Comparison – CX-5 v Tiguan v Forester

SUV Comparison - CX-5 v Tiguan v Forester
A sales heavyweight battle for the mid-size SUV's. The quest by manufacturers 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?The dramatic drop in sales of medium and large sedans certainly has nothing to do with their breadth of ability.But th...
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Alfa v BMW vs AMG Road Test

QV vs M3 vs C63
QV vs M3 vs C63 .......Interesting! I attempt to hold station with a well-driven Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio. The Italian car is all sinew and suppleness, as if gently pressed to the road’s ruts, compressions and decreasing radius corners by a benign celestial hand. The Mercedes-AMG C63 S I’m driving instead adopts a different philosophy, attempting to bludgeon Australia’s impertinent topography into submission through sheer surfeit of Newton metres; hopping, kicking, shunting and w...
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Top of the Range Colorado vs Range

Colorado vs Range
Crew Cab 4X4 Utes are bought by many Australians as work and play combos. Range-topping dual-cab utes with delusions of passenger-car grandeur – trying to be all things to all people is a hard thing to master. The original ’48 Holden did it. Roomy enough for six, light enough to be both lively and fuel-efficient, yet strong enough to tackle much of what the unpaved Aussie Outback could throw at it, the monocoque-bodied ‘humpy’ Holden was a bit like Hugh Jackman dressed in an Akub...
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Toyota FT-4X: Funky SUV

Toyota FT-4X
Toyota is looking for a gap in the small SUV segment. Based on the underpinnings of the C-HR small SUV, the FT-4X amps up the off-road ability and chunky design with an FJ Cruiser-inspired look, right down to the nose that eschews the Toyota stylised badge for one that spells out the brand across the badge. Created following weeks of interviews with “outdoorsy millennials” from the San Francisco Bay area, the FT-4X has low-range gearing and a mechanical four-wheel drive system (inste...
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New A-Class Mercedes Concept

A Class Mercedes concept
Shanghai Motor Show reveals an all new style. Concept A is an appetiser for the A-Class sedan expected to join the MFA family as part of the platform's second-gen roll-out, which will start with the updated A-Class hatch later this year. Its deliberately minimal styling approach features a side profile notably free of the tucked and folded body lines seen on other Benz models, following the example set by the recently launched E-Class Coupe. “The time of creases is over,” said...
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BMW 340i M Performance Review 2017

BMW 340i M
  Would you consider an "almost" M3 to save $$$$$s? It’s a quandary. After all, the M3 is a highly-accomplished and incredibly focused sports sedan, but that’s perhaps its greatest issue. To some, it may be too focused. So, could a roided-up BMW 340i M  step in as a more street-friendly (and budget-friendly) package? BMW’s M Performance catalogue may provide the answer. WHAT IS IT? A regular ol’ BMW 340i sedan, except enhanced with a range of dealer-fit go-fast products from BMW’s ...
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World’s Fastest SUV

Quick SUV
THE Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk is definitely on steroids! Boasting a 527kW/874Nm supercharged 6.2-litre V8, the Trackhawk will be even more powerful than the 430kW/760Nm twin-turbo 5.5-litre V8 under the bonnet of the Mercedes-AMG GLE63 S. It will also hand the quick German a serve of humble pie, sprinting from 0-100km/h in just 3.6 seconds, a whole 0.6sec quicker than the Benz. The 2.2-tonne beast will also hit  top speed of 290km/h for one very memorable school run. Stopp...
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Stop Thiefs Picking Your Car

Car theft in action
Simple Thief Stopping Do's & Dont's More than 55,000 cars were stolen between September 2015 and 2016, of which 44,701 were passenger cars, and Victoria rated as the most susceptible state for car thefts. With $500 million worth of cars stolen in this country, Australians are warned to take extra precautions to keep their vehicles (and themselves) safe against car theft. We take a look at ways you can outsmart the thieves and avoid filling out those pesky insurance claims....
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Unleaded or Premium Petrol?

Unleaded petrol?
Normal Unleaded fuel may cost less but it might not be best for your engine or wallet   With so many different grades of petrol to choose from and virtually no information explaining why 98 RON fuel costs about 20 cents per litre more than 91 RON, why would anyone top up with the most expensive option? The RON or Research Octane Number indicates the octane rating of the petrol and the fuel’s ability to withstand a combustion anomaly known as detonation. The mechanics of what is happen...
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Show Darlings from Geneva Motor Show

Honda Civic
The nine cars you can afford to buy As usual Geneva was full of eye candy concept cars, but there was plenty of near production or close to cars, to whet the appetite! International auto expos such as the Geneva Motor Show are great fun to attend. As one of the bigger events on the calendar, Geneva rarely disappoints car fans thanks to a reliable flow of high-end, mega-dollar supercars and wild concepts gracing the show floor each year. This year’s show was no different, but mix...
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Is 2017 Daniel Ricciardo’s?

Daniel Ricciardo
Could Daniel Ricciardo become the first Australian Formula One World Champion since Alan Jones in 1980? He’s got the dream drive, with Red Bull Racing likely to benefit from the sport’s technical regulation revamp that will see this year’s cars between 3-6 seconds a lap faster. The team’s chief technical officer, Adrian Newey, is the most successful designer in F1 history with 10 championship-winning cars to his name. He’s got that searing qualifying pace, as demonstrated with his ra...
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SUV’s Outsold Passenger Vehicles in February

SUV
SUVs in Australia are the top selling passenger type for the first time. The sales numbers for February 2017 reveal a dramatic 12.2 percent drop in sales of sedans, hatches and wagons, contributing to an overall 7.7 percent slide in a new-car market that’s bounced from record to record in recent years. Even sales of SUVs dropped when compared with the record February 2016 result, but there was enough interest in the growing range to keep sales ahead of the more traditional passenger ...
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Great Drives for Little Money

Toyota 86
Sub $40,000 cars to make you smile. Holden Astra RS-V From: $30,740 The sporty range-topping Holden Astra is powered by a 1.6-litre four-cylinder turbo petrol engine that pushes out 147kW. It’s quick off the mark, particularly in Sport mode, which adjusts engine tune, suspension and electronic steering for even better handling. The steering has been tuned for Australian conditions and the new chassis provides excellent body control. It comes with a choice of six-speed manual o...
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Isuzu D-Max Ups the Offering

Isuzu
Improvements are Significant ISUZU’S facelifted D-Max one-tonne ute range has arrived in Australia with a cleaner, gruntier new engine coupled to six-speed manual or automatic transmissions in place of the old five-speed units. More standard equipment, additional noise and vibration deadening, subtly updated styling and, for the first time, a capped-price servicing offer also come with the update. Behind the restyled bonnet, front bumper, radiator grille and headlights is a heavily revise...
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MX-5 Safety Rating

Mazda MX5 RF
ANCAP Rates Mazda MX-5 Hardtop - 5 Stars MAZDA’S just-launched MX-5 RF retractable hardtop has been awarded the same five-star safety rating as its drop-top twin. The hardtop version of Mazda’s popular sportscar rolled in to Australian showrooms last month, offered in base and GT guises, priced from $38,550 plus on-road costs and topping out at $45,890. The Australasian New Car Assessment Program has transferred the same five-star rating and score on the RF as the rag-top model, with both...
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2017 Porsche 911 GTS Review

Porsche Carrera GTS
Porsche 911 Carrera GTS WHAT IS IT? Another variation on the current 991.2 version of the iconic 911 sports car. What makes the GTS different is a dash of added power (and noise), extra distance between the rear wheels, a fraction less ground clearance and lashings of Alcantara inside. This specification is to be offered in Coupe, Cabriolet and Targa bodies.WHY WE’RE TESTING IT To find out, some way ahead of the GTS’s Australian launch, if this is a worthy addition to the already length...
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Diesel Engines Days are Numbered

the end of diesel?
Volkswagen didn't help, but are not to Blame The company’s emissions-cheating scandal has certainly gathered headlines, and earned it a pants-down walloping in the U.S., but the truth is that compression-ignition’s death warrant had been signed long before VW got busted. A decade from now diesel is going to look like a blip, the result of some collective European hysteria and – undoubtedly – the wrong answer to the question it was intended to solve. Europe’s love affair with oil-garg...
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New Toyota Kluger

New Toyota Kluger model
Some noteworthy improvements for 2017 TELL ME ABOUT THIS CAR Since its launch in Australia three years ago, the third-generation Toyota Kluger has been a big seller in Australia because of its size, packaging, pricing, ease of operation, and brand reputation for reliability and resale. With the MY17 facelift, the company builds on that with small but important updates to the V6 powertrain to improve both performance and economy, including an all-new eight-speed automatic transmission, ...
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New Mazda MX-5 RF Hardtop

New Mazda MX5
 Mazda MX5 Retractable Fastback A classier, more universally appealing version of Mazda’s revered and accessible sports car manages to keep the faith. WHAT IS IT? Mazda’s brilliant ragtop roadster range has diversified and grown to include the Mazda MX-5 Retractable Fastback (RF), Mazda’s second attempt at a folding hard-top for its iconic sports car, but with a greater focus on coupe aesthetics and maturity. WHY WE’RE TESTING IT Mazda worked off the flab and went back to basics with it...
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