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Car Buying Tips

Mercedes-Benz AMG CLA45 S

Mercedes-Benz AMG CLA45 S
The choice between the CLA45 S coupe and the A45 S hatchback is interesting. While the Mercedes-Benz AMG CLA45 S is mechanically very closely related to that of the A45 S hot hatch – hyper hatch if you like – it chases a rather different buyer. One looking purely for the driving experience has an easy choice: the hatch. It’s an action hero and it’s more than up to the task of entertaining. But it’s not exactly a sex symbol. Anyone who considers style an important aspect to a car w...
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Electric Cars Are Too Expensive To Make

Electric Cars are too expensive to make
Dyson spent a billion and gave up.....and Tesla burns billions.....   It sits beneath a dust cover in the back of a hangar in Hullavington, UK. James Dyson’s billion-dollar folly is an SUV with seven seats, sleek styling, some beautiful interior design quirks, a claimed range of 965km and no viable business case. See - Dyson's Electric Car Not Viable “Electric cars are very expensive to make. The battery, battery management, electronics and cooling are much more expens...
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Big Dollar SUV’s in the Mountains

Big Dollar SUV's in the Mountains
Having fun with these high-powered high-riders In ancient Rome, there were certain fabrics so delicate and finely stitched they were called subtilis, literally ‘underwoven’. From that term came the English word ‘subtle’, the notion of qualities understated or concealed. By and large, production cars aren’t long on subtlety. In order for a complex product to communicate its appeal, it is often the case that a certain heavy-handedness is required to hammer home the sell. Take high-per...
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Audi S6 – Tourer with Grunt

Audi S6
Here we go - a muscular Audi and the open road.... There’s no lairy wing at the back nor are the guards pumped to accommodate aggressively wide wheels and tyres, but then again Audi’s S-badged models have traditionally concealed their muscle so well you could argue the badge should stand for ‘Sleeper’ rather than ‘Sport’. So that’s how it is for the all-new fifth-generation S6 that again sets up a game of ‘spot-the-difference’ between it and the more junior A6 55TFSI, which ask...
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Compact SUV’s – Best of the Best

Compact SUV's comparisons
Compact SUV's Put To The Test Good design is thorough down to the last detail. Nothing must be arbitrary or left to chance. Care and accuracy in the design process show respect towards the user.” You may know this as one of Dieter Rams’ 10 principles of good design. Rams, one of the 20th Century’s great thinkers on industrial design, formulated these tenets in the 1980s but they’re as valuable today as they ever were, all underpinned by one central commandment: “Weniger,...
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Escape up North

Escape to Northern Territory
Time for an adventure in the Top End. AS THE colder months take hold in the southern states of Australia, a lot of us are thinking of escaping to the warmer climes of the north. At this stage, 2020 probably isn’t going to be a year for travel, but as you’re shivering in your Uggies this winter, start making plans to ensure some respite in the years ahead. The Top End of the Northern Territory is a destination on the bucket list of most, if not all 4x4 travellers. Not only does it offe...
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Volkswagen V8 Touareg

Twin-turbo diesel monster!
Twin-turbo diesel power from Bentley Bentayga for VW's premium Touareg Volkswagen has revealed a halo version of its already high-achieving Touareg large SUV that packs a mighty 900Nm twin-turbo V8 punch and can beat a Golf GTI in a drag race. Dubbed the V8 TDI R-Line, the latest addition to the Touareg line-up will appear in Australian showrooms in the fourth quarter of 2020, adding a flagship variant above the existing V6 diesel-only range. Key to the new Touareg’s p...
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Porsche Cayman GT4 Review

Porsche’s Cayman GT4
How Porsche’s Cayman GT4 shot for the moon but missed Perfection may well have to wait for the sharpest scalpel in Porsche’s portfolio Overall Rating Plus & Minus Plus - Stunning chassis; gutsy powerplant; aggro styling; capable on both road and track Minus - Hideous gear ratios; so-so acoustics; starting to feel a little dated inside; expensive The Wheels Verdict: The Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 isn’t without some fairly fundamental caveats, but the majo...
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The Very Popular Pub in the Paddock – Tasmania

Pub in the paddock
Definitely worthy of a visit when in Tassy. NESTLED in the quiet rural village of Pyengana, around two hours’ drive from Launceston or just one hour from St Helens, the Pub in the Paddock is a great place to wash away the dust (or mud) after a day’s four-wheel driving in some of Tassie’s most spectacular country. The Pub in the Paddock has been licenced since 1880, and today it’s managed by the friendly and entertaining Rowena and Scott Codyre. On the day we showed up at the fron...
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New Mazda CX-5

New Mazda CX 5 for 2020
More safety, tech, and comfort for this benchmark mid-size SUV. Mazda has updated its popular CX-5 mid-size SUV for 2020, bringing new safety technology, quieter components and new off-road capability, while slightly bumping the price up across the board. A core model for Mazda, and a favourite for Australians too, thankfully the CX-5 has scored a bunch of new kit to offset the extra outlay of money you'll have to spend at dealerships. Familiar model grades are retai...
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SUV 7 Seaters – Which One for You?

Best 7 seater review
The Santa Fe now has a V6, a 2-edged sword. The Mazda CX-9 is a favourite in the Wheels office. It wouldn’t be a Car of the Year winner if it wasn’t. However, the latest generation Santa Fe presents as strong competition – and now it’s endowed with 206kW of V6 power to take on the benchmark. So, which is best? EQUIPMENT AND VALUE At $51,000, the Elite designation renders this Santa Fe V6 variant the middle-ground, value-for-money proposition within the range. Still, it’s d...
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Ford Ranger is Top Dog for 4×4 Sales

Ford is top dog for 4x4 sales
Ford, Toyota, and Mitsubishi remain 4x4 sales charts leaders. The Ford Ranger, Toyota Hilux and Mitsubishi Triton once again occupy the three top spots in 4x4 sales according to the latest VFACTS report for February 2020. The Ford Ranger grabbed a whopping 25.7 per cent of the 4x4 ute segment in February, ahead of the Toyota Hilux with 23 per cent, leaving the others to fight for the other half of the segment. In year to date terms, Ford ha...
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Mazda CX-30 – A New Mazda SUV

2020 Mazda CX-30 G20 Touring review
Another SUV offering in the Mazda mix - The New Mazda CX-30 Overall Rating Plus & Minus  Plus - Striking design inside and out; high level of equipment; positive ownership proposition  Minus - Suspension firm on Aussie roads; getting expensive; no SkyActiv-X… yet The Wheels Verdict: Mazda’s upmarket push is continuing at pace, and the stylish CX-30 bolsters this movement. Yes, you pay a premium for it, but the luxurious cabin belies the Ja...
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BMW axes Diesel

BMW 3 Series
Diesel is "on the nose". DIESEL is fast regaining its infamous distinction as a dirty word with manufacturers dropping oilers from their respective line-ups down under. Frugal, small-capacity turbo petrol engines, hybrids, plug-in hybrids and full electric vehicles are becoming mainstays because of their economy, efficiency and emissions figures. BMW is the latest marque to axe a diesel variant, with the petrol-powered 320i...
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All New Mazda CX-30 – the Inbetweener

All new Mazda CX-30
Another Mazda Winner..... Plus & Minus  Plus - Striking design inside and out; high level of equipment; positive ownership proposition  Minus - Suspension firm on Aussie roads; getting expensive; no SkyActiv-X… yet The Wheels Verdict: Mazda’s upmarket push is continuing at pace, and the stylish CX-30 bolsters this movement. Yes, you pay a premium for it, but the luxurious cabin belies the Japanese brand’s traditional bad...
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Holden is Leaving!

Holden is leaving Australia
The rumours have crystallised.... The Holden brand will be retired by 2021 in Australia and local design and engineering departments will be shuttered, General Motors has confirmed. In what is monumental news for the Australian automotive industry, Holden’s Melbourne design studio and Lang Lang proving ground are expected to shut with up to 600 of 800 local jobs lost. GM President Mark Reuss said in a statement every effort had been made to retain the Holden brand. "At ...
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Ford Focus Active vs Subaru XV 2.0i-L

Ford Focus Active vs Subaru XV 2.0i-L
Ford's new entrant tackles the XV benchmark. The Contenders You’d have to think that just about all automotive niches have been filled these days, but Ford proves it’s not the case with the genre-jostling Focus Active. What it is, even according to the company, seems hard to define. However, it’s definitely not an SUV, hatchback or crossover. Yes, we’re still confused, too. For $29,990 you receive a mid-spec Focus with 34mm of  added ride height and some ‘look at me, I can go off-...
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Large Luxury SUV Comparison

The new Mercedes GLE is up for a battle IT’S A cold, misty morning on Melbourne’s Chapel Street. Traditionally a location heralded as a hot-spot of fashionable excess, the famed strip’s gentrification has fostered an environment where expensive boutiques now mingle with commonplace stores filled with pragmatism. In a weird irony, the three luxury SUVs we’ve assembled reflect the street in which they’re parked. All are family-friendly, diesel-powered rivals that pro...
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Reviewing the Mercedes-Benz GLC 300

Mercedes GLC 300 review
Ride, style and infotainment go up a notch..... Overall Rating Plus & Minus Plus - Massive infotainment boost; new petrol engines are perky; Exterior styling improvements Minus - Standard suspension falls short on Australian roads; cabin shows age; some MBUX features aren’t available. The Wheels Verdict: We criticised the pre-facelift GLC’s ride for being too firm on the car's standard steel-sprung suspension. The Series II facelift addresses that concern. The ...
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Using a Car Broker

Josie needs help buying a car
A hassle-free way to buy a car Josie Shaw had no idea that she could love the car-buying process. She wanted to buy a new car but her previous experiences in dealerships was leaving her feeling anxious. She was dreading the thought of running from dealer to dealer, looking to replace her 2015 Toyota Camry, when a personal vehicle-shopping service came to her attention. "I heard about car brokers from a friend who felt she wasn't getting the best deal at a dealership. I don't have time f...
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We assess the Holden Acadia

Holden Arcadia review
Holdens large SUV '- made in the USA...is it good enough? It has been three years since the large American-sourced Acadia SUV was confirmed to arrive in Australia rebranded as a Holden, with the big SUV finally launching Down Under 12 months ago. Expectations were high for the Acadia, set to join the market at a time when Holden needed a large SUV hero. Time then for Wheels to put the finger on the sales pulse to determine how things have progressed. The data in this article ...
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Best Selling Cars in Australia

one of the best sellers in Australia
Brief verdicts of the top ten best selling cars in Australia Want the no-frills, straight-to-the-point info on the ten best selling cars in Australia* but don’t want to wade through pages of road tests? Look no further. Let’s count ‘em down 10. Mitsubishi ASX VERDICT: A compact SUV of decidedly modest talent, but don’t underestimate the pull of something that’s reliable, fairly spacious and extremely cheap. Walk into a Mitsubishi dealer ...
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SUV or Wagon – Which is Best?

wagon or SUV?
There is a difference of opinion in our office... Wagon or SUV? If it were up to the buying public there is no contest, with SUV sales growing year on year at an incredible rate. But the buying public also meant the Minions movie grossed $1.16 billion US in 2015, so they have a proven record of poor decisions. For me, if there is an equivalently sized and priced wagon, I don’t see any good reason to opt for the SUV. Don’t get me wrong, there are good SUVs, the Whe...
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Hyundai Palisade is on the Way

8 seater coming to Australia
8 Seat Flagship In Australia soon. Hyundai will be bringing a new flagship model to Australian shores in the near future, with the Palisade large SUV confirmed for local sale. Sitting above the Santa Fe, the Palisade will rival the likes of the Mazda CX-9, and Toyota Kluger for size, and offers genuine eight-person hauling ability just like the Toyota LandCruiser Prado. The Palisade was previously only build in left-hand-drive,...
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Hyundai Venue – Alternative to a Used SUV

A great cheap SUV
20 Sep 2019 Reviews Hyundai Venue - Cheap it is. Overall Rating Plus & Minus  Plus - Bold styling; refined ride and keen steering; spacious cabin; generous equipment  Minus - Lacklustre atmo engine; wind and road noise can be intrusive; tyres undersell chassis refinement The Wheels Verdict: The Venue is the cheapest SUV that we can recommend someone go out and spend money on and not feel guilty. While there are foibles, notably the gutless atmo engine,...
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New Supra on the Dragstrip

Toyota Supra on the dragstrip?
Against some worthy competitors? Toyota’s claimed 0-100km/h time for the new Supra is 4.3 seconds. That’s seriously quick. It’s identical to a Ferrari F40 or, if you want something a little more contemporary, a tenth quicker than a $218,800 Porsche Cayman GT4, the cover star of our August issue and, if certain other outlets are concerned, the greatest sports car ever conceived. The dyno plots for the A90 Supra also suggest that Toyota’s flagship coupe makes considerably mor...
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Mazda 3 G25 GT Sedan Review

Mazda 3 GT sedan
Up-market GT sedan blends class and sportiness. Overall Rating Plus & Minus Plus - Upmarket interior; high spec level; engaging dynamics Minus - slow speed ride; cabin entry and egress; getting expensive The Wheels Verdict: The new 3 is a massive step forward for Mazda. Yes, it’s more expensive than before, but given the improvements to the product, the monetary increase feels about right. It seems those back at Mazda HQ have been taking lessons in German. ...
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Hyundai i30 New or a used Focus RS

new or used?
New vs Used? Head vs Heart? Hot hatches can provide some of the biggest thrills of any performance car. Find the right road and they’re also devastatingly quick, something the two contenders here can attest. Hyundai’s first foray into the world of hot hatches came as a bit of a surprise – and not solely because of its South Korean badge. It’s more the fact that the i30 N is such a sorted product for something that’s considered genesis for the fledgling sporty N brand. ...
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RAV4 Edge vs Forester 2.5i-S Comparison

Rav 4 v Subaru Forester shoot out
Two of the heavy hitters face off. One of the main attractions of SUVs isn’t just the practical considerations of a tall seating position and easy access to the boot and rear seat, but the promise they make of being the versatile chariot capable of taking you and your family out into the great outdoors for a long weekend Not all SUVs are created equal in this regard, but here we’ve got two midsizers that are arguably the best equipped in their segment as dirt-friendly adventure m...
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Porsche 911 Carrera 4S Review

Porsche Carrera 911 is getting heavy
Carrera 4S - a great drive - despite the weight Of all the sports cars on sale today, the one that least needs all-wheel drive is the Porsche 911. The weight of that 3.0-litre twin-turbo flat-six pressing down on the rear axle ensures incredible traction in both wet and dry conditions. Nevertheless, since 1989 the Carrera 4 has been a pivotal part of the 911 range, particularly in markets prone to snow and ice, and even in new 992 guise it provides a subtly different driving ...
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