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Hatch Comparisons

comparing hatches against Mazda 3
Mazda 3 Skyactiv X v Focus ST-Line v i30 N-Line v Corolla ZR Small warm hatchbacks for drivers pitched against the Mazda 3 Skyactiv-X. I can sense something about this Mazda 3 is different. First, the sound. A subtle whine creeps into the cabin under acceleration and overlays the engine's zingy thrum. Then there is the peculiar power delivery. For the upper half of the rev range, which eventually signs off at the 6600rpm redline, the Mazda 3 delivers an extra helping of torque while t...
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BMW 4 Series: Finalist

the G20 3 Series is a finalist
A great driving car...but that grille.... Plastered to the front of the new Bavarian two-door, the courageous, vertiginous, Bugs Bunny intakes scream that BMW is chasing a new customer with its 4 Series, and neither of them are likely for you nor me. Yet find yourself behind the wheel and you’ll discover the engineers haven’t forgotten us. Far from it. Attempting to nab what would only be BMW’s second COTY award (after the i3’s win in 2014), the three-tiered 4 Series range fronte...
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States Taxing Electric Vehicles

States may tax EV's
Victoria, South Australia and, it appears NSW, plan to introduce a type of road usage tax for EVs. Need to Know: EVs to be charged 2.5c/km PHEVs will be charged 2.0c/km Critics argue it is too soon to tax EVs Federal Liberal MP calls to scrap EV taxes UPDATE: March 17 2021 - The Victorian Government is pushing ahead with its contentious EV tax, announcing it is tabling legislation into Parliament to introduce the new charging framework. As announced in the 20...
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Testing the Lexus RX450hL Luxury

Lexus RX450hL with luxury you might expect
A luxury prestige hybrid SUV that delivers what you expect? Like most SUV categories on sale in Australia, there’s no shortage of choice in the large premium SUV segment. The Lexus RX trades in this space, and while not representing the traditional German brand of luxury that many flock to for high-riding grandeur, the Lexus RX still trades punches in the sales race amongst the BMW X5, 2019 Mercedes GLE-Class and Audi Q7. It finished 2020 as the third best-seller in its se...
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Mazda Wins the 2021 Wheels Car of the Year

Mazda wins Car Of The Year again
The 2021 COTY is a compact SUV of real depth and ability, and largely devoid of compromises. ‘Unanimity’ can be a tricky word to say; much harder to achieve. In an increasingly divided and opinionated world, getting a disparate group of individuals to form a unilateral consensus on anything can be near-impossible. The COTY judging process is often no exception, yet for 2021, in a rare moment of great(ish) minds thinking alike, all six members of the judging panel cast their vote for the ...
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Hyundai Kona for 2021

Hyundai Kona for 2021
Another new model, with more to offer, and new pricing The updated Hyundai Kona range has arrived in Australia boasting new styling, advanced safety features, extra technology and more choice, though prices have risen across the board. The line-up introduces two sporty N Line and N Line Premium variants to the range in anticipation of a Kona N model arriving in the second half of 2021. The Kona electric will also rejoin the range with a facelifted design in March. The...
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Porsche Taycan 4S

Porsche Taycan 4S
The much anticipated Porsche EV graces our shores. If you were taking bets on which manufacturer would not just dip a toe but dive headfirst into the world of electric vehicles then you would have got long odds with Porsche, but here we are with the first Australian drive of the Porsche Taycan 4S. It provides the first real competition to Tesla in the zero-emissions luxury performance market, claiming to offer rocketship acceleration, equally brisk charging times, a long battery ra...
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Semiconductor Shortage Crippling Car Supply

Chip makers favouring phone manufacturers
Chip makers favouring computer and smart phone manufacturers.   UPDATE 02/03/21: While many car manufacturers are struggling through a semiconductor chip shortage forcing long production delays, Hyundai has emerged unfazed by the global issue. Sources assert, according to Reuters, that the Hyundai Motor Group (including Kia) kept up its purchasing of semiconductor chips last year, while other manufacturers such as Volkswagen...
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Hyundai Palisade Review

2021 Hyundai Palisade 3.8L V6 review
We judge the base model for competence and value. What is the Hyundai Palisade 3.8L V6? This is the entry-level variant of Hyundai’s new large eight-seat SUV flagship that’s unashamedly big and brash, having been primarily designed for the US market. The Palisade almost stands alone amongst all the big SUVs in Australia. It’s bigger than other large seven-seaters, such as the Mazda CX-9, Kia Sorento and Toyota Kluger, which line up closer with its Santa Fe sibling, and it do...
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New Mazda MX-5 GT RS

New Mazda MX-5 GT RS. a great looking sports car
A favourite served with extra sauce....... Over their various lifecycles, cars, much like people, tend to get bigger, fatter and more ungainly. But just occasionally, a model will buck the trend as if it discovered the chalice of eternal youth. That’s why the ND-generation Mazda MX-5 is one of the most astonishingly good sportscars in recent memory. Instead of piling on the pounds and inches and following the lead of the NB and NC, the ND returned to first principles and, despite...
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New Mercedes-Benz A250e

Mercedes Benz A250e - compact hybrid
A compact hybrid from a quality stable, ... but Value?..... hmmm Depending on your point of view and intended usage, the new Mercedes-Benz A250e sedan plug-in hybrid is likely one of two things. Either a well-sorted daily EV providing the option of longer trips with zero range anxiety and the convenience of a quick petrol refill, or a well-sorted daily EV saddled with lugging around a few hundred kilos of internal combustion engine that...
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Sports Sedan Comparison: Audi A4 v BMW 330i v Lexus IS300

Audi BMW and Lexus sports comarisons
Not convinced of SUV wagons? Here are three great driving and comfort alternatives. Remember vinyl? The LP record? Maybe you don’t. But just as digital formats have taken over the music world, so have new-age packaging and technology alternatives (yes, the SUV and hybrids) colonised the motoring landscape almost to an equivalent extent, largely at the expense of the previously conventional. And yet, here we are, faced with three mid-sized sedans, vinyl throwbacks the lot of the...
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New Mazda CX-9 People Mover Large SUV

Mazda CX-9 luxury people mover
Luxury Plus in this segment of the market...... Mazda’s premium brand crusade seems relentless. A steady upward trajectory in quality, product diversity and refinement took a dramatic up-ramp with the introduction of the BP-generation Mazda 3, putting the company’s small hatchback at the top of the class and its rivals on notice. Ironic that one of the Japanese company’s most affordable models should be the one that elevated Mazda into new premium territory, but the limelight is turning to...
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2022 Mercedes-Benz C-Class

2022 Mercedes-Benz C-Class - when is it coming?
Mercedes-Benz C-Class will be unveiled in Australia, but when? The next-generation 2022 Mercedes-Benz C-Class will reportedly make its debut sooner than anticipated, with the German carmaker expected to whip the covers off later this month. The new model has surfaced in camouflage a number of times in recent months, and the speculative rendering above – produced for Russian website Kolesa – offers a glimpse of how its final styling could lo...
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Mercedes-AMG GLS 63

Has the Mercedes-AMG GLS 63 too much power?
Is this much power in a very large SUV over the top? There are some cars that are alarmingly fast. The McLaren 720S is one; for very different reasons, the Volkswagen Amarok 580 is another. You can now add the Mercedes-AMG GLS 63 to that list, for this new mega SUV is absurd. It also provides Australia’s first exposure to AMG’s new mild-hybrid V8. Need to Know: New 450kW mild-hybrid V8 Seven-seat functionality Incredible levels of techn...
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Vehicle Emission Taxes In France – Could Something Similar Come Here?

Are there more taxes coming?
       Could Australia adopt France’s crippling tax on performance cars? France has announced that its already severe emissions based taxation system will be revised for 2021, with duties more than doubling in certain cases. The result is that combustion-engined hot hatches could prove to be financial non-starters. The country that spawned greats like the Peugeot 205 GTI and the Renault Clio 182 has seen increases result in a new Megane RS costing its first owner as much as ...
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Opinion: A car’s cost is inversely proportional to fun factor

Lamborghini luxury
The concern of "what if I dent it" is sobering....   There’s something bittersweet about handing back the keys to an outrageous supercar or luxury limo. On the one hand, returning something that costs the same as a Toorak two-bed usually marks the end of a few days of motoring ecstasy and a lot of fun. And it also serves as a brooding reminder that, as long as I stay in this line of work, I’ll never call something of ...
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Semiconductor Shortage Creates Havoc

semiconductor shortages
Chip supply is impacting deliveries. Specifically, the world’s chipset manufacturers that ordinarily provide car factories with electronic components are allocating more production to consumer electronics like the popular Playstation 5 and Xbox Series X, personal computers and 5G smartphones. Cruelly, this switch to consumer electronics by chipset manufacturers is a direct reaction to the coronavirus-driven car-manufacturing slump in 2020. In ...
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New LR Defender P400

tested on a real camping trip
A real-world camping trip test in the High Country with the New LR Defender P400 We've driven the new Land Rover Defender a few times – a full test review from Fraser Stronach in December 2020, and our initial pre-vehicle launch drive from Africa back in March 2020 – but we wanted to see how the latest Land Rover fares on your typical long weekend away in the bush with some mates. That opportunity presented itself when our booking o...
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Mazda CX-9 vs Kia Sorento: Seven-seater SUV comparison

Mazda CX-9 vs Kia Sorento
We judge two of the best. There are plenty of things in this life on which you can’t put a price, but space is not one of them. Virgin Galactic reckons it can help you join the 62-mile-high club for $250,000, while back here on earth, we’re calling it 20 grand, give or take, for the regular kind of space. That’s the rough difference between what Mazda charges for its top-spec all-wheel-drive five-seater Mazda CX-5 and its bigger brother you s...
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Ranger Tops 4×4 Sales Chart

Ford Ranger biggest sales in 2020
           THE Ford Ranger was the best-selling 4x4 in Australia in 2020, while Toyota remains number 1 overall. In what was a tough year for the new car market – down 13.7 per cent on 2019 – the ageing Ranger ute bucked the trend, selling more units than it did the year before (37,889 units compared to 37,004 in 2019). The total 4x4 PU/CC (pick-up/cab-chassis) market was down 9.5 per cent in 2020, but it was one of the strongest segments in new car sales. The Ranger’s bigges...
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Some of the best beach drives in Australia

Beaches your 4WD will love
Does Your 4WD love the beach? Here are some of the best There are plenty of sandy experiences in our great country, these will get your wanderlust in to gear. SLAP on the singlets, sunscreen and thongs, folks, as summer is just around the corner. And if you’re one of the many people who prefer to chase sun and surf during the warmer months – via a decent sand track, of course – then you’re no doubt aware Australia has some very special coastal destinations. From the island del...
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Road Trips for Driving Enjoyment

drive for pleasure
Cabin fever is prominent.....go for a great drive..... We get it. You’ve played so much Gran Turismo that wisps of smoke are starting to bloom from the back of the PlayStation. All of your model cars have been built, and destroyed, then built again. And you’ve spent so much time working your way through the ‘greatest car movies of all time’ list that you now know Bullitt is a truly terrible film (car chase aside, of course). The metaphorical walls are closing, though mercifully...
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Are Country Drivers Really More Honest?

Country drivers are more honest than city drivers when it comes to car insurance, according to a survey by the insurance council of Australia. The Australian Bureau of Statistics recently released its Motor Vehicle Census 2014 which showed there are now 17.6 million vehicles registered in Australia (2.6% more than 2013) and that the average age of vehicles on Aussie roads is 10 years. But, a survey released by Understand Insurance (an initiative of the Insurance Council of Australia) has revea...
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The Gloves are Off – Isuzu D-MAX vs Ford Ranger Wildtrak

The Gloves are Off - Isuzu D-MAX vs Ford Ranger Wildtrak
 We welcome the new D-MAX let's see how it compares. ISUZU Ute Australia calls its new-generation D-MAX a ‘third generation’ model, but that undersells its heritage. It may be the third generation Isuzu ute sold in Australia since the brand launched here in 2008, but it’s the latest in a long line of Isuzu utes that stretch back more like six generations and all the way to 1972. In Australia, the earlier Isuzu utes were sold f...
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New BMW 4 Series Coupe Impresses

BMW 4 Series Coupe
The 4 series displays a distinct character compared to the 3 series. Overall Rating 4.5/5 stars Plus & Minus Plus -  Body control and dynamics; steering, ride comfort, standard tech, bold styling Minus -  Mild engine notes, polarising front grille WHAT IS THE BMW 4 SERIES COUPE The second generation of the BMW 3 Series’ athletic two-door sibling. WHY WE’RE TESTING IT The new 4 Series Coupe has distanced itself from the 3 Series with an ambitiously bold new ...
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New Honda CR-V

New Honda CR-V is worth a look
A facelift more than anything but the New Honda CR-V is worth a visit What is the Honda CR-V? Honda’s CR-V mid-sized SUV was introduced in 1997 and the current fifth-generation model arrived in 2017. With consistent improvements and shifting consumer demand, the CR-V has established itself as Australia’s favourite Honda. And after four years of consistent sales in its current generation, the Japanese manufacturer has given the CR-V a light update that leaves the major mechanicals unc...
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Tesla Supercharging Costs More

Tesla costs more to power
Tesla's "less than the cost of petrol" statement debunked. Tesla Supercharging Costs More Than Petrol Refuelling Teslas are now more expensive to recharge than it is to fuel an equivalent petrol-powered car – at least if you’re using the Tesla Supercharger network. A recent price increase to use the fast-charging Tesla Superchargers and incorrect fuel figures on the Tesla website mean claims that recharging using a Supercharger is “less than the cost of petrol” are incorrect. ...
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Forester & RAV4 Hybrids compared

Forester & RAV4 Hybrids compared
The established Forester head to head compared to the RAV4, both in hybrid form. Equipment and value The $39,990 Forester Hybrid L is the cheaper of this pair of hybrid offerings (S is $45,990). Subaru’s EyeSight safety tech is standard and includes items like AEB and radar-based systems (also in the RAV4). The Forester also gets facial recognition, which monitors alertness and can set a seating position. Servicing is every 12 months/12,500km, while it’s covered by a five-year/unlimi...
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S.A. May Tax Electric Vehicles

SA and NSW may tax electric vehicles
South Australia and New South Wales are considering a rego-style electric vehicle distance charge. Only last week, the South Australian government was enjoying some backslapping for its commitments to EV infrastructure expansion and fleet purchase, but a week later it has revealed plans to sting electric vehicle owners with a registration-style road tax. If approved, the new ongoing charge will offset the loss of fuel excise revenue that will not be gathered by the government f...
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