Road Tests

More fun in facelifted Toyota coupe

Toyota's facelifted GT86.

My, how time flies. The little Toyota 86 sportscar has been on the NZ market for more than two years now, and it's just received its first facelift.

Blue-collar vehicles are van-loads of fun

Man the vans: The influx of European vanslike the Fiat Scudo (left) and the Renault Master (right) means we're spoiled for choice in New Zealand and they're a good drive to boot.

Light commercial vans are quite possibly the least sexy vehicles on our roads yet they make huge contributions to our economy.

Hyundai Sonata back with aplomb

Hyundai Sonata turbo.

Invigorating drive, with plenty of power and torque. That's the turbocharged version of Hyundai's new Sonata range.

VW R-Line model is no Golf trundler

Volkswagen Golf R-Line.

Volkswagen's R-Line treatment has been extended so it now includes the Golf hatch.

Panda gets a five-grand push

Distinctive Italian: Through three generations, the Panda has charmed European small car fans, and now it's priced to please Kiwis too.

After a year during which hardly a soul realised the Panda was available in NZ, its distributors have given the Italian favourite a huge price boost.

Iconic Audi coupe lightens up

TT generation three: Borrows style from each of the first two iterations of the model and adds lighter materials and better performance.

Audi's third generation TT is lighter, quicker and more fun.

Mazda's pint-sized perfection

New Mazda2, the latest example of the Japanese marque's Kodo ''soul of motion'' design philosophy.

New fourth-generation Mazda2 continues a magnificent career the Japanese car maker has forged with small five-door hatchbacks.

Lexus coupe is coolness over utility? Oh, yeah!

RC350 Limited has the signature Lexus spindle grille, but it is slightly smaller than that aboard other members of the RC line in keeping with its more luxurious intent.

Lexus has introduced a great-looking coupe called RC and the V6 version and is a beauty.

Hitting the road in style

Queuing up: We hit the road, top down, out of the lock-up and into the Macarthur countryside.

Keith Austin discovers how to get behind the wheel of a Porsche for a day without breaking the bank.

Peugeot returns to form with 308

Smart, if generic: It's not the most exciting car to look at, rather a French take on the classic Golf profile.

It may be a thoroughly modern car, but the new Peugeot 308's good bits remind Dave Moore of the company's good old days.

Hyundai Genesis is my brilliant Korean

Hyundai Genesis: You could call it the Korean maker's answer to Lexus, but it will always be prefixed as a Hyundai.

The new Genesis is so calm it's simultaneously a salve for road rage and a cure for badge snobbery.

McLaren P1 thrills on NZ roads video

LIMITED EDITION: Just 375 P1s are being built. This is number 269.

The first of just three $1.5 million McLaren P1s to come to New Zealand gets put through its paces.

Nothing abstract about this Picasso

An appealing combination of hatchback, people-mover and wagon, the Citroen C4 Picasso is one of the outstanding new entrants in the medium market in New Zealand.

There are some cars on the market in New Zealand that simply deserve better.

Fiat makes a point

Fiat Punto

The wee Punto has had a low profile in recent years, more fool Fiat, because nobody seems to know how good this car is.

Load-lugger goes easy on fuel

Peugeot 308 wagon

Fewer people would buy SUVs if all wagons were as spacious and fuel frugal as the Peugeot 308.

Goodbye Hyundai i45 - welcome back Sonata

Hyundai's Sonata nameplate is back, the revived badging gracing the flanks of this seventh-generation medium-sized sedan from the Korean manufacturer.

Hyundai new new seventh-generation medium-sized sedan was once the Sonata and then i45, but is now Sonata again.

Swift still NZ's top mini gallery

Suzuki Swift Sport

It is easy to understand why the darling of the mini-car set in NZ as just completed a decade at the top of its class.

The car that has almost everything

The mighty S63 AMG: So good it’s sometimes beyond words.

It appears that one third of a million dollars can buy love.

Ferrari's practical and quick family wagon

Impressive sight: Not exactly pretty, but head-turningly attractive in a wide-mouthed, muscular sort of way.

It's the company's first production all-wheel-drive, its first three-door and it all comes with the message that Ferrari won't ever build an SUV.

Meet the anti-Prius

Larger inside and out: Despite growing so much, the C-class is more efficient, especially in hybrid form.

A new Mercedes-Benz hybrid completely crushes any notion that hybrids are less fun to drive than conventional vehicles.

Octavia RS performance shines

The Skoda Octavia RS liftback, a Czech-built turbo-charged beauty.

The top model in Skoda's latest Octavia range is the RS, which is powered by the same engine as that aboard the spectacular Volkswagen Golf GTi.

S-Cross continues a Suzuki tradition

SUZUKI SX4 S-CROSS: The latest crossover to be produced by Japan's pre-eminent maker of small cars.

One of the strongest members of the small crossover fleet in New Zealand is the Suzuki SX4 S-Cross. Rob Maetzig drives the top Limited version.

Lexus bares its V8 soul

SPINDLE GRILLE: The curiously pinched frontal styling works better in the RC-series cars than any other current Lexus.

What's this? A Lexus that's capable of shrieking out high-revving V8 soul music?

Outback is up front

2015 Subaru Outback

Stacked with technology, the latest Subaru Outback is the first to be created from the ground up, rather than as a spin-off from the Legacy.

Glorious grunt farewelled

The Holden Commodore SS-V Redline – a standard V8 Commie but with a wealth of sport and luxury appointments.

At a time when the world's motor industry is undergoing fundamental change here comes a V8 Holden Commodore.

What lies beneath gallery

Peugeot's new 308 station wagon offers fairly conservative body styling, but it is still a fascinating car.

From the outside Peugeot's new 308 station wagon looks conservative - but underneath its skin there's a vehicle that is impressively interesting.

A best behaviour drive

Dark knight: You wouldn't call it pretty, but it grabs attention and turns heads wherever it goes.

When you drive a car as noticeable and muscular as the Bentley Continental GT V8 S you start to realise you have certain responsibilities.

A mellow, yellow Yaris

Toyota Yaris ZR.

New ZR version of Toyota's facelifted Yaris range can be purchased in a bright colour that doesn't quite match its performance potential.

Small but perfectly formed gallery

Audi S1 hatch.

One of the outstanding new vehicles of the year is also one of the smallest - the stroppy little Audi S1 hatch.

Best of both worlds gallery

Head-turner: Our BMW i8 literally stopped traffic when it slowed down or was parked, even in seen-it-all Auckland.

BMW's i8 is a supercar, but not as we'd usually know it, using a hybrid powertrain so that it's both blisteringly fast and ridiculously frugal.

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