Road tests

Hottest WRX matures

Subaru WRX STi

The turbocharged Impreza, long the favourite of boy-racers the world over, appears to have matured into a more manly drive.

Something old, something new

Toyota Yaris ZR

Toyota has facelifted its popular Yaris hatchback, and while its looks have been freshened, underneath it all it's a case of same-old same- old.

New Polo power

Volkswagen Polo hatch.

VWs Polo hatchback has been facelifted, and the big news is installation of a latest-generation turbocharged engine.

Mazda's most active safety

Mazda3 sedan

The top model in the third-generation Mazda3 range is memorable for its very high level of safety specification.

BMW's whirring warrior

BMW i3

DAVE MOORE - The Press

Don't judge this automotive book by its cover, BMW's i3 is fast, roomy, fun to drive and turns more heads than an Open tennis rally.

Hot French hatch back

Renault Megane RS265

Renault's very quick Megane RS265 is as sensational as ever in its facelifted return to NZ.

Mazda's little big car

2015 Mazda2

DAVE MOORE - The Press

Small doesn't necessarily mean being thin on style, equipment and ability, as the all-new Mazda2 amply demonstrates.

Merc eyes top luxury spot

Mercedes-Benz C-Class sedan

Mercedes-Benz new C-Class, crucial to the brand's bid to move into top spot in the luxury sector in this part of the world, has arrived.

Clio RS v Fiesta ST

Here's a look at how Renault's new Clio RS fares against the class leading Ford Fiesta ST.

Here's a look at how Renault's new Clio RS fares against the class leading Ford Fiesta ST.

All that Jazz

Honda Jazz, Mugen RS.

Honda's new third-generation Jazz has proved an instant success in the six weeks it has been on the market.

Ghibli fires Maserati expansion

Maserati Ghibli

Niche Italian car maker Maserati has grand plans to become a key player in the luxury sector.

A century in the making

Maserati diesel Quattroporte

There's only one real question hovering over Maserati's first diesel, and that's why didn't they do one sooner?

Hot hatch turbo fun

Kia Pro-Cee'd GT

NZ and Australia are the only countries outside Europe to sell Kia's latest hot hatch, the strangely-named Pro-Cee'd GT.

It's the one you want

Audi A3 Cabriolet

The chills were multiplying as Audi chose a mid-winter date to launch its new top down A3 in New Zealand.

Malibu's big for its boots

Holden Malibu

Holden's Malibu turbo-diesel sedan appeals for a number of very good reasons.

Enjoyable round of Golf

Volkswagen Golf R

Volkswagen's latest Golf R is lighter, more powerful, and faster. It also sounds better.

Audi S3 due a medal?

Audi S3 Sedan.

The talents of Audi's new S3 sedan could be described as an RS 4-lite.

Deceptive Benzes

Mercedes-Benz GLA and CLA

Mercedes-Benz's ultimate GLA and CLA 4Motion versions both have more talent than you expect.

Jaguar's charming F-type coupe

Jaguar F-Type Coupe

Its topless sister may turn heads, but it's the new Coupe version that best displays the Jaguar F-type's talent.

Spoiler choice wings it

Subaru WRX STI.

Could a "no wing" option be proof that even the high-performance version of the new Subaru WRX is growing up?

Holding the fort

Hyundai i30 Limited

ROB MAETZIG - Taranaki Daily News

This Hyundai i30 hatch isn't exactly hot to touch, but it's nicely warm all the same - and it is a portent of better things to come.

Rapid demand change hopes

Skoda Rapid

Skoda is anticipating an improved sales performance in a crucial market sector by dropping one style of car and replacing it with another.

Space ace better than ever

Honda Jazz III

The third-generation Jazz has equipped and priced itself into a much broader, younger market slot.

Manual adds choice

Mazda 3.

There's one manual model in the new Mazda3 range - a 2.5-litre SP25 hatch. Rob Maetzig recalls how to use a clutch and takes it for a spin.

Plugging into the future

BMW i3 electric car

Don't compare the BMW i3 with other EVs just because their power units are similar.

Cat a tonic

Jaguar F-type

The feline excellence of Jaguar's F-type is probably most evident in its entry-point V6 roadster.

VW Polo runout deals

Volkswagen Polo R-Line

Volkswagen Polo is heading towards a major facelift, which means it has entered the traditional value-adding runout phase.

New Soul cuts the mustard

kia soul

ROB MAETZIG - Taranaki Daily News

Kia's new second-generation Soul has plenty that is appealing - particularly when it is painted yellow.

Mix and match hybrid

Lexus hybrid F Sport hatch.

The Lexus CT200h range of luxury hatchbacks has been facelifted, with one model claiming to be a "guilt free" performance version.

An auto WRX? Oh yes..

Subaru's fourth-generation WRX

Despite its obvious sporting intent, Subaru's latest WRX really is an easy car to drive.

Ghibli blows hot

Maserati Ghibli

There could be a lot of German trade-ins as the Ghibli, named after a hot, dry desert wind, starts to blow hard and hot in the NZ marketplace.

There's love in the vroom

The 2014 Chevrolet SS (aka Holden Commodore)

A Holden Commodore SS, dressed in Chevrolet moniker, has "pumped new blood" into an ageing US motoring writer.

M3 launches with M4 twin

BMW M3 sedan.

There's nothing quite like a track launch of an M car from BMW. We drive the new M3 sedan and M4 coupe on a race track in Portugal.

Just for the track

Camaro Z/28

During a time when Ford's Mustang is getting most of the attention, here's a Chevy that's more than just "the other pony car''.

Triple appeal

Ford Fiesta Sport.

Small engine - big heart. That what makes the three-cylinder Ford Fiesta Sport so appealing.

The people's performance car

VW Golf R

VW's Golf R is easily the best value if brand snobbery is no longer part of buying a turbo 4WD hatch from Germany.

Test driving BMW's plug-in hybrid

bmw i8 strap

In car-obsessed Beverly Hills it takes a lot to truly get noticed - but pedestrians stopped to gawk at the BMW's stunning electric sportscar.

Fiat 500 is a riot

Fiat Abarth 500 Essesse Cabriolet

Abarth is back - and this time the car to get the treatment is Fiat's smallest car.

S-class reigns supreme

s500 strap

Mercedes-Benz's flagship is the kind of luxury car you drive yourself, even when you can afford a chauffeur.

Highlander for Middle Earth

Toyota changes the SUV landscape with the launch of this new mid-sizer.

Proof of life after Holden

Holden Barina RS

Barina RS proves that it isn't all doom and gloom at Holden.

VW packs Passat

Volkswagen Passat

VW Passat has just had thousands of dollars of value added to help celebrate a special Volkswagen anniversary in NZ.

Sowing the Kia Cee'd

It might be the hot hatch with the dumbest spelling, but Kia's new Pro-cee'd GT has to rate as one of the best of the fleet.

It might be the hot hatch with the dumbest spelling, but Kia's new Pro-cee'd GT has to rate as one of the best of the fleet.

Hopes rest on wee MG

MG3

MG launches entry-point car for less than $20,000 that shows no a sign of penny-pinching and is not short on fun.

Big cats get the cream

Jaguar XFR-S

The ultimate Jaguar sedans have arrived in NZ. They're powerful and quick, but with two different characters.

Plenty to admire

Hyundai Elantra

Hyundai's Elantra has been facelifted just in time to take advantage of a predicted surge in popularity of sedans.

Home-grown French honey

Peugeot 2008

After collaborating with Mitsubishi, it looks like Peugeot has learned enough to go its own way with a new bijou SUV.

New Lexus offers better value

Lexus GS300h

Lexus expands its fleet of GS sedans with the launch of a second hybrid model.

Is NZ ready for it yet?

The new second-generation Kia Soul

Kia's second-generation Soul has the potential to do better than the company's targeted sales number.

Rare species

Fiat Panda

As hard to find as its animal namesake in this part of the world, Fiat's tiny and terrific Panda is here at last.

Nice quirk if you can get it

Renault Clio IV

Renault's Clio appears to have regained its joie de vivre.

Sedan widens appeal

Toyota Corolla sedan.

Toyota has completed its triumvirate of latest-generation Corolla models with arrival of a new sedan version.

Merc C-change

Mercedes-Benz C-Class

Just as other car-makers continue to line up the C-class in their cross-hairs, Mercedes-Benz decides to move the goal posts.

Maximised Mini

Mini Cooper S

DAVE MOORE - The Press

With its own engines at last and an uncommon level of luxury kit and connectivity, the third generation New Mini is BMW's biggest yet.

Altima the sedan of choice

Nissan Altima Ti strap

Forget the word Maxima. Learn the word Altima. That's Nissan's prime sedan choice from now on – and it deserves to be.

The ultimate Audi

Audi RS7.

The prettiest Audi of all gets a bruiser of a range-topper.

It's whats inside that counts

Peugeot 208 GTi

PAUL OWEN - Sunday Star Times

The Peugeot 208 GTi may be a Gallic go-kart but it's the interior that is most worthy of applause.

Phwoar doors

Maserati Quattroporte.

The Italians have a word for it; Quattroporte and the latest four-door Maseratis are something to behold.

Lines of inheritance

The new Citroen DS5. strap

A new Citroen with perhaps the closest connection to its famous DS line of half a century ago deserves more attention in NZ.

The hub of the Mercedes world

Mercedes-Benz E-Class

The Mercedes-Benz E-class has been around for 60 years so can the recently-upgraded veteran of the luxury car wars still cut it?

En plein air

Citroen DS3.

Citroen's topless tyro can go like stink, but it's best suited to more relaxed progress so more people can see how good you look.

Rocky road ahead

Toyota Aurion Sedan

Australian-built Toyota Aurion is a good car but it and the smaller-engined Camry sibling face an uncertain future.

X marks the spot

Subaru Impreza X.

Subaru's well-known Impreza has found itself in a bit of a spot - and X marks it.

Bigger is better

Honda Accord V6.

ROB MAETZIG - Taranaki Daily News

Honda's ninth-generation Accord is available with V6 power and shapes as one of the best bigger-engined sedans on the market.

New Legacy riding high

SUBARU LEGACY 2.5X  strap

Subaru's latest Legacy has been jacked up but it may not survive in today's SUV-loving motoring environment.

Muscular Lexus silences critics

Lexus IS 350F Sport

Sporty Lexus IS 350F backs up its good looks with an impressive athletic drive.

Now, where's the batcave?

Peugeot RCZ

It could double as a Batmobile but the RCZ quickly puts its hand up as the most enjoyable-to-drive Peugeot on the market today?

Luxury and performance

Audi RS6 Avant.

Audi's supercar-level RS6 Avant is so good its athleticism is almost - almost - wasted in New Zealand.

Last hurrah is the best yet

Holden Commodore SV6.

There's life in the old Commodore yet, if buyer response to the recently-refreshed VF series is an indication.

Baby-boost enlivens Fiesta

2014 Ford Fiesta 1.0L EcoBoost

Can a turbocharged 1.0 triple do everything a 1.6 four can?

Deceptive looks but what a buy

Mitsubishi Lancer GSR

Mitsubishi's famous sporting GSR badging is back, aboard a car that wins the race for pricing.

Track target for Benz's Black

Mercedes-Benz SLS 63 Black Edition.

Mercedes SLS Black isn't black, but it howls on a desert raceway that is its home.

A quiet achievement

Mazda2 Range Extender Electric Vehicle

If you ignore the blocky graphics, this Mazda2 looks like any other, just as the company's first hybrid is remarkably like an ordinary Mazda3.

Room for more than an ego

FF Ferrari.

Some people hate it, refuse to call it a Ferrari but the the FF is every bit a Ferrari.

Four to the fore

The Holden Malibu strap

It sounds American, but New Zealand's version of the new Holden Malibu is Korean-built with Japanese input.

Dial 'F' for Fast

Supercharged HSV GTS.

HSV GTS provides accessible and mind-warping driving experience in family-sized four-door form.

Comfort-zoned

Lexus ES series.

The front-drive ES returns on a spacious new, extended platform to become the cushy number in the Lexus line-up.

Prado lacks change under hood

Prado

Toyota's updated Prado offers more features and minor price increases but no changes to engines or transmissions.

Falling for the mighty Bentley

Bentley Flying Spur

More used to humbler machines, Fairfax's Glenn Butler drives the fabulous Flying Spur.

Still a pure Porsche

Porsche Panamera.

Purists thought the Panamera sedan would dilute the Porsche brand, instead it appears to have proved naysayers wrong.

Happenin' 3s

Mazda3 hatch.

Mazda's staple C-segment car has matured into something that can be more things to more potential customers.

Audi R8 still rocking

2014 Audi R8 V10 Plus

By definition, new toys cool off after a few years, and none more so than a NZ$325,000 sports car.

'Coupe' leads from the front

Mercedes-Benz CLA

Mercedes-Benz's smallest coupe impresses.

Fiat 500 Pop is fun

Fiat 500 Pop.

Fiat's entry level 500, the Pop, doesn't just deliver you to your destination, it makes the journey an event.

Safe, efficient and beautiful

Mazda6 Limited diesel wagon

This sleek, safe and smooth driving wagon is probably the best ever Mazda.

Rocket with refinement

Nissan Pulsar SSS

With CVT as the only gearbox you can have, you'd expect Nissan's Triple-S Pulsar to be a little different from other hot hatches and you'd be right.

Mini maximum

Mini Paceman

It looks like it has been in the gym and on performance enhancing drugs, but the Paceman is still a Mini - just.

Mini high rider has dose of macho

Peugeot 2008

It may be a baby SUV, but the new Peugeot 2008 packs a lot into a small package.

Small sedan grows up

Kia Cerato sedan.

It's a bit harsh describing Kia's new Cerato sedan as a small car.

Happy Jazz hybrid

Honda Jazz hybrid

Honda's Jazz hybrid is a practical and efficient drive.

Superb Skoda Superb

Skoda Superb

DAVE MOORE - The Press

The car is huge inside and out, but the engines aren't, and that doesn't seem to worry the facelifted Skoda Superb.

Maserati's brilliant upgrade

Maserati Gran Turismo Sport.

It was once something of a handful, but now Maserati's Gran Turismo is quicker, cleaner, better priced and easier to drive.

Test drives from hell

A 2013 Lincoln MKZ Hybrid

While many new vehicles are safer, more comfortable and largely more efficient than ever before, there are still plenty of duds.

Cool Nissan hits where it hurts

Nissan's 370Z Touring sports coupe

There are cars for the young and those for the old. That is not a politically correct assessment of reality. But it is reality nonetheless.

New Vette surpasses glory days

 A 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray Z51.

The Chevrolet Corvette has long been America's almost-great sports car.

A very sporty hatch

Audi A3 TDI

Audi's new A3 is one of the outstanding small-car drives.

All bases covered

Skoda Octavia III

Skoda's new Octavia range appears to leave no C/D segment niche untapped with the best safety set-up in any car under $40,000.

Meaner and more purposeful

Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG

What would a refreshed E-class range be without an equally improved performance range-topper?

A top safe drive

Honda Accord NT

Honda's ninth-generation Accord is remarkable for the level of safety technology it carries.