metropol » Car

Tag: Car

Great things come in small packages


Since Chinese firm SAIC resurrected MG, the British namesake has been increasing its New Zealand presence in a big way and the most popular MG on Kiwi streets right now is the MG3 Supermini.

 

At a seriously low starting price of $17,990, the MG3 offers astonishing value.

Under the bonnet sits a 1.5 litre four-cylinder petrol engine with 82kW, mated to a four-speed automatic gearbox.

It’s not the most refined engine and trans combo, but the power gets put down well enough for city driving.

Standard kit across the range includes an 8.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system with Bluetooth, Apple CarPlay, a four-speaker Yamaha Digital Sound system, reversing camera, cruise control and rear parking sensors.

Styling wise, the MG3 looks clean cut, but seems to mimic the style of its Japanese rivals.

However, touches like the 16-inch alloys, chrome bumper accents and rear spoiler on the top spec Excite, look good.

On the move, the steering is weighted well and in the twisty stuff, the MG3 can be a bit of a giggle.

Plus, while some interior plastics are quite hard, the MG3 still provides decent surroundings.

The MG3 shows real promise and manages to epitomise bang for your buck. All we need now is a sportier MG3 GT.


 

Chevrolet’s Latest Coup


When GM made the decision to pull out of all right-hand drive markets after the demise of the Holden brand, needless to say a few gearheads were less than overjoyed with the news. Therefore, there is a chance this facelift Chevrolet Camaro could be the last new GM product we get through HSV dealers in New Zealand. Oh, and it also happens to be a beast of a muscle car.

 

On the outside, the facelift Camaro 2SS has been given a stylistic nip and tuck.

A more pronounced mouth with the Chevy bowtie badge as the centre piece makes for a more aggressive front, and the revised taillight cluster and new alloys look the business.

Under the bonnet sits the hefty LT1 6.2L V8 with a fairly substantial 339kW of grunt and 617Nm of torque.

The biggest change mechanically is the addition of a new 10 speed automatic gearbox. It’s very good by the way, but more on that in a bit.

Inside you get a very driver-focused cabin, containing nods to Camaros of the past while still feeling up to date.

You sit very low and sports car like in the seat and the small steering wheel feels good clasped in your mitts.

Standard kit includes 20-inch alloys, Brembo brakes, LED running lights, Apple Car Play/Android Auto and dual zone climate control.

Fire up the LT1 V8 and you make everyone within a few 100 metres of you aware of your presence.

Blip the throttle and it bellows like a proper V8 road burner should. Touring mode allows you to cruise along in comfort with the V8 burble slightly subdued in the background.

The LT1 V8 also shuts down four cylinders if they aren’t needed, returning combined fuel consumption of 11.5L/100km.

Change up to Sport and things get racier and louder; put it in Track mode and the steering and throttle response sharpens up, plus the shifts on the 10 speed box become quicker.

In Track mode you can make mincemeat of bendy bitumen; a welcome sensation as Camaro’s of old were never that great at the twisty stuff.

The 2SS stays planted and gives you the confidence to push harder. Sure, you can cruise in the Camaro, the ride is comfortable too, but it feels more at home having its neck wrung.

Despite niggles like some excessive tyre roar and intrusive wing mirrors when turning at a junction, the 2SS Camaro is a damn fine continuation of a muscle car legend.

Fingers crossed it will stick around in the New Zealand market for some time yet.


 

A compelling package


When the all-new Mazda CX30 made its debut in New Zealand, it was launched online, thanks to COVID-19. However, after waiting patiently, we finally got a taster of Mazda’s new SUV. Mazda says the new CX30 slots perfectly between the CX3 and CX5 in its SUV line-up. However, with the CX3 and CX5 offering such a compelling small and mid-sized SUV package, do we really need an SUV in between?

 

 

The CX30 is essentially a raised version of the Mazda3 hatch.

However, despite looking almost identical to the more grounded 3, the CX30 has actually shrunk by 70mm and features an entirely new rear end.

Like the Mazda3, the CX30 is available in three trim levels, the GSX at $41,490, GTX at $44,990 and the top end Limited at $49,990.

The GTX featured here is, according to the team at Blackwells Mazda, the most popular model in the range.

The entry level GSX gets FWD and a 2.0L four-cylinder Skyactiv engine with 114kW/200Nm, but the GTX and Limited get the bigger 2.5L unit and AWD.

With 139kW/252Nm, it is nothing short of sublime. Plus, you will be sipping the juice at 6.8L/100km thanks to the aid of cylinder deactivation.

Toys are something the CX30 is very generous with.

All models get the i-Activsense safety package as standard kit, which gives you a plethora of gizmos keeping you on the straight and narrow.

These include lane-keep, active cruise control, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert and active emergency braking.

The GTX also gets Intelligent Speed Assistance, front parking sensors and off-road mode.

The latter is down to the fact the GTX and Limited are AWD. The Limited also gives you leather trim and a thumping Bose stereo system.

Head and legroom are not as generous compared with the CX5 and, with 430L, neither is boot space.

That said, the seats themselves cocoon you like few others and the overall ambience of the CX30’s cabin feels like the car costs double its asking price.

Plus, all the switchgear actually feels satisfying to touch.

Once you are up and running, you quickly realise just what an utter peach that 2.5L Skyactiv engine really is.

Coupled with the uber slick six speed automatics transmission, cruising around suburbia has never been so refined in this price bracket.

Acceleration is not rapid thanks to the lack of a turbo, but from 2,000 to 4,000 rpm, you are able to waft forward at a considerable rate.

Mazda’s G-Vectoring Control steering allows you to have a sublimely comfortable ride without being wobbly in the bends. It really is the best of both worlds.

Despite the space niggles, the CX30 still manages to be a sublime all-rounder. The CX30 is the Mazda SUV we didn’t think we needed, but really glad it exists.


 

A serious love affair: Honda Civic Type R


Kiwis have a serious love affair with Honda’s hot hatch – the Civic Type R. Since the first Civic Type R to be sold new in New Zealand was released in late 2017, more than 200 have been sold, making it one of the bestsellers in the class and proving its sales performance is as strong as its on track performance.

 

 

To celebrate the Type R’s double century of sales success, Honda New Zealand is offering a special, New Zealand-exclusive Type R endowed with Mugen parts.

Mugen – which means ‘Without Limits’ – is the organisation responsible for manufacturing Honda’s OEM parts such as body kits and sports exhausts.

It has become an international motorsport success, with highlights including powering Formula 1 victories along with numerous other two and four wheel championships.

“The 5th Generation Type R, although solely offered with a manual transmission, has been a sales success, thanks to its perfect balance of Honda’s sporty, yet practical DNA,” Honda New Zealand Marketing and Product Manager Matt Woodburn says.

Mugen equipped Type Rs start from $64,990 – including the front underspoiler, side underspoilers, rear underspoiler and carbon fibre/FRP tailgate spoiler with Mugen emblem.

This pricing is inclusive of all related costs to sourcing, painting & fitting the parts, making this one of the most affordable Mugen packages globally.


 

New VTNZ Repairer hits the street: Leading Edge Automotive


Christchurch’s leading edge automotive is now a VTNZ certified repairer.

 

 

Already the team to call when it comes to maintenance, servicing and repair work on European vehicles, they can now also offer independent WoFs and re-checks, all under one roof.

With a network of branches nationwide, VTNZ inspectors are experts at making sure your vehicle is legally compliant and safe to drive.

Leading Edge Automotive owners Joris and Natasha Sanders are thrilled to be able to offer this service to new and existing clients from their state-of-the-art workshop at 480 Selwyn Street.

“The inspection itself, and any necessary rechecks, will be carried out by an independent VTNZ inspector onsite,” Natasha says.

“Any repair work that is required can be estimated by our Service Advisors and carried out by our Automotive Technicians.

“You can be confident that VTNZ is independent, because they don’t do any vehicle repairs or maintenance work. If anything does need to be done, our team is here to look after you.”

All you have to do is book your WoF in by phoning the Leading Edge Automotive team on 03 366 3384, or book online via www.lea.co.nz.

When you book in for your next Air Conditioning Service, ask about the free Air Conditioning Disinfectant offer, which expires 30 September 2020.

Natasha and Joris would like to thank clients for the support and kindness shown as the business gets back up and running post-lockdown.


 

No.1 in car washing: Auto Express Wash


Quickest, cleanest, greenest

 

 

Using the latest technology and a state-of-the-art water reclaiming system, Auto Express Wash has revolutionised the way we keep our vehicles sparkling clean.

Located at 530b Sawyers Arms Road, the company has streamlined the car washing process, eliminating any hard work, queues or delays.

Once you’ve checked in at the paystation, your vehicle connects to the Express Tunnel Wash conveyor system and your car is clean in just four minutes.

Auto Express Wash recycles 80 percent of water used, as well as stocks biodegradable soaps and detergents.

The efficient reclaiming system also means they only use the required amount of water needed during each wash.

Multiple cars can use the car wash at once, meaning up to 200 can be cleaned at the site per hour.

As well as the car wash, you can also opt for the Super Dry & Shine polish service, a Silicon Tyre Shine, and a six-bay vacuum area is also available for customer use.

While you’re visiting Auto Express Wash, also look into their Barking Clean Self-Serve Dog Wash; Air Care Sanitiser; fleet and corporate options, and pre-paid wash cards.

For more, call 0800 5333 555 or email info@autoexpresswash.co.nz.


 

Top of its automotive game: Skoda Karoq


Skoda was founded in 1850 as an arms producer before later moving into transportation in 1895.

 

 

It was Skoda that produced the velocipede bicycle and the later Czech-designed Panzer 38(t) armored vehicle became one of the world’s best at the time.

The 1960s saw an increase in exporting from Czechoslovakia, with models like the Octavia Super and in the 70s and 80s it was the Rapid and Estelle that were the big sellers.

Today Skoda is one of the world’s best car developers, with revenue in the billions.

Now part of the Volkswagen family, Skoda is at the top of its automotive game.

The 2018 Superb was my personal car of the year with some outstanding features and ‘bang for buck’. It’s a theme that has continued with the new Skoda Karoq 110kW MY20.

With a price point of $44,990 for petrol and $50,990 for diesel, you can start going over the list of features and it’s got everything it takes to tick the box as a great value, strong performing family SUV.

Automatic tail gate opening is also a good start. The turbo petrol version seems to be quite economical on gas.

The 110kW provides enough power and 250 Nm, enough torque; 0-100 in 8.8 isn’t a Ferrari but it’s not meant to be one!

The cabin has a simple but elegant interior with lots of room and expansive windscreen and Apple car play and connectivity are downright easy.

The lines are so good, it took me a good five minutes to find the USB point hidden under a cover near the centre console.

With a five-year warranty up to 150,000km, it seems like a pretty simple buy.

Electric folding, heated side mirrors are great for the winter days and the Skoda carpet lighting on the doors allow you to look for the puddles when stepping out after a good rain.

Leather seating isn’t standard, but you can up spec the whole car including alloys and steering wheel for an extra $3,500.

The breaking assist is nice and gentle too, airbags, side assist and reversing camera are all there, so for the safety conscious, you get a lot for this low price point.

It’s simple and cost-effective and these days, simple and cost effective are very important. Check it out at Miles Continental for your own test drive.


 

Simple but elegant


When you’ve driven every Mitsubishi over the course of a year, one thing seems to be constant – simplicity, despite this simplicity, every vehicle from the Triton to the Pajero is packed to the brim with everything you need from a modern vehicle.

 

 

The Pajero Sport is no different.

This seven-seater has loads of room, quite the step up from its predecessor and that extends upwards, with my son Tom and I both gasping as we drove into the second floor of the Westfield Riccarton mall carparking building, convinced we were going to scrape the roof!

The Pajero Sports 20 MY’s power tail gate is always an asset and great for loading groceries, sports gear or school kit on a wet day.

A cool feature is you can use a smart phone app to open it too!

That same app can also be used as a vehicle locater, operation assist and vehicle information device.

How many times do you forget where you’re parked at said car park?

Front heated seats are good on the drive on the chilly mornings as well.

The new grille design gives the front end a little bit more polish and the lines on the vehicle have changed too.

It’s the wheel clearance on it that gives it such height and I’ll be honest, I took it for a little off-road test and it performed well, both in 4-wheel drive and 2-wheel drive.

There’s a 220-volt power plug in the back which means that if you take it off-road, you can power an electric pump for air beds or a little cooker or… whatever.

The 8-inch multi-functional display is adaptable for what you want to prioritise and, as always, Apple Car Play makes it easy on the iPhone user.

The sensor technology is also great, with a reversing camera and three-dimensional display so you know exactly where your car is in relation to curbs and obstacles.

There’s nothing worse than damaging your precious alloy wheels on curbs and this function will help you avoid this.

You’ll find 135kW of power and a whopping 437 Nm of torque on this beast, so towing the boat won’t ever be a problem.

Mitsubishi has a real knack for refining all the necessities into a simple but elegant package.

All that even comes at a good price, currently $59,000 plus on roads.

I could wax lyrical about the little details about the Pajero Sport but at the end of day, Mitsubishi really does have a version of the SUV/Utility vehicle for everyone.

What do YOU need?


 

A Sweet Set Up


The C-HR has been a mighty strong seller since Toyota lifted the lid on the first-generation compact SUV way back in 2017. The C-HR wowed us willing engines, levels of equipment and that edgy love it or hate it styling. For 2020, the C-HR has been enhanced to cope with its mid life crisis, so here is what’s what.

Available from a Toyota guaranteed price of $32,990, the C-HR still retains its 1.2 litre, 85kW, turbocharged petrol engine but also becomes the eighth model in Toyota’s family to be available with a hybrid powertrain.

The hybrid is a sweet set up, while the 1.2 petrol pulls well, the 1.8 petrol electric combo, also used in the Corolla Hybrid, is a peach, especially when returning fuel consumption figures of 4.3L/100km. Drive is channelled through a slick eight speed CVT gearbox.

You can also have your C-HR with AWD, but you need to go the whole hog and get the range-topping Limited spec.

Styling wise, it still retains its funky coupe lines, but now features revised LED head and taillights, a new front bumper design and new 17 or 18inch alloys, depending on the spec level.

The new C-HR comes with a gaggle of standard kit, including Toyota’s new eight-inch touchscreen infotainment system which at last incorporates Apple Car Play and Android Auto. Safety kit includes pre-collision warning, lane departure warning, radar cruise control, hill descent control, rear cross traffic alert, reversing camera and blind spot monitoring, to name a few.

Limited spec cars get the addition of heated leather seats, 360-degree rear camera and black gloss dash finish.

Rear seat passengers have average head and legroom and entry and exit are easy enough, just mind your head on the sloping roof line. Boot space is rated at 318L, not the biggest, but this is no wagon for lugging all in sundry around for days on end.

On the move in the hybrid, don’t expect a rapid response after giving it a boot full.

The C-HR is much more at home silently zipping along.

Minor tweaks to the suspension and dampers have resulted in the C-HR petrol and hybrid handling very well indeed.

Through the bends you can corner well with little effort required on your part to keep things level.

Parking is a doddle too, though rear visibility is average at best.

Also worth mentioning is ride comfort, it is quite frankly peerless.

After a couple of weeks with petrol and hybrid versions, one can say the little tweaks bestowed by Toyota really complement the C-HR well.

The one you want, in this writer’s opinion is the base Hybrid at $34,990 TGP.

With great levels of kit, silent running, comfort, refinement and the fact it can be quite fun to drive, the 2020 C-HR manages to do nearly everything very well indeed.


 

Waxing Lyrical


Many have been waxing lyrical about the Subaru XV. With a new XV due out later in the year, Subaru have given the current generation a few tweaks, here’s what’s what.

From $36,490, the XV comes with a strong 2.0L four-cylinder boxer engine with 115kW/196Nm. Add this to Subaru’s asymmetrical all-wheel-drive and a seven speed CVT gearbox, and you get 7.0L/100km, with the same good looks and 17-inch alloy wheels unique to the premium spec vehicle.

Inside, everything feels solid, and just very well put together when compared to others in this class.

In terms of space, there is oodles of it. Boot space is commendable at 310L.

The XV comes with Appale CarPlay and Android Auto as standard, along with lane change assist, high beam assist, rear cross traffic alert, blind spot detection, electric sunroof, heated leather seats, and Subaru’s latest generation Eyesight Driver Assist System.

At speed, the four-pot boxer pulls well.

The CVT box is actually more responsive than first expected. With some CVT gearboxes, the feeling of performance gets lost in translation, but Subaru’s unit is actually rather good, providing crisp changes.

Ride comfort is also very good, with the XV managing to soak up the bumps nicely.

Thanks to the all-wheel-drive which Subaru have honed over the years, you can get down and dirty with ease.

The XV Premium still represents great buying for those after a five-seater soft roader, thanks to great tech and refinement and it can tackle the moderate rough stuff like few others.