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Peace of mind motoring: Leading Edge Automotive

“These vehicles are their owners’ pride and joy,” says Joris Sanders of Leading Edge Automotive. He is referring to the high-end European cars – BMWs, Volkswagens, Audis, Mercedes and Porsches – that are brought to Leading Edge for servicing and repairs.



“We too have a real passion for these cars and do everything we can to give owners peace of mind that when the vehicles are entrusted to us, they will be looked after as if they were our own. We believe most major faults can be avoided, or at least picked up on early with regular maintenance and our goal is to keep people moving safely and reliably.”

In its modern workshop, Leading Edge Automotive’s specialist technicians carry out the full range of servicing, repairs and problem diagnoses – everything from issuing warrants of fitness, replacing parts and repairing defective shocks, suspension or brakes, to diagnosing auto electrical faults, replacing tyres, wheel alignments and so much more, using the latest equipment. They are Autosure warranty approved repairers and sell policies for peace-of-mind motoring.

“Today’s vehicles are marvels of electronics and engineering. Our team has an increasingly broad base of knowledge and skills from attending ongoing advanced training to appreciate how a vehicle’s complex components work and interact.”

With a fleet of 10 free courtesy cars, you will be able to carry on with your life while your vehicle is being pampered. Leading Edge, one of Christchurch’s leading automotive specialists, can be found at or phone 03 366 3384.



Great things come in small packages

Is it possible to make one of the best small hatches better? Honda thinks so. Just check out the new Jazz. Visually we see a more pronounced nose and restyled LED headlights, but it still retains the iconic eggshell styling.



The entry-level S comes in a 1.3 i-VTEC four pot with 73kW and 119Nm of torque, while my test car, the RS, gets the beefier 1.5-litre version (97kW/156Nm). Buyers can choose between a six-speed manual or CVT auto transmission. The manual is delightful, though I expect most Jazz buyers to gravitate to the CVT.

Interior space is peerless, with head and legroom sure to accommodate all shapes and sizes, though the a-pillars can be slightly intrusive. It’s the interior itself where the Jazz comes into its own. Features like Honda’s new 7-inch Bluetooth display, Emergency Stop Assist, Parking Sensors, Reversing Camera and Hill Start Assist are just some of the kit which now comes as standard throughout the range.

On the move, the 1.5-litre is a peppy unit and the chassis is well balanced, offering a degree of fun chuck-ability usually reserved for hot hatchbacks.

In a nutshell, the Honda Jazz stands as a great package of versatility, driving enjoyment and more standard kit than any other in its class. Plus, with prices starting at a snip over $21,990, you can throw value in there too.



A stand-out drive

When reviewing a new car, it’s the details that make it stand out from the pack. Models are getting good at all-round driving ability. The Focus is no exception.



Apple Car Play should be a standard in all vehicles now and the Focus’ sound is brilliant; I connected in less than eight seconds. Avon City Ford’s Hemi Peek gave me the rundown as always, but it really was me playing around in the car that made it fun.

I ask friends what they think. Charlotte didn’t like the passenger seat flooring but loved the big mirror on the visor; I guess that’s a woman’s prerogative. My son Tom loved the panoramic sunroof as did I. It was a good solid drive at 134kW, and 240Nm made it agile and fast off the mark, plus there was plenty of room inside for real estate gear and family materials.

It has pretty good lines too and tinted glass gave it a sexy look. The heads-up display (HUD) felt like a nice addition but the price was a great one at $41,990 plus ORC. The one thing I loved was economy. You don’t really notice it when you’re driving around, but I took a couple of friends up to play in the snow at Porters Pass and it hardly made a dent in the petrol. Add the fact that despite a boot full of food and sleds we were still all comfortable and it just goes to show what a great little runner it is.

So, overall impression of the Ford Focus? A bloody good car.



Packing some punch

I asked Hemi Peek at Avon City Ford what he thought were the three top features of the Ford Endura Titanium; “A solid drive with a luxurious cabin, hands-free automatic power tailgate opening and easy interactive display”.



Well he wasn’t wrong. The 2-litre turbo diesel is also packing some punch in acceleration; with 140kW and 400Nm torque, it’s good off the mark. There’s plenty of room in the back and, coming in at $69,900 plus ORC, it’s competitive for like-minded models on the market.

I drove the hell out of it and hardly touched the full tank in a week. I did struggle with the dial gear change at first but soon got used to it. Its simple but elegant interior was a pleasure to sit in, as were its luxurious seats. I guess the catch phrase of ‘Affordable Luxury Awaits’ really says it all. It “feels” good; two-tonne towing capacity and a five-year unlimited kilometre warranty are added bonuses.

It might be my aggressive Christchurch driving, but the pre-collision assist and pedestrian detection work really well! The driver’s and passenger’s seats come with a rear seat entertainment screen for watching movies on the long drive for the kids and, as a family SUV, it fits the bill well. The week I had it was glorious and sunny, so I got to enjoy the sunroof for all that it is. |

The Ford Endura Titanium is everything it says it is; loaded with features you just don’t get on every SUV model, even the more expensive adversaries.



A dynamic set

It’s all about class with Mercedes and, with two of the brand’s top-line models getting major improvements, it makes me wonder how far you can take it, especially when the starting point is an already dynamic set of cars – the AMG A45 and CLA 45.



The CLA 45 is a stunning example of a coupe. New changes include a completely redesigned engine, four-cylinders with 310kW/500Nm; new cars are generally half that.

You’ll also find an eight-speed dual-clutch transmission with launch control and a new, fully variable AMG Performance 4MATIC+ system featuring active torque vectoring at the rear axle; that’s a mouthful of change. You also have drift mode but why you would want to drift a beauty like this is beyond me.

Meanwhile, unique panels from the A-pillar forward, wider front guards to accommodate broader track wind tunnel-tested AMG Aerodynamic package increases downforce for high-speed stability. Revised suspension with AMG Ride Control adaptive dampers provides a smoother ride.

With new improvements to the drive, the classy interior and interactive systems haven’t needed to be touched. After all, as we’ve seen from the Mercs of the past year, they have everything pretty much sorted.



A standout showroom: Honda Cars Christchurch

Chances are, if you have lived in Christchurch for the last 30 plus years, you have known someone who has purchased a Honda from Honda Cars Christchurch. The team has gained a sterling reputation over the last three decades and, to this day, is New Zealand’s biggest volume Honda dealer.



After battling through earthquakes and shifting across the road for a time, Honda’s iconic showroom on the corner of Montreal and St Asaph Street has been given a complete overhaul, to bring you one of the nicest new car showrooms in Canterbury. The layout would still be very familiar to loyal Honda customers. However, the similarities end there.

The first thing you notice is the sheer amount of light which illuminates the whole showroom, thanks to the dealership facing north and the size of the glass windows. A new customer waiting area and café can be found and the friendly Honda team is always on hand to help out. Around the showroom, each model, from Jazz to Civic Type R, stands out beautifully, as does a very special original 1976 Honda Civic hatch owned by Honda New Zealand.

The 12 month build process has resulted in one of the most warm and welcoming car dealerships in the country. Plus, with Honda’s friendly professional team, years of experience and some of the nicest all-round cars on sale, you would be hard pressed to find better.



Team behind the tyres: Tyres 2 Go

One of the best ways to vastly improve the safety and performance of your car is by fitting the best quality tyres. Naturally you need the best when it comes to tyres; you need Tyres 2 Go.



With six centres situated around the greater Christchurch area, the company’s range of tyres has to be seen to be believed. Everything from your daily driver, weekend sports car, family four-wheel-drive, or even a work van or motorhome, Tyres 2 Go’s range of tyres from the likes of Pirelli, Toyo and Hankook to name a few, will give you plenty of grip and go to suit your budget.

They also stock a staggering range from some of the most sought-after aftermarket wheel manufacturers in the world. Whether you think your car would suit a set of alloys from Enkei, Konig Advanti, or even OZ Racing, the team at Tyres 2 Go have the wheel and tyre package for you. Also, Tyres 2 Go have their ‘best price guarantee’. This means if you can find the same tyre or wheel somewhere else for less, they will do their utmost to beat it.

Tyres 2 Go also offers a five day a week mobile service, with vans that are fitted with state-of-the-art fitting and balancing machines to change your tyres wherever and whenever it suits throughout Christchurch. Basically, when the rubber meets the road, you can do no better than Tyres 2 Go.

For more information, visit their website



Supra Hot!

After years of speculation, Toyota has given us a new Supra and it’s in New Zealand! I recently headed to a rain-soaked Hampton Downs Raceway to enjoy two glorious, if a bit brief, laps in the 2019 Toyota GR Supra.



So, what can we tell you? Well the new Supra is the result of a joint project between Toyota and BMW. Made in Austria, it essentially shares the same 3.0-litre straight six-engine and slick eight-speed ZF automatic transmission from the new BMW Z4.

This means a very nice 250kW and 500Nm of torque. However, according to Supra Chief Engineer, Tetsuya Tada-San, who surprised us with his presence when the car was unveiled, the GR Supra breathes Toyota’s DNA. “The GR Supra has been fine-tuned to give it a personality that is Toyota. This car is all about performance.”

Tada-San also gave us a bit of background about how the GR Supra Project started. “My boss, Toyota President Akio Toyoda, came to me and said we need a new Supra. He was constantly involved with the design and build process. He loves the Supra history and had to make sure I was doing a good job.”

Before setting out on our brief stint, Tada-San was asked, “Should I leave the traction control on?” His response was, “Nah, leave it off, we want you to have fun”. Out into the monsoon-soaked track we went. The sound of that sweet straight six is a torrent of symphonic bliss, and all that 500Nm of torque kicks in at a mere 1650rpm, meaning you can get on the power sooner and reach the national limit in 4.3 seconds.

In the bends, the steering weights up beautifully and the Electronic Differential which splits the torque evenly between both rear wheels means, despite the wet conditions, you can enjoy all that power under control, plus, having grippy Michelin tyres adorning those handsome 19-inch forged alloy wheels helps.

The Toyota GR Supra can be yours for $99,990 NZD. However, Toyota NZ only plans to bring in 40 in the first year, with many already snapped up. It would be worth the wait though, because after our first taster, we have become rather smitten with this future performance classic.



Take a Seat

Bold and innovative, the SEAT (pronounced ‘see at’) is a compact crossover vehicle (CUV). Direct from Spanish automaker SEAT, I even had the marketing manager greet me with ‘Hola!’



The Ateca is a 140 kW 4Drive with a price tag of $50,900. You have extra options like dynamic chassis control and 19-inch machined alloys on the one I tried which take it to $54,400. It has very similar specifications to another brand in the market which is $20,000 more and, to be nice, I won’t mention them but let’s focus on what’s good about the Ateca. Space!

The cabin room is impressive with the room to house five family members and their weekend away gear stowed in the back. Handling: it’s got a great pick up and handling ability, proven when doing a U turn in peak hour traffic on Halswell Road – I was greatly impressed. The exterior is a bit generic, but you can get used to that when it comes to bang for buck on engine and performance.

Founded in Spain in 1950, this is our real taste of the car and Archibald’s on Tuam has brought them in to see what Christchurch thinks. I think they are worth taking a look at purely for the fact that they are a bloody good drive and there’s a space for that in this price range. Take a seat in a SEAT and you’ll see at what I mean… see what I did there?


Family Friendly Line-Up

It’s all well and good lusting after the latest and greatest supercar line-ups, but when you’re in the family way, sometimes all you need is space.



Honda New Zealand has added a new seven-seat model to its popular CR-V line-up, with all the space to boot.

Priced from just $39,990+ORC, family friendly doesn’t mean you need to eschew all the luxury features of its high-spec siblings, with the CR-V Limited 7 bringing luxury to price-conscious New Zealand families who want the extra versatility and flexibility of seven seats.

The CR-V Limited 7 stands out in the highly competitive medium SUV segment, offering 7 leather-appointed seats, full 3-row airbag coverage and five-star ANCAP rating, surpassing many of its rivals in this price bracket.