Tag: Test

2013 Australia’s Best Cars – Best Small Car under $35k – Hyundai i30 Active – test and review

It was a toughly fought battle, which makesthe Hyundai i30's Australia's Best Cars win for the second consecutive year an outstandingachievement.

The i30 has proven to be a solid, value-for-moneypackage that has the right ingredients to satisfy the majority of small car buyers.

Attractive pricing is always a good startbut the i30 also does well with some of the long-term ownership expenses that are oftenoverlooked.

With seven airbags, the i30 has a 5-star ANCAP rating and is among the bestin class for safety.

The i30 is particularly easy to drive andlive with on a daily basis.

Hyundai's growing reputation for a high standard of build andfinish is evident throughout the car.

Yes, there are other small cars that do afew things better but even then the i30 is not far behind and it is this consistencyacross all areas that gives the i30 an edge over its rivals.

Australian input into the suspension tuningprovides a comfortable ride and respectable handling.

Source: Youtube

2013 Australia’s Best Cars – Best Large Car under $60k – Holden Commodore SV6 – test and review

It's a big call but the Holden Commodore VFcould well be the best car ever made in Australia.

It was this 'ultimate evolution' that elevatedthe VF to the winner's rostrum for the first time.

An improvement over previous generationCommodores in just about every area.

Holden's 210kW, 350Nm 3.

6-litre V6 is a responsiveunit, particularly when paired with a six-speed auto that shows improved kick-down responseand shift smoothness.

And for an electric power steering system, the VF has one of thebest, being speed sensitive, nicely weighted and in full communication with the driver.

The SV6 boasts big brothers', the SS and SS-V,FE2 suspension.

Set firm, it endows the SV6 with a handling competency that belies a carof this size.

Standard equipment includes Auto Park Assist(which autonomously steers the vehicle into parallel or reverse parking positions), Bluetoothphone and audio streaming, USB and AUX inputs, auto lights, voice recognition and dual-zoneclimate control.

But it's not just creature comforts and practicalitems – safety is paramount, with six airbags, electronic stability control, ABS and tractioncontrol fitted.

In the great tradition of the Aussie familycar, Holden's Commodore VF is very much complete.

Source: Youtube

2013 Australia’s Best Cars – Best Sports Car under $50k – VW Golf GTI – test and review

Just when you think the current Golf can'tbe bettered, Volkswagen goes and releases a new Golf.

Volkswagen's mighty Golf goes from strengthto strength in both sales figure terms and performance.

The manual gearbox is an examplefor all other manufacturers in how shifting should feel, while the DSG shifts smoothlyand with precision.

The all new 2.

0-litre four cylinder engineis turbocharged and churns out an impressive 162kW and 350Nm.

Given the performance onoffer, fuel consumption well below 7 litres/100km is seriously impressive for what is stillthe quintessential hot hatch.

On the open road, the engine delivers itsbest in effortless fashion, powering the hatch along at highway speeds without ever raisinga sweat.

Around town at city speeds, the Golf is equally at home.

The suspension and handling have a real track-tunedfeel to them and can be a little harsh over really nasty surfaces.

Golf GTI's cabin delivers that signature feelingof solidity and build quality with near faultless ergonomics and comfort.

If you're looking for reasons not to buy aGolf GTI, you'll struggle to find them after taking a close look at the new Mark VII.

Source: Youtube

2013 Australia’s Best Cars – Best Sports Car $50k to $100k – BMW M135i – test and review

BMW has made it six wins in a row for thehigh-performance offering among its 1 Series range.

Such is the competence of its design and functionqualities and on road prowess, that the M135i, metaphorically speaking, took the chequeredflag after starting towards the back of the grid as an average to below-average valuefor money proposition.

The M135i is absolutely single-minded in theway it goes in pursuit of peak power of 235kW at 5800rpm and beyond to a 7000rpm redline.

All the while, the big inline six-cylinder entertains with induction noise and a snarlingexhaust soundtrack.

Peak torque is a brutish 450Nm.

Driving Experience Control works superbly,as does the Variable Sports Steering, which gains weight and directness as speeds increase.

Indeed, The ride quality, meantime, is not bone-jarringbrittle.

The concept of putting power to the groundthrough the rear wheels, leaving the front wheels to simply point and steer, might besimple, but in cars like this it makes for the purest of driving experiences.

The standard braking package is M Sport, incorporatingfour-piston fixed calipers on the front axle and two-piston fixed callipers at the rear,and works indefatigably.

To use the Aussie vernacular, the BMW M135iis a 'good thing'.

Source: Youtube

2013 Australia’s Best Cars – Best Large Car over $60k – Lexus GS 350 F Sport – test and review

The GS350 F Sport has two very different dimensions.

Around town the F Sport displays impeccable road manners as you would expect from a luxurycar.

Cocooned from the hustle and bustle of theoutside world you feel instantly at home.

Class-leading ergonomics that has everythingfalling nicely to hand.

Leaving the boardroom and the city behind,this once mild mannered city dweller turns into a bend-loving beast.

Powered by a 233kW 3.

5L direct injection V6that delivers a racy induction snarl when provoked, the GS350 tempts you to explorethe dynamic abilities of the chassis and will satisfy all but the most hard-core sportscar drivers.

In a category where the standard featureslists can be short and the options list longer than your arm, often adding considerably tothe sticker price of the car, the Lexus shines through with most of the desirable optionsalready ticked.

Back-to-back wins in the face of new and upgradedmodels from the premium European brands proves Lexus has what it takes to get on shoppinglist of the most demanding buyers.

Source: Youtube

2013 Australia’s Best Cars – Best Medium Car over $50k – BMW 320i – test and review

BMW has always positioned itself as a carfor the driver and it was in the 'on road performance' area that the 320i had the edgeon the other contenders.

Its overall balanced handling, albeit witha slightly firmer ride than some of the others, through the wide ranges of driving conditionsthat had the 320i with its rear drive, up with the best in class.

The quality of materials and finish is worldclass and, although it is priced competitively.

The 320i's frugal 6.

0 L/100km fuel consumptionis again best in class but it also manages to pull off the real hard trick which is alsoto be up the front of the pack on engine performance.

Safety is, of course, as you might expectfrom a German manufacturer.

Some people will buy a BMW for the badge andbragging rights but with the 320i the space, power, handling and fuel economy will winthem over in its own right.

So, as this year's Medium size car over $50,000winner, the 320i has continued what is becoming a tradition of being best of the best.

Source: Youtube

2013 Australia’s Best Cars – Best Light Car – Renault Clio Expression TCe120 – test and review

The surprising 1.

2 litre Clio Expression TCe120earned the Clio the first place, impressing judges with a combination of performance,standard features and value for money, beating some big brands in the process.

Inside you will find great interaction withthe Clio Expression's features via an easy to navigate 18cm (7 inch) touch screen display,mounted within easy reach.

The on-road attributes are where the Clioreally shines, however, with surprising flexibility and performance from the willing 1.

2 litreengine and 6 speed automatic transmission.

Handling, poise and ride from a vehicle inthis price range was a notable stand out, with the Clio feeling very much at home inall driving conditions.

The Renault Clio Expression Tce120 was anunexpected but deserved winner this year and should be one to keep on the shopping listif you are looking for something a little more individualised in the light vehicle category.

Source: Youtube

BMW M4 GTS v S 1000 RR Track Test

A couple of year’s ago, BMW did somethingreally clever.

They very sneakily hit the scene with a newperformance model, the fastest BMW road car ever built.

But, no one knew about it, because they didthis top secret model was developed under the cover of an official MotoGP safety car,taking it from racetrack to racetrack, improving Now the production model of that very carhas materialised.

This is the M4 GTS, and well, to keep thingsin context , we want to find out just how fast the real-life version is – not in frontof a MotoGP bike, but against a road-going version of one.

That bike is BMW’s 2017 S1000RR.

Now, these two machines belong on a racetrackand both sit at the top of their respective line-ups… We’ll get to the finer points of eitherin a moment… but first – it’s time for a good old fashion drag race… OK, so we know who is the comprehensive winnerthere.

But there’s more to this comparison thangoing fast in a straight line.

So what exactly were BMW testing during safetycar duties? Well, nestled in amongst all the bling here,among other items is a water injection system, which sprays a fine mist of distilled waterinto the intake manifold plenum chamber The water injection technology reduces thetemperature of the intake air allowing a higher turbo boost pressure and earlier spark timing.

The resulting 368kW of power and 600Nm timeenables a 0-100 time of 3.

8 seconds.

There’s also a full titanium exhaust system,and M coil-over suspension system with adjustable rebound and compression settings and sharpersteering.

It might have lost the stickers and sirensof the safety car, but make no mistake, the GTS is track focused.

The interior is striped out and fitted witha roll cage, there are no rear seats.

In some BMW circles, the GTS is quietly referredto as the widow maker… And I can see why.

Regular M4? You can just forget about it because thisthing is on another playing field altogether.

The power… Its quite similar from down low, but thenyou 5500rpm and the water injection system really comes to fruition.

WOW! This is a car that you need to learn.

Acutally, this is a car that you need to respect.

The way it accrues revs from middling revsout to the 7-6 limiter has to be felt to be believed… It is incredible… Coming onto the main straight here at theSydney Motorsport Park.

Wow! The feel of the M4 GTS is most rewarding.

Compared to the regular M4, everything feelssharper, and more response.

In fact, cultivate enough feel inside thecar and it soon starts to move around through the corners.

That’s when the fun really begins.

Into turn two, a double apex corner… Squirt the throttle and hoohoo!!!!!! The M4 is a car that bobs and fidgets.

It is hard-edged and, if we’re honest.

A little highly strung.

It is as close to a road-going racecar asyou get… And it demands respect… Next up, the S1000RR.

Fitted with a launch control function andpit lane speed limiter, this 146kW machine tips the scales at only 176kg dry… Now if I thought the M4 GTS was fast in a straight line lets try this on for size Holy Fark! [LOTS MORE BEEPING!] There's 260km's an hour Wow, that is fast, that is scary fast! Well that was immensely fast, this is crazy to say this I can’t believe how user-friendly it is.

There’s a really positive turn-in response,it sits poised through corners, and the electric parameters are so good, you can push the biketo a point and know that the safety net will figurately catch you.

Each machine has its benefits but as for whichis the most rewarding around a closed circuit? That title arguably rests with the M4 GTS… But in saying that, not everyone could livewith the M4’s hardcore bias… so on that front the S1000RR wins back crucial points.

There is one other little thing that I forgotto mention.

At $300k, the M4 GTS is roughly 10 times theprice of the humble S1000RR.

And with only 700 built globally and soldout before going on sale, you can’t exactly waltz into a dealership and put down yourorder.

So as for which is fastest out of the box,if you were to buy it today.

Well I think there’s only one choice.

Source: Youtube