News & Road Tests

VW's beaut ute transformed into civilised cruiser

VW's beaut ute transformed into civilised cruiser

In the five years since it first appeared, the Volkswagen Amarok has gone from being a curiosity to an accepted player at the top end of our booming ute market. David Thomson takes a refresher on the German-designed, Argentine-built pick-up. 

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Trail ride has something for everyone

Trail ride has something for everyone

For keen off-road motorbike riders, trail rides are the ideal way to see countryside usually ridden only by farmers and their shepherds. Catherine Pattison talks to the organiser of an up-coming event to see what goes on behind the scenes and finds out what is boosting the popularity of trail rides.

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New Outback a satisfying ride from Subaru

New Outback a satisfying ride from Subaru

With the forthcoming sixth-generation Legacy set to be offered in sedan guise only, the latest Outback takes on all large-wagon duties for Subaru. David Thomson loads up for an extended journey to put the new machine through its paces.

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Price steps up to the heavyweights

Price steps up to the heavyweights

Winton's Garry Price has spent 30 years in speedway racing, and having ''just turned to asphalt now'' has decided to do so in perhaps the most physically commanding class in motorsport.

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Fine-handling Mazda2 a worthy successor

Fine-handling Mazda2 a worthy successor

The latest Mazda2 is one of the first all-new models to grace our roads in 2015. David Thomson puts a small car that has big boots to fill through its paces.

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Gilmour hoping for luck as she chases championship glory

Gilmour hoping for luck as she chases championship glory

Luck is a much-yearned-for force in motorsport, and Dunedin's Emma Gilmour believes she could do with her fair share this year.

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High refinement in Mercedes CDI

High refinement in Mercedes CDI

Devotees of Mercedes-Benz will be familiar with the CLS. A rakish four-door, coupe-style take on the E-Class saloon, it was launched back in 2004 and a second-generation version appeared in 2010.

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Quinn has high hopes for hillclimb special

Quinn has high hopes for hillclimb special

Wanted: A driver for a lightweight, 850hp (633kW), hillclimb-demolishing car in April's Race to the Sky.

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Sundstrum Rally gentle challenge for all

Sundstrum Rally gentle challenge for all

The annual Sundstrum Rally returns next Saturday to once again offer a motorised clash of minds and the chance to do some orienteering on wheels.

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Lexus flexes SUV muscles

Lexus flexes SUV muscles

Lexus has filled a vital niche in its line-up with the new NX.  David Thomson puts this new luxury SUV through its paces.

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Genesis an impressive premium sedan from Hyundai

Genesis an impressive premium sedan from Hyundai

Who will be attracted to Hyundai's just-released premium sedan, the Genesis?

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Plenty to like in VW's practical Polo

Plenty to like in VW's practical Polo

Volkswagen is expecting big things of its latest CrossPolo supermini SUV. David Thomson slips behind the wheel to see how it fares in local conditions.

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Paddon prepares for chilly WRC return

Paddon prepares for chilly WRC return

Instead of a baptism by fire, Kiwi rally driver Hayden Paddon's return to the 2015 World Rally Championship will be on ice and snow as he wrestles with the frozen roads of Rally Sweden this week.

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Mercedes hits mark with new C-Class

Mercedes hits mark with new C-Class

Mercedes-Benz has high ambitions for its latest C-Class. David Thomson tests the C200 variant to see if the new machine delivers.

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Delight as Highlands team backs Race to the Sky

Delight as Highlands team backs Race to the Sky

Race to the Sky (RTTS) founder Grant Aitken is ''delighted and excited'' the event he put on for a decade until 2007, will be back on April 17-19 under the stewardship of Highlands Motorsport Park.

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Toyota's 2WD workhorse gains extra appeal

Toyota's 2WD workhorse gains extra appeal

In one of those odd ironies of life, at the very time Toyota has been promoting the Hilux as New Zealand's top-selling four-wheel-drive utility, a two-wheel-drive variant of the same machine was dispatched to Drivesouth for appraisal.

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Muscle cars meet in transtasman thriller

Muscle cars meet in transtasman thriller

Dunedin race driver Steve Scoles enjoys the camaraderie of muscle car racing and he is in some fine company this weekend at the Highlands Festival of Speed.

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Hyundai plays a reprise

Hyundai plays a reprise

Take a letter, add a number, create a cool persona: Alpha-numerics work well for some car companies, BMW being the best example, but not all.

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Honda is on the move

Honda is on the move

The new, fifth-generation Honda Odyssey has made it to our shores. David Thomson hops aboard to ponder the vehicle's importance in the booming people-mover segment.

It is close on 10 years since people-movers were last as significant in the new vehicle market as they are right now, and almost as long since Honda's once popular Odyssey was more han a bit-player.

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2014's best cars: part 2

2014's best cars: part 2

David Thomson and Richard Bosselman conclude their review of cars that made a real impression last year by picking their SUV and sports car favourites, as well as an overall winner.

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