Sunday, December 20, 2009

All new Kia Sorento

Now we're talking.

This is the latest and probably one of their Kia's best releases to date in Australia. On sampling this new car, one thing clearly strikes you every few minutes: This is a Kia?? This is no disrespect for the brand of course. It is more the fact that Kia have built small efficient new cars with a great warranty, it was hard to imagine they would come up with the something like the new Kia Sorento.

At first glance the styling screams of sophistication and class. It is so far removed from its predecessor in every way, it is more of a revolution than evolution!

The standard features list is extensive, probably far too long and boring to list here. Safety features are abundant and the diesel engine option is more than adequate.
One thing is for certain, most other competitors would cost somewhere around $15-20000 more for the same level of features. The Sorento has LED tail lamps and the Sorento Platinum has HID headlamps you would normally find in a European SUV. Such is the extent of its value. Coupled with a great warranty, 5yrs/Unlimited km, the choice must surely be narrowed down to a new Kia Sorento!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Ford Fiesta ECOnetic

The much anticipated Fiesta ECOnetic has finally arrived. After a stellar performance in the Fuel Economy challenge in October where it averaged just over 3.0l/100km, there are high hopes the Fiesta ECOnetic will be the halo car for the Fiesta range. Highlighting the fuel economy benefits of the entire Fiesta range.

Powered by a fuel efficient 1.6l TDCi engine, the ECOnetic has enough pulling power (250Nm) to tackle all urban duties. It has the ability to accelerate briskly all the while sipping fuel at a very modest rate. One of the secrets is the it has a shift light indicating when the best time to change gears is. This enables the driver a good guide on how to best adjust their driving style to maximise the fuel economy benefits the Fiesta has.

At $24,990 Driveaway, the Fiesta ECOnetic is substancially less expensive than the hybrids out in the market place. The Toyota Prius is a great car and an example of how hybrids should be built, but is priced in the low to mid 40's. The Honda Civic Hybrid is another example of a great hybrid being available as a sedan and with automatic transmission.

Which ever way you look at it, the Fiesta is a great example of Ford's engineering and technology knowhow.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Hyundai i30

Hyundai has long been seen as the budget car maker who was able to build cheap cars for the masses. It was very successful at it too with the Hyundai Excel. So much so that it did the unthinkable, it was the number one selling car on at least one month. It did so without the help of the fleets.

Fast forward to the present, and you have a vastly different company. While still proving new cars buyers great value with inexpensive cars like the Hyundai Getz, Hyundai now has alot more substance to their cars. Starting with the all new Hyundai Santa Fe launched in 2006, Hyundai began to turn itself into a we respected as well as feared car company. Fear so much in that the current Toyota CEO said that Hyundai is the car manufacturer he fears most.

Today, the all new Hyundai i30 has once again raised the bar and struck fear into its competitors. This car is very capable of doing the most basic of all tasks, with safety and piece of mind. Thoroughly obsorbant in its ride, it still manages to perform respectfully when driven hard as well. And lets face it, this is a 5 door hatch not a sports car.
It is a well equiped hatchback that has an iPod connection, Bluetooth, Air Conditioning, AntiLock Brakes (ABS) and power windows and mirrors. These are all a few of the many standard features in the i30. As you move up the model range, the features list grows substancially to provide a great value package.

Need more space? The i30CW is the right choice. It is one of the few wagons out there that is perfectly suited to work or family. It does this while being stylish at the same time remembering the i30 was designed in Europe.

The engines are also very competitive. The 2.0litre 4 cylinder petrol engine is power and returns good economy. Unlike most of its direct competitors, the i30 is available in a CRDi 1.6litre Diesel version as well. It is also the cheapest, and best value diesel passanger car you can buy in Australia. No one can compete and return the fuel savings like the Hyundai i30 for the money.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Ford Falcon XR6 Turbo

The Falcon XR6 Turbo has long been considered a performance bang for your buck since it's release in 2002. Starting with the BA, it blew away the competition with its Turbo urge and value for money.

It could do a 14sec quarter mile without much drama. Then you could drive it to work or take the family out for a drive and you wouldn't know its potency.

After a small visual and feature upgrade with the BA MkII Falcon including the 6 speed manual, the BF Falcon was released in 2005 with a host of visual and feature updates. The one that stood out most was the new 6 speed ZF Automatic transmission. The reason for this significance is that the 6 speed auto allowed the turbo charged 6 cylinder to engine to really exploit its torque and enhance acceleration even further. Sub-14sec quarter mile times were now a reality!

Fast forward to the FG Falcon XR6 Turbo. This car has once again set the bar very high amongst the competition! With a potent 270kw and 533Nm of torque, it has the abililty to launch the car into the low 13sec times down the strip. Now that's hauling!

Acceleration is simply a case of slightly straightening the ankle and the torque simply takes over and gets you to the speed limit without any fuss. Overtaking? No problems. In fact, the need to give the car full throttle acceleration in city traffic is almost unnecessary. It simply does not need it!

In terms of handling and braking the XR6 Turbo is very comfortable, while providing sure footed cornering and stopping for all applications in daily driving. Some spirited performance is always on tap as the car never feels unstable even in harder cornering with the right amount of chassis balance available.

On the inside, the seats are very comfortable and designed very much with comfort in mind as well as being gripy enough for the harder drivers.

The steering wheel feels great as does the feel. Everything also seems with in easy reach, especially the radio/CD and cruise control bottons located on the steering wheel. This has long been a Falcon advantage.

Fuel consumption is also a surprise. Ford claims 11.7/100km, but low 11 is certainly achievable even in city driving so long as there isn't much hard acceleration involved. On the highways, down to just over 7l/100km may even be achieved as proven at the fuel economy challenge in October.

So overall a very enticing package as a family car, a performance sedan and an executive cruiser.

Meaning, it is hard to beat.