What’s the difference between a medium and large wagon? More in size than price if you use the Mazda 6 and Holden Commodore cargo-haulers as examples. While the new, German-sourced Commodore stretches nearly 19cm beyond the Japanese 6, their respective RS and Touring variants are split by just $900. The gap closed after the Holden Commodore RS Sportwagon was priced $3000 below the SV6 Sportwagon it replaces – reflecting Holden’s recognition of a broader competitive base. Before we get stuck into our detailed analysis to find out which family-sized wagon is best, we should point out that our testing process employed two Mazda 6 models. With a Mazda 6 Touring petrol wagon unavailable, we used a diesel Touring wagon to assess features, cabin presentation and practicality, and a petrol Atenza sedan to test the comparable drivetrain. EDITOR’S NOTE: It’s also worth highlighting that a major update for the Mazda 6 launches this very week, so this comparison … [Read more...] about 2018 Holden Commodore RS Sportwagon 2.0 petrol v Mazda 6 Touring Wagon comparison
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You wouldn't invite just anyone into your car or truck, would you? While most of us would never allow a total stranger to hop aboard, a growing number of car owners are increasingly comfortable letting their insurance company come along for the ride — every ride. Usage-based car insurance allows a customer to potentially save money by more accurately tracking driving criteria such as the mileage driven in a given month or the time of day someone's routine driving is taking place. Related: Driving Smart Video: Do I Need Gap Insurance? In some cases, a sensor is plugged directly into a car's diagnostics port to monitor the car and driver. Other programs use smartphone apps that work with a Bluetooth-enabled sensor positioned in the vehicle. That eliminates the need for a fixed connection to the car itself. "Think of these devices as a way to get insurance more 'custom-tailored' to the way you drive," said Lynne McChristian of the Insurance Information Institute, an … [Read more...] about Big Savings or Big Brother? Your Usage-Based Car Insurance Is Watching
Nobody would have thought five years ago that the two best-selling cars in Australia would be dual-cab utes. But, they are, and dual-cab utes are going gangbusters with manufacturers keen to capitalise on sales at an all-time high. We've just spent the best part of two days testing Toyota's all-new models aimed at the buyer wanting more features and more off-road ability from their dual-cab ute.The Toyota HiLux Rogue, HiLux Rugged and HiLux Rugged X kicked off as an idea among Toyota Australia's executive team in 2015, just before the current-generation HiLux was released. The idea for each vehicle wasn't approved until early 2016, after focus groups and senior management agreed on the final products.From the point of sign-off through to public announcement earlier this year, Toyota's Australian engineering team worked to develop, prototype and test the upgrades to each vehicle. According to Toyota, the upgrades are more than just aftermarket parts strapped onto the vehicle, with … [Read more...] about 2018 Toyota HiLux Rogue, Rugged and Rugged X review
► CAR reviews new BMW i3 REX► We live with i3 Range Extender► 94Ah EV battery range on test Almost exactly one year after it arrived on CAR’s fleet, the slate grey BMW i3 has gone, leaving me with pangs of loss. It didn’t set my trousers on fire dynamically, nor can I fondly recall individual drives, but the i3 fostered a new type of connection.It’s the modernism at the heart of the i3 where the magic happens. When you open the pillarless doors and sink into the minimalist cabin you feel good – it’s decluttered, and roomy with that lack of central transmission tunnel. Optional £780 twin sunroofs bathe the recycled dashboard in daylight, while the suicide rear doors draw more interest than ire (the fronts must be open before the rears).We regularly carried four passengers – this is a roomy car for something less than four metres long. A practical small electric car? Nearly. There’s no fifth … [Read more...] about A year-long test of a BMW i3 Range Extender: what did we learn?
► CAR reviews new BMW i3 REX► We live with i3 Range Extender► 94Ah EV battery range on test Our stint with the i3 is nearly at an end. It’s facelift time, see, though you’d be hard pressed to tell from the car (above) unveiled in Frankfurt. Blacked-out A-pillars and roof lines, some fresh paint choices, reprofiled bumpers and a chrome strip running across the rear are about your lot.What is new is the i3 S, a warm hatch with 10mm lower suspension, 20mm wider tyres and 0-62mph in 6.9sec. Count us as interested…You can read our full BMW i3 S review here. By Tim PollardThis month's big picture (above) is what the i3 is all about: it's a reminder that electric cars can be fun to drive! This is heartening news in an age where it's easy to be sucked into a vortex of negativity about the future of motoring, automotive pleasures as know them crippled by taxation, emissions, congestion and headline-grabbing ministers pledging to eradicate … [Read more...] about Our BMW i3 has been superseded by a facelift