Car Reviews

53

The Mustang is an iconic car. In Australia, we've rarely seen it outside of films like Bullitt, Gone In 60 Seconds and the new Need For Speed -- the last locally delivered model was the relatively unpopular 2001 4.6-litre, and companies like Performax charge upwards of $100,000 for right-hand-drive conversions of US-delivered variants. Now, in 2016, the first made-for-Australia version of the Ford Mustang is here -- it's launching this week, starting at under $46,000.

44

Bicycles are great. They're compact, quiet, and convenient -- as long as you have a helmet, you can jump on and go anywhere, and you're only limited by the energy in your legs. That's just about the only limiting factor of bikes -- the muscles of the humans riding them. But electric bikes? Now that's another story.

4

A Ural sidecar isn't like any other vehicle. The design dates back to pre-WWII technology sharing between the Nazis and Soviet Union, and the bikes are still made in the same factory that was located out of enemy bombers' range during the war, way out on the Siberian steppe. This is what they're like to ride today.

19

The first thing you need to know about Taipei is that it's hot. Well, more humid, really. The second thing you need to know is that if you don't have a scooter, you're a nobody. That's why all the hype in Taipei right now is around a scooter company called Gogoro and its first pilot store in the city centre: it's cool as ice, and riding around on one is like putting a Tesla between your legs.

31

I'm not too proud to admit that the Lamborghini Aventador is the most frightening car I've ever driven. I'm profoundly scared of it, but not because of its speed, its ferocious engine or the brakes that pull the eyes out of your head when you stop. It's something else.

0

Car sharing is a great thing. If you're a member of your chosen cartel, you can book a convenient car with a moment's notice, tap your smart credit card on the windscreen reader to activate your booking, and then drive around like you own it. While GoGet and GreenShareCar are multi-city services, Flexicar is car sharing specifically for Melbournites.

15

Ford is winding down its production run of the Falcon in Australia, and that's a massive pity, but there's a last hurrah -- thanks to an unexpected rush of demand, it has more than doubled the number of XR8s coming out of its Broadmeadows factory. This the last Falcon, and it's definitely the best of its breed. Oh, and it's supercharged, if you needed another reason.

13

As a particular model of car sticks around for a few years, it usually gets larger, picks up some new safety gear, adds a bit of fancy styling, and gets more expensive. But not always -- especially not if there's a lot of strong competition for buyers' dollars. Subaru's 2015 update of the long-lived Liberty line drops prices by up to $14,000 -- a massive 25 per cent -- while adding a luxurious interior, a nifty multi-mode LCD dashboard and colour touchscreen entertainment system. It's cheaper and better than the last one.

25

Cars should get better every year, whether the improvements are gradual or revolutionary. When you have a 10-year-old nameplate, and an existing stable of other excellent vehicles to draw on technology from, you set yourself up with an easy recipe for those improvements. The new 2015 Ford Territory MkII centres around the much-improved SYNC2 interface on a 8-inch touchscreen for media and navigation, and remains a great and straightforward all-Australian SUV at the same time.

10

With retro styling hiding cutting edge technology, the Fonzarelli is Australia's first all electric scooter that promises to end your addiction to fossilized dinosaur juice. But is the latest amped up version good enough to replace a traditional moped?

18

You know in the first Iron Man movie when Tony Stark takes his armour out for its very first flight in Malibu, and he spends the whole experience with the world's most terrified grin on his face? That's the face you'll pull every single time you hit the accelerator on the Nissan GT-R.

19

Want to get an Audi S model in your life but afraid you can't afford it? The new Audi S1 Quattro might be just what you need. We went driving around the wilds of Tasmania with the new beastly hot hatch, and it's incredible.

13

I went for a drive last night. I didn't have a destination in mind. I just clipped my belt and started driving around Sydney, drinking in the beautiful light of our nation's largest city and enjoying the luxury of the car I had to review. It's called the Infiniti Q50, and I want to be in it and driving more than I want to be in my lounge room at home going nowhere.

3

If you’ve got kids, or have to commute to work around school drop-off time, you know how it can be driving through a school zone clogged by obnoxious soft-roaders. They’re big, they’re impassable and tough to get in and out of tight spots when you’re the one in the driver’s seat, especially in the city. When it came to getting behind the wheel of the Holden Trax LTZ, however, we were pleasantly surprised by its departure from class.

18

Hybrid petrol-electric cars are evolving at a rapid pace, but early examples like Toyota's Prius weren't as earth-changing and fuel-saving as we'd all hoped. Ingolstadt is taking care of that last point, though -- it doesn't want to be massively revolutionary, but Audi's new A3 e-tron city car marries an electric motor to a regular fossil-fueled engine, and it can travel 50km without using a drop of petrol. When it does use dinosaur juice, it does so frugally and sensibly.

5

Three of the smartest people I've ever met just went from ecstatic genius-mode into sombre, contemplative silence. It's not because someone just dropped one of the most advanced motion-capture gadgets Ford has ever created, but because of a question I asked about the art on the wall. "Well, that's a special story," a boffin explains to me.