Car Reviews

49

It has been a long time since the Supra and the AE86 Corolla and the Soarer. For a while, especially in Australia, Toyota has made cars for families, but the 2012 launch of the 86 marked a return to form. The recently refreshed mid-life update of the Toyota 86 adds a few welcome goodies, but it's still a simple, focused sports car.

7

What happens when you take a much-loved car brand and re-release its iconic vehicle for the 21st century? What happens when you then tweak that re-release after a couple of years, and change a few things along the way? Mini's revitalised Cooper S hatchback is more spacious, faster and more fuel-efficient than the previous model, but it's not the perfect city car.

2

Students from UNSW have, for a couple of decades, been developing and refining an extremely specialised solar-powered racing car, made to compete in the long-distance World Solar Challenge. Sunswift's eVe solar car is the fifth incarnation of the solar racer to come out of the UNSW skunkworks since 1996 and, a year ahead of the 2015 Challenge, the team has their sights set on breaking a completely different record.

15

The Ford Fiesta ST has been on the market for a while now, but that doesn't mean it's old or beyond its use-by date. Far from it: the Fiesta ST is one of the best hot hatches I have ever driven.

21

Navman's SmartGPS is a 5-inch Android tablet -- running quite an old version of Android -- that syncs over Bluetooth or Wi-Fi with your smartphone, giving you turn-by-turn driving directions and live traffic updates, as well as extra info like the cheapest petrol nearby and any cafes and restaurants in the area. But is it still worth buying a standalone GPS in 2014?

2

It starts with a blind spot: a corner you can't see around. You're rushing towards your holiday destination, kids on-board and your luggage in tow. What you don't know, however, is that there's someone exactly like you with kids in the car about to blast across your path at the blind T-junction ahead of you. All of a sudden, your proximity alarm goes off, and you slam on the brakes before you slam into the front of another vehicle. You couldn't see around that corner, but your car could. This is Vehicle-To-Vehicle technology, and it's going to save your life one day.

43

Electric vehicles are slowly infiltrating Australia. We're still a while away from that all-electric world of the future, but hybrid vehicles have come a long way since the Prius' 2002 debut. The Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV turns an important corner on that road to tomorrow; if you take a little care, you can drive it without spending a cent on petrol.

11

If you're a fan of heading bush, towing stuff about or getting lost on your very own adventure, you'll need a set of wheels up to the task. We test drove the 2014 Ford Ranger, and it combines smart technology with rugged science to get you from point-A to point-B, allowing you to drive over just about anything in your way.

0

If you're buying into a car sharing network, it's probably because you want to save money. Not having a car sitting around for your personal use also helps the environment, too -- if you can share with someone else, all that expensive manufacturing and plastic processing isn't going to waste. This is the idea behind GreenShareCar.

26

In the last few months, the world has become obsessed with a new breed of sports car. The McLaren P1 and Porsche 918 Spyder are the two prime examples: they combine high-powered petrol engines with efficient electric motors, giving great standing acceleration, blistering top-end speed, and fuel-efficient low-power everyday driving.

The BMW i8 is Germany's own futuristic supercoupe, and it's headed to Australia very, very soon. I visited BMW's local HQ for an hour with its brand new six-figure hybrid supercar.

5

Car sharing is so hot right now. Zipcar and Getaround are huge in the United States, GoGet and GreenShareCar are both big in Australia. Hertz 24/7 may not have the same market penetration as, say, GoGet, but it has one huge advantage: no sign-up fees or mandatory yearly or monthly costs. We went for a quick ride to try it out.

12

Apple has announced its new in-car iPhone integration system. Called CarPlay, it's designed to be an eyes-free system which allows users to safely use their phone for information, entertainment and communication while at the wheel.

3

Ford has been riding high on its SYNC infotainment system for years now. But now, the platform it developed in partnership with Microsoft is starting to show its age. It's a good thing that SYNC2 is ready for launch: the new, practically buttonless infotainment system that relies almost entirely on your voice.

6

At first glance, this rockabilly Batmobile looks like a retro-fetishist's pet project. It's not. In fact, this freak machine, hand-built by a ragtag team in an Illinois town of 1200, is the deepest look into the future of cars you've ever clapped eyes on. One frigid day in Brooklyn, Gizmodo buckled in for a ride.

2

Ask any cyclist: Racing saddles are uncomfortable. Especially for the first few months, when they feel like pieces of wood. But Brooks, the venerable British saddle maker, wants to change that with Cambium, a new saddle that arrives already broken in -- without any of the normal torture. Your more sensitive parts (read: your crotch) will thank you.

19

Getting around in a big city can be a challenge, but it needn't be when you have one of those futuristic computer phones in your pocket that happens to know your location. With the aid of your smartphone, getting around is a breeze. Here are our favourite apps for taxis and transport.