$14,990 is not a great deal of money to spend on a brand new car. But these days, it gets you a lot. And in the 2017 refresh of Holden's Barina — designed by Aussies — you get the two most important pieces of technology that any new car needs.
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Holden now has the 2016 European car of the year in its local stables. A starting price of just $21,990 gets you into one of the most technology-packed cars in its price bracket — turbo engines and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto across the entire range, and on the top RS-V you also get Holden's first forward-facing, traffic-sensing camera and some very very cool headlights.
If you're a red-blooded, VB-downing, meat-and-two-veg Aussie — you watch the V8s every weekend, you've been up Mount Panorama every year since Brockie's first Bathurst victory — you'll either be a die-hard Ford or Holden fan. And if you're a Holden guy, you'll probably have owned a Commodore. Holden won't build the Commodore in Australia from 2017, and that means no more barnstorming rear-wheel drive V8. But the Commodore name lives on, and we've just seen our first glimpse of what it's like. The guys from CarAdvice have driven a 2018 Commodore prototype — and it sounds pretty special.
On a new car costing less than $22,000, you wouldn't expect the world in terms of in-car entertainment and safety tech. Holden's new Astra, though, has one of the most comprehensive driver assistance safety packages and luxury features of any car in its price bracket that we've seen. Android Auto and Apple CarPlay are standard in the cheapest model, and there's a clear progression in what you get when you step up to the premium RS and RS-V.
Let's say you have $10,000 to spend on a new (new for you, not new-new) car. But you want something fun — a car that, while it isn't necessarily built just for all-out circuit racing or the drags, is a little more enjoyable to drive than your average A-to-B city econobox. With that criteria in mind, we've rounded up the 10 most enjoyable cars that you can find in decent condition in Australia for around about $10,000.
Trucks are everywhere. Ford has the new Ranger, there's the Mitsubishi Triton and Nissan Navara, and now Holden has a refresh for its super-sized Colorado. The reinvigorated super-ute is probably the most high-tech truck that you can buy at the moment, with even the base model including a new MyLink entertainment system that includes Android Auto and Apple CarPlay.
Australia's Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries is concerned about a growing influx of counterfeit car parts entering the country from Asia, including safety-critical parts like wheels, airbags and brake pads. The peak body's Genuine Is Best website showcases a shocking range of poor quality counterfeits that might be putting your cheaply repaired car at risk.
Holden's Lang Lang proving ground has been the company's home of testing and development since it opened nearly 60 years ago in 1957. There is 23km of sealed road for testing, and more than 19km of unsealed and dirt roads where the carmaker tests its SUVs and utes.
But one of its most interesting features lies within the 4.69km circular track, the only one of its kind in Australia, where Holden tests how well its cars can handle speed and changing lanes.
How does your car go around corners without screeching tyres? That's the magic of the differential, a seemingly complex meshing of various gears and splines that delivers separate power to each driven wheel. This pre-World War II video produced by General Motors is actually an incredibly straightforward and informative look at what goes on underneath your car to make it move.
Over the weekend, General Motors went on a bit of a spending spree: as part of the growing suite of self-driving car companies that it has purchased, GM can now call San Francisco-based Cruise Automation its own. The two-year-old startup cost GM — one of the world's oldest, largest, and most storied automotive brands — a cool US$1 billion.