HYUNDAI ix35 2010 – 2015

The Hyundai ix35 has something of a split-personality. It began life in 2004 under the name Tucson, before switching in 2010, to ix35 as part of Hyundai’s move towards Euro-style alphanumeric names. The arrival of a new model in August 2015 saw the name return to Tucson. Most Hyundai ix35s are used as a family wagon rather than SUVs. In all-wheel-drive format they can be driven on mild forest trails and the like. In August 2012 the ix35 received a mild facelift and satellite navigation was introduced in the Elite… Read more


  From the late 1950s and well into the ’70s the original “dak-dak” VW Beetle was a much-loved car that sold in large numbers. But it eventually become hopelessly out of date when compared with competitors and sales plummeted and it was taken off the market. When the Volkswagen New Beetle arrived in Australia in 2000 many past owners of the original model VW looked at it with loving eyes and fond memories. Then they learned that it had a water-cooled front engine that drove the front wheels and stayed… Read more


Say “Anonima Lombarda Fabbrica Automobili Romeo Giulietta” with an Italian accent and you will understand why lovers of all things Italian like driving cars with a plenty of verve. (In case you haven’t worked it you for yourself Anonima Lombarda Fabbrica Automobili is what Alfa stands for!) The Giulietta five-door hatchback has been styled to look like a sports coupe thanks to cleverly ‘hidden’ rear door handles. The rear seat armrest has fold out cup holders gives a feeling of luxury sedan. The rear seats have a 60/40 split fold,… Read more

FORD FOCUS 2011 – 2022

  Ford Focus is a small-medium European model that has never had the success it  deserves in Australia. That’s probably because dual-clutch automatics sold from 2011 till  2015 had many problems and these led to the complete car being given a poor reputation.   The dual-clutch was replaced by a six-speed conventional torque convertor automatic  transmission in September 2015 as part of a major makeover of the complete range.   Ford Focus is pretty well made these days, though generally not to the extremely high  standards of the Asian models…. Read more

LEXUS ES 2013 – 2022

Late in 2013 a new generation Lexus ES was built on its own unique platform, previous models shared some underpinnings with Toyota models. Frontal styling was distinctly Lexus with its aggressive arrow-head spindle grille. The smooth, near silent ride and high-quality finish that had really impressed people since the earliest days of the Lexus LS400 was continued in the ES line. Perhaps it wasn’t quite as supremely smooth as its big brother, but the ES cost considerably less so has appealed to many. Thus, there are now quite a few… Read more


2015 Toyota Fortuner

Toyota Fortuner is a seven-seat SUV that’s based on the Toyota HiLux pickup truck. While it shares many of its body-on-chassis underpinnings and mechanical components, the fortuner has a multi-link rear coil suspension, unlike the HiLux which is setup as a working vehicle. It has a bold frontal appearance with large foglight surrounds and a tall bonnet. The body kicks up at rear and carries slim rear windows. There are numerous combinations of seating and cargo carrying. The middle row seats can side backward and forward and the backrest folds… Read more

SUZUKI ALTO 2009 – 2015

Suzuki has long been renowned for designing small cars and SUVs. The Alto is a small five-door hatchback that’s built in India by Maruti Suzuki. We’ve toured that factory and while it looks rather aged by today’s standards build quality is up there with the best in class. Altos hold their value well so if you do find one at a very low price it may have problems – or you have been really lucky to find a desperate seller. If it’s the latter there’s a good chance they haven’t… Read more

DODGE JOURNEY 2008 – 2017

Despite looking like a macho SUV, perhaps even a full-on 4WD, the Dodge Journey is actually a sensible people. The Journey’s interior is very versatile; the second-row seats three and can slide back and forward to let you juggle legroom with those in the rearmost seats. Entry and egress to the third-row seats isn’t too bad, but as is usually the case those seats are better suited to the kids as suppleness is required. Also check the foot-room in rear if larger littlies are going to be back there. The… Read more

CHRYSLER 300C 2005 – 2020

Big, bold and uncompromisingly different, the Chrysler 300C arrived in Australia from the US of A in November 2005. From its huge egg-crate grille flanked by twin round headlights, over the almost chop-top look of the roof, to the very square boot, this Chrysler stands out from all other family cars. That’s right! ‘family cars’ because that’s what the 300C is – a spacious, practical four-door sedan and station wagon with good cabin space and a huge boot. It was aimed at making being a competitor in the Commodore versus… Read more

NISSAN ALTIMA 2013 – 2017

Nissan Altima has been on sale in Australia since November 2013 and competed in the midsize sedan field. Leading the sales race was the Toyota Camry, with Ford Mondeo, Mazda6, Subaru Liberty and VW Passat also in the mix. Styling is a strong point of the Altima and it takes its own route, with wide horizontal chrome dominating the grille and a large badge in the centre. Indeed, it was a leader in style department as just about everyone else has taken up the big-grille look in in the years… Read more