Audi SQ5

5 Pros Very fast in a straight line. There is no other fast SUV this size at this price German built quality shows in the excellent interior Good handling (although with a little bit of understeer) and outstanding fuel efficiency Very impressive boot space and interior room (although the middle rear seat is not quite perfect) Impressive standard equipment such as a reversing camera, sports seat and electrically operated tail gate 5 Cons Despite the S body kit, it still looks a bit boring For […]

Audi A3 Sportback (8V 2013)

5 Pros Outstanding interior and based on the upcoming Volkswagen Golf Mk7 (which is no bad thing) Decent sized boot and enough room inside for four adults Decent around corners (although the ride can get a little rough) Terrific fuel efficiency from most engines The prestige of an Audi badge 5 Cons Much more expensive then the VW Golf (you could get the excellent sporty Volkswagen Golf GTi  for pretty much the same price) The Mercedes A-Class is better looking The BMW […]

Audi S5 (2013)

5 Pros The Audi S5 manages to be sporty and relaxed at the same time. This is one classy car Impressive engine and it is good around corners (and even better with the optional differential) The exhaust sound is pleasing, with a fun (slightly addictive) pop sound when you change gears Very livable day to day and it has a boot bigger than some SUV’s Impressive 7 speed auto gearbox 5 Cons Not quite as hard nosed as its rear […]

Audi S4 (2013 B8)

5 Pros The German built S4 is the largest sedan in this class with excellent interior and boot space. The wagon version will obviously let you carry even more (and it probably looks better as well) Supercharged 6 cylinder engine is a nice unit with a great engine note and more than adequate speed All wheel drive makes this car good around corners (although the differential that makes it even better is an expensive option) $30k cheaper the manic Mercedes […]

Audi A7 (2013)

5 Pros Like the more expensive Mercedes-Benz CLS and BMW 6 Series Gran Coupe, the Audi A7 provides limo space in sleek coupe packaging Big boot and a beautiful interior (as usual with Audi) The Diesel engines are all fast and fuel efficient (the Bi Turbo 3.0 TDI is epic) All wheel drive across the range Audi badge value 5 Cons Not that fun around corners – this is more of an autobahn cruiser than hardcore sports car (the 6 Series Gran Coupe is […]

Audi A5 Sportback (2013)

5 Pros Good looks that make it more interesting than standard 4 doors small luxury cars such as the BMW 3 Series and Audi A4 All the engines are fuel efficient and fast enough Huge boot and decent rear seat room (although headroom can be a bit tight) Quality interior as you would usually expect from Audi That all important badge snob factor 5 Cons Probably not as sharp as offerings from BMW Steering can be a little vague Expensive options such as over […]

Audi TT (2013 second generation)

5 Pros The Audi TT is one of the best looking new cars released over the past 10 years. Both in coupe or convertible form this car is a genuine looker with true luxury prestige All the petrol engines are fuel efficient and fast enough (it is only the Diesel that really lets the family down in terms of speed) Good around corners. This car encourages you to drive fast (especially in the epic S and RS versions) Beautiful interior […]

Audi A6 Allroad (Third generation 2013)

5 Pros Incredible standard equipment in the Audi A6 Allroad including a rear view camera, auto lights and wipers, 4 zone air-conditioning, sat nav, 10 speaker sound and leather all round The engine is very fast and very fuel efficient The ability to raise the ride height means you can do some very minor offroading Well built and roomy cabin (as you expect from Audi) Looks more interesting than the standard Audi A6 5 Cons Hugely expensive. You could buy a Diesel Porsche […]

Audi A5 Coupe (2013 Typ 8T)

5 Pros The Audi A5 has a brilliant range of fuel efficient and fast engines. The V6 is seriously quick and the entry level 4 cylinder diesel and petrol models are both punchy and frugal The looks are a terrific combination of sportiness and understated elegance Typically high quality Audi dash Huge boot that is bigger than many compact SUV’s Audi badge value 5 Cons Not quite as sharp as a BMW 3 series coupe  Light steering takes a lot of the […]

Audi Q7 (2013)

5 Pros The Q7 is the only big 4WD from BMW, Mercedes-Benz or Audi that is built in Europe (the ML and the X5 are both built in the US) 7 seats as standard and acres of interior space (although the rear seats are best saved for the kids) Usual Audi quality interior (even though it is beginning to get a bit dated) Strong towing capacity Standard reversing camera, electric tailgate and 11 speaker sound system 5 Cons The model […]

Audi A4 (B8 facelift)

5 Pros The Audi A4 has class leading rear seat and boot space All the engines combine good fuel efficiency and performance 5 out of 5 star safety The fact that you can get it without a fancy / jerky dual clutch gearbox (although apparently the standard auto is still not that great) Nice interior with standard leather, built in Germany (unlike the BMW 3 Series) and the station wagon version looks better than most Compact SUV’s 5 Cons Dynamically […]

Audi Q5 (2013 update Typ 8R)

Good thing we have a 4WD… 5 Pros The Q5 has Audi prestige (and is actually built in Germany unlike the Audi A1) Extremely safe with eight airbags Huge boot and decent rear seat room High quality interior Good dynamics, generally fuel efficient fast engines and some decent standard equipment (such as a ten speaker stereo) 5 Cons Rear view camera is not standard and this is why you need it Can be a bit difficult to get a good driving […]

Audi A8 (D4)

ok, that face in the background is scary 5 Pros Supreme build quality. The Audi A8 is widely regarded as having one of the world’s most beautiful car interiors – this is a auto for people who enjoy being pampered People will think you are a foreign dignity – the A8 is one of the most common official state cars in the world Actually cheaper than its main competitors the BMW 7 Series and Mercedes-Benz S-Class Strong acceleration, although unfortunately Australia does not get […]

Audi A3 Cabriolet (8P)

Thelma and Louise? 5 Pros The Audi A3 Cabriolet is a small convertible with decent boot space. Think comfortable high heel – you will wonder why you ever compromised Pretty fun to drive – although more tickle fun than heroin fun Interior space is pretty good as well (and high quality) Resale values tend to hold up strongly for this type of car Audi badge (and German built) 5 Cons Old and about to be replaced – nothing will ruin your day more than […]

Audi A6 (C7)

5 Pros Hugely comfortable cruiser. The Audi A6 is positively Steppenwolf 4 cylinder petrol engines and all the diesels are notably fuel efficient Massive interior and boot The build of the entire car is top quality Audi looks and brand 5 Cons Very strong competitors from BMW and Mercedes-Benz. The Audi is just as good, if not better, but the real choice comes down to which brand best represents you And Audi represents new money Some of the engines are a bit slow and […]

Audi RS4 Avant (B8)

5 Pros Thanks to the previous model (which was very good), the Audi RS4 name is now part of automotive royalty The current version is seriously quick and has a massive Lamborghini derived engine It is a good looking wagon – perfect for your big dog The automatic gearbox is terrific The Audi brand is currently the last word in desirable understatement 5 Cons The engine needs to be worked very hard to deliver the best performance Because you need to work the engine so […]

Audi A1 1.4 TFSI S-tronic

Missed me 5 Pros Prestigious Audi badge. This is the key reason most people will buy the Belgium built A1 rather than the cheaper South African built VW Polo (on which the A1 is based) High quality, well appointed interior thankfully matches the nicely sculpted exterior. Not quite the Sharon Stone / Mensa combination, but close The incredibly fuel efficient 1.4L Turbo petrol engine is eager to please Fun to drive with a good turning circle, although the steering can be a bit […]

Audi Q3

Considerate Audi Q3 driver parks in the middle of the road 5 Pros Brand appeal. Audi has perfected desire, you want the Q3 even if it doesn’t make sense It looks like every other Audi, which is a good thing, like being in an annoyingly attractive family Quality interior, which is simplicity in understatement (think grand piano) Engines and dynamics make it fun to drive (fun like wearing bright shoes fun) The 2WD version diesel is very fuel efficient. The Petrol engine is […]

BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo

5 Pros The GT is built in Germany unlike the normal 3 Series, so you are actually buying something European More internal room and boot space than even the 3 Series Wagon (it is pretty much on par with the much more expensive BMW 5 Series) All the engines are fast enough and fuel efficient Higher than above average around the corners Much more unique than a normal 3 Series, Mercedes C-Class or Audi A4 5 Cons The looks. I […]

Lexus IS250, IS300H and IS350 (XE30 3rd Generation)

5 Pros Outstanding build quality, reliability and pretty decent looks as well Class leading 4 year warranty Well equipped interior that includes decent rear seat room, a big enough boot, standard sat nav and reversing camera Historically strong resale values The rear seats actually fold in the hybrid version (this is not normal) 5 Cons Grandpa? You be the judge All except the hybrid have very poor fuel efficiency Needs premium unleaded and some have complained about the gearbox slow […]

Jeep Grand Cherokee (2014)

5 Pros Revised model of the Cherokee is slightly cheaper than before and available in a more affordable two wheel drive version 4 wheel drive versions can properly go off road and are pretty cheap considering the extensive standard equipment The Diesel engine is reasonably fuel efficient and all the engines are fast enough in a straight line (the SRT is completely bonkers) The new 8 speed gearbox is a big improvement and the enormous interior and boot space remains the […]

Mercedes-Benz E-Class (2014 W212 update)

5 Pros Outstanding prestige. Mercedes is really the Rolex of cars (although unfortunately the E-Class is used as a taxi in Germany…) Terrific fuel efficiency. At its best the amazing Bluetec Hybrid can almost go from Sydney to Melbourne and back on one tank Some great standard equipment such as a reversing camera, sat nav and blind spot warning system The wagon has 7-seat capacity as standard Unlikely you will ever want more power 5 Cons The BMW 5 Series […]

Volkswagen Passat Wagon (2013 B7)

5 Pros The German built Passat scores strongly in the all important wagon boot space test Decent rear leg room and a well built interior (except for the out of place analogue clock) Fixed price servicing now available from Volkswagen (finally…) Good fuel efficiency from the diesel and great speed from the V6 Standard sat nav, reversing camera and automatic boot 5 Cons The cheapest version is too slow and not fuel efficient enough The Mazda 6 wagon is cheaper and the Volvo V60 is […]

BMW 5 Series Gran Turismo GT (2013)

5 Pros The BMW 5 Series GT provides European brand value with an enormous interior and excellent rear leg room at a price almost $60k cheaper than when it was introduced All the engines are reasonably fast and fuel efficient (the 530d is outstanding at both) Heaps of standard equipment including a reversing camera, front and rear parking sensors, head up display, panaromic glass sun roof, auto headlights and wipers, electric seats and Sat Nav. This is one of the most exhaustive lists I […]

Opel Insignia OPC (2013)

5 Pros The Opel Insignia OPC is faster in a straight line than it’s main compeition, the Volkswagen Passat V6 and the Skoda Superb V6 All wheel drive, so it is very good around corners High quality (if fussy) interior and a big boot Sat Nav and Recaro sports seats as standard It actually looks very good and should be made in Germany like the rest of the Insignia range 5 Cons Badge value a bit unknown and probably not […]

Volvo XC70 (2013 third generation)

5 Pros The Volvo XC70 gives you the ability to look like you may occasionally do some very minor off-roading  Nice spacious interior with a huge boot (although the rear middle seat is a little cosy) 5 out of 5 star safety and the impressive Volvo City Safety system as standard (this will brake the car automatically to help you avoid an accident) Some decent standard equipment like rear parking sensors, two in-built child booster seats and a power operated tail gate European badge […]

Lexus LS (2013)

5 Pros The LS ticks most of the big limo boxes with an incredibly comfortable ride and an extremely well built interior (as you would expect from a large Lexus) 4 year warranty is class leading Some interesting standard features (depending on which model you get) including a 19 speaker sound system, Blu Ray DVD player, automatic parking and a series of lights to greet you when you enter… Very strong acceleration from all the models (and faster than many sports cars) Incredible […]

Mini Clubman (2013 Cooper and Cooper S)

5 Pros Like most of the Mini range, the Clubman has terrific handling which encourages you to drive fast But unlike the smaller Mini, the Clubman has acceptable rear seat and boot space (although still far from class leading) Excellent fuel efficiency and funky interior Rear parking sensors and auto headlights as standard Despite the extra size, it still looks pretty good 5 Cons The single rear door is on the traffic side, otherwise know as the wrong side… The […]

Mitsubishi Mirage (2013 Sixth generation)

5 Pros One of the cheapest cars in Australia and it has a five year warranty (making it definitely worth a look) Incredibly fuel efficient engine matches the similarly priced Suzuki Alto Decent interior space with an ok boot for this class (but no where near as good as the Honda Jazz) Easy to drive in town with a tight turning circle 4 Year / 60,000km capped priced servicing and a 5 out of 5 star safety rating 5 Cons Design is very feminine… […]

Volvo S60 (Second generation 2013)

5 Pros The Volvo S60 is pretty much the cheapest European compact executive car you can buy (ignoring the Volkswagen Passat…) Safe as you would expect (and all models include “city safety” which will brake automatically to help stop you hitting the car in front) Some decent standard equipment in a nice interior including an 8 speaker stereo, electric drivers seat and rear parking assist It looks much more interesting than the typical German alternatives (such as the Audi A4) […]

Mini Ray, Cooper and Cooper S (Second generation 2013)

5 Pros The Mini’s excellent handling is now stuff of legend Incredible style that still turns heads Fun exhaust sound and faster engine in the Cooper S adds that extra smile factor Diesel engine is one of the most fuel efficient cars on the market 5 out of 5 star safety 5 Cons Lots of very good competition. The Audi A1 probably beats it for luxury at the bottom of the range and the Renault Megane RS265 probably beats it for performance at the […]

Skoda Octavia Scout (2013 Typ 1Z Second generation facelift)

5 Pros Cheaper than all other similar European offerings (such as the Volkswagen Alltrack, Volvo XC70 and Audi Allroad) Available in an automatic diesel, unlike the Subaru Outback (although the Outback is due to get one soon) Massive boot Very good fuel efficiency 4WD and raised ride height will allow you to do some (very minor) off roading 5 Cons Based on the Skoda Octavia which only gets a 4 out of 5 star safety rating Soon to be replaced by an updated […]

Mercedes-Benz CLS Coupe (W218 2013)

5 Pros The large CLS 4 door coupe is more elegant and sporty than the typical big four door Germans like the Mercedes-Benz S Class. This is the reason their popularity continues to rise in what was once a controversial class Incredible engines that are fuel efficient and fast. The C350 diesel is probably the stand out and it gets a luxury car tax break as a result of its outstanding frugality Surprisingly good boot and rear seat space Terrific cabin with good standard […]

Volvo XC60 (2013)

5 Pros The XC60 is another nice looking Volvo and unsurprisingly it is the makers biggest seller globally 5 out of 5 star safety including technology which will automatically apply the brakes to help avoid a rear end collision at below 50km/h The new 2WD Diesel provides a unique cheap entry into diesel power for this segment Rear view camera and power tailgate as standard Comfortable cabin with plenty of space in the boot and a built in booster seat for the rear […]

Volkswagen CC (2013)

5 Pros The Volkswagen CC brings in 4 door coupe styling at a price much cheaper than other European offerings Strong standard equipment including a rear view camera, sat nav, 8 speaker sound system, leather, auto headlights and 5 out of 5 star safety Much more interesting than the Volkswagen Passat on which it is based Made in Germany – unlike the BMW 3 Series Huge boot and quality Volkswagen dash (although it is a bit boring) 5 Cons Not […]

Holden Captiva 5 (Series 2)

5 Pros Not that bad a design considering it is a Holden built in Korea The Captiva 5 has a 5 out of 5 star ANCAP safety rating (and we love the number 5)  Some nice standard equipment like hill hold assist (to stop you rolling down hills) and front and rear parking sensors (although we would prefer a camera) but it is close to the same price as the Volkswagen Tiguan and Skoda Yeti Capped price servicing Pretty roomy […]

Mercedes-Benz C Class Coupe (W204 Facelift)

5 Pros The C-Class coupe provides 2 door German prestige at nearly $10k cheaper than offerings from Audi and BMW Usual C-Class quality inside and 7-speed auto standard across the range All the engines provide a good combination of performance and fuel efficiency. The entry model seems right given the cheap price, but they are all solid Very good around corners (and the optional sport package makes it even better and adds a sports exhaust) Pretty good luggage space 5 […]

BMW 7 Series (F01 2013 Facelift)

5 Pros The BMW 7 Series’ engines are a masterpiece. They all combine amazing performance with incredible fuel efficiency. At its best, the BMW can be more fuel efficient than the smallest Toyota or as fast as a 911 Carrera S  The interiors are as well made as you would expect and includes as standard a rear view camera, Sat Nav and a 12 speaker stereo Some fancy electronics are available like night vision and an auto park function (but at over A$200k, […]

Land Rover Freelander 2 (2013)

Parachute red? 5 Pros The Land Rover Freelander is a luxury compact SUV that is capable offroad Pretty good on the tarmac Decent interior space Great visibility and high driving position will appeal to many Diesel engines are pretty efficient 5 Cons  Not really as much of a status symbol as the rest of the Land Rover ranger (or most of its German rivals like the Audi Q3) Most of the engines are slow Looks are a bit soft, and nobody likes being […]

Volvo V60 (Second generation 2013)

5 Pros The V60 is another good looking Volvo. These station wagons are beginning to look positively sporty next to all the big SUV’s Safe, as you would expect. It has many of the same features as the upcoming Volvo V40 (voted the worlds safest car) such as auto braking to stop you hitting the car in front in traffic More unique than its German taxi spec competitors the BMW 3 Series and Audi A4 and it comes with an integrated booster seat V60 diesel […]

Best fast and fuel efficient cars

535d – our favourite We at love all rounders, so I thought I would put in our top 5 fuel efficient fast cars. Figures are based on Australian spec versions. Acceleration figures are 0-100km/h which is pretty much 0-60mph. The fuel consumption figures are L/100km but I have done a rough mpg calc. I have focused on straight line speed in new cars, although most of these cars are pretty good around corners. Finally we are not suggesting you […]

Bentley Continental GT (Second generation)

Well if I had a giant fan I would probably park my car in front of it as well 5 Pros The Bentley Continental’s interior. Beautiful, handmade and 80% leather Faster than its more expensive brother the Bentley Mulsanne (and the GT Speed version is the fastest Bentley ever built) Bentley badge. Congratulations, you’ve made it The new V8 engine is 40% more fuel efficient than the 12 cylinder option and pretty much just as quick. This is the Bentley for the new […]

Kia Sorento (Next Gen Second Generation 2013)

5 Pros The recently updated Kia Sorento (introduced in October 2013) fixes the previously poor suspension but retains the cheap price Most Kia’s now look good thanks largely to the new “Tiger Nose Grill”. No surprise given that Kia poached the designer responsible for the original Audi TT The diesel engines have good fuel efficiency Seven seats standard across the range (although the rear 2 are really just for children) Class leading 5 year warranty 5 Cons Cheapish interior  Rear view camera […]

Subaru BRZ

5 Pros The Subaru BRZ has pretty much all the same Pros and Cons as the near identical Toyota 86. In short – it’s  brilliant Slightly different suspension tuning than the Toyota makes it sharper, but it’s like comparing one scalpel with another, you probably can’t tell the difference unless you are an expert Subaru gives you free data dot theft protection which will come in useful when your car eventually succumbs to the inevitable crowbar Subaru probably has a sportier brand image […]