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The rule of signs

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The rule of signs

They really must be taking the piss. There cannot be any other reason for it. It has to be a glorious in-joke, for sure. I refer to those stern ‘Roadworks Ahead’ signs whose Pavlovian demands silently relegate vast stretches of empty highway to 40km/h...

Recent Posts
Is low-range dead?
59
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Is low-range dead?

Hardcore 4WDers are going to hate me for this, and I brace for the incoming tsunami of ‘you’re an imbecile’ comments, but this piece isn’t about what I want or don’t want. It’s about what the manufacturers are foisting upon us whether we might like it or not. Take gnarly rock-crawling and serious bush-bashing out of the equation...


Can we all just bloody agree on names for active safety tech already?
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Can we all just bloody agree on names for active safety tech already?

One of the best things about today’s automotive industry is the improved vehicle safety. Cars aren’t just infinitely better in a crash, they’re also becoming increasingly proficient at helping you avoid them altogether. But unceasing advancement can come at the cost of clarity. In a market so congested, keeping pace with who offers what is difficult, to put it mildly...


Geely, a blueprint to superpower status
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Geely, a blueprint to superpower status

I do not profess to be any kind of authority on China’s automotive industry. My recent trip to Beijing left my mouth agape at the sheer scale of… everything. But I am a follower of the car business in a more general sense, especially the pervasive trends of consolidation, influence peddling, and shared capital expenditure. Not to mention the current trade war...


Is Australia charged for EVs?
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Is Australia charged for EVs?

Australia is often considered a natural test market when launching a new tech product or service for reasons such as geographical size, the open-mindedness of people, high-tech infrastructure and government incentives and support. It is then quite surprising to learn that, in a report released by Energeia, Australia is the slowest developed nation to adopt Electric Vehicles (EV)...


Why discounting needs to die for luxury cars
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Why discounting needs to die for luxury cars

There is a constant argument that rages on in the CarAdvice office. It usually goes like this: “Why would anyone pay $70,000 for a small luxury SUV”, to which my usual reply is, "They don’t, these cars are generally well discounted". And so begins a debate about why luxury car companies price their cars so high to start with, then have them ripped apart by tens of thousands as customers start that slow dance of a walk out...


How green is EV ownership?
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How green is EV ownership?

If nothing else, the car industry can sniff a solid commercial opportunity. So the sprint is on, to an allegedly clean, green, zero-emission EV future. Many people can’t wait. Electric vehicle news is everywhere. As I write this, Google tells me BMW is the latest premium German carmaker to jump on board the Mainstream EV Express, recently signing a billion-dollar battery supply deal with China’s biggest battery manufacturer...


Environmental hate-speech
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Environmental hate-speech

I’m pretty sure many of you will seek to rend me like jackals pulling apart a tasty rabbit for what I’m going to say here, but I’m going to say it anyway. And yes, it can be viewed as environmental hate-speech in some quarters, but I don’t go to Newtown all that much these days, so I may survive. I very badly want to own and drive a gigantic American car from the Seventies...


Hot hatches have jumped the shark, and we deserve better
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Hot hatches have jumped the shark, and we deserve better

I despise the phrase 'jumped the shark'. It comes from a late episode of Happy Days, where Fonzie literally jumps over a shark on water skis – at least, that's what Wikipedia told me. I wasn't born when the shark was first jumped, you see, but the expression still lingers like a bad smell over pop culture...


The new Commodore is a bloody good thing… get over it
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The new Commodore is a bloody good thing… get over it

You know what they say about opinions... No, not that line, the other one – 'you’re entitled to an opinion, but you’re also entitled to be wrong'. I prefer the other one for pure entertainment value to be honest, but in the instance of the new Holden Commodore, the line I’ve just written above is much more appropriate – and accurate...


Keep left? It's just not possible
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Keep left? It's just not possible

We just can’t do it. It’s beyond us. They can post all the signs they want, we just aren’t interested, or even emotionally capable of complying. We will happily and eagerly comply with all sorts of other road rules – like not going through red lights, not driving at 160 through a school zone at 8.30am, and not stopping where rocks are falling...


It's time for brighter headlight controls
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It's time for brighter headlight controls

This opinion piece was originally going to be called 'turn on your lights, you absolute dimwit', but my editor deemed that too much of a rant. Go and think about it a bit more, nail down the idea behind it, and come back with something more rounded, he said. That was tough, because I was incandescent with rage. (I see what you did there - Ed...


No Golf GTI manual: Is this the beginning of the end?
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No Golf GTI manual: Is this the beginning of the end?

Well, that's it. No manual transmission for the powered-up Volkswagen Golf GTI range announced this week. Worse, this obituary follows news that the new Polo GTI will also be a DSG-only proposition. Is this the end, then, of the GTI's enthusiast appeal? Well, let's not get ahead of ourselves: the company hasn't ruled out returning the manual with the next-generation 'Mk8' Golf GTI, but there's no denying the case will be harder to make if sales of the auto-only MY19 model remain strong...


It's because you're fat
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It's because you're fat

Pundits have been mansplaining the increasing popularity of SUVs ever since it became evident SUVs were increasing in popularity. And make no mistake, they are very popular and getting more so. Last year, Mitsubishi sold 19,403 ASXs, Mazda flogged 17,490 CX-3s, and Nissan’s Qashqai was parked in 13,495 garages. These are all considered small SUVs under $40,000...


No Takata fix? No registration. It's time.
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No Takata fix? No registration. It's time.

We’re more than five years into the biggest global automotive recall of all time, to rectify a potentially faulty component that has killed at least 20 people and injured hundreds. Yet the saga’s end appears some time away, despite one major potential solution staring us in the face. But first, background...


Proof: Speed cameras aren't working
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Proof: Speed cameras aren't working

Like clockwork, each year the state governments of Australia rake in a little over $1.1 billion in revenue from speed cameras. And, that figure generally increases each year, ensuring a revenue stream for each state. Most of that money goes back into improving the road network and driver education – but are speed cameras and their income actually helping make us better, safer drivers? The statistics say no...


Hyundai's i30 N is a proper hot hatch, and a Golf GTI beater
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Hyundai's i30 N is a proper hot hatch, and a Golf GTI beater

Dethroning a king is never easy. Historically, even knifing a king in the back is a dangerous business, let alone removing one as publicly as we have done this week. You’ll see, through our comprehensive comparisons, Hyundai's i30 N has ended the Volkswagen Golf GTI's reign as the quintessential hot hatch...


The Bugatti Veyron experience, a decade on
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The Bugatti Veyron experience, a decade on

It was just over 10 years ago this month that Anthony Crawford, Paul Maric and I (plus Karl Peskett, our then videographer and now occasional contributor) paid our own way to visit Bugatti’s factory in Molsheim, France, and spent two days with the Veyron. Then, the world’s fastest and most expensive car...


Today, more pedestrians were killed by human drivers than autonomous cars
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Today, more pedestrians were killed by human drivers than autonomous cars

Bridget Driscoll isn’t exactly a household name. But thanks to being in the wrong place at the wrong time on 17 August, 1896, Ms Driscoll entered the annals of automotive history by becoming the first pedestrian killed by a car, according to Guinness World Records...


I drove a Chinese-made MG and... I liked it
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I drove a Chinese-made MG and... I liked it

For those of you that made it to our recent Sydney open day, you would’ve seen that our garage is an L-shaped mess, with a stack formation of cars that means first in, last out. As a result, when a car needs to get out, it requires half a dozen people to move those behind it. On one recent occasion, I was handed the keys to the new MG ZS small SUV so that it could make way for another car heading for a photo shoot...