Author Archives: Damien O'Carroll

ROAD TEST: Mercedes-Benz CLA 45 AMG Shooting Brake

ROAD TEST: Mercedes-Benz CLA 45 AMG Shooting Brake
Quite how AMG manages to get a blistering 265kW out of a 2.0-litre, four-cylinder petrol engine without it exploding into shrapnel after about ten minutes is staggering. How the also get it to be not only useable, but also relatively docile and tractable around town has, quite frankly, got us buggered. Needless to say, however, it is one of our favourite engines around ...

ROAD TEST: BMW 125i

ROAD TEST: BMW 125i
The BMW 1 Series has always been a fantastic little car. Okay, so the first generation was a bit crook looking, but facelifts (or “Life Cycle Impulses” in BMW-speak) and an all-new second generation car have taken care of the worst visual offences. But if you want a small five-door hatch with fantastic ...

FIRST DRIVE: Mini John Cooper Works

Once upon a time, back when the Mini really was mini, having the Cooper name attached to it meant it was the serious go-fast version. But eventually it became essentially a trim level, a rather sad standing that was only reinforced when BMW took things over and made the Mini less mini, but also far, far safer, much faster and WAY ...

ROAD TEST: Skoda Fabia

ROAD TEST: Skoda Fabia
The new Skoda Fabia landed in New Zealand a month or so back and instantly impressed us with its looks, quality and eager engines. Now we get to spend a week in the top-of-the-range 81kW DSG car. At $24,990 the top Fabia gets uncomfortably close to the VW Polo (the GTi ...

ROAD TEST: VW Polo GTi

ROAD TEST: VW Polo GTi
Anyone who truly loves driving can appreciate a good Hot Hatch – a small car with big power (relatively speaking, of course) that is built with “enjoyment” being its sole purpose in life. So, of course, we here at OVERSTEER love them… While the current breed of traditional Hot Hatches have all grown in size, power and price (Golf, Focus, Megane, etc), happily their smaller siblings have ...

ROAD TEST: Subaru Forester 2.0 TD

ROAD TEST: Subaru Forester 2.0 TD
The current generation of Subaru Forester has become a familiar sight on New Zealand roads, but the one thing that was missing from it was a diesel-powered automatic option. But now that has changed with the release of a diesel-powered automatic ...

FIRST DRIVE: Nissan Navara NP300

FIRST DRIVE: Nissan Navara NP300
The Nissan Navara has long been a mainstay in the local ute segment, generally hanging around the top five sellers, occasionally breaking into the top three and generally being a handsome, rugged option that was always worth consideration. While the old D22 (it was originally launched in 1997) managed to survive its replacement by the D40 in 2004, staying around as a budget-priced entry level ...

ROAD TEST: Mazda CX-3 GSX

ROAD TEST: Mazda CX-3 GSX
The recent explosion in popularity of the baby SUV has seen a number of manufacturers caught short and now lacking what has quickly become an important part of the range. But not Mazda. The Japanese manufacturer has been on a blinding roll recently, with remarkably good product pouring from its factories; the Mazda6, Mazda3 and Mazda2 are all brilliant ...