Volvo S60 T5 R-Design DRIVE-E Review


Volvo S60 T5 R-Design

Volvo S60 T5 R-Design

I wasn’t sure what to expect when I picked up the keys to the Volvo S60 T5 R-Design sedan. This was the first Volvo sedan I’d driven for a very long time, and while the XC60 T6 R-Design had given me my first taste of a new Volvo I was very keen to see how the S60 shaped up.
From the moment I saw it I could feel the excitement raise a little, I mean this is one good looking car.
The S60 has a very sleek look to it, the addition of the R-Design package takes it to another level.
The R-Design frontend features larger air intakes, the addition of DRL’s and wide mouthed black grille combine with the wonderfully shaped dual Xenon lights give the S60 an aggressive I mean business look.
The sloping roof line and beautiful curvy rear quarter lead to the back end with R-Design rear diffuser and twin tail pipes.
Riding on the optional 19inch IXION R-Design diamond cut dark
grey alloy wheels wrapped in sticky Bridgestone Potenza tyres the S60 T5 R-Design is extremely attractive from every angle.
I mean it attracted attention everywhere I went and that just wasn’t because of the bright red paint work.
While on previous models of the S60 T5 badge stood for a ford sourced 5 cylinder engine. 2014 saw the release of the first new Volvo designed Drive-E 4 cyl engines since ford sold Volvo in 2010.

2.0L turbo 4 cyl Drive-E 180kw 35nm

2.0L turbo 4 cyl Drive-E 180kw 35nm

The T5 features a turbo 2.0L 4cyl co developed by Volvo and Polestar featuring direct injection it puts out 180kW and a healthy 350Nm of torque. Not only does it have improved power and torque over the previous 5 cyl but it offers a great improvement in fuel economy as well.
The exhaust note is the only thing that’s not impressive about this engine as it can sound very similar to a diesel at low revs.
Performance wise though its might impressive it will more than keep up with traffic without breaking a sweat.
Should you put your foot down then it responds with excellent acceleration and it’s responsive at any speed thanks partly to the wonderful 8 speed auto.
One feature of the new Drive-E engine is the stop start feature which switches the engine off when you stop to save fuel, the economy is rather good indeed.
During the week I had the car I averaged between 12.3L/100km and 16L/100km which was just plan city driving as I didn’t get a chance to take it onto the open road. I know you can definitely do a lot better than did but I wasn’t trying to maximize economy.
The wonderful 8 speed auto I mentioned before shifts extremely quick and smooth, move it into sports mode and you can take advantage of the engines torque band.
Using the paddle shifts to explore the transmission more can be rewarding although it won’t let you rev past 6000rpm.
On the road the R-Design sports chassis is stiff but unfortunately I found it a little jiggly over some bumps especially on some of Sydney’s typical crappy B roads.
On the smoother roads though the S60 T5 R-Design is extremely well sorted and rewarding to drive the steering is a touch heavy but is responsive and decently weighted and I liked its feel.
On the inside you are met with luxury the R-Designed leather front seats not only offer great support while cornering but a comfortable as well I got the feeling they would be great on a long distance drive.
The fit and finish and quality of the interior surfaces and materials just scream premium opulence.
The leather R-Design sports steering wheel is extremely comfortable to hold and was the perfect thickness for me.
It contains controls for the audio system, adaptive cruise control and hands free blue tooth.
The instrument panel is Volvo’s Adapted Digital Display which also features in the XC60 I tested the week before.
It has 3 different coloured themes to choose from.

Performance instrument scheme

Performance instrument scheme

Elegance which has a nice blue and black tone, Eco which is a green and my favourite scheme performance which is red.
The performance scheme gives you a large tacho with a digital speedo in the middle, flanking that to the right a power metre and to the left a temp gauge which is replaced by a gauge showing you what speed you have set the cruise control on when you’re using it. I really like the setup of this display and it has to be one of the best looking instrument panels I’ve seen.
The sculpture dash covered in soft touch material leads you to the centre stack which contains the 7 inch colour screen for Volvo’s Sensus Premium Sound Multimedia system.
I really like the system and it allows you to access what seems like an endless amount of settings for the car.
By selecting MY Car you get access to things such as the City Safety, Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC), Collision Warning with Full Auto Brake and Pedestrian Detection, Driver Alert Control, Lane Keeping Aid, Radar Blind Spot Information System (BLIS), Road Sign Information (RSI), lights, door mirrors, climate, central locking, audio and phone. The system also offers full Bluetooth connectivity and live audio streaming from your phone, AM/FM radio, CD/DVD, USB, AUX and full iwhatever connectivity.
The sat nav has voice control and works great, the system will also allow you to connect to the net by WIFI or by Bluetooth using your phones net connection. Although for some reason the only way I could get it to work was to set my phone up as a WIFI hotspot.
My only beef with the system is it’s a bit fiddly to use and not quite as good as some of the touch screen systems I’ve used.
The back seat offers plenty of legroom and is extremely comfortable, boot space is not but this car came with the optional space saver spare which is mounted on the floor which does eat into your boot space.
Volvo is a world leader in vehicle safety and you would expect this car has list of features longer than your arm including.
City Safety, Dynamic Stability and Traction Control (DSTC), Advanced
Stability Control (ASC), Anti-lock Brake System (ABS) with Ready Brake Alert (RBA), Hydraulic Brake Assist (HBA) with Electronic Brake
Distribution (EBD), Emergency Brake Assist (EBA) and Emergency
Brake Lights with hazard light activation, Advance Stability Control
(ASC); driver and front passenger dual-stage airbags front, Curtain airbags, Side Impact Protection System (SIPS) including SIPS airbags in front seats, Whiplash Protection System (WHIPS), Intelligent Driver Information Sysnet (IDIS), three-point seatbelts, head restraints, anti-submarining, seatbelt pre tensioners and reminders on all seats, rear parking camera, rear parking sensors.
This car came with the optional driver support package which adds Blind Spot Information System (BLIS) with Cross Traffic Alert, Driver Alert System (Lane Departure Warning, Lane Keeping Aid, Active High Beam Control, Forward Collision Warning and Road Sign Information), Adaptive Cruise Control with Collision Warning
with Full Autbrake, Front and rear parking sensors, Auto dim rear view mirror and side mirrors to the already massive safety feature list.
After a week I found the Volvo S60 T5 R-Design to be a great car it drives, steers and handles well. There are more safety features than you can pole a stick at.
Volvo’s new turbo 2.0L Drive-E engine is great, it’s wide torque band backed by a great 8 speed auto provides you with a wonderfully entertaining drive when you have that in mind. But will also return decent fuel economy when driven sedately.
The only issues I did have was while the start stop system is great for saving fuel it can be a bit intrusive at time, the Sensus system while loaded with features and providing great sound was a touch fiddly.
The ride can be a touch busy at times on roads that aren’t smooth the up side to that is the great handling specially when cornering.
Volvo are hoping this car can take it up to its German rivals in the luxury sports sedan and after my week in the S60 T5 R-Design I think they up there specially when it comes to the fit, finish and quality of the materials used on the interior.
If you’re looking for a mid size sedan that is packed full of safety features, can return decent economy but deliver you a great drive then you should be taking a look at the Volvo S60 T5 R-Design.
For full details on Volvo’s S60 range check out their website

Volvo XC60 T6 R-Design Review


I want to start by apologising for the bad photography the bad weather all week meant I didn’t get any decent photos and the ones I got were done on my phone and up to my usual standard so I’m a little disappointed by them.

I was a little excited to pick the keys up to the Volvo XC60 T6 R-Design Polestar not only because this was going to be my first review of a premium brand but this particular car had the magic blue Polestar badge on the rear.
Polestar is Volvo’s performance and racing partner and Polestar takes Volvos and makes them extra special with performance upgrades.
From the outside the XC60 looks great the front end with Volvo’s trade mark grille gives the XC60 and up market but slightly aggressive look thanks the to R-Design add ons, The lightly sloping front end and rear end styling complete with attractive 20inch alloys complete the look.

Step inside and you get a distinct waft of elegance, the R-Design leather sports seats are not only extremely comfortable but very supportive as well when cornering, with electric adjustment and 3 memory storage its not only easy to find your favourite driving position you won’t lose it either.
The leather bound steering wheel is not only comfortable to hold, but the perfect thickness as well, also has controls for the adaptive cruise control, audio system, and Bluetooth.
Behind the wheel are alloy gear shift paddles for when you want to take things into your own hands.

The instrument panel is a big LCD screen, Volvo calls it an Adaptive Digital Display and it has 3 different themes you can choose from.
Elegance which has a nice blue and black tone gives you a speedo in the middle and temp gauge on the left and rev tacho on the right, Eco which is a green colour gives you the same setup except the temp gauge is replaced with a ECO gauge.
The last and my fav setting is Performance which turns the screen red, the gauge in the middle changes to a large rev tacho with a large digital speedo in the middle, to the right is power metre.
One other nifty function is the road sign info display status, A camera behind the review mirror scans the road ahead and read’s the speed limit signs along the road and the speed limit shows up on your instrument display a word of warning though as it’s fooled by school zones and their hours of operation.
Your satnav directions also pop up in the middle of the the display so you don’t have to worry about looking at the screen in the centre of the dash.
This is simply one of the most attractive looking instrument setups I’ve experienced.
The dash is made from soft touch material and the centre is home to the LCD screen from the media system.
While a lot of cars these days have large touch screen the Volvo doesn’t, instead its operated by the dials below.
At first glance the amount of buttons do seem a touch daunting at first, but once you learn which buttons are which it gets easier. You can also access via the steering wheel controls or the voice recognition system.
The Volvo Sensus system is great and allows you to access and change the settings for many of the cars settings including such things as City Safety, Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC), Collision Warning with Full Auto Brake and Pedestrian Detection, Driver Alert Control, audio, phone and a whole lot more.
The Sat Nav which also can be controlled with the steering wheel buttons is easy to use and works very well.
The integrated Bluetooth hands free system works extremely well and once paired It offers live streaming of media from your phone, there also is the option to stream from the internet via Bluetooth or wifi. But the only way I could get it to work to on my phone was to turn into a WIFI hotspot and connect that way as for some reason I couldn’t get it to connect via Bluetooth.
This particular car came with the optional premium sound system and the sound was great thanks to its 12 speakers powered by a 5×130 W digital amp but I did find it struggled with some songs with a lot of bass considering a lot of the music on my usb stick in heavy metal or thrash I didn’t turn the bass up much during the week but I will say the sound extremely crisp.

It only took a couple km for me really start liking the XC60T6 R-Design and whats under the bonnet, the T6 badge on the back stands for Volvo’s awesome 3.0L turbo charged 6 which thanks to the Polestar upgrades pushes out an extremely healthy 242Kw and 480Nm of torque. Volvo claims a 0-100km time of 6.6 secs and after driving it around for a week I would agree with that, this car really does have some impressive acceleration.
In the normal world the XC60 T6 R will happily just laze around in bumper to bumper traffic without a care in the world and it has more than enough power to keep up with any traffic this side of an F1 GP.
Should the urge arise (and believe me it will) and you decide to explore the turbo 6 in a more deep and meaningful way, the acceleration is just unbelievable, while I didn’t get the chance to really try it out properly on my usual test loop due to the rubbish weather.
The rain did however give me plenty of chances to test out just how good AWD system is, even in the biggest of rain storms it never felt like it was going to break traction or lose control even brought nothing but lots if acceleration (and a big grin to my face), the car just gripped and took off like a scolded cat. Now my only low light to my week driving it was the fact I didn’t get to do a lot of km’s in the car as I would have like to of done so I didn’t get a chance to take it on the open road.
So unfortunately the only fuel economy figures came from a week of bumper to bumper traffic and it returned 16L/100km while some of you might think that’s a little on the high side I think it was pretty impressive considering it didn’t drive it sedately at all.
Backing the fantastic turbo 6 is Volvo 6sp Adaptive Geartronic with gear shift paddles, the transmission is perfectly suited to the engine when left to shift for itself the transmission shifts smoothly and are barely noticeable. Putting it into sports and the transmission will hold the gears longer letting explore the engines torque, should you want to shift for yourself you can use the paddle shifters behind the steering wheel.

Handling wise the rain ruined any chances of me really finding out how good the sports chassis really is, what corners I did get to throw at it the XC60 T6 R handled them wonderfully. There was no hint of body roll and it seemed to sit nice and flat. The downside to that was it did ride a little harsh on some of Sydney’s typical B roads, the steering might seem touch heavy to some people but I though it was weighted well and there was a decent amount of sharpness to it.
Volvo prides itself on the safety levels of their cars and as you would expect this car is absolutely packed full of safety features including:
City Safety, Anti-lock Brake System (ABS), Trailer Stability Assist (TSA), Electronic Brake Distribution (EBD), Emergency Brake Assist (EBA) and Emergency Brake Lights with hazard light activation, Dynamic Stability and Traction Control (DSTC, Roll Stability Control (RSC); driver and front passenger dual-stage airbags front, two full length Inflatable Curtain airbags, Side Impact Protection System (SIPS) including SIPS airbags in front seats, Whiplash Protection System (WHIPS), Intelligent Driver Information System (IDIS) and the list goes on including built in booster cushions in rear outer seats which is great if you have younger children. It also comes with rear parking sensors and gets maximum bonus points for having a rear parking camera as well.
This particular car came with the optional driver support package which adds even more safety features including Adaptive Cruise Control (at all speeds), Collision Warning with Full Auto Brake, Active High Beam (AHB), Road Sign Information (RSI), Lane Departure Warning (LDW), Forward Collision Warning, Blind Spot Information System (BLIS) and Cross Traffic Alert (CTA), Front parking sensors and Auto dim rear view mirror and side mirrors.

So after a week in the XC60 T6 R-Design while I didn’t put the mileage on it I wanted to, I came away feeling more than impressed. The massive amount of safety features combined with the added sure footedness of the AWD system meant that this is probably the safest car I’ve ever driven.
The added sporty features of the R-Design package really appealed to me greatly and while the car oozed luxury the R-Design seats and body kit gave it a more sporty feel.
There were a couple of features I really liked the bi-xenon Active Bending Lights (ABL), the keyless start and entry made it easy to get in even when I had armfuls of stuff. The active cruise control is just amazing even in normal traffic you set the speed you want and the distance from the car front and the car keeps it’s distance. IF the car in front of comes to a stop the car stops when the car in front moves off you touch accelerator or the resume button on the steering wheel the car takes off. The Polestar upgrades are impressive and the quality of materials used on the inside and impressive level of fit and finish is amazing.
I really could go on for a page or more on the stuff I really liked, but I will list the stuff I didn’t quite like because that list is a whole lot shorter. The Sensus system while it had a great amount of features I found it was a bit fiddly and not as easy to use as some touch screen systems on the market, the cruise control increases the speed increments in 5km/h which is annoying, but wouldn’t be a deal breaker for me if I was shopping for a car like this.
Over all the Volvo XC60 T6 R-Design is a really impressive car and really should be one of the first cars you put on your list if you’re looking for a mid size premium SUV with bucket loads of performance and safety. Oh and if you do buy one make sure you tick the Polestar box as well you won’t regret it
For full details on the Volvo XC60 range check out their website

If your in the market for a new Volvo and want to save some money without the hassles of haggling prices with the salesman check out bid my car 

All New Volvo XC90

All new Volvo XC90

All new Volvo XC90

Volvo’s all new XC90 broke cover today at it’s world premier, the new XC90 which is built on Volvo’s new scalable product architecture (SPA) which will underpin most new Volvos from now on. I could go on for ages specially about the safety technologies this car will come equip with but I couldn’t put it any better than Volvo so check out all the info below thank you to Volvo for information and pics.


Months of speculation ended today after Volvo Cars unveiled its All-New Volvo XC90, delivering on its promise to introduce a visually striking, premium quality, seven-seat SUV with world leading safety features, new powertrain technologies, an unrivalled combination of power and fuel efficiency and a superlative interior finish.

Three years in the making and part of a USD 11bn investment programme, the All-New XC90 marks the beginning of a new chapter in Volvo’s history, capturing its future design direction, incorporating its own range of new technologies and utilising its new Scalable Product Architecture (SPA) technology.

“This is one of the most important days in our history,” said Håkan Samuelsson, President and CEO of Volvo Car Group.

“We are not just launching a car, but re-launching our brand. This day marks a new era for our company. The XC90 paves the way for a portfolio of exciting new cars to come in the following years.”

Volvo’s new face

Symbolising this historic day in Volvo’s 87-year history, the All-New XC90 will be the first of its cars to carry the company’s new more prominent iron mark, which has the iconic arrow elegantly aligned with the diagonal slash across the grille. Together with the T-shaped “Thor’s Hammer” DRL lights, the iron mark introduces an entirely new, distinctive and confident face for Volvo’s forthcoming generation of cars.

The All-New XC90’s larger bonnet with its new topography, the beltline and the sharpened shoulders connecting with the tattoo-like, new rear lights are other important design signatures that will be mirrored across the range.

To add more visual muscle from the sides, the XC90 comes with a range of wheel sizes up to 22 inches.

“The overall impression, both exterior and interior, has a strong connection to the key elements of the Swedish lifestyle: the generous space, the celebration of light and the focus on wellbeing,” said Thomas Ingenlath, Senior Vice President Design of Volvo Car Group.

First SUV without compromises

The All-New XC90 is firm evidence of the Volvo-by-Volvo strategy. Its outstanding combination of luxury, space, versatility, efficiency and safety will bring the SUV segment into a new dimension, just as the original XC90 achieved in 2002.

“SPA has enabled us to create the world’s first SUV without compromises,” says Dr Peter Mertens, Senior Vice President, Research and Development of Volvo Car Group.

“You get the in-command feel, generous interior space and flexible capability combined with the agility and smooth comfort of a much smaller and lower car. The adrenaline rush that is key to true driving pleasure is delivered by powertrains that offer an unrivalled combination of power and clean operation. And since the XC90 carries the Volvo badge, world-class safety is standard.”

Unrivalled combination of power and fuel efficiency

The All-New XC90 offers a range of two-litre, four-cylinder Drive-E powertrains, all of which provide an outstanding combination of performance and fuel-efficiency.

The top of the range XC90 Twin Engine, which combines a two-litre, four-cylinder supercharged and turbocharged petrol engine with an electric motor, offers an unrivalled combination of power and clean operation: around 400 [300kW] horsepower with carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions of around 60g/km (NEDC driving cycle).

Most comprehensive standard safety package

The All-New Volvo XC90 offers the most comprehensive and technologically sophisticated standard safety package available in the automotive industry. It includes two world first safety technologies: a run-off road protection package and autobrake at intersection capability.

In a run-off road scenario, the All-New Volvo XC90 detects what is happening and the front safety belts are tightened to keep the occupants in position. To help prevent spine injuries, energy-absorbing functionality between the seat and seat frame cushions the vertical forces that can arise when the car encounters a hard landing on terrain.

The All-New XC90 is the first car in the world with technology that features automatic braking if the driver turns in front of an oncoming car. This is a common scenario at busy city crossings as well as on highways, where the speed limits are higher.

City Safety becomes the umbrella name for all of Volvo Cars’ autobrake functions, which are standard equipment in the All-New XC90. It now covers vehicles, cyclists and pedestrians in front of the car, day and night.

“The new technologies will take us a significant step closer to our vision that no one will be killed or seriously injured in a new Volvo car by 2020,” says Dr Mertens.

“Our starting point on safety is the same today as it was when the company was created almost 90 years ago: real-life situations. We study data. We crunch numbers. We innovate. The result is one of the safest cars ever made.”

Three focus areas will help Volvo Cars to reach Vision 2020: safety, connectivity and autonomous drive.

“With the XC90, we take the first step towards self-driving cars. A new function that automatically follows the vehicle ahead in stop-and-go traffic will provide a radically simplified, semi-autonomous driving experience,” said Lex Kerssemakers, Senior Vice President, Product Strategy and Vehicle Line Management of Volvo Car Group.

Luxurious interior

The All-New XC90’s interior is the most luxurious to have been designed for a Volvo. The most striking feature is a tablet-like touch screen control console, which forms the heart of an all-new in-car control system. This system is virtually button free and represents an entirely new way for drivers to control their car and access a range of Internet-based products and services. It also helps create an interior that is modern, spacious and uncluttered.

“The new interior is pure and uncluttered, while still radiating the sophisticated confidence and formality that luxury SUV customers expect. The simplicity is perfectly in tune with our Scandinavian design heritage. It opens up generous surfaces and gives us the opportunity to create a modern, luxurious interior architecture,” says Mr Ingenlath.

The All-New XC90 interior combines materials such as soft leather and wood with handcrafted details, including a gearlever made of crystal glass from Orrefors, the famous Swedish glassmaker, and diamond-cut controls for the start/stop button and volume control. Craftsmanship has been in sharp focus during the whole development work.

The genuine seven seater features new, innovatively designed seats that also free up interior space for passengers both in the second and third seat rows. The third row offers class-leading comfort for two passengers up to 170cm tall.

One of the world’s best audio systems

The All-New XC90 features one of the top audio systems available in the automotive world after Volvo Cars audio experts joined forces with their counterparts at the renowned British audio equipment company Bowers & Wilkins.

The top-of-the-line system in the XC90 features a 1,400 Watt Class D amplifier and 19 Bowers & Wilkins speakers. It also includes one of the first air-ventilated subwoofers in a car. Integrated into the car body, it turns the whole interior space into a giant subwoofer.

The latest sound processing software has been used to manage the timing of the sound and co-ordination of the speakers. This brings the emotional experience of a world-class live performance into the car.

Two main accessory themes

The All-New XC90 is available with a range of accessories that makes it possible for the owner to create a truly personalised car. There are two major exterior styling themes:

The Urban Luxury package combines a colour co-ordinated bodykit with polished stainless steel details, such as front deco frames, front and rear skid plates and side scuff plates. The 21-inch exclusive polished wheels complete the elegant look.

The Rugged Luxury kit enhances the ruggedness of the XC90 SUV with tech matte black exterior trim, stainless steel skid plates, running boards with illumination and integrated exhaust pipes. This version is supplemented by unique 22-inch wheels.

2014 Alfa Romeo MiTo Review


I will start off by saying before this review I’ve always been a bit of a fan of old Alfa’s and not having driven one for quite a while I was interested to see whether I got the same feeling from driving a new one that I use to get from driving older ones.

I really like the look of the MiTo and from the front you can the MiTo is an Alfa even from a long distance as the trade mark Alfa shield shaped grille stands out.
Newly designed teardrop shaped headlights and V shaped bonnet, together with the chromed grille rising waist line, combine with the newly designed round LED tail lights to give the MiTo a sporty look, this model rides on attractive 16in Alloy wheels which adds to the look and is specially nice looking in the wonderful white paintwork.

Stepping inside and the first thing you get is sign of classiness, the seats are black with cream inserts which match the exterior so well and are comfortable and very supportive.
The leather bound steering wheel is comfortable to hold and the perfect thickness for me and contains controls for the audio system and blue tooth.
The instrument panel is easy to read in all levels of light and lights up at night with red back lighting at night which is easy on the eye’s.
In between the dials there’s a red LCD screen which can display various functions such as fuel economy, distance to empty and handy boost gauge when your in Dynamic mode.
The dash is made from soft touch material which gives it a nice feel, the centre stack has small touch screen for the audio and while I would of liked a bigger screen this one seems to fit the dash nice nicely. The audio system offers full Bluetooth connectivity and is simple to use, the sound is pretty damn good as well although I didn’t turn the stereo up a lot during the week with awesome sound track from under the bonnet.
My darling daughter pointed out that the round air con vents combined with the audio system an appearance of a face when sitting in the back seat and when you look at it, it does which I quite like in some sort of unusual way.
You can’t help but notice the big silver switch for the Alfa DNA system at the front of the console but I add more about that later on.
The front seats fold forward allowing access to the back seat which actually has more room then it looked while it’s nots blessed with a massive amount of leg room back there I still managed to fit 3 teenagers in there easily.
The boot while not being absolutely massive offers plenty of storage and the back seats do fold down which increase the space.



Back to the DNA button Alfa DNA gives the 3 car different settings.
D stands for Dynamic mode which gives ESP and ASR a sport calibration, gives the engine faster response and overboost which lifts the torque when needed, It also gives the Steering tuning a sportier calibration.
N stands for Natural mode which meant to use around and on long trips as it gives the steering a standard calibration and standard engine response to maximise fuel economy.
A stands for ALL Weather which is good for poor weather conditions it gives the ESP and ASR a calibration for maximum safety and activates a maximum comfort for the steering.

Under the bonnet the MiTo is powered by Alfa’s awesome MulitAir 1.4l turbo 4cyl engine pushing out 99kW and 230nM, not a whole lot of power but by god is this engine a little cracker.
The engine is very tractable and will easily keep up with traffic, fuel economy even in heavy bumper to bumper traffic is marvellous I easily averaged in low 9’s high 8’s which puts it towards the pointy end of the fuel economy stakes for all the cars I’ve reviewed it also has a start stop mode which when engaged swtiches the engine off when you stop in traffic which helps with the impressive fuel economy.
Driven around normally the MiTo can feel a bit slow and less exciting, but then it has a trick up it’s sleeve the Alfa DNA button I mentioned before.
Turning the DNA switch to D for dynamic wakes the MiTo up turning it from a nice sedate drive to a bit of an animal, Dynamic mode not only sharpens the steering but allows more boost for the engine and that that’s when things get exciting.
I did a test driving at 80km/h in normal mode I flicked it into dynamic and the car surged forward like I had put my foot down although it hasn’t moved.
Handling is a fraction on the firm side not overly firm to the point of being annoying but you did feel some of the bumps a bit more although at no stage did it crash or bash it’s way through them.
The offset to that is the handling is wonderful specially when you giving it a bit of a go and believe me with the DNA system, the wonderful engine and the intoxicating exhaust note it’s really hard not to give it some.
The steering is sharp and responsive specially in dynamic mode, changing it into natural mode and the steering is a touch more softer and makes it extremely easy to park and whip around tight car parks.
The 5 speed manual in this car was wonderful the shifts are smooth and easy and the clutch was extremely light, the hill hold function means no worries on hill starts.

Safety wise the MiTo boasts an impressive list of safety features including seven airbags (front, side, curtain and driver’s knee), ABS brakes with Brake Assist and Electronic Brakeforce Distribution, collapsible steering wheel, hill hold.
It does have reverse sensors but looses points for not having a reverse camera which means the MiTo is a bit of a pain to reverse park given the limit view you get from the back window which did take some getting use to.

So after a week did the MiTo bring back those old feelings yes it did and then some, despite some deficiencies such reduce vision from the rear window, a firm ride that some people might not like as much as I did. I absolutely loved the MiTo.
It’s extremely fun to drive and can be very rewarding specially when driven in dynamic mode, but switching it to normal mode and the MiTo becomes an awesome commuter which is extremely good on fuel and the looks give you a bit of style compared to some of the boring looking competitors in it’s class.
If you are after small car that gives you a bit style then you would be bonkers not to have the MiTo on your list of cars as the MiTo is not a car it’s an Alfa Romeo. sorry but I couldn’t help it I had to add that bit.
For full details on Alfa’s great range of cars check out their website

IF your in the market for a new Alfa and want to save some money without the hassles of haggling prices with the salesman check out bid my car

Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV Review


Having never driven anything either fully powered by or partially powered by an electric engine before I didn’t know what to expect when I picked up the keys to the new Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV, the PHEV stands for Plug in Hybrid Electric Vehicle.
The PHEV is the worlds first Plug in Hybrid SUV, but unlike other plug in hybrid vehicles the PHEV has a function where it can charge the battery to 80% with a press of a button using the PHEV’s petrol engine as a generator.

From the outside there really isn’t much to distinguish it from your regular Outlander that is apart from the plug in hybrid vehicle badges.
The front end is a more modern take on the Mitsubishi family face seen on most of their cars these days, big wide mouth grille at the bottom flanked by flog lights thinish chrome grille between the head lights, clear lensed LED tail lights at the back oh and it rides on one of the most attractive set of factory alloys I’ve seen.

Stepping inside and you notice that this isn’t your run of the mill Outlander while the instrument panel is similar to your regular Outlander you notice straight away the rev tacho has been replaced by a gauge that instead of showing you engine rev’s shows you functions to do with the battery.
Between the gauges is a high definition 4.2 inch colour LCD that can display vehicle functions such as battery level, the drive mode your in, PHEV system energy flow and a few more ensuring you are fully informed of what the PHEV’s systems are doing.
The leather bound steering wheel comfortable to hold has has buttons to operate the audio system, voice recognition system and the adaptive cruise control.
The centre stack is home to the Mitsubishi’s Multi Communications Sytem or (MMCS), with a high definition 7 inch touch screen meaning that the display is easy to see in any light. The system comes complete with a navigation system that is simple to use, it also has speed limit information on major roads.
The audio system is easy to use has full bluetooth connectivity which only takes a few seconds to connect your phone to there is a button on the steering wheel for the voice recognition which worked ok but I didn’t really use it a lot. This audio system has decent sound but I encountered the same problem I get with every Mitsubishi car with this system in that it keeps disconnecting my USB card with all my music on it.
The MMCS also has various screen which you can access which give you all the information for fuel economy and lets you know the charge level of the battery, you can also access a screen which gives you your short and long term economy figures which I found really useful it also showed during a trip down the blue mountains the regenerative brakes generated 1.7kwH of power which went back into the battery.

Under bonnet the PHEV features both electric and petrol driven power plants, the 2.0L MVEC 4cyl engine develops 87kw and 186Nm of torque, the electric engine has a max output of 60kW and 137Nm of torque the PHEV also has an electric motor that can be used to drive the rear wheels which is rated the same as the motor at the front.
Now I could go on and on and on about how the electric power plant works and I’ve actually rewritten this 3 times because it was actually too long.
SO to keep things short I’m going to paraphrase Mitsubishi, the PHEV has 3 drive modes:
EV Drive Mode: where drive is by the front and rear electric motors, EV Drive mode is an all-electric mode in which the front and rear motors drive the vehicle using only electric power from the drive battery this has the benefit of producing Zero CO2 emissions and petrol consumption up to a maximum of 120km/h
Series Hybrid Mode: Engine generator assists electric motors, the electric motors power the vehicle using engine-generated electric power to supplement the energy provided by the drive battery. The system switches to this mode when the remaining battery charge falls below a predetermined level or more performance is required, such as accelerating to pass a vehicle or climbing steep inclines.
Parallel Hybrid Mode: Motors assist engine drive, the PHEV switches to Parallel mode when the vehicle reaches higher speeds with assistance from the electric motors when extra power is required for overtaking manoeuvres or steep inclines. In this mode the high-efficiency petrol engine provides direct drive to the front wheels, assisted by the electric motors.

One thing that freaked me out about this car is how whisper quiet it is when running in electric you hear a small hum from the electric motors and that’s it, it really kind of reminded me of an electric train but much quieter. The PHEV has decent performance in all drive modes although because it has a single speed fixed ratio reduction
gear layout the petrol does seem to make a bit of noise when it engages and your going up say steep hill or when you put your down to over take.

Fuel economy is rated at an extremely low 1.9L/100km and I can say I honest say that a few times during that week I actually beat that getting down as low as 1.7L/100km in battery mode, however the car is quite heavy so when your motoring around and you are using the petrol engine the fuel economy from the petrol engine is not stella at times. Don’t get me wrong this car is extremely fuel efficient and in fact it really impressed me with it’s fuel economy all I’m saying is that under certain conditions the fuel economy does vary a lot. On the freeway I had saw figures of 7.3L/100km from the petrol engine.

The PHEV is to 280kg heavier then the regular Outlander, so on the road it feels like a semi loaded Outlander, it does however ride pretty good I drove it to Lithgow and back and it was a comfortable ride. The PHEV does a good job of soaking up the bumps and there is no bash or crashiness. There is touch a of lean at freeway speeds in some corners but no more then other car in its class that I’ve driven. Steering is light making it easy to park but it’s not as sharp as other cars I’ve driven.
Because its got some decent ground clearance and Mitsubishi’s wonderful 4wd underneath it and given its ride height you can take it off road, you can’t go mental but I did some light 4wding with it down some muddy tracks and it seemed to go pretty good. I would have done a lot more in it but while it has decent enough ground clearance I doesn’t have enough to go to wild. I drove it down quite a lot of dirt roads and logging track and the PHEV handled them great.

Safety wise as you would exspect the PHEV is loaded with them including front,  side, curtain and driver knee airbags, Anti-lock Braking System (ABS), Electronic Brakeforce Distribution (EBD), Active Stability Control (ASC), Active Traction Control (ATC), Hill Start Assist (HSA), Power brake booster with emergency brake assist system and Reverse parking sensors the PHEV scores full marks for also having a reverse camera.

After a week in the PHEV I was rather impressed it rides well, has plenty of features and is packed full of safety features. The Hybrid electric drive system gives you the possibility of not having to go anywhere near a petrol station at all. The down side to it though is that it needs a 15A outlet to be installed in your garage as it wont charge from a normal power point like most other hybrids. While that means only an outlay of a couple of hundred dollars to have an electrician to install one, it does mean that if you don’t own you your own home it might be something it not willing to do. Electric charging stations aren’t plentiful either so you really need to search for one which is very trying believe me I tried, although the self charging does negate this at some level.
The other thing is price the PHEV several thousand dollars more then the even the diesel model so I have doubts whether you would recoup the added cost, I know for my family which doesn’t do a lot of KM per week could definately not recoup them. But the bonus is that there is a possibility that you won’t have to go near a petrol station ever or as often as you do now.
All in all the Outlander PHEV is a decent safety family car and is full of great technology and congratulate Mitsubishi for putting this technology into an SUV to check Mitsubishi’s PHEV and the rest of the Outlander range check out their website

If your in the market for a new Mitsubishi and want to save some money without the hassles of haggling prices with the salesman check out bid my car



New Fiat Freemont Crossroad


New Fiat Freemont Crossroad

New Fiat Freemont Crossroad

Fiat Australia has released details of the new AWD Freemont model the Crossroad powered by Chrysler’s awesome 3.6L Pentastar V6 developing 206kw and 342nm the Freemont Crossroad comes full of features and priced at $36,500 seems to be well priced.

Check out the full details below from Fiat Australia and please check back in October as I will be reviewing the Crossroad early that month.



  • Paired exclusively with the powerful 3.6-litre V6 petrol engine generating 206kW and 342Nm
  • A tough, powerful new look to match its bigger engine, with new front and rear bumpers, ‘Platinum Chrome’ details, black frames for the front and rear light clusters, and 19-inch ‘Hyper Black’ five-spoke alloy wheels
  • Cutting edge cabin technology and comfort, with 8.4-inch Uconnect touchscreen navigator, new black leather seats with sports mesh fabric inserts and light ardesian grey stitching, and ‘Liquid Graphite’ colour interior finishes as standard
  • Offered with a MSRP of just $36,500

The Fiat Freemont Crossroad has arrived in Australia offering class-leading power, style and comfort as standard.

The Freemont Crossroad is a cut above the rest – a model designed to meet the needs of modern families, who are looking especially for space and practicality without sacrificing an elegant and distinctive look.

The Freemont Crossroad combines all the strengths of an SUV – including space, style and driving position – with the best features of an MPV, like the seven seats, 32 seat configurations, 25 storage compartments and huge luggage space on board (up to a maximum of 1,500 litres with second and third row seats folded down).

And with a 3.6-litre V6 engine that generates 206kW and 342Nm, there’s more than enough power to tackle any obstacle in the urban jungle and beyond.

It’s a spacious, convenient and versatile vehicle for everyday life, but also suitable for an active, sporty lifestyle. That’s why the Freemont has been the best-selling seven-seater in Italy and leader in its segment for 35 months running. And this new top-of-the-range Crossroad perfectly captures the spirit of Australia’s active lifestyle.

New and exclusive interior and exterior

The new Fiat Freemont Crossroad offers a fresh look thanks to the new front bumper with Platinum Chrome colour inserts, the glossy black front grille and fog light frames, Platinum Chrome colour side skirts and roof rails in the same colour, as well as the black frames for the front and rear light clusters, and the rear bumper with Platinum Chrome colour under-body protective insert. The Freemont Crossroad also has brand-new 19-inch burnished “Hyper Black” five-spoke alloy wheels.

The Fiat Freemont Crossroad passenger compartment features unique details, like the new black leather seats with sports mesh inserts and light ardesian grey top stitching, also on the central armrest and door panels.

Furthermore, a new Liquid Graphite colour finish highlights the dashboard, instrumentation, central console, door panel and steering wheel. The steering wheel and gear knob offered in leather as standard lend the finishing touch to the interior fittings.

3.6L Pentastar V6 206kw and 342 nm

3.6L Pentastar V6 206kw and 342 nm


Paired exclusively with FCG’s Pentastar 3.6-litre V6, generating 206kW and 342Nm, and mated with a smooth six-speed automatic transmission as standard, the Freemont Crossroad is smooth in the city but with plenty of power when you need it – all while sipping just 10.4 litres per hundred kilometres.

Standard equipment and options

With its strong, decisive look and full equipment, the Crossroad trim level offers the cream of state-of-the-art infotainment devices as standard. There’s the 8.4-inch Uconnect touch screen satellite navigation system with maps, DVD player and SD slot, Bluetooth connection, rear parking camera and an Alpine Premium sound system with six speakers, 368-W amplifier and subwoofer. 

The new Crossroad trim level offers a superior level of versatility and refinement among crossovers. For example, the driver’s seat features 10-way electric adjustment, the front passenger seat can be completely folded down, with a large storage compartment under the cushion, and the second and third rows of seats can be folded down, permitting the creation of a nearly 1.5 m³ load volume. What’s more, the second row of seats reclines and features exclusive integrated child boosters, permitting the transport of children weighing 15 to 36 kg, without using a child restraint system.

 There are a total of 32 seat configurations, making the Freemont the most versatile crossover and permitting customers to organise the interior space with surprising flexibility. There are also more than 20 storage compartments, with a total capacity of about 140 litres – comparable to a city car’s entire luggage compartment – such as, for example, the spacious compartments in the floor between the first and second row of seats, where valuable items such as cameras, portable computers and bags can be hidden. Thanks to the fold-down seats, uniform load platform and total capacity of the many storage compartments, the Freemont Crossroad offers surprising flexibility.

Finally, standard features also include electric heated and folding door mirrors, six airbags, illuminated cup holders, Keyless Enter ‘n Go with starting button as well as audio and driving speed regulation controls on the steering wheel.

Standard features include:

  • 3.6L V6 206 kW petrol engine with 6-speed  auto transmission
  • Seven seats
  • 8.4″ Uconnect touch screen CD/MP3 radio with  DVD/SD player
  • Satellite navigation
  • Alpine audio system with subwoofer and  368 watt amplifier
  • Tri-zone climate control air conditioning
  • 19-inch alloy wheels
  • Cruise control
  • Keyless entry (automatic door opening system)
  • Keyless go (automatic keyless starting system)
  • Rear parking assistance camera
  • Rear parking sensors
  • Electrically adjustable driver’s seat
  • Heated folding electric side-view mirrors
  • Compact spare wheel
  • Audio controls on the steering wheel
  • USB and AUX-IN inputs
  • Front and rear fog lights


The Fiat Freemont Crossroad has more than 50 safety devices available. These include the front passenger advanced multistage airbags, active headrests, electronic stability control with traction control system at all speeds and the Brake Assist system. What’s more, side window airbags for all three rows of seats, airbags in the front seats, disc brakes on all four wheels, Isofix child restraint system attachment are also available.

The Electronic Rollover Mitigation (ERM) system and Trailer Sway Control (TSC) are also available. The ERM uses data received from the ESC sensors to detect potential rollover risks and intervenes by varying the braking power supplied to individual wheels and adjusting the position of the throttle valve. The Freemont also has an intelligent system which takes care of your trailer, Trailer Sway Control (TSC). Once its sensors detect that the trailer is swaying, the system intervenes automatically applying the correct braking action to the wheels in order to keep the trailer under control and avoid dangerous oscillations. With this system, drivers can feel safe and confident when transporting their own loads.


Max Towing Capacity (Braked Trailer): 1100kg

Max Towing Capacity (Non-Braked Trailer): 750kg

PRICE: MRLP: $36,500


  Freemont Crossroad
ENGINE 3.6-litre V6 petrol
Max power 206kW
Max Torque 342Nm
Drive system FWD
Gearbox 6sp automatic
Length 4910mm
Width 1878mm
Height 1691mm
Wheelbase 2890mm
Kerb weight 2313kg
Combined 10.4L/100kms
Extra-urban cycle 7.8L/100kms
Urban cycle 14.8L/100kms
WARRANTY 3 years/150,000kms


image112630_b image112616_b image112621_b


New Holden Turbo Trax



Holden has announced updates to their small SUV the Trax, available now with a few extra features including a sunroof the big attraction is the addition of the 1.4L iTi turbo 4 cyl engine that’s available on the Cruze range and Barina RS for the top of the range LTZ Trax.

Check out the full details below from Holden.

Top of the range Trax introduced with a sporty 1.4 litre turbocharged engine

Trax LTZ with 1.4 litre iTi engine includes sunroof, new 18 inch alloys, rain sensing wipers and driver’s arm rest as standard
Recommended retail price of Trax LTZ 1.4 litre iTi – $29,990
Holden Trax will cement its position as one of the best small SUVs on the road with the introduction of the new top of the range 1.4 litre Turbo LTZ model.

The refined 1.4 litre turbocharged engine option is coupled with a 6-speed automatic transmission with Active Select and a variety of new premium features that complement its award winning technology and bold design.

The LTZ with the new 1.4 litre tubrocharged engine will sit above the already popular and well performing 1.8 litre engine in the expanded Trax line-up, offering customers an option that provides even greater levels of refinement and responsiveness.  The new engine boasts 103kW of power and 200Nm of torque, with fuel economy of just 6.9 litres per 100 kilometres*.

Trax LTZ also benefits from an array of standard premium features, including rain sensing wipers, a driver’s arm rest and new 18 inch alloy wheels.  A sunroof also comes standard with the 1.4 litre iTi option, further enhancing Trax’s reputation for providing outstanding customer value. 

These new additions join the long list of standard features already found across the entire Trax range including a seven-inch touch-screen with MyLink embedded apps, rear view camera and Bluetooth™ phone and audio streaming.

Teresa Basile, Holden’s General Manager Marketing Communications, said Holden was committed to ensuring the fully-flexible Trax would continue to offer today’s drivers everything they are looking for in a small SUV, from multiple seating configurations to advanced technology features.

“In just 12 short months since its launch, Trax has established itself as a serious contender in this ever popular segment and we are very pleased with the success it has achieved to date,” said Ms Basile.

“Trax has received great traction in the market as well as plenty of positive reviews and we are committed to building on that success to ensure Trax continues to evolve and respond to customer needs.

“In 2014 Trax is currently Holden’s fourth highest selling vehicle and we’re confident that with the introduction of the 1.4 turbocharged engine and new added extras, it will continue to appeal to a broad customer base ensuring continued success.”

The affordable and fuel efficient 1.8 litre engine will remain available on Trax, matched with a 5-speed manual or optional 6-speed automatic transmission, in both the LS and LTZ trim levels, with prices starting from just $23,990 RRP. 

Holden’s commitment to delivering excellent customer value extends beyond the purchase of Trax, with the most transparent Capped Price Servicing offer in market.  Trax owners receive complete peace of mind knowing that each of the four regular services in the first three years (or 60,000kms whichever comes first) will only cost $185^ – one of the lowest in the small SUV segment.

On sale this month, Holden Trax is available in a wide range of exterior colour choices including the introduction of Blaze Red.

Blaze Red
Summit White
Snowflake Pearl#
Carbon Flash#
Boracay Blue#
Orange Rock#
Satin Steel Grey#
Holden Trax LS Highlights:

1.8 litre petrol engine
5-speed manual transmission or optional 6-speed automatic transmission with Active Select
6 airbags (driver, front passenger, front side and curtain)
Hill Start Assist
Descent Control System
16” alloy wheels (4)
Air conditioning
Rear view camera
Rear parking sensors
ISOFIX child seat anchorage system
Holden MyLink infotainment System with 7” colour touch-screen display
Embedded apps including Pandora®, Stitcher SmartRadio™, TuneIn and BringGo navigation
Siri® Eyes Free Mode
AM/FM Radio with RDS display
USB with iPod connectivity
Bluetooth connectivity
Leather steering wheel with audio controls
Jet black cloth interior
Auto headlamps
Holden Trax LTZ highlights over LS

* Optional 1.4iTi engine
* New 18” alloy wheels (4)
* New Rain Sensing Wipers
* New Driver Arm Rest
* New Sunroof (available on LTZ 1.4 litre iTi only)
6-speed automatic transmission with Active Select
Jet black Sportec trim
Heated front seats
Front Fog Lamps
Trip Computer
Storage Tray under front passenger seat

Recommended retail prices, excluding dealer delivery and government charges are as follows:

Holden Trax LS, 1.8 litre manual                                $23,990
Holden Trax LS, 1.8 litre automatic                            $26,190
Holden Trax LTZ, 1.8 litre automatic                          $28,490
Holden Trax LTZ, 1.4 litre iTi automatic                     $29,990
About MyLink

Featuring embedded apps for music and navigation, MyLink in Trax supports Pandora®, Stitcher™, TuneIn™ Radio, and BringGo® navigation as well as Siri® Eyes Free Mode.