It’s hard to believe that it has already been two years since I reviewed the last Kia Sorento, but the new one is here now and is promising to be better than the car it replaces. It looks like it’s off to a good start – it definitely looks good from the front, and its new grille is aggressive-yet-subtle, something even premium-brand SUVs have a hard time pulling off. Its side profile is not bad either, with the roof sloping downwards at the rear to give a sportier look. The rear lights did leave me scratching my head though, to my eyes they strongly resemble those of the 2011-2013 Dodge Durango. It’s got less of a butch look than the previous Sorento but it’s still a well-executed design.
When station wagons first appeared they were meant to be purely practical ways of getting from one place to another. Most of the time, they were derivatives of a sedan, which meant buyers kept the same dimensions but had a lot more space to carry things around. You could also carry more people around too; back in the day you could throw your kids in the back and not get a second glance from Mr. Officer. Or if you wanted to do things correctly, you could get third row seats. This meant that they became extremely popular with families, and this is where the problem lies. Anything that’s meant to be a practical family hauler ends up being quite an unexciting car. They’re seen as personal shuttle buses for screaming, crying, pooping kids.
Having been around since 2011, the biggest problem that the Lexus CT 200h had was that it was a bit too inconspicuous. However, with black metallic paint, dark 17-inch wheels, and now carrying Lexus’s spindle grille, the CT 200h’s new look has brought it out from obscurity to decent-looking hatch. So, if the CT 200h was so obscure, what compelled people to actually buy one? To answer that you will have to look at the Toyota Prius.
This is a great time to be in to cars, as this year's Geneva motor show is showing some of the most exciting new metal in a long time. You have everything from the insanely powerful Koenigsegg Regera, to long-time favourites like the Land Rover Defender. With that said, this gallery provides but a glimpse of what's available at Geneva's Palexpo centre. Doors open to the public tomorrow and close on 15th March, so make sure you go check it out.
If you’ve never heard of an Icon Derelict, then this just looks like an old 1948 Buick Super convertible in need of a good paintjob. But what you almost certainly won’t expect is for it to cost well into six figures – exactly the way it looks on the photo. Jonathan Ward, mastermind of the Icon Derelict programme, discovered that there’s a pretty decent market for high performance cars with patina – essentially he creates the ultimate sleepers. Like other Icon Derelicts, this Buick Super comes with thoroughly revised underpinnings – including a state of the art chassis from Art Morrison – and modern powertrain too. The original straight-eight engine was put aside in favour of the Corvette ZR1’s engine! That means 700hp being sent through a 4L85E four-speed automatic transmission to the rear wheels.
There was a time in Europe when sedans used to be the default choice when it came to choosing an everyday car. But with crossover SUVs and hatchbacks being as popular as they are today, affordable-brand sedans are often overlooked. But that hasn’t stopped Kia from putting the Optima on sale, giving a much-needed extra choice to the segment. But while having an extra choice is a good thing, the question is whether the Optima has what it takes to sway buyers away from the likes of the Ford Mondeo, Peugeot 508, Toyota Avensis or Mazda 6.
We almost didn’t make the trip at all. An hour or so before the accident, my brother and I were actually pondering whether we should put off going to see one of our parents’ plots, located some 45km from my brother’s house along the coast of Dar es Salaam. It was either this or just sit around at his house doing nothing at all. But having procrastinated long enough already, we decided that it was finally time to make our way to see this piece of undeveloped land.
The new Transit Courier is not so much a van, but a small two-seat vehicle that has a very big boot in the back. When I say this, I mean it with the highest regards possible, as it feels nothing like a commercial vehicle when you’re on the road. In fact, in terms of the driving experience, it’s not much different to a standard Fiesta, which shouldn’t be a surprise really because they share the same platform. But apart from being car-like, does the new Transit Courier have anything else to offer that would make it a standout car? I had two weeks to find out.
Some cars have a mysterious ability of putting you in a certain type of driving mood. For example, my 1996 BMW 320i makes lovely straight-six noises between 2,000 and 3,000rpm, and as a result I drive it mostly at cruising speeds. The Toyota Aygo on the other hand is one of those cars I found myself driving faster than strictly necessary most of the time. It’s a small city car with only 82hp, so it isn’t that fast by any means. But there’s more to driving fun than outright speed, and after two weeks of driving it, I can easily say it’s the second most fun I’ve had in a car this year (the first was in a 2014 Mustang GT convertible).
As part of the European Rally Championship, the Rallye International du Valais took place on some of the greatest roads that Switzerland has to offer. There was also a stage held right at the heart of Sion, which just couldn't be missed. Sion echoed with the sounds of antilag and unrestricted exhausts, and the driving talent on display was nothing short of amazing. Good thing Standout Cars had its camera on hand to give you a spectator's perspective.