Motoring

Let’s Active

Let’s Active

The first pas­sen­ger we put in the rear seats of the new BMW 2 Series Act­ive Tour­er promptly fell asleep before we cleared Ngaur­anga Gorge. “This is good,” I thought. “Peace and quiet all the way to Waik­an­ae.” On the return jour­ney, pas­sen­ger 1 swapped places with pas­sen­ger 2, mean­ing the 12-year-old could play with […]

Three-in-one

Three-in-one

To cel­eb­rate the inter­na­tion­al launch of the new M‑series, the BMW people gave me a choice between the new M3 — the four-door sedan ver­sion — or the M4, worth about $10k more but with two few­er doors. Know­ing that at least some of the test kilo­metres would be done with two excited pas­sen­gers demanding […]

You’ll wish the school run would never end

You’ll wish the school run would never end

Many years ago I owned what I felt was the most com­fort­able car in the world. It was a 1974 Volvo 164 with incred­ibly plush (butt-worn) leath­er uphol­stery and a shiny wal­nut dash­board. It sat effort­lessly on the road, wait­ing for the slightly gut­less CNG (com­pressed nat­ur­al gas) power source to fire up, then would […]

Weekend in Whanganui

Weekend in Whanganui

It’s not read­ily appar­ent to me why I haven’t spent more time in Whan­ganui. After all, it’s only a couple of hours away from Wel­ling­ton — eas­ily man­age­able after work on a Fri­day or early on a Sat­urday morn­ing. Once you get past Bulls, the road is pleas­antly unfa­mil­i­ar and the land­scape suit­ably undu­lat­ory and […]

Riding high with Highlander

Riding high with Highlander

Per­haps unex­pec­tedly, one of my most mem­or­able drives ever was in a Toyota High­lander. Giv­en that SUVs aren’t known for their driv­ing dynam­ics, I was a bit sur­prised at the time, too. It was late after­noon, and we were on a ski­ing hol­i­day in Queen­stown. Without bor­ing you unreas­on­ably with detail, our slope time had […]

4‑wheeled aphrodisiac

4‑wheeled aphrodisiac

Accord­ing to the TV com­mer­cial, this Mer­cedes C‑Class is the car that “changes everything”, pre­sum­ably at around the same time as it’s hav­ing who­ever is sit­ting in the pas­sen­ger seat next to you stare at your chis­elled vis­age with blunt and undis­guised car­nal­ity. Sadly, on the day I took the Mer­cedes for a thrash up […]

Bon mot

Okay, okay, I admit it, I am guilty as charged. When it comes to the four-wheeled machine, I have always pre­ferred big over small. Sure, it’s a pre­ju­dice but one I have always been able to jus­ti­fy — com­fort, per­form­ance and prac­tic­al­ity… need I go on? Which is why I was strug­gling to get excited […]

Upwardly mobile

Upwardly mobile

It’s offi­cial. Wellington’s hot­test new res­id­ence of choice is undoubtedly Clyde Quay Wharf. For those of you a little out of the loop, that used to be known as the much less salu­bri­ous Over­seas Pas­sen­ger Ter­min­al. Rest assured, these days plenty of five-bed­­room places in Wadestown have gone under the ham­mer to exped­ite a purchase […]

A Tale of Two Jaguars

A Tale of Two Jaguars

 A lot can hap­pen in a dec­ade. Take the last ten years for example. We’ve col­lect­ively wit­nessed the rise and rise of social media; the inven­tion of the smart phone; and pretty much digit­al everything. Atti­tudes have changed too — Pres­id­ent Obama is liv­ing proof of that — while we also con­tend with the phenomenon […]

How the other half lives

How the other half lives

The pho­tos were beguil­ing. A large stone fire­place, com­fy loun­gers, a swim­ming pool and expans­ive views stretch­ing over Hawke’s Bay — the prom­ise of a per­fect week­end hol­i­day home, or anti­dote to the usu­al Wel­ling­ton week­end hum­drum, in oth­er words. No indul­gent week­end is com­plete without the appro­pri­ate wheels, and none of us was dis­ap­poin­ted to […]