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Urban Reviews

I get asked this question frequently by concerned friends: Who is the target audience for the Nissan Juke? I think the answer is a pretty easy one. This little SUV has always been about the way it looks over all other attributes. In the same way that people are willing to fork out hundreds of...Read more
Nobody ever wants to feel their Mum’s knees in the small of their back. And I’d never experienced that before, not until I drove the CX-3 Maxx Sport. I’ll explain later, but let’s just say there’s nothing Maxx about the CX-3, nor Sport, but it’s still a pretty good choice for an urban car. Allow me...Read more
Skoda’s retired nameplate list has grown to three in its 14 years in Australia under Volkswagen: Roomster, Yeti and – most recently – Rapid. Three interesting, offbeat sales losers. Replacing the latter for 2021 is Scala. Based on the early 2010s VW Polo but stretched and packaged as a family small...Read more
Ford's small hatch, the Focus, is criminally under-bought in Australia. The latest model is one of the best hatchbacks on the road and when you chuck in the decent price, impressive equipment and absurdly powerful engine for its size, it's a winner. But you lot? You don't buy it in nearly the kinds...Read more
Talk to anyone who knows things about cars and you'll find that the name Mazda pops up with some regularity when you ask about weird and/or wonderful vehicles. Its rotary-engined machines are the stuff of legend and seemingly every April there's a rumour of a new spinny-engined sports car from the...Read more
Welcome to one of the world’s tiniest SUVs, as well as amongst Australia’s cheapest – Suzuki’s diminutive Ignis. There’s an Aussie connection. Holden designer Peter Hughes styled the original YG Cruze based on the first (FH) Ignis of 2000, with both models sharing most components underneath; but...Read more
S FAR as makeovers go, Hollywood has nothing on the transformation of Ford's small SUV. Based on the Fiesta supermini only sold here in sizzling ST form, but using a stretched and widened version of its platform with heavily reworked underpinnings, the strikingly styled Puma is as charming –...Read more
The Skoda Kamiq Monte Carlo might not be cheap, but it does promise plenty of premium-feeling motoring in a sensible and spacious package. Well, that's what it says on the tin, at least. So we asked our Chesto to put it to the long-term test to see how it measures up.Read more
You can plot the moment when Honda’s mainstream range’s accent switched from Japanese to American. After unprecedented success with the first few generations of Civic and Accord Stateside, the mid-‘90s ushered in larger versions of both, including a high-riding wagon iteration of the former known,...Read more
Kia is making moves at the moment, with the new Sorento large SUV one of the best examples of how far the South Korean brand has come. Before you even get behind the wheel, the fourth-generation Sorento makes a strong impression. So much so that it alone is changing plenty of minds. But is the...Read more
Want an inexpensive, high-riding, fun-driving urban runabout with seating for three, the latest safety and connectivity features and space for two to sleep in during adventurous weekend getaways? Welcome, then, to the lively, lusty little Peugeot Partner. Check out more Peugeot Partner reviews...Read more
The 2008 is kind of a big deal for Peugeot - the old car was a bit niche and people didn't really know what it was. It also had a whiff of last-decade Peugeot whereas this one is proper 2021, fashion-forward Peugeot. The brand has changed so much in the past few years that it's even going to slap a...Read more
Suzuki invented the modern compact SUV. It’s funny how quickly people forget. Yes, the pioneering Vitara of 1988 rode on a ladder-frame chassis so was not car based, but it was successful enough to show the way for others to follow. Chiefly, Toyota , with the seminal Corolla-derived first-gen RAV4...Read more
When you look at a Lexus LX, you see a distinct resemblance to a Toyota LandCruiser. That’s understandable given that, fundamentally, the Lexus LX is a comprehensively gussied-up Toyota LandCruiser. Built to put the luxury brand into the large SUV game , and taking advantage of Toyota's huge...Read more
Hyundai's Kona has already had a well-documented facelift, with a considerable amount of sleek applied to its distinctive Citroen-esque visage. The updates weren't restricted to the sheet metal, of course, with some reworking of the range itself, some mechanical changes and updates and interior...Read more
Since 2007, the i30 has consistently been Hyundai’s best model. A car so focused on being an amiable Volkswagen Golf alternative, it’s even been co-developed in Germany. As such, over three distinct generations, there’s never been a dud version. This was hammered home by the sheer brilliance of...Read more
The seven-seat SUV’s rise in popularity makes sense. SUVs are on trend, a lot of them now look fantastic, and many of them are as good around town as they are on the freeway, or when sent on some light off-roading duties. This has had a side effect of shrinking the people-mover market. Now seen as...Read more
The Hyundai Venue has a direct lineage to the very first Korean car to be sold in Australia, the original Excel of 1986. Beneath that boxy body and tiny wheels is the latest overseas-market Accent , also known variously as the Verna, Super Pony and – you've guessed it – Excel in previous iterations...Read more
One must maintain several affections in one's life, I think that's fair. I don't mean that in the life-partner sense, that would get me blamed for marriage breakdowns. But then, as a motoring journalist, you do sometimes wonder if your recommendations send a few relationships over the edge. What I...Read more