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Articles by Dan Pugh

Dan Pugh

Dan Pugh


Dan is CarsGuide’s marketing director by day, with a long-standing passion for anything on four wheels. Like many of us, though, he spends his weekends as taxi driver for his three kids and their friends.

So, if you’re wondering how cars tackle Woolies carparks, battle weekend traffic, ferry the kids to soccer, or act as transport for birthday parties, to local parks, and friends’ houses (all to the tune of a Top 40 hits soundtrack), Dan’s your guy.

Attributes such as boot space, seat folding mechanisms, ISOFIX mounts, USB points and cup holders are more important than the sheer pleasure of driving, but he doesn’t pull any punches when it comes to ride, handling and performance. Dan’s dream garage is vast, but he likes his chances of parking an XP Falcon wagon in his actual driveway, one day.

Dual-cab utes, once the teak-tough domain of tradies hauling their tools, are fast becoming the family taxis of choice, charged with ferrying kids, shopping and weekend gear. It makes sense when you think about it. The relentless wear and tear kids can dish out surely calls for something more hard...Read more
If you’re looking for a stylish SUV to decorate your driveway that's fast, practical and seats five people in absolute comfort, then I might just have the perfect family hauler for you. For my family test this week I drove the Range Rover Velar R-Dynamic SE P300 , which, as make and model names go...Read more
Parents looking to reduce their guilt over taxiing loved ones around in petrol-guzzling SUVs can rejoice - here's your chance to potentially win back some green credibility. The plug-in hybrid version of the high-riding Range Rover Sport is here to provide a more fuel-efficient way to ferry your...Read more
Lexus has built a brand reputation around producing well-constructed, reliable cars capable of moving passengers in supreme comfort and silence. So, when Lexus introduces an SUV with 'Crafted Edition' in the title, buyers have good reason to expect something extra special, don't they? With a mid-...Read more
In a category overrun with seven-seat variants, the Ford Endura is notable for its decision to forgo the third row. So, if you're in the market for a large, high-riding family hauler and consider five seats more than sufficient, you've come to the right place. For my weekend family test I drove the...Read more
Skoda's marketing department has always plugged the brand's "simply clever" features, from hidden umbrellas in the front doors to the windscreen clip to store your parking tickets so there's no more frantic searching at the boom gate. So what does the brand's focus on practicality perks mean for...Read more
When you think Jeep, it's hard not to think about cars designed for the kind of rugged off-roading aimed at getting lost, stuck or both. It's a thrill most of us bitumen-bound suburban drivers will never come close to experiencing. Enter the Jeep Wrangler 2019 Overland. For my weekend test I'm...Read more
The Toyota RAV4 has long been the SUV staple of choice for Aussie buyers, what with its reasonable handling, comfort and practicality. It was good, but nothing even approaching great. Which is something I happen to know because we already own a RAV4. This latest-generation RAV4 marks Toyota's fifth...Read more
Choosing to go with a base model vehicle usually means settling for features like manual windows, steel wheels and air-conditioning with just two settings - freezing or boiling. Increasingly, though, car brands are looking to make base models a more compelling proposition. The 2.5i is the cheapest...Read more
The stars of the ute world used to be the no-frills workhorses, but all of a sudden it's the good-looking ones that are getting all the attention while the quiet achievers get overlooked. Enter, then, the Volkswagen Amarok 2019 Core V6. Priced at $49,990, it's a fit-for-purpose ute (the cheapest of...Read more
With three rows of seats, acres of space and seat-back TV screens to banish backseat boredom, the Nissan Patrol keeps its passengers happy on family road trips. And with its big V8 engine, the driver will be smiling, too. Remember that bumper sticker that said something like "only milk and juice...Read more
Superheroes have long been synonymous with the kind of money-is-no-object cars that feature neck-snapping performance, cool looks and a smorgasbord of villain-stopping gadgets. What's more, they are usually completely out of our reach. But fear not. Because for us mere mortals of more modest means...Read more
If you are in the market for a plug-in hybrid SUV in Australia then I’m afraid the pickings are incredibly slim. In fact, outside of the heavyweight prestige brands there’s only one, the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV. For my weekend test I drove the Outlander PHEV ES 2019 . At $45,990, it’s the...Read more
The Alpina B5 Biturbo might just be the fastest family car you've never heard of. Here's how it fared on weekend duties. Looking for a fast family car but keen to avoid being labelled a show-off by your neighbours? If so, then I might just have the perfect mild-mannered missile for you. Not that...Read more
When it comes to the mid-sized sedan market, the European brands have long held favour with buyers over their Asian counterparts - particularly in the design department. Manufacturers like Mazda , however, are looking to even the score. Enter the Mazda 6 2019 GT sedan . This stylish looking car...Read more
If you’re looking for a practical family hauler that offers a sporty drive - and a hot hatch is outside your price range - then I have some very good news. Kia has given the Cerato sedan and hatch a generous GT makeover, gifting it with more power and sporty styling touches throughout. For my...Read more
When it comes to SUVs these days, it seems anything goes. There are coupe-style ones, box-shaped ones - even convertible versions are now rolling around Australia. So it should come as no surprise to see an increasing number of car makers beefing up perfectly good hatchbacks and calling them SUVs,...Read more
Despite their tough and rugged looks, home turf for many 4x4 utes is actually just as likely to be the sleepy suburbs as it is the top of some soaring mountain. And let me tell you, hauling kids, shopping and pets around on weekends can be as wearing on both car and driver as any off-roading. And...Read more
For parents looking for a little luxury in a family hauler, there are now plenty of premium SUVs to choose from. But there is one obvious downside; your kids will make every effort to destroy it. For my weekend test I’m driving the 2019 Kia Sportage GT-Line . Priced from $47,690, my GT-Line (in...Read more