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Articles by Dan Pugh

Dan Pugh

Dan Pugh

Contributor

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.

For those family buyers in the market for a luxury SUV with five seats and the kind of exterior styling that's pretty much guaranteed to make the neighbours take notice, I might have just the car for your shortlist. Meet the Audi Q8 50 TDI , a coupe-styled SUV that competes against the likes of the...Read more
The very first thing you need to know about the Mini Clubman is that it ain't that mini. This is the brand's bigger, more practical offering - a car designed more for families - not the three-door icon the Mini brand has built its image around, and so it can tend to get lost in the noise a little...Read more
The recipe for a four-door coupe has always been simple – take one four-door sedan, then apply a fastback body design, essentially trading backseat space for swooping style. It's a feat of design and marketing that Mercedes-Benz was among the first to master. The CLA 200 is one such member of the...Read more
The Alpina B5 Touring 2020 is the ultimate performance wagon you never knew you needed. In fact, you might not have even heard of it. For those unfamiliar with the brand, Alpina is the master of taking BMWs and turning them into absolute performance weapons. In the case of our test car, it has...Read more
The passenger van has long been a left-of-field contender for large families happy to overlook boxy proportions in favour of space and no-frills practicality. And now Ford , a long time player in the commercial van space , is throwing its Stetson into the ring. Enter the Transit Custom Sport 320...Read more
With most car makers now rolling out a seemingly endless supply of high-riding SUVs, Audi is rocking the boat, with the German brand continuing to pursue its investment in luxury sedans and wagons. So, for those parents looking for a little poise and polish in a sedan -shaped family hauler, I bring...Read more
Occupying the lowest rung on the premium ladder, the A1 represents an important entry point for buyers keen to get their first taste of the Audi brand. For my family test I drove the second-generation Audi A1 35 TFSI S tronic . If looks are anything to go by, then, compared to the previous...Read more
Lexus has proven plenty skilled at transforming the once sensible and sedate into tyre-shredding monsters. And given it's the German brands that traditionally set the benchmark in this department, it takes something extra special to stand out. Enter the Lexus GS F 2020 10th Anniversary edition. An...Read more
With the small SUV category one of the most competitive in the new-car market, it’s getting harder for brands to stand out from the growing crowd. Wading through this mass of vehicles is the Nissan Qashqai , a city-ready SUV that punches well above its weight . But with a new competitor launching...Read more
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

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