Tests grow more strict

The European New Car Assessment Programme's (NCAP) safety ratings are frequently referred to in Hong Kong car showrooms, but marques are finding crash tests are getting more harsh.

Wednesday, 15 August, 2012, 11:15pm

Chic hatch is practical

Compact, well-styled and economical, the three-door Audi A1 has proven to be a popular urban runabout in Hong Kong.

Last Friday, the Bavarian marque held the Hong Kong launch of its five-door hatchback version, the Audi A1 Sportback.

8 Jun 2012 - 12:00am

Drivers' seventh heaven

Toyota's hybrids seem increasingly sanctimonious about their fuel economy, and the name of its latest model, the Prius V, has an ecclesiastical ring to it.

Yet, the Japanese marque has good reason to believe the new seven-seater can win converts to its fuel-sipping technology.

20 Apr 2012 - 12:00am

Hitting the right notes

Peugeot has built a solid reputation for functional cars in Hong Kong.

The RCZ Coupe shows the French marque has stepped up its styling.

Assembled at Magna Steyr in Austria, and launched in 2010, the 1.6-litre RCZ Coupe has aerodynamic aluminium roof arches, prominent front and curvy rear wings on 18-inch wheels.

24 Feb 2012 - 12:00am

Making technology work

Head-up display systems are useful. They enable you to see how fast you are going, how much petrol you have left and other significant information in a reflection on the windscreen, without taking your eyes off the road. BMW has fitted head-up displays into its 5 Series since 2004 and the latest system is a key part of the M5 luxury saloon, which was launched in Hong Kong this month.

18 Nov 2011 - 12:00am

Fan club growing

Hyundai has developed a staunch following for its 2.4-litre Santa Fe (HK$279,470) and two-litre Tucson (HK$206,163) sports utility vehicles in Hong Kong.

Sales of its 2.4-litre diesel H-1 van (from HK$183,800) have also grown from 'around 15 units per month', when it was introduced in 2008, to 'close to 100 cars per month', says dealer Hyundai Hong Kong.

21 Oct 2011 - 12:00am

Big in stature

Hong Kong's Mini traditionalists might wonder whether BMW's 'little car from Oxford' is still little.

At April's Shanghai Auto Show, the marque presented a range of 10 models, including the four-door Mini Countryman and premium models such as the Mini Inspired by Goodwood and the quick John Cooper Works variant.

12 Aug 2011 - 12:00am

Offer to draw buyers

If you order a Fiat 500 over the border before its mainland launch on September 15, you might be offered a limited-edition First Edition, with Chinese characteristics.

29 Jul 2011 - 12:00am

New, bolder Beetle races ahead

The Volkswagen Beetle needed a thorough overhaul to compete with the latest urban runabouts, and the newest version is a vast improvement on its predecessor.

Launched last week in New York, Berlin and Shanghai Auto, which closed yesterday, the latest Beetle looks bolder than the New Beetle of 1998, and could have the stylish BMW Mini and Audi A1 in its sights.

29 Apr 2011 - 12:00am

C-Class now 'speaks' Putonghua

The Mercedes-Benz C-Class is the German marque's largest-selling car. Codenamed W 201 at its 1982 launch, the car has evolved from a boxy 'Baby Benz' to a sophisticated and stylish inner-city drive.

15 Apr 2011 - 12:00am

Turbocharged R gets pulse racing

The Volkswagen Golf GTI is fast, but the new Golf R is even faster. Launched at the Frankfurt Motor Show as a replacement for the previous top Golf, the 250ps R32, the R is built by Volkswagen R GmbH, a marque subsidiary formed last March to make performance-enhanced, customised variations of its Golf, Scirocco, Tiguan and Passat CC products.

7 Jan 2011 - 12:00am

Dynamic X1 is small but beautiful SUV

The new X1 is BMW's smallest SUV to date and the de facto replacement for the outgoing X3, which is to be scaled up with the new X5 to compete with Audi's Q5 and Q7.

First impressions of the X1 are promising, with the long overdue redesign lending the new X1 the dynamism which the old X3 lacked.

20 Aug 2010 - 12:00am

Santa Fe is in a class of its own

A glance at the specification sheet for the revamped Hyundai Santa Fe shows it is well-equipped, with seven seats, four-wheel drive, 18-inch alloys, five-star NCAP safety rating, six-speed automatic transmission, eight air bags, dual-zone climate control, a sunroof and a five-year warranty. That's a lot of SUV for HK$268,000, but is it as good as it looks on paper?

25 Jun 2010 - 12:00am

C30 fulfils its original promise

Every so often, Volvo breaks away from its traditional conservative design and comes up with cars that break the mould and turn heads.

In the 1960s, there was the P1800, the runabout of Simon Templar in the television series The Saint, and later its estate variant, the P1800 ES. In the 1980s, there was the funky looking 480 Coup?

18 Jun 2010 - 12:00am

Aston's Rapide wins rave reviews

The new Rapide is Aston Martin's first four-door saloon since the Lagonda, last made in 1989. However, whereas the Lagonda was a luxury saloon, with rather controversial styling and few sporting aspirations, the Rapide is first and foremost a sports car - a four-seat supercar which has claims to be the best looking saloon in the world.

4 Jun 2010 - 12:00am